Market Wrap: From GBTC Discount to Short Bitcoin ETF, Traders See Reasons for Optimism

Market Wrap: From GBTC Discount to Short Bitcoin ETF, Traders See Reasons for Optimism

By Bradley Keoun, Jimmy He

It’s hard to imagine that data showing traders piling into a trade designed to profit from further bitcoin price declines might be bullish, but that’s how some analysts are interpreting the signal.

Bitcoin (BTC) held steady at about $21,000 in Friday afternoon trading.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was recently trading at $21,030, up 3% over the past 24 hours. This weekend, however, could pose another test for bitcoin, analysts say, as reported by Jimmy He.

“This weekend could be another testing period for the cryptocurrency, despite the resilience shown this week in holding back above such a major level,” Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam said. “The support still looks shaky below and another break could see confidence in the space really put to the test.”

Despite the continuing shakeout in the crypto industry, analysts were eyeing key market indicators for signs that prices might have hit a bottom. Those include a narrowing in the so-called Grayscale discount (read more on that below by Lyllah Ledesma) and – in a perverse twist of logic – data showing stock investors piling into an exchange-traded fund designed to profit from further declines in the price bitcoin, as reported by Krisztian Sandor.

“The quote-unquote, relief rally that you’ve seen in the last 24 hours, I think it’s largely stemming from the retail side of things,” Raghu Yarlagadda, CEO and co-founder of FalconX, a crypto trading platform for institutional investors, said Friday on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover/” program.

In traditional markets, stocks rallied after a University of Michigan survey showed that consumers tempered their expectations for future inflation compared with the prior reading – seen by traders as a reason to worry less that those expectations might become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Latest prices

●Bitcoin (BTC): $21,313 +2.01%

●Ether (ETH): $1,241 +9.50%

●S&P 500 daily close: 3,911.74 +3.06%

●Gold: $1,826 per troy ounce +0.02%

●Ten-year Treasury yield daily close: 3.13% 0.057

The “GBTC discount” narrows, and analysts ask why

By Lyllah Ledesma

A key metric known in crypto markets as the “Grayscale discount” is narrowing, possibly a sign of optimism on the part of some traders as the deadline approaches for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to rule on a proposal to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust – the world’s largest cryptocurrency fund – into an exchange-traded fund.

The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which is often referred to by its stock trading symbol GBTC, is a type of investment vehicle that allows U.S. investors to gain exposure to price movements of BTC.

GBTC shares were recently trading at a discount of 29% to bitcoin’s price, according to data from Skew. That’s down from 34% last week. The shares have been trading at a discount since February 2021; previously, the shares had traded at a premium to bitcoin’s price.

It might be a sign of stock traders bottom-feeding for bitcoin at a discount, or it might be a sign that traders think the conversion will win approval. Or it might be a sign that fears of a deeper liquidity crisis across the crypto industry might have passed.

Altcoin roundup

  • RUNE spikes: THORChain’s native blockchain went live on seven supported networks after nearly four years of development, developers said in a post on Thursday. The network allows users to trade bitcoin for other supported assets without using bridges or wrapped assets. THORChain’s token, RUNE, surged 14% in the last 24 hours, outperforming bitcoin and ether.
  • Axie Infinity Developer to Reimburse Victims of Ronin Bridge Hack: Sky Mavis, the developer behind the popular play-to-earn online game Axie Infinity, said it will start to reimburse the victims of the $625 million Ronin bridge hack. A total of $216.5 million in USDC and ethereum at today’s prices will be returned to users.
  • Cryptoys raises funds to bring NFTs to kids: Cryptoys, a platform aiming to “reimagine what a toy actually is,” raised $23 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Dapper Labs and Mattel. The platform, managed by non-fungible token (NFT) studio OnChain Studios, aims to bring NFTs to kids in the form of colorful characters.

Other markets

Most digital assets in the CoinDesk 20 ended the day higher.

Biggest Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Polygon MATIC +13.6% Smart Contract Platform
Solana SOL +11.7% Smart Contract Platform
Avalanche AVAX +11.3% Smart Contract Platform

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