Weak retail demand and bearish derivatives data reflect a dismal short-term outlook for the crypto market.
The total crypto market capitalization has been trading within a descending channel for 24 days and the $1.65 trillion support was retested on May 6. The drop to $1.65 trillion was followed by Bitcoin (BTC) reaching $35,550, its lowest price in 70 days.Total crypto market cap, USD billion. Source: TradingView
In terms of performance, the aggregate market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies dropped 6% over the past seven days, but this modest correction in the overall market does not represent some mid-capitalization altcoins, which managed to lose 19% or more in the same time frame.
In the last seven days, Bitcoin price dropped 6% and Ether (ETH) declined by 3.5%. Meanwhile, altcoins experienced what can only be described as a bloodbath. Below are the top gainers and losers among the 80 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.Weekly winners and losers among the top 80 coins. Source: Nomics
Tron (TRX) rallied 26.9% after TRON DAO rolled out a USDD, a decentralized stablecoin, on May 5. The algorithmic stablecoin is connected to the Ethereum and BNB Chain (BNB) through the BTTC cross-chain protocol.
1inch (1INCH) gained 5.6% after the decentralized exchange governance application became Polygon’s (MATIC) network leader by completing 6 million swaps on the network.
STEPN (GMT), the native token of the popular move-to-earn lifestyle app, declined 35.7%, adjusting after a 70% rally between April 18 and April 28. A similar movement happened to Apecoin (APE) after the token pumped 94% between April 22 and April 28.
The OKX Tether (USDT) premium gauges China-based retail demand and it measures the difference between the China-based peer-to-peer trades and the United States dollar.
Excessive buying demand puts the indicator above fair value at 100%. On the other hand, Tether’s market offer is flooded during bearish markets, causing a 4% or higher discount.Tether (USDT) peer-to-peer vs. USD/CNY. Source: OKX
The OKX Tether premium peaked at 1.7% on April 30, indicating some excess demand from retail. However, the metric reverted to a 0% premium over the next five days.
More recently, in the early hours of May 6, the OKX Tether premium flipped to -1% negative. Data shows retail sentiment worsened as Bitcoin moved below $37,000.
Perpetual contracts, also known as inverse swaps, have an embedded rate that is usually charged every eight hours. Exchanges use this fee to avoid exchange risk imbalances.
A positive funding rate indicates that longs (buyers) demand more leverage. However, the opposite situation occurs when shorts (sellers) require additional leverage, causing the funding rate to turn negative.Accumulated 7-day perpetual futures funding rate. Source: Coinglass
As shown above, the accumulated seven-day funding rate is slightly positive for Bitcoin and Ether. Data indicates slightly higher demand from longs (buyers), but nothing that would force traders to close their positions. For instance, a positive 0.15% weekly rate equals 0.6% per month, thus unlikely to cause harm.
On the other hand, altcoins’ 7-day perpetual futures funding rate was -0.30%. This rate is equivalent to 1.2% per month and indicates higher demand from shorts (sellers).
Signs of weak retail demand as indicated by OKX Tether data and the negative funding rate on altcoins are a signal that traders are unwilling to buy at the critical $1.65 trillion crypto market capitalization. Buyers seem to be waiting for further dips before stepping in, so further price corrections will likely follow.
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