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ETC Group Crypto Market Compass
Week 47, 2023

  • Introducing the new “Crypto Market Compass” – your weekly guide to successfully navigate Bitcoin & Cryptoasset Markets
  • Featuring the new “Cryptoasset Sentiment Index” – a composite index combining cryptoasset sentiment, flows, on-chain, and derivatives metrics
  • Cryptoasset Sentiment remains elevated following the election of Javier Milei as next Argentine president (Chart of the Week)
Crypto Market Compass | Week 47, 2023 | ETC Group

Chart of the Week

Cryptoasset Sentiment Index Crypto_Sentiment_Index
Source: Bloomberg, Coinmarketcap, Glassnode, NissonHedge, alternative.me, ETC Group

Performance

Last week, cryptoassets mostly went sideways as the market was looking for new catalysts. Despite a relatively strong outperformance by high beta cryptoassets such as Solana, overall altcoin outperformance remained somewhat muted compared to the prior week.

Meanwhile, traditional assets such as global equities managed to gain significantly over the last week on the back of a continuing improvement in cross asset risk appetite which was due to a further repricing of the US Dollar (weaker) and monetary policy expectations (easier).

Overnight, the news broke that the libertarian and pro-Bitcoin candidate Javier Milei was elected as the new president of Argentina which buoyed cryptoasset market sentiment somewhat. In that context, overall cryptoasset sentiment remains somewhat elevated which implies that, barring any short-term approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF in the US, a short-term pull-back appears to be quite likely (Chart of the Week).

Cross Asset Performance (Week-to-Date) Cross_Asset_Week_to_Date_Performance
Source: Bloomberg, Coinmarketcap; performances in USD except Bund Future
Top 10 Cryptoasset Performance (Week-to-Date) Crypto_Top_10_Week_to_Date_Performance
Source: Coinmarketcap

Among the top 10 crypto assets, Solana, Dogecoin, and Bitcoin were the relative outperformers.

However, overall altcoin outperformance vis-à-vis Bitcoin has continued to be fairly muted. Only 20% of our tracked altcoins managed to outperform Bitcoin on a weekly basis.

Sentiment

Our in-house Cryptoasset Sentiment Index has increased following the Argentine election outcome and is now firmly in bullish territory. At the moment, 13 out of 15 indicators are above their short-term trend.

Compared to last week, we saw major reversals to the upside in the Altseason index and BTC Put-Call Volume Ratio.

The Crypto Fear & Greed Index also remains in "Greed" territory as of this morning.

Meanwhile, our own measure of Cross Asset Risk Appetite (CARA) increased significantly last week on the back of a further repricing of the US Dollar (weaker) and monetary policy expectations (easier). This may explain the ongoing significant inflows into cryptoasset ETPs as well (see further below).

Performance dispersion among cryptoassets has declined slightly compared to last week but continues to be relatively high. In general, high performance dispersion among cryptoassets implies that correlations among cryptoassets have decreased which means that cryptoassets are trading more on coin-specific factors and that diversification among cryptoassets is high.

At the same time, as mentioned above, altcoin outperformance has continued to be low with only 20% of altcoins outperforming Bitcoin on a weekly basis. In general, low altcoin outperformance is a sign of low risk appetite within cryptoasset markets.

Flows

Last week, we saw yet another week of significant net fund inflows into global cryptoasset ETPs.

In aggregate, we saw net fund inflows in the amount of +189.8 mn USD (week ending Friday).

The very large majority of these inflows focused on Bitcoin ETPs (+161.8 mn USD) and Altcoin ex ETH ETPs (+18.8 mn USD). Ethereum ETPs attracted +9.0 mn USD in net fund inflows last week on the back of the news that BlackRock has officially filed for an Ethereum ETF in the US as well.

Meanwhile, thematic & basket crypto ETPs only experienced minor net fund inflows (+0.3 mn USD) last week.

The NAV discount of the biggest Bitcoin fund in the world - Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) – remains relatively narrow at the moment with around -10%. In other words, investors are assigning a probability of around 90% that the Trust will ultimately be converted into a Spot Bitcoin ETF.

Moreover, the beta of global crypto hedge funds to Bitcoin over the last 20 trading remains relatively low with around 0.8, implying that global crypto hedge funds are under-exposed to the market.

On-Chain

Overall, on-chain activity in Bitcoin remains relatively high at the moment.

For instance, although active addresses and new addresses on the Bitcoin blockchain have decreased slightly compared to last week, the Bitcoin mempool remains near capacity. The mempool is the queue of unconfirmed Bitcoin transactions.

In aggregate, we saw net fund inflows in the amount of +189.8 mn USD (week ending Friday).

The very large majority of these inflows focused on Bitcoin ETPs (+161.8 mn USD) and Altcoin ex ETH ETPs (+18.8 mn USD). Ethereum ETPs attracted +9.0 mn USD in net fund inflows last week on the back of the news that BlackRock has officially filed for an Ethereum ETF in the US as well.

Meanwhile, thematic & basket crypto ETPs only experienced minor net fund inflows (+0.3 mn USD) last week.

The NAV discount of the biggest Bitcoin fund in the world - Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) – remains relatively narrow at the moment with around -10%. In other words, investors are assigning a probability of around 90% that the Trust will ultimately be converted into a Spot Bitcoin ETF.

Moreover, the beta of global crypto hedge funds to Bitcoin over the last 20 trading remains relatively low with around 0.8, implying that global crypto hedge funds are under-exposed to the market.

Overall, on-chain activity in Bitcoin remains relatively high at the moment.

For instance, although active addresses and new addresses on the Bitcoin blockchain have decreased slightly compared to last week, the Bitcoin mempool remains near capacity. The mempool is the queue of unconfirmed Bitcoin transactions.

