$475M in Bitcoin options expire this week — Are bulls or bears poised to win?

Bitcoin (BTC) has been posting higher lows for the past eight weeks, but during this time, BTC has not been able to flip the $24,000 resistance to support on at least three different opportunities. This is precisely why the $475 million Bitcoin options expiry on Aug. 12 might be a game changer for bulls.Considering the current regulatory pressures in play, there seems to be a good enough rationale for avoiding bullish bets, especially after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission pressed charges against a former Coinbase manager for illegal securities trading on July 21. The additional impact from the Terra (Luna) — now renamed Terra Classic (LUNC) — ecosystem imploding and subsequent crypto venture capital firm Three Arrows Capital (3AC) registering for bankruptcy continue to weigh on the markets. The latest victim is crypto lending platform Hodlnaut, which suspended user withdrawals on Aug. 8.For this reason, most traders are holding back their bets above $24,000, but events outside of the crypto market might have also negatively impacted investors’ expectations. For example, according to regulatory filings released on Aug. 9, Elon Musk sold $6.9 billion worth of Tesla stock. Moreover, on Aug. 8, Ark Investment manager CEO Cathie Wood explained that the 1.41 million Coinbase (COIN) shares sold in July were caused by regulatory uncertainty and its potential impact on the crypto exchange’s business model.Most bearish bets are below $23,000Bitcoin’s failure to break below $21,000 on July 27 surprised bears because only 8% of the put (sell) options for Aug. 12 have been placed above $23,000. Thus, Bitcoin bulls are better positioned for the $475 million weekly options expiry.Bitcoin options aggregate open interest for Aug. 12. Source: CoinGlassA broader view using the 1.23 call-to-put ratio shows more bullish bets because the call (buy) open interest stands at $262 million against the $212 million put (sell) options. Nevertheless, as Bitcoin currently stands above $23,000, most bearish bets will likely become worthless.If Bitcoin’s price remains above $23,000 at 8:00 am UTC on Aug. 12, only $16 million worth of these put (sell) options will be available. This difference happens because there is no use in the right to sell Bitcoin at $23,000 if it trades above that level on expiry.Bulls could pocket a $150 million profitBelow are the four most likely scenarios based on the current price action. The number of options contracts available on Aug. 12 for call (bull) and put (bear) instruments varies, depending on the expiry price. The imbalance favoring each side constitutes the theoretical profit:Between $21,000 and $22,000: 70 calls vs. 4,200 puts. The net result favors bears by $90 million.Between $22,000 and $24,000: 1,600 calls vs. 1,460 puts. The net result is balanced between bulls and bears.Between $24,000 and $25,000: 3,700 calls vs. 120 puts. The net result favors bulls by $90 million.Between $25,000 and $26,000: 5,900 calls vs. 30 puts. Bulls increase their gains to $150 million.This crude estimate considers the call options used in bullish bets and the put options exclusively in neutral-to-bearish trades. Even so, this oversimplification disregards more complex investment strategies.Related: Bitcoin braces for US inflation data as CPI nerves halt BTC price gainsFutures markets show bulls are less inclined to show strengthBitcoin bears need to pressure the price below $24,000 on Aug. 12 to balance the scales and avoid a potential $150 million loss. However, Bitcoin bulls got $265 million worth of leverage long futures positions liquidated between Aug. 8 and 9, so they are less inclined to push the price higher in the short term.With that said, the most probable scenario for Aug. 12 is the $22,000 to $24,000 range, providing a balanced outcome between bulls and bears. Considering Bitcoin’s negative 50% performance year-to-date, even a small $90 million win for bulls could be regarded as a victory, but that would require sustaining BTC above $24,000.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.

