Bitcoin's no longer the king of the swingers

Source From: ENT 2022-09-12 08:46:26

The king of the swingers has been uncharacteristically treading water for days at around $20,000 and hasn't ventured far beyond that since June.

That spells trouble for traders and exchanges that profit from bitcoin's wild price lurches, and is opening the door to its archrival ether which is preparing to up its crypto game by moving to a meaner and leaner blockchain. 

"Bitcoin is not dead, it's just boring at the moment, so traders are already looking for alternatives," said Martin Leinweber, digital asset product strategist at MarketVector.

Bitcoin's average 30-day volatility - a measure of how its price varies over a set period of time - has slumped to 2.7% from over 4% in early July, according to data firm Coinglass.

That number has stayed firmly below 5% in 2022, even in the most turbulent months of the "crypto winter" of depressed prices - a departure from the past five years when even periods of lower volatility were followed by spikes as high as 7%.

Similarly, an index from CryptoCompare, which uses bitcoin futures contracts to work out how far prices are expected to change, stands at just over 77, down from above 90 at the start of the year.

Bitcoin has seen periods of reduced volatility in the past, often during periods of depressed or falling prices, with its price swings often coming back as trading activity picks up.

This slump may be different, though.

"This has been a relatively long period of decreased volatility, it's now beyond anything we've seen in even 2019 where these levels lasted around a quarter to a quarter-and-a-half," said Stephane Ouellette, CEO at crypto derivatives provider FRNT Financial.