Bitcoin (BTC) struggled to break above $30,000, remaining in a familiar range as investors closely watched the upcoming Federal Reserve interest rate decision and the expiration of bitcoin options next week. The leading cryptocurrency briefly edged higher to $29,904, marking a marginal 0.3% gain.
Meanwhile, Ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency, maintained a steady position near its weekly low below $1,900. Altcoins like SOL and XRP experienced some recovery after earlier losses, but the overall crypto market sentiment remained tepid.
Decentralized finance lender MakerDAO's governance token, MKR, stood out as it enjoyed double-digit gains, boosted by the activation of a token buyback program. However, the micro-cap token CNC suffered a massive 75% drop following a $3.2 million exploit of Conic Finance, a decentralized finance protocol closely associated with Curve.
The CoinDesk Market Index, which tracks a basket of digital assets, edged up by 0.3% over the last 24 hours, indicating a relatively subdued trading day. As investors anticipated the Fed's rate decision and the approaching bitcoin options expiry, the market lacked significant momentum.
Rachel Lin, CEO, and co-founder of decentralized derivatives exchange SynFutures, pointed out that despite initial enthusiasm over a favorable ruling in the Ripple-SEC case, BTC and ETH failed to overcome resistance and returned to their weekly range lows, impacting overall market sentiment. Lin observed that there was notable open interest in $31,000 and $32,000 Call Options for bitcoin, signaling strong resistance at those levels.
The outlook for the crypto market remains bullish, with continuous inflows of money into the ecosystem. Lin suggested a potential brief reversal, leading to a move up to $34,000 if BTC manages to break out and sustainably surpass $31,500.
In an interview with CoinDesk TV's "First Mover" program, Will Peck, head of digital assets for asset manager WisdomTree, acknowledged the difficulty of predicting a near-term bitcoin price target. He also highlighted the uncertain impact of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approving a spot bitcoin ETF from the financial services giants that filed applications recently.
Lawrence Lewitinn, head of content at The Tie and CoinDesk TV contributor, expressed his expectation that the Fed's likely 25 basis point rate increase and the upcoming options expiry would have minimal effect on bitcoin's current subdued state. Lewitinn predicted that absent any significant external factors, bitcoin's price would likely hover around $30,000 for the near future.