Growing Number of Women Are Now Trading Bitcoin; Average Age of Investors Is Falling

Growing Number of Women Are Now Trading Bitcoin; Average Age of Investors Is Falling

Only 15% of Bitcoin traders are women, according to a survey by the brokerage service provider eToro.

While this shows a gender disparity in the world of cryptocurrencies, the number of women investing in the crypto is increasing. Women investing in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) made up 10% and 11% respectively in early 2020, but it increased to 15% and 12% over the past year, respectively.

A poll run by a trader on Crypto Twitter (CT) also reveals that just over 8% of the traders are female.

Amidst the ongoing bull mania, the subscriber number on the platform has also skyrocketed. eToro users more than doubled over the past year while their average age is falling.

For Bitcoin, the average age of investors has dropped from 37 in 2017 to now 35. As for average Ethereum investors, it has dropped from 35 to 32 over the same period.

“The great attractiveness of the cryptocurrency sector is increasingly reflected in the diversification of the investor base,” said Simon Peters, market analyst, and cryptocurrency expert at eToro.

Diversification is also increasingly seen in crypto assets. While trading activity jumped 167% in Bitcoin to become the most popular cryptocurrency among eToro clients, Ether is at 2nd spot but with a 313% change in its trade activity.

XRP is the only one with a -53% change. Cardano’s (ADA) jump in prices has made the digital asset the 3rd most popular crypto and seeing an increase of 252% in its trading activity.

Other popular cryptos on the platform are Stellar (XLM), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash, MIOTA, and Tron (TRX).

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Author: AnTy

UK’s Leading Crypto Miner Increases Bitcoin Holdings by 30% in November

British digital currency miner Argo Blockchain reported an average monthly mining margin of 57% for November compared to 40% in October.

Last month was a good one for the price of Bitcoin, as it rallied 45%, and as a result, good for companies working with the cryptocurrency as well.

Argo Blockchain reported higher revenues for the period, recording a surge from £1.2mln to £1.48mln.

“This has been an extremely exciting month for cryptocurrency miners,” Argo chief executive Peter Wall said in a statement.

“We have seen the value of Bitcoin climb exponentially to over £14,000 as investors and payment service providers are turning their interest to cryptocurrencies.”

Despite the firm mining 115 Bitcoin compared to 126 BTC in October, this has been attributed to changes in the mining difficulty and Zcash halving. In total, the firm has mined 2,369 BTC year-to-date.

As of November 30, the London Stock Exchange-listed company held 178 BTC worth nearly $3.5 million, up from 137 BTC on October 31. The company also has a mining capacity of 16,000, increased from 5,000 machines in the first half of 2019. Wall said,

“At Argo, we are continuing to prioritise efficiency in our mining operations, and this has enabled us to increase our revenue by 23% this month and achieve our highest mining margin since the halving earlier this year.”

The shares of Argo are trading around $11, up 147% in the past two months.

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Author: AnTy

Bullish Catalyst on the Horizon: Fed’s Major Policy Change

US stocks started Monday on a muted note with S&P 500 down 0.2% and The Dow Jones Industrial Average -0.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite is up 0.5%.

The slow start of the week is because of the hurdles facing new stimulus packages and business’ dimming outlook while rising coronavirus infections threaten to hamper the economic recovery.

Former Federal Reserve Chairs Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen meanwhile called for Congress to provide more fiscal stimulus to the U.S. economy.

While the government and central bank continue to provide more fuel for stocks, hedge fund billionaire Leon Cooperman said the market is overvalued, and overlooking “a number of things,” including the growing national debt.

The US Dollar has been falling and is now nearing its lowest levels since the start of the pandemic. Gold prices are little changed trading at $1,811.04 an ounce. But according to Citigroup, bullion could hit a new ATH in the next six-to-nine months.

Bitcoin meanwhile is the same as ever, stuck just above $9,000, for the past month. The range has been only getting tighter and tighter while altcoins are stealing the thunder. It is actually the tightest monthly range in bitcoin’s history.

While bitcoin’s extremely low volatility is expected to see a huge move soon, the Federal Reserve is also looking to keep the stock market happy.

Major bullish catalyst

After unprecedented money printing, the Fed is ready to push the inflation rate above its 2% target.

