First Mover Asia: India Crypto Firms, Regulators Continue Their Regulatory Debate; Bitcoin Recovers From a Post-Invasion Freefall

Indian crypto industry and government officials have continued to discuss possible changes to regulations announced earlier this month; bitcoin returns to its perch above $38,000.

AccessTimeIconFeb 24, 2022 at 11:26 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 29, 2023 at 12:03 p.m. UTC

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Markets: Bitcoin recovers from its late Wednesday fall, stabilizing above $38,000.

Insights: India passes crypto advertising guidelines and continues its regulatory debate.

Technician's take: There are initial signs of downside exhaustion, although upside appears limited for bitcoin.


Bitcoin (BTC): $38,202 +2.9%

Ether (ETH): $2,586 +0.2%

Top Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Bitcoin Cash BCH +3.9% Currency
Solana SOL +3.8% Smart Contract Platform
Bitcoin BTC +2.6% Currency

Top Losers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Internet Computer ICP −4.2% Computing
Dogecoin DOGE −4.1% Currency
Cardano ADA −3.2% Smart Contract Platform

Bitcoin's freefall following Russia's invasion of Ukraine halted just below $35,000 during the early hours of Thursday morning. By mid-afternoon, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization had regained the perch it has held for much of the week above $38,000.

Trading volume reached its highest volume in a month.

In an email, Oanda Americas Senior Market Analyst Edward Moya wrote that bitcoin was performing like the "ultimate risky asset, tumbling hard after Russia launched its attack."

At the time of publication, bitcoin was trading at about $38,200, up about 3% over the previous 24 hours. Ether was roughly flat at about $2,600. Most other altcoins in the top 20 by market cap were in the red, although Terra's LUNA was up over 9%. Solana (SOL) and bitcoin cash (BCH) were also up, albeit less significantly.

Moya said that bitcoin holding "onto the $30,000 level over the short term would be a good sign, indicating that investors were "still upbeat about the economic outlook and that risky assets should stabilize once the Russian/Ukraine crisis impact is better understood."

But he added a more somber note, saying fears of a recession occurring over the next two years "could trigger many institutional investors to abandon the crypto ship."


S&P 500: 4,288 +1.5%

DJIA: 33,223 +0.2%

Nasdaq: 13,473 +3.3%

Gold: $1,902 -0.3%


The Ongoing Debate on Regulation in India

As air raid sirens blared in Ukraine’s capital, India was focusing on evacuating its students from Ukraine. But its crypto-sphere was busy with new advertising guidelines, ongoing discussions between government and industry about taxation, news on why India’s crypto regulation may have been delayed and a day-long conference about non-fungible tokens (NFT).


India’s advertising guidelines were highly anticipated because the government had sought to stop misleading ads on cryptocurrencies. Now crypto ads will require a disclaimer saying “crypto products and [non-fungible tokens] are unregulated and can be highly risky.”

“We have not said don’t make crypto adverts, just communicate the risks as much as the good about the product,” said Manisha Kapoor, the secretary general of the Advertising Council of India in a radio interview on Thursday.


Formal and informal discussions between India’s crypto industry and the government are ongoing. CoinDesk has learned that after exchange companies met senior officials at a hush-hush gathering at the Indian Finance Ministry a few days ago, more discussions are expected later this week.

On Feb. 1, the government announced new crypto taxation proposals that will become formalized in a few weeks, making this period critical for the industry to seek changes. The new rules include a 30% tax on all crypto gains and 1% tax deducted at source on all crypto transactions.

Meanwhile, Michael Patra, the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India, has said the central bank's views about cryptocurrencies might have delayed the government's proposed legislation on crypto assets, according to the Press Trust of India, the country’s largest news agency.


NFTs had their moment in the spotlight on Thursday. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), which leads consultations with the government on crypto, held a day-long NFT virtual conference titled “NFT India - A peep into the future of NFT in India.” Indian cricket legend Zaheer Khan and singer Shaan were among the featured speakers. Both stars have dropped NFTs in recent months.

Public interest in the phenomenon has been rising steadily in India as it has elsewhere. The conference addressed this growth and potential opportunities.

Technician's take

Bitcoin Selling Stabilizes; Support at $30K Could Limit Correction

Bitcoin daily chart shows support/resistance with RSI on bottom (Damanick Dantes/CoinDesk, TradingView)

Bitcoin (BTC) extended losses early in the New York trading day and broke below intraday support at $36,500. At press time, the cryptocurrency appears to be stabilizing above $38,000. Resistance is nearby at $40,000, and stronger support is seen at $30,000.

On the daily chart, downside exhaustion signals are starting to appear, similar to what occurred on Jan. 24, which preceded a 30% price jump. This time, however, the relative strength index (RSI) is not deeply oversold, which could delay a potential upswing in price.

Momentum signals remain negative on weekly and monthly charts. That means BTC is vulnerable to further declines. The next two weeks will be critical to determine if buyers have enough conviction to defend the $28,000-$30,000 support zone.

Important events

8:45 a.m. HKT/SGT (12:45 a.m. UTC): France consumer price index/European Union norm (Feb. MoM/YoY preliminary)

8:45 a.m. HKT/SGT (12:45 a.m. UTC): France consumer spending (Jan. MoM)

11 p.m. HKT/SGT (3 p.m. UTC): European Commission business climate (Feb.)

CoinDesk TV

In case you missed it, here is the most recent episode of "First Mover" on CoinDesk TV:

CoinDesk Russia-based investigative reporter Anna Baydakova joined "First Mover" with the latest from on the ground as Russia launched an attack in Ukraine. Michele Schneider of Marketgauge Group shared her analysis as crypto market cap plummeted to $1.5 trillion. Plus, Tax Week coverage continued with tips from Dan Hannum, chief operating officer at ZenLedger.


China's Supreme Court Rules Crypto Transactions Constitute 'Illegal Fundraising': The ruling paves the way for violators to be criminally prosecuted, with a punishment of up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $79,000.

Crypto Sees $242M in Liquidations Within Hours Amid Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Global markets faltered as Russia started a "special military operation" in Ukraine, causing a drastic drop in crypto markets.

Russian Government Introduces Crypto Bill to Parliament Over Central Bank Objections: The Ministry of Finance is pushing forward with cryptocurrency regulation in Russia. Crypto payments will still be prohibited.

A Healthy US Bitcoin Mining Industry Could Generate Significant Tax Revenue: Tax revenue inflows from bitcoin mining companies could represent a meaningful windfall for the United States government. This article is part of CoinDesk’s Tax Week.

Longer reads

Said and heard

"Reminder: Ethereum is neutral, but I am not. Very upset by Putin's decision to abandon the possibility of a peaceful solution to the dispute with Ukraine and go to war instead. This is a crime against the Ukrainian and Russian people. I want to wish everyone security, although I know that there will be no security. Glory to Ukraine." (Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin in separate tweets) ... "A prominent member of the opposition called for an anti-war protest in Moscow. She was arrested as soon as she left her house." (Julia Ioffe, founder of Puck News, on Twitter) ... “'I don’t understand the motivations, the goals or the possible results. What is happening is very strange.” (The New York Times) ... "If you want to help Ukraine, this fund is accepting donations in bitcoin:" (CoinDesk investigative reporter Anna Baydakova) ... We have been transparent with the – we shared declassified intelligence about Russia’s plans and cyber attacks and false pretexts – so that there can be no confusion or cover up. Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. (U.S. President Joe Biden)


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Amitoj Singh

Amitoj Singh is a CoinDesk reporter.

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.

James Rubin

James Rubin was CoinDesk's U.S. news editor based on the West Coast.