First Mover Asia: Bitcoin’s Recent Gains Have Been Small. What Will Drive Its Price Higher?

The U.S. economy seems headed for recession, if it’s not already there. But it’s difficult to predict how BTC and other cryptos will perform in the weeks ahead; cryptos climb higher in Thursday trading.Read MoreCoinDesk

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Bitcoin and ether soar for a third consecutive day.

Insights: What will drive a real bitcoin rally?

?Bitcoin (BTC): $23,841 +4.0%

?Ether (ETH): $1,719 +5.1%

?S&P 500 daily close: 4,072.43 +1.2%

?Gold: $1,771 per troy ounce +3.0%

?Ten-year Treasury yield daily close: 2.68% -0.05

Bitcoin, ether and gold prices are taken at approximately 4pm New York time. Bitcoin is the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX); Ether is the CoinDesk Ether Price Index (ETX); Gold is the COMEX spot price. Information about CoinDesk Indices can be found at

Bitcoin, Ether and Other Major Cryptos Rise Again

By James Rubin

Interest rates are up. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is down.

But crypto investors have been liking what they’ve been hearing lately about inflation-busting efforts and the possible economic path forward as bitcoin, ether and most other major digital assets climbed handsomely for a third consecutive day.

Bitcoin was recently trading at nearly $23,900, a more than 4% gain over the past 24 hours as markets continued to embrace the latest steps by the U.S. central bank to quell inflation and indicators showing the economy slowing but not falling into recession. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization cracked $24,000 for the first time in more than a week at one point despite GDP tumbling more steeply than expected.

Ether, the second-largest crypto by market cap behind bitcoin, jumped over $1,700 for the first time since early June. Other major cryptos were deeply in the green with ETC and BCH both up more than 20% at one point.

“Risk appetite is roaring back after a second consecutive contraction for the US economy raises the chances that the Fed could be looking to tighten at a softer pace at the next policy meeting in September,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst Americas for Oanda, wrote in an email.

Moya noted gains in equity markets that also rose for a third consecutive day with the tech-focused Nasdaq, S&P 500, which has a heavy tech component, and Dow Jones Industrial Average all rising over a percentage point. But he also struck a cautionary note, writing that although the rally for risky assets was a boon for crypto, “traders should not be surprised if stocks “eventually faded.”

Economic uncertainty

Thursday’s GDP report spurred more uncertainty about a global economy that has suffered one stomach punch after another for more than nine months. GDP declined at an annualized pace of 0.9% in the second quarter, marking two consecutive quarters of economic contraction, which many economists have traditionally defined as a recession. The data released on Thursday morning by the U.S. Commerce Department was worse than consensus forecasts of a 0.5% contraction, but was slightly better than “whisper” expectations for a decline of 1% or more. GDP plunged 1.6% in the first quarter.

However, many economists – and even Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen – have refrained from calling a recession because other factors like the labor market show signs of a strong economy. Both the government and the Fed defer to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) to declare a recession, which takes into account employment, personal income and industrial production, in addition to GDP.

Yellen told reporters on Thursday following the GDP announcement that the definition of a recession is a “broad-based weakening of the economy,” and “that is not what we’re seeing right now.”

On Wednesday, investors had reacted favorably to the U.S. central bank’s 75-basis-point rate hike and dovish signals by Powell that the Fed might not have to raise rates in a few months.

Meanwhile, the crypto bankruptcy roll call lengthened on Thursday with beleaguered crypto exchange Zipmex filing applications in Singapore seeking protection amid the threat of legal action from creditors. Zipmex’s solicitors, Morgan Lewis Stamford, filed five applications on July 22 on behalf of the firm’s different entities seeking moratoriums on legal proceedings for up to six months.

And crypto lender Voyager Digital was ordered by U.S. banking regulators to stop making incorrect claims that the company was insured by the government. Voyager Digital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court earlier this month.

Oanda’s Moya will be looking for bitcoin can to at least hold its current upper threshold as a sign that the crypto winter “is truly over.”

“Bitcoin is facing tentative resistance at the $24,000 level, but if that can’t contain the bulls price could extend towards the $27,500 region,” he wrote.

Biggest Gainers

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What Will Drive a Real Bitcoin Rally?

By Sam Reynolds

Bitcoin is up again after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced that it’s raising interest rates by 75 basis points to combat persistent inflation, meeting and but exceeding expectations.

