Bitcoin, Ether See Bull Breather as Higher Bond Yields Support Dollar

"We would consider taking some profits as the crypto market is showing exuberant signs," one observer said.

AccessTimeIconApr 17, 2023 at 12:35 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 17, 2023 at 1:15 p.m. UTC

Major cryptocurrencies traded with moderate losses Monday, while the U.S. Dollar Index tracked Treasury yields higher as the market grew more comfortable with the expectation that the Federal Reserve will continue its liquidity tightening cycle in May.

Bitcoin (BTC) fell 1.7% in the last 24 hours to below $30,000, and ether (ETH), the native token of the Ethereum blockchain – which had a big software upgrade last week – fell 1.8% to $2,084.

The DeFi dominance index, which measures the market cap of a basket of top decentralized-finance coins as a percentage of the total crypto market, held steady at 4.3%, according to data source TradingView. On Friday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reopened a proposal from last year to target DeFi explicitly.

In traditional markets, the U.S. Dollar Index, which gauges the greenback's exchange rate against other major currencies, rose to 101.80, extending Friday's 0.5% jump from 101.00. The yield on the two-year Treasury note gained nearly five basis points to 4.16%, extending the past week's 15 basis points rise. The yield on the 10-year note rose to its highest level in a month at 3.54%. Bond yields began rising on Friday after Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said the central bank hasn't made much progress in bringing inflation down to the Fed's target of 2% and needs to lift interest rates further.

Traders priced an 85% probability that the Fed will raise rates by a quarter of a percentage point to 5% to 5.25% next month, compared with the 66% probability seen following the release of inflation data on Wednesday, according to the CME's FedWatch tool. The central bank has raised rates by 4.75 percentage points in the past 12 months, injecting volatility into risky assets, including cryptocurrencies.

"The 10-year Treasury yield is quietly climbing back up," Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at crypto-services provider Matrixport, said in a daily market update. "This needs monitoring in terms of a warning sign.

"We would consider taking some profits as the crypto market is showing exuberant signs," Thielen added. "Ideally, the delta should be replaced with upside call spreads in case prices continue to rally."

According to Alex Kuptsikevich, a senior market analyst at the FxPro, bitcoin may struggle to establish a foothold above the former support-turned-resistance level of $30,000 in the short term.

"Traders should be prepared that the $30,000 mark for the first cryptocurrency could act as solid resistance after it was rigid support in 2021," Kuptsikevich said in an email.

Over the weekend, tech billionaire, Twitter chief and crypto proponent Elon Musk said that U.S. government agencies had full ability to access Twitter user activity, including direct messaging. The shocking revelation came days after social trading platform eToro announced plans to offer crypto trading services to Twitter users.

Edited by Stephen Alpher and Mark Nacinovich.

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Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.