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Ethereum price dips below the $1.8K support as bears prepare for Friday’s $1B options expiry

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Ethereum price dips below the $1.8K support as bears prepare for Friday’s $1B options expiry

Ether’s (ETH) performance over the past three months has been less than satisfying for holders and the 50% correction since April 3 caused the altcoin to test the $1,800 support for the first time since July 2021.

Ether/USD 1-day chart at Kraken. Source: TradingView

Due to the volatility in stocks, investors had been seeking shelter in the United States dollar and on May 13, the DXY index reached its highest level in 20 years. DXY measures the USD against a basket of major foreign currencies, including the British pound (GBP), the euro (EUR) and the Japanese yen (JPY).

Moreover, the five-year U.S. Treasury yield reached its highest level since August 2018, trading at 3.10% on May 9 and signaling that investors demand larger returns to compensate for inflation. In a nutshell, macroeconomic data reflects risk-averse sentiment from investors and this partially explains Ether’s downturn.

Further creating panic among Ether traders was a seven-block chain reorg on Ethereum’s Beacon Chain on May 25. A valid transaction sequence was knocked off the chain due to a competing block getting more support from network participants. Fortunately, this situation is not uncommon and it might have emerged from a miner with high resources or a bug.

The main victims of Ether’s 11% price correction were leverage traders (longs) who saw $160 million in aggregate liquidations at derivatives exchanges, according to data from Coinglass.

Bulls placed their bets at $2,100 and higher

The open interest for the Ether’s May monthly options expiry is $1.04 billion, but the actual figure will be much lower since bulls were overly-optimistic. These traders might have been fooled by the short-lived pump to $2,950 on May 4 because their bets for the May 27 options expiry extend beyond $3,000.

The drop below $1,800 took bulls by surprise because virtually none of the call (buy) options for May 27 have been placed below that price level.

Ether options aggregate open interest for May 27. Source: CoinGlass

The 0.94 call-to-put ratio shows the slight dominance of the $540 million put (sell) open interest against the $505 million call (buy) options. Nevertheless, as Ether stands near $1,800, every bullish bet is likely to become worthless.

If Ether’s price remains below $1,800 at 8:00 am UTC on May 27, none of the $505 million call options will be available. This difference happens because a right to buy Ether at $1,800 or higher is worthless if Ether trades below that level on expiry.

Bears aim for a $325 million profit

Below are the three most likely scenarios based on the current price action. The number of options contracts available on May 27 for call (bull) and put (bear) instruments varies, depending on the expiry price. The imbalance favoring each side constitutes the theoretical profit:

  • Between $1,600 and $1,700: 0 calls vs. 230,000 puts. The net result favors the put (bear) instruments by $370 million.
  • Between $1,700 and $1,800: 50 calls vs. 192,300 puts. The net result favors bears by $325 million.
  • Between $1,800 and $2,000: 3,300 calls vs. 150,000 puts. The net result favors the put (bear) instruments by $280 million.

This crude estimate considers the put options used in bearish bets and the call options exclusively in neutral-to-bullish trades. Even so, this oversimplification disregards more complex investment strategies.

For instance, a trader could have sold a put option, effectively gaining positive exposure to Ether above a specific price, but unfortunately, there’s no easy way to estimate this effect.

Bulls should throw the towel and focus on the June expiry

Ether bears need to sustain the price below $1,800 on May 27 to secure a $325 million profit. On the other hand, the bulls’ best case scenario requires a push above $1,800 to reduce the damage by $45 million.

Ether bulls had $160 million leverage long positions liquidated on May 26, so they should have less margin to drive the price higher. With this said, bears will undoubtedly try to suppress Ether below $1,800 ahead of the May 27 options expiry.

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.

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Record Investment Outflows of $423 Million Led to Crypto Bloodbath

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Record Investment Outflows of $423 Million Led to Crypto Bloodbath

Last week saw record outflows of $423 million from crypto assets, according to CoinShares.

The report found that the outflows last weekend were likely responsible for bitcoin’s decline to $17,760. Analyst James Butterfill said: “The outflows were solely focussed on bitcoin, which saw net outflows for the week totaling US$453m.”

BTC outflows bring down institutional investments 

Therefore, if bitcoin is removed from the calculations, Ethereum contributed an inflow of around $11 million while other alts also added minor positive flows, aggregating inflows to the extent of $70 million. 

This was Ethereum’s first inflow after 11 consecutive negative sessions according to CoinShares.

In the past week, the BTC market has slid under the $20,000 level twice. Short-bitcoin saw inflows of $15 million due to the launch of the first U.S.-based short investment product in the week in question, the report noted.

[1/5] This week’s Digital Asset Fund Flows Report is now available! Written by @jbutterfill, the headline for this week is: Record US$423m outflows last week while Short-Bitcoin saw inflows of US$15m. Read on for the highlights -> pic.twitter.com/eIalnFhacv

— CoinShares 👩‍🚀 (@CoinSharesCo) June 27, 2022

Benefits of a crypto bear market

Similar wide margins were last seen in the previous negative peak, in terms of outflows, in Jan at $198 million.

However, in relative terms, Butterfill remarked that the week did not witness the largest negative flows against total assets under management (AuM). 

“This record occurred during the bear market in Feb 2018 where outflows representing 1.6% of AuM were witnessed, while the outflows last week were the third largest on record, representing 1.2% of AuM,” the report noted.

