Market Wrap: Ether Sets New Highs as Bitcoin Stays Below $49K


The price of Bitcoin struggled to regain $ 49,000 on Friday and continued to climb between $ 48,000 and $ 46,000 over the weekend. When Bitcoin pondered which way to go, Ether hit a new all-time high above $ 1,850.

Much of Bitcoin’s choppy price action could have been due to deleveraging in futures as eager bulls piled on long trades expecting a swift breakout to $ 50,000 or more. According to market data from Skew, funding rates for perpetual Bitcoin futures rose steadily through February, with some funding rates hitting their highest levels in the past 12 months.

High positive refinancing rates signal an increase in long positions, while negative rates indicate a more bearish sentiment. The market tends to reset itself when traders, especially in overcrowded derivative positions, become excessively bearish or bullish.

In the past 24 hours, Bitcoin futures contracts worth over USD 330 million have been liquidated, according to market data from Bybt. Most of the positions that were liquidated were long.

Despite the turbulent price development, the news of the past few days has been extremely positive for the leading cryptocurrency. Within a week, Tesla bought $ 1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin. Twitter’s CFO said the company was considering investing in the cryptocurrency. BNY Mellon announced plans to hold Bitcoin for its customers, and PayPal confirmed its plans to add crypto to its Venmo product.

Ether (ETH), the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, rose around $ 1,850 on Friday and rose 3% in the last 24 hours at 9:00 p.m. UTC (4:00 p.m. ET).

As it hit new record highs above $ 1,850, other finance-related decentralized cryptocurrencies (DeFi) followed, some of which even outperformed Aether. Overall, the DeFi sector grew over 5% in the past 24 hours, according to Messari, led by Uniswap, and others, who posted double-digit gains.

The new highs for ether come the same week that CME launched its ether futures market, which some traders expected to be a bearish catalyst for the market. The expectations were almost entirely due to the ominous timing of the bitcoin peak in 2017 near the start of CME’s bitcoin futures market. So far, however, the bearish thesis has not proven itself.

Since the start of the CME futures, Ether has risen by over 12%. The product got off to a quiet start, with contracts valued at less than $ 200 million trading this week. In contrast, Binance’s Aether Futures were traded nearly $ 40 billion this week.

Digital assets on CoinDesk 20 are mainly green Fridays. Notable Winners as of 9:00 PM UTC (4:00 PM ET):