First Mover: Bitcoin Rally Stalls Amid Skepticism Over Russia Pullback

The latest moves in crypto markets in context for Feb. 16, 2022.

Feb 16, 2022 at 1:54 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 16, 2022 at 4:54 p.m. UTC

Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Markets team. He owns BTC above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

You’re reading First Mover, our daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Sign up here to get it in your inbox each weekday morning. Today's newsletter was edited by Shaurya Malwa and produced by Bradley Keoun.

Good morning, and welcome to First Mover. Here's what's happening this morning:

  • Market Moves: This week's rally in crypto markets appeared to be cooling as skepticism grew over Russia's pullback from Ukraine.
  • ALSO: Algorand's ALGO token leads gains among the CoinDesk 20, and the metaverse-related tokens SAND and AXS jumped.

And check out the CoinDesk TV show "First Mover," hosted by Christine Lee, Emily Parker and Lawrence Lewitinn at 9:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern time. Today's show will feature guests:

  • Lennix Lai, director of financial markets, OKX
  • Alex Bornyakov, deputy minister, Ukraine Ministry of Digital Transformation
  • Jared Polis, governor of Colorado.

Market Moves

By Shaurya Malwa

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Bitcoin four-hour price chart showing the latest trading range for the largest cryptocurrency. (TradingView/CoinDesk)

Bitcoin surged past $44,000 late Tuesday in its biggest gain in more than a week but on Wednesday appeared to be losing steam.

Crypto markets cooled as major cryptocurrencies hit resistance levels. Bitcoin faced resistance at the $44,300-$45,500 price levels, and low volume indicated weak buying strength.

Algorand's ALGO token was the biggest gainer among the CoinDesk 20 digital assets, with a 6.4% rise. Filecoin's FIL token climbed 5.2%.

Investors in traditional markets grew more cautious as Western officials expressed skepticism over a quick de-escalation of the Russia-Ukraine tensions.

Outside of major cryptocurrencies, metaverse tokens continued to surge on Wednesday. In the past 24 hours, Decentraland’s MANA was up 10.5%, The Sandbox’s SAND up 6% and Axie Infinity’s AXS up 11%. The tokens are used for blockchain-based games in separate virtual worlds broadly referred to as a “metaverse."

Meanwhile, traders said the general outlook for cryptos remained bullish amid improving sentiment for asset classes globally.

"After a strong rebound following January's 7.5% CPI print, cryptocurrencies have pulled back in line with traditional markets,” said Will Hamilton, head of trading at Trovio Capital Management, in an email to CoinDesk.

Latest Headlines

ICYMI

In case you missed it, here are the most recent episodes of "First Mover" on CoinDesk TV:

"First Mover" hosts speak to The Wall Street Journal "Heard on the Street" Editor Spencer Jakab as he explains the thesis in his latest book "The Revolution That Wasn't: GameStop, Reddit, and the Fleecing of Small Investors." Prices of bitcoin and altcoins are up on the heels of Russia's partial pullback of troops near the border with Ukraine. Seth Ginns of CoinFund provides his market analysis. Plus, CoinDesk's Nikhilesh De shares the latest news from the hearing of the couple with alleged ties to the 2016 Bitfinex hack.


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Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Markets team. He owns BTC above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Markets team. He owns BTC above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

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