The traditional Phillips curve, which relies on the theory that inflation accelerates unemployment falls, is now approaching forecasting inflation. The Fed continued to raise interest rates till late 2018 when it was forced to lower it 2019, keeping inflation below the 2% target. Now, faced with the prospect of low inflation, the Fed is signaling an increase. Fed Governor Lael Brainard said last week,

“With inflation exhibiting low sensitivity to labor market tightness, the policy should not preemptively withdraw support based on a historically steeper Phillips curve that is not currently in evidence.”

Brainard said the Fed should focus on the kind of employment outcomes achieved late in the previous recovery. She is saying that the Fed should not tighten policy until inflation reaches 2%, relying on actual inflation outcomes to determine the appropriate time to modify policy than to rely on an inflation forecast. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker said,

“I don’t see any need to act any time soon until we see substantial movement in inflation to our 2% target and ideally overshooting a bit.”

Bloomberg says the implication of this for financial markets would be that the Fed expects to “hold policy very easy for a very long time.”

The ultra-loose policy, as we have seen in 2020, has been working out well for stock markets, which are closer to hitting their new all-time highs. Economist and trader Alex Kruger said,

“Major bullish catalyst in the horizon: the Fed letting inflation rise above 2%. Assets to benefit the most are our 2020 friends: stocks, precious metals, and TIPS (as real rates go more negative).”

While a rising SPX, increasing inflation, and ultra-loose monetary policy speak well for bitcoin’s prices, the last couple of months doesn’t reflect strongly on the digital asset.

But with the bitcoin market expecting bitcoin to rally soon and its correlation with equities market strong, these factors may help kickstart a bull run.

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Author: AnTy

Japanese BTC Retail Investors Bought the Dip During Recent Price Crash: Report

  • Japanese cryptocurrency exchange BitBank recorded a 40% increase than the 2020 average the week after the price crash
  • Kraken also saw an 83% increase in the account signups over that week
  • Less than two months away Bitcoin halving might be playing a part here

During the recent price crash, Japanese retail crypto investors bought the dip, according to a market analyst at Japanese cryptocurrency exchange BitBank, Yuya Hasegawa.

Despite the price of bitcoin tanking, the situation is “vastly” different from the time before the Crypto Winter of 2019 as the volume and change in the number of accounts indicates that retail investors are buying the dip.

Account Registration Jumps 40%

The recent price dump added to the already affected crypto market by the heightened risk sentiment due to COVID-19 and demand for cash in the global markets. As we reported, this massive sell-off was led by the short-term holders who dumped 281k BTC a day before the Black Thursday.

During recent weeks, Bitcoin acted as a risk asset just like the stock market and was no longer considered a safe haven. However, it must be noted that the traditional safe-haven asset gold also experienced a huge loss during this time. But according to Hasegawa,

“underneath the surface, there has been an interesting development in the Japanese crypto market.”

A week after the crash, the weekly account registration of BitBank recorded a 40% increase than the 2020 average. Also, the number of daily Know Your Customer (KYC)-passed accounts were unaffected, rather kept above-average levels in the days following the crash.

The exchange saw a spike in the number of email registrations the day after the crash. This indicates that instead of the retail interest fading in bitcoin, the investors jumped into bitcoin and bought the dip.

Source: BitBank

Having Driving the Demand?

In 2018 when the bitcoin price bottomed between November and December, the price of bitcoin declined by 50%. At that time, the selling pressure was “strong and persistent” and the price showed no significant rebound during the period of enhanced volume.

At that time, bitcoin bottomed at $3,200 and entered into Crypto Winter. During its hibernation period, bitcoin saw its volatility at record-low levels for a few months. Unlike this time, instead of increasing, bitbank’s daily account registration took a hit.

Moreover, this time the bitcoin price has already jumped over 70%, currently trading above $6,600. And this increment in BTC price combined with the increased daily account registration says,

“the current market recovery is driven largely by retail investors.”

BitBank is not the only with heightened activity, Kraken is another one that saw an 83% increase in the account signups over the week the prices plunged.

