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Crypto market crashes amid Tether settlement news

2021.02.23 Adam James

Today's Crypto Market Daily covers the market sell-off amid news that Tether has agreed to a settlement with the NYAG.

It has been an exceptionally eventful day in the cryptocurrency markets. What started as an absolute bloodbath has been slightly abated by news that iFinex, Tether and related entities have settled with the New York State Office of the Attorney General. The agreement — which has been taken as a net positive by the wider cryptocurrency industry — will see the companies pay $18.5 million in penalties, cease trading activity with New York residents, and increase their transparency.

Despite the news, the digital currency market is still reeling from an exceptionally harsh drop. The total cryptocurrency market capitalization is currently down 8.3% over the past 24 hours, as per data from CoinGecko, and sits just over $1.5 trillion. BTC, meanwhile, is down 8.72% across global exchanges, with altcoins seeing worse losses.

The cryptocurrency market has seen harsh declines, market-wide. Source: Coin360

Curve Finance holds up amid major DeFi sell-off

The total value locked in the decentralized finance market has dropped sharply, in line with the rest of the cryptocurrency market. The market-wide TVL now stands well under $14 billion at $13.28 billion, as per data from DeFi Pulse

Nearly all of the DeFi market leaders have seen double-digit percentage decreases in TVL, with one notable exception — Curve Finance. The Ethereum-based decentralized exchange liquidity pool for stablecoin trading has only seen a TVL decline of roughly 1%.

The total value locked in decentralized finance has fallen with the rest of the market. Source: DeFi Pulse

Top altcoin gainers and losers: small-caps see biggest swings

  • SPND/USDT +48.99%
  • WXT/USDT +33.53%
  • MOF/USDT +30.34%
  • ARK/USDT -32.41%
  • APIX/USDT -40.08%
  • QUN/USDT -41.77%

Despite a selection of altcoins with relatively small market capitalizations, the altcoin market is largely devoid of gains. Only 18 altcoins on OKEx are in the green, as of this writing, with many of them being stablecoins. ZRX is the only notable non-stablecoin altcoin with a market cap over $1 billion that has seen a gain in valuation — albeit a modest one at 3.25%.

On the other side of things, the worst losses on OKEx are altcoins with small market cap, with CRO being the notable exception after losing 31.64%.

ZRX has seen a modest increase over the past 24 hours. Source: OKEx

BTC technical analysis: BTCUSDT unconvincingly bounces

The harsh decline on the BTCUSDT chart has bounced off of a key Fibonacci support level, but traders remain undecided on whether or not it will simply be a dead-cat bounce. 

The key test in the immediate term will be to see how the price of BTC reacts to the ribbon of exponential moving averages on the four-hour timeframe. Should this ribbon act as resistance, we could see a more prolonged period of bearish price action.

OKEx's BTC/USDT 4H chart — 2/23. Source: OKEx, TradingView

ETH technical analysis: ETHBTC repeatedly finds sellers

ETH still looks bearish against BTC, despite a bounce on lower time frames. A more convincing bounce will be required before traders turn bullish on the leading altcoin.

OKEx's ETH/BTC 4H chart — 2/23. Source: OKEx, TradingView

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Disclaimer: This material should not be taken as the basis for making investment decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation to engage in investment transactions. Trading digital assets involve significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should ensure that you fully understand the risk involved and take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary.