First Mover Asia: Crypto Offering New Opportunities for Inflation-Worried Indonesian Investors; Bitcoin Is Flat

A report by the crypto exchange Gemini found that about three in five Indonesians own cryptocurrencies; bitcoin and ether drop slightly.Read MoreFeedzy

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Bitcoin and ether were flat on Monday.

Insights: Indonesian investors are moving into crypto, a Genesis report found.

Technician’s take: BTC’s short-term momentum turned negative, which typically occurs during the first week of the month.

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Bitcoin (BTC): $46,809 -0.4%

Ether (ETH): $3,541 -0.5%

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Bitcoin, ether run in place

Bitcoin and ether were roughly flat on Monday amid light trading Monday as investors seemed content to to watch events unfold, at least for the time being.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was recently trading at about $46,700, up slightly t from where it stood 24 hours earlier. Ether was similarly up over the same period. Most other major cryptos were in the red. SOL and AVAX were recently down about 4%. DOT fell roughly 3%. LUNA, which was up about 3%, offered one bright spot.

Crypto trading continued to be well off levels of just a few months ago, underscoring investors’ caution amid economic uncertainties inflamed by Russia’s unprovoked aggression in Ukraine, although major equity indexes were up with the tech-heavy Nasdaq rising 1.9%.

U.S. President Joe Biden said in brief remarks to reporters that the U.S. would add to sanctions meant to cripple the Russian economy after satellite pictures showed massive civilian casualties in the town of Bucha near the Ukraine capital of Kyiv. Countries in the European Union have recently shown signs that they might ratchet back their dependence on Russian oil. Brent crude oil, a widely regarded measure of energy prices, rose to $108 per barrel, up about $4 from where it finished Friday.

Amid Oanda Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA Craig Erlam noted bitcoin’s choppiness over the past week after soaring past $47,000. “It’s recovered over the last few days after finding some support around $44,000 but continues to struggle to find much momentum as it approaches last week’s peak,” Erlam said. “It could still build on that breakout but it may be more of a grind than we’ve seen in the past, given the current environment.”

S&P 500: 4,581 +0.8%

DJIA: 34,921 +0.3%

Nasdaq: 14,532 +1.9%

Gold: $1,932 0.4%

Crypto offering a new opportunity for Indonesian investors

What’s the word for growth stock in Indonesian? Where can one find the equivalent of the Nasdaq in Jakarta?

That’s a trick question. While Indonesia is home to many exciting startups, the stock exchange in Jakarta is a boring bourse. Over the past five years, the IDX80, an index of the top 80 companies on the Jakarta exchange, has fallen roughly 3%. In comparison, Taiwan’s TAIEX is up nearly 77% for the same time period and Korea’s KOSPI is up 25%.

Indonesia, Taiwan and South Korea indices (TradingView)

These aren’t the kind of returns you’d want if you are a young Indonesian in the country’s new middle class looking to build wealth. It’s old news that Indonesians are deeply invested in crypto; there are more crypto investors in-country than retail stock traders. But new research published from the crypto exchange Gemini helps quantify just how deep their interest is.

Crypto ownership (Gemini)

According to Gemini’s findings, 41% of all Indonesians own crypto – spread evenly across the two genders at 49-51% for male and female. The country’s relatively high ownership rate makes it an outlier, as the report found that countries with higher income tend to have higher degrees of crypto ownership. By comparison, the U.K. has 40%, Germany 43%, and France 62%.

And this is all a new phenomenon. Globally, 41% of survey respondents purchased crypto for the first time in 2021.

Aside from the stock market not providing opportunities to build wealth, inflation is on everyone’s mind. Gemini’s survey showed that 64% of people in Indonesia believe it’s a hedge against inflation, and 61% of people believe that crypto is the future of money. By comparison, in most of western Europe, only 20-23% of people share this view. In the U.S., it’s at 23%.

Those that cover the PC and mobile phone industry will note that many in emerging markets skipped over PCs entirely because their first “personal computer” was their smartphone. Likewise, telecoms didn’t bother with widespread installations of copper phone lines. Instead, 3G towers went up followed by 4G in the mid-2010s giving the average person ample bandwidth.

Clearly, the same pattern is emerging in finance.

Bitcoin daily price chart shows support/resistance levels. (Damanick Dantes/CoinDesk, TradingView)

Bitcoin (BTC) dipped below $46,000 on Monday, indicating a loss of upside momentum.

Price action was choppy over the weekend after buyers failed to approach the $48,000 resistance level. That points to continued price weakness, especially as momentum signals on the daily chart turned negative, similar to what occurred during the first week of February and March.

Support at $43,000 could stabilize the pullback, which is near the March 25 breakout level. Still, BTC will need to break above the 200-day moving average, currently at $48,286, in order to yield upside targets beyond the $50,966 resistance level.

For now, momentum signals remain positive on the weekly chart, which means downside could be limited.

Celo Connect conference for developers, entrepreneurs and investors

8:30 a.m. HKT/SGT(12:30 a.m. UTC): Jibun (Japan) bank services (March)

12:30 p.m. HKT/SGT(4:30 a.m. UTC): Reserve Bank of Australia interest rate decision and statement

Dogecoin’s (DOGE) price and Twitter’s (TWTR) stock soared after Elon Musk took a 9.2% stake in the social media company. Mati Greenspan of Quantum Economics joined “First Mover” to share his crypto market analysis. The state of Oklahoma is weighing a tax incentive for bitcoin miners. The bill’s co-sponsor, state Sen. John Michael Montgomery, explained the proposal. Plus, Kalman Gabriel of Digital Strategies provided insights on ApeCoin’s rise and fall.

Crypto’s Night at the Grammys: From Binance and OneOf to a side of PFP NFTs, a crypto presence was felt during the music industry’s marquee event.

Crypto Exchange BitMEX Lays Off 75 Workers: The global job cuts will impact about 25% of the company’s workforce and come after plans by a company founded by BitMEX executives to buy a German bank fell through in March.

Other voices: Reality Intrudes on a Utopian Crypto Vision(The New York Times)

“Short-sellers are betting against a cryptocurrency whose price shouldn’t move.” (The Wall Street Journal) … “In the case of Axie/Ronin, the company behind the network didn’t even notice the hack for about a week. Or if it did it decided to take its time in formally announcing it: A blog post revealing the losses went up on March 29, six full days after the attacker made off with the funds.” (CoinDesk columnist Will Gottsegen) … “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led countries to tear up their timelines to transition from fossil fuels. In their quest for more secure energy supplies, they are simultaneously rushing toward and away from oil, gas and coal. For the near term, many countries are leaning even more on fossil fuels. They are in a race to lock up enough supply from non-Russian sources, including more coal, to ensure that they can heat homes, power factories and transport goods over the next few years. (The Wall Street Journal)


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