Altcoin

Bitcoin’s recent gains have traders calling a bottom, but various metrics remain bearish


On May 30, the total crypto market capitalization gained 4% and currently is within reach of a $1.3 trillion market capitalization. The move was enough to erase the losses from the previous seven days and was driven mainly by Bitcoin’s (BTC) 4.9% gain during that time frame.

Total crypto market cap, USD billion. Source: TradingView

Apart from Bitcoin, Cardano (ADA) was the only large-cap cryptocurrency that managed to close the week with a positive 4.5% performance. Meanwhile, Ether (ETH), BNB, Ripple (XRP) and Solana (SOL) failed to present weekly gains.

Bitcoin’s turn-around happened after the United States stock market presented gains for the first time after seven consecutive negative weeks. The longest losing streak in over a decade for the S&P 500 was followed by a 6.6% positive performance at the closing bell on May 22.

According to Yahoo! Finance, “a favorable batch of quarterly results from major retailers helped at least temporarily mitigate concerns over the toll [that …] inflationary headwinds could take on profit margins.” For instance, Macy’s (M) gained 29.1% in the week, followed by Nordstrom (JWN) 25.4% positive performance and Ross Stores (ROST) rallied by 21.5%.

Curiously, JP Morgan sent out a research note to clients on May 25, claiming that $38,000 was the fair value for Bitcoin. The global investment bank also said that Terra’s (LUNA) collapse did not harm the crypto venture capital demand.

On May 23, during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, PayPal vice president Richard Nash stated the company’s intention to embrace all possible crypto and blockchain services. After rolling out its Bitcoin trading across the United States in 2020, PayPal continues to expand its digital currency-related offering.

Below are the winners and losers from the past seven days. While the leading cryptocurrencies presented modest movements, some mid-capitalization altcoins presented high volatility.

Weekly winners and losers among the top 80 coins. Source: Nomics

Synthetix (SNX) rallied 15.8% after Kwenta, a zero-slippage derivatives trading application powered by Synthetix, reached $325 million in volume.

Helium (HNT) gained 15.2% after details regarding improvement proposal #51 were released on May 27. The change introduces a framework to enable subnets with their own token and governance.

STEPN Governance (GMT) lost 14.6% after blocking users based in mainland China from its mobile app.

Terra Luna Classic (LUNC), previously known as LUNA, moved down 12.2% after the South Korean authorities summoned all employees at Terraform Labs as part of a full-scale investigation.

Due to the mixed performance of altcoin markets, it is worth investigating how traders are positioned according to trading and derivatives indicators.

The Tether premium shows a lack of retail demand

The OKX Tether (USDT) premium is a good gauge of China-based retail trader crypto demand. It measures the difference between China-based peer-to-peer (P2P) trades and the United States dollar.

Excessive buying demand tends to pressure the indicator above fair value. On the other hand, during bearish markets, Tether’s market offer is flooded, causing a 4% or higher discount.

Tether (USDT) peer-to-peer vs. USD/CNY. Source: OKX

Between May 23 and 30, the Tether premium in CNY terms has averaged a 2% discount, signaling a lack of retail demand. More importantly, the 4% crypto market capitalization rally on May 30 did not change investors’ sentiment.

Related: Crypto’s youngest investors hold firm against headwinds — and headlines

Derivatives indicators are slightly bearish for altcoins

Perpetual contracts, also known as inverse swaps, have an embedded rate that is usually charged every eight hours. Exchanges use this fee to avoid exchange risk imbalances.

A positive funding rate indicates that longs (buyers) demand more leverage. However, the opposite situation occurs when shorts (sellers) require additional leverage, causing the funding rate to turn negative.

Accumulated perpetual futures funding rate on May 30. Source: Coinglass

Perpetual contracts reflect mixed sentiment as Bitcoin and Ether held a slightly positive (bullish) funding rate, but altcoins signaled the opposite. For example, Solana’s negative 0.20% weekly rate equals 0.8% per month, which is irrelevant for most derivatives traders.

The data suggests that investors are not rushing in to confirm that the recent price recovery represents a trend change. While the total crypto market capitalization broke above the $1.3 trillion support, traders are pricing higher odds of a downturn. So far, there is no clear indication of a market bottom according to trading metrics.

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.