Market Wrap: Crypto Sell-Off Pauses as Volatility Fades; Altcoins Outperform

BTC struggled to hold $40K while SHIB rallied by as much as 12%.

AccessTimeIconApr 12, 2022 at 8:14 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:10 p.m. UTC

Most cryptocurrencies stabilized on Tuesday amid a slowdown in volatility.

Sharp price swings have been the norm this year as macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainty kept traders on edge. A combination of war, rising interest rates, inflation and slower economic growth have caused investors to reduce their exposure to risk, particularly during the first half of the month.

For example, price action over the past two weeks has resembled pullbacks that occurred in the first half of February and March. That could point to a brief recovery phase in cryptos and stocks, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

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Most alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) outperformed bitcoin on Tuesday, suggesting a greater appetite for risk among traders. Shiba Inu's SHIB token rose by 12% over the past 24 hours, compared with a 2% decline in BTC. NEAR, the native token of the Near protocol, was up by 3%, while Convex Finance's CVX token was down by 6% over the past 24 hours.

Stocks were mostly flat on Tuesday as the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield declined. Gold, a traditional safe haven, traded higher, which could point to underlying uncertainty in the market.

In other news, the monthly U.S. Consumer Price Index came in slightly higher than expected on Tuesday, at 8.5%, a fresh four-decade high. But some analysts and economists are now predicting the report might mark the peak of the current inflation cycle.

Latest prices

Bitcoin (BTC): $39341, −1.63%

Ether (ETH): $2975, −1.05%

S&P 500 daily close: $4397, −0.34%

Gold: $1972 per troy ounce, +1.42%

Ten-year Treasury yield daily close: 2.73%

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

Volatility patterns

The rise in bitcoin's volatility over the past few days was short-lived, which could point to a short-term stabilization in BTC's spot price.

"BTC volatility markets are not showing too much panic," QCP Capital, a crypto trading firm, wrote in a Telegram announcement. The firm noted that near-term volatility ticked higher over the past day, while long-term volatility barely budged.

"One distinct pattern that we've noticed is that front-end volatility has been moving inversely with the BTC spot price," QCP wrote. "This means when spot is lower, volatility is higher, and when spot is higher, volatility is lower."

Lately, traders have been demanding more call options than put options, which creates an imbalance. "As a result, when prices go higher, there is much less panic or fear in the market than when prices collapse," QCP wrote. That has forced some traders to scramble in search of put options to protect themselves on the downside.

Bitcoin implied volatility vs. spot price (Skew)
Bitcoin implied volatility vs. spot price (Skew)

The chart below shows a slight uptick in the bitcoin put/call ratio, which indicates greater uncertainty among market participants. The ratio has trended lower so far this year, although a turnaround could point to higher volatility in crypto prices.

Currently, the options market is placing a 62% chance that BTC will trade above $36,000 in May, which is near the bottom of the cryptocurrency's two-month price range.

Bitcoin put/call ratio (Skew)
Bitcoin put/call ratio (Skew)

Altcoin roundup

  • Ichi Tokens Plunged 90%: Ichi’s ICHI governance tokens have plunged some 80% in the past 24 hours after a series of cascading liquidations in its pool on yield-generating platform Rari, data shows. “The Ichi Fuse Pool (#136) is currently experiencing bad debt due to cascading liquidations,” Rari said in a tweet late Monday. Read more here.
  • Circle raises $400M as BlackRock explores USDC: Circle Internet Financial said it raised $400 million in a funding round that included investments from BlackRock (BLK), Fidelity, Marshall Wace LLP and Fin Capital. Notably, a press release said BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, "has entered into a broader strategic partnership with Circle. Read more here.
  • New tokens added to Robinhood: Four popular cryptocurrencies, including the tokens of Shiba Inu and Solana, have been listed on the trading platform Robinhood, the website shows. A blog post on Robinhood's website later confirmed the offerings. SHIB, SOL, Polygon’s MATIC, and Compound’s COMP tokens were all included in the new line-up. Read more here.

Relevant reads

Other markets

Most digital assets in the CoinDesk 20 ended the day lower.

Top Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Filecoin FIL +0.6% Computing
Polygon MATIC +0.4% Smart Contract Platform

Top Losers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Cosmos ATOM −2.7% Smart Contract Platform
Polkadot DOT −2.5% Smart Contract Platform
Dogecoin DOGE −2.4% Currency

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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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.

Angelique Chen

Angelique is a market contributor at CoinDesk.