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Market Wrap: Bitcoin in Recovery Mode Ahead of Options Expiry

Bitcoin traded higher after holding support around $32,000 on Thursday. Bearish sentiment is starting to wane as buyers fuel a relief rally from Tuesday’s shakeout low of around $29,000. The cryptocurrency is up about 4% over the past 24 hours, but is still down about 8% over the past seven days.

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Bitcoin options expiry

Related: DOJ Charges Crypto Seller for Operating Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business

As June comes to a close, roughly 69,000 bitcoin is set to expire at a notional value of $2.37 billion, according to data source Genesis Volatility.

“Max pain levels are good to keep an eye on going into an options expiration like this,” wrote Greg Magadini, CEO of Genesis Volatility, in an email to CoinDesk. The max pain level for bitcoin implies a rally up to about $40,000, which is also the strike price with the most open interest.

At the current price, this will be the second smallest month-end options expiry of the year, compared to a notional value of about $6 billion in March.

This month’s options expiry will occur with lower volume and a tight trading range this month, suggesting weak demand from buyers. 

Ether loses ground to bitcoin

Related: ‘Bitcoin Is the Revolution’: An Interview With Alex Gladstein

Ether’s market-capitalization relative to bitcoin is below 40%, according to Skew. A similar situation occurred in 2018, which preceded a period of underperformance in ETH vs. BTC.

The chart below shows ETH/BTC declining from resistance over the past month. There is short-term support at the 100-day moving average, although technicals suggest the ratio could see further downside.

Crypto goes mainstream

Cryptocurrency is becoming increasingly mainstream, with Citigroup being the latest megabank to roll out crypto services to at least some of its customers. 

Citigroup’s wealth management division has formed a new unit called Digital Assets Group, which will be helmed by Alex Kriete and Greg Girasole of the bank’s Citi Global Wealth Investments (CGWI) arm. The unit will be “focusing on all aspects of this fast-growing space of blockchain enabled finance,” according to the bank. 

Meanwhile, U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is entering the Japanese market. The Nasdaq-listed exchange’s subsidiary registered with the Financial Services Agency (FSA), the country’s financial watchdog, on June 18.

Altcoin roundup

  • While bitcoin and most alternative cryptocurrencies are slowly recovering from the latest market sell-off, the price of the coin internet computer (ICP), which was once the star of the space, sank from $630 to $34 in less than two months. “With prices retreating across the industry, the most recently hyped projects have been among those hardest hit,” said Rick Delaney, senior analyst at OKEx Insights. “In ICP’s case, it seems the harder and faster it pumps, the more severe the dump.”

  • Two of South Korea’s four largest exchanges, Upbit and Bithumb, have been delisting altcoins as they prepare for an upcoming regulatory overhaul. Delisting announcements have caused prices for many altcoins to plummet by 50% or more, causing considerable losses among retail investors. 

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Other Markets

Almost all digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 ended up in green on Wednesday. 

Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET): 

cardano (ADA) +15.25% 

xrp (XRP) +12.54%

algorand (ALGO) +11.32%

Notable loser: 

USD coin (USDC) -0.01% 

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