First Mover Americas: Bitcoin Rebounds Amid Optimism on Debt-Ceiling

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

AccessTimeIconMay 18, 2023 at 12:13 p.m. UTC
Updated May 18, 2023 at 12:38 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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Bitcoin is up on Thursday after gaining ground late Wednesday alongside a rally in U.S. equity markets on optimism that a debt-ceiling deal will be reached in the upcoming days. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market value began its rise Wednesday after touching a weekly low of $26,500. At press time, BTC was trading at around $27,400, up 3% on the day. Following a meeting at the White House, U.S. President Joe Biden and Congressmen from both sides of the aisle emphasized their commitment to soon reach a deal to raise the federal government's debt ceiling.

Ripple is starting a central bank digital currency (CBDC) platform which allows central banks, governments, and financial institutions to issue their own digital currency. Using Ripple's platform, government institutions can manage and customize the entire life cycle of the CBDC, which includes minting, distribution, redemption and token burning. Financial institutions would also be able to manage and participate in inter-institutional settlement and distribution functions using the CBDC. Central banks can issue both wholesale and retail CBDCs, which can make offline transactions as well. The platform is an enhanced version of Ripple's Private Ledger, which was started in 2021 for issuing CBDCs.

Bitcoin Frogs, the newly-launched non-fungible token (NFT) fashioned after frogs, has become the most-traded collection in the past 24 hours, surpassing even prominent collections such as Bored Apes. Bitcoin Frogs, which launched in late February on Bitcoin Ordinals, reached a trading volume of over $2.2 million, data from CryptoSlam show. The collection describes itself as “10,000 unique frog collectibles minted directly on the Bitcoin Blockchain.” At the time of writing, each NFT was selling for 0.12 bitcoin (BTC), or more than $3,200. Buyers and sellers are paying trading fees ranging from $50 to over $1,200 as of Thursday.

Chart of the Day

  • Matrixport's Bitcoin Greed and Fear Index has improved to 39 in the week ended May 17 from 22 in the preceding week.
  • "The latest reading of 39% is almost jumping above the 21-day moving average (44%) and flipping could signal that short-term traders could expect higher prices when this flipping occurs," Matrixport's daily note said.

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Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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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.

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