Bitcoin and Ethereum Prices Slide Amid Economic Uncertainty

A photo to accompany a story about daily crypto prices Illustration by Next Advisor
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Bitcoin’s price slid Friday, dropping 3% over the past 24 hours to $38,600. Ethereum followed a similar pattern, trading near $2,800, down more than 3% over the last 24 hours.  

Cryptocurrency Prices Today: Bitcoin, Ethereum

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have had a slow start to the week, primarily driven by ongoing economic and geopolitical uncertainty. Bitcoin, the largest crypto coin, was able to hold some short-term gain during early hours of Monday, but then dipped below the $40,000 support level by the afternoon and has continued to hit multiple low points throughout the week so far. 

The crypto markets have at times followed the stock markets, which experienced a technology-led sell-off earlier in the week amid corporate earnings results.

For weeks, the crypto market — like the stock market — has also been under pressure as investors grapple with rising inflation, the ongoing swirl of economic events stemming increasingly from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the potential for tighter monetary policy by the Federal Reserve. The Fed’s next meeting is right around the corner, which could be fueling additional uncertainty among investors. 

Bitcoin’s Price Today (April 29)

The leading crypto started Friday on a weak note, trading just shy of $39,000, down nearly 2% over the past 24 hours.

Bitcoin continues to trade in a relatively tight range around the $40,000 support level but remains extremely volatile. It has dipped below $38,000 at its low points over the past several days after reaching a high of $43,000 late last week, but that’s par for the course, according to Kiana Danial, author of “Cryptocurrency Investing for Dummies” and founder of Invest Diva.

In a recent TikTok video analyzing the market, Danial says bitcoin could find “medium-term support at around $37,000 and $31,000.” However, in the long term, Danial believes Bitcoin will rise in value.

@kianadanial Buy or sell? #bitcoin #btc #technicalanalysis #crypto #cryptocurrency #cryptok ♬ original sound – Invest Diva Kiana

“After the most recent drops that start at the end of 2021, bitcoin has been moving within an upward moving channel,” says Danial while pointing to a bitcoin price chart. “That’s a long-term bullish signal.”

Experts say the $40,000 benchmark has emerged as a key level for bitcoin because how it performs from there could determine whether the market enters another bullish or bearish phase. A support level is a price zone where a downtrend can be expected to pause because there’s a concentration of buying interest.

Bitcoin’s high point of the year so far remains in the earliest days of January, when it nearly hit $48,000. In that same month, Bitcoin also hit its six-month low as it dipped below $34,000. Bitcoin has lost 40% of its value since its Nov. 10 all-time high above $68,000.

Ethereum’s Price Today (April 29)

Ethereum has struggled to keep pace this week, trading at just under $2,900 Friday. The price of ethereum is down nearly 5% amid a big retreat in the stock market earlier in the week and building anticipation for its massive software upgrade

Called “The Merge,” Ethereum will move from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS), changing how transactions on Ethereum are ordered, which will make it more efficient and sustainable for widespread use. 

It’s expected to happen over the next few months, though a few recent developments suggest “The Merge” won’t happen in June as previously forecast. “No firm date yet, but we’re definitely in the final chapter of PoW on ethereum,” ethereum developer Tim Beiko said in a tweet on April 11. 

That, along with several other macroeconomic factors, has made for a shaky start to the year for ethereum, which in January dropped below $2,200 — the lowest ethereum’s price had been since July 2021. 

“Like all risk assets, crypto prices this year have been disproportionately driven by the war in Ukraine, inflation, and the outlook on Fed Policy (particularly the taper schedule),” says Ben McMillan, chief investment officer at IDX Digital Assets, a digital asset management firm.

What Investors Should Know About Cryptocurrency 

The crypto market is increasingly tracking the stock market lately, which combined with more mainstream adoption and the slumping prices starting the year, makes it even more intertwined with developing circumstances in Eastern Europe, inflation, and the Fed’s tightening monetary policy, experts say. 

In the short term, these factors have created some noise and extra volatility in the crypto and stock markets, but this is usual during times of uncertainty. Volatility is standard in the cryptocurrency market, so experts predict the ups and downs to continue. 

“Increased correlation to other risk assets is to be expected with the increased institutional adoption of crypto, and we don’t see this changing any time soon,” says McMillan.

So what should you do in light of this volatility? Nothing, according to the investing experts. Don’t let a sudden price increase alter your long-term investment strategy. Even more importantly, don’t start buying more crypto just because the price is rising. 

The price of cryptocurrencies are just as likely to fall back down as they are to continue climbing, and experts say that’s something long-term crypto investors will have to continue dealing with.

That’s why you should never put your money into a crypto-related investment unless you fully understand it. Do your research and only invest what you’re OK with losing from the start to prevent panic selling or buying down the road. 

Experts generally recommend keeping your crypto investments to less than 5% of your total portfolio. Additionally, always make sure your financial bases are covered — from your retirement accounts to emergency savings — before putting any extra cash into a speculative asset like crypto.