Bitcoin's Coinbase premium turned negative. Here's what it means for BTC price

Bitcoin’s (BTC) definitive breakout above $50,000 may have to wait longer to materialize as spot buying pressure on Coinbase Pro shows signs of weakening — at least, in the short term. 

The Coinbase Premium Index, which measures the gap between the BTC price on Coinbase Pro and Binance, has flipped negative, according to CryptoQuant. In other words, selling pressure on Coinbase appears to be strengthening compared with other exchanges like Binance.

A negative reading on the Coinbase Premium Index could be a precursor to short-term resistance. On the other hand, when the premium is high, it indicates strong spot buying pressure on Coinbase.

Based on the index, CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju believes topping $50,000 “looks pretty tough” in the near term.

“Current buying power doesn’t come from Coinbase,” he added. “No more Coinbase premium compared to Binance/Huobi/OKEx. Be careful.”

Coinbase has become a major bellwether for Bitcoin demand due to its popularity among large, institutional buyers. These market participants acquire their BTC via over-the-counter markets on Coinbase Pro. Although these large purchases don’t immediately impact the BTC price, they signify growing demand for the digital asset and, in turn, diminishing supply. The Coinbase Premium Index, therefore, is one way to gauge institutional demand for BTC in the short term. 

A short-term fluctuation in the Coinbase premium doesn’t appear to have any bearing on Bitcoin’s long-term trajectory. The digital asset remains in a strong uptrend, having peaked well north of $49,700 on Sunday, according to TradingView data.

The Bitcoin price has gained a whopping 28% over the past week, thanks in large part to Tesla’s planned acquisition of the asset. Based on the electric vehicle maker’s most recent 10K filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, it plans to allocate roughly 7.7% of its gross cash position to Bitcoin.

Publicly-traded companies and fund managers hold roughly 6% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply — a figure that doesn’t include Tesla’s $1.5 billion position.

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