The crypto market sentiment is currently at its most positive in nearly 16 months, with the Crypto Fear and Greed Index reaching its highest level this year at 68, surpassing the levels seen during Bitcoin’s all-time high in November 2021. A recent analysis by crypto services provider Matrixport suggests that Americans are leading the way in buying Bitcoin as a safe haven asset. In specific, Bitcoin has rallied by 44% since March 10, with 31% of the rally being driven during the U.S. trading hours.
Blockchain.com, a cryptocurrency financial services company, reported that out of the 4,593 days of Bitcoin’s existence, BTC holders have enjoyed 4,065 profitable days. This means that long-term holders have experienced an impressive 88.50% of in-the-money days relative to the current market price at the time of writing.
Despite the bullish sentiment, Bitcoin (BTC) was unable to sustain its upward momentum after reaching \(28,319 yesterday. It has been trading within a narrow range of \)27,398 and $28,222 over the past 24 hours leading up to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate announcement on March 22. High-profile billionaires like Elon Musk and Bill Ackman are calling for a change in the Fed’s monetary strategy, with some advocating for a rate reduction of up to 50 basis points.
Recent days have seen a significant shift in interest rate expectations, with fluctuations occurring almost hourly. According to the CME FedWatch tool, the probability of a pause is currently at 18%, while the probability of a 25 basis point increase is at 82%.
Glassnode’s on-chain analysis firm co-founders, Yann Allemann and Jan Happel, believe that the market has already priced in a 25 basis point rate hike and therefore should not react too dramatically if the Fed proceeds with the increase. If regulators decide to pause, the analysts anticipate “a strong upside move.”
On the other hand, Allemann and Happel note that “implied and realized volatility have increased and TradFi is showing signs of caution.” They observe that strong buy and sell walls have formed around the \(25,500 and \)30,000 levels, respectively. Both analysts expect a decline in trading volume and a slowdown in Bitcoin’s price action leading up to the meeting.
Meanwhile, Kaiko, an institutional cryptocurrency market data provider, reported that crypto trading volumes reached a four-month high, which is the highest level since the FTX crash. This surge could be attributed to the recent interest in Bitcoin. However, liquidity remains thin, with a 2% market depth for BTC-USD and BTC-USDT pairs reaching 10-month lows. These findings suggest that more volatility could be on the horizon as market participants can have a greater impact on the market with the same volume they previously used when there was more liquidity available.
Altcoins experienced some upside, with Ethereum (ETH) trading slightly above its open price today along with other non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies in the top 10. In his research, Coinbase director Conor Grogan found out that 636,000 ETH ($1.15 billion), or 0.5% of the coin’s circulating supply, has been lost forever due to bugs and human error.
Ripple (XRP) is the best performer among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, which managed to gain 7.96% over the past 24 hours. The rise could be linked to Ripple Labs’ Letter of Supplemental Authority submission to reinforce their defense of fair notice. Whereas Solana (SOL) and Polkadot (DOT) became today’s biggest losers in this as they fell by -2.20% and -1.39%, respectively.
In macroeconomics news, U.S. equities saw some relief as concerns over a potential banking sector crisis eased after authorities took control of takeovers of Signature Bank and Credit Suisse. This came as U.S. officials reportedly explore ways to broaden the current scope of deposit insurance to cover all U.S. bank deposits should the banking crisis worsen.
Several organizations, including the Mid-Size Bank Coalition of America, urged for the lifting of the $250,000 deposit insurance cap for the next two years on March 18, arguing that it was necessary to safeguard depositors and prevent capital from being redirected from smaller banks to supposedly safer, larger ones. However, Bloomberg’s sources indicate that U.S. authorities currently do not consider such a drastic measure to be necessary.
Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis proposed a ban on the use of central bank digital currency (CBDC) as money in his state’s commercial code and is encouraging other states to follow suit. “Florida will not side with economic central planners; we will not adopt policies that threaten personal economic freedom and security,” he said. Prior to the statement, DeSantis had reportedly taken a more favorable stance towards decentralized tokens such as Bitcoin and had indicated that he was exploring ways for Floridians to pay taxes using cryptocurrency.
Top altcoin gainers and losers
XDC Network XDC (+21.99%)
Ripple XRP (+10.23%)
Gemini Dollar GUSD (+7.60%)
Immutable X IMX (-6.30%)
BitTorrent New BTT (-5.63%)
MultiverseX EGLD (-4.86%)
NFT Market Map
Most NFT collections saw a drop in trading volume today. Wrapped Cryptopunks is still the leader in volume traded, but the growth has declined by -65.70%.
In the meantime, Gods Unchained (+662.72%) and BLOCKLORDS BANNERS (+692.87%) appear to gain more traction following the Immutable x Polygon partnership. Both collections entered the top 10 projects by trading volume today.
Coin360 Daily Digest
Here’s a rundown of the major crypto market news from today.
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Disclaimer: None of the information here constitutes financial advice and market participants are advised to conduct their own research since cryptocurrencies are speculative assets with considerable risks.