Market Wrap: Bitcoin, ETH Extend Gains as Equity Markets Continue To Fall

Increasing divergence between cryptocurrencies and equities has prompted suggestions that bitcoin has become a risk-off asset


Blockworks exclusive art by axel Rangel


key takeaways

  • The ruble’s collapse has pushed bitcoin to an all-time high against the Russian currency
  • “When freedom and individual liberty are threatened, the price of bitcoin goes up,” said Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner of Nexo

Bitcoin reached a new all-time high in rubles and continued to climb in dollars on Tuesday. Sanctions on Russia have caused the ruble to crumble in value, and Russians fear that funds in their bank account could be seized to help stave off a recession, potentially pushing them to invest in bitcoin.

While bitcoin continued pushing higher, equity markets deepened their slide, leading some to speculate that bitcoin could be regaining its status as a risk-off, safe-haven asset.

“I see bitcoin transitioning from a risk-on to risk-off asset, and so far in 2022 the crypto has made good progress on this trajectory,” said Mike McGlone, senior commodity strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence.

Others noted that bitcoin does best in circumstances such as those seen in recent days.

“When freedom and individual liberty are threatened, the price of bitcoin goes up,” said Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner of Nexo.

The S&P 500 dropped by 1.55% while the Nasdaq and Dow dropped by 1.63% and 1.76% respectively.

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Bitcoin, ether and the majority of major cryptocurrencies kept pushing higher. Bitcoin rose by over 2% by the end of stock trading, bringing its rise to well over 14% in just the past five days. Ether rose by 1.44%, also increasing by more than 14% in the past five days.

The day's largest gainer among top coins in the crypto market was RUNE, which saw a pump of over 32% in the past 24 hours.

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Top stories

Story: In One of Africa’s Largest Crypto Raises, South African Exchange Takes In $50M

  • “There is no longer any room for doubt regarding the impact crypto assets are having on our global financial system,” said Farzam Ehsani, VALR CEO and co-founder
  • VALR has processed over $7.5 billion in trading volume since its 2019 launch

Story: Electric Capital Raises $1 Billion To Launch Crypto Venture, Token Funds

  • The firm will focus on DAOs, NFTs, DeFi, decentralized infrastructure and accessibility in Web3
  • “The Web3 economy built on top of the programmable money stack will be one of the defining disruptions of the 2020s,” Avichal Garg, Electric Capital founder tweeted

Story: Subspace Labs Raises $33M Led by Pantera Capital To Further Web3 Efforts

  • The developer wants to build a new team using the funds that will go toward its Meta Services suite of products aimed at budding Web3 developers
  • The developer said it was aiming to to serve as an infrastructure layer for “the entire Web3 ecosystem”

Story: In Largest-ever NFT-backed Loan, 101 CryptoPunks Put Up as Collateral

  • The loan was completed by NFT liquidity scaling startup MetaStreet on lending platform NFTfi
  • “By having an active borrowing and lending market [in NFTs], you create productive assets that are otherwise viewed as unproductive,” Conor Moore, co-founder of MetaStreet, told Blockworks

Going forward

With markets likely to remain highly volatile amid the conflict in Ukraine it will be hard to tell if bitcoin is really becoming a risk-off asset. Jerome Powell’s scheduled testimony before Congress on Wednesday only adds to the uncertainty.

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