The bitcoin sell-off may be behind us, but there is no decline in risk-off sentiment in the crypto market according to a key indicator of market sentiment.
The ether-to-bitcoin ratio (ETH/BTC), which tracks the amount of ether that can be exchanged for bitcoin, slipped to 0.05918, the lowest since July 2021,which brings the year-to-date loss to 25%. The dollar-denominated price of Ether has fallen by almost 55%, while bitcoin, the crypto market leader, has lost more than 30%.
The ratio helps gauge investor sentiment in the crypto market . A sustained rally means that investors are willing to take more risk by allocating a higher percentage of their capital to ether and other altcoins. Conversely, a decreasing relationship indicates low risk appetite and movement of funds out of ether and altcoins into bitcoin.
Being the largest cryptocurrency by market value and the most liquid, bitcoin is considered a paradise in the crypto markets. Meanwhile, altcoins, which are relatively small and less liquid, are considered risky.
The ether-bitcoin relationshipis the crypto market version of the exchange rateAustralian dollar-Japanese yen (AUD/JPY). The AUD is sensitive to changes in industrial metal prices, which are influenced by economic growth prospects. Meanwhile, the Japanese yen is considered a safe haven. Therefore, rallies in AUD/JPY indicate risky behavior and vice versa.
Investor preference for bitcoin over ether and altcoins is also evident by the recent rise in the top cryptocurrency’s dominance rate or share of total market capitalization.
According to TradingView, the bitcoin dominance rate increased from 41.4% to 47% in four weeks , reaching the highest level since October 2021. According to other technical data, the momentum of the relationship continues to skew lower.
It recently broke the uptrend line connecting the December 2020 and March 2021 lows, and the MACD histogram, an indicator used to gauge trend strength and identify trend changes, is producing deeper bars below the zero line.
Additionally, the ratio has broken above the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement (Fib) of the rally from the Sep 2019 low of $0.01615 to the Dec 2021 high of $0.08836 .
Traders use Fibonacci retracementsto identify support and resistance levels, set entry and exit points and stop losses based on these levels. The most followed Fibonacci levels are the 38.2% and 61.8% retracements, and a breakdown below the former often causes traders to double their bearish bets.
Therefore, a further drop towards the 100-week moving average at $0.054 seems likely . In other words, risk appetite is likely to remain subdued and Bitcoin could continue to outperform Ether and other altcoins in the coming weeks.
The technical chart of the dollar-denominated price of etherlooks as bearish as ETH/BTC. The token that powers the Ethereum blockchain appears to be on track to extend its eight-week losing streak.
The long top wick coupled with the current weekly ether candle shows a strong “sell on the rise” mentality. Long upper wicks form when buyers initially push prices higher only to eventually lose control to sellers.
A possible break below $1,700, the longstanding support of the June 2021 low, would open the doors to the January 2018 high of $1420.