First Mover Americas: Bitcoin's Strong Start to January May Falter

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for Jan. 3, 2024.

AccessTimeIconJan 3, 2024 at 1:42 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 5:43 a.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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Although bitcoin began January by hitting a 21-month high above $45,000, the month has historically not seen positive returns. Only twice in the past five years has the largest cryptocurrency gained in January, according to data from TradingView. Bitcoin gained 40% last January, but lost 16% the year before. It dropped 8% over 24 hours to trade at around $42,000 on Wednesday. Still, there's room for bitcoin to rally should a spot bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) be approved in the U.S., According to LMAX Digital. “As much as the event has been priced in, considering how much hangs in the balance, there is definitely some money sitting on the sidelines, waiting for an actual confirmation,” it said in a morning note. “We anticipate the rally in the immediate aftermath could amount to a move of about 10% over the course of a day or two.”

MicroStrategy (MSTR) executive chairman Michael Saylor began to sell $216 million worth of stock options of the company on Tuesday, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The document shows Saylor proposed the sale of 310,000 stock option awards granted in 2014, which will expire in April. Saylor said during Microstrategy's third-quarter earnings call that he plans to sell 5,000 shares per trading day over the course of the next four months, subject to a minimum price condition. The plan was disclosed in that quarter's 10-Q filing, which said he can sell up to 400,000 shares of his vested options through April 26.

Jim Cramer, a former hedge fund manager and the host of CNBC’s Mad Money, on Tuesday reversed his previously bearish stance on bitcoin (BTC) ahead of what's expected to be U.S. regulatory approval of a spot ETF and as the price rose above $45,000 for the first time in 21 months. "This thing, you can't kill it," Cramer told CNBC's David Faber. "Bitcoin is a technological marvel and I think people need to start recognizing it's here to stay." Cramer also took note of another famous bitcoin skeptic (to put it mildly), saying the late Charlie Munger "was blind to this." Cramer's comments stand in contrast to his remarks in early October during the Sam Bankman-Fried trial, when he said he wasn't interested in getting long the crypto as "Mr Bitcoin is about to go down big." Prior to that, Cramer said he had sold most of his bitcoin holdings in 2021 after the China mining crackdown.

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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.