2 key indicators cast doubt on the strength of the current crypto market recovery


Analyzing the aggregate cryptocurrency market performance over the past seven days could give investors the impression that the total market capitalization grew by a mere 4% to $2.03 trillion, but this data is heavily impacted by the top five coins, which happen to include two stablecoins.

Excluding Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB) and stablecoins reflects a 9.3% market capitalization increase to $418 billion from $382 billion on Feb. 4. This explains why so many of the top 80 altcoins hiked 25% or more, while very few presented a negative performance.

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Winners and losers among the top-80 coins. Source: Nomics

Gala Games (GALA) announced on Feb. 9 a partnership with world-renowned hip-hop star Snoop Dogg to launch his new album and exclusive nonfungible token campaign. Gala Games also has plans to support additional content such as access to films, comics and more in the future.

Theta Network (THETA), a decentralized video sharing platform, was fueled by a Theta Labs funding grant to Replay, a Web3 content payment and tracking protocol for content owners. According to the release, Replay’s end-to-end solution will allow Theta users to be fairly rewarded for their contributions.

XRP also rallied after Ripple got permission for a “fair notice defense” to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The decision refers to the ongoing court case in which the SEC claimed that Ripple sold XRP as illegal securities.

On the other hand, the worst performers included decentralized storage protocols Arweave and Internet Computer. Meanwhile, Cosmos saw the total value locked in the CosmosHub smart contract drop by 82% to $1.2 million.

Lastly, Solana (SOL) continued to reflect the negative sentiment directly connected to the Wormhole token bridge smart contract that was exploited on Feb. 2. The $321-million Wrapped Ether (wETH) hack has been the largest loss so far in 2022.

Tether premium reflects low retail demand

The OKX Tether (USDT) premium measures the difference between China-based peer-to-peer trades and the official U.S. dollar currency. Excessive cryptocurrency retail demand tends to pressure the indicator above fair value, or 100%. On the other hand, bearish markets likely flood Tether’s market offer, causing a 4% or higher discount.

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Tether (USDT) peer-to-peer vs. USD/CNY. Source: OKX

Currently, the metric has a 99.5% reading, which is neutral, but the gap has been closing over the past six weeks. This signals that retail demand is picking up and is a positive reading considering that the total cryptocurrency capitalization remains 35% below the $3-trillion all-time high.

Futures markets confirm the lack of “euphoria”

Perpetual contracts, also known as inverse swaps, have an embedded rate usually charged every eight hours. Those measures are established to avoid exchange risk imbalances.

A positive funding rate indicates that longs (buyers) demand more leverage. However, the opposite situation occurs when shorts (sellers) require additional leverage, and this causes the funding rate to turn negative.

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Perpetual futures 8-hour funding rate on Feb. 11. Source: Coinglass

As depicted above, the eight-hour fee is either zero or slightly negative in most cases. This data indicates a balanced leverage demand from longs (buyers) and shorts (sellers). Had there been a relevant risk appetite from either side, the rate would be above 0.05%, equivalent to 1% per week.

Perpetual futures are retail traders’ preferred derivatives because their price tends to track the regular spot markets. The Tether premium and the funding rate are neutral-to-bearish despite the 4% weekly gain, but one should factor in that cryptocurrencies have recently faced a 50% drawdown, meaning these indicators are somewhat skewed.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.