Notes 7/15: Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin price, which rallied past the $31,000 mark yesterday, is back to where it was earlier. As of this writing, it is changing hands at $30,339.56, unchanged from a day earlier. That figure is also unchanged from a week earlier, meaning the expected start date for a bull market ahead of next year’s halving is postponed.

Ripple’s XRP, which instigated the Friday rally with a court ruling that was perceived as a “partial victory” for crypto, is also down to $0.72 from a high of $0.96 yesterday. The total market capitalization of cryptocurrency markets had surged to $1.3 trillion after the ruling. As of this writing, it is $1.26 trillion.

A Multi-Year Bull Cycle?

Investment firm Bitwise Asset Management released its quarterly review last week. According to the firm, crypto markets are six months into a multi-year bull cycle based on past data. This is a thesis that has been repeated by crypto-affiliated firms since the start of this year. To be sure, prices and valuations in crypto markets have jumped since January. But those gains have been achieved in challenging circumstances.

For example, bitcoin price’s gains of more than 8% last quarter occurred during a time when crypto trading volumes at the top ten exchanges were down by 23%. This is according to the latest research from Token Insight. At spot exchanges, which account for most bitcoin trading, the decline in volumes was even more steep: they fell by almost 45%.

That dizzying fall in trading volume is juxtaposed against liquidity that has remained constant since the first quarter. Research firm Kaiko writes that global liquidity for the tokens included in its rankings remained “more or less constant” during the second quarter. But it is hardly much progress because liquidity was at ten month lows in the first quarter.

Both statistics together indicate that more traders and investors are holding onto their tokens as opposed to trading them. Infrequent price pumps, on the back of false victories, have become the norm for profit taking in bitcoin’s ecosystem.

Many such pumps were conducted with the assistance of bitcoin miners. The amount of bitcoin offloaded at crypto exchanges by bitcoin miners has increased this year, according to data from Bitwise. And many miners are now shifting their business strategy towards artificial intelligence companies to boost their earnings.

With long term investors still holding onto their bitcoin and the loss of bitcoin supply from miners, the “multi-year bull cycle” will need more legs to run.

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