First Mover Americas: Bitcoin Shows Signs of Life

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Bitcoin showed some signs of stirring from its September stupor late on Thursday, rising around 3% to $26,400, before dropping back below $26,000 during the European morning. The CoinDesk Market Index (CMI) also hit its highest point this month, rising over 2% before retreating. Bitcoin has mostly languished below $26,000 this month as traders awaited clarity around the big regulatory hotspots, such as the SEC’s decision on the listing of a spot bitcoin ETF in the U.S. September is a difficult month for bitcoin, which has posted negative returns every year since 2016. So far, 2023 looks so far to be no exception.

Coinbase set out plans for an international expansion that focuses on acquiring licenses in major financial jurisdictions “enacting clear rules” for the crypto industry. CEO Brian Armstrong has expressed concerns in the last few months about the lack of regulatory certainty in Coinbase’s native U.S., so it is targeting the EU, U.K., Canada, Brazil, Singapore and Australia as immediate priorities. The exchange added that it is “in the final stages of selecting the location” for its EU hub, saying it wishes to “leverage our being the most trusted brand in the crypto space ahead of the European elections in June 2024.”

MicroStrategy’s large bitcoin impairment losses have given a false impression of the company’s inherent value, according to investment bank Berenberg, something changes to accounting standards should fix. MicroStrategy has reported $2.23 billion of cumulative impairment losses from its BTC holdings since August 2020, Berenberg said in a report on Wednesday. Proposed changes by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) will allow companies like MicroStrategy to “eliminate the poor optics that have been created by impairment losses,” the bank said. This week the FASB voted to let companies use fair-value accounting in a move that will allow them to show gains and losses immediately on their income statements.

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows one-month bitcoin skew, which measures the spread between the volatility premiums for call and put options expiring in four weeks.

  • Skew fell to nearly -5% on Thursday, the lowest since the U.S. banking crisis of March, indicating a bias for puts, which offer protection against price drops.

  • Source: Amberdata

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Edited by Sheldon Reback.

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