Market Analysis: Bitcoin (BTC) Drops from $13,880 to $10,400 as CME Bitcoin Futures Expiration Approaches

June 27, 2019 / by Zachary Mashiach

Bitcoin (BTC) reached a new 2019 high of $13,880 at 4 p.m. Eastern time yesterday afternoon, while simultaneously the total crypto market cap hit a new 2019 high of $387 billion. However, Bitcoin (BTC) and the crypto market have been on a sharp downtrend since then, with Bitcoin (BTC) declining to as low as $10,400 around 1 p.m. 

Notably, there has been a lot of volatility as Bitcoin (BTC) has declined, with swings of hundreds of dollars over the past 24 hours. However, if you draw a line through all the volatility, you can see that Bitcoin (BTC) is steadily declining on average. Currently, Bitcoin (BTC) has bounced off its daily low and is near $10,700, but we cannot say that Bitcoin (BTC) has reversed the downtrend. 

The CME Bitcoin Futures expiration happens tomorrow at 11 a.m. Eastern time, and the timing of this downturn in Bitcoin’s (BTC) price does not seem like a coincidence. Apparently, there were more shorts than longs among CME Bitcoin Futures traders as of last week, and indeed, the month of June started with Bitcoin (BTC) declining from $8,400 to $7,500, which suggested that CME Bitcoin Futures traders had collectively gone short for June. It is possible, but cannot be confirmed, that CME Bitcoin Futures traders are manipulating the market downwards to prevent heavy losses from the short positions they opened at the beginning of the month. Therefore, perhaps the Bitcoin (BTC) downtrend will continue through the expiration tomorrow. 

The fundamentals behind this Bitcoin (BTC) rally, including Chinese capital outflows, tensions with Iran, and a potential future stock market recession are still in place, and it is possible that Bitcoin (BTC) will have a chance to regain its losses once the CME Bitcoin Futures expiration is out of the way. The week after the expiration will be important to watch to ascertain whether CME Bitcoin Futures traders are collectively going short or long for July. 

Additionally, during the last big Bitcoin (BTC) rally in late 2017, Bitcoin (BTC) declined from $18,200 to $13,200 in about 2 days, before rallying to the all-time high near $20,000 a week later. Therefore, there is precedent for drops like the one we saw today during major Bitcoin (BTC) rallies, and therefore, a sharp drop in Bitcoin’s (BTC) price does not always mean that the rally is over. 

The rest of the crypto market has followed Bitcoin’s (BTC) lead and is deep in the red. Ethereum (ETH) is down 17.2% and trading near $286, Ripple (XRP) is down 15.4% and trading near $0.40, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is down 18.2% and trading near $405, Litecoin (LTC) is down 15% and trading near $114, EOS is down 18.6% and has slid below $6, Binance Coin (BNB) is down 6.2%, Bitcoin SV (BSV) is down 17.8% and has slid below $200, Cardano (ADA) is down 14.4%, Tron (TRX) is down 16.1%, Stellar (XLM) is down 16.1%, LEO is down 12.3%, Monero (XMR) is down 13.1% and trading near $93, Dash (DASH) is down 15.6%, NEO is down 9.9%, IOTA (MIOTA) is down 15.2%, Cosmos (ATOM) is down 16.6%, Ethereum Classic (ETC) is down 19.3%, Zcash (ZEC) is down 10.8%, and Tezos (XTZ) is down 15.4%.

The only major cryptocurrency that has stayed in the green today is Dogecoin (DOGE) with a 0.7% gain, which is equivalent to a 20% gain relative to Bitcoin (BTC). 

Since hitting the new 2019 high yesterday at 3 p.m., the total crypto market cap has lost $78 billion and is currently near $309 billion. To put things in perspective, though, this only erases about a week of gains on the crypto market, and the total crypto market cap is still 209% above the bear market low.