Bitcoin holds above $6,000 but ends week lower; Bets against Ether hit record
Bitcoin prices held above $6,000 Friday, after a 24-hour selloff resulted in the price of the world’s largest digital currency trading perilously close to a crucial support level. A single bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.48% was last going for $6,231.11, up 0.1% since Thursday at 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange.
Thursday’s decline took the total value of all cryptocurrencies below $200 billion for the first time since Sept. 20, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
With global equity markets in the midst of a brutal selloff earlier this week, industry onlookers are watching closely for moves in digital currency prices, with some proponents speculating bitcoin could act as a haven trade—with some calling it “digital gold.”
But Thursday’s move put that notion to bed, for now. “There’s a narrative that the crypto market was simply falling in lockstep with the equity markets, which are slowly entering into correction zones. We believe this move in cryptocurrencies had nothing to do with the stock market,” wrote Thejas Nalval, Element Digital Asset Management portfolio director, and Kevin Lu, the firm’s director of quantitative research.
“Evidence has shown that there have been little correlation between global stock indexes and the price of bitcoin. Nor does bitcoin move on economic data.”
Ether shorts reach record highs
Traders are betting against Ether, the second-largest digital currency, at a record pace. Data from the Bitfinex exchange shows there are now more than 300 thousand outstanding Ether shorts, which at current market price is nearly $60 million worth of short interest.
The popular cryptocurrency that is used to finance crypto-related operations on the ethereum blockchain has been under pressure for the best part of 12 months. After surging to a record high above $1,400 on Jan. 13, the price of Ether has plummeted nearly 90% as the ethereum blockchain struggles with efficiency issues.
In Friday trading Ether ETHUSD, +2.14% was the worst performing altcoin—coins other than bitcoin—down 1.9% at $193.84. Elsewhere, Bitcoin CashBCHUSD, +0.95% was up 0.3% to $442.50, Litecoin LTCUSD, -0.38% was trading 2.2% higher at $53.02 and XRP XRPUSD, -2.76% is the best performing major altcoin, trading up 4.4% at 42 cents.
On the bitcoin futures front, the Cboe Global Markets October contractXBTV8, +1.02% rose 0.9% to end at $6,202.50, while the CME Group October contract BTCV8, +0.16% finished up less than 0.1% at $6,185. However, both contracts finished the week with weekly declines of more than 5%, according to FactSet data.