A potential reason for this demand, Hasegawa said could be less than two months away bitcoin halving for which Google Trend shows interest is rising. Although there is no knowing if the halving would push Bitcoin’s price upwards, it could be said that the market has started to gradually price the event in and are stacking up their sats at the cheapest price before the halving.

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Author: AnTy

Binance CEO Isn’t Worried About Bitcoin, Says “Demand is Increasing”

On February 17, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was near its peak at 30,000, driven by the longest US economic expansion in history. During that time, bitcoin was trading above $10,000. Over the next thirty days, the coronavirus (Covid-19) burst out of China with major outbreaks in Italy, South Korea, France, Spain, Germany, the UK, and the USA.

As countries shut down their borders and people were asked to be quarantined in their homes, businesses came to a sudden stop. The stock markets went into a meltdown and forced central banks to take emergency actions not seen since the 2008 global financial crisis.

The world’s leading cryptocurrency also crashed to $3,850 which was because of those relatively new to crypto who sell when they feel there are risks. Also, those who depend on short term gains in their investment portfolios to pay rent were forced to sell crypto to cover their living expenses.

According to the founder and CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, when people fear the doomsday, they hoard cash with increased pressure to sell investments. But they will “eventually find out they no longer need to hoard it and will put it back on investment.”

But despite this Zhao isn’t “worried about crypto at all.”

“The fundamentals did not change. Unlike fiat, bitcoin remains a currency with limited supply. No one can print more of it. Demand is increasing, especially now. It will be fine,” said Zhao.

Things aren’t black or white but greyscale and fundamentally crypto still works and with fiat being printed at a record pace, “you decide what will happen, in time.”

But that would happen eventually as Zhao explained currently, “Markets are inefficient. The speed of change propagation is slow, which actually gives us plenty of opportunities.”

Binance founder is extremely bullish on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and the reason behind this is the broken current system which he said bitcoin fixes.

With central banks printing out money to bail companies out, “the taxpayers are robbed (made poorer) indirectly.” And bitcoin fixes this.

With cryptocurrencies, things are different because there are no government bailouts which he said, “breaks the cycle.”

But it doesn’t mean, problems will be magically solved as companies will still fall and users will still get hurt.

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Author: AnTy

Coronavirus Outbreak Setting Up ‘Very Bullish’ Coming Months for Bitcoin And Crypto Market

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst day since August and S&P 500 since October
  • “The current backdrop for gold is stereotypical of strong phases,” as gold scored a second straight monthly climb
  • BTC already up 27% YTD and gain further as coronavirus to lead to rate cuts and another round of quantitative easing

In one of its biggest declines, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by over 600 points on Friday as investors grew increasingly worried about the potential economic impact of deadly coronavirus.

While Dow had its 30-Stock average’s worst day since August, S&P 500 also had its worst day since October and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.6%. This happened after the US declared the coronavirus a public health emergency within the country and American, Delta and United suspended all flights between the US and China.

Fear going into the weekend

First discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus has now spread to at least 18 other countries. China’s National Health Commission confirmed 9,692 cases of the coronavirus with 300 deaths. The WHO also recognized the virus as a global health emergency on Thursday.

“There’s fear going into the weekend,” said Ilya Feygin, senior strategist at WallachBeth Capital.

“The theme coming into this year was the Fed and Trump are going to bail us out of any problems, but the virus is something neither one can do anything about. That’s a reason to become more fearful.”

Morgan Stanley’s chief US equity strategist, Michael Wilson says a major stock market pullback since October may be underway.

Gold scored a second straight monthly rise

Meanwhile, gold though pulled back from over six-year high scored a second straight monthly climb.

“The current backdrop for gold is stereotypical of strong phases,” said Adrian Ash, director of research at BullionVault.

“Over-priced stock markets are wobbling, global growth is slowing hard, and political uncertainty is worsening.”

“We are operating in an environment in which safe assets are scarce … Investment demand will continue to flow to gold because capital is seeking shelter from negative real yields,” said TD Securities commodity strategist Daniel Ghali.

Setup for the crypto market in coming months very bullish

Bitcoin meanwhile is holding steady above $9,000 since Tuesday. Currently, BTC/USD is trading at $9,413, up 27% YTD.

As can be seen, crypto markets have diverged from the equity markets ever since we entered into a new year.

