First Mover Americas: Bitcoin Hits $71K as Ether ETF Hopes Build

This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter, putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

(CoinDesk)

Bitcoin rose above $71,000 during the European morning after analysts saw the possibility of an ether ETF being approved in the U.S. improving. BTC has climbed nearly 6% in the last 24 hours, eclipsing $71,000 for the first time since early April. The CoinDesk 20 Index (CD20), which offers a broad measurement of the digital asset market, rose more than 8.5% while ETH jumped almost 20% to over $3,700. The market movements caused more than $260 million in short liquidations, the most since Feb. 28. Ether shorts lost over $115 million, followed by bitcoin shorts at just over $99 million, Coinglass data shows.

ETH has been buoyed by favorable regulatory developments that seem to indicate increasing chances of spot ether ETFs being approved by the SEC after the regulator asked exchanges to update 19b-4 filings, which propose rule changes. As a result, the ether implied volatility curve, which shows market expectations of future volatility across different strike prices and expirations, flattened as 25-delta risk reversals hit year-to-date highs above 18%, and traders heavily bought $4,000 calls for 24 May and 31 May, Presto Research analysts wrote. A Polymarket contract asking if an ether ETF would be approved by May 31 jumped from 10 cents to 55 cents, representing a 55% chance that approval will take place by then.

Meme coins on the Ethereum ecosystem like MOG and PEPE surged on the increasing likelihood of ether ETFs being approved. Meme tokens are often seen as a leveraged way to bet on the growth of their underlying blockchain. MOG rose nearly 50% while PEPE climbed over 20%. “Established memes are generally high beta for the native token of the chain they’re on, and Mog has established itself as a winner on Ethereum,” Viro, a Mog core team member, said in an interview over Telegram. “I think the market sees that there’s quite a lot of room to catch up to Pepe, and that’s why you see the outperformance. If you think memes are good beta; you’ll go for the higher caps like pepe or you’ll slide further down the curve for mog.”

(Velo Data)

The chart shows the most traded ether options on the crypto exchange Deribit in the past 24 hours.

Call options at strikes well above ether’s going market rate and expiring at the end of May and June have been in demand in a sign of bullish market sentiment.

A call buyer is implicitly bullish on the market.

Source: Velo Data

– Omkar Godbole

 

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