First Mover Americas: Bitcoin Stays Above $40,000 While Ether Bounces on Testnet Success

The latest moves in crypto markets in context for March 17, 2022.

AccessTimeIconMar 17, 2022 at 1:13 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 17, 2022 at 1:58 p.m. UTC

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

Parikshit Mishra is the news editor for CoinDesk during the mid Asia and early European hours. He does not have any crypto holdings.

Good morning, and welcome to 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.

Here’s what’s happening this morning:

  • Market Moves: Bitcoin held above the $40,000 level on Thursday amid a broader uptick in global equities as the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) hiked interest rates by 0.25% on Wednesday as expected. Fed Chair Jerome Powell signaled the U.S. economy was “very strong” and could handle monetary tightening, causing a jump in equities. Meanwhile, the Bank of England holds its monetary policy meeting today, and is expected to raise interest rates to their pre-COVID levels.

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:

  • Raghu Yarlagadda, CEO, FalconX.
  • Robert Leshner, founder, Compound Labs.
  • Carole House, director of cybersecurity and secure digital innovation, White House National Security Council.

Market Moves

By Shaurya Malwa

The U.S. Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 0.25% on Wednesday as expected.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell signaled the U.S. economy was “very strong” and could handle monetary tightening, causing a jump in equities. Meanwhile, the Bank of England holds its monetary policy meeting today, and is expected to raise interest rates to their pre-COVID levels.

U.S. futures shed 0.51% in European trading hours while crude oil jumped 4% to near $100. Europe’s Stoxx 600 rose 0.22%, while Asian markets added a second day of gains with Hong Kong’s Hang Sang index rising 7% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 increasing 3.46%.

Bitcoin added nearly 4% over the past 24 hours to trade at $41,640 before traders took profits. Ether added 4.7% to weekly highs of $2,790, while Terra’s LUNA lost 0.6% in 24 hours.

Investors tied ether’s gains to successful testing on the Ethereum network ahead of its move to a proof-of-stake network.

“Ethereum showed bullish movements on the back of its successful merge on the Kiln testnet, a fundamental milestone in its path toward the transition to proof-of- stake in the course of the year,” said Fabio Pezzotti, founder of crypto investment firm Iconium, in a Telegram message. “We expect the main assets to gain momentum amid positive developments regarding a ceasefire in Ukraine, which would likely revert the bearish trends of the last few months,” he added.

Meanwhile, some analysts said strength in bitcoin was buoyed by positive sentiment for the asset among traders.

“Since the last days of February, there has been a solid support line on the declines under $38,000,“ explained Alex Kuptsikevich, market analyst at FxPro, in an email to CoinDesk. “And this is bullish strength, reflecting that long-term buyer interest has migrated from $30,000 to $38,000 due to inflation and geopolitical tensions.”

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Goldman Sachs' U.S. Financial Conditions Index (Cheap Convexity, Bloomberg)


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

CoinDesk - Unknown

Parikshit Mishra is the news editor for CoinDesk during the mid Asia and early European hours. He does not have any crypto holdings.

CoinDesk - Unknown

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

CoinDesk - Unknown

Parikshit Mishra is the news editor for CoinDesk during the mid Asia and early European hours. He does not have any crypto holdings.