Bitcoin (BTC) fell below $10,000 once more on Feb. 24 after a gap in CME’s futures trading implied downward pressure should characterize the start of the new week.

Cryptocurrency market daily overview. Source: Coin360

BTC gives up $10K… again

Data from Coin360 and Cointelegraph Markets showed BTC/USD rapidly lost 3% as Monday trading began. On Sunday, the pair had briefly managed to reclaim the $10,000 landmark. 

Subsequently, local lows of $9,690 gave way to support above $9,700, with Bitcoin sitting at around $9,720 as of press time. 

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Traders’ attention broadly focused on futures, these having previously dictated Bitcoin price movements with increasing accuracy. Last week’s session closed at around $9,740, $250 lower than this week’s open.

The week prior, a considerably larger gap had appeared over the weekend — $500 between $10,495 and $9,990. Markets only partially filled the resulting vacuum with upside action before an abrupt fall to $9,700.

On Feb. 20, meanwhile, CME revealed that open interest in its futures products had hit an all-time high of 6,512 contracts — equal to 32,560 BTC ($316.3 million).

“We also reached a new record of large open interest holders on February 11, now 59,” the company reported on social media at the time. 

Overall, exchange-based futures still hold the lion’s share of open interest, with derivatives giant BitMEX’s product alone generating almost $1.5 billion as of this week, according to data from Skew Markets.

Altcoin progress fades 

Altcoins saw broadly heavier losses than Bitcoin as markets fell, with up to 5% disappearing from the top twenty cryptocurrencies by market cap.

Leading the lackluster performance was Tezos (XTZ), a coin that had previously seen uncharacteristically strong gains over a period of several weeks. 24-hour losses totaled 7.6% at press time. 

Ether (ETH), the largest altcoin, fell by a more modest 1.7% to trade at $266.50. 

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

The overall cryptocurrency market cap was $282.4 billion, with Bitcoin’s share still circling multi-month lows of 62.8%.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here