Bitcoin, Ether edge up; Wall Street on edge amid government shutdown fears

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-edge-up/

Bitcoin was trading above US$26,300 Thursday morning in Asia after briefly breaching US$26,800 Wednesday evening. Ether also made up some ground, rising above the US$1,600 resistance level before falling back to just below it. Other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed, with the Open Network’s (TON) Toncoin leading the winners. U.S. stock futures were up after Wall Street closed mixed on Wednesday. Investors are digesting a 16-year high in U.S. 10-year treasury yields as well as a potential debt-driven government shutdown in October.

SEC delays another spot Bitcoin ETF decision

Bitcoin gained 0.56% to US$26,354.64 in the 24 hours to 07:40 a.m. in Hong Kong but still held a weekly loss of 2.87%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency on Wednesday night briefly rose above US$26,800 for the first time in the past seven days, but soon retreated to around US$26,300.

The U.S. dollar index (DXY), which measures the greenback against a basket of other major fiat currencies, reached a ten-month high of 106.84 on Thursday.

A high DXY has been a bearish signal for cryptos and the S&P 500 alike, blockchain intelligence firm Santiment said Thursday on X (previously Twitter). However, Bitcoin has “held up well” despite the rise in the U.S. dollar. That “may indicate a breakout could come once the DXY settles down,” Santiment added.

Along with Bitcoin, Ether edged up 0.31% to US$1,597.56 over the past 24 hours but is trading 1.55% lower for the week. The token also hit a seven-day high of US$1,631.91 on Wednesday evening.

The price moves in the crypto market yesterday were driven by macro markets, said Justin d’Anethan, head of Asia-Pacific business development at Belgium-based crypto market maker Keyrock.

“Overnight Asia time, American investors started the day full of optimism, attempting to reverse this week’s pullback… only to turn risk-off again in the second half of the day and close in the red,” d’Anethan said.

“While traditional markets suffered, crypto actually outperformed, rising and then pulling back but only to return to a neutral position. BTC and ETH are essentially flat or timidly up on the session,” d’Anethan added.

Other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed for the past 24 hours. Toncoin, the native token of TON, led the winners with a 2.21% increase to US$2.17, but was still down 9.96% for the week. Polkadot’s DOT token led the losers, edging 0.56% lower to US$3.99 for a 3.63% weekly loss.

On the regulatory front, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday delayed a decision on the spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application made by Cathie Woods’ Ark Investment Management and Swiss digital asset brokerage 21Shares.

The SEC was scheduled to make a decision by November 11 but it has now pushed that date back to January 10. The agency has delayed its decision multiple times on ETF applications from not only Ark and 21Shares, but also BlackRock, WisdomTree and Invesco Galaxy.

The delay was made after four Congress members urged the SEC to approve pending spot Bitcoin ETF applications. At a Wednesday Congress hearing, SEC Chair Gary Gensler was questioned by multiple Congress members about his agency’s aggressive stance on crypto assets. But he stuck to the claim that most cryptos other than Bitcoin should be classified as securities and regulated by the SEC.

Despite the pressure from Congress, Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, wrote in an emailed comment that “Gensler refused to release any details where the SEC stands in the (spot Bitcoin ETF) application process and rather criticised industry practices. This caused Bitcoin prices to retrace their rally attempt (yesterday).” 

On the subject of Gensler’s speech, Keyrock’s d’Anethan said “it feels like American regulators are pushed more and more to take some action and I choose to see that as bullish: it’s a question of when they’ll give in, not if.”

The total crypto market capitalization edged up 0.35% in the past 24 hours to US$1.05 trillion, while trading volume rose 20.25% to US$27.26 billion.

Bitcoin, Ether tread water; U.S. equities slide with mega-cap tech giants leading the declines

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-tread-water-us-equities-slide/

Bitcoin dipped on Wednesday morning in Asia to trade range-bound below US$26,300. Ether edged higher but failed to reclaim the US$1,600 mark. Other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed in the past 24 hours, with Binance’s BNB token leading the winners. The Open Network’s (TON) Toncoin led the losers. U.S. stock futures were up during early morning trading in Asia after Wall Street recorded losses of over 1% on Tuesday. More key inflation data is expected Thursday as investors look out for signs of a U.S. recession and further interest rate hikes. Mega-cap tech giants including Amazon, Apple and Tesla led the Wall Street declines.

