Bitcoin and Ether tumbled during Asia trading hours on Friday afternoon, with Dogecoin leading losses among the top 10 largest non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, pressured by crypto bank Silvergate’s liquidation announcement, and a new U.S. tax proposal on crypto mining. Equities also weakened, pressured by the prospect of higher-than-expected interest rates and a tighter U.S. labor market. The Forkast 500 NFT index also closed lower on the day.

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin fell by 7.96% in the past 24 hours, to trade at US$19,929 by 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong. Ether lost 8.2% to change hands at US$1,409, according to CoinMarketCap data.
  • Bitcoin and Ether, the two largest cryptocurrencies, were pressured by crypto bank Silvergate Capital’s announcement to cease operations and liquidate its banking unit. Crypto investors also reacted to the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden proposing an excise tax on crypto mining equal to 30% of the electricity cost used.
  • The crypto fear and greed index, which measures crypto market sentiment, declined to 34, its lowest since Jan. 13 and reflected market concern among investors.
  • Dogecoin was the worst performer of the day, losing 8.58% to trade at US$0.06546, followed closely by the Shiba Inu token, which fell 8.09% to US$$0.00001007.
  • The global crypto market cap decreased 6.62% over the last 24 hours to US$928.9 billion, with the total crypto market volumes rising by 60.53% to US$69.37 billion.
  • The Forkast NFT 500 index fell 1.7% to 4,164.86 over the last 24 hours, with Moonbirds down 12.77% as the biggest decliner, followed by the Bored Ape Kennel Club that lost 17.91%. The Forkast NFT 500 Index is a proxy measure of the performance of the global NFT market and includes 500 eligible smart contracts on any given day.
  • Asian equity markets weakened, mirroring Wall Street’s overnight downtrend, amid mounting concern that the U.S. Fed’s key interest rate will end up higher than expected, combined with a tighter U.S. labor market. 
  • Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.67%, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.4%, the Shenzen Component declined 1.19% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended the day 3.04% lower, its lowest close in 11 weeks. 
  • European stocks also tumbled on Friday. The STOXX 600 fell 1.7% and Germany’s DAX 40 lost 1.81%, as investors worldwide remained cautious after shares of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a major lender to technology startups, plunged more than 60% on Thursday. The SVB chaos led to four of the biggest U.S. banks losing more than US$50 billion in market value.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled to release its February job report on Friday, which will include two key metrics that may provide hints on the Fed’s upcoming decision on interest rates, unemployment and nonfarm payroll. Analysts are forecasting 225,000 new jobs added, according to CNBC.

See related article: CFTC chair calls Ethereum a commodity, in contrast to SEC chair Gensler’s position

(Updates to the ninth bullet to add information on Silicon Valley Bank jitters and adds corrections to unemployment data in the last bullet.)