Where Will Bitcoin Land?
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Where Will Bitcoin Land?

The technicals are all over the map.

By Daren Fonda
Thu, Jan 27, 2022 11:37amGrey Clock 3 min

Bitcoin and the broader crypto market were trading higher ahead of a key Federal Reserve decision on monetary policy, expected this afternoon. Bitcoin was trading at around $38,100, up 4%, while Ether was ahead 6% to $2,600.

But crypto has been especially volatile as the markets try to digest new regulatory pressures and a tougher macro climate, including higher interest rates and tighter liquidity conditions. The outlook is hammering tech stocks, and cryptos aren’t being spared with Bitcoin and Ether down more than 40% from all-time highs last November, wiping out $1.2 trillion in the crypto market’s overall market cap.

The volatility reflects the fact that crypto is looking increasingly correlated to equities. It’s also an emerging asset class that trades 24/7 on a variety of centralized and decentralized-financial platforms. There are no orderly-trading mechanisms or circuit breakers that stock exchanges use to pause a steep price drop. Liquidity can also dry up quickly, amplifying the impact of a few large sell-orders.

Moreover, Bitcoin serves as collateral for borrowing other cryptos, and it’s used for pair trades with alt-coins in “smart contracts” on DeFi platforms. As prices for alt-coins tank, positions may be automatically liquidated if traders don’t add more Bitcoin as collateral. That can add to downward price momentum.

The market is now clearly on edge with a bias toward short positions, or traders expecting prices to decline. That’s evident in the futures market, where funding costs for perpetual futures contracts have turned negative. Demand for short contracts is so strong that short sellers are paying to open positions, pushing the cost, or funding rate, negative.

“That gives us a clue as to which way the derivatives market is positioned,” said Sean Farrell, head of digital asset strategy at Fundstrat Global, in an interview. “There’s high demand for Bitcoin short positions with funding rates going negative.”

One implication is that Bitcoin could bounce higher if the Fed policy turns more dovish than the market expects. Short traders could face a “squeeze” if Bitcoin prices jump, forcing them to buy Bitcoin to cover the positions. Conversely, if the Fed proves more hawkish than anticipated, long positions would be forced to liquidate, adding to the downward pressure in Bitcoin.

“The takeaway is that trading ahead of the Fed is tough sledding in either direction,” says Farrell.

Technical indicators, meanwhile, are all over the map. Relative strength indexes are neutral, implying that Bitcoin is neither oversold or overbought. But Bitcoin is trading well below its 200-day and 50-day moving averages, $48,700 and $44,900, respectively. That indicates key support levels have long been breached, making it more likely that Bitcoin could bust through other technical levels.

Some technical analysis indicates a floor at $33,000, where Bitcoin recently hit a bottom and buyers came in to support a move back up. But $29,800 is also a credible floor, based on historical patterns; Bitcoin fell to that low last July and then went on to rally to nearly $70,000.

“A lot of investors would back up the truck and open their chequebooks at prices around $29,000,” says Farrell.

Other analysts see support at $30,000. Mike McGlone, senior commodity strategist at Bloomberg LP, says that Bitcoin has found support at 30% below its 52-week moving average, which would be $30,000 based on the last year’s charts.

“That’s a key level to hold a floor and bounce back to the upper end of its trading range,” he said in an interview, noting that it’s been rangebound between $30,000 and $60,000.

“It’s been a range-trader’s delight between $30,000 and $60,000 for over a year,” he says. “Institutional holders are responsive buyers on an approach to $30,000, and I would see the tide rising at that level.”

Wilfred Daye, head of Securitize Capital, a digital-asset marketplace, also sees support at $30,000. But if Bitcoin drops below $30,000, its next stop could be $27,000.

That’s the price at which Bitcoin mining operations generally break even on their operating costs, he says. Miners earn Bitcoin as payments in exchange for processing transactions on the network; when the price falls below their electricity costs, it’s no longer profitable to keep the machines humming and they tend to scale back.

“A lot of miners will shut down their operations, and start selling Bitcoin to fulfil operating costs if prices hit $27,000,” says Daye. That, in turn, would add to downward price pressure.

And what happens if Bitcoin does drop to $27,000? “That’s a very scary thought,” he says, since it could usher in another “crypto winter” with prices falling more than 75% from all-time highs.



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A Killer Golf Swing Is a Hot Job Skill Now

Companies are eager to hire strong players who use hybrid work schedules to schmooze clients on the course

By CALLUM BORCHERS
Fri, Jun 14, 2024 5 min

Standout golfers who aren’t quite PGA Tour material now have somewhere else to play professionally: Corporate America.

People who can smash 300-yard drives and sink birdie putts are sought-after hires in finance, consulting, sales and other industries, recruiters say. In the hybrid work era, the business golf outing is back in a big way.

Executive recruiter Shawn Cole says he gets so many requests to find ace golfers that he records candidates’ handicaps, an index based on average number of strokes over par, in the information packets he submits to clients. Golf alone can’t get you a plum job, he says—but not playing could cost you one.

