First Mover: Bitcoin Retreats Before U.S. Election After Dominating Crypto in October

Bitcoin was lower around $13,200, retreating after reaching a fresh 2020 high near $14,100 on Oct. 31.

Tuesday’s presidential election in the U.S. “is going to be the driving force for global markets,” Matt Blom, head of sales and trading for the cryptocurrency-exchange owner Diginex, told clients in a note.

Analysts have warned that markets could see extreme volatility if the election results are murky, and the Federal Reserve has a regularly scheduled meeting just days afterward.

“It seems we will have to wait until after tomorrow when the U.S. goes to the polls before we see any further clarity,” Simon Peters, an analyst for the trading platform eToro, wrote Monday in an email.

In traditional markets, Asian and European indexes rose and U.S. equity futures pointed toward a higher open after last week’s steep drop. Oil prices fell to a five-month low, while gold strengthened 0.5% to $1,888 an ounce.

Market Moves

If it seemed like an unusually bullish month for bitcoin (BTC), the markets agreed.

The oldest and largest cryptocurrency surged 29% in October, the most among the CoinDesk 20 list of top digital assets.

Litecoin (LTC) was the second-best performer in the group, with a 22% return, followed by bitcoin cash (BCH) at 16%.

CoinDesk reported around the start of the month (here and here) that digital-asset analysts were turning more bullish on bitcoin. Some traders had started rotating funds into the cryptocurrency from smaller tokens like Compound’s COMP and Yearn.Finance’s YFI that surged in price earlier this year amid an explosion in popularity of “decentralized finance,” or DeFi.

“We are seeing a return to bitcoin dominance,” said Andrew Ballinger, an analyst at Wave Financial, a digital-asset-focused investment manager based in Los Angeles and London.

The renewed interest in bitcoin, now with a market capitalization of about $250 billion, coincided with new signs of growing interest in the cryptocurrency from 

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