First Mover Americas: Bitcoin Falls to $18.5K, as Bank of England to Buy Bonds to Stem Crisis in UK

  • Price Point: Bitcoin lost ground on Wednesday after gaining on Tuesday. Traditional markets were reacting to the Bank of England’s surprise plan to buy bonds.
  • Market Moves: Bitcoin has outperformed traditional markets in recent days for several reasons, including the absence of large sellers.
  • Chart of the Day: The options markets point to signs of a deeper sell-off in bitcoin.

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.

Price Point

After breaking above $20,000 on Tuesday, bitcoin (BTC) has lost ground again and is trading at around $18,500. Still, the world’s largest cryptocurrency is up over the past seven days. Analysts aren’t citing any true catalyst for Wednesday's decline yet.

In traditional markets, U.S. stock futures and European indexes are dropping, indicating another painful day. This follows the S&P 500’s hitting a two-year low on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the Bank of England said it will buy bonds to stop the spread of a financial crisis. This move caused an immediate reaction for bond prices in the U.K. The pound rallied, but remained slightly lower against the dollar on the day.

The rest of the crypto market was mostly trading in the red, erasing Tuesday’s gains. Cosmos’ ATOM was down 10%, Algorand fell 7%, and the token for the Near protocol dropped 6%.

In the news, cryptocurrency lender Nexo acquired a minority stake in Summit National Bank, a financial institution regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Celsius Network’s native token CEL rocketed upward late Tuesday amid reports that Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of crypto exchange FTX, could bid on the bankrupt crypto lender’s assets, CoinDesk’s Danny Nelson reported. It was also announced that the Bahamas-based crypto exchange is moving its U.S. headquarters to Miami, only four months after cutting the ribbon on its headquarters in Chicago.

Decentralized-finance protocol Ribbon Finance, which is known for its on-chain structured products, said at the Token 2049 conference in Singapore that it is launching an options exchange to boost demand for its services among savvy crypto traders.

CoinDesk Market Index

Biggest Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Polymath POLY +2.72% DeFi
API3 API3 +2.54% Computing
Terra LUNA2 +2.31% Smart Contract Platform

Biggest Losers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Tribe TRIBE -7.8% DeFi
Maker MKR -7.4% DeFi
dYdX DYDX -6.08% DeFi

Sector classifications are provided via the Digital Asset Classification Standard (DACS), developed by CoinDesk Indices to provide a reliable, comprehensive and standardized classification system for digital assets. The CoinDesk Market Index (CMI) is a broad-based index designed to measure the market capitalization weighted performance of the digital asset market subject to minimum trading and exchange eligibility requirements.

Market Moves

Bitcoin Steady Under $20K in Face of Traditional-Market Turmoil, Here's Why

By Omkar Godbole

Bitcoin has outperformed almost every traditional asset in recent days. Observers said the cryptocurrency has stayed resilient in the face of renewed turmoil in traditional markets for several reasons, including the absence of large sellers, continued holding by long-term investors and quarterly options expiry.

Since the Federal Reserve raised U.S. borrowing costs by 75 basis points a week ago, the dollar index has rallied 4% while the S&P 500 has dropped by 6.4% and the British pound has crashed to an all-time low against the greenback. Bitcoin, however, has remained locked between $18,000 and $20,000.

"I think what we're seeing is more a lack of large sellers, rather than a plethora of large buyers," Mike Alfred, a value investor and founder of digital assets investment platform Eaglebrook Advisors, said. "There are no large sellers left. Forced selling has already occurred."

Read the full story here.

Chart of the Day

U.S. Long Bonds Offer 4% Yield

By Omkar Godbole

This chart shows a continued bias for puts or options offering protection against price slide. (Glassnode)
  • Bitcoin's six-month put-call skew continues to climb, indicating persistent demand for downside protection, even as the cryptocurrency remains resilient in the face of traditional market turmoil.
  • The put-call skew measures the richness of puts relative to calls.

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