First Mover Asia: Is a ‘Sharp Move’ Around the Corner for Bitcoin and Ether?

ALSO: In his latest Money Reimagined column, CoinDesk Chief Content Officer Michael Casey ties the recent political and regulatory backlash toward the crypto industry to the alleged misdeeds of disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. Will the current climate drive digital-asset innovation and leadership away from the U.S.?

AccessTimeIconApr 10, 2023 at 12:50 a.m. UTC
Updated Apr 10, 2023 at 4:21 p.m. UTC
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Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Ethereum's Shanghai upgrade is a few days away, but that isn't translating into selling pressure because most staked ether is at a loss.

Insights: In his latest Money Reimagined column, CoinDesk Chief Content Officer Michael Casey argues that the recent backlash against the crypto industry stems from the alleged misdeeds of disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

Prices

1,225
+11.6 1.0%
$28,383
+355.3 1.3%
$1,863
+8.4 0.5%
S&P 500
4,105.02
+14.6 0.4%
Gold
$2,018
+6.1 0.3%
Nikkei 225
27,518.31
+45.7 0.2%
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)
CoinDesk Market Index (CMI)
1,225 +11.6 1.0%
Bitcoin (BTC)
$28,383 +355.3 1.3%
Ethereum (ETH)
$1,863 +8.4 0.5%
S&P 500
4,105.02 +14.6 0.4%
Gold
$2,018 +6.1 0.3%
Nikkei 225
27,518.31 +45.7 0.2%
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)

Is a Sharp Move in the Offing?

Good morning Asia.

Bitcoin is opening the Asia trading week up 1.3% at $28,383, while ether is up 0.5% to $1,863.

The CoinDesk Market Index, a measure of the overall crypto market's performance, is up about 1%.

“The market leader has traded in a very tight range in the last week, barely moving much. Such consolidation, along with lowering volume, could indicate that a sharp move is around the corner,” Joe DiPasquale, CEO of Bitbull Capital, said in a note to CoinDesk.

DiPasquale said that a correction toward $25,000 wouldn't “break the bullish structure, whereas a move to $30K is likely to face resistance.”

“The market sentiment currently remains positive, and we may see select altcoins perform decently if bitcoin remains in the current range for longer,” he added.

Ether's relatively flat performance may allay fears that the Ethereum blockchain's Shanghai software upgrade, scheduled for mid-week, will bring selling pressure.

CryptoQuant wrote in a research report from February that the majority of ether staked was at a loss, with the average loss at 18%.

“Typically, selling pressure emerges when market participants are sitting on extreme profits, which is not the case right now for the ether that has been staked,” the firm wrote.

Biggest Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Dogecoin DOGE +1.6% Currency
Bitcoin BTC +1.2% Currency
Solana SOL +0.9% Smart Contract Platform

Biggest Losers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Terra LUNA −2.6% Smart Contract Platform
Polygon MATIC −0.4% Smart Contract Platform
XRP XRP −0.1% Currency

Insights

SBF, Revenge and the Future of Global Crypto Leadership

With Washington policymaking, it’s worth remembering that governments, like all human organizations, are made up of, well, humans – complicated creatures whose emotions often undermine their capacity for rational decision making.

Last week, I warned of a dangerous politicization trend in U.S. crypto policy following a barrage of regulatory enforcement actions taken against this industry. I remain concerned about that trend, but my view is now slightly more nuanced thanks to the insights of two people with very good D.C. connections. They explained how emotions – specifically anger and embarrassment – played a huge role in driving those policy actions.

It reminded me of the importance of clear, inviolable rules of governance, whether they’re baked into democratic institutions such as the U.S. Constitution or forged into consensus mechanisms used by open-source software communities, like those attached to blockchain protocols.

Regulation by retribution

Among a string of “Thanks Sam” moments these past five months, this one takes the cake. You can argue that the crackdown against Kraken, Coinbase, Paxos, Binance and others was driven significantly by a desire to punish Sam Bankman-Fried, the erstwhile founder of FTX, whose mind-blowingly rapid collapse in November sent shock waves through the crypto industry.

This is how one of my sources described the mindset of Biden administration officials and of lawmakers from both political parties: “You can’t come into their house, slosh that kind of money around, leave politicians with egg on their faces and not expect to pay a huge price.” He was referring to the fact that before the FTX meltdown, politicians – mostly Democrats but also some Republicans – had been beneficiaries of more than $74 million in political donations from FTX and had forged connections with Bankman-Fried, who had wooed progressives with his “effective altruism” commitments. (A CoinDesk investigation found that one-third of Congress took money from Bankman-Fried or his associates.)

Find the full story here:

Important events.

CoinDesk TV

In case you missed it, here is the most recent episode of The Hash on CoinDesk TV:

"The Hash" tackles today's hot topics: The U.S. Treasury Department dropped its first report assessing the risks of decentralized finance. Some crypto traders are warning about the market outlook for Shiba Inu dog-themed meme coins. India is planning to rapidly scale its central bank digital currency testing of the digital rupee. Plus, is there a secret Bitcoin maxi working at Apple (AAPL)?

Headlines

Jump in Shiba Inu Breed-Themed Tokens Is Unsustainable, Crypto Traders Warn: Meme coins have outperformed the broader crypto markets in recent days, but some say profit-taking could reverse the rally.

Bank of England Targets 30-Strong Team for Digital Currency: Report Among the positions available: Digital Pound Security Architect and Digital Pound Solutions Architect.

Sushi DEX Approval Contract Exploited For $3.3M: Developers asked users to revoke contracts as a security measure early Sunday.

Drugs, Erratic Dismissals and Feuding Founders: Behind Bitcoin Marketplace Paxful’s Unraveling: Founded in 2015, Paxful became one of the most popular places to buy bitcoin in Africa and other emerging markets, with more than 200 employees. Behind the scenes, staff took paid trips to music festivals, bosses fought, dismissals reportedly occurred on a whim and the smell of cannabis permeated the office.

Edited by James Rubin.


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