First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Dips Into Red but Holds Strong Above $23.5K

ALSO: CoinDesk analyst Glenn Williams Jr. highlights the spike in crypto trading activity following the U,S. central bank's interest rate hike.

AccessTimeIconFeb 3, 2023 at 2:14 a.m. UTC
Updated Feb 3, 2023 at 3:07 p.m. UTC
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Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: A late Thursday dip sent bitcoin and other cryptos into negative territory from Wednesday highs that followed the Federal Reserve's moderate interest rate hike.

Insights: Crypto trading activity increases following the Federal Reserve's interest rate increase on Wednesday.

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

1,101
−18.9 1.7%
$23,535
−432.7 1.8%
$1,645
−30.9 1.8%
S&P 500
4,179.76
+60.5 1.5%
Gold
$1,931
+3.4 0.2%
Nikkei 225
27,402.05
+55.2 0.2%
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)

Bitcoin's Post Rate Hike Momentum Stalls

By James Rubin

A late Thursday price dip notwithstanding, optimism continued wafting through crypto markets a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve's modest price hike surprised few monetary policy observers.

Bitcoin was recently trading just above $23,500, down 1.8% over the past 24 hours but still well above last week's support near $23,000. The largest cryptocurrency by market value has risen about 40% this year amid investors' growing optimism about inflation and the economy. The Federal Reserve's 25 basis point (bps) increase bolstered markets' sense that bankers were succeeding in their quest to staunch stubbornly high prices.

In an interview with CoinDesk TV's "First Mover" program, Mark Connors, head of research at Canadian investment manager 3iQ, said that despite its recent gains bitcoin was still trading below its 200-day moving average.

"We believe that as we get nearer [to the 200-day average] – which is a huge fundamental catalysts for bitcoin, and we have no reason to believe it won't be again – that [bitcoin] will see an even further move higher," Connors said.

Connors comments dovetailed with a CoinDesk report that bitcoin and the S&P 500 were approaching an easy-to-track bullish technical signal – a golden cross. A golden cross occurs when the 50-day simple moving average (SMA) of the security's price moves above its 200-day SMA, producing a cross on the price chart

Ether fared similarly on the day, dipping late to also fall 1.8% from Wednesday, same time. The second-largest crypto in market value was recently changing hands near $1,650. Other major cryptos declined late in the day to flatten or also drop into negative territory. APT, the token of layer 1 blockchain Aptos, plunged 6.5% to lose some of the ground it has gained this year. APT rose more than any other token in January. GALA, the token of the Gala Games play-to-earn platform declined 5%. The CoinDesk Market Index, a measure of the crypto market's performance, was recently down 1.8%.

Equity markets enjoyed a banner day with the tech-focused Nasdaq and S&P 500 rising 3.2% and 1.4%, respectively as investors' hopes about inflation outweighed their concerns about disappointing fourth-quarter results on Thursday from Apple and Alphabet and a wider slowdown in the once fearsome technology sector. "Financial markets believe inflation will decline more quickly than the Fed is currently thinking," Edward Moya, senior market analyst at foreign exchange market maker Oanda, wrote in an email.

3iQ's Connors noted increasing interest recently in 3iQ's crypto exchange traded funds, part of larger wave when investors poured more than $200 million into these types of products in January, according to crypto data provider group Crypto Compare.

"We had more smiles," Connors quipped. "We had to bring in some new coins to satisfy inflows. That was good. And it wasn't kind of crazy numbers. It was it was a nice healthy number."

Connors added that current growth is sustainable. "I think the [price] entry point is so good. If people are buying, they're the type of people who really want in. So there's not FOMO going on right now even though we're up. I really like this layer of buyer coming in here because they've done the work, they've shaken off the FTX debacle as a bad actor, a fraud."

Biggest Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Loopring LRC +1.3% Smart Contract Platform
Shiba Inu SHIB +0.9% Currency
Polkadot DOT +0.4% Smart Contract Platform

Biggest Losers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Gala GALA −4.9% Entertainment
Solana SOL −4.0% Smart Contract Platform
Dogecoin DOGE −3.8% Currency

Insights

Crypto Trading Volume Increases Following Fed Decision

By Glenn Williams

Bitcoin and ether saw trading volumes increase following the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) rate decision.

About $32 billion in bitcoin changed hands on Thursday, a 20% increase over the previous day, and 40% higher than the $23 billion worth of BTC that traded the day prior to the Fed decision.

Ether’s volume was 30% higher than on Wednesday, and 60% higher than volume preceding the FOMC announcement.

Data from exchanges across all spot markets reflects continued interest in the assets as the formerly challenging macroeconomic picture settles and investor optimism rises.

Bitcoin 02/02/23 (TradingView)
Bitcoin 02/02/23 (TradingView)


Important events

8:30 a.m. HKT/SGT(12:30 a.m. UTC): Japan bank services purchasing managers index (Feb.)

9:45 a.m. HKT/SGT(1:45 a.m. UTC): Caixin services purchasing managers index (Jan.)

21:30 p.m. HKT/SGT(1:30 p.m. UTC): U.S. unemployment rate (Jan.)

CoinDesk TV

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

Bitcoin was trading above $23,500 after breaking through $24,000 in the early hours. NewEdge Wealth Senior Portfolio Manager Ben Emons joined the conversation after the Federal Reserve's latest interest rate decision. Also, Hodder Law Firm founder and managing partner Sasha Hodder discussed the latest in FTX's bankruptcy proceedings. And Nostr, a startup decentralized social network, got its Twitter-like Damus application listed on Apple's App Store.

Headlines

Crypto Winter Led to 91% Plunge in VC and Other Investments for January: A CoinDesk analysis shows crypto startups only raised $548 million last month. The FTX failure’s full impact on industry fundraising likely remains to be seen.

Crypto Market’s Post-Fed Rally Continues as DeFi, Smart Contract Platform Sectors Star: Uniswap's UNI token and Avalanche's AVAX token were recently up about 4.5% and 3.4%; ether rose 3% at one point Thursday a day after unexpectedly moderate comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Bitcoin, S&P 500 Close In on Bullish 'Golden Cross' Signal: In the past, bitcoin's big rallies have started with a golden cross, but not all golden crosses have led to a big rally.

OpenSea Releases Suite of New Tools for Creator NFT Drops: The new experience allows select creators to include multi-stage minting phases, allowlist support and personalized landing pages for their NFT releases.


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CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

James Rubin

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

Glenn Williams

Glenn C Williams Jr, CMT is a Crypto Markets Analyst with an initial background in traditional finance. His experience includes research and analysis of individual cryptocurrencies, defi protocols, and crypto-based funds. He owns BTC, ETH, UNI, DOT, MATIC, and AVAX


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