First Mover: Bitcoin Market Goes Into ‘Backwardation’ Despite Fed’s Trillions

First Mover: Bitcoin Market Goes Into 'Backwardation' Despite Fed's Trillions

Bitcoin is searching for a direction.

After a wild couple months in crypto markets that saw a ferocious sell-off as the coronavirus spread, followed by a 30 percent price rebound as governments and central banks announced trillions of dollars of emergency financing, the oldest and largest cryptocurrency has settled into a range between $6,700 and $7,400.


For bitcoin (BTC) holders, it’s a buzzkill. 

Earlier this year, before the extent of coronavirus-related economic damage become clear, bulls had pegged their hopes on May’s halving, a once-every-four-years reduction in the pace of new supplies of the cryptocurrency. The reduced supply and continuing demand from investors was supposed to drive up the price. The German bank BayernLB predicted in 2019 that the halving could drive bitcoin to $90,000 or higher. 

But the hopes of a halving-fueled price run-up faded somewhat after last week’s halvings of two bitcoin offshoots – bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin sv (BSV) – proved to be market duds.  

Mati Greenspan, founder of research firm Quantum Economics, wrote Monday in a note to clients that “in the long term, fewer new coins will likely translate into a higher price per coin.”

But in the short term? 

“I’m not convinced that the halving event will have any immediate effect on the price,” Greenspan wrote. “It might, but then again, it might not.”  

Not so convincing.

Nor is bitcoin getting much follow-through from the recent rally, which was fueled by investor bets that the cryptocurrency can serve as a hedge against inflation and rampant monetary stimulus. The money hydrant is certainly open: The U.S. Federal Reserve’s balance sheet pushed past $6 trillion last week for the first time in its 107-year history. 

Kevin Kelly, co-founder of the cryptocurrency-focused research firm Delphi Digital, wrote in a report Monday the Fed’s recent money injections might just be a start, given the broad-based contraction in economic activity as coronavirus-related lockdowns drag on. 

“Put simply, the U.S. economy cannot endure months on end of little to no revenue without government support,” Kelly wrote. 

The Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs wrote that stocks are unlikely to make fresh lows due to the “do whatever it takes” approach of policy makers.

Bitcoin is a likely beneficiary, too, according to cryptocurrency investment firm Arca.

“Unless global equity and debt markets crater, bitcoin seems to have a higher floor now,” Arca analysts wrote Monday in an emailed note. “It is very hard to short risk assets into a wall of cash.”

CoinDesk’s Daniel Cawrey reports that bitcoin markets have gone into “backwardation” – where futures contracts trade at a discount to the spot price. According to Skew, a cryptocurrency-derivatives data provider, the June contract is trading around $6,750, below the spot-market price of $6,875 as of late Monday.


The discount could signal that traders are betting on price declines over the next two months, in a shift from last week when futures were trading at a premium.

“Futures and our own activity indicate that speculators expect to see lower prices in the short term,” said Maxine Boonen, CEO of over-the-counter trading firm B2C2. “One particular hedge fund sold us $20 million of bitcoin today and they have usually been right.” 

Denis Vinokourov, head of research at crypto investment brokerage Bequant, said if bitcoin breaks below $6,500, futures traders might face a wave of contract liquidations that could send prices as low as $6,100.

According to Arca, the negative sentiment might even be a bullish indicator: If traders are already pessimistic, it’s possible that the bad news is already priced in.

Arca noted the number of tether tokens – a dollar-linked stablecoin that has become the de facto form of cash in digital-asset markets – has climbed to a record level around $1.9 billion in exchange wallets.


That could signal more traders are getting in position to buy. 

“Prices can certainly go down, but it would not be surprising if they keep melting up,” Arca wrote. 

Not exactly a clear direction. 

Tweet of the day


Bitcoin watch


Trend: Bitcoin continues to mimic action in U.S. stock futures. The top cryptocurrency by market value rose from $6,700 to $6,900 early Tuesday, tracking an uptick in futures tied to the S&P 500.

The futures had dropped on Monday, pushing bitcoin down to $6,600, but turned higher during Tuesday’s Asian trading hours. The rise came after China reported a surprise 2.4 percent surge in imports in March, lessening fears of a deep economic slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. 

The optimism, however, could be brief because the U.S. quarterly corporate earnings season begins Tuesday and is expected to put the focus back on the coronavirus-led economic downturn and the Federal Reserve’s multiple liquidity injections. As a result, upticks in bitcoin, if any, could be short-lived. 

From a technical analysis standpoint, bitcoin’s immediate bias is bearish, with the daily chart reporting a rising wedge breakdown. The relative strength index, too, has dived out of an ascending trendline – an indication that the path of least resistance is to the downside. Should prices find acceptance under Monday’s low of $6,600, more sellers may join the market, causing a deeper drop toward $6,000.

Alternatively, a daily close (UTC) above the descending 50-day average at $7,091 would invalidate the bearish trend. That looks unlikely at press time, though prices are up 2.5 percent over the last 24 hours. 

Options market metrics are bearish on bitcoin, too. For instance, the put-call open interest ratio jumped to a 6.5-week high of 0.61 on Monday, indicating increased demand for put options. Validating that argument is the positive 25-delta skew, which indicates price or demand for put options is currently higher than for calls (bullish bets).


Author: Daniel Cawrey

Ethereum’s Bitcoin Tracking Continues

Ethereum’s Bitcoin Tracking Continues

Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC) and many other major crypto assets suffered serious losses one night and lost earnings from the last rally in Ethereum, the second largest crypto asset.

This decline caused Etheruem to fall below the bullish trend line, indicating that the crypto asset may experience negativities in the short term.

Ethereum, which was traded at $ 158 at the time of writing, is significantly below the $ 165 level seen yesterday afternoon. This loss resembles more with the movement of Bitcoin.

The famous crypto asset analyst on Twitter said in a statement that Ethereum will display a downward movement in the short term and decrease to $ 145. Ethereum is seen as a high probability that it will follow Bitcoin in the coming days. In this case, if the leading crypto asset falls below $ 6,600, Ethereum is expected to experience this decrease.

Ethereum, which fell to $ 100 after the collapse in the markets on March 12, had received serious technical damage. Another crypto asset analyst on Twitter talked about Ethereum’s uptrend curve and pointed out that ETH will suffer a 10% loss if it cannot find enough support.

This downstream target close to 10%, highlighted in the chart above, closely coincides with the target presented by the above-mentioned first analyst, indicating that a move at this level could happen in the coming days and weeks.


Author: Leonard Manson

Week in Ethereum News

Week in Ethereum News


  • EIP1559 fee market change simulations, assuming demand is exogenous
  • EVM Bytecode Merklization – merklize code chunks for block witnesses, estimates 40-60% reduction
  • Some more estimates on code merklization based on recent blocks


  • Bitfly’s explanations of eth2 block explorer charts
  • PegaSys’s Teku client fully syncs with the Lighthouse testnet
  • Latest Nimbus client update. Getting up to the multi-client testnet spec, networking improvements, interop ready with Lighthouse
  • SigmaPrime’s update fuzzing the eth2 clients. Catching bugs, new fuzzing engine
  • Work on formally verifying the eth2 spec using Dafny
  • A look at the GUI for Rocketpool’s decentralized staking pool
  • Aditya’s how FFG is implemented in Eth2 explainer

Eth2, post-BeaconChain launch

  • A design for merging eth1 and eth2 clients to turn off PoW
  • Better attestation aggregation algos
  • Verifiable precompiled contracts
  • An approach for cross-shard transfers at EE level

Stuff for developers

  • Solidity v0.6.6 and v0.6.5 – ‘immutable’ new major feature, tuple assignment bugfix, and memory array creation overflow bugfix
  • Truffle v5.1.21 adds Solidity’s immutable
  • wighawag’s Buidler Deployment Plugin
  • Not new, but a comparison of ethers.js and web3js
  • Example of using web3modal (former web3connect) with vanilla Javascript
  • MelonJS v1 to interact with Melon’s deployed code
  • Tool for decoding Ethereum storage
  • Arrays and maps in Solidity
  • Yul+ Remix plugin
  • Chainlink redeployed ETHUSD contract; 2 weeks to migrate from old code
  • Maintaining offchain NFT data using IPFS
  • SQL queries on DuneAnalytics tutorial
  • Django with web3py tutorial


  • discv5: an explainer of Eth networking’s peer discovery protocol
  • Eth brand survey


  • from the founder of Simple, Sila: payments API to take on ACH
  • EEA mainnet survey
  • Hyperledger Besu v1.4.3 – adds eth/65 for better networking, issue found for private transactions created with v1.3.4 and before

Governance, DAOs, and standards

  • MakerDAO’s 13 improvement proposals to decentralize governance
  • TheLAO launches April 28
  • how to create a bankless DAO
  • EIP2593: Escalator algo fee market change

Application layer

  • Reddit is rolling out the tokenization of it its karma for more than just r/EthTrader?
  • Status v1.2, adds Waku to replace Whisper for better messaging
  • SmokeSignal.eth, post by burning Dai interface prioritizes higher burn
  • Autumated dollar cost averaging of your stablecoins on Uniswap
  • Suggestions and programs in Colony
  • Overview of DxDAO’s Omen prediction markets
  • Inspect, DeFi transparency registry
  • Fairmint’s continuous securities offering is live on mainnet


  • PieDAO’s BTC++ is live on mainnet, a token of comprised of multiple versions of locked/synthetic BTC
  • Is tokenized BTC on Ethereum good for ETH?
  • Top 10 use cases of Dai
  • NFTScribe – attach a message onchain to an NFT while you own it
  • a16zcrypto: crypto’s biz model isn’t that different but who benefits is


  • Chicago DeFi Alliance formed to connect market makers and DeFi startups
  • CryptoHack: online puzzles to learn cryptography
  • UTokyo paper on digital courts
  • You can join the trusted setup ceremony for Semaphore, a zk privacy layer for apps

Upcoming dates of note (new in bold):

  • Apr 19 – deadline to apply to EthGlobal’s HackMoney virtual hackathon
  • Apr 21-23 – EY Global Blockchain Virtual Summit
  • Apr 24-26 – EthTurin
  • Apr 29-30 – SoliditySummit (Berlin)
  • May 8-9 – Ethereal Summit (NYC)
  • May 22-31 – Ethereum Madrid public health virtual hackathon
  • June 17 – EthBarcelona R&D workshop

This newsletter is made possible by ConsenSys.

I own 100% Week In Ethereum News. Editorial control has always been me.

If you’re wondering “why didn’t my post make it into Week in Ethereum News,” then here’s a hint: don’t email me. Do put it on Reddit.

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Follow me on Twitter, because most of what is linked here gets tweeted first: @evan_van_ness


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