First Mover Americas: Crypto Market Volatility Heats Up

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for March 21, 2024.

AccessTimeIconMar 21, 2024 at 12:08 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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Latest prices. (CoinDesk Indices)
Latest prices. (CoinDesk Indices) (CoinDesk Indices)

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The inherent volatility of crypto markets was on full display as bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) tumbled, then recovered to trade as much as 15% above their Wednesday lows. BTC and ETH rose as much as 11% in the past 24 hours, leading gains among major tokens. Solana's SOL, Cardano's ADA and BNB Chain's BNB added as much as 8%, according to CoinGecko data. The CoinDesk 20 Index, a measure of the broader crypto market, was recently 7.62% higher. Tokens of layer-2 platforms, or blockchains based on Ethereum, led as a sector with an average jump of 25% in the past 24 hours, CoinGecko data shows. Meme coins followed with a 16% jump.

Asset management giant BlackRock (BLK) officially unveiled its tokenized asset fund on the Ethereum network on Wednesday. The BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund is represented by the blockchain-based BUIDL token, is fully backed by cash, U.S. Treasury bills and repurchase agreements, and will provide yield paid out via blockchain rails every day to token holders, according to a press release. Securitize will act as a transfer agent and tokenization platform, while BNY Mellon is the custodian of the fund's assets, BlackRock said. Anchorage Digital Bank NA, BitGo, Coinbase and Fireblocks also participate in the fund's ecosystem.

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken unveiled a qualified custody service for institutional clients in crypto-friendly Wyoming through the firm’s long-standing state-chartered banking license in the region. Kraken Institutional, announced on Wednesday, operates under the special purpose depository institution (SPDI) charter snagged by the exchange back in 2020. All deposits will be held in segregated accounts remote from the exchange itself and on a full-reserve basis. Wyoming, which is populated with twice as many cattle as people, has been steadily striving for regulatory clarity around crypto and has passed some 35 laws on the topic since 2016 – with Kraken being the biggest name to throw its weight behind that campaign.

Chart of the Day

PAXG has set a new record high. (CoinDesk)
PAXG has set a new record high. (CoinDesk) (CoinDesk)
  • Gold-backed cryptocurrency Paxos Gold (PAXG) has risen to a record high of $2,186.
  • The price of spot gold has also set new lifetime highs above $2,200 per ounce.
  • On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve maintained its projection of three rate cuts for this year, powering rallies in gold and bitcoin.
  • Source: TradingView

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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.