Key Bitcoin price metric drops to a 2-week low — Is the BTC bull market over?

Bitcoin’s long-to-short metric fell to a 2-week low, leading some traders to call a cycle top.
Bitcoin’s long-to-short metric fell to a 2-week low, leading some traders to call a cycle top.

Five days after falling below $60,000 on July 4, Bitcoin (BTC) professional traders' morale dipped to its lowest level in two weeks, according to the long-to-short metric. This suggests that whales and market makers are hesitant to open bullish leverage positions, even as the Bitcoin price fell to a four-month low. 

This lack of enthusiasm is concerning, especially since Bitcoin was trading near $72,000 on June 7, leading some analysts and traders to suggest that the current cycle may have already peaked.

Are 25% Bitcoin price corrections the norm?

Source: DCinvestor

Digital art collector and digital assets advocate DCinvestor argued that 25% Bitcoin price corrections from intra-cycle highs are normal and do not signify the end of the bull market. Despite similar price fluctuations occurring in the past, repeated failures to break above $72,000 since March 24 suggest a diminished buying interest. Additionally, other metrics, like the search trends for "Buy bitcoin," indicate that retail interest has waned over the past four months.

Search trends for “buy bitcoin” term. Source: Google

Traders are debating whether the recent correction can be attributed to the FUD caused by the German government selling over $3 billion of previously seized coins and the impending distribution of assets from the failed exchange Mt. Gox's bankruptcy estate after 10 years. Mt. Gox's Bitcoin repayments are nearing $8 billion, although the timing remains uncertain, and creditors might choose to hold rather than sell on the market. Meanwhile, over 50% of the 50,000 BTC from the German government wallet had already been transferred to exchanges by July 9.

The S&P 500 index's rise to a new all-time high on July 9 also contributes to the negative sentiment towards cryptocurrencies. Several large-cap stocks, including NVidia, Taiwan Semiconductor, Eli Lilly, Broadcom, Applied Materials, Meta, Qualcomm, ASML, and Netflix, have gained 40% or more year-to-date in 2024. This stark performance contrast makes investing in Bitcoin, which is up only 30% so far in 2024, less attractive.

Furthermore, gold is trading just 3% below its all-time high price, suggesting that investors currently value its scarcity. Thus, Bitcoin's 20% decline since June 7 seems largely disconnected from traditional financial markets and macroeconomic expectations. Further evidence is seen in the debt markets as the CME FedWatch tool now indicates a 75% chance of a Federal Reserve interest rate cut by September, up from 50% a month ago. A lower cost of capital diminishes the appeal of fixed-income investments.

Bitcoin top traders are no longer bullish according to the long-to-short metric

The noticeable reduction in bullish leverage positions by Bitcoin pro traders reflects their lack of enthusiasm, despite a generally favorable scenario for risk-on assets. Investors expect increased market liquidity as interest payments on federal government debt are projected to reach an annualized $1 trillion in 2024, compelling the Fed to lower rates regardless of economic trends. A high-interest-rate environment raises the cost of capital for individuals, companies, and banks, putting the financial system's solvency at risk.

Related: 5 bullish arguments that Bitcoin price just bottomed at $53K

Bitcoin top traders long-to-short indicator, 12-hour. Source: Coinglass

According to the long-to-short indicator, which gauges aggregate positioning across spot and futures markets, top traders at Binance and OK have reduced their bullish leverage positions to their lowest levels in two weeks. The indicator favored longs (buy) with a ratio of 1.8x on July 2, but it quickly fell to 1.2x by July 6. Essentially, bulls have cut their losses and remain skeptical about a short-term Bitcoin price surge.

It's still uncertain what will trigger Bitcoin to regain its bullish momentum, but it will likely involve restoring traders' confidence. Whales and market makers may be exercising excessive caution due to ongoing FUD, yet there is no indication from bearish bets to confirm that the Bitcoin cycle has reached its peak according to the long-to-short indicator.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.