First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Is Stuck Between Silvergate and China

The largest crypto by market value hovers above $22.4K as investors mull Silvergate's troubles and anticipate likely encouraging economic data from China. ALSO: CoinDesk columnist David Z. Morris considered the gathering of Etherians at ETHDenver, all working together to build.

AccessTimeIconMar 6, 2023 at 1:06 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 6, 2023 at 4:57 p.m. UTC

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Bitcoin had a flat weekend as the market continued to digest Silvergate, and also readied what will likely be positive economic data from China this week.

Insights: Like any good punk or hip hop show, this year's Colorado event for coders will feature events that will "scare away normies," CoinDesk Chief Insights Columnist David Z. Morris writes.


Silvergate Woes and Likely China Improvement

+2.1 0.2%
+131.6 0.6%
+2.3 0.1%
S&P 500
+64.3 1.6%
+11.7 0.6%
Nikkei 225
+428.6 1.6%
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)

Good morning Asia, here’s what’s driving markets today.

Both bitcoin and ether are starting the week off flat, with the world’s largest digital asset at $22,463, up 0.6% on the day, and ether at $1,569, up 0.1%.

Observers say the market is at something of a precipice right now. While it’s no longer the depths of crypto winter, the market has to decide how much it will continue to price in Silvergate’s crypto failure while also accounting for positive economic data from China.

“It doesn't look like the Silvergate issue is leading to broad contagion. And we may have seen most of the drop associated with that news already,” Matt Weller,’s global head of research, told CoinDesk TV on Friday. “I wouldn't be surprised to see bitcoin retrace back down to $20,000, maybe even $18,000, to sort of retest those lows. But … it does look like the depths of the winter are behind us.”

At the same time, economic data from a re-opened China, which rapidly dropped all COVID-19 restrictions at the start of the year, might bolster the “China narrative” that fueled late February’s mini price rally. This coming week is set to be a busy one with economic data releases from the country, including Balance of Trade, foreign exchange reserves and inflation-rate data expected.

“China’s opening is a positive factor for the world’s economy, which infers that certain animal spirits are back in Asia,” said March Zheng, the co-founder and managing partner of Bizantine Capital, in a note to CoinDesk.

These so-called animal spirits, Zheng said, could lead to an increase in appetite for assets like crypto.

“We are of the view that it will counterbalance the continued, persistent fears in the U.S. equity markets as well as rising rates,” he said.


EthDenver Shows That Ethereum Has an Actual Community

This weekend marks the culmination of ETHDenver, probably the most important annual gathering for smart contract and decentralized finance (DeFi) developers right now, on Ethereum and beyond. I wish I could be there this year, but I’m still recovering from a pretty intense four months of making cool things and exposing bad guys.

Fortunately, plenty of people are sharing clips from the event so I can enjoy it vicariously. Unfortunately, many of these posts express something between innocent confusion and sneering takedowns of the supposedly lame ETHDenver goings-on.

This article is excerpted from The Node, CoinDesk's daily roundup of the most pivotal stories in blockchain and crypto news. You can subscribe to get the full newsletter here.

But that attitude, to paraphrase the fugitive philosopher-thief Do Kwon, is a great formula for getting rekt. It may look like silliness and disorganization to you, but ETHDenver’s rough edges are actually strong signals that a real community has been drawn together by shared interests to build something together from the ground up. That’s the kind of community that has and will weather slow periods of crypto growth like what we’re going through right now.

It’s hip to be cringe

It’s true that compared to a lot of crypto conferences ETHDenver and certain related events can seem just the slightest bit slapdash, and more than the slightest bit bizarre. Take, for instance, the annual contributions from Jonathan Mann, aka “The Song a Day Guy.” He has created and performed goofy, slightly amateurish tunes for the event for a while now – and every year people on Twitter take the opportunity to dunk on him.

But let me tell you, a goofy song is barely the only thing at ETHDenver that might make you uncomfortable!

When I attended last year, ETHDenver was held in a refurbished parking garage, where the bathrooms were partly or entirely broken for much of the event. You couldn’t see the main stage from roughly a third of the ground floor seating, and people talking at the back of the room halfway drowned out the speakers. Every once in a while, someone would drop 500 pizzas on an upstairs table, resulting in massive queues that made it nearly impossible to move.

And you know what? It was awesome.

The full article can be found here.

Important events

9:00 a.m. HKT/SGT(1:00 UTC) Eurozone Retail Sales (YoY/Feb)

2:30 a.m. HKT/SGT(18:30 UTC) Reserve Bank of Australia Rate Statement

CoinDesk TV

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

Bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) were sinking as customers flee crypto bank Silvergate, whose stock closed 58% lower during U.S. trading. Global head of research Matt Weller shared his reaction. Plus, Sotheby’s is auctioning the original manuscript for “Snow Crash,” Neal Stephenson’s landmark 1992 science fiction book that coined the terms “metaverse” and “avatar." Stephenson and Sotheby's head of sale Cassandra Hatton discussed. And, Audius co-founder and CEO Roneil Rumburg explained how the Web3 music streaming platform is integrating with TikTok.


Gitcoin, a Crowdfunding Platform for Open-Source Software Votes to Seed Staked ETH Index: The index could provide a stream of income for Gitcoin to raise funds for grants – if users are attracted to the new index that exposes token holders to a diversified set of liquid staking tokens.

Stablecoin Issuer Tether Used Bank Accounts Opened With Falsified Documents in Past, WSJ: Tether, the company behind the world's largest stablecoin, accessed bank accounts by way of falsified documents and intermediaries, a new report says.

ETHDenver Looks Cringey to You Because Ethereum Has an Actual Community: Like any good punk or hip hop show, this year's Colorado event for coders will feature events that will "scare away normies," CoinDesk Chief Insights Columnist David Z. Morris writes.

Chainlink Price Feeds Go Live on Base, Coinbase’s Layer 2 Testnet: Base also joins the data provider's Scale program, allowing developers to construct smart contracts that can react to external information at a subsidized cost.

Bankrupt Crypto Lender Celsius Reopens Withdrawals for Certain Custody Accounts: The firm paused withdrawals in June, citing extreme market conditions.


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David Z. Morris is CoinDesk's Chief Insights Columnist. He holds Bitcoin, Ethereum, and small amounts of other crypto assets.

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