At 00:00 UTC on Monday (8:00 p.m. Sunday ET), bitcoin was changing hands around $9,298 on spot exchanges such as Coinbase. It began making gains around that time, appreciating 3% to over $9,600. The price is now well above its 10-day and 50-day moving averages, a bullish signal for market technicians.
A jump in the bitcoin market Monday after days in the doldrums mirrors the longer-term outlook of Fairlead Strategies’ Katie Stockton, who sees an upward trend for the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. “Bitcoin remains wound up in its consolidation phase, a reminder why it’s a good idea to await breakouts [and] breakdowns,” Stockton told CoinDesk. “A breakout continues to appear more likely than a breakdown from an intermediate-term momentum perspective and would occur above $10,055 in our work.”
A “consolidation phase” is a term used by technical analysts to mark a period of indecision by traders overall. In fact, according to data from aggregator Kaiko, volatility of the top free-floating cryptocurrencies bitcoin, ether and XRP has trended down since June 7.
“Volume has been muted and volatility is getting coiled,” said Neil Van Huis, director of institutional trading at liquidity provider Blockfills.
Interestingly enough, bitcoin dominance is down from its 70.5% high in January 2020 and has flattened during June. This suggests Van Huis’ thesis that alternatives, such as assets on the Ethereum network, might be of greater interest to traders in June.
Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and which powers the Ethereum network, is also jumping today. Ether was trading around $242 and climbed 5.7% in 24 hours as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET).
Decentralized lender Compound and the appreciation of its COMP token is fueling speculative interest, and may be stretching the Ethereum network to its limits and increasing gas prices. On Jan. 1 of this year, the average Ethereum network gas price for running smart contract code was 11.6 gwei [each gwei is worth 0.000000001 ETH). By June 22 that number jumped 157% to 29.9 gwei, with decentralized finance (DeFi) attracting the interest of many traders.
Chan says the demographics of traders on DeFi is shifting and the increase in tether stablecoin usage is a big factor pointing to the change. “We’ve seen a significant increase of USDT trading volume,” he told CoinDesk. “It’s suggesting Asian traders are now pouring into the DeFi market; the majority was U.S. and Europe before.”
Digital assets on CoinDesk’s big board are all in the green Monday. The cryptocurrency winners on the day include iota (IOTA) up 4.1%, bitcoin sv (BSV) climbing 3.8% and qtum (QTUM) jumping 3.6%. All price changes were as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET).