After 66 agonizing days, Bitcoin (BTC) price finally broke above the $20,000 psychological resistance on Jan. 14. At the same time, the current $400 billion market capitalization gives BTC a position in the top-20 global tradable assets, surpassing giants like Walmart (WMT), Mastercard (MA) and Meta Platforms (META).
From one side, Bitcoin bulls have reasons to celebrate after its price recovered 34% from the $15,500 low on Nov. 21, but bears still have the upper hand on a larger time frame since BTC is down 52% in 12 months.
However, two events are expected to determine traditional finance investors’ fate. On Jan. 16, China will announce its Gross Domestic Product figures and on Jan. 18, the United States Retail Sales will publish.
Fourth quarter earnings season will set the tone for this week’s stock market performances, including Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), Netflix (NFLS) and Procter & Gamble (PG).
In the cryptocurrency markets, there is mild relief stemming from some unexpected places — or people. Crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun is reportedly interested in acquiring assets from the troubled Digital Currency Group (DCG), the parent company of the crypto lender Genesis and the Grayscale funds’ administrator.
On Jan. 16, Binance exchange launched its off-exchange settlement solution for institutional investors. The regulated digital asset custodial services enable additional security, allowing investors access to the exchange ecosystem without needing to deposit directly on the platform.
Another positive piece of news came from Bitcoin’s mining difficulty rising 10.26% on Jan. 15, reflecting higher competition for block subsidies — typically a bullish indicator for the industry. This increases network security, but more importantly, it shows that miners can find strategic energy sources and are committed to the long-term investment required for Bitcoin mining.
Let’s take a look at Bitcoin derivatives metrics to better understand how professional traders are positioned in the current market conditions.
The Asia-based stablecoin premium drops to a 6-month low
The USD Coin (USDC) premium is a good gauge of China-based crypto retail trader demand. It measures the difference between China-based peer-to-peer trades and the United States dollar.
Excessive buying demand tends to pressure the indicator above fair value at 100%, and during bearish markets, the stablecoin’s market offer is flooded, causing a 4% or higher discount.