Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies declined marginally but concluded the week higher than they started, despite the US Federal Reserve’s first interest rate hike in four years and Russia’s intensifying aggression on Ukraine.
The most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization was currently trading around $41,200, down about 1.3 percent in the last 24 hours. Bitcoin surpassed $42,000 late Friday during U.S. trading hours, a more than 7% increase from where it began the week, as investors absorbed the Federal Reserve’s long-anticipated 25-basis-point raise on Wednesday and global outrage linked to Russia’s incursion. Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market size, was trading at just under $2,900, a 1.8 percent decline from the previous day but still substantially up from where it started the week. Over the last three days, trading volume has decreased.
“It’s been a great week for Bitcoin,” said Joe DiPasquale, CEO of fund manager BitBull Capital, said that “We’ve been trying to give support more than $40,500. If we can break over the next resistance line around $42,500, we might see a breakout to $45,000, like we witnessed on February 28th.”
DiPasquale went on to say that “poor trade volume is common for weekend activity,” but that it will pick up during the week. “With the stock markets rising again, there is an opportunity in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other assets if Monday starts strong,” he said.
The Nasdaq, which focuses on technology, gained 2% on Friday, while the S&P 500 gained little more than 1%. Gold dropped 1.2 percent. The late-week rally in equities and cryptos signalled that investors were willing to take on more risk than they had been just a few days earlier.
The weekend saw a new round of horrors in Ukraine, as well as further fallout that threatens to destabilise the already nervous global economy. According to one account, Mariupol, a major Black Sea port that would aid Russia’s control of the southern Ukrainian shoreline, was just days away from being destroyed. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Russia has generally failed to demonstrate that its economy can survive in the face of harsh sanctions imposed by countries that oppose it.