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First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Is Off on Us Holiday and Could Fall Further

First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Is Off on Us Holiday and Could Fall Further

By James Rubin

Market moves: Bitcoin dropped below $42,000; ether and most other, major altcoins also fell.

Prices

Bitcoin (BTC): $42,140 -2.5%

Ether (ETH): $3,209 -4.5%

Top gainers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Cardano ADA +9.4% Smart Contract Platform
Litecoin LTC +3.5% Currency

Top losers

Asset Ticker Returns Sector
Cosmos ATOM −7.9% Smart Contract Platform
Chainlink LINK −7.2% Computing
Polkadot DOT −7.1% Smart Contract Platform

Markets

S&P 500: 4,662 +.08%

DJIA: 35,911 -0.5%

Nasdaq: 14,893 +0.5%

Gold: $1,817 -0.2%

Market moves

Bitcoin price chart over past 24 hours

Crypto prices sagged on Monday, a national U.S. holiday honoring civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., and showed few signs of reversing any time soon.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, fell below $42,000, although at the time of publication it was above that mark. Ether dropped under $3,200, while most of the other leading altcoins stayed in the red.

Equity markets were shuttered on the holiday, offering a respite from the recent drumbeat of bad news that seems to be increasingly intertwined with crypto pricing. The Wall Street Journal reported that about 220 U.S. publicly traded companies with market capitalizations over $10 billion have fallen 20% from their peaks and that the S&P 500 and Nasdaq had declined 2.2% and 4.8%, respectively.

Meanwhile, a New York Times story highlighted the inability of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep pace with data about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which has been hammering the global economy.

Pankaj Balani, CEO of the crypto derivatives exchange Delta Exchange, said that bitcoin is vulnerable to falling further because buying demand is absent. “We are not seeing any bottom fishing at these levels, and the interest to own bitcoin risk around $40,000 remains low,” Balani told CoinDesk’s Omkar Godbole in a WhatsApp chat. “We could retest $40,000 and should that break, we can see a fresh round of selling come through.”

Column

Off the Charts: DeFi Rebound:Total value locked is rising despite the retreat in other crypto prices. (By Michael Casey)

Amid the weakness in bitcoin and other crypto assets during the latter part of 2021 and early 2022, there’s been an anomalous counter-performance by the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector. The last few weeks have seen a modest rebound in total value locked, a measure of how much digital asset value has been collateralized for loans in the DeFi system. CoinDesk’s Shuai Hao whipped me up this chart, based on data from DeFi Pulse, which shows TVL, as expressed in ether, versus the value of the CoinDesk Indices’ DeFi (DFX) index.

It’s too early to say whether the rebound in TVL will meaningfully reverse the declines in DeFi commitments seen since last spring. However, it’s notable the value has increased despite close to no rebound in dollar prices. We will have to see whether the sector can return to the unbridled enthusiasm of a year ago, or whether the zeitgeist has been lost to NFTs.

 

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