First Mover Americas: Bitcoin Trades Flat; Vitalik Transfers $1M Ether to Coinbase

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for August 21, 2023.

AccessTimeIconAug 21, 2023 at 12:12 p.m. UTC
Updated Aug 21, 2023 at 3:06 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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Major cryptocurrencies traded flat over the weekend, with alternative tokens showing muted price movement as markets seemed to stabilize following one of the largest liquidation events in recent months. Bitcoin remained steady at around $26,000 with ether little changed from Sunday’s $1,670. “So long as bitcoin continues to hold above $25,000 on a weekly close basis, we suspect we will see renewed demand and a push back to the topside in the days ahead,” crypto exchange LMAX Digital said in a morning note. “If this happens, ether and the rest of the crypto space should follow along.” Meme coin shiba inu (SHIB) slid 2%, increasing losses to more than 21% in the past week following the botched launch of its Ethereum layer 2 network, Shibarium. Transactions stalled in the hours after the network went live last Wednesday, with over $1.7 million worth of tokens in a bridge – a tool used to transfer tokens between two blockchains – said to be stuck owing to a bug in the code.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin deposited 600 ether (ETH), which is around $1 million worth of the cryptocurrency, to crypto exchange Coinbase on Monday, according to data from Ethereum blockchain scanning website etherscan. The move comes as ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, suffered a 10% decline over the last seven days, amid a broad market downturn that saw traders witness $1 billion in liquidations. On Sunday, Buterin repaid 250,000 RAI and withdrew $1.6 million worth of ether, according to on-chain tracker lookonchain. RAI is a non-pegged stablecoin backed by ETH. It is not clear why the Ethereum co-founder transferred the ether to Coinbase.

Bitcoin miners are moving into new business areas, including offering high performance computing (HPC) services to the fast growing artificial intelligence (AI) market, to reduce their dependence on crypto, JPMorgan (JPM) said in a research report Wednesday. The cost of the new investments has been funded in part by miners selling coins in recent quarters, the report said. Some bitcoin mining firms have rebranded to reflect the diversification, with Hive Blockchain Technologies (HIVE) becoming Hive Digital Technologies, and Riot Blockchain (RIOT) changing its name to Riot Platforms.

Chart of the day

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  • The chart shows ether call-put skews, which measure the cost of calls relative to puts.
  • Negative prints indicate a bias for puts, derivative contracts offering protection against price drops.
  • The renewed bias for puts comes after prices fell over 8% last week.
  • Source: Amberdata

- Omkar Godbole

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Edited by Sheldon Reback.

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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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