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Bitcoin’s rapid recovery from the biggest two-day sell-off in almost a year shows the power of a recently overlooked factor in cryptocurrency markets: demand from Chinese retail traders.
Prices for the largest cryptocurrency were higher on Wednesday, stabilizing around $49,000, after tumbling 15% in the prior two days.
The sudden demand for bitcoin (BTC) from Chinese traders, possibly motivated by the price drop, can be viewed through a hitherto largely ignored metric: the “tether premium” – or the difference between prices quoted in yuan on the dollar-linked stablecoin tether (USDT) by over-the-counter cryptocurrency traders, and the implied yuan-denominated price for tether based on the prevailing rate in global markets.
“More Chinese investors have begun to enter the market, even though the bull market since 2020 has been mainly driven by U.S.-based institutional investors,” Flex Yang, founder and chief executive officer of Hong Kong-based crypto lender Babel Finance, told CoinDesk. “Chinese investors, especially those with very little bitcoin exposure, are now looking for channels to buy bitcoin. And buying bitcoin through USDT is the most direct channel, which led to an increased demand for USDT in the [over-the-counter] market.”
“As people rush into the market in a bull run, the demand for USDT rises significantly,” Ciara Sun, vice president of Huobi Global Markets, told CoinDesk. “OTC merchants will also take the opportunity to raise prices that are far beyond the exchange rate.”
The total daily trading volume on various Bitcoin (BTC) futures markets has reached a new all-time high of $180 billion, crypto analytics platform Glassnode pointed out today. This comes as the price of Bitcoin has dropped below the $50,000 mark in the last few days, currently at $49,840.
Futures are a type of financial derivatives where parties agree to sell/buy an asset at a specific price on a set date. Unlike options contracts, where buyers might choose to not purchase the asset, futures are contractually binding and must be settled on the expiration date.
At press time, the open interest (the combined value of all unsettled contracts) on Bitcoin futures platforms amounts to roughly $16.5 billion, according to crypto derivatives metrics platform Skew.
🗞 Square Adds $170 Million More in Bitcoin to Balance Sheet — Company Now Holds 5% of Total Cash Reserves in BTC
Square has bought more bitcoin, adding $170 million worth of the cryptocurrency to its balance sheet. The company now holds 5% of its cash reserves in bitcoin. Its Cash App was used by more than three million customers to purchase or sell the cryptocurrency last year.
$170 Million Bitcoin Purchase
Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) announced Tuesday its fourth quarter and full year 2020 results. The company also announced that it has purchased $170 million worth of bitcoin “as part of its ongoing commitment to the cryptocurrency.” This is the company’s second bitcoin purchase; the first was for $50 million made in October last year. According to the announcement:
It has purchased approximately 3,318 bitcoins at an aggregate purchase price of $170 million. Combined with Square’s previous purchase of $50 million in bitcoin, this represents approximately five percent of Square’s total cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities as of December 31, 2020.
In 2020, more than three million customers purchased or sold bitcoin on Cash App, and, in January 2021, more than one million customers purchased bitcoin for the first time.
Business intelligence firm MicroStrategy increased its Bitcoin (BTC) holdings by 27% on Wednesday after purchasing an additional 19,452 coins, taking its total haul to 90,531 BTC.
Announced on the company’s website on Wednesday, the coins were reportedly purchased for approximately $52,765 per coin, equating to an outlay of just over $1 billion.
MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor said the firm’s focus was now twofold: grow its analytics software enterprise, and buy more Bitcoin.
Saylor said, “The Company remains focused on our two corporate strategies of growing our enterprise analytics software business and acquiring and holding bitcoin."
In the six months since MicroStrategy announced its first $250 million investment in Bitcoin, the company has gone on to spend in excess of $4 billion on the digital asset. Saylor said there was no plan to stop buying BTC any time soon.
🗞 Daily Crypto Calendar, February, 24th💰
- DODO (DODO)
"VCC lists $DODO DODO/USDT pairs are now available on VCC Exchange."
- SparkPoint (SRK)
- Oraichain Token (ORAI)
"... IOTA Foundation, together with Dell Technologies, is about to perform the first-ever demonstration of the Alvarium project."
- Holo (HOT)
"Holo AMA is on next Wednesday @5PM UTC"
- Wabi (WABI)
Wabi founders answering your questions and sharing news, announcements in Wabi Telegram group.
- 🗞 Daily Crypto News & Video, February, 23rd💰
- 🗞 Daily Crypto News & Video, February, 22nd💰
- 🗞 Daily Crypto News & Video, February, 21st💰
- 🗞 Daily Crypto News & Video, February, 20th💰
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Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic cash. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user-to-user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.