Bitcoin on Sale as Fed Tapering and Omicron Concerns Shake Global Markets

Golden bitcoin coin shining brightly on top of crypto chart

Cryptocurrency markets were shaken last week as uncertainty regarding Federal Reserve tapering and covid omicron fears continued to grow. The Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index was plunged into ‘Extreme Fear’ as investors struggled to see a clear path ahead. However, many analysts believe that leading cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, are now ‘on sale’ in comparison to where they could be. With ‘Extreme Fear’ often followed by a rise in prices, is this latest dip the sale investors have been waiting for? Some were quick to capitalize with MicroStrategy and El Salvador leading the way.

  • Bitcoin goes ‘on sale’ according to analysts
  • Bitcoin snapped up by MicroStrategy and El Salvador
  • Jack Dorsey steps down as Twitter CEO & Square Inc rebrands to Block
  • Fed Chair expects acceleration of bond tapering

Bitcoin goes ‘on sale’ according to analysts  

Cryptocurrency markets were hit hard on Saturday amid growing uncertainty over Federal Reserve tapering and the new COVID-19 omicron variant. As investors grapple with these new variables many have reduced risk-on positions. The fall across cryptocurrency markets was echoed within equities, where the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 saw equally bearish ends to the week.

The most significant price dip was seen early on Saturday morning as the price of Bitcoin dropped by more than $10,000 in an hour. Although falling rapidly to lows of $41,900, prices quickly pushed up from the lows and settled back at $49,000. Even though recovery was quick, the drop in value across the entire cryptocurrency market resulted in over $1 billion worth of positions being liquidated.

As markets cascaded, Bitcoin market sentiment swung heavily towards fear, as depicted by the widely adopted Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index. On Sunday, with Bitcoin sitting at $49,249, the Fear and Greed Index depicted a score of 18 – indicating that ‘Extreme Fear’ was still the overwhelming market sentiment. Although sentiment may put some investors off trading, many analysts suggest that there is a strong correlation between witnessing ‘Extreme Fear’ and the bottom of a dip.

The most recent price dip has led many analysts to infer that the leading cryptocurrency is now “on sale” in comparison to where it could be. Many models including stock-to-flow, place Bitcoin at $100K in December 2021.

The Head of Exchange Sales at crypto exchange EQONEX, Justin d’Anethan, commented on the lower prices during the weekend. “If anything, this is the opportunity to buy the dip for many investors who might have previously felt like they missed the boat. We can see tether bought at a premium, suggesting people are getting cash ready, within the crypto space, to do just that.”

Line graph of the Bitcoin Fear & Greed Index figures over the last 12 months.
Bitcoin Fear & Greed Index figures over the last 12 months. Fear and Greed Index is now as low as lows experienced in July and September 2021.

Bitcoin snapped up by MicroStrategy and El Salvador

With discounted prices, Bitcoin bulls continued to buy up the leading cryptocurrency last week and expand cryptocurrency portfolios.

MicroStrategy, the analytics software company that already holds one of the largest Bitcoin portfolios worldwide, purchased a further 7,002 BTC on Monday last week. The purchase was worth a reported $414 million.

Michael Saylor, the company’s CEO, announced the acquisition via Twitter and outlined that the company now holds an impressive 121,044 BTC on its balance sheet. At the time, this equated to approximately $3.57 billion. The average purchase price per BTC had been calculated to be $29,534 – an impressive track record for a company that has only been purchasing Bitcoin since August 2020.

Following in MicroStrategy’s footsteps, as Bitcoin prices tumbled, El Salvador completed another acquisition of the leading cryptocurrency on Saturday. The only country that holds Bitcoin as legal tender acquired a further 150 BTC at an average buy price of $48,670. Although modest in comparison to MicroStrategy the country now holds approx. 1,370 BTC within the country’s treasury.

Tweet from Michael Saylor outlining MicroStrategy’s latest purchase and total BTC holdings
Tweet from Michael Saylor outlining MicroStrategy’s latest purchase and total BTC holdings

Jack Dorsey steps down as Twitter CEO & Square rebrands to Block

Jack Dorsey, Twitter Co-Founder, surprised the world on Monday by announcing that he would be stepping down from his role as CEO. According to reports, Dorsey will be replaced by Parag Agrawal, the Chief Technology Officer for the company.

Commenting on the move during the week Dorsey said “I believe it’s really important to give Parag the space he needs to lead. I believe it’s critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder’s influence or direction.” After the appointment, two key executives, Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis and Head of Engineering Michael Montano also stepped down as part of the restructuring.

Many believe that the move from Dorsey is so that he can focus his attention on Bitcoin and blockchain, which he has voiced overwhelming support of for many years. Interestingly, during the same week that Dorsey stepped down from Twitter, the entrepreneur’s second company, Square Inc, announced that it would be rebranding to ‘Block’ – a potential nod to the blockchain sector.

The company rebranding will help to amalgamate the payment firm with CashApp prior to the launch of the newly announced decentralized Bitcoin exchange, and Tidal, the video streaming platform. The payments firm sector, previously called Square Crypto, is also due to change its name to Spiral. According to company representatives “Block references the neighborhood blocks where we find our sellers, a blockchain, block parties full of music, obstacles to overcome, a section of code, building blocks, and of course, tungsten cubes.”

Jack Dorsey attending a conference in Paris
PARIS, FRANCE June 7th, 2019: Co-founder and former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey at Elysee Palace for an interview with the French President.

Fed Chair expects acceleration of bond tapering

One of the key uncertainties currently plaguing all markets is the US Feds’ decision to taper quantitative easing policies. Up until very recently, the Fed has described the current levels of inflation being experienced globally as ‘transitory’ – an effect they had expected to pass when supply chains had recovered from the reopening of lockdowns. Last week, the term ‘transitory’ was retired.

Throughout the year, the Fed has argued that only if inflation persisted would QE measure be tapered – an eventuality not expected until mid-2022. However, last week the Fed’s Chair Jerome Powell, confirmed that policymakers could likely vote to remove quantitative easing efforts sooner so that rising inflation could be battled.

Speaking during a Senate committee Powell provided his thoughts moving forward. “At this point, the economy is very strong and inflationary pressures are higher, and it is, therefore, appropriate in my view to consider wrapping up the taper of our asset purchases, which we actually announced at the November meeting, perhaps a few months sooner. I expect that we will discuss that at our upcoming meeting [in December].”

Many investors worry that alongside reduced bond purchases, interest rates may need to rise to combat the persistent inflation. This may result in increased debt payments, some of which may have to be paid by selling risk-on assets such as equities and cryptocurrencies.

Image depicting the Federal Reserve building with snow covering the surrounding ground

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