Major coins fell sharply on Thursday evening as the global cryptocurrency market cap lost 4% to $960.8 billion at 8:15 a.m. EDT.
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Why It Matters: Ethereum tanked after successfully completing its transition to a proof-of-stake network in an event dubbed “The Merge.” Other major coins were also in the red.
Cryptocurrencies tracked weaker stocks on Thursday, when the S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended 1.1% and 1.4% down, respectively. At the time of writing, U.S. stock futures were in the red.
“Ethereum is down significantly and volatility should remain elevated into the weekend,” said OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya, in a note seen by Benzinga.
Ethereum “still remains vulnerable in the short-term to further momentum selling, especially as traders await next week’s FOMC decision. Significant weakness with tech stocks is also weighing on cryptos in general as Bitcoin has fallen below the $20,000 level.”
Michaël van de Poppe said that until the next meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, the “markets will be down, pricing in the worst” and a 100 basis points rate hike.
Seems clear to me; waiting until next FED meeting and probably until then markets will be down, pricing in the worst and 100bps.
— Michaël van de Poppe (@CryptoMichNL) September 15, 2022
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is due to meet again on Sept. 20-21.
The Sept. 30 options expiry is “pivotal” for ETH futures traders with almost $8 billion worth of options for that expiry, of which 75% are call options, according to Kaiko Research.
Ethereum Options Volume For 30th Sept. — Courtesy Kaiko Research
“For the September 30 expiry, the $5,000 strike price has the most volume out of all expiries, the vast majority of which are calls. ETH would have to more than triple to reach this strike, and it appears these options will expire worthless,” said the market intelligence provider.
Willy Woo said that a “significant” amount of ETH flowed into exchanges leading up to the Merge.
The analyst tweeted, “Was it to let exchanges deal with any technical issues? Or to dump?”
A significant amount of ETH moved onto exchanges leading up to the merge.
Was it to let exchanges deal with any technical issues? Or to dump? pic.twitter.com/GNGgjvxCrf
— Willy Woo (@woonomic) September 15, 2022
Justin Bennett shared an ETH chart and said that the second-largest crypto is “testing the neckline.” The trader said on Twitter, “The target is $800 if this breaks.”
$ETH is testing the neckline.
— Justin Bennett (@JustinBennettFX) September 15, 2022
The neckline refers to support or resistance on the head and shoulders pattern, which is used to identify areas where to place orders.
Read Next: Ethereum (ETH) Sees $174M Liquidations After Merge As Price Declines