Weekly Crypto Market Wrap, 17th January 2022
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Week in Review
- US Consumer Prices for December reach 7% inflation (5.5% ex Food and Energy), the highest rate in close to 40 years.
- Jerome Powell testimonial for his second mandate as Fed Chair:
- States a cryptocurrency report from the Reserve will be released “within weeks.”
- Believes the US economy no longer needs “aggressive stimulus.”
- The Fed is ready to act in controlling increasing price pressures if high inflation levels last beyond mid-2022.
- ECB President Lagarde states the European central bank will “do everything it takes” to get inflation down to 2% — Euro zone rates hit 5% last December.
- US FDIC-backed US banks form consortium to release new “USDF” stablecoin.
- US Fed’s Lael Brainard calls for Congress to decide on creating a CBDC to compete with China’s digital yuan.
- Crypto funds outperformed traditional hedge funds in 2021; HFR data.
- IMF research states that “crypto assets […] have matured from an obscure asset class with few users to an integral part of the digital asset revolution” — affirms positive regulatory adoption will greatly improve the ecosystem.
- Over 24% of small to mid-sized businesses plan to accept crypto payments; Visa survey.
- Square’s Cash App integrates Bitcoin’s Lightning Network for crypto payments.
- Tether (USDT) freezes $150 million from three addresses to allegedly comply with US law enforcement requirements.
- Pakistan’s government plans to ban cryptocurrencies; local industrialists oppose potential decision.
- Tesla to accept dogecoin payments for company merchandise.
Winners & Losers
- After setting a weekly low around 39,500 early in the week, BTC alongside other risk-on assets rallied as inflation data came through inline with expectations. Crypto market liquidity remains thin on the short rally. Overall, BTC returned 3.00% and ETH returned 6.30% WoW.
- The US reporting season began with the banking sector, and it was not pretty. Both Citibank and JP Morgan disappointed analyst’s expectations, with their share price reflecting the disappointment — JPM dropping from around the $170 mark to a low of $157 following the announcement. While growth and tech stocks attempted to recover from the previous week’s selloff, momentum did not last — with the Nasdaq index closing the week close to its monthly low. Conversely, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index performed better than its developed market counterparts, with the index climbing 2% for the week. The higher US yield curve has impacted emerging markets with depreciative pressure on the currency and outflow from asset markets.
- The fixed income market continues to take a beating as more institutional portfolios reduce their allocation for 2022. The 10-year UST sold off aggressively following the US CPI report, bringing inflation to a 39-year high. The 10-year yield curve climbed above 1.80% before settling the week at 1.77%. At the same time, the more speculative 30-year yield has risen from the year-end closing of 1.90% to a high of 2.13% in the last two weeks. On the credit side, Chinese property developers were again on the headline for the wrong reasons. Despite an agreement to extend payment terms for Evergrande, another developer Yuzhou attempted to delay payment on USD582 million to avoid default, sending its bonds and shares tumbling. The central bank, PBoC, cut rates on their one year lending rates for the first time since early 2020 when the pandemic first hit economic growth.
- Volatility levels were supported due to both the bond and tech shares selloff, geopolitical concerns from Russia, and North Korea’s renewed projectile launch in the Japanese sea. The CBOE VIX index swung between 17.5 to a high of 23 during the week, moving in phase with attempted risk recovery, but overall remained well supported by fear.
- The FX and commodity markets played the role of risk indicator this week. The USD index started on a positive note at above 96, then quickly retraced below 94.60 as risk parity trades unwind. AUDJPY cross was under pressure for most of the week, dropping towards 82 at one stage, the lowest in 2022. Gold prices fluctuated around the $1,800 mark with little directional trend. Despite supply-side disruptions due to workers’ absence, the longer-term prediction is for economic activity to slow down from central bank tightening of monetary conditions, thus leading to weaker commodity prices and demand for the rest of the forecast period.
Macro, Technicals & Order Flow
- Last week, BTC resided within the 42,000–43,000 range. Unsettled markets, still feeling the effects from last week’s minutes on the Fed’s December meeting caused enough bearish pressure to set a temporary weekly low below 40,000.
