The price of Bitcoin (BTC) increased by 14.4% between March 12-13 after it was confirmed that financial regulators had rescued depositors in the failing Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The intraday high of $24,610 may not have lasted long, but $24,000 represents a 45% increase year-to-date.
On March 12, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chair Martin Gruenberg issued a joint statement to reassure SVB depositors.
Regulators also announced a systemic risk exception for Signature Bank (SBNY), an intervention designed to compensate depositors for losses incurred by the previous management. Signature Bank was one of the most prominent financial institutions serving the cryptocurrency industry, alongside Silvergate Bank, which announced its voluntary liquidation last week.
To avert a larger crisis, the Fed and Treasury devised an emergency program to supplement all deposits at Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank with funds from the Fed’s emergency lending authority. According to the regulators’ joint statement, “no losses will be borne by the taxpayer,” although the strategy for deploying Treasury assets is questionable.
The stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) also caused significant turmoil in the cryptocurrency industry after breaking below its 1:1 peg with the U.S. dollar on March 10. The fear grew after the issuing management company Circle confirmed that $3.3 billion in reserves were held at Silicon Valley Bank.
Such an unusual movement caused price distortion across exchanges, prompting Binance and Coinbase to disable the automatic conversion of the USDC stablecoin. The decoupling from $1 bottomed near $0.87 in the early hours of March 11 and was restored to $0.98 after FDIC’s successful intervention in SVB was confirmed.
Let’s take a look at Bitcoin derivatives metrics to see where professional traders stand in the current market.
Bitcoin futures metrics flipped to extreme fear
Bitcoin quarterly futures are popular among whales and arbitrage desks. These fixed-month contracts typically trade at a slight premium to spot markets, indicating that sellers are asking for more money to delay settlement for a longer period.
As a result, futures contracts in healthy markets should trade at a 5% to 10% annualized premium — a situation known as contango, which is not unique to crypto markets.
The chart shows traders had been…
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