Bitcoin, crypto prices tread water ahead of pivotal Powell testimony and US jobs data

Crypto markets were relatively flat to start the week ahead of Jerome Powell testimony and some significant economic indicators.

Bitcoin was trading around $22,500 by 12:30 p.m. EST, up 0.3%, according to TradingView data. Ether added 0.4% to $1,577. 

BTCUSD chart by TradingView

Altcoins dipped slightly to start the week, remaining in a broadly similar range to last week. Binance’s BNB slid 1.1%, Ripple’s XRP shed 0.8% and Cardano’s ADA was down 0.9%.

Markets will look to U.S. jobs data on Friday and Federal Reserve Chair Powell’s Congressional testimony on Tuesday. 

Consensus calls for a headline figure of 215,000 new jobs, said Adam Farthing of market maker B2C2, adding, “with recent inflation data showing clear signals of a re-acceleration, and rates pushing higher, one feels that another big number would be difficult for risk in general.”

Farthing noted that Powell’s testimony to Congress, his first appearance since Feb. 7, ought to “contain important clues as to Fed thinking about the economy and speed of rate hikes over the coming few months.”

“For crypto, all eyes will be on technical support levels below: short term is the $22,000 level, touched last Friday, but below that is a key support level at $21,500, which was a high in November pre-FTX, and a low in February. Below there, things would open up a little; $18,500 could potentially become the target,” he concluded. 

Crypto stocks

Silvergate traded higher after dipping at the open, up 5.8% to $6.11 by 12:25 p.m. EST, according to NYSE data. The crypto-friendly bank suspended the Silvergate Exchange Network on Friday amid ongoing concerns over the bank’s capitalization and an exodus of clients. 

SI chart by TradingView

Short-seller Marc Cohodes, who has been attacking Silvergate since last year, says he expects the bank to close within a week. Silvergate has been one of the most shorted stocks on Wall Street over the past two months, according to NYSE data via Fintel.

Coinbase was up 3.7% to just below $70. Block gained 1.2% to trade around $82 and MicroStrategy increased by 0.3% to $247.60.