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Price analysis 8/10: BTC, ETH, BNB, XRP, ADA, SOL, DOGE, DOT, MATIC, AVAX

The Aug. 10 Consumer Price Index (CPI) report shows year-over-year inflation rose 8.5% in July and while this figure is below economists’ expectations of 8.7%, it is still high. Although inflation remains much higher than the Federal Reserve’s 2% target, the marginal slowdown raises hopes that the rate hikes by the Federal Reserve have started to work. That has reduced the probability of a 75 basis point rate hike in the September meeting from 68% on Aug. 9 to 37.5%, according to CME group data.Risky assets, including the cryptocurrency markets, responded positively to the CPI print. Compared to Bitcoin (BTC), the altcoins are enjoying a stronger rally. This has pulled Bitcoin’s dominance near its yearly lows while Ether (ETH) has climbed near its yearly high.Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360According to CoinShares data, Ether-related products have seen inflows of $159 million in the past seven weeks. This indicates that Ether seems to be garnering attention from institutional investors in anticipation of the Merge, which is scheduled for Sept. 19. Could Bitcoin and altcoins sustain the higher levels? Let’s study the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to find out.BTC/USDTBitcoin turned down from $24,245 on Aug. 8 and dropped to the 20-day exponential moving average (EMA) ($22,966) on Aug. 9. The bulls aggressively purchased the dip on Aug. 10 and are attempting to push the price above the overhead resistance at $24,668.BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewIf they succeed, the BTC/USDT pair could pick up momentum and rally to $28,000. The bears may mount a strong resistance at this level but if bulls overcome this barrier, the pair could rise to $32,000. The gradually upsloping 20-day EMA and the relative strength index (RSI) in the positive territory indicate the path of least resistance is to the upside.Conversely, if the price turns down from $24,668, the bears will again attempt to sink the pair below the 20-day EMA. If they manage to do that, the pair could decline to the 50-day simple moving average (SMA ($21,708). A break below this level could tilt the advantage in favor of the bears.ETH/USDTEther turned down from $1,818 on Aug. 8 but the bears could not sink the price below the 20-day EMA ($1,637). This suggests strong demand at lower levels.ETH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewThe ETH/USDT pair rebounded off the 20-day EMA on Aug. 10 and has cleared the overhead hurdle at $1,818. If buyers sustain the price above this level, the pair could rally to the psychological level of $2,000 and then to $2,200. The rising moving averages and the RSI in the positive territory indicate that bulls have the upper hand.This bullish view will be invalidated if the price turns down and plummets below the 20-day EMA. If that happens, the pair may drop toward the 50-day SMA ($1,388). That could delay the start of the next leg of the up-move.BNB/USDTBinance Coin (BNB) turned down from the overhead resistance zone of $338 to $350 on Aug. 8 but the bears could not sustain the lower levels on Aug. 10. This suggests that bulls are aggressively buying the dips.BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewThe bulls will again attempt to clear the overhead zone. If they succeed, the BNB/USDT pair could pick up momentum and rally toward $414. Although the rising moving averages indicate advantage to buyers, the overbought zone on the RSI indicates that a minor pullback or a consolidation is possible in the near term.If the price turns down from the overhead zone, the first support is at $308. The bears will have to sink the price below this level to challenge the 20-day EMA ($296). This is an important level to keep an eye on because a break and close below it could sink the pair to $275.XRP/USDTThe bulls failed to push XRP above the overhead resistance at $0.39 on Aug. 8. This attracted sharp selling by the bears who pulled the price below the 20-day EMA ($0.37) on Aug. 9.XRP/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewA minor positive is that the bulls bought the dip and have pushed the price back above the 20-day EMA on Aug. 10. The buyers will again attempt to push the price above the overhead resistance zone between $0.39 and $0.41. If they succeed, the XRP/USDT pair could rise to $0.48 and later to $0.54.Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the overhead resistance and breaks below the 50-day SMA ($0.35), it will suggest that the pair may remain range-bound between $0.30 and $0.39 for a few more days.ADA/USDT Cardano (ADA) turned down from the overhead resistance at $0.55 on Aug. 8 and dropped to the 20-day EMA ($0.51) on Aug. 9, indicating that bears continue to defend the overhead resistance aggressively.ADA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewThe ADA/USDT pair rebounded sharply off the 20-day EMA on Aug. 10, suggesting that the bulls are buying the dips with vigor. If buyers clear the overhead hurdle, the pair could start its northward march to $0.63 and then to $0.70. Contrary to this assumption, if the price once again turns down from $0.55, the likelihood of a break below the 20-day EMA increases. If that happens, the pair could remain range-bound between $0.45 and $0.55 for a few more days.SOL/USDTThe bulls tried to push Solana (SOL) to the overhead resistance at $48 on Aug. 8 but the bears had other plans. They stalled the recovery attempt at $44 and pulled the price back below the 20-day EMA ($40) on Aug. 9.SOL/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewBoth moving averages have flattened out and the RSI is just above the midpoint, indicating a balance between supply and demand. If the price rises from the current level and breaks above $44, the SOL/USDT pair could challenge the stiff resistance at $48. A break above this level will complete a bullish ascending triangle pattern, opening the doors for a possible rally to $60 and then to the pattern target at $71.Conversely, if the price turns down from the current level and breaks below the support line, the advantage could tilt in favor of the bears. The pair could then drop to $32.DOGE/USDTThe long wick on Dogecoin’s (DOGE) Aug. 9 candlestick shows that the bears are aggressively defending the overhead resistance at $0.08. The sellers are attempting to build upon their advantage by pulling the price below the moving averages.DOGE/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewIf they succeed, the DOGE/USDT pair could drop to the trendline of the ascending triangle pattern. A break and close below this support could invalidate the bullish setup. The pair could then decline to $0.06.Conversely, if the price turns up from the current level, it will suggest that bulls continue to buy on dips. The bulls will then make one more attempt to push the pair above the overhead resistance and start a new up-move. If they succeed, the pair could rally to $0.10.Related: TORN price sinks 45% after U.S. Treasury sanctions Tornado Cash — Rebound ahead?DOT/USDTPolkadot (DOT) broke and closed above the overhead resistance at $9 on Aug. 8 but the bulls could not build upon this strength. The bears sold aggressively and pulled the price back below $9 on Aug. 9.DOT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewHowever, a positive sign is that the DOT/USDT pair rebounded sharply off the 20-day EMA ($8.30). This indicates that the sentiment has turned positive and traders are buying on dips. The bulls will attempt to push the price to $10.80 and later to $12.To invalidate this view, the bears will have to pull the price back below the 20-day EMA. Such a move will suggest that higher levels continue to attract strong selling by the bears. That could result in a range-bound action for a few days.MATIC/USDTThe bulls have successfully sustained Polygon (MATIC) above the 20-day EMA ($0.87) but have failed to challenge the overhead resistance at $1.02. This suggests a lack of demand at higher levels.MATIC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewThe gradually rising 20-day EMA and the RSI in the positive territory, indicate that bulls have the upper hand. If buyers push the price above $0.95, the MATIC/USDT pair could rally to the overhead resistance at $1.02. This is an important level for the bears to defend because a break above it could result in a rally to $1.26 and then $1.50.Alternatively, if the price turns down from the current level and breaks below the 20-day EMA, it will suggest that the pair may oscillate between $0.75 and $1.02 for some more time.AVAX/USDTThe long wick on Avalanche’s (AVAX) Aug. 8 candlestick shows that bears have not given up and they continue to sell on rallies. The price slipped back to the breakout level on Aug. 9 but the bulls successfully defended the level on Aug. 10.AVAX/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewIf buyers sustain the rebound, the AVAX/USDT pair could break above the overhead resistance at $31. If that happens, the pair could resume its up-move to $33 and later to the pattern target of $39.05. The key level to watch on the downside is the 20-day EMA ($24.88). If bears sink the price below this support, it will suggest that the breakout above $26.38 may have been a bull trap. The pair could then decline to the support line.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.Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.

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