Arthur Hayes, the founder of BitMEX, in his latest essay, presents a foreboding prediction for the Bitcoin market in March, anticipating a severe correction of 30-40%. His detailed analysis, rooted in a deep understanding of market dynamics, outlines the complexities and driving factors behind this expected crash, respectively healthy but deep correction.
Hayes begins his discourse with a cautionary reminder of the nascent state of the crypto bull market, warning enthusiasts not to be overly carried away. “The crypto bull market is in its early stages, and we must not get carried away with our enthusiasm,” he says, highlighting the uncertain journey towards the inevitable collapse of the fiat financial system.
Why The Bitcoin Price Could Fall 40% In March
His prediction revolves around three key financial events and indicators converging in March. Hayes first points to the anticipated decline in the Reverse Repo Program (RRP) Balance to a critical level of $200 billion, a scenario he believes will trigger market anxiety about future sources of dollar liquidity. He describes this threshold as a moment of reckoning, “When this number gets close to zero… the market will wonder what is next,” underscoring the gravity of this anticipated development.
The second pivotal factor is the fate of the Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP), which is due to expire on March 12th. Hayes portrays this as a significant test for the financial system, speculating on the decision-making process of the US Treasury in the face of potential liquidity crises among banks. He articulates the market’s anticipatory stance, suggesting that “the market will start getting inquisitive many weeks before about whether or not the banks will continue receiving this lifeline.”
The final piece in Hayes’ forecast is the Federal Reserve’s meeting on March 20th, where a rate cut is expected. This decision, in Hayes’ view, is crucial for setting market expectations and influencing the dynamics surrounding dollar liquidity provision by the Fed and the US Treasury Department.
Hayes then delves deeper into his tactical trading strategy in response to these events, detailing his plans to short the crypto market using Bitcoin puts. He articulates his approach, saying, “I will look to buy a sizable put option position on Bitcoin around this time,” signaling his preparedness to leverage the anticipated market shift.
An important aspect of Hayes’ analysis is the potential impact of the US-listed spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). He argues that the anticipation of substantial fiat capital inflows into these spot ETFs could initially propel Bitcoin’s price to soaring highs. However, he warns that this upsurge could be followed by a dramatic correction, exacerbated by a liquidity squeeze.
“Imagine if the anticipation of hundreds of billions of fiat flowing into these ETFs at a future date propels Bitcoin above $60,000,” he says, illustrating the potential for a steep decline. Hayes explains that a market already heightened by ETF speculation would be particularly vulnerable to a sharp correction, potentially worsening the downturn to 30-40% in the event of a liquidity crunch.
How Hayes Will Trade This Scenario
Hayes then shifts to discuss his tactical trading decisions in response to these indicators. He shares his plan to initially short the crypto market using Bitcoin puts, followed by a return to selling US Treasury bills and acquiring more Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. In explaining his approach, Hayes states, “I will look to buy a sizable put option position on Bitcoin around this time,” indicating his readiness to capitalize on the predicted market downturn.
Furthermore, Hayes details his strategy for Bitcoin puts, explaining the rationale behind choosing puts expiring on June 28th and his approach to selecting the strike price. He emphasizes the importance of timing and market dynamics, noting, “I expect Bitcoin to experience a healthy […] correction from whatever level it has attained by early March.”
In his conclusion, Hayes contemplates various scenarios that could play out differently from his predictions. He considers the implications of a slower decline in the RRP, a potential extension of the BTFP by Yellen, or alternative outcomes of the Fed’s March meeting. He notes that each of these scenarios could lead to different market behaviors, necessitating adjustments in his trading approach.
At press time, BTC traded at $43,940.
Featured image from YouTube / What Bitcoin Did, chart from TradingView.com
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