First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Stabilizes Near $43K as Layer 1 Tokens Attract Attention

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Market moves: Bitcoin stabilized near $43,000 after Wednesday’s sell-off, while traders’ attention turned to layer 1 tokens.

Technician’s take: Oversold signals remain intact for bitcoin, although upside is limited.

Catch the latest episodes of CoinDesk TV for insightful interviews with crypto industry leaders and analysis.

Prices

Bitcoin (BTC): $43,073 -1.09%

Ether (ETH): $3,407 -4.097%

Markets

S&P 500: 4,696-0.096%

DJIA: 36,236 -0.47%

Nasdaq: 15,080 -0.13%

Gold: $1,790 -1.09%

Market moves

Bitcoin stabilized around $43,000 after it fell to near $42,000, while a few layer 1 tokens such as harmony (ONE), fantom (FTOM), cosmos (ATOM), and NEAR (NEAR) quickly turned to green despite Wednesday’s broader market sell-off.

At the time of writing, bitcoin, the oldest cryptocurrency, was trading at $43,073, down by 1.09% in the past 24 hours, according to CoinDesk Data.

Data from TradingView and Binance shows that most of the dumping events took place on Wednesday during U.S. trading hours. Notably, the price of the No. 1 cryptocurrency took only a small hit during Asian hours on Thursday.

Hong Kong-based crypto lender Babel wrote in its newsletter dated Jan. 5 that bitcoin failed to follow U.S. stocks’ “Santa Rally” in the last week of 2021, potentially because of China’s crypto trading ban. Dec. 31 was the deadline for many Chinese crypto exchanges to stop offering crypto trading services to users from mainland China.

The mild sell-off during Asian hours, a trading session known as bearish for crypto prices in 2021, could indicate that the China-related crypto sell pressure may have ended.

Meanwhile, crypto Twitter shows that many traders have turned their attention to alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoin) trading, with a few layer 1 tokens having logged gains despite a broader crypto sell-off.

According to Messari’s asset screener, harmony, cosmos, fantom and NEAR – all are tokens associated with smart contract-platforms, are among some of the biggest winners on Thursday. Prices of harmony (ONE), for example, were up by 10.7% at the time of writing.

Crypto traders continued to bet on the success of layer 1 tokens, as solana, terra and avalanche last year logged impressive price returns. Layer 1 blockchains have been one of the biggest narratives in the crypto industry, especially in the past few years. Their success came as Ethereum, the No. 1 blockchain by the total value of tokens locked in the smart contract, became too congested, leading to an increase in its transactions fees.

Technician’s take

Bitcoin Stabilizes After Sell-Off, Resistance Near $45K-$50K

Bitcoin (BTC) dipped below initial support at $45,000 on Wednesday, but later stabilized around $42,000, which is near the Dec. 5 crash low. Oversold signals remain intact, which suggest selling pressure could subside.

Given the series of lower price highs since November, support ranges and oversold readings are viewed as countertrend. This lowers the probability of significant buying strength until the downtrend is reversed.

There is strong resistance ahead which could limit upside moves over the short term. For example, price momentum turned negative on the monthly chart, indicating a possible trend shift from bullish to bearish.

Further, bitcoin remains stuck below key moving averages and is roughly 35% below its all-time high around $69,000.

The cryptocurrency is down about 8% over the past week as buyers failed to sustain a break above $50,000.

Important events

2 p.m. HKT/SINGT (6 a.m. UTC): Germany Trade Balance (Nov. MoM)

2 p.m. HKT/SINGT (6 a.m. UTC): Germany Industrial Production n.s.a w.d.a. (Nov. YoY)

3 p.m. HKT/SINGT (7 a.m. UTC): U.K. Halifax House Prices (Dec. MoM)

CoinDesk TV

In case you missed it, here are the most recent episodes of “First Mover” on CoinDesk TV:

Crypto Markets Tumble, CoinDesk’s Annual Digital Assets Review, Australian Open in the Metaverse

“First Mover” dove into the crypto markets with CoinDesk research analyst George Kaloudis for your first look at the latest CoinDesk Annual Review. Jam-packed with data and analysis on crypto performance and trends, the hosts and Kaloudis discuss the implications for 2022. Also, the Australian Open announced its metaverse project on the heels of news that tennis superstar Novak Djokovic’s visa has been denied. Guests were Ridley Plummer, Metaverse and NFT project manager of the Australian Open and Adam De Cata of Run It Wild.

Latest headlines

Arab Bank Switzerland Is Quietly Getting Into DeFi The Swiss sister entity to Jordan-based Arab Bank is offering clients access to AAVE, COMP, UNI and more.

Polygon Under Accidental Attack From Swarm of Sunflower Farmers A popular new blockchain game is congesting Polygon, sending gas prices soaring.

A16z Leads Additional $25M Round for DeFi Credit Protocol Goldfinch Other investors in the round included noted hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, crypto investment firm BlockTower and investment management firm Kingsway Capital.

NYDFS Hires New Deputy Superintendent of Virtual Currency Peter Marton will join the regulator’s research and innovation group, with a special focus on digital currencies and blockchain.

Longer reads

Facebook, Walmart and How Companies Shouldn’t Set Up in the Metaverse Facebook’s “pivot to video” destroyed businesses that went along. The metaverse could be a repeat act.

What Is Web 3? Here’s How Future Polkadot Founder Gavin Wood Explained It in 2014 A classic blog post envisioning a “post-Snowden web” takes on new relevance today.

Today’s crypto explainer: How Does Ethereum Staking Work?

Said and heard

“Feels like 2022 is for prioritizing people who align with whatever energy you want to see in yourself.” (Wall Street Journal technology columnist Christopher Mims on Twitter)

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