First Mover Americas: Altcoins Lead, Bitcoin in Stasis Near $42.6K

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for Jan. 17, 2024.

AccessTimeIconJan 17, 2024 at 12:56 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 5:45 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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Altcoins took the spotlight on Wednesday as bitcoin (BTC) traded flat in the wake of the recent debut of spot ETFs in the U.S. Chainlink, the decentralized oracle network that connects blockchains, saw its LINK token climb 6% on the day. LINK climbed after the company announced its cross-chain interoperability protocol (CCIP) integrated with Circle’s cross-chain transfer protocol on Tuesday. Bitcoin remained around the $42,700 mark. Other altcoins that saw significant gains included Render’s RNDR, which climbed 12%. Render is a platform that lets users contribute unused GPU power (A GPU, or graphics processing unit, is responsible for the digital rendering in a computer system) from their home devices to help projects render motion graphics and visual effects. Solana’s SOL was also up 5% over the same time period.

While many contrarian bets about the price of bitcoin after the ETF approval have been proven right, Fidelity’s Jurrien Timmer doesn’t expect the sell-off to continue much longer. In a thread on X, Timer, Fidelity’s Director of Global Macro, said current trends in bitcoin’s price are suggestive of a short-term positioning adjustment rather than a long-term trend reversal. While some have forecasted that bitcoin might drop and find support anywhere between the $32K to $38K mark, Timmer expects consolidation of recent gains. “The short-term question is whether this a sell-the-news moment. My guess is that it will take a little time to consolidate the recent gains, now that the big moment has arrived,” Timmer posted on X. "There were more than a few participants who 'equitized' future spot positions through either the futures market or bitcoin-sensitive equities."

Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, the parents of Sam Bankman-Fried, have asked a court to dismiss a lawsuit by the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX seeking to recover funds it alleges were fraudulently transferred. FTX sought to “recover millions of dollars” from Bankman and Fried in Sept. 2023. Less than two months later, their son, Bankman-Fried, was found guilty on all seven charges of defrauding customers and the U.S. His sentencing is expected in March. Bankman and Fried, both professors at Stanford Law School, argued that Bankman did not have a fiduciary relationship with FTX and did not serve “as a director, officer, or manager,” and even if a fiduciary relationship existed with FTX to plausibly allege a breach, according to a Jan 15. court filing.

Chart of The Day

  • The chart shows trends in bitcoin and the U.S. dollar index (DXY), which gauges the greenback’s exchange rate against major fiat currencies.
  • The DXY rose to a four-week high of 103.58 early Thursday, offering bearish cues to stocks and bitcoin.
  • The cryptocurrency's Q4 rally coincided with the downtrend in the dollar.
  • Source: TradingView

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Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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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.