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Bitcoin rallies after Fed interest rate hike, but bears can still win Friday’s $1.76B options expiry

Bitcoin’s (BTC) price has been stuck in a descending channel since July 20 and it is currently heading toward the $20,000 support by the end of July. Adding to this bearish price action, BTC is down 50% year-to-date, while U.S. listed tech stocks, as measured by the Nasdaq-100 index, accumulated a 24% loss.

Bitcoin USD price index, 4-hour. Source: TradingView

As the U.S. Federal Reserve tightens its economic policies by raising interest rates and scaling back debt asset purchases, risk assets have reacted negatively. Fed chair Jerome Powell is set to wrap up a two-day meeting on July 27 and market analysts expect a nominal 0.75% interest rate hike.

Tensions in Europe escalate as the Russian state-controlled gas company Gazprom is slated to cut supplies to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline starting on July 27. According to CNBC, the company blames a turbine maintenance issue, but European officials think otherwise.

Aiding tech stocks’ performance on July 27 was the U.S. Senate approval of the “Chips and Science” bill, which provides $52 billion in subsidies backed by debt and taxes for U.S. semiconductor production. An additional $24 billion of credits for the sector is estimated, aiming to boost the research to compete with China.

For these reasons, traders have mixed feelings about the upcoming Fed announcement and the impact of a global crisis on cryptocurrency markets. As long as Bitcoin’s correlation to traditional markets remains high, especially tech stocks, investors will seek protection by moving away from risk-on asset classes such as cryptocurrencies.

Bulls placed their hope on $24,000 and higher

The open interest for the July 29 Bitcoin monthly options expiry is $1.76 billion, but the actual figure will be lower since bulls were caught by surprise as BTC failed to break the $24,000 resistance on July 20.

Bitcoin options aggregate open interest for July 29. Source: CoinGlass

The 1.18 call-to-put ratio reflects the $950 million call (buy) open interest against the $810 million put (sell) options. Nevertheless, as Bitcoin stands below $23,000, most of the bullish bets…

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