According to FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, the Federal Reserve’s decision to aggressively increase interest rates was the main reason behind the market crash.

But despite the bearish sentiments, some crypto bosses are optimistic about the results of a market downturn. Charlie Silver, founder of Permission.io told Insider: ” There are hundreds of firms that are built on hype and not substance. It will be good for the industry to have them go away.”

“Bear markets are healthy because it resets valuations to reality and flushes out the bad actors. There are many cryptos that are true Ponzi schemes, that pay investors only with new investor money. When the new money dries up the project falls apart,” Silver added.

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Uzbekistan warms up to Bitcoin mining, but there’s a catch

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Uzbekistan warms up to Bitcoin mining, but there’s a catch

The executive order spares all the mined assets from taxation and bans mining anonymous currencies.

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Uzbekistan warms up to Bitcoin mining, but there’s a catch

The National Agency of Prospective Projects (NAPP) in Uzbekistan announced its demands toward crypto mining operators. It would only allow the companies that use solar energy to mine Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies. 

The normative act on the government page, dated June 24, describes the confirmation of “Guidelines on the registration of the crypto assets mining,” and sets the finalization date on July 9. The second article of the document offers an uncompromising wording:

“Mining is being carried out only by the legal entity with the use of electric energy, provided by a solar photovoltaic power plant.”

As a further complication, the miners should own the solar photovoltaic power plant that they will use for energy.

The executive order also obliges any mining operator to obtain a certificate and register in the national registry of crypto mining companies. This procedure demands a brief list of documents, and should take no more than 20 days from submitting to the final decision to the licensing body. The certificates would be valid for one year after the registration.

Related: Go green or die? Bitcoin miners aim for carbon neutrality by mining near data centers

All the currency generated from mining activities would be spared taxation, though the mining farms would face the special tariffs on the consumed energy set by the Uzbekistan government. But, the trade operations with mined assets would have to be conducted only on the exchange platforms that are registered in Uzbekistan. The mining of anonymous cryptocurrencies would be prohibited.

In April 2022, the freshly-restructured NAPP became Uzbekistan’s exclusive crypto regulator with the mission to adopt a special crypto regulation regime in the country. This move came in a row of initiatives launched by the Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to provide the regulatory framework for crypto. In September 2018, Mirziyoyev signed a law prohibiting local firms from launching their crypto exchanges in Uzbekistan. The law only offered legal status to crypto exchanges established by foreign legal entities.

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Celsius denies allegations on Alex Mashinsky trying to flee US

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Celsius denies allegations on Alex Mashinsky trying to flee US

Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky wasn’t trying to leave the U.S. last week but has continued to work on recovering liquidity and operations, the company has claimed.

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Celsius denies allegations on Alex Mashinsky trying to flee US

Troubled crypto lending firm Celsius is putting their best foot forward to recover operations alongside CEO Alex Mashinsky, who currently stays in the United States, the company has claimed.

A spokesperson for Celsius has denied rumors that the company’s CEO tried to flee the U.S. last week amid the ongoing liquidity crisis of the Celsius Network.

The representative told Cointelegraph on Monday that the firm continues working on restoring liquidity, stating:

“All Celsius employees — including our CEO — are focused and hard at work in an effort to stabilize liquidity and operations. To that end, any reports that the Celsius CEO has attempted to leave the U.S. are false.”

Celsius’ statement came shortly after Mike Alfred, co-founder of the crypto analytics firm Digital Assets Data, took to Twitter on Sunday to claim that Mashinsky attempted to leave the country last week via Morristown Airport in New Jersey.

Citing an anonymous source, Alfred alleged that Celsius’s CEO was trying to go to Israel. “Unclear at this moment whether he was arrested or simply barred from leaving,” he added.

Alfred’s claims followed a massive GameStop-like “short squeeze” of Celsius, with Celsius’ native token Celsius (CEL) jumping 300% in one week by June 21. CEL price also abruptly rallied more than 600% on June 14, with analysts attributing the event to an exchange glitch or liquidation of short traders.

At the time of writing, CEL is trading at $0.741, down around 5% over the past 24 hours, according to CoinGecko. Celsius’ native token is still up more than 160% over the past 14 days.

Celsius Network token (CEL) 30-day price chart. Source: CoinGecko

Some industry observers in the crypto community have expressed skepticism about Alfred’s tweets about Mashinsky, with many considering his allegations as FUD.

If @Mashinsky attempted to leave the country this week, why are you reporting it now exactly when the CEL price is going down? Seems very coincidental Mike Alfud. And why no mainstream media or crypto media is reporting this? #CelShortSqueeze https://t.co/ynJbzWib9o

— Otis — #CelShortSqueeze ©️ ⚡️ (@otisa502) June 27, 2022

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Celsius officially announced that it would be “pausing all withdrawals, swaps and transfers between accounts” on June 13. United States regulators subsequently started an investigation into Celsius as multiple accounts on the network were frozen.

Related: South Korean prosecutors ban Terraform Labs employees from exiting the country: Report

According to some analysts, Celsius’ liquidity issues should be attributed to shortcomings of the existing crypto lending model in general, as other lenders in the market have faced similar problems recently.

Celsius has been working hard to fix the consequences of the platform’s liquidity crisis, reportedly onboarding advisers and restructuring consultants to help the platform handle potential filing for bankruptcy. On June 18, Celsius’ lead investor BnkToTheFuture and its co-founder Simon Dixon offered to assist the network by deploying a recovery plan.

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