First Mover Americas: Bitcoin Regains $30K as Alts Heat Up

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for April 18, 2023.

AccessTimeIconApr 18, 2023 at 12:20 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 18, 2023 at 1:12 p.m. UTC

This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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Latest Prices 04/18/2023

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Bitcoin has regained $30,000 on Tuesday after it had fallen to a 24-hour low of $29,100. The cryptocurrency was up 2.5% in the past 24 hours, and ether and other altcoins also rose. Ether climbed 1.3% to hold above $2,000. “There is potential for positive momentum in alts now, and the downside risk is limited, as most altcoins are still in limbo; you can think of it as a BTC take-profit and high-beta trade,” Matteo Bottacini, a trader at Crypto Finance AG, wrote in a morning note. Radix, a blockchain built to deploy the XRD token, has rallied 35% in the past 24 hours, and Arbitrum’s ARB gained 10%.

Coinbase (COIN) CEO Brian Armstrong indicated that the crypto exchange would consider moving away from the U.S. if the regulatory environment for the industry doesn’t become clearer. "Anything is on the table, including relocating or whatever is necessary" he said at a conference in London. "I think the U.S. has the potential to be an important market for crypto, but right now, we are not seeing that regulatory clarity that we need," Armstrong said. "I think in a number of years if we don't see that regulatory clarity emerge in the U.S., we may have to consider investing more elsewhere in the world."

FTX’s collapse was the catalyst for a new bullish cycle in cryptocurrency markets, brokerage firm Bernstein said in a research report Monday. The crypto exchange’s demise cleaned up the final tranche of “toxic crypto leverage” and taught digital-asset investors the importance of decentralization and self-custody wallets, Bernstein said. Macro catalysts are aligning for bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap, the note added, with continued weakness in U.S. regional banks and further deposit outflows toward money-market funds and the big four U.S. banks all reflecting concerns around the “centralization of money.”

Chart of the Day

0418chart.png
  • The chart shows daily returns of alternative cryptocurrencies, which are known as altcoins, in bitcoin terms going back to February 2021.
  • The shaded region represents alt season – a crypto slang for periods a period where ether and other altcoins like XRP, SOL, DOT, gaming tokens, decentralized-finance coins and meme coins outperform bitcoin.
  • Altcoins' daily returns have recently flipped positive, signaling an investor shift toward the wider crypto market.
  • "Altcoins median return vs. bitcoin is above the altcoin season average. However, we’re still below the full-blown alt-season returns," Swissblock Technologies said in an email to subscribers.

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Edited by Mark Nacinovich.

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Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

Omkar Godbole

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