Why bitcoin is fading while everything else is gaining

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Steve Sokolowski
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Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:27 pm
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Why bitcoin is fading while everything else is gaining

Post by Steve Sokolowski » Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:38 am

Two weeks ago, I changed one bitcoin to ethereum classic, which turned out to be a great decision. In fact, changing one's bitcoin into almost any other coin would have been a great decision.

Bitcoin is mired in margin trading, and nearly all of the borrowing is on the long side. When liquidations occur, a cascade happens that drops prices by thousands of dollars. The two all-time record high long liquidation days for bitcoin occurred in the past week, with nearly $10 billion lost on a single day. The chart at https://www.bybt.com/LiquidationData sums it up - note how short liquidations are only a fraction of long liquidations, even on days when bitcoin skyrockets.

Second, while people look at coins like dogecoin as a fad, the coin is serving a real purpose, just as litecoin, bitcoin cash, and ethereum classic are. All of these coins are equally capable and API-compatible with another larger coin, but have near-zero fees. The fee issue has gotten so bad that in most cases, to transfer money between exchanges or services, it is cheaper to exchange bitcoins to litecoins, send them to the other location, and then exchange them back. When I want to send money to people, I usually now pay them in litecoins.

Finally, interest rates on altcoins are exceptional, while rates on bitcoins are poor, even though altcoins typically outperform bitcoin during the uptrends. Last week, Genesis decreased its rates for borrowing bitcoins to 1.5%, but maintained 5.5% rates for borrowing litecoins. Large-cap coins like litecoin and ethereum are now relatively stable and unlikely to become worthless, and I would argue are currently less risky to hold than bitcoin is due to bitcoin's high number of margin longs.

The trend reversal in bitcoin occurred because people continue to lose enormous amounts of money buying bitcoins on high leverage, over and over, despite there being no clear trend to the upside. The price of bitcoins has been range-bound for almost three months now, with only brief spikes above $60,000, and it will not rise until the margin trading is equalized by shorts, or reduced altogether. Note that well after bitcoin reversed, ETH, which does not have as many margin longs, hit another all-time high.

Strangely, the people trading on margin don't seem to learn from their mistakes, and there seems to be almost infinite money being thrown away at this type of trading. Most likely, bitcoins will be stuck in a bear market for a while, with successive liquidation panics on every bad news article, until these traders finally run out of money and go bankrupt.

(Note: it's the last week of the month, and bitcoin always reaches its low 3-7 days before month end when everyone needs dollars to pay bills due on the first, so don't be surprised when bitcoin temporarily recovers next week. That doesn't mean that this margin trading problem has gone away.)
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