Bitcoin ‘firm within September trading range’

Bitcoin edged 0.28% lower to US$26,209.51 in the 24 hours to 07:40 a.m. in Hong Kong for a weekly loss of 3.70%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency fell to US$26,090.71 on Tuesday evening. But it managed to stay above the US$26,000 support level maintained for the past 14 days.

With Bitcoin staying “firm within its September trading range,” blockchain analytics firm K33 Research wrote in an emailed note, “a narrowing trading range accompanied by a slow news cycle has provided traders with few reasons to participate actively in the market.”

The options pricing of Bitcoin derivatives on the CME market “shows a more positive longer term than short-term outlook but has become slightly more bearish in tandem with BTC’s price decline over the last week,” the K33 report added.

Ether was also trading flat. It edged up 0.33% to US$1,592.60 over the past 24 hours but lost 3.10% for the week. The token hit US$1,598.10 on Tuesday evening. But it failed to rise above the US$1,600 level it gave up on Sunday.

While Ether is trading near a 14-month low against Bitcoin (0.061 BTC per ETH), that trend could be about to change, K33 report.

“We reiterate our stance that rotating towards ETH is a sound play for the coming months, as futures-based ETFs can turn the trend. The first half of October will be pivotal in that regard, as the final deadlines for the ongoing futures ETH ETFs are coming up in this period,” wrote K33.

Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies booked losses for the past 24 hours. The exceptions were Ether, Binance’s BNB and Tron’s TRX. Toncoin continued to lead the losses. It dropped 1.66% in the past 24 hours to US$2.12 for a weekly decline of 17.75%.

BNB, the native token of cryptocurrency exchange Binance Holdings Ltd, led the winners. The coin gained 1.06% to US$212.17, but it recorded a weekly loss of 2.30%. 

BNB’s daily rise coincided with the announcement Tuesday that Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is collaborating with Japan’s largest banking group Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation to issue fiat-pegged stablecoins in 2024.

The total crypto market capitalization dipped 0.28% in the past 24 hours to US$1.04 trillion, while trading volume dropped 10.02% to US$22.56 billion.

Bitcoin, Ether flat; MicroStrategy adds to Bitcoin holdings

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-flat-microstrategy-bitcoin-holdings/

Bitcoin traded flat below US$26,300 Tuesday morning in Asia. Ether also edged up but remained below the US$1,600 mark. Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies, while recording marginal gains in the past 24 hours, logged losses for the week. Cardano’s ADA led the winners. Cryptos, along with global equities, face pressure from interest rate hike concerns and rising treasury yields. U.S. stock futures were flat during early morning trading in Asia after Wall Street closed higher on Monday. That rise broke a four-day losing streak triggered by hawkishness from the U.S. Federal Reserve. 

Losses for short-term Bitcoin holders

Bitcoin was little changed as of 07:40 a.m. in Hong Kong, trading at US$26,276.60 for a weekly loss of 1.78%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency dropped to US$26,011.47 on Monday evening, the lowest price since Sept. 13.

Ether also remained flat. It edged up 0.35% to US$1,586.87 but is down 3.06% for the past seven days. The token touched a high of US$1,595.84 on early Tuesday morning, but failed to move above the US$1,600 resistance level.

“Cryptocurrency market sentiment remains weak, amid declines in global stock markets, a strong dollar and rising yields putting pressure on risk assets,” Hani Abuagla, senior market analyst at online trading broker XTB MENA, said in an emailed comment.

“The economic policies enacted by central banks, particularly the Federal Reserve, have redirected capital towards less risky investments such as government bonds,” said Matteo Greco, research analyst at Canada-based digital asset investment firm Fineqia International, in an emailed note.

“These bonds currently offer an attractive risk/reward ratio, offering a passive income while mitigating portfolio risk,” Greco added.

Citing data from blockchain tracker Glassnode, XTB MENA’s Abuagla noted that over 97.5% of addresses owned by short-term Bitcoin holders are posting losses — an 11 month high. Short-term holders (STH) are those traders that have bought Bitcoin over the last 155 days.

“This may mean that the pressure to sell BTC at a loss in the STH pool may be growing, as evidenced by the previous pattern of on-chain behavior (when the price fell below the average STH purchase price of BTC),” said Abuagla.

Meanwhile, Abuagla said that a drop in Bitcoin prices could be a “contrary signal” indicating an oversold market. That may present a potential accumulation opportunity for long-term investors, he added.

