First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index Sinks Into Neutral Territory, a Sign of Investor Uncertainty

The decline reflects an asset that has been stuck in a tight trading range. PLUS: Bitcoin plods below $30K amid another sluggish day for cryptos in which LINK was a rare bright spot.

AccessTimeIconJul 21, 2023 at 12:07 a.m. UTC
Updated Jul 21, 2023 at 2:34 p.m. UTC

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Bitcoin slogs below $30K while LINK soars. Other major cryptos spend their day in negative territory.

Insights: Bitcoin's Fear and Greed Index reflects a market that hasn't been going anywhere fast for the better part of six weeks.


−0.9 0.1%
−101.1 0.3%
+2.9 0.2%
S&P 500
−30.9 0.7%
−3.0 0.2%
Nikkei 225
−405.5 1.2%
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)
CoinDesk Market Index (CMI)
1,258 −0.9 0.1%
Bitcoin (BTC)
$29,809 −101.1 0.3%
Ethereum (ETH)
$1,892 +2.9 0.2%
S&P 500
4,534.87 −30.9 0.7%
$1,975 −3.0 0.2%
Nikkei 225
32,490.52 −405.5 1.2%
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)

Markets Remain Sluggish, but Not LINK

A tumbling tech sector and rising dollar on Thursday kept crypto investors in their recent, rangebound trance.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was recently trading at $29,809, down slightly over the past 24 hours. At one point during the day, BTC dipped perilously near a one-month low set earlier this week near $29,500. More than five weeks after spiking following multiple spot bitcoin ETF filings, bitcoin has been unable to escape the $30,000 to $31,000 range – at least for long.

“There’s a lot of bearish sentiment on Crypto Twitter about this pullback, but I think the factors behind it are pretty simple," Anthony Georgiades, co-founder of NFT and Web3 blockchain Pastel Network, wrote in an email to CoinDesk.

Georgiades noted that the tech sell-off that was at least partly spurred by comments from Tesla founder Elon Musk that the electric car maker might have to reduce prices, and the strengthening dollar, had weighed on "bitcoin and the broader crypto market."

Ether, the second largest crypto in market value, was recently changing hands at $1,892, up a smidgen from Wednesday, same time. Most other major cryptos by market cap spent Thursday slogging into the red with XRP losing some of its big gains from the day before to trade below 80 cents – recently off more than 4%, and ADA and SOL, the tokens of smart contract platforms Cardano and Solana, down nearly as much.

The big exception was LINK, the native currency of the Chainlink software platform that connects blockchains with external data. It recently soared by more than 20% to trade above $8 after whales acquired more than $6 million of the token, an apparent reaction to Chainlink's release of an interoperability protocol.

The CoinDesk Market Index, a measure of crypto markets performance was recently down 0.1%.

Equity markets were mixed with the Dow Jones Industrial Average continuing a recent winning streak but the Nasdaq plummeting more than 2% on the Tesla news and soft earnings by streaming service Netflix. In a note to CoinDesk, Mark Connors, head of research at Canadian digital asset manager 3iQ, also highlighted missed results by Taiwan Semiconductor, which put "an extra hit on AI stocks." The dollar index tipped downward to continue a recent trend.

Still, Pastel Network's Georgiades was cautiously upbeat about crypto markets. "The underlying sentiment hasn’t changed much since yesterday or the preceding days," he wrote. I know the permabears have been calling for a major selloff, but it seems less likely that this is in the cards.

He added: "Monetary conditions are likely to loosen here soon, and that will help serve as a catalyst for risk-on assets.”

Biggest Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Gala GALA +2.4% Entertainment
Ethereum ETH +0.4% Smart Contract Platform
Cosmos ATOM +0.3% Smart Contract Platform

Biggest Losers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Stellar XLM −17.4% Smart Contract Platform
XRP XRP −6.6% Currency
Cardano ADA −6.2% Smart Contract Platform


Fear and Greed Turns Neutral

The Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index has fallen into neutral territory, indicating that investor sentiment for the asset has cooled recently.

The metric, derived by, gauges investor sentiment across five distinct factors, and distills them into one number ranging from 0-100. Readings close to 0 indicate extreme fear, while readings closer to 100 indicate extreme greed.

Often, extreme fear coincides with buying opportunities, as investors are likely behaving too cautiously. Extreme greed can coincide with a market that is overheated.

The most recent reading indicates a market that is in flux, with neither bulls or bears willing to take a strong stance in either direction.

All told, the reading adds evidence that BTC is poised to trade in a range for the foreseeable future.


This article was written and edited by CoinDesk journalists with the sole purpose of informing the reader with accurate information. If you click on a link from Glassnode, CoinDesk may earn a commission. For more, see our Ethics Policy.

Important events.

ETHGlobal Paris (France)

2:00 p.m. HKT/SGT(6:00 UTC) United Kingdom Retail Sales (MoM/June)

8:30 p.m. HKT/SGT(12:30 UTC) Canada Retail Sales (MoM/May)

CoinDesk TV

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

Bitcoin spot-based ETFs could bring $30 billion in new demand for the world’s largest digital asset, according to NYDIG. Howard Fischer, Moses Singer partner and former SEC senior trial counsel shared his outlook on crypto regulation in the U.S. as SEC chair Gary Gensler faces questioning from lawmakers. Futureverse founder Aaron McDonald discussed his metaverse startup's latest funding round. And,'s Julius de Kempenaer shared his crypto markets analysis.


Coinbase to Wind Down Lending Program Over Coming Months: The exchange is requiring Coinbase Borrow customers with outstanding loan balances to pay them back by November 20.

Tokenized: This Week in Real-World Assets: A weekly digest of articles, reports and analyses about tokenized RWAs, the fast-growing financial instruments that merge traditional finance to the blockchain.

Macro State of Crypto – Where It Has Been and What's Next: Analytics can offer insight into how recent and past crypto and regulatory events have affected prices and movement. Plus: A quick Q&A on retirement funds.

Chainlink’s LINK Climbs as Whales Add to Holdings Following Protocol Release: The CCIP protocol is designed to help build cross-chain applications and services and went live for early access users on the Avalanche, Ethereum, Optimism and Polygon blockchains this week.

Edited by James Rubin.


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James Rubin

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

Glenn Williams

Glenn C Williams Jr, CMT is a Crypto Markets Analyst with an initial background in traditional finance. His experience includes research and analysis of individual cryptocurrencies, defi protocols, and crypto-based funds. He owns BTC, ETH, UNI, DOT, MATIC, and AVAX