Market Wrap: Bitcoin Dips to $11.1K; Ether Mining Difficulty at Year High

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Bitcoin is looking bearish while Ethereum miners are reaping more fee revenue than ever before.

  • Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $11,298 as of 20:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Slipping 3.8% over the previous 24 hours.
  • Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $11,102-$11,786.
  • BTC below its 10-day and 50-day moving averages, a bearish signal for market technicians.

btcaug25
Bitcoin trading on Coinbase since Aug. 23.
Source: TradingView

Read More: ‘Bitcoin Rich List’ Reaches All-Time High

Bitcoin’s price declined to as low as $11,102 on spot exchanges such as Coinbase Tuesday, wiping out long derivatives traders on BitMEX. In just one hour, up to $5.6 million in leveraged positions were automatically liquidated, the crypto analog to a margin call. 

skew_bitmex_xbtusd_liquidations-28
BitMEX bitcoin liquidations in the past three days.
Source: Skew

Daniel Ladinsky, trader at quantitative trading firm Efficient Frontier, worries that if price stays beneath $12,000 per one BTC for too long it may signal a larger downward trend. “BTC has been hovering below $12,000 for quite some time, which is a crucial zone,” Ladinsky told CoinDesk.

Read More: Istanbul or ‘Coinstantinople’? Inside Turkey’s Bitcoin Bull Market

Michael Gord, CEO of cryptocurrency brokerage firm Global Digital Assets, sees Tuesday’s price dip as temporary profit-taking by some investors. ”Institutional traders take profits the whole way up to hedge their risk,” he said. ”We are now seeing more institutional traders take some of that profit and reallocate it into ‘riskier’ low- to medium-cap altcoins.” 

One interesting development: Bitcoin locked in decentralized finance, or DeFi, is down a little bit after it had previously doubled in August, according to data aggregator DeFi Pulse. 

btclockedaug25
Bitcoin locked in DeFi in the past month.
Source: DeFi Pulse

Efficient Frontier’s Ladinsky says traders continue to see more alluring profit opportunities in DeFi, which might help explain the decline. “Recently, the market has been quiet for BTC and most of the attention and hype is on the DeFi front, where coins are surging very hard,“ he said.

Read More: Aave Second DeFi Project to Overtake MakerDAO for Most Crypto Deposited

Ether mining difficulty at 2020 high

The second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, ether (ETH), was down Tuesday, trading around $379 and slipping 5.9% in 24 hours as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET). 

Read More: Ether Price Swings Make Bitcoin Look Tame as DeFi Speculation Spreads

Ethereum’s mining difficulty has hit a 2020 high, at 2,820 terahashes, its highest level since Dec. 13, 2019. 

ethminingdiff
Ethereum mining difficulty so far in 2020.
Source: Glassnode

The amount of gas, or the fee required to successfully conduct a transaction or execute a contract on the Ethereum blockchain, is at an all-time high, meaning the resources used per block are increasing. This means more miner revenue coming from fees and, as a result, more machines being turned on, causing mining difficulty to increase. 

ethrevfeesminer
Ethereum mining percentage of revenue from fees in 2020.
Source: Glassnode

Smart contract developers in the ecosystem like Jun Dam, who is working on a DeFi project based on the competing EOS platform, tell CoinDesk the Ethereum fee situation may be helping miners, but it isn’t benefiting anyone else. “ETH gas fees are not user- or developer-friendly,” Dam said. 

Read More: Ethereum Tokens Worth $1B Vulnerable to ‘Fake Deposit Attack’

Other markets

Digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 are mostly in the red Tuesday. One notable winner as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET): 

  • nem (XEM) + 1.5%

Read More: Bitcoin Miner Overstated Industry Vet’s Involvement in $50M Series A Pitch

Notable losers as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET): 

Read More: Hacker Stole 1,000 Traders’ Data From Crypto Tax Reporting Service

Read More: ConsenSys Acquires JPMorgan’s Quorum Blockchain

Commodities:

  • Oil is up 2.2%. Price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude: $43.35.
  • Gold was flat, in the red 0.05% and at $1,927 as of press time.

Read More: Crypto Derivatives Exchange BitMEX to Block Ontario Traders

Treasurys:

  • U.S. Treasury bonds all climbed Tuesday. Yields, which move in the opposite direction as price, were up most on the 10-year, in the green 3.4%.

Read More: Powell’s Coming Inflation Speech May Weigh on Dollar and Boost Bitcoin

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