Bitcoin responded by rising 10% in the immediate hours after the announcement and more than 5% on Thursday at one point to rise over $24,000 for the first time in more than a week.

Seeing the entire board in green is a nice change from the bear markets: a sea of red and daily declines.

But the $24,000 threshold is a long way from where we all thought it would be given the institutional support and interest it has. So how does it break out from this slump?

Stakeholders aren’t quite sure. Everyone knows that bitcoin is a risk asset. But is its fate forever tied to equities? After all, bitcoin’s first use case, and rally, was in 2013 when Cypriot depositors used it as an asset to preserve capital in times of risk – a stark contrast to it being a risky asset. Speaking at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2022 festival, Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz said that bitcoin isn’t going to “trade well before the Fed flinches and takes its foot off the break” and thinks that it will bottom out before U.S. equities do.

“My hope is that by the fourth quarter, the economy will be slowing enough that the Fed says we are going to pause, and then you will see the next crypto cycle start,” he said. “Then bitcoin will break from equities and lead markets.”

Bill Cannon, head of ETF portfolio management at digital asset fund manager Valkyrie Investments, sees bitcoin as being tied to equities and the macro environment dictating its price for the foreseeable future.

“Most signs point to the U.S. being in a recession, despite Chair Powell repeatedly insisting otherwise, and confirmation of that will likely send assets south,” Cannon said in an email to CoinDesk.

Recession, yes?

Cannon wrote there were two things that stuck out to the firm: Fed Chairman Jerome Powell declining to provide further rate guidance in advance of the September FOMC meeting, and also saying that “we need to have a period of growth below potential to create slack as well as a softening job market.”

“That sounds an awful lot like a recession, and we expect it to last longer than many people think – this will send all risk assets lower including Bitcoin and other digital assets,” Cannon wrote.

Despite the fact that Powell declined to provide rate guidance, others see this most recent rate hike meeting – not exceeding – expectations as the first sign of a more dovish Fed.

“We are seeing a very clean breakout to the upside, which started ahead of the data, seeing institutions taking heavy positions on the back of a more dovish FED stance,” assets brokerage Secure Digital markets wrote in a Telegram channel, CoinDesk previously reported.

The number keeps going up, but what puts it back to where it once was clearly remains a mystery.

9:30 p.m. HKT/SGT(1:30 p.m. UTC): U.K. M4 Money Supply (MoM/YoY/June)

9:30 p.m. HKT/SGT(1:30 p.m. UTC): U.K. Mortgage approvals (June)

In case you missed it, here is the most recent episode of “First Mover/” on CoinDesk TV:

The second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is out: the United States economy contracted again for the second time, falling 0.9%. This comes after it decreased a 1.6% annual rate in the first quarter of 2022. Joining “First Mover” to discuss the latest economic data and crypto markets was Jason Lau, chief operating officer of OKCoin. Plus, author Matthew Ball discussed how the metaverse will revolutionize everything. And Georgetown University Law Professor Adam Levitin discussed his concerns that ether (ETH) may become a security.

Ether Dominates Futures Trading as Shorts See $200M in Liquidations: Crypto markets jumped after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to hike rates by 75 basis points in a move that caught short traders offside.

GDP Falls Further in Q2, Fueling Talk of a Recession: A widely used technical definition says that two consecutive quarters of negative GDP means the economy is in a recession.

Solana DeFi Protocol Nirvana Drained of Liquidity After Flash Loan Exploit: The price of the protocol’s ANA token fell almost 80% following the attack.

Zipmex Files for Bankruptcy Protection in Singapore: The company’s lawyers filed five applications on behalf of the firm’s different entities seeking moratoriums on legal proceedings for up to six months.

Foundry Starts New Service to Reduce Supply-Chain Lag for Bitcoin Miners: The DCG subsidiary’s new Foundry Logistics aims to lower time and costs of deliveries of mining computers for its clients

What DAO Governance Has in Common With the ‘Eggheads’ Who Call a Recession: A whale on Ethereum staking protocol Lido rejected a plan to sell tokens to a VC firm, as an economic downturn looms.

“After years of work to bring proof-of-stake to Ethereum, we are now well into the final testing stage: testnet deployments! After several devnets, shadow forks and merges on deprecated testnets, Sepolia was recently transitioned to proof-of-stake. Now, only one more testnet remains: Goerli, and its associated Beacon Chain, Prater.” (Ethereum blog)


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