Bitcoin Stays Calm at $16.5K

Good morning. This is an abbreviated version of First Mover Asia, since the team is out of the office today for a CoinDesk company holiday in the U.S. Here’s what’s happening:

Prices: Bitcoin holds its $16,500 perch as the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday weekend begins.

Insights: Jocelyn Yang writes about the domino effect caused by the the downfall of FTX.


Bitcoin Trades Sideways, Holds Over $16.5K

By James Rubin

Bitcoin’s price barely budged on the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was recently trading at about $16,500, down a mere 0.11% over the past 24 hours. BTC has been holding steady around $16,000 for the past three weeks, although it took a brief dip below $15,500 on Monday amid fears about the future of crypto trading and lending firm Genesis Global Capital, which has been caught up in crypto platform FTX’s implosion.

Crypto markets calmed over the past three days, however, buoyed along with equity indexes by signs that the U.S. central bank would retreat from its current diet of hawkish 75 basis point interest rate hikes. While a number of crypto observers say the recent debacles may ultimately strengthen the crypto industry by forcing regulators to ratchet up their efforts, most analysts remain bearish prices.

Ether was recently changing hands at about $1,195, up 1.16% over the past day. Other cryptos were mixed, with Cardano (ADA) down almost a percentage point (-0.96%) and Quant (QNT) trading up 0.32%. The CoinDesk Market Index (CDI), an index measuring cryptos’ performance, was down 0.26%.


FTX Contagion Revives Dreaded 2022 Crypto Knell – the ‘Withdrawal Halt’

By Jocelyn Yang

In the crypto industry in 2022, the phrase “halting withdrawals” is like black smoke billowing out of a building. Damage is certain.

Technically it means that a crypto exchange or lender has gated customers from being able to get their money or digital tokens back – typically because there’s just not enough assets on hand to meet redemption requests. The likely upshot, though, is that the business is unlikely to recover easily from the destruction. In many cases, a bankruptcy filing is the next step.

Now, the rapid unraveling of once-billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire, including the FTX exchange and the crypto trading firm Alameda Research, has unleashed a fresh wave of crypto exchanges and lenders halting customers’ withdrawals over the past few weeks.

The collateral damage lengthens…


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