Cryptocurrency News

Bitcoin price eyes $28K as Binance legal battle spurs bullish momentum

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The ongoing legal battle between the Binance cryptocurrency exchange and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took a surprising turn on Sep. 18.

Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui rejected the SEC’s request for access to Binance.US’s systems. Instead, the Federal Magistrate suggested that the SEC should formulate specific discovery requests.

While this decision only temporarily postponed the need for Binance to demonstrate the separation between Binance.US’s custody solution and Binance International, the market responded positively.

Bitcoin (BTC) surged to its highest level in three weeks, breaking above the $27,000 resistance. Traders are now wondering whether the rally has been supported by leverage or genuine spot buying demand.

This is where metrics related to Bitcoin derivatives could potentially provide the solution.

Investors must wait three weeks for further rulings

Judge Faruqui scheduled a follow-up hearing for Oct. 12 and called upon the involved parties to submit a status report before the event, as reported by Yahoo Finance. What might have seemed like a setback for the SEC, at least for the time being, could potentially increase the risks for Binance.

Binance’s founder and CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, remains steadfast in asserting that Binance.US has never utilized Binance International’s custody solutions, despite a document from Binance.US on Sep. 15 suggesting otherwise. Nevertheless, the SEC has yet to produce clear evidence of Binance attempting to mislead the court.

Regardless of the current evidence, or more accurately, the absence of reliable information provided by Binance, the outlook for Bitcoin bulls has significantly improved for the next three weeks, with no anticipated changes until the upcoming court hearing.

To gauge the increasing optimism among professional traders, let’s examine Bitcoin’s margin and derivatives metrics.

Bitcoin margin, options show clear path toward $28,000

Margin markets offer valuable insights into the positioning of professional traders as they enable investors to increase their exposure through stablecoin borrowing.

Conversely, Bitcoin borrowers can speculate on a cryptocurrency’s price decline. A declining indicator suggests that traders are becoming less bullish, while a ratio exceeding 30 typically indicates excessive confidence.

OKX stablecoin/BTC margin-lending ratio. Source: OKX

Recent data reveals that the margin-lending ratio for OKX traders has dropped to its lowest point in three months, standing at 19x, down from 27x just a week ago. These findings suggest that the overwhelming dominance of leverage long positions has diminished, although the current ratio still favors the bulls.

Market sentiment can also be assessed by analyzing whether more activity is occurring through call (buy) options or put (sell) options.

A put-to-call ratio of 0.70 indicates that put option open interest lags behind the more bullish calls, implying a bullish momentum. Conversely, a 1.40 indicator favors put options, signifying bearish sentiment.

BTC options volume put-to-call ratio. Source: Laevitas.ch

The put-to-call ratio for Bitcoin options volume has recently shifted from favoring put options at 1.50 to a balanced 1.04 level on Sep. 20, indicating a reduced interest in protective puts.

Notably, since Sep. 18, BTC options volume has either been neutral or slightly favored put options, suggesting that professional traders were caught off-guard by the price rally above $27,000.

Related: Binance CEO refutes report on $250M loan to BAM Management

Both Bitcoin margin and options markets indicate a balanced demand between long and short positions. From a bullish perspective, this suggests that excessive leverage hasn’t been utilized as Bitcoin’s price climbed from $26,500 to $27,500 on Sep. 19.

However, bears may find solace in the fact that even as Bitcoin’s price reached its highest level in three weeks, there was limited enthusiasm from buyers in the margin and options markets.

Nonetheless, the data does hint at buying support from spot orders, possibly indicating that big entities, or so-called whales, are accumulating regardless of price.

Now, BTC and other crypto bulls have a window of three more weeks, until Oct. 12, when the Federal Judge will convene another hearing and potentially issue orders that could pose challenges for Binance.US. In the meantime, a Bitcoin price rally above $28,000 is certainly on the table.

This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.