Market Wrap: Cryptocurrencies and Stocks Drop as Russia-Ukraine Tensions Rise

Geopolitical risks shook markets on Friday as BTC dipped below $43K.

AccessTimeIconFeb 11, 2022 at 9:28 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:59 p.m. UTC
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Most cryptocurrencies declined on Friday as traders reacted to geopolitical risks emanating from Russia and Ukraine.

On Friday, U.S. President Biden urged Americans to leave Ukraine immediately, warning “an invasion could begin at any time.” For now, the U.S. has ruled out sending troops into Ukraine despite Russia's military activities.

Bitcoin (BTC) dropped as much as 5% over the past 24 hours, compared with a 4% decline in ETH and a 7% dip in SOL. Stocks were also lower while traditional safe havens such as gold and the U.S. dollar rose. Markets eventually stabilized later in the New York trading day.

Technical indicators are mostly neutral for bitcoin, showing support at $35,000-$40,000 and resistance at $46,000.

Over the past 10 days, a majority of trading volume occurred at $41K-$41.5K BTC, according to Jason Pagoulatos, an analyst at Delphi Digital, a crypto research firm. "If that level is lost, we likely move towards the volume gaps left behind, which happens to coincide with $38.5K."

Latest prices

Bitcoin (BTC): $42334, −4.23%

Ether (ETH): $2914, −6.53%

S&P 500 daily close: $4418, −1.90%

Gold: $1865 per troy ounce, +1.55%

Ten-year Treasury yield daily close: 1.96%


Bitcoin, ether and gold prices are taken at approximately 4pm New York time. Bitcoin is the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX); Ether is the CoinDesk Ether Price Index (ETX); Gold is the COMEX spot price. Information about CoinDesk Indices can be found at coindesk.com/indices.

Bitcoin dominance rises

Bitcoin's market capitalization relative to the overall crypto market cap rose above 40% this week. Typically, traders overweight bitcoin during market downturns because of its lower risk profile relative to alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins).

During the 2018 crypto bear market, the BTC dominance ratio rose from a low of 35% to a high of 72%. And over the past year, the ratio declined by 30 percentage points as altcoins rallied ahead of bitcoin.

Some analysts expect bitcoin to remain under pressure for a few more months. "In last spring’s drawdown, it took about six months for bitcoin to recover," NYDIG, a bitcoin holding company, wrote in a newsletter this week. "A similar timeline in the current drawdown would put a recovery date sometime in May."

The bitcoin dominance ratio (CoinDesk, TradingView)
The bitcoin dominance ratio (CoinDesk, TradingView)

Altcoin roundup

  • Polkadot incentives: Astar Network, a parachain or parallel chain of the Polkadot network, has announced the $100 million Astar Boost Program fund to provide liquidity and offer financial support and incentive programs to smart contract developers. The company told CoinDesk that the program was funded through $22 million in fundraising, as well as an allocation of the native ASTR token. Read more here.
  • Tether blacklists Ethereum address linked to Multichain hack: The address traces back to hackers who stole $3 million in cryptocurrency on the cross-chain bridge Multichain nearly a month ago, according to Etherscan's labeling of transactions involving the wallet as well as a CoinDesk analysis. Whoever controls the address won't be able to move funds so long as they are frozen. Read more here.
  • NFT-linked house sells for $650K: Real estate startup Propy has sold its first NFT-backed property in the U.S., the company announced Friday. The 2,164-square-foot house in Gulfport, Fla., fetched $653,000 (210 ETH) at auction, with the winning bidder being awarded a non-fungible token as proof of the home’s ownership. Read more here.

Relevant news

Other markets

Digital assets in the CoinDesk 20 ended the day lower.

Largest losers:

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Solana SOL −10.7% Smart Contract Platform
Polygon MATIC −10.7% Smart Contract Platform
Internet Computer ICP −9.5% Computing

Sector classifications are provided via the Digital Asset Classification Standard (DACS), developed by CoinDesk Indices to provide a reliable, comprehensive, and standardized classification system for digital assets. The CoinDesk 20 is a ranking of the largest digital assets by volume on trusted exchanges.

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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 Block.one; 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.

Damanick Dantes

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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