The crypto market has extended its bullish momentum despite recent tailwinds, Ethereum continues to lead in this recovery. The second crypto by market cap trades at $1,600 with a 35% profit in the past week.
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Trading firm QCP Capital shared a market update claiming the current bullish price action has been a “pleasant surprise for all”. This price action started on the back of the latest U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) print; a metric used to measure inflation.
The CPI stands at a 40-year high which was expected to have a negative impact on the crypto market. The opposite occurred, the trading firm claims, due to market participants expecting lower inflation in the coming months.
This potential decline in inflation could give some room for risk asset to continue their rally and persuade the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) from ruling out a 100-basis point (bps) interest rate hike. The financial institution will announce its decision on July 27. QCP Capital said:
Currently, a 20% chance of 100bps is still being priced in but our view is that 75bps is the most the Fed will do. So expect another boost as 100 bps gets completely priced out.
Ethereum is leading the relief because there is more clarity around the upcoming “Merge”, an event set to combine this network’s execution layer with its consensus layer. Thus, consolidating Ethereum’s migration to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus protocol.
“The Merge” has been tentatively scheduled for September which has contributed to the shift in the general sentiment across the crypto market and supported this rally. The bullish price action, QCP Capital said, has been “keenly felt in the options market”.
The sector saw a “rush” to purchase buy contracts (calls) for the September expiry. In other words, options traders are bullish on the potential impact that “The Merge” will have on Ethereum.
ETH’s price with minor gains on the 4-hour chart. Source: ETHUSDT Tradingview
Can Ethereum Extend Current Rally?
Conversely, the options markets hint at potential exhaustion for Ethereum in the short term. QCP Capital records an increase in calls selling for ETH’s price and believes insolvencies announcements from other companies could operate as tailwinds for the second crypto by market cap.
Part of the contagion triggered by the default of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), which failed to honor billions in debts from their counterparties, many companies have been negatively impacted. This includes Celsius, BlockFi, Voyager, and Genesis.
These companies have had to halt their operations at some levels with new companies announcing that they have been affected by 3AC coming out almost every week. Yesterday, crypto exchange Zipmex suspended withdrawals, and there have been growing rumors about other companies taking similar measures.
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QCP Capital said:
While the markets have been sanguine, it might not be completely free of the credit contagion yet. We have been adding to our downside skew position and we are keeping slightly long gamma and vega (longer term options).