First Mover Americas: Bitcoin Sinks Below $58K in Run-Up to Fed Decision

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for May 1, 2024.

AccessTimeIconMay 1, 2024 at 12:19 p.m. UTC
Updated May 1, 2024 at 2:23 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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Prices FMA May 1 2024 (CoinDesk)
(CoinDesk)

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Bitcoin (BTC) sank below $58,000 during the European morning on Wednesday to the lowest level since the end of February. BTC has fallen around 6% in the last 24 hours having dropped below the $60,000 support level late on Tuesday. The wider crypto market, as measured by the CoinDesk 20 Index (CD20), has lost more than 5%. Cryptocurrencies have been dogged by risk-off sentiment in the broader financial markets amid a stagflationary feel in the U.S. following indications of slower growth and sticky inflation that have tapered hopes of an interest-rate cut by the Federal Reserve. The Federal Open Market Committee is due to give its latest rate decision later today.

Binance founder Changpeng "CZ" Zhao was sentenced to four months in federal prison on Tuesday having pleaded guilty to charges of enabling money laundering at the crypto exchange. The relatively lenient punishment (prosecutors had sought a three-year sentence) could be attributed to the positive image of the man that his defense lawyers had crafted as a philanthropist, family man and first-time lawbreaker. U.S. Judge Richard Jones said he didn't think he'd "ever seen a volume of letters" of support from friends or family for a defendant, such that the book in which they were contained literally fell apart.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler was accused of misleading Congress by Rep. Patrick McHenry, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, who said Gensler's agency already knew it considered Ethereum's ether a security before he attended a hearing and declined to answer that question. "Chair Gensler refused to answer questions regarding the SEC's classification of ether," McHenry said in a statement posted on X on Tuesday. "New court filings show this was an intentional attempt to misrepresent the commission's position." The classification of ETH is a major question hanging over the U.S. oversight of digital assets. If ETH is a security that should be registered and regulated by the SEC, then many other tokens may also fit that definition.

Chart of the Day

COD FMA May 1 2024 (Standard Chartered)
(Standard Chartered)
  • The chart shows that BTC's price is now below the average ETF purchase level.
  • This means that more than half of spot ETF positions are underwater, and the risk of their liquidation must be considered.
  • The break below $60,000 therefore reopens a route to the $50,000-$52,000 range.
  • Source: Standard Chartered

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Edited by Sheldon Reback.

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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.