While market strategist and economists were “talking up the global economic outlook and hailing 2020 as a good year for markets with no major risks on the horizon,” in two weeks the deadly coronavirus outbreak has changed that prognosis, said the former partner at Goldman Sachs, Spartan Black of crypto hedge fund The Spartan group.

With the affected cities coming to a halt, the factory output in the near term would be affected. And the “travel curbs and related impact will likely take a few bps off global GDP growth in the next 2-3 quarters. The equity markets have started to price that in. Further signs of weakness and market instability may cause central banks to spring into action,” said Spartan Black.

That means, further rate cuts and another round of quantitative easing are likely to follow with the ECB already having started its bond-buying program in Sept. All of this combined with halving event coming up, “the setup for the crypto market in coming months is very bullish,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

Open Interest on CME Bitcoin Futures Outgrowing BTC Price

  • If BTC closes above the 200-day moving average, just above $9,000, we could see $10k
  • Institutional investors leading the way for a new bull market, Open interest on CME jumps 100% since the start of the year
  • Investors also preferring CME to Bakkt & CME traders more bullish than other platforms

Up over 21% in 2020 to date, Bitcoin is off to a great start of a new year. The leading cryptocurrency is currently trading at $$8,883 as per Coincodex, after hitting $9,000 level yesterday after two months.

Trading volume is also keeping up with this burst of bulls, with the volume jumping above $1 billion and even going to $2 billion levels.

With the descending channel seemingly broken, the next resistance for bitcoin is now looking to be the 200-day moving average, just above $9,000. If BTC closes above this level, it’s a possibility we would finally see $10,000. This is a level where a lot of trading activity happened historically.

If the 200-day MA gets rejected, the next Point of Control (POC) lies around $8,000, which is a likely support level for now.

Institutional Investors Leading the BTC Bill Market

However, what’s interesting is that institutional investors seem to be leading the way for a new bull market.

Lately, the activity on CME has been seeing a rise which has been actually outgrowing BTC. Open interest is at about $240 million at CME which is nearly $100 million more than the last time the bitcoin was the same price level.

The bitcoin futures volume registered on CME Group is also much higher than in October. This year, it has been touching between $500-$700 million several times while in December, we were below $500 million.

These levels of volume and open interest wasn’t recorded the last time BTC pushed up, suggesting a fundamental change in investor sentiment on CME.

Institutional Investors Prefer CME to Bakkt

On Jan. 13, CME launched BTC options and from day one, it crushed Bakkt. In the growing options market for Bitcoin, CME ended with $2.2 million traded on the first day. This figure has been significantly higher than Bakkt’s $0.52 million daily volume. However, it is still much lower than retail-oriented Deribit, a dominant force in the BTC options market.

For now, institutional investors are preferring CME than Bakkt. When it comes to BTC futures volume, Bakkt has been oscillating between $25 million to $50 million since December. Although Bakkt has been making new highs in open interest as well, it has only reached $10 million as opposed to $240 million on CME, as per the data provided by crypto analytics firm Skew.

BTC Premium rates on CME Continue Upwards

Over the last week, the bitcoin futures premium rates continued its upward movement. While the premium rate for January contracts have been decreasing as their expiry date comes closer, March contacts have seen an increase of 0.5 p.p this week.

June futures contracts, the month after the halving in May, are also on a premium of more than 4% as investors stay bullish on BTC in the first half of 2020.

CME traders are, in fact, more bullish than other platforms, with an annualized premium rate of 13.5% for the March contracts, up about 2 percentage points than other platforms on average.

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Author: AnTy

Traders Improve Their Hedge Against Price Risk As Bitcoin Implied Volatility Is Dropping

  • The volatility of the market dropped below 60% for the first time since May.
  • The average price change was about 8% daily for Bitcoin in December last year.

Bitcoin has spent about ten years around the public, and the price has gone through a lot of change in that time. The Skew blockchain research boutique in London recently posted to Twitter about their Bitcoin research, shedding light on the token’s volatility.

While the market has been historically volatile, the changes of the term structure through this final quarter of the year shows that the market may finally reaching a potential level of sophistication, at least with hedging price risks.

