First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Holds Its Latest Foothold at $29.1K While Worldcoin Soars

PLUS: BTC's positive vibes may be waning as outflows from BTC investment products rose for the first time in weeks. But mining is in a better state than it was a year ago.

AccessTimeIconJul 25, 2023 at 1:18 a.m. UTC
Updated Apr 14, 2024 at 10:25 p.m. UTC
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Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: As Altcoin dominance reaches a multi-month high, Worldcoin's WLD token is up 30% on-launch. But the project comes with real world centralization and privacy concerns.



−32.6 2.6%
−903.6 3.0%
−38.9 2.1%
S&P 500
+18.3 0.4%
−8.3 0.4%
Nikkei 225
+396.7 1.2%
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)
CoinDesk Market Index (CMI)
1,227 −32.6 2.6%
Bitcoin (BTC)
$29,179 −903.6 3.0%
Ethereum (ETH)
$1,850 −38.9 2.1%
S&P 500
4,554.64 +18.3 0.4%
$1,956 −8.3 0.4%
Nikkei 225
32,700.94 +396.7 1.2%
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)

Worldcoin (WLD) Outperforms the Market

As Asia continues its trading week, bitcoin is opening Tuesday down 3% to $29,179, while ether is down 2.1% to $1,850.

The CoinDesk Market Index is down 2.6% to 1,227.

All the market wants to trade is Worldcoin (WLD).

The freshly launched token from the Sam Altman-affiliated project is up 30% in the last 24 hours as the market looks into the orb.

While the Worldcoin-Altman brands are no doubt strong enough for a well-received launch, the market may be reacting as it is because of altcoin dominance.

According to a new report by Kaiko, bitcoin's volume dominance has declined to its lowest level since April, at 27%, driven by a surge in altcoin trading following the Ripple ruling and regulatory changes, with the largest declines seen on offshore exchanges and a notable rise in altcoin activity on U.S. exchanges (WLD is banned for now in the U.S).

The question is, how long will this run last for? Crypto always loves a new shiny thing, but WLD has real-world privacy and centralization implications.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is already raising concerns about the project, which makes many wonder if it has long-term viability outside the initial market pump.

Biggest Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
XRP XRP +3.4% Currency
Solana SOL +1.7% Smart Contract Platform
Avalanche AVAX +1.0% Smart Contract Platform

Biggest Losers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Stellar XLM −18.2% Smart Contract Platform
Chainlink LINK −13.0% Computing
Terra LUNA −6.6% Smart Contract Platform


What happened to all the good crypto vibes? At least one of them has disappeared. According to a CoinShares report Monday, Bitcoin (BTC) investment products suffered a $13 million outflow last week, reversing the trend of consecutive weeks of massive inflows as investors instead favored funds focusing on smaller cryptocurrencies such as ether (ETH) and Ripple’s XRP, crypto asset manager. Digital asset funds overall witnessed weekly outflows of $6.5 million after gaining $742 million of inflows through the previous four weeks. The trend turnabout came as BTC investors have seemingly run out of positive news to bid on after some major catalysts in recent weeks. Spot bitcoin ETF applications by BlackRock and other financial service giants are now June ghosts with a Securities and Exchange Commission approval unlikely any time soon and BTC's price languishing.

After a rough 2022, bitcoin mining is swinging upward, as CoinDesk analyst George Kaloudis writes. The bear market that sapped prices and publicly traded miners' stocks tumbling has lessened this year. Crypto mining is now mostly healthy. Bitcoin network’s hashrate, a measure of the amount of computing power committed to running the network, shows a bountiful capacity with which to run crypto’s premier network. As of July 21, Bitcoin’s hashrate was 400 exahash per second, up five-fold from June 2021. And a number of miners have returned to report healthy margins, especially those that have access to cheap energy like TeraWulf (WULF) and CipherMining (CIPHER), whose gross margins in Q1 2023 exceeded 60% (see below).

Important events.

4:00 p.m. HKT/SGT(8:00 UTC) ECB Banking Lending Survey

10:00 p.m. HKT/SGT(14:00 UTC) United States Consumer Confidence (July)

CoinDesk TV

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

Sam Altman’s crypto project Worldcoin launched its WLD token and mainnet. Altman is the co-founder of Open AI, the company behind ChatGPT. Tiago Sada, Tools for Humanity head of product and Worldcoin core team member, joined "First Mover" to discuss. Defiance ETFs CEO Sylvia Jablonski shared her crypto markets analysis. And, CoinDesk's special mining week presented by Foundry is underway. Author and journalist Jeff Wilser discussed the AI pivot.


Through It All, the Bitcoin Mining Industry Looks Set for Growth: Though the Bitcoin halving will reduce rewards for miners, the prospects for the industry remain bright and innovations like Ordinals promise more demand for miner services in the future.

Elon Musk Rebrands Twitter to X, Spurring Scores of Wannabe Tokens: One token zoomed 1,200% even though its related project closed in May, data shows.

Worldcoin's Mainnet, WLD Token Goes Live: Launch of the token comes alongside protocol launch and prior release of the wallet.

Meet the Hong Kong Lawmaker Who Invited Coinbase to Town: Legislative Council member Johnny Ng is courting crypto exchanges to get licensed in the city as the U.S. drives digital asset firms offshore.

Putin Signs Digital Ruble Law Making a CBDC Possible in Russia: The new law describes a legal framework for a central bank digital token

Edited by James Rubin.


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James Rubin

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

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