First Mover Asia: Indian Crypto Exchanges' Trading Volume Continues to Dive Following New Tax Law; Cryptos Higher

WazirX and CoinDcx volumes were less than a third of their levels prior to the regulations going into effect; bitcoin and ether rise.

AccessTimeIconApr 27, 2022 at 10:39 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 28, 2022 at 2:08 p.m. UTC

Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.

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 is CoinDesk's U.S. news editor based on the West Coast.

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Major cryptos took a turn upward but whether prices continue in the same direction is questionable.

Insights: Trading volumes on leading Indian crypto exchanges have plunged since the introduction of new taxes.

Technician's take: BTC remains in a tight trading range, with a loss of upside momentum.

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): $39,207 +2.2%

Ether (ETH): $2,887 +1.9%

Top Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Cosmos ATOM +4.9% Smart Contract Platform
Bitcoin Cash BCH +2.7% Currency
Bitcoin BTC +2.0% Currency

Top Losers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Dogecoin DOGE −1.9% Currency
Polygon MATIC −0.5% Smart Contract Platform
XRP XRP −0.4% Currency

Bitcoin, ether take a short turn for the better

Once more, without conviction.

After five days of wayward performances, bitcoin finally took a turn upward, but analysts questioned whether the latest rally would have any staying power amid a predictably disappointing start to quarterly earnings, monetary hawkishness and macroeconomic precariousness.

Bitcoin appears to be "falling out of the window, but latching onto the windowsill," Alex Kuptsikevich, an analyst at FxPro, wrote in an email to CoinDesk.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was recently trading just over $39,200, up over 2% over the last 24 hours. Ether, the second-largest crypto by market cap, was changing hands at roughly $2,880, a more than 1.9% gain over the same period. Trading volume and volatility remained at low levels as investors continued to grapple with the toxic combination of rising prices and uncertainty.

Other major cryptos were mostly in the green, albeit not by much, although a big improvement over the previous day when a number of them plunged. On Wednesday, ATOM was among the brightest spots, rising more than 5% at one point. The increase came after Evmos, the EVM-Compatible Cosmos Chain, said that it was relaunching with new tools for users looking to claim airdropped tokens.

Crypto prices dovetailed with major equity markets, which broke a recent losing streak to post small gains. Gold, a traditional safe-haven investment fell over 1% amid the at-least temporary move to riskier assets.

Quarterly earnings among many big brands continued to disappoint. Facebook parent Meta (FB) fell short on its projections for revenue and earnings per share for its first quarter, and the social media giant posted a nearly $3 billion loss on its augmented/virtual reality unit. Meta shares have fallen over 40% since January.

Bad news continued to flow from Ukraine, where the Russian military bludgeoned major Ukraine cities and cut off gas exports to former Soviet Union satellites Poland and Bulgaria, threatening to widen the conflict.

Still, some crypto observers were optimistic about a more permanent rebound in digital asset markets.

"If you zoom out, there's some good, positive factors and tailwinds hitting the industry," Chris Perkins, president of CoinFund, told CoinDesk TV's "First Mover" program. "We're seeing that crypto markets have been resilient among some other payments in the tech sector. We're seeing strong trends from a policy perspective. We're seeing the left and right coming together and agreeing that we need to have really strong, principle-based policy."

Perkins added: "I talk to traditional investment managers all the time. When I left finance, they were all trying to get [into crypto], but now they're trying to get in even faster."

Markets

S&P 500: 4,183 +0.2%

DJIA: 33,301 -0.1%

Nasdaq: 12,488 -.01%

Gold: 1,885 -1.1%

Insights

Tough times for Indian exchanges

Indian crypto exchanges have seen trading volumes slump some 60% since new regulations around the rising sector kicked into force earlier this month, as per local reports and data from tracking tools.

WazirX and CoinDCX, two Mumbai-based exchanges, recorded volumes of just over $27 million in the past 24 hours. For WazirX, this is a steep haircut from average daily trading volumes of above $90 million before the new regulations took effect. Volumes on ZebPay, among the country’s oldest exchanges, hover around $12 million.

India, which has taken something of an anti-crypto stance, levied a 30% tax on profits from crypto transactions on April 1 and said it won’t allow offsetting gains with losses from other crypto transactions. Local crypto volumes dropped almost immediately afterward.