Ever since the price of Bitcoin reached $13,700 in July – the peak of 2019 so far – the volatility of the asset has been decreasing. This implied volatility is a necessary metric for options contracts pricing.

Presently, Bitcoin is still driven by the traders that go for massive gains when they bet on the asset, but the increased stability of Bitcoin is reducing the volatility that makes it a challenging asset. The realized volatility peaked at the end of December last year, which happened at the same time as a massive price rally, though the average price change was about 8% a day.

The at-the-money implied volatility (ATM IV) dipped below 60%, which hasn’t happened since May. With that, Bitcoin made a sudden upside move, which happened the same day.

In a research paper published by Skew last year, the writers stated that the market for BTC options will need to become more established before the curve stops steepening. The main source of buying flows will continue to be the crypto miners in the market, which is relatively normal for major commodities.

Bakkt’s Bitcoin options are planned for launch on December 9th, though CME Group also plans to launch their Bitcoin options. The launch of Bitcoin options by CME Group won’t happen until the first quarter of 2020. While options and futures with Bitcoin can come with a massive risk, traders continue to turn to these derivatives for their potential for higher gains.

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Author: Krystle M

Arcane Research: BTC Prices Might Have Been Manipulated Before CME’s Bitcoin Future Settlement Dates

According to the latest research by Arcane group, Bitcoin prices have fallen on average by 2% before the settlement date of CME’s bitcoin futures contract, reported Kryptografen.

CME bitcoin futures contract was launched back in 2017 for institutional investors on Wall Street. The contract expires monthly, and several reports pointed towards the peculiar price drop towards the end of its expiry date every month. The research found out, in the last 20 months the prices have fallen constantly in 15 months.

The market manipulation theory gains even more weight for the fact that these contracts are settled in US Dollars rather than bitcoin. The future contracts are majorly traded by institutional investors, thus investment is also quite significant which makes it much easier to sway the market movement.

Average Bitcoin price fall on a daily basis shows great deviation before settlement dates

A fall in prices benefits the investor as they need to pay less in dollars. Thus, according to the theory, these Wall Street investors go long on ‘physical’ bitcoin which they can hold and go short on futures contracts. By following this strategy they become resistant to market fluctuation.

If the price of bitcoin rises, they have to pay a higher settlement on their futures contracts, however, those losses are counterfeited by the gain on ‘physical’ bitcoin they hold. On the other hand, they can sell off their ‘physical’ bitcoin towards the settlement date which would trigger a fall in prices in the spot market, and then they can profit on the settlement contract as well by paying a small price.

The research found out that during the period between January 2018 and September 2019, on any given random day, bitcoin prices have fallen on average by only 0.06%, however, if we specifically look at a day near the contract settlement date, the average fall is a significant 2.27%. The research notes that,

“To avoid losing important price movement, while not including too much irrelevant noise, the interval being checked is set to 1.5 days. As the settlement is at 4 pm in London last Friday of the month, the price movements are checked this day, as well as the day before the settlement. This then implies the last 40 hours before the settlement time. Including only the last 24 hours before settlement means that much of the day before a settlement is excluded, and a slightly broader interval appears to be more suitable. All figures for returns in the analysis are calculated for intervals of 1.5 days, for a correct comparison basis. Analysis of intervals in addition to micro-dynamics on the various spot exchanges prior to settlement is a natural extension of this analysis.”

The prices have fallen mostly when the market sentiment was bullish

Another interesting thing to note is that Bitcoin prices have fallen most in the months when the market sentiment was bullish and the average daily return as high as 4%.

The research mentioned that statistically, the probability of such a consistent fall in prices (15 out of 20) is less than 2%. The report also noted that they did not take into consideration several factors which would provide a clearer pattern in prices, and thus further analyses are required. The research report said,

“One should look more closely at the micro-dynamics in the various spot markets around settlement and signing of new futures contracts, and compare this with the value of outstanding contracts/contracts being settled.”

“In addition, qualitative studies, where you directly contact those who sign and trade the bitcoin futures contracts at CME, could be of great value in order to shed light on the situation.”

Looking at these observations and hypothesis, the fall in prices right before settlement dates on such a consistent basis can’t be a mere coincidence. Thus, further studies into the issue might reveal many other factors related to these market manipulation.

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Author: Hank Klinger