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Bitcoin May Plunge in Q4 Due to a Tax-Induced Selling Frenzy

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  • Bitcoin’s price action as of late has done little to offer investors with any tangible insights into where it may trend next
  • Analysts have been largely noting that the cryptocurrency’s outlook is being dimmed by turbulence within the stock market, which may persist until after the elections
  • Many traders do believe that the rest of Q4 will be a bullish month for BTC, as this may be when it can decouple from the stock market and garner some independent momentum
  • One analyst explained that he believes downside is imminent in the quarter ahead, noting that whales will have to cash out some of their crypto to cover taxes, which could spark a selloff

Bitcoin and the entire crypto market have lacked momentum throughout the past few days and weeks.

This has largely come about due to the turbulence within the stock market, with bulls and bears being unable to spark any short-term trends as the stock market consolidates.

This sideways trading pattern may not last for too much longer. One analyst noted that BTC might see a selloff induced by whales selling their crypto to cover taxes.

He notes that this sentiment is being reflected while looking towards options market makers.

Bitcoin Lacks Momentum as Stock Market Continues Consolidating 

The stock market hasn’t been able to form any clear trend as of late, with investors widely awaiting more insights into a phase 2 stimulus package that has yet to be agreed upon by Congress and the White House.

As the election also draws closer, investors are potentially awaiting its results before opening fresh positions.

This has caused Bitcoin to see a similar bout of lackluster price action. Both bulls and bears have largely reached an impasse and have been unable to spark any short-term trend.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up marginally at its current price of $11,400. This is around the price at which it has been trading throughout the past week.

Analyst: BTC Likely to See Tax-Induced Selloff Later in Q4

One analyst offered a bearish outlook on Bitcoin and the crypto market in Q4, noting that he expects it to see a selloff induced by whales taking out money to cover taxes.

“Its hard to for me to imagine a Q4 pump mega. All whales selling in order to prep to tax. Unless you’re telling me that the majority of crypto are in tax havens such as SG and HK. Sentiments shared amongst options market makers who are pricing monthly IV at 30%+,” he explained.

Image Courtesy of Theta Seek.

If the options market makers prove to be correct, then it could be a turbulent coming few months for Bitcoin.

Featured image from Unsplash.
Charts from TradingView.





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Bears aim for sub-$60K Bitcoin price ahead of Friday’s $1.1B options expiry

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Bitcoin (BTC) entirely recovered from its recent drop that saw the price fall to the $53,000 support level. This move back to $57,500 relieved bulls from the negative pressure of the May 7, 3,500 BTC options contract, which represents $200 million in open interest along with a $1.1 billion options expiry.

Today’s swift recovery could have been partially driven by the news that New Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) partnered with Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) to create a framework for U.S. banks to offer crypto trading services.

Patrick Sells, the bank solutions chief at NYDIG, told CNBC that several banks have already signed up for the program.

Moreover, a Mastercard survey found that 40% of the 15,500 interview participants intend to use crypto for payments over the next 12 months. Additionally, it reported that 77% of millennials are interested in learning more about cryptocurrency.

Whatever the reason behind Bitcoin’s recent price recovery, bulls are now in a much better position for the May 7 options expiry.

The equilibrium in the call-to-put ratio is misleading

May 7 aggregate BTC options open interest. Source: Bybt

Options contract buyers pay the premium upfront and thus face no forceful liquidation risk. On the other hand, the call (buy) option provides its buyer with upside price protection, and the put (sell) does the opposite.

This means traders aiming for neutral-to-bearish strategies will typically rely on put options. On the other hand, call options are more commonly used for bullish positions.

Analysts could easily dismiss Friday’s Bitcoin expiry as the put-to-call ratio is flat. This means the neutral-to-bullish and neutral-to-bearish options open interest is balanced. However, these options will expire in less than 38 hours, causing the $65,000 and higher calls to become worthless.

The put options, a right of selling Bitcoin at $48,000 on Friday, are also worthless today. To correctly interpret the potential impact of the May 7 expiry, analysts must exclude the strikes that are too far out from the current price.

Bulls have a $104 million advantage at $57,000

The call (buy) options up to $60,000 total 4,950 contracts ($285 million), and if the price of Bitcoin happens to reach $64,000 on May 7, another 1,620 contracts will boost the call options open interest by $93 million.

Alternatively, the neutral-to-bearish put options add up to 3,150 contracts down to the $54,000 strike. These currently present a $181 million open interest and would be increased by 2,800 contracts down to $50,000. This level would boost put options’ open interest by $161 million.

Although bulls have a $104 million advantage leading to Friday’s expiry, this number would be greatly reduced at any level below $60,000. As the chart indicates, most call options (1,680 contracts) have been placed at this level.

Therefore, bears have incentives to suppress the price below $60,000. At least until 8:00 AM UTC on May 7.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.