First Mover: Bitcoin Rally Stalls Amid Skepticism Over Russia Pullback

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

AccessTimeIconFeb 16, 2022 at 1:54 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 14, 2024 at 10:29 p.m. UTC

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

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


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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CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.

Bradley Keoun

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Tech & Protocols team. He owns less than $1,000 each of several cryptocurrencies.