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Crypto Price Check: Traders Playing the Waiting Game

Cryptocurrency prices are mixed as traders 'are waiting for macroeconomic events to unfold before placing any further bets.'
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Cryptocurrency prices were mixed Tuesday, amid Russian's ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the start of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting.

'Trading Sideways'

Bitcoin was up slightly to $39,149 at last check, according to CoinGecko, while ethereum was up nearly 1% to $2,563 and meme coin dogecoin was off 1.6% to $0.112309.

"The cryptocurrency markets have been trading sideways for the past week," said Keegan Francis, Bitcoin and crypto expert, Finder. "Bitcoin remains in a band between $38k and $44.5k. Both the bears and bulls have failed to move the price beyond either direction indicating that traders are waiting for macroeconomic events to unfold before placing any further bets."

Francis addd that "no clear outliers stand out in the markets with the exception of LUNA which approached all-time highs last week."

Terra's LUNA nearly 2% to $91.42 on Tuesday.

The start of the Fed's policy meeting, which is nearly certain to end tomorrow with a 25 basis point rate hike, has investors looking for clues as to how the central bank will manage the myriad risks linked to growth and inflation heading into the second half of the year.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament's economic and monetary affairs committee passed the proposed Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework, the EU’s legislation for governing digital assets.

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The committee turned down a last-minute addition to the bill that sought to limit the use of cryptocurrencies that use the proof-of-work mining process, which has been have been criticized by environmentalists for its energy consumption.

'An Important Catalyst'

Winston Ma, managing partner of CloudTree Ventures, Author of The Digital War – How China’s Tech Power Shapes the Future of AI, Blockchain and Cyberspace", said that Ukraine-Russia war-related sanction concern "probably was an important catalyst for President Biden’s executive order for crypto regulation last week, even though the order called for a comprehensive crypto regulatory framework broader than money laundering."

"The crypto-industry had long been awaiting for this executive order, yet it arrived unexpectedly on March 9th," Ma said. "Probably driven by the concern of sanctions-dodgers, the executive order showed that the government have begun to go further than merely arm-twisting exchanges to implement existing anti-laundering guidelines—a policy tightening that the war has clearly accelerated."

David Lesperance, managing partner of immigration and tax adviser at Lesperance & Associates, said Biden's "order is an attempt to coordinate various US government agencies who have been trying to stake their claim to regulate various parts of the crypto world."

"There has clearly been turf war between the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission," he said. "SEC Chair Gary Gensler has asserted that most digital assets are securities subject to SEC rules."

Crypto firms are worried about the SEC, Lesperance said, "because of its preference toward enforcement."

"Instead, they supporting efforts to expand the powers of the CFTC, which primarily has authority to regulate derivatives but not the underlying markets," he said. "The victor in this tug of war will have huge ramifications on crypto-regulation not only in the US but in other markets which will follow the US’s lead."