| 22 June 2021, Tuesday | النسخة العربية

Cryptos turn choppy as bounce momentum ebbs

Cryptocurrencies fell on Thursday, but not below recent lows, as traders clung to the optimism that the asset class could recover from last week’s sell-off.

In Asia, bitcoin fell 4% to over $37,600, while ether, the second-largest crypto asset, fell 7.5 percent to $2,676, leaving both far above recent lows but far short of the record highs reached in April.

Some experts believe the drops were moderate in comparison to recent volatility and that the market has found a bottom, while regulatory scrutiny and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s waning enthusiasm will continue to be key dangers.

“The big cleanout has probably occurred,” said IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda, as trade had calmed down somewhat.

“People lose patience and bail along the way, but … it looks like its starting to form a bit of a bottom here,” he said. “I’m sure that there are still some nervous folks out there who’re hoping and wishing that their long crypto positions are going to crawl back into the green.”

Bitcoin’s drop was triggered by China’s efforts to crack down on mining and trading of cryptocurrencies and weighed by Tesla suspending its willingness to accept it as payment due to environmental concerns about energy use.

The U.S. Treasury Department has also called for requiring large cryptocurrency transfers to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Reserve flagged the risks cryptocurrencies posed to financial stability.

Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank, told the Global Markets Forum chatroom on Refinitiv Eikon, “It is not a substitute for money.”

“At most, it’s an alternative asset with no intrinsic value,” he added, emphasizing that blockchain technology and its potential “must not be confused with crypto-currencies.”

Since it fell to a four-month bottom near $30,000 last week, such nagging uncertainties have hindered bitcoin from closing above its 200-day moving average. It has been supported around $37,000 this week, but has not risen above $40,904, whereas ether, which hit $1,730 last weekend, has attracted buyers above $2,500.