For several crypto investors, a 30% tax represents a steep cut into profits. In a country where the average monthly wage is just $437, every penny paid in taxes is a hefty blow to budding investors.

Indians have taken to social media to express their displeasure. The #reducecryptotax hashtag on Twitter has been trending in the country among crypto circles, with some stating hefty taxes can even lead to an exodus of talent.

“For lot of us, blockchain or #bitcoin is Plan B,” Sathvik Vishwanath, founder of local exchange Unocoin, tweeted on Wednesday. “The industry is giving opportunities in India like developed countries give. Govt should not curtail this through unfair taxes. #reducecryptotax.”

Meanwhile, some expect the drop in volumes to be short term.

"AAX exchange has seen an outflow of active Indian users within the past weeks, as well,” Anton Gulin, regional director of AAX crypto exchange, told CoinDesk in an email earlier this month. “However, I believe that the tax rate may be revised to attract more taxpayers, as this is the ultimate goal for any government.”

Technician's take

CoinDesk - Unknown

Bitcoin four-hour chart shows support/resistance (Damanick Dantes/CoinDesk, TradingView)

Bitcoin (BTC) held support at $37,500 following a 5% decline over the past week.

Selling pressure appears to be stabilizing over the short term, although upside momentum could slow around the $40,000-$43,000 resistance zone.

BTC was trading around $39,000 at press time and is up by 2% over the past 24 hours. Buyers will need to keep prices elevated above $40,000 in order to sustain the recovery phase.

Still, there has been a slight loss of upside momentum over the past few days, which means BTC will likely remain in a tight trading range until a breakout or breakdown is confirmed. For now, most technical indicators are neutral.

Important events

Crypto Bahamas conference with investors, developers and other blockchain leaders

11 a.m. HKT/SGT(3 a.m. UTC): Bank of Japan interest rate decision

CoinDesk TV

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

Live from Crypto Bahamas: "First Mover" host Christine Lee was joined by CoinFund President Chris Perkins with a look at crypto markets, and Mary-Catherine Lader of Uniswap discussed the company's Swap Widget launch. Plus, Vance Spencer, Framework Ventures co-founder, shared his investment strategy in Web 3 gaming and DeFi.

Headlines

Meta Reports Loss of $3B on Augmented/Virtual Reality Operations in Q1: The company formerly known as Facebook reported revenue of $695 million in the quarter for the recently broken-out division.

EU Crypto Laundering Plans Could Overwhelm Authorities, Bank Regulator Says: Officials urged lawmakers to think again as they approach the last stage of privacy-busting proposals.

Edward Snowden Played Key Role in Zcash Privacy Coin’s Creation: The NSA whistleblower and privacy advocate was one of six participants in the cryptocurrency’s fabled 2016 “trusted setup” ceremony, using a pseudonym.

LUNA Supply Drops to All-Time Low – But Don’t Call It Deflationary: To keep up with the demand for Terra’s UST stablecoin, LUNA tokens are burned to maintain the $1 peg. All things being equal, less supply could help to support the price.

Central Bank of Cuba to License Digital Asset Service Providers: Licenses will be valid for one year and may be extended for an additional year, the bank announced Tuesday.

Longer reads

Can Crypto Deliver on Private Transactions in Cashless World?: From personal autonomy to zk-Snarks – the tools and actions that might ensure privacy in this increasingly digital age.

Today's crypto explainer: Solana

Said and heard

"However, it takes time for the decentralized network to reach consensus about new transactions and add them to the blockchain. As a result, base blockchain transaction speeds and throughput are not sufficient to support global payments." (Julie Landrum, head of strategy and growth at OpenNode, for CoinDesk) ... "On its own, Russia’s move will likely have only a limited impact on European supplies – especially in Poland, which already was planning to end reliance on Russian exports by the end of this year. But bigger European economies, such as Germany’s and Italy’s, could experience shortages if Russia turns off supplies, and the growing possibility of that scenario sent prices higher, analysts said. Most European countries have rejected Russia’s demand for ruble payments." (The Wall Street Journal)

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CoinDesk - Unknown

Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.

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

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

CoinDesk - Unknown

Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.

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

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

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