A high amount of transactions in the mempool usually indicates high demand for Bitcoin transactions and block space in general. The mean amount of transactions per block is also hovering near all-time highs above 4000 transactions per block at the moment.

This also shows up in the relatively elevated level of transaction fees as both median and mean relative fee in the Bitcoin mempool have increased to the highest level since May 2023 when the BRC-20 frenzy clogged the network.

In that context, the daily level of inscriptions has recently increased to a new all-time high as well most of which are text-based/BRC-20 inscriptions. The transaction count share of inscriptions has regularly clocked above 60% recently, implying that 3 out of 5 Bitcoin transactions contained an inscription on average.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s hash has also reached a new all-time high last week with 551 EH/s recorded just yesterday. So, Bitcoin miners continue to increase their hash rate ahead of the upcoming Bitcoin Halving  which is anticipated next year in April.

Exchange activity is still biased towards inflows. However, net exchange inflows of BTC have recently subsided as well. Over the last 7 days, most wallet cohorts experienced net inflows with the exception of wallets with a size of 1 mn – 10 mn USD which saw net outflows to the tune of 11.8k BTC from exchanges. In contrast, net exchange volumes for Ethereum remained very biased towards outflows. ETH exchange balances have recently reached a fresh 7-year low implying increasing supply illiquidity of Ethereum which tends be bullish.

On a very positive note, accumulation activity across various BTC wallet cohorts remains near the strongest observed year-to-date.

Derivatives

Open interest in both BTC futures and perpetuals decreased last week. CME remains the biggest futures market in terms of open interest ahead of Binance this week. The 3-months annualized rolling basis in BTC futures has decreased somewhat compared to last week but remains near year-to-date highs of around 7.5% p.a. BTC perpetual funding rates have mostly remained positive throughout the week across various exchanges.

On the other hand, BTC options open interest mostly went sideways in BTC-terms but still hovers near all-time highs. There was no significant change in relative put-call open interest for BTC options and only a minor spike in relative put-call trading volumes in favour of puts last week.

biased towards call options judging by the elevated 25-delta skew which currently shows an implied volatility premium of around 8.7% for delta-equivalent BTC call options with 1-month expiry.

Bottom Line

  • We are introducing the new “Crypto Market Compass” – your weekly guide to successfully navigate Bitcoin & Cryptoasset Markets.
  • It features the new “Cryptoasset Sentiment Index” – a composite index combining cryptoasset sentiment, flow, on-chain, and derivatives metrics.
  • Cryptoasset sentiment remains elevated following the election of Javier Milei as next Argentine president (Chart of the Week).

Appendix

Bitcoin Price vs Cryptoasset Sentiment Index Bitcoin_Price_vs_Crypto_Sentiment_Index
Source: Bloomberg, Coinmarketcap, Glassnode, NilssonHedge, alternative.me, ETC Group
Cryptoasset Sentiment Index Crypto_Sentiment_Index_Bar_Chart
Source: Bloomberg, Coinmarketcap, Glassnode, NilssonHedge, alternative.me, ETC Group; *multiplied by (-1)
Cryptoasset Sentiment Index Crypto_Market_Compass_Subcomponents
Source: Bloomberg, Coinmarketcap, Glassnode, NilssonHedge, alternative.me, ETC Group
Crypto Sentiment Indicators Crypto_Market_Compass_Sentiment_Indicators
Source: Coinmarketcap, alternative.me, ETC Group
TradFi Sentiment Indicators Crypto_Market_Compass_TradFi_Indicators
Source: Bloomberg, NilssonHedge, ETC Group
Crypto Options' Sentiment Indicators Crypto_Market_Compass_Option_Indicators
Source: Glassnode, ETC Group
Crypto Futures & Perpetuals' Sentiment Indicators Crypto_Market_Compass_Futures_Indicators
Source: Glassnode, ETC Group; *Cumulative daily absolute change in BTC OI multiplied by sign of BTC price change
Crypto On-Chain Indicators Crypto_Market_Compass_OnChain_Indicators
Source: Glassnode, ETC Group
Bitcoin_Price_vs_Crypto_Fear_Greed
Source: alternative.me, Coinmarketcap, ETC Group
Bitcoin vs Global Crypto ETP Fund Flows BTC_vs_All_Crypto_ETP_Funds_Fund_Flows_Daily_long_PCT
Source: Bloomberg, ETC Group; Only ETPs & Grayscale Trusts
Global Crypto ETP Fund Flows All_Crypto_ETP_Funds_Fund_Flows_Daily_short
Source: Bloomberg, ETC Group; Only ETPs & Grayscale Trusts
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust's NAV Premium/Discount Bitcoin_GBTC_NAV_Premium
Source: Bloomberg, ETC Group
Bitcoin_Price_vs_Hedge_Fund_Beta
Source: Coinmarketcap, Bloomberg, NilssonHedge, ETC Group
Altseason Index Altseason_Index_short
Source: Coinmarketcap, ETC Group
Bitcoin vs Crypto Dispersion Index Crypto_Dispersion_vs_Bitcoin_short
Source: Coinmarketcap, ETC Group; Dispersion = (1 - Average Altcoin Correlation with Bitcoin)
BTC Net Exchange Volume by Size Bitcoin_Net_Exchange_Volume_by_Size
Source: Glassnode, ETC Group

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As a company, ETC Group has previously launched BTCE - the world’s first centrally cleared Bitcoin exchange traded product on Deutsche Börse XETRA, the largest ETF trading venue in Europe, and also listed DA20, the world’s first crypto ETP tracking an MSCI index signalling a move towards investment management products. DA20 provides broad market exposure to investors by tracking an index of 20 cryptocurrencies which cover 85% of the total crypto market capitalisation.

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