First Mover Asia: Bitcoin 'Minnows' Are Punching Above Their Weight Class; BTC Holds Around $41,500, APE Surges on Rumors

Indecisiveness ruled markets Wednesday as bitcoin flipped between gains and losses on the day.

AccessTimeIconApr 20, 2022 at 11:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 21, 2022 at 2:22 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.

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Markets team. He owns BTC above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Bitcoin was higher for a third straight day, changing hands around $41,500. But the headiest (and most ridiculous) crypto-markets action was in ApeCoin.

Insights: Bitcoin "minnows" might be small, but don't doubt their resolve.

Technician's take: There has been a loss of downside momentum on bitcoin's daily chart, which could keep short-term buyers active.

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.

Prices

Bitcoin (BTC): $41,542 +0.5%

Ether (ETH): $3,092 -0.2%

Top Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
EOS EOS +5.1% Smart Contract Platform
Polkadot DOT +1.8% Smart Contract Platform
Polygon MATIC +1.1% Smart Contract Platform

Top Losers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
XRP XRP −2.1% Currency
Filecoin FIL −2.0% Computing
Internet Computer ICP −2.0% Computing

Bitcoin holds $41,500 in mixed trading day for crypto, stocks

Indecisiveness ruled markets Wednesday as bitcoin flipped between gains and losses on the day and U.S. stocks ended the session mixed.

One thing that was clear: ApeCoin (APE) was pumping, though even that move was panned as ridiculous, entirely speculative and based on unconfirmed tweets.

Bitcoin was holding near the $41,500 price level after a three-day price increase of nearly $3,000. Analysts said the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was benefiting from optimism that a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund might win approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“I don't think there's any one major catalyst for price movement up or down right now,” Jason Deane, bitcoin market analyst at Quantum Economics, told CoinDesk's Angelique Chen.

In traditional markets, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index of large U.S. stocks ended the day slightly down, while the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.2%; Netflix (NFLX) stock tumbled more than 30%. The U.S. 10-year Treasury bond yield slid 0.07 percentage point to 2.84%.

In other crypto news, the giant crypto exchange Binance unveiled its new Twitter emoji Wednesday, and soon took it down after users pointed out its resemblance to a swastika.

Markets

S&P 500: -0.1%

DJIA: +0.7%

Nasdaq: -1.2%

Gold: $1,958 +0.1%


Insights

Research: Bitcoin Minnows Are Fierce Fish

After January’s price correction, which seemed dramatic by many standards but par for the course for crypto traders, bitcoin "minnows" (which we are calling those who hold 0.1-10 BTC) began accumulating crypto at record speed.

CoinDesk - Unknown

(Glassnode)

All the while, the number of wallets with a bitcoin balance of 100-1,000 declined, suggesting a sell-off by larger holders.

According to a new report from Glassnode, these "minnows" also have a fierce appetite for pain and are hodling their crypto through some intense volatility and price compression even though their coins have yet to experience a breakout.

For its part, Glassnode is defining long-term holders as those who bought before bitcoin’s all-time high in October 2021, while anyone who bought after that date is considered a short-term holder.

Those who bought after the all-time high – regardless of portfolio size – didn’t like the ride.

Glassnode points to a massive sell-off by those who bought at the top (short-term holders) at around $50K-$60K.

“What we can see is that the recent correction pushed a historically significant volume of LTH coins into an unrealized loss. This means that the amount of buying between August and November, which has now become underwater HODLing, is some of the most significant of all time,” Glassnode wrote.

Glassnode notes that investors who bought the top, those active between August 2021 and January 2022, have seen prices plunge beneath their cost basis and have dumped bitcoin, causing a “large-scale redistribution of the bitcoin supply to new hands.”

And these new hands aren’t necessarily long-term holders picking up additional supply.

At the same time, Glassnode observes that those who purchased bitcoin in the last week of January – the minnows – are still hodling.

“Much of the volume profile from [Jan. 22] remains intact. Despite an additional 2.5 months of sideways consolidation, a large proportion of the market appears unwilling to spend and sell their coins, even if their coins are held at a loss,” Glassnode wrote.

CoinDesk - Unknown

(Glassnode)

A big part of the bitcoin ethos is testing your faith, or conviction, in the asset class. Crypto has sustained immense periods of volatility, bear markets and a bull market as well, yet there still are investors willing to dive in.

“This correction has been historically significant, suggesting the confidence and conviction of bitcoin investors has been thoroughly tested,” Glassnode wrote. “What we have seen over the last [five] months is a 50%+ correction that appears to have significantly reshuffled the ownership structure of BTC. A great many long-term holders with coins above $50K appear completely unfazed, whilst others have been totally shaken out, at a historically significant rate.”

Some whales may have been shaken out but the minnows keep on swimming.

Technician's take

CoinDesk - Unknown

Bitcoin daily chart (TradingView)

Bitcoin (BTC) has maintained support above $37,500 over the past month, indicating a loss of downside momentum.

On intraday charts, however, BTC appears to be overbought, which could briefly stall the current upswing in price.

A series of higher price lows since Jan. 24 suggests continued buying interest around the $32,000-$37,500 support zone, which is the bottom of a year-long price range.

The next major resistance level is seen at $46,700, which has capped price rallies over the past few months. Typically, price rises begin to stall after retracing roughly 38% to 50% of the prevailing downtrend, similar to what occurred in September of last year.

Still, the significant slowdown in BTC's long-term uptrend suggests upside could be limited over the next few months.

Important events

7:30 a.m. HKT/SGT(11:30 p.m. UTC): Japan National Consumer Price index (YoY/March)

5 p.m. HKT/SGT(9 a.m. UTC): Euro Area Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (MoM/March)

8 p.m. HKT/SGT(12 p.m. UTC): International Monetary Fund continues Spring meetings.

CoinDesk TV

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

Headlines

It's Bananas, but Unconfirmed Metaverse Rumors Are Pumping ApeCoin: The latest price pump in almost-anything-goes crypto markets shows just how quick and easy it can be to touch off a fresh flurry of speculation.

Binance.US Quits Blockchain Association, Forms In-House Lobbying Shop: A person close to the company says the groups’ goals “were not fully aligned.”

US Sanctions Russian Crypto Mining Host Bitriver: Bitriver and 10 subsidiaries were added to the OFAC list Wednesday in connection with their ties to the Russian economy.

Longer reads

Elon Musk Shouldn't Lead Twitter: Crypto, the source of so many of Twitter’s problems, also provides a blueprint in advocating for permissionless protocols.


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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

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Markets team. He owns BTC above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

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

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Markets team. He owns BTC above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

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