First Mover Americas: Bitcoin Defends $30K as ECB Preps First Rate Hike in More Than Decade

The latest moves in crypto markets in context for June and 9, 2022.Read MoreFeedzy

Good morning, and welcome to First Mover. I’m Bradley Keoun, here to take you through the latest in crypto markets, news and insights. (Lyllah Ledesma is off.)

Price point: Bitcoin’s price holds steady – defending $30K – as the European Central Bank moves to raise interest rates for the first time in more than a decade.

Market Moves: Mixed-up address snafu leads to $15M theft of Optimism’s OP tokens, Sam Kessler reports.

Featured story: The Osmosis Chain will remain halted for at least 48 hours following a liquidity pool exploit that resulted in an estimated loss of $5 million, Oliver Knight reports.

Bitcoin (BTC) was holding steady Thursday as the European Central Bank announced its first interest-rate hike in more than a decade.

As flagged in CoinDesk’s Market Wrap newsletter on Wednesday, bitcoin’s price this year has traded around expectations of central-bank monetary policy tightening – since the liquidity-sucking exercises also appear to influence cryptocurrencies.

For most of this year, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s actions have attracted most of the focus. Now that the ECB is also moving to rein in soaring inflation, crypto traders are paying attention.

“The globalization of markets means that this would affect all economies, so equities and crypto could suffer as a result in the short term,” Marcus Sotiriou, analyst at UK-based digital-asset broker GlobalBlock, wrote Thursday in an email.

After a 3% drop on Wednesday, the bitcoin price was flat to slightly higher on Thursday around $30,200.

For now, crypto bulls appear to have defended the crucial $30,000 price threshold. But some crypto analysts have warned that a deeper sell-off remains in the cards.

“We still believe that the bear market for bitcoin and the entire cryptocurrency market has yet to play its final act, and that should be expected before the end of the year,” said Alex Kuptsikevich, senior market analyst at FxPro.

For the past four weeks, bitcoin has traded in a tight range between roughly $32,300 and $28,000.

Such action resembles the U.S. stock market lately, where commentators have described the situation as “boring.”

As more central banks follow the Fed’s lead, markets might get more interesting again. Or maybe the central banks will simply suppress the volatility.

ICYMI: Please check out a smart piece by CoinDesk’s Sam Reynolds in Thursday’s First Mover Asia about major South Korean exchanges delisting litecoin (LTC).

Wintermute concedes “serious error” leading to $15 million theft of Optimism’s OP tokens

Ethereum scaling solution Optimism announced Wednesday that $15 million in OP governance tokens have been stolen by attackers, Sam Kessler reports.

Optimism intended to send the funds to a crypto market maker, but they fell into the wrong hands when the market maker, Wintermute, provided Optimism’s team with an incorrect blockchain address.

In a statement, Wintermute CEO Evgeny Gaevoy took responsibility for allowing the theft: “We made a serious error.”

The attack followed a difficult couple of weeks for Optimism, whose botched OP token airdrop sent the token’s price tumbling in its first hours. The OP token fell an additional 20% on Wednesday’s news according to the most recent data from CoinMarketCap.

By Oliver Knight

The Osmosis Chain will remain halted for at least 48 hours following a liquidity pool exploit that resulted in an estimated loss of $5 million.

In a series of updates on Twitter and in a Discord post at 17:32 UTC on Wednesday, the Osmosis team said it will cover all losses using its strategic reserves.

The bug was an issue with the JoinPoolNoSwap function, in which liquidity providers received 50% more than they should have done when withdrawing from liquidity pools.

The bug was exploited by a “small number of individuals,” Osmosis said. Four individuals have been identified as being responsible for 95% of the exploited amount.

“Funds have been linked to CEX accounts,” Osmosis community analyst RoboMcGobo wrote on Discord referring to centralized crypto exchanges. “Law enforcement has been notified. We’re hopeful that the exploiters will do the right thing here so that aggressive action will not be necessary.”

Today’s newsletter was edited by Bradley Keoun and produced by Parikshit Mishra and Stephen Alpher.


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