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Institutional managers hold a record $13.9B worth of Ethereum

Weekly inflows into Ethereum investment products continue to grow, according to the latest CoinShares report.

Institutional investment managers bought $30.2 million worth of Ethereum (ETH) last week, bringing their total holdings to a record $13.9 billion, according to CoinShares.

Inflows into Ethereum products appears to be ramping up as investors devote greater attention and resources to the smart-contract platform. Month-to-date inflows for ETH products totaled $170 million, bringing the yearly total to $824 million. Managers now hold a combined $13.9 billion worth of ETH.

The weekly inflows report showed strong growth across most digital assets, with the exception of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), where inflows fell by $1.7 million. Weekly inflows across all assets reached $489 million, with Bitcoin (BTC) accounting for the largest amount at $441.7 million.

Total assets under management devoted to crypto are now $64.7 billion, a gain of roughly $7 billion over the past six weeks.

“The high inflows conceal varied flows amongst providers, with many seeing outflows in Europe while their North American peers saw strong inflows,” CoinShares explained. In particular, weekly inflows flat-lined for Grayscale, declined by $46 million for CoinShares and spiked $554.1 million for 3iQ, which manages Canada’s first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

Ethereum led crypto to new heights this week, with the market capitalization of all assets reaching $2.398 billion, according to Coingecko. That exceeds the previous April 16 peak of $2.343 billion.

ETH price has charted remarkable growth over the past week, clocking in at a new record high above $3,500. The second-largest cryptocurrency seems to be holding up well amid the latest correction that saw Bitcoin fall 6% and the overall market shed about $150 billion from the recent high.

Gnosis, Balancer and PancakeSwap breakout as Bitcoin looks for direction

A series of protocol upgrades and partnership announcements helped to boost GNO, BAL and CAKE even as Bitcoin price searches for support.

Ether (ETH) continued its stellar run and crossed the $3,500 barrier today. Dogecoin (DOGE) also joined in on the party as its price soared above $0.61 earlier today as Gemini exchanged added support for the coin following a similar step by eToro. 

Traders may be buying DOGE with the expectation that Elon Musk will shill the token during his upcoming appearance as the host of Saturday Night Live.

While the rise of DOGE is tempting, traders should be careful with their bets because barring the jawboning by some popular individuals, the fundamentals of the coin look shaky.

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

Although altcoins are having a field day, Glassnode recently pointed out that Bitcoin’s (BTC) Stablecoin Supply Ratio had plunged to a 2021 low at 13.4. The SSR is calculated by dividing Bitcoin’s supply by th stablecoin supply and its all-time low is 9.6. Glassnode said the low SSR value was a bullish sign as it showed greater availability of crypto-native capital that could flow into Bitcoin and other crypto-assets.

In the altcoin season, the decentralized finance space has been the star performer. Let’s study the fundamentals and technicals of three DeFi related tokens that have done well in the past few days.

GNO/USD

Decentralized exchanges have risen in popularity in the past few months but they are still plagued with certain shortcomings. One of the problems DEX users face are bots that front-run transactions and cause slippage. According to MEV-Explore more than $477 million in value has been extracted from DEX traders since Jan. 1, 2020.

To solve the problem of MEV and improve the experience of DEX users, Gnosis (GNO) recently announced a partnership integration with Balancer to form the Balancer-Gnosis-Protocol, which plans to blend Balancer’s pool mechanisms with the price-finding mechanism of Gnosis and is expected to go live in mid-June. This could attract several traders who have been avoiding trading on DEXs due to MEV.

During bull markets, several new projects are announced as trader’s appetites are high. However, the price discovery of a new token has been a major issue bogging the crypto space. To address this problem, Gnosis launched a new platform dubbed Gnosis Auction on April 6. The protocol claims the platf will conduct transparent and decentralized batch auctions for any Ethereum project.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for GNO on April 28, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. GNO price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for GNO flipped green on April 28 when the price was $201.15.

From there, the VORTECS™ Score consistently remained in the green barring a brief period and GNO rallied to a high at $258.70 today, netting the traders a 28% return in about seven days.

GNO has been in a steady uptrend and it has rallied from $171.32 on April 25 to an intraday high at $261.30 today, rising 52% in ten days. This sharp rally of the past few days has pushed the relative strength index (RSI) into the overbought territory.

GNO/USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

Usually, when an asset is backed by momentum, it does not give up much ground during corrections. The bulls jump in and buy every minor dip as they expect the rally to continue. The first support on the downside is $224.07 and then the 20-day exponential moving average ($206).

A strong rebound off either support will suggest the sentiment remains positive and traders are buying on dips. The bulls will then try to resume the up-move and push the GNO/USD pair to the next target objective at $282.54 and then $300.

This bullish view will invalidate if the price turns down and breaks below the 20-day EMA. Such a move will suggest that traders are booking profits aggressively and that could pull the price down to the 50-day simple moving average ($174).

BAL/USDT

Automated market maker Balancer (BAL) announced the developer launch of its next big upgrade named Balancer V2 on April 20. The major change in the new version is that all the assets added by all Balancer pools will be held in a single vault.

