Shortly before Asia equity markets opened on Friday, Bitcoin remained largely unmoved by the latest macroeconomic stirrings, while major altcoins that had dropped during U.S. trading hours steadied, albeit mostly in the red.
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was recently trading just below $29,200, roughly flat over the past 24 hours. BTC has been trading between $29,000 and $29,500 for much of the past 11 days and seems increasingly immune to outside events that once had a greater impact on prices and continue to weigh on other risk assets.
Ether, the second largest crypto in market value, followed a similar pattern to trade at $1,834, a 0.4% increase from Wednesday, same time. Other cryptos steadied after dropping more precipitously late Thursday amid investor unrest about rising yields globally, a Bank of England quarter point interest rate hike that reignited fears of further monetary hawkishness in Europe and largely discouraging U.S. jobs data that suggested inflation would remain problematic.
ADA, SOL and MATIC, the tokens of smart contracts platforms, Cardano, Solana and Polygon, were all recently off more than 2.5%. And UNI, the native crypto of decentralized exchange Uniswap, continued its downward momentum to fall more than 1.3%.
The CoinDesk Market Index, a measure of crypto markets performance was recently up 0.52%.
“I suspect that we will trend sideways for a good long while, perhaps for the next several months or even well into next year,” Bob Baxley, a core contributor to DeFi infrastructure provider Maverick Protocol, wrote in an email to CoinDesk. “There isn’t enough fresh capital flowing into the space at the moment for a meaningful rally.”
But Baxley added optimistically that shifting conditions will lead to “an inflow of both users and new capital.”
“I say this because Ethereum is seeing its foundations become sturdier and its applications more sophisticated and increasingly friendly for users,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, U.S. equity markets ticked down slightly as bond yields rose, a sign of lessening investor appetite for risk assets. The S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.3% and 0.1%, respectively.
In an email to CoinDesk, Brent Xu, CEO and co-founder of Web3 bond-market platform Umee, wrote that crypto prices are unlikely to spike for a prolonged period “until the macro environment softens more,” including a cessation of the interest rate hiking that has characterized central banking policy for more than 16 months.
“We are certainly close to peak rates, though we could have another hike or two ahead of us depending on how sticky inflation actually is,” Xu wrote. “I’m not convinced inflation is falling as fast as many are hoping. In short, we have a long way to go before we enter the optimistic phase of the cycle.”
Xu added: “We experienced such a meteoric surge…, especially with Bitcoin, that I don’t know how these levels can be sustained, let alone surpassed in a meaningful way. We’re left with money already in the digital asset ecosystem just getting recycled through various coins over and again, as has happened in previous down markets.”
Edited by James Rubin.