Crypto Markets Today: Bitcoin Rides Over $21K, FTX's Possible Revival

The new head of FTX is exploring the possibility of restarting the bankrupt crypto exchange, according to an interview he gave to the Wall Street Journal, his first since taking over at FTX in November.

This article originally appeared in Crypto Markets Today, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter diving into what happened in today's crypto markets. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

  • John J. Ray III, who previously handled Enron’s restructuring, said that despite the accusations of criminal misconduct against former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and other executives, customers have lauded FTX's technology and said it could be worth reviving the exchange.
  • “Everything is on the table,” Ray told the Journal. “If there is a path forward on that, then we will not only explore that, we’ll do it.”
  • The FTX token FTT rose 33% on Binance on the news.
  • The decision would come down to whether restarting FTX's international exchange would recover more for customers than just liquidating assets or selling the platform, Ray said.
  • In the interview, Ray also criticized Bankman-Fried's comments to the media and elsewhere as being unhelpful. Bankman-Fried has said FTX did not need to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and has been critical of Ray's decisions.
  • “We don’t need to be dialoguing with him,” Ray said. “He hasn’t told us anything that I don’t already know.”

Token Roundup

(CoinDesk Research)

Bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH): The largest cryptocurrency by market value was recently trading around $21,100, up 1.5% over the past 24 hours. BTC regained ground it lost when it dipped the previous day. Ether was recently trading up 0.6% to $1,550. Both BTC and ETH have risen 13% and 7%, respectively, over the past seven days.

Equities closed down as traders’ recession fears continued to loom over markets. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slid 0.9%, while both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) were down 0.7%. The recent risk revival in traditional markets and cryptocurrencies may not be sustained because the U.S. Federal Reserve is still fighting inflation, according to crypto options trading firm QCP Capital in a Thursday note.

Gemini USD (GUSD): Decentralized-finance giant MakerDAO’s community voted to keep the Gemini USD stablecoin as part of its reserve system for its DAI stablecoin. The outcome with the vote averted a near disaster for Gemini’s stablecoin because 85% of all GUSD in circulation has been held at MakerDAO’s Peg Stability Module. GUSD is a dollar-pegged stablecoin issued by the troubled crypto exchange Gemini. Thursday’s voting means GUSD will remain as a reserve asset for Maker’s $5 billion DAI.

Trader Joe (JOE): Trader Joe, a decentralized exchange (DEX) on the Avalanche blockchain, has announced plans to bolster the utility of its native governance token JOE and other ecosystem tokens. Developers plan to bridge JOE tokens once the DEX is live on Arbitrum and BNB Chain. The Joe token price was up 0.7% to 17 cents as of publication time.

Latest Prices

+16.1 1.6%
+197.7 1.0%
+17.9 1.2%
S&P 500 daily close
−30.0 0.8%
+29.4 1.5%
Treasury Yield 10 Years
BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices; gold is COMEX spot price. Prices as of about 4 p.m. ET

Crypto Market Analysis: Bitcoin’s Relative Strength Readings Are in Rare Territory

By Glenn Williams Jr.

BTC’s recent 25% price surge came with a sharp uptick in momentum. A look at past data shows just how unusual the recent Relative Strength Index (RSI) readings are. RSI is a widely watched momentum indicator that looks to identify areas where an asset’s price is potentially overbought or oversold.

Within the last two weeks, BTC has registered three of the 10 highest RSI readings dating to 2019. Its reading of 89.3 on Jan. 14 ranked third, with its readings on Jan. 16 and 17 ranking eighth and ninth, respectively.

ETH’s RSI readings have been more muted, reaching the 12th and 15th highest slots since 2019.

The momentum is likely to wane, however. To an extent, we’ve already seen that with both BTC and ETH’s RSI falling to current levels of 78 and 73, respectively. However, a second look at past data shows that we’re still swimming in relatively uncharted waters.

Bitcoin RSI Data (CoinDesk)

Read the full technical take here.

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