Having suffered a brutal year so far, Bitcoin prices have been rebounding over the past month with mum and dad investors pouring money into cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin prices gained almost 20% in July, to almost $34,000 from below $28,000. Even so, the largest cryptocurrency has tumbled by two-thirds from November 2021’s all-time high.
Fueling Bitcoin’s recent rally is the token’s correlation to stocks—especially tech stocks—which have surged amid an easing of investor worries over interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. The tech stock-laden Nasdaq surged 12% to notch its best July performance on record and the biggest one-month gain since April 2020.
Yet correlations aside, there have to be investors pouring money into digital assets in order for Bitcoin prices to go up. And it has been retail traders—particularly smaller ones based in the U.S.—that drove strong demand for Bitcoin in July, and continue to push prices higher in August, according to a number of market indicators.
“Retail are buying Bitcoin at the fastest rate in history,” Marcus Sotiriou, an analyst at digital asset broker GlobalBlock, wrote in a late July note.
One sign that U.S. investors are particularly crypto-hungry is the Coinbase Premium Gap, which measures the difference between Bitcoin prices quoted on Coinbase Global (ticker: COIN) and those on Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange. Since Coinbase is mostly popular in the U.S., the gap—tracked by data firm CryptoQuant—can be read as an indicator of how crypto demand among American investors stacks up relative to those in the rest of the world.
As recently as July 12, there was a $35 per Bitcoin discount on Coinbase compared to Binance, but as the month wore on the discount turned into a premium for the first time in months. By July 31, investors on U.S.-based Coinbase were paying a $20 per Bitcoin premium to scoop up the token, the highest premium since the crypto was changing hands around $57,000.
Other evidence supports the notion that it is primarily smaller traders who have swung in to buy Bitcoin while it has been trading at its lowest point since 2020. The total supply of Bitcoin in the largest 1% of accounts decreased to 17.32 million from 17.34 million across the month of July, according to crypto market intelligence firm Messari. By contrast, the supply of Bitcoin in accounts with more than $14,000 increased from 18.2 million to 18.4 million in July.
“The 90-day change in Bitcoin addresses with less than 1 coin (typically retail) is at record highs. The last time it was close to this high was in 2018 when Bitcoin peaked at around US$20,000,” noted Sotiriou from GlobalBlock. “The fact that a similar rate of accumulation is happening now after a 70% drop demonstrates conviction from retail holders in Bitcoin’s long-term value.”
The same trend is mirrored in the crypto derivatives market, which accounts for two-thirds of exchange-traded digital asset volumes, according to CryptoCompare. In the U.S., Bitcoin futures are particularly popular among institutional investors, because these products are traded on the CME and regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The CME offers two types of Bitcoin futures: A standard contract which is valued at 5 Bitcoin, or more than $165,000 at current prices; and a micro contract valued at 10% of 1 Bitcoin, or about $3,300. The former contract is more popular with institutional investors, while the latter is geared more towards a retail crowd.
The open interest of standard CME Bitcoin futures—which refers to the total number of outstanding contracts—rose from just 13,466 at the beginning of July to 13,480, while the open interest among micro Bitcoin futures jumped from 15,998 to 24,960.
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New research from Knight Frank’s International Waterfront Index shows waterfront properties are costing more than double their inland counterparts in Sydney while in Melbourne waterside properties attract a 40% premium.
Australia’s coastline attracts some of the highest waterfront premiums in the world with Sydney topping the index — an average premium of 121% — compared to an equivalent home set away from the water.
Auckland ranked second on the list of 17 international locations — a premium of 76%. The list saw Gold Coast (71%), Perth (69%) and the Cap d’Antibes (59%) on the French Riviera round out the top 5.
Australia continued to feature prominently in the research with Brisbane’s waterfront premium coming in at 55%, with Melbourne also in the top 10 at 39%.
According to Knight Frank Australia’s head of residential research, Michelle Ciesielski, there has always been strong appetite for Sydney’s waterfront homes.
Australia’s luxury residential market has advanced, it lacks the depth of prestige markets in more established global cities said Cieselski.
“As a result, our Australian cities can achieve a significantly higher premium on the waterfront compared to a similar property inland without access to, or a view of, water,” she said.
“Also, Australia is known for its balmy outdoor lifestyle, so many buyers in this super-prime space are willing to pay a premium to secure the ideal position along the waterfront.”
The data also suggests that beachfront homes were most desirable, commanding a premium of 63% compared to harbour locations fetching 62% premium and coastal homes with a 40% premium.