“I know a guy that literally flies around the world in a private jet loaded with French wine, and he golfs and lands hundred-million-dollar deals,” Cole says.

Tee times and networking sessions have long gone hand-in-golf-glove. Despite criticism that doing business on the course undermines diversity, equity and inclusion efforts—and the fact that golf clubs haven’t always been open to women and minorities —people who mix golf and work say the outings are one of the last reprieves from 30-minute calendar blocks

Stars like Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie West helped expand participation in the sport. Still, just 22% of golfers are nonwhite and 26% are women, according to the National Golf Foundation.

To lure more people, clubs have relaxed rules against mobile-phone use on the course, embracing white-collar professionals who want to entertain clients on the links without disconnecting from the office. It’s no longer taboo to check email from your cart or take a quick call at the halfway turn.

With so much other business conducted virtually, shaking hands on the green and schmoozing over clubhouse beers is now seen as making an extra effort, not slacking off.

Americans played a record 531 million rounds last year. Weekday play has nearly doubled since 2019, with much of the action during business hours , according to research by Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom .

“It would’ve been scandalous in 2019 to be having multiple meetings a week on the golf course,” Bloom says. “In 2024, if you’re producing results, no one’s going to see anything wrong with it.”

A financial adviser at a major Wall Street bank who competes on the amateur circuit told me he completes 90% of his tasks by 10 a.m. because he manages long-term investment plans that change infrequently. The rest of his workday often involves golfing with clients and prospects. He’s a member of a private club with a multiyear waiting list, and people jump at the chance to join him on a course they normally can’t access.

There is an art to bringing in business this way. He never initiates shoptalk, telling his playing partners the round is about having fun and getting to know each other. They can’t resist asking about investment strategies by the back nine, he says.

Work hard, play hard

Matt Parziale golfed professionally on minor-league tours for several years, but when his dream of making the big time ended, he had to get a regular job. He became a firefighter, like his dad.

A few years later he won one of the biggest amateur tournaments in the country, earning spots in the 2018 Masters and U.S. Open, where he tied for first among non-pros.

The brush with celebrity brought introductions to business types that Parziale, 35 years old, says he wouldn’t have met otherwise. One connection led to a job with a large insurance broker. In 2022 he jumped to Deland, Gibson Insurance Associates in Wellesley, Mass., which recognised his golf game as a tool to help win large accounts.

He rescheduled our interview because he was hosting clients at a private club on Cape Cod, and squeezed me in the next morning, before teeing off with a business group in Newport, R.I.

A short time ago, Parziale couldn’t imagine making a living this way. Now he’s the norm in elite amateur golf circles.

“I look around at the guys at the events I play, and they all have these jobs ,” he says.

His boss, Chief Executive Chip Gibson, says Parziale is good at bringing in business because he puts as much effort into building relationships as honing his game. A golf outing is merely an opportunity to build trust that can eventually lead to a deal, and it’s a misconception that people who golf during work hours don’t work hard, he says.

Barry Allison’s single-digit handicap is an asset in his role as a management consultant at Accenture , where he specialises in travel and hospitality. He splits time between Washington, D.C., and The Villages, Fla., a golf mecca that boasts more than 50 courses.

It can be hard to get to know people in distributed work environments, he says. Go golfing and you’ll learn a lot about someone’s temperament—especially after a bad shot.

“If you see a guy snap a club over his knee, you don’t know what he’s going to snap next,” Allison says.

Special access

On a recent afternoon I was a lunch guest at Brae Burn Country Club, a private enclave outside Boston that was the site of U.S. Golf Association championships won by legends like Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones. I parked in the second lot because the first one was full—on a Wednesday.

My host was Cullen Onstott, managing director of the Onstott Group executive search firm and a former collegiate golfer at Fairfield University. He explained one reason companies prize excellent golfers is they can put well-practiced swings on autopilot and devote most of their attention to chitchat.

It’s hard to talk with potential customers about their needs and interests when you’re hunting for errant shots in the woods. It’s also challenging if you show off.

The first hole at Brae Burn is a 318-yard par 4 that slopes down, enabling big hitters like Onstott to reach the putting green in a single stroke. But to stay close to his playing partners and keep the conversation flowing, he sometimes hits a shorter shot.

Having an “in” at an exclusive club can make you a catch. Bo Burch, an executive recruiter in North Carolina, says clubs in his region tend to attract members according to their business sectors. One might be chock-full of real-estate investors while another has potential buyers of industrial manufacturing equipment.

Burch looks for candidates who are members of clubs that align with his clients’ industries, though he stresses that business acumen comes first when filling positions.

Tami McQueen, a former Division I tennis player and current chief marketing officer at Atlanta investment firm BIP Capital, signed up for private golf lessons this year. She had noticed colleagues were wearing polos with course logos and bringing their clubs to work. She wanted in.

McQueen joined business associates on the golf course for the first time in March at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. She has lowered her handicap to a respectable 26 and says her new skill lends a professional edge.

“To be able to say, ‘I can play with you and we can have those business meetings on the course’ definitely opens a lot more doors,” she says.

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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