update 18 August 2021

$1.69 Billion of Stablecoins Withdrawn From Crypto Derivative Exchanges

The crypto market has experienced increased volatility this month, with BTC slashing half of its gains amidst a broader market selloff. Other top crypto assets such as ETH and ADA also struggled to hold on to recent gains, leaving investors debating whether the bulls can pull off an upset and propel prices higher.

The recent bloodbath in the crypto markets resulted in $1.69B of stablecoins being withdrawn from derivative exchanges, as per data from CryptoQuant. Lex Moskovski, the Chief Investment Officer at Moskovski Capital, was among the first crypto analysts to highlight the massive withdrawal of funds from the crypto sphere.

In a May 29 tweet, the analyst suggested that such magnitude of stablecoins leaving derivatives exchanges was rare and likely the handy work of jittery traders who expect an “unproductive chop” in crypto markets. 

The CIO’s comments sparked a debate on Crypto Twitter, with some suggesting that investors were re-deploying their capital into DeFi.

“Tax on crypto income is likely in Turkey soon, so some part of this withdrawal might be caused by Turkish investors apart from profit-taking,” another crypto enthusiast suggested.

Crypto Derivatives Exchanges Get Pushback from Authorities

In related news, the Singapore-based derivatives exchange Bybit is under fire from Japanese financial watchdogs for allegedly running unregistered digital assets trading services in the country.

According to a formal warning letter from the Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA) issued recently, the crypto trading and derivatives firm is not registered to offer cryptocurrency services in the country.

The FSA also called out Bybit for not blocking Japan-based IP addresses from accessing its website. The warning comes following Bybit’s alleged aggressive marketing campaign that targeted Japanese investors. 

This latest attempt to stifle a popular exchange’s trading endeavors highlights an ongoing trend where authorities are restricting users from accessing derivatives trading. In most instances, financial watchdogs cite the complexity and high risk inherent in such investments.  

A few months ago, Bybit was forced to suspend its trading services in the UK after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) imposed a blanket ban on retail crypto derivatives trading.

Panama-based crypto derivatives exchange Deribit has already succumbed to pressure from the FSA and blocked local IP addresses from accessing its platform since May of last year.

Bitcoin Price Turns Red

The recent massive outflow of capital from derivatives exchanges comes as bitcoin continues to show bearish signs, trading below $40K for a second straight week. 

Last week, the king coin started a decent recovery above the $35K and even broke the $38K resistance zone. However, the bears pushed back, resulting in the BTC prices failing to settle above $40K. The result was a break below several support levels, resulting in BTCUSD trading below $36K at press time.

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The good news is that technicals on multiple timeframes point to an imminent reversal as BTC nears its bottom. For instance, the daily LMACD indicates that the bulls could finally regain momentum on daily timeframes following a month of turmoil.