While the AMM logic will be unique for each pool, the token management will be done by the vault. The protocol claims this will improve gas efficiency and enable drafting of various AMM strategies “without having to worry about low-level token transfers, balance accounting, security checks and smart order routing.”

Balancer’s partnership with Gnosis will form the Balancer-Gnosis-Protocol which will be interoperable with any DEX but will have the maximum gas efficiency when traded against Balancer pools. The steps taken to reduce gas fees and improve user experience may give Balancer an advantage over competitors.

The protocol is also promoting its Liquidity Bootstrapping Pools for projects that want to distribute tokens in a fair and capital-efficient way.

BAL rallied from $44.73 on April 25 to an intraday high at $75.08 today, rising over 67% in ten days. During this period, the price climbed from the support line of the ascending channel to the resistance line of the channel.

BAL/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bears have defended the resistance line of the channel on two previous occasions, hence the level is likely to act as a major hurdle once again. A drop from the current level is likely to find support at the 50-day SMA ($56.47).

Both moving averages are moving up gradually and the RSI is above 61, suggesting the bulls have the upper hand. If the price rebounds off the moving averages, the bulls will make one more attempt to push the price above the channel.

If they succeed, the BAL/USDT pair could pick up momentum and charge toward the next target objective at $100. The bullish momentum may weaken if the pair plummets below the moving averages. A break below the channel will signal advantage to the bears.

CAKE/USDT

PancakeSwap (CAKE) was featured on Cointelegraph on April 8 when it was trading at $20.91. From there, the token rallied to hit an all-time high at $44.27 on April 30, recording a 111% gain in just over three weeks.

The protocol launched an auto-compounding CAKE syrup pool on April 30, which removes the need to manually re-stake CAKE to get the best yields. The new feature seems to have gained popularity among users as the protocol reported on May 3 that 18.5 million CAKE tokens had been deposited in the said pool.

Recently, data from DappRadar showed that PancakeSwap had completed 2 million transactions in a 24-hour period surpassing the 1.55 million transactions done on the Ethereum network. The growing popularity seems to have enabled the protocol to complete its biggest burn of 5,143,789 CAKE tokens.

PancakeSwap launched the BETA version of Prediction on April 28. This allows traders to bet on the direction of the BNB/USDT pair’s close at the end of a 5-minute live phase. If the chosen direction is correct, the trader wins a reward.

While professional short-term traders may be successful in such predictions, novice traders should be careful as this could become addictive and one could quickly lose a lot of money within a short time.

The latest leg of the up-move in CAKE had pushed the RSI above 81 on April 29, indicating the token was overbought in the short term. That could have attracted profit-booking from the momentum traders, resulting in the current correction.

CAKE/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The first critical support on the downside is the 20-day EMA ($32.75). The bears have not been able to sink and close the price below this support since March 23. Therefore, the bulls are likely to buy the dip to the 20-day EMA.

A strong rebound off this support will suggest the sentiment remains positive. The bulls will then try to push the price above $44.27 and resume the uptrend. If they succeed, the CAKE/USDT pair could climb to $55.

Contrary to this assumption, if the bears sink the price below the 20-day EMA, it will suggest that traders are booking profits aggressively. That could pull the price down to the breakout level at $30.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Dogecoin, the leading indicator for alt season?

The eight-year old altcoin seems to be a bellwether for altcoin rallies every time it pumps.

Dogecoin (DOGE) has been the poster child of altcoins for a very long time, particularly as it’s been around since 2013, making it one of the oldest cryptocurrencies in existence. The inflationary meme-coin quickly became synonymous with wild price pumps due to its small nominal value and concentrated holdings.

Doge starts altseason by the way in case you’ve forgot.

— BIG DOG (@MoonOverlord) April 16, 2021

Such unprecedented short-term price rallies history caused some investors to use DOGE price as a leading indicator for an altcoin season.

But this probably does make some sense. After all, Dogecoin is nothing more than a meme-based coin. There has been no development activity over the past couple of years, and not that many of its users run a full node.

Dogecoin historical pumps since 2017. Source: TradingView

Also, take notice of how incredible price moves have been the norm rather than an exception for Dogecoin in the past four years. There have been 16 weekly performances higher than 30% and six of those presented 100% or higher gains.

If major Dogecoin holders sell most of their coins, it will get my full support. Too much concentration is the only real issue imo.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 14, 2021

To this day, the top 693 addresses keep 79.2% of the total DOGE in circulation. This astonishing statistic has even been a large source of criticism by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. It is worth highlighting that the most recent price spikes have been directly linked to Musk’s memes and tweets revolving around Dogecoin.

However, for one to claim that Dogecoin is effectively an altcoin season indicator, there must be evidence of such pumps preceding the broader market positive performance.

July 2020 total altcoin market cap vs. Dogecoin, USD. Source: TradingView

On July 7, 2020, DOGE posted a 73% gain in less than 36 hours. While the effect didn’t last for more than three days, altcoins did begin to surge in value a couple of weeks later. The altcoin market capitalization rose from $105 billion to $130 billion, which is a 24% increase in just 10 days.

