First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Minnows Have Pushed the Whales to the Side; Bitcoin, Ether Steady

BTC briefly touched a five-week low around $38,547 early Monday, then bounced and ended the trading day higher.

AccessTimeIconApr 18, 2022 at 11:44 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:35 p.m. UTC

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Bitcoin dipped to a five-week low around $38,547 early Monday before bouncing back up above $40,000 later in the day.

Insights: The size of the main swimmers in the crypto sea has changed.

Technician's take: BTC appears to be oversold on intraday charts.

Catch the latest episodes of CoinDesk TV for insightful interviews with crypto industry leaders and analysis. And sign up for First Mover, our daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context.


Bitcoin (BTC): $40,818 +1.3%

Ether (ETH): $3,040 -1%

Top Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Polygon MATIC +3.2% Smart Contract Platform
Bitcoin BTC +1.4% Currency
Algorand ALGO +0.8% Smart Contract Platform

Top Losers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Filecoin FIL −2.8% Computing
Ethereum Classic ETC −2.4% Smart Contract Platform
Dogecoin DOGE −2.3% Currency

Bitcoin looks "boring" as traders "push on a string"

Bitcoin (BTC) briefly touched a five-week low around $38,547 early Monday, then bounced and ended the trading day higher.

All in all, though, the price action looked pretty tame – just another day spent in a now months-long range between about $36,000 and $48,000. As of press time the largest cryptocurrency by market value was changing hands around $40,800.

"In digital assets," Jeff Dorman, chief investment officer at the crypto fund manager Arca, wrote Tuesday in his newsletter, "a boring market is often viewed as a weak market, because if it’s not going up, it must be going down."

"Bored traders in digital asset markets become impatient traders, which leads to a lot of pushing on a string," Dorman said.

Ether (ETH) briefly dipped below $3,000, reaching a low of $2,880 earlier in the day before recovering back over $3,000.

Traditional markets were pretty anemic on Monday as well. See below.


S&P 500: 4,392, -0.01%

DJIA: 34,412, -0.1%

Nasdaq: 13,332, -0.1%

Gold: $1,981/ounce, -0.3%


Bitcoin Whales Are Out, Minnows Are In

Bitcoin critics often accuse the world’s largest digital asset of being too centralized and controlled by a cabal of elite “whales” much like the traditional financial system.

But data from Glassnode shows that throughout 2022 this has become less the case, with the mid-tier whales (holding 100-1,000 BTC, or less than around $40 million) trimming their exposure and the “minnows” picking it up.


Late January was a rough time for crypto. Meta (FB), the entity formerly known as Facebook, released rough earnings, making many investors question the firm’s metaverse shift and weighing down heavy on metaverse majors. Concerns at the time over the year’s first U.S. Federal Reserve meeting also brought down stocks, which in 2022’s narrative also means crypto. Weak demand from Asia, then shut down because of the long Lunar New Year holiday, didn’t help much.

All of this is normal, Morgan Stanley (MS) wrote at the time, pointing out that dramatic slides were nothing new for crypto.

Prices were naturally compressed and the whales took this as a chance to sell. The supply of bitcoin held by addresses that have between 100-1,000 BTC fell off a cliff, while the supply of bitcoin held by wallets with 0.1-10 bitcoin dramatically increased.


Almost in parallel, the number of short-term holders increased showing that this was new money flowing into bitcoin.

This correction gave retail investors a good chance to get into the market while distributing the holdings of bitcoin across many, not few, hands. It also shows that retail investors continue to have confidence in bitcoin and used this chance to augment their holdings.

The same was happening with equities; retail participation increased during the turbulent first few months of the year. The Financial Times newspaper reported that retail continues to buy the dip.

Now here’s the exception: Retail investors also say the market is rigged against them. Is there a similar survey for crypto investors?

Technician's take

By Damanick Dantes

Bitcoin four-hour price chart shows support/resistance with RSI on bottom (Damanick Dantes)
Bitcoin four-hour price chart shows support/resistance with RSI on bottom (Damanick Dantes)

Bitcoin (BTC) appears to be stabilizing after a 15% decline over the past two weeks. So far, the cryptocurrency is holding support above $37,000, similar to what occurred in early March.

The relative strength index (RSI) on the four-hour chart is rising from oversold levels despite the recent downtrend in price. That could signal bullish activity toward the $45,000 resistance zone.

Still, BTC has remained in a tight trading range around the $40,000 price level over the past few months. A positive momentum signal on the daily chart is needed in order to signal a price recovery outside of the current trading range.

On the weekly chart, BTC is holding long-term support above its 100-week moving average at $35,700. Positive momentum readings remain intact over the intermediate term, albeit with bearish signals on the monthly chart.

Imortant Events

10 a.m. HKTSGT(2 am. UTC): Canada housing starts (s.a.)(YoY March)

CoinDesk TV

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

The FBI claims North Korea is behind the more than $600 million theft of cryptocurrency from the Axie Infinity-linked Ronin bridge. CoinDesk's Danny Nelson joins "First Mover" to discuss what he discovered from wallets that are still laundering the stolen funds. Plus, crypto markets insights from Austin Reid of FalconX and the prospect of spot crypto exchange-traded funds in the U.S. from Jake Rapaport of Nasdaq.


Tether's Paolo Ardoino on UST: 'It's All Fun and Games' Until You're a $100B Coin: The algorithmic stablecoin's growth has surpassed its larger rivals.

Crypto Proponents Fear SEC 'Backdoor' Regulations on Exchanges, Dealers: Lobbyists oppose proposals that may regulate crypto without explicitly naming the sector.

US Government Warns of North Korean Crypto Attacks After Tying Nation to $625M Hack: The government said it had observed North Korean cyber actors targeting a wide range of crypto and blockchain companies, including exchanges, decentralized finance protocols and play-to-earn games.

Longer reads


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

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.

Bradley Keoun

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Tech & Protocols team. He owns less than $1,000 each of several cryptocurrencies.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.