- The bulls did not give up easily, quickly reverting the price to 41,000. The bearish sentiment apparent early in the week was short-lived. The mood transitioned to risk-on mid-week when investor’s inflation expectations were met, despite inflation printing at extremely elevated levels. The on-expectation news flowed into the crypto space where BTC reached weekly highs around the 44,000 level. BTC has consolidated around 43,000 forming an important support at the 42,000 mark. On the topside, resistance sits around 46,000.
- Where to from here? We’ve got leverage building in different parts of the space and market structure beginning to form what could lead to a short-squeeze.
- BTC futures open interest is close to highs.
- BTC futures open interest leverage ratio, which tracks the market open contract value divided by the market cap of the asset, is hovering at just under 2.0%. Glassnode’s recent memo notably commented last week that this level has been a precursor to contract liquidations.
- This leverage is dominated by Binance (retail focused).
BTC Futures Open Interest
BTC Futures + Perpetual Open Interest Leverage Ratio
BTC Funding Rate Across Exchanges
Bitcoin Net Position Change of long-term wallets
OI Interest by Strike — Mar 25, 2022
BTC Implied Volatility
BTC Futures Annualised Rolling 1 Mth Basis (Deribit & CME)
Bitcoin Futures Open Interest
- Similarly to Bitcoin, Ethereum set its weekly lows early in the week. The asset fell to 2,900 following market uncertainty from last week’s FEDs minutes before subsequently rebounding. Despite inflation reaching 39-year highs, risk-on assets rallied as CPI data met expectations. Definitely feels like less-bad news is good news at the moment.
- Bullish sentiment built throughout the remainder of the week, marking weekly highs around 3,400. Despite a temporary venture below the 3,000 mark, this level retains relevance alongside 2,550 as key supports. Notably, as ETH rallied it’s implied volatility diminished.
- Several L1 blockchains, including NEAR, FTM, ATOM & ONE experienced significant upside. Key layer 1’s are not only competing with Ethereum, but also offering very distinct value — from bridging blockchains to DeFi to NFTs.
ETH ATM Implied Volatility
OpenSea Activity (Delphi)
- Following the announcement of a $150m funding round led by Three Arrows Capital, NEAR has continued to form new all-time-highs. NEAR’S bullish sentiment was reinforced by the launch of Aurora, a protocol built on NEAR that bridges ETH protocols to NEAR.
- Despite the recent stagnation of most blockchain ecosystems, Fantom gained over $1.20 billion (+20%) in its TVL over the past week. This growth was largely due to Andre Cronje and Danielle Sestagalli’s recent hints regarding their involvement in the FTM ecosystem. FTM definitely still holds value when compared to other Layer 1 blockchains — the fully-diluted market cap is significantly less than major competitors (SOL, AVAX etc..).
L1 tokens price action (Delphi)
ETH Open Interest by Strike: Mar 25, 2022
ETHBTC Daily Chart
Ethereum Exchange Net Position Change
ETH Perpetual Funding Rates
ETH Perpetual Open Interest
ETH Futures Annualised Rolling 1 Mth Basis
DeFi & Innovation
- Jack Dorsey announces a Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund for blockchain developers and lawyers.
- Meta recruits over 100 employees from Microsoft and Apple for its metaverse division.
- Digital yuan wallet tops mobile app store charts in China.
- Disney patents technology for a metaverse theme park.
- Rio de Janeiro’s mayor set to invest 1% of the city’s reserves in crypto.
What to Watch
- Great Britain’s CPI.
- BOE Gov Bailey testifies before Treasury Committee on stability report.
- Australia’s unemployment rate.
This document has been prepared by Zerocap Pty Ltd, its directors, employees and agents for information purposes only and by no means constitutes a solicitation to investment or disinvestment. The views expressed in this update reflect the analysts’ personal opinions about the cryptocurrencies. These views may change without notice and are subject to market conditions. All data used in the update are between 10 Jan. 2022 0:00 UTC to 16 Jan. 2022 23:59 UTC from TradingView. Contents presented may be subject to errors. The updates are for personal use only and should not be republished or redistributed. Zerocap Pty Ltd reserves the right of final interpretation for the content herein above.
* Index used:
Originally published at https://zerocap.com on January 17, 2022.