Yesterday, the cryptocurrency total market cap was on the cusp of falling below $2 trillion for the first time since September.
It has gained over 4% in the last 24 hours to stave off that fate, led by (up 8%), (8%), and and (both up 11%). Other coins in the top 10 are also pulling their weight, with (4%), (7%), (6%), and Terra (10%) all registering gains.
So, is it suddenly a bull market again, as FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried joked? Ahem, no.
In 2021, a year in which Ethereum went from a price of $735 to $3,700, it still weathered 164 days of losses interspersed amongst its 201 days of gains. On 52 occasions, ETH put together a one-day upward streak before falling again, per data from Investing.com.
In other words, there’s no reason to expect this is anything more than a temporary blip. On the other hand, with ETH 33% off the all-time high of $4,878 it set two months ago, there’s nothing saying it can’t get back there.
But markets around the world, and especially in the U.S, are in flux. The Federal Reserve expects to increase interest rates three times this year to cool down inflation. The upshot, according to Delphi Digital co-founder Kevin Kelly, is a decline in the amount of money available for borrowing and spending. “When liquidity is abundant and expanding, $BTC and crypto assets tend to outperform; when liquidity tightens, they struggle,” he wrote yesterday.
Bitcoin is one of the purest plays on fiat currency debasement
It also happens to be one of the most leveraged bets on global liquidity
When liquidity is abundant and expanding, $BTC and crypto assets tend to outperform; when liquidity tightens, they struggle
— Kevin Kelly (@Kevin_Kelly_II) January 10, 2022
That’s been contributing to volatility within U.S. equities markets, too. The S&P 500, which registered 26.9% returns last year, is down a little more than 1% to start 2022. The techy-heavy NASDAQ is down over 3% this year after increasing in value by 21.4% in 2021. And the Dow Jones Industrial Average has moved sideways in the year to date after logging 18.7% gains in 2021. (Like crypto, however, all three indexes are up on the day, driven by tech stocks.)
Why are we mentioning this, given they’re completely different markets? Well, because they’re kind of not. Stocks and crypto are both considered risk assets due to their volatility. Moreover, they have been behaving similarly of late. According to a recent report from crypto asset data firm Kaiko, the correlation between Bitcoin and U.S. stock indexes is the highest it’s been since July 2020. BTC’s correlation with gold, meanwhile, is lower than 0, meaning that it tends to move in the opposite direction of the inflation hedge.
In turn, Ethereum has a coefficient of 0.72 with Bitcoin over the past year, according to data from Cryptowatch, where 1 equals moving in perfect unison.
So, crypto as a whole is up. For today. Tune back in tomorrow to see where things stand.