Just a few days before the New Year and Bitcoin is struggling to stay afloat the $48,000 mark. In the past 24-hours, BTC has been down 3.29% but continues to be the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.
The drop, as seen in the CoinMarketCap graph above, comes as the market is headed into monthly options expiration. Analysts say the price move comes from spot market manipulations by mostly institutional traders. They attempt to push the spot price closer to the strike price. The highest number of open options contracts expire at the strike price. And this results in huge losses.
But Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at Genesis Trading, believes institutional trading will continue to be strong. She says institutional investment growth will come from both investments in tokens and companies in the crypto ecosystem. Acheson sees investments in crypto market infrastructure companies peaking. The analyst highlighted that institutional investors are expanding their interest beyond bitcoin and ether, into smaller and riskier tokens to diversify their portfolios.
Meanwhile, all eyes are on ether emerging as the biggest silent winner in the crypto market for 2021. After opening at $737 on January 1, it could be worth over $5,500 in the new year. It should be noted that ether has delivered a return of 450% in less than 12-months.
However, the world’s second most popular crypto faced the heat when its blockchain split into two chains. This was caused by a bug. It had exposed the ethereum network to attacks. This lowest low for ether gave rise to Solana (SOL), which ranks as the fifth-largest crypto based on its market cap. SOL shot up more than 117 times throughout 2021.
Avalanche (AVAX), the tenth-biggest crypto, also had its moments as it gained more than 39 times in 2021. But ether enthusiasts like Mark Cuban believe ethereum will rise up as a monster winner in 2022. He expects the ethereum blockchain to be bigger, better, smarter, and more tokens will emerge from this platform.