First Mover Asia: Bitcoin, Ether Have a Quiet Weekend

The two largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization were roughly flat amid light trading; terra approached an all-time high, while avalanche dropped.

AccessTimeIconDec 19, 2021 at 11:31 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 20, 2021 at 3:32 p.m. UTC

Muyao was a markets reporter at CoinDesk.

Damanick was a crypto market analyst at CoinDesk where he wrote the daily Market Wrap and provided technical analysis. He is a Chartered Market Technician designation holder and member of the CMT Association. Damanick is also a portfolio strategist and does not invest in digital assets.

(Edited by James Rubin)

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening this morning:

Market moves: Bitcoin, ether traded steady over the weekend, while luna surged to near a record high.

Technician’s take: Short-term BTC buying could be limited given negative momentum on the weekly chart.

Catch the latest episodes of CoinDesk TV for insightful interviews with crypto industry leaders and analysis.

Prices

Bitcoin (BTC): $46,888 -0.1%

Ether (ETH): $3,938 -0.7%

Markets

S&P 500: $4,620 -1%

DJIA: $35,365 -1.4%

Nasdaq: $15,169 -0.07%

Gold: $1,798 -0.03%

Market moves

The crypto market was largely quiet over the weekend after the earlier part of the week’s uncertainties, including the run-up to the U.S. central bank’s eventual decision to withdraw its pandemic stimulus efforts and concerns about the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Bitcoin, the No. 1 cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was trading at about $47,000 at the time of publication. Bitcoin’s trading volume across major centralized exchanges over the weekend was low.

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(CoinDesk/CryptoCompare)

While bitcoin and ether prices remained roughly flat over the weekend, a few alternative cyrptocurrencies (altcoins) made big moves, both positive and negative. Avalanche’s (AVAX) price dropped by as much as 7% in the past 24 hours, while Terra’s LUNA hit as high as $77.2 on Sunday – just off its all-time high logged in early December.

As traditional markets open on Monday, investors, including those in crypto, will continue to watch how omicron might affect economic activity globally.

Technician’s take

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Bitcoin weekly price chart (Damanick Dantes/CoinDesk, TradingView)

Bitcoin (BTC) sellers remain active despite signs of short-term support on the charts.

The cryptocurrency was trading around its 200-day moving average, currently at $46,000, and is roughly flat over the past week. Upside appears to be limited given strong resistance between $50,000-$55,000.

On the daily chart, bitcoin registered a downside exhaustion signal, which suggests a short-term price bounce is likely. The relative strength index (RSI) is also oversold, which typically preceded price rises similar to what occurred in late September.

Still, the loss of upside momentum on the weekly chart is concerning. Multiple failed attempts at an all-time price high near $69,000 suggests the broader uptrend is weakening. BTC is at a critical juncture and remains vulnerable to another 20% price drop, assuming buyers are unable to hold current support levels.

Important events

12:01 a.m. HGT/SGT (8:01 a.m. UTC): U.K. Right Move house price index (Dec. YoY/MoM)

9:30 a.m. HGT/SGT (1:30 a.m. UTC): People’s Bank of China interest rate decision

9:30 p.m. HGT/SGT (1:30 p.m. UTC): Australia mid-year economic and fiscal outlook

CoinDesk TV

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

“First Mover” hosts spoke with Bloomberg journalist and author of the book “The Contrarian,” Max Chafkin, about the Silicon Valley evolution and the coming of Web 3. 3IQ CEO Fred Pye shared markets insights as bitcoin traded lower today, Plus, will metaverse real estate see more growth on blockchains other than Ethereum? Head of Metaverse Growth at Unique Network Irina Karagyaur shared her take.

Latest headlines

Bank of England to Ramp Up Talks on Crypto Rules as Data Is Hard to Find: Report: International cooperation is required to gather the information needed to evaluate crypto risks to the global financial system.

Polkadot Parachains Go Live, Capping Yearslong Tech Build for Ambitious Blockchain Project: The first five parachains are Acala, Moonbeam, Parallel Finance, Astar and Clover.

Justin Sun Is Retiring From Tron – But Not Crypto: The Tron founder is becoming an ambassador of the Grenada government to the World Trade Organization.

Reddit Co-Founder Creates $200M Initiative With Polygon for Web 3, Social Media: Polygon will provide the infrastructure for the projects that the initiative backs.

MicroStrategy’s Saylor Lays Out Ways Firm Could Generate Yield From Its Massive Bitcoin Holdings: The CEO discussed several ways the software company could produce income from the 122,478 bitcoin on its balance sheet.

Financial Stability Group Warns of Stablecoin, DeFi Risks in Annual Report: Top U.S. financial system regulators highlighted crypto’s growing risk in their annual stability annual report.

Longer reads:

Crypto Is the Biggest Thing to Change Culture Since Hip Hop: A ‘90s kid reflects on seeing how iconoclastic rappers changed the world. And how that energy is now in Web 3.

Other voices: Thanks for the Bitcoin! How Does It Work? (The New Yorker)

Said and heard

“I never thought this would happen in my lifetime,” Davis says of NFT technology and its huge benefits for generative art. “I thought the next generation maybe would find a way to find value in digital art. I never thought digital art would be embraced as something you could assign provenance, collectability and scarcity.” (Joshua Davis quoted by CoinDesk’s David Z. Morris) ... And the constant evangelizing that’s become par for the course in this emergent space – those utopian promises of a more democratic internet – can feel grating to the uninitiated. It doesn’t help that the oh-so-lovable Mark Zuckerberg is now closely linked to the idea of the “metaverse,” or that the dominant aesthetic around non-fungible tokens (think: the cartoonish grotesquerie of Bored Ape Yacht Club and its derivatives) has become something of a joke outside of crypto. (Will Gottsegen/CoinDesk) ... “The government is usually more than a few steps behind the criminals when it comes to innovation and technology. This is not the kind of thing that would show up in your basic training.” But he predicts that in three to five years, “there will be manuals edited and updated with, this is how you approach crypto tracing, this is how you approach crypto seizure.” (former federal cybercrime prosecutor Jud Welle quoted by CNBC)

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Muyao was a markets reporter at CoinDesk.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Damanick was a crypto market analyst at CoinDesk where he wrote the daily Market Wrap and provided technical analysis. He is a Chartered Market Technician designation holder and member of the CMT Association. Damanick is also a portfolio strategist and does not invest in digital assets.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Muyao was a markets reporter at CoinDesk.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Damanick was a crypto market analyst at CoinDesk where he wrote the daily Market Wrap and provided technical analysis. He is a Chartered Market Technician designation holder and member of the CMT Association. Damanick is also a portfolio strategist and does not invest in digital assets.

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