Market Wrap: Bitcoin Bounces Around $40K as Stocks Waver; Crypto Security Concerns Intensify

New evidence of money laundering could trouble policymakers. Meanwhile, some analysts see limited upside for BTC.

AccessTimeIconApr 18, 2022 at 8:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 15, 2022 at 12:01 p.m. UTC

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 is a market contributor at CoinDesk.

Bitcoin (BTC) continued to trade around $40,000 on Monday after flat performance over the past week.

It appears that buyers are starting to return, which typically occurs during the second half of the month – a pattern observed by some analysts this year. Further, historical data suggests stocks and cryptos are entering a seasonally strong period in April and May, which could encourage short-term price rises.

Still, geopolitical and regulatory risks remain. For example, fighting between Russia and Ukraine intensified over the past weekend, which kept some investors on edge. And in crypto markets, new evidence of money laundering and hacks could trouble policymakers around the world.

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For now, some alternative cryptocurrencies outperformed bitcoin on Monday, indicating a greater appetite for risk among traders. Terra's LUNA token and Monero's XMR token were up by 8% over the past 24 hours, compared with a 2% rise in BTC over the same period.

Meanwhile, stocks wavered on Monday, while traditional safe haven assets such as gold and the U.S. dollar rose. That suggests global investors remain cautious despite short-term price jumps in speculative assets.

Latest prices

Bitcoin (BTC): $40755, +0.66%

Ether (ETH): $3010, −1.67%

S&P 500 daily close: $4392, −0.02%

Gold: $1982 per troy ounce, +0.57%

Ten-year Treasury yield daily close: 2.86%


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 neutral despite volume uptick

Bitcoin's price bounce over the past 24 hours coincided with a small uptick in trading volume, according to CoinDesk data.

Still, buy volume and sell volume were balanced on Monday, suggesting indecision among buyers and sellers. Traders will need to keep BTC above $40,000 with higher than average volume in order to sustain the recovery phase.

So far, technical indicators are neutral. Katie Stockton, managing director of Fairlead Strategies, noticed a false breakout in BTC on the charts, which suggests resistance at $48,000 could stall a price bounce.

"Long-term momentum has weakened notably, so a confirmed breakdown would increase risk, noting secondary support is near $27,200 BTC in our work," Stockton wrote in a Monday report.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Bitcoin trading volume (CoinDesk, CryptoQuant)

Crypto security concerns

On April 14, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) attributed the $620 million cryptocurrency hack from Axie Infinity-linked Ronin bridge to North Korea’s hacking group Lazarus Group and APT 38.

The FBI said in a press release last Thursday: “The FBI, in coordination with Treasury and other U.S. government partners, will continue to expose and combat the DPRK’s use of illicit activities – including cybercrime and cryptocurrency theft – to generate revenue for the regime.”

“The magnitude of this one (hack) shows things have moved from small exploits to true national security concerns,” Ari Redbord, head of legal and government affairs at blockchain research firm TRM told Business Insider. “It’s staggering - bank robbery at the speed of the internet," Redbord said.

According to CoinDesk’s Nikhilesh De and Danny Nelson, the Treasury Department added an Ethereum address to its sanctions list on Thursday. Wallet profiler Nansen had labeled the sanctioned address as a “Ronin Bridge Exploiter” when checked by CoinDesk on April 14. It held 148,000 ETH at publication time. CoinDesk independently confirmed that the wallet is tied to the Ronin exploit.

Here is a rundown.

  • Hack confirmed: Crypto analytics firm Chainalysis tweeted that the address “was involved in the Ronin hack,” saying that it has received 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC from the Ronin Bridge smart contract during the attack.
  • Record thefts: Chainalysis also released a report on April 14 demonstrating how hackers are stealing more from DeFi platforms than ever before. Tracing firm Elliptic estimated that 14% of the stolen funds had already been laundered by April 14.
  • Laundering continues: The sanctioned wallet appeared to “keep laundering” its stolen money on Friday even as the U.S. Department of Treasury put it on the OFAC's SDN List, according to CoinDesk's findings.

Altcoin roundup

  • Moonbirds NFTs fly on debut, clocking $200M in sales: Non-fungible token (NFT) project Moonbirds captivated the cryptosphere this weekend on its way to record-setting trade volume, becoming the latest collection to garner blue chip status just days after its April 16 mint. Read more here.
  • Shiba, Dogecoin lose as macro fears lead to market fall: In the past 24 hours, meme coins shiba inu (SHIB) and dogecoin (DOGE) fell by more than 4%, leading earlier losses among major cryptos. DOGE prices fell after a sudden rally last week buoyed by positive sentiment as speculators bet on Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk’s intended takeover of social media giant Twitter (TWTR). Read more here.
  • SHIB is now the biggest token by dollar value held by top 100 ETH wallets: For many months, FTT, the native token on crypto exchange FTX, has been the number one holding among Ethereum whales besides ETH itself, according to the blockchain tracking service WhaleStats. However, shiba inu is now the biggest token held by these ETH whales next to ether. The average dollar value of SHIB held by the top 100 ETH wallets is now $13,112,291, while the average value of FTX token held is $11,537,282.

Relevant reads

Other markets

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

Top Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Polygon MATIC +1.3% Smart Contract Platform
Bitcoin BTC +0.7% Currency
Algorand ALGO +0.5% Smart Contract Platform

Top Losers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Filecoin FIL −4.4% Computing
Ethereum Classic ETC −3.8% Smart Contract Platform
EOS EOS −3.4% Smart Contract Platform

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 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

Angelique is a market contributor 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

Angelique is a market contributor at CoinDesk.