Nov. 2020 total altcoin market cap vs. Dogecoin, USD. Source: TradingView

Meanwhile, the November 2020 pump tells a different story as DOGE followed the path of the remaining altcoins. Moreover, no altcoin season followed over the next weeks as market capitalization stabilized below $210 billion.

Early 2021 total altcoin market cap vs. Dogecoin, USD. Source: TradingView

On the other hand, the early-2021 incredible 182% DOGE pump that took place over the course of two days did signal an altseason. Some 36 hours later, the altcoin market cap initiated a 50% rally, boosting it to $340 billion.

An even more substantial effect took place on Jan. 18, as the meme-coin hiked over 1,000%. Three days later, the altcoin market cap started a 60% rally to $560 billion.

However, the most recent activity might provide different interpretations as the altcoin rally began some three weeks before Dogecoin aimed for new highs.

April 2021 total altcoin market cap vs Dogecoin, USD. Source: TradingView

Therefore, considering the five pumps analyzed, there have been three pieces of evidence of the Dogecoin pump preceding a broader altcoin rally. However, this incidence ratio might be enough for most adventurous traders.

It is worth noting that comparing such findings with other major altcoins would be a good idea before concluding that the meme-driven coin is effectively a good indicator for alt season. If Dogecoin lives up to its fame amid an onslaught of positive headlines, then the new $0.61 all-time high is a presage of positive momentum for altcoins.

Meanwhile, VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for DOGE on April 29, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. DOGE price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score began to climb on April 29 and reached a high of 72 before spiking to 77 again on May 3. It’s worth noting that the VORTECS™ Score peaked roughly 12 hours before the price spiked 45% to a new all-time high at $0.61.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Former US treasurer joins Ripple board

“Blockchain and crypto will underpin our future global financial systems,” said the new board member.

Rosa Gumataotao Rios, the 43rd treasurer of the United States, will be joining Ripple’s board of directors. 

In an announcement from Ripple today, the company said Rios, who served as the U.S. treasurer from 2009 to 2016 under President Barack Obama, will be the newest member of the firm’s leadership team. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse cited Rios’ experience in both the public and private sectors as well as her success in “rapidly accelerating businesses” in the company’s decision to bring her on board.

“Ripple is one of the best examples of how to use cryptocurrency in a substantive and legitimate role to facilitate payments globally,” said Rios. “Blockchain and crypto will underpin our future global financial systems.”

Rios’ name seems more closely associated with fiat than crypto, quite literally — all U.S. banknotes printed during her time as treasurer bear her signature. Her appointment follows Yoshitaka Kitao, CEO of Japanese financial giant SBI Group, leaving the board after two years and being replaced by SBI Ripple Asia CEO Adam Traidman.

Ripple also announced Kristina Campbell, formerly with payments platform PayNearMe at fintech company GreenDot, will be joining the firm as chief financial officer to “accelerate growth and deliver value to shareholders.” Campbell said she aimed to use crypto and blockchain technology to “make the global financial system accessible to all.”

The new leadership follows the XRP cryptocurrency losing its position as the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization to Dogecoin (DOGE) for the first time. XRP only regained the number-four slot in April following rallies from Polkadot’s DOT and Binance Coin (BNB) as well as volatility in the token price.

XRP’s volatility has been attributed to charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against Ripple, the firm’s co-founder Chris Larsen, and Garlinghouse in December 2020. The SEC accuses Ripple of conducting an “unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities offering” through its XRP sales. Though the allegations initially prompted many crypto exchanges to delist or suspend the trading of XRP, some have since relisted the token following a campaign from its supporters.

Auction giant Sotheby’s to accept BTC and ETH as payment via Coinbase

Bitcoin and Ether will bring the next step of Sotheby’s crypto adoption after the firm debuted NFTs earlier this year, its CEO said.

Sotheby’s, one of the world’s oldest and biggest auction houses, has announced that it will be accepting major cryptocurrencies as a new payment method at an upcoming auction.

Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart said that the company will debut Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) payments as part of its upcoming auction of Banksy’s “Love is in the Air. The new payment method will be facilitated in partnership with United States’ largest cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, noted Stewart in a Tuesday interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box.

“It’s something we have been thinking about for quite some time,” the CEO said, elaborating that Sotheby’s latest move brings the next step to exploring crypto payments for physical art after the firm debuted nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, earlier this year.

“Love is in the Air” is an iconic protest-themed artwork by pseudonymous England-based street artist Banksy. The work will be offered in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on May 12 in New York, Esquire reported. Bidding for the work, which is estimated to be worth between $3 million and $5 million, will be conducted in the U.S. dollar, featuring an opportunity to pay the amount with crypto.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, global auction houses have been moving into the crypto industry more aggressively in recent months. In February, British auction house Christie’s announced an NFT auction of Mike Winkelmann’s digital artwork “Everydays: The First 5000 Days.” The auction eventually resulted in a record-setting NFT sale, netting nearly $70 million. In October 2020, Christie’s also sold a Bitcoin-themed art piece and NFT for over $130,000.

Sotheby’s announcement comes amid a major altcoin rally, with Ether setting a new all-time high above $3,500 on Tuesday.

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