First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Slips Under $46K as Volume Across Major Centralized Exchanges Remains Low

“It’s pretty much been choppy since that big drop in the beginning of December,” said Efficient Frontier’s Andrew Tu.

AccessTimeIconJan 3, 2022 at 11:31 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 4, 2022 at 3:38 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.

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Market moves:

Bitcoin opened lower on the first trading day of the year in U.S. equities markets, while the stock market gained with Apple briefly hitting a $3 trillion market capitalization.

Technician’s take: Price indicators suggest limited downside for BTC over the short term as selling pressure slows.

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

Prices

Bitcoin (BTC): $46,343 -2.29%

Ether (ETH): $3,755 -1.84$

Markets

S&P 500: 4,796 +0.64$

DJIA: 36,5856 +0.68%

Nasdaq: 15,832 +1.2%

Gold: $$1,803 -1.38%

Market moves

Bitcoin, the world’s oldest cryptocurrency, was trading below $46,000 at the time of writing, down by nearly 3% in the past 24 hours.

“It’s pretty much been choppy since that big drop in the beginning of December,” Andrew Tu, business development manager at crypto quant trading firm Efficient Frontier, told CoinDesk in a Telegram message. Bitcoin has “been ranging $46,000-$51,000 for a month or so now… most of major [tokens] have been following the trend.”

Bitcoin’s spot trading volume across major centralized exchanges remained low on Monday, nowhere near its pre-holiday levels, based on data compiled by CoinDesk.

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CoinDesk/CryptoCompare

An “absence of trading activity is likely to be one of the reasons for the overall crypto market’s “bearish pullback” over the past week, according to crypto trading data firm Kaiko.

While bitcoin is viewed by some market participants as “a risk-on asset” similar to stocks, the S&P 500 opened its first trading day of the year higher, with electric car maker Tesla’s stock skyrocketing and Apple’s market capitalization briefly touching $3 trillion.

Risk-on refers to a situation where investors are willing to invest in assets with higher risks like equities, commodities and currencies. That typically happens when the economy is expected to fare well. But according to Wall Street Journal, Monday’s stock rally is also associated with the new year as stocks tend to rally at the start of new calendar periods due to “new money” like pension funds that invest when a new period starts.

Efficient Frontier’s Tu said “macro uncertainty” remains the main factor of bitcoin’s choppy move. The Federal Reserve in the U.S. in December signaled three interest rate hikes in 2022 and said it will move faster to wind down its bond purchases in response to elevated inflation pressures.

As CoinDesk reported, a tightened monetary policy is typically considered as bearish for assets, bitcoin included.

Technician’s take

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Bitcoin's daily price chart shows support and resistance with RSI on bottom panel (Damanick Dantes/CoinDesk, TradingView)

Bitcoin is off to a slow start as traders ring in the new year. The cryptocurrency is down about 8% over the past week as demand from buyers slowed. The current price of around $46,000 is near the bottom of a two week-long price range, which previously led to higher bids for BTC.

The relative strength index (RSI) on the daily chart is rising from an oversold level reached on Dec. 10. That suggests selling pressure is starting to wane, especially as downside exhaustion signals appeared on the daily chart for the first time since July.

BTC will need to return above its 200-day moving average, currently at $47,962, to yield further upside targets. The next level of resistance is seen at around $52,000, which could limit short-term gains.

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CoinDesk TV

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

“First Mover” dove into crypto markets on the first day stock markets opened in the new year. Joining us to discuss the general 2022 crypto outlook, questions about the inflation-hedge narrative, correlation to the stock market, volatility, decentralized finance (DeFi) and more was Greg Magadini, CEO of Genesis Volatility. Also, Jan Hartmann of Banxa Labs on the progress in deploying layer 2 products to lower Ethereum gas fees and speed up transaction times.

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Longer reads

Today’s Crypto explainer: How Does Ethereum Work?

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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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