It’s been a wild few months for Bitcoin’s price. It went all the way up from around $65K in April, down to below $30K in July, and back to a new all-time high today – October 20th.
Many are drawing comparisons between the market dynamics in April and now, and as BTC sits in price discovery, it’s worth looking at a few reasons for which things might be a lot more bullish currently compared to before.
Retail FOMO Is Not Here
First things first, one of the main catalysts of parabolic advances in the BTC price have always been swarms of retail traders rushing in to buy bitcoin at the last hour.
This is what’s commonly referred to as “retail FOMO,” and we’ve seen it in 2017 and in April this year – data from Google Trends supports it:
The above chart from the past five years shows that back in December 2017, when Bitcoin peaked at around $20K, searches for the cryptocurrency reached an all-time high. They also started to increase in April this year – when BTC marked its new all-time high just below $65K.
Now, however, there are no real signs that retail investors are in the market. This means that we are nowhere near the levels of actual FOMO, causing many to believe that there’s plenty of upside to come.
The Market is Not Overleveraged
One way to compare how overleveraged the market was in April compared to now is to take a look at the long-term holders SOPR ratio, which shows when they were distributing coins.
The above chart reveals that back in April, LTH were taking profits at an average of an 8X leverage, and now they’re doing so at an average of 3X leverage – a considerable reduction.
Another way to gauge this is by the overall worth of liquidated positions.
Back on April 18th, CryptoPotato reported that the total market cap lost about $360 billion in a matter of hours, and bitcoin’s price crashed by $9,000. This caused a historic liquidation event where over $10 billion worth of both long and short positions were wiped off the market.
Now, similar things happened in September amid the new wave of China FUD when BTC dropped from $52K to $42K very sharply. However, the liquidations back then were nowhere near the levels from April.
In April, we were used to seeing multi-billion dollars worth of liquidations every day as both bulls and bears were overleveraged – something that could also have been deduced by the very high funding rates.
Now, on the day that Bitcoin broke its all-time high and has been through massive volatility over the past 24 hours, there are only about $300 million worth of liquidations.
This also means that the possibility of a major squeeze is considerably smaller as fewer traders are using leverage.
It’s true that Bitcoin’s fundamentals have been strengthening throughout 2021 in general, but the rally in April was propelled by an event that might not be as meaningful as many put it out to be – Tesla’s involvement in the market.
Now, however, things are particularly different, Institutional investors continue to flock to the industry. Not only this, we just saw the approval of the very first futures-backed BTC ETF in the United States ticked BITO.
It’s one of the hottest products on Wall Street, one day into trading, generating billions in volume and hauling over half a billion dollars in assets.
It outperforms other major ETFs such as the VOO by an order of magnitude in terms of the trading volume.
This has significantly legitimized the market and opened the door to more traditional investors as it provides a regulated product they can take advantage of.