First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Seesaws Wildly Before Settling Above $29K

ALSO: Writing about different sessions at Consensus 2023, CoinDesk columnist Daniel Kuhn considers the difficulty that the builders of decentralized finance (DeFi) and financial regulators are having in finding linguistic common ground.

AccessTimeIconApr 27, 2023 at 5:23 a.m. UTC
Updated Apr 27, 2023 at 2:59 p.m. UTC

Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Bitcoin, ether and other major cryptos seesawed wildly over a 24-hour period.

Insights: Crypto and its regulators are struggling to find linguistic consensus, CoinDesk columnist Daniel Kuhn observes.


+20.7 1.7%
+672.2 2.4%
+41.1 2.2%
S&P 500
−15.6 0.4%
+23.1 1.2%
Nikkei 225
−203.6 0.7%
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)
CoinDesk Market Index (CMI)
1,239 +20.7 1.7%
Bitcoin (BTC)
$29,069 +672.2 2.4%
Ethereum (ETH)
$1,910 +41.1 2.2%
S&P 500
4,055.99 −15.6 0.4%
$2,009 +23.1 1.2%
Nikkei 225
28,416.47 −203.6 0.7%
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)

Bitcoin Rallies Above $29K

Over the space of 24 hours, bitcoin went from good to bad to somewhere in the middle.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was recently trading over $29,000, up more than 2.4% from the previous day but well off its Wednesday morning peak of $30,000. BTC fell as low as $27,264 at one point as investors considered some $310 million of losses from liquidations – both long and short positions – over a one-day period.

In an email to CoinDesk, Markus Levin, co-founder of blockchain-based geospatial oracle network XYO Network, also noted the possible impact of separate rumors that the the U.S. government was jettisoning a large amount of bitcoin, and that coins from long-disgraced crypto exchange Mt. Gox would be sold on the market. But Levin added optimistically that the market rebounded quickly – evidence of bitcoin's months-long resilience.

"It seems like these were primarily just rumors, however, what is interesting to see from all this is how much of the selling that was triggered by this event was ultimately absorbed by the market," he wrote. "The market is rather jittery right now, yes, but bitcoin is looking stronger and stronger from the lows late last year.”

Ether was recently trading at about $1,910, up 2.4% over the previous 24 hours and not far off where it started Wednesday. The second-largest crypto in market value dipped below $1,800 at one point on Wednesday. Other major cryptos also seesawed but were recently in the green. The CoinDesk Market Index, a measure of crypto markets performance, was recently up about 1.9%.

Asian markets were mixed Thursday morning with the Hang Seng and Nikkei up slightly. U.S. markets fared similarly with the Nasdaq closing up 0.4% but the S&P 500 falling 0.3%.

Biggest Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Cardano ADA +3.4% Smart Contract Platform
Bitcoin BTC +2.5% Currency
Loopring LRC +2.4% Smart Contract Platform

Biggest Losers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Chainlink LINK −2.0% Computing
Polkadot DOT −1.3% Smart Contract Platform
Decentraland MANA −1.2% Entertainment


Can the Crypto Industry Find Consensus With Its Overseers?

One of the issues that happens whenever an industry grows is it becomes difficult to tell if everyone is speaking the same language. Nowhere is this clearer than in the conversations between builders of decentralized finance (DeFi) and financial regulators. Can linguistic consensus be found at Consensus? It seems unlikely.

For the most part, financial watchdogs in the U.S. (and the international bodies that are essentially offshoots of the U.S. Treasury Department) have said crypto clearly fits into the existing regulatory framework. Crypto’s governing rules have already been written, supposedly.

This article is excerpted from The Node newsletter, which will send two editions daily during the Consensus 2023 conference running down the biggest news from the event. You can subscribe to get the full newsletter here. It's not too late to get IRL or virtual tickets for Consensus 2023 here.

And so, you have situations like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, Gary Gensler, telling crypto operators to “come in and register” with the agency and FinCEN advocating for stricter know-your-customer/anti-money laundering requirements across crypto.

Crypto, with exceptions, has largely promoted itself as a square peg that cannot fit in the round hole of the so-called Howey Test (the guidance the SEC uses to determine whether something is a security, which essentially probes whether "the investing public is anticipating profits based on the efforts of others”).

Read the full article here:

Important events

CoinDesk TV

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

Consensus 2023, the longest-running, yearly gathering of crypto leaders and communities from around the world got underway in Austin, Texas. CoinDesk TV was live on the ground with guests including Grayscale Investments CEO Michael Sonnenshein, Animoca Brands co-founder and Executive Chairman Yat Siu, Head of Derivatives North America Travis McGhee, and Hike founder and CEO Kavin Mittal. Grayscale Investments and CoinDesk are both owned by Digital Currency Group.


Crypto Innovation and Regulation Can Co-Exist, Top Industry Executives Agree: In a wide-ranging panel discussion at Consensus 2023, a quartet of senior crypto industry executives discussed what's next in the digital asset market's evolution.

Bitcoin Could Be 'Great' Investment for IRA or 401K Plans: Retirement accounts offer tax-free crypto investing forever and provide an effective way to lower overall portfolio risk, said ForUsAll CEO David Ramirez.

Tradfi Sees Opportunity in Crypto Despite ‘Red Wedding,’ Burning Buildings: Asset managers see decline in crypto valuations as a chance to increase exposure.

Grayscale CEO Expects Decision on Attempt to Overturn SEC's ETF Rejection by End of 3Q: Michael Sonnenshein still sees crypto industry in its "early days."

Edited by James Rubin.


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James Rubin

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