First Mover Asia: First $30K, Then $40K, but Bitcoin Needs Volatility First

The world’s largest digital asset is rangebound, but so far this year, bitcoin is beating the returns most digital asset funds are posting.

AccessTimeIconAug 9, 2023 at 1:35 a.m. UTC
Updated Aug 9, 2023 at 3:27 p.m. UTC

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Regulatory clarity is required for bitcoin to push past $30,000.

Insights: Where is the utility in Web3?


Bitcoin (BTC) is beginning the Asia trading day at $29,786, up 2% on-day, while ether (ETH) is trading at $1,855, up 1.3%.

Bitcoin’s volatility continues to be at a record low, Vivien Fang, head of trading products at Bybit, said in a note to CoinDesk, suggesting an eventual rebound.

“Our attention is on catalysts toward year-end, potentially linked to ETF narratives or industry-transforming events,” she said. “The alignment between speculative strategies and these kinds of pivotal events could combine to form significant tailwinds for the crypto market.”

The 30k mark is a critical threshold, with consensus indicating 40k as the next significant level, Fang explained. However, there remains a high potential for a volatility surge due to macro-related downside events that could unexpectedly impact the market.

Despite bitcoin’s low volatility, it’s still outperformed crypto hedge funds, according to a report from 21e6 Capital.

“It is plain to see that a simple buy-and-hold investment into bitcoin would have outperformed all of these fund baskets. Bitcoin added about 80% in value by the half of the year,” 21e6 Capital due diligence manager Jan Spörer and sales and marketing head Maximilian Bruckner wrote in the report. “In previous bull runs, crypto hedge funds were frequently able to significantly outperform the bitcoin benchmark.”

Data from shows that the price of bitcoin and the amount of money invested in crypto startups have historically been correlated, their analyst team wrote in a note to CoinDesk.


In 2022, both were on the decline. However, despite the significant growth of bitcoin in 2023, the monthly amount raised is low compared to 2021-2022.

The question continues to be: what will cause the next breakout? And what if it's not the long-awaited bitcoin ETF?


Crypto Market Leaders and Laggards: The Biggest Movers of the Week: Stellar, XRP and Shiba Inu were notable winners from the last week, while Curve Finance and Augur struggled. The market is down overall, according to CoinDesk Market Index, but only marginally compared to recent growth.

Desperately Seeking Crypto’s Killer App: When you take away the speculation, what Web3 services actually deliver utility for users? A veteran of the space wants to know.

Bitcoin Remains King While Crypto Hedge Funds Get Rekt: Even though crypto hedge funds managed positive returns during the first half of the year, bitcoin trounced them, according to a 21e6 Capital report.

Important events

8:30 p.m. HKT/SGT August 10 (12:30 Aug 9 UTC): U.S. Core Inflation Rate YoY

CoinDesk TV

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

Global payments giant PayPal is launching PayPal USD, a U.S. dollar stablecoin fully backed by U.S. dollar deposits, short-term U.S. Treasuries and similar cash equivalents.


Fed Starts New Program to Oversee Crypto Activity in U.S. Banks: Fresh crypto guidance from the U.S. central bank doesn’t represent a departure from previous policy, but it provides more details on what the Fed expects from banks.

Bavaria's Data Regulator Had Not Concluded Assessment of Worldcoin When the Project Launched: The Sam Altman co-founded project has been shut down in Kenya over privacy concerns.

Cathie Wood and Mike Novogratz Are Both Bullish on Spot Bitcoin ETF Approvals: Wood expects the SEC to approve multiple funds all at once, and Novogratz says his sources say they see approvals coming in four to six months.

Edited by Rosie Perper.


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