Bitcoin moved in a narrow range above the support line at US$28,000 in Friday morning trading in Asia, while most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies declined. Ether lost ground as the U.S. Treasury said the growth of decentralized finance (DeFi) posed a security risk. U.S. equities closed higher Thursday despite signs of a slowing labor market and a grim global economic outlook report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

See related article: US Treasury warns DeFi is being used for illicit transfers

Fast facts

  • Bitcoin dipped 0.49% to US$28,041 in the 24 hours to 8:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, edging up 0.04% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The token moved back into positive territory later in the morning and moved in a tight range.
  • Ether dipped 1.90% to US$1,873, following the U.S. Treasury Department’s statement on Thursday describing DeFi services as a threat to national security. Ethereum is a primary blockchain platform that allows development of decentralized applications in DeFi, where its Ether token is used as the primary means of exchange.
  • Ether, however, is up 4.4% on the week as the blockchain awaits next Wednesday’s Shanghai hardfork, also known as Shapella upgrade, which will allow investors to withdraw their staked Ether for the first time. 
  • Dogecoin fell 8% to US$0.08542 after Elon Musk switched the Twitter icon back to the traditional blue bird after replacing it with the Dogecoin dog image earlier this week. Still, the meme token is still up 15% on the week.
  • Other tokens followed a similar price pattern, down for Friday but holding gains over seven days. Cardano’s ADA token dipped 2.32% to US$0.3834, but is up 1.85% week-to-date. Polygon’s Matic fell 2.27%, yet is up about 2% higher over the seven days.
  • The total crypto market capitalization dropped 0.84% in the past 24 hours to US$1.18 trillion. Total trading volume in the same period lost 15.64% to US$37.11 billion.
  • In the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the Forkast 500 NFT index slipped 0.53% to 3,987.19 in the 24 hours to 08:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, losing 0.65% for the week. The index is a proxy measure of the performance of the global NFT market and includes 500 eligible smart contracts on any given day. It is managed by Forkast Labs data branch, CryptoSlam.
  • U.S. equities closed little changed to higher on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished flat, the S&P 500 gained 0.36%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.76%. 
  • The U.S. Labor Department on Thursday said the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to 228,000 in the week ended April 1, but annual revisions to the number showed applications were higher this year than expected, indicating a slowing labor market. This added to concern the U.S. economy may be headed for a recession after a raft of interest rate hikes to curb inflation.
  • This view gained some credence from IMF’s managing director Kristalina Georgieva predicting just 3% growth in the global economy for the next five years, the lowest forecast in two decades.
  • U.S. interest rates are now between 4.75% to 5%, the highest since June 2006. Ahead of the Federal Reserve rates meeting on May 3, analysts at the CME Group expect a 44.5% chance of a 25 basis-point rise, while 55.5% expect no change, up from 54.2% on Thursday.
  • U.S. stock futures traded lower as of 8:00 a.m. in Hong Kong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dipped 0.12%, S&P 500 futures moved down 0.097% and the Nasdaq-100 futures Index dropped 0.11%. U.S. equity markets are closed Friday in observance of Good Friday.
  • (Updates Dogecoin section with icon switch back to blue bird at Twitter.)

See related article: India prioritizes offline CBDC transfers, targets 1 mln users in three months