Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, rose 1.3% in the week from March 24 to March 31 to trade at US$28,286 at 9:30 p.m. on Friday in Hong Kong. Ether rose 2.67% in the same period to US$1,819.

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The crypto market saw another tumultuous week after the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance was sued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for allegedly offering futures and derivatives products to U.S. residents without registering with the CFTC as required by law. Binance has denied the allegations.

Binance returned to the headlines just three days later when the Financial Times, citing internal Binance documents, alleged the exchange had concealed its operations in China, despite saying it left the country in 2017. A Binance spokesperson said the report comprises anonymous sources recycling old news and “dramatically mischaracterizing events.” 

Despite Binance’s troubles and the threats to other exchanges, Bitcoin traded above US$27,000 for most of the week, dipping to US$26,677 on Tuesday before recovering. The world’s first cryptocurrency rose 1.3% during the week and 26.1% during the month of March.

Kadan Stadelmann, chief technical officer of blockchain infrastructure development firm Komodo, said that investors are sophisticated enough to delineate between Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto market.

“Crypto company after crypto company has collapsed or faced headwinds in the past nine months, and yet Bitcoin has recovered in the wake of each wave of negative headlines. Investors increasingly view Bitcoin as a standalone commodity, not tied to any central organization,” wrote Stadelmann. 

“Bitcoin’s correlation with the Nasdaq 100 has decreased to the lowest since the U.S. Federal Reserve first telegraphed rate hikes at the start of 2022. Bitcoin’s Pearson correlation, which measures the 30-day correlation to Bitcoin for S&P 500 and gold, dropped to 0.20 – the lowest ever,“ wrote Stadelmann, adding that this suggests investors are increasingly viewing Bitcoin as a safe-haven asset.

Marat Minkin, the co-founder of DeFi payment app TONBanking, said that Bitcoin’s rally was also attributed to Binance chief Changpeng Zhao denying the allegations against his exchange.

“This report was a relief to investors and the market and Bitcoin continued the uptrend. The U.S. dollar index’s continued decline also supported the crypto uptrend. The decline of the U.S. dollar index and the fear of higher inflation and recession, prompted investors to look for short-term investment opportunities,” wrote Minkin.

Over 74% of all Bitcoin supply was in profit as of March 29, according to CryptoQuant, suggesting that investors may be looking to sell some of their holdings to take profits.

Over US$76.8 million worth of Bitcoin options across all exchanges are set to expire on Friday, according to data from derivatives exchange data aggregator Coinglass. Options enable purchasers to buy or sell the underlying asset at a set price by a fixed date and are used to speculate on future price movement or hedge risk.

Stadelmann said that this signals increasing interest in Bitcoin.

“Bitcoin investors are opening up new positions in the Bitcoin futures market, which could lead to more volatility – albeit most likely to the upside over the medium term. In the past few days, Bitcoin’s 30 days SMA Open Interest has dramatically increased to approximately US$8.6 billion,” wrote Stadelmann.  

The global crypto market capitalization stood at US$1.18 trillion on Friday at 9:30 p.m. in Hong Kong, up 0.85% from US$1.17 trillion a week ago, according to CoinMarketCap data. Bitcoin’s US$546 billion market cap accounted for 46.3% of the market, while Ether’s US$219 billion accounted for 18.5%.

Ruslan Sharov, the chief executive officer and co-founder of GameFi video platform Cheelee, said that Bitcoin’s rising dominance suggests investor caution.

“We see the continuous growth of Bitcoin dominance, which signals a more conservative outlook on the general perspective of the crypto market on the investors’ side. Bitcoin is likely considered a safe harbor to wait out the storm until the general sentiment turns more optimistic,” wrote Sharov. 

See related article: Bitcoin keeps its head held high despite options expiration

Biggest gainers: XRP & CFX

Ripple’s XRP token was this week’s biggest gainer among the top 100 coins by market capitalization listed on CoinMarketCap. XRP rose 23.96% to trade at US$0.53. XRP started picking up momentum on March 20, after Ripple Labs made a new filing to back its case against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

CFX, the utility token of Conflux Network, China’s only public blockchain, was the second biggest gainer in the top 100, rising 19.5% to change hands at US$0.40. The token started picking up momentum on Tuesday, as part of a larger rally that saw the token rise over 1,750% from the beginning of the year.

Next week

“Bitcoin’s current support checks in at approximately US$25,000. If it tests this over the next two weekly closes, that would suggest a potential bullish pattern. On the upside, Bitcoin’s current resistance is US$30,000,” wrote Stadelmann.

“Bitcoin’s funding ratio has been at a relatively high positive value, suggesting there are more long positions compared to short positions. This would suggest increased prices, although investors do have some concerns over Bitcoin’s overall liquidity. The US$30,000 handle could prove to be tough resistance for Bitcoin, at least in the short term,“ added Stadelmann.

Sharov said that we may be witnessing the start of a long-term Bitcoin rally, despite short-term volatility. 

“I believe the next crucial resistance point is at US$30,000 and it appears to be a major psychological hurdle. Another important factor is the macro-economical landscape. Considering the number of ongoing triggers, I expect the market to appear strongly contingent upon the financial news that surfaces over the following week,” wrote Sharov.

See related article: Crypto investors remain optimistic despite crackdown