MicroStrategy, the U.S.-based analytics firm founded by Michael Saylor, revealed on Monday it purchased nearly US$150 million worth of Bitcoin from Aug.1 to Sept. 24 at an average price of about US$27,053 per coin.

As of Sept. 24, MicroStrategy held around 158,245 bitcoins, which were acquired at an aggregate purchase price of roughly US$4.68 billion.

“While this is bullish and shows continued faith and strong buying pressure, crypto markets didn’t really react. Ironically, MicroStrategy’s buying announcements have historically been followed by mild pull-backs instead of rises, and the crypto space might be cautious about buying,” said Justin d’Anethan, head of Asia-Pacific business development at Belgium-based crypto market maker Keyrock. 

“The whole thing happens in an environment where investors are still digesting the Fed’s speech hinting at higher rates for longer, and therefore presumed lower valuations for most risk assets,” added d’Anethan.

Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies posted gains for the past 24 hours. Cardano’s ADA led the winners. The token rose 1.10% to US$0.2453 but lost 2.49% for the week. 

Toncoin was the only top-10 non-stablecoin token to record a 24-hour loss. It dropped 1.83% to US$2.16 for a weekly loss of 10.28%.

The total crypto market capitalization edged up 0.28% in the past 24 hours to US$1.05 trillion, while trading volume rose 40.50% to US$24.94 billion.

Bitcoin, Ether drop; top cryptos retreat with Toncoin leading losers

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-drop-top-cryptos-retreat/

Bitcoin fell Monday morning in Asia to trade below US$26,300. Ether also dipped and remained below the US$1,600 mark. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies were down. Toncoin led the losers with a slide of over 4% over the past 24 hours. The retreat in cryptos follows the U.S. Federal Reserve’s hawkish policy stance at its September meeting. Although it paused interest hikes, the Fed signalled another raise to come by the end of the year, with rates to remain higher for longer than anticipated. U.S. stock futures were up during early morning trading in Asia. All three major U.S. indexes closed lower on Friday for a week of losses. 

Bitcoin below US$26,300 with more declines expected

Bitcoin dropped 1.22% in the last 24 hours to US$26,252.57 as of 07:40 a.m. in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency posted a weekly loss of 0.91%. It was hovering above US$26,500 over the weekend but lost the support line early Monday morning.

“Overall, the trend is down and stays bearish,” Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, wrote in a report Monday.  

As Bitcoin failed to break its 50-day moving average of US$26,876, more downward movement is expected.

“If Bitcoin trades below US$26,000 then the market might attempt another break lower,” Thielen said. He added that “October tends to be seasonal bullish for Bitcoin, but we would stay cautious without a break above its 50d MA.”

Ether dipped 0.86% to US$1,579.12, trading 2.52% lower for the week. The world’s second largest cryptocurrency fell below the US$1,600 support level for the first time since Thursday.

“We mostly worry about Ethereum as weak fundamentals plus a lack of hype around the EIP-4844 upgrade (which should come sometime in Q4 2023) could make the blockchain slowly obsolete,” said Thielen. 

“Ethereum’s failure to rally above US$1,650 is of the utmost concern as a break lower could have major implications for the altcoin sentiment,” Thielen added.

EIP-4844, also known as the Ethereum Cancun Upgrade, is a proposed Ethereum upgrade that aims to improve the speed and cost-effectiveness of the Ethereum network.  

The average fee on the Ethereum blockchain dropped to around US$1.15 per transaction on Saturday, the lowest level since December 2022, according to blockchain intelligence firm Santiment.

“Historically, we see utility begin rising as $ETH becomes more affordable to circulate. Increased utility can then lead to recovering market cap levels,” wrote Santiment in a Saturday Twitter post.

All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies posted losses for the past 24 hours. Toncoin led the losers, falling 4.22% to US$2.20 for a weekly loss of 3.98%. But the native token of the Open Network (TON) still posted a monthly rise of more than 50%

The total crypto market capitalization dropped 1.0% in the past 24 hours to US$1.04 trillion, while trading volume edged up 8.42% to US$17.64 billion.

Bitcoin, Ether and other top-10 cryptos down amid Wall Street sell-off

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Bitcoin dropped Friday morning in Asia to trade below the US$27,000 support level. Ether also retreated and lost control of the US$1,600 mark for the first time in the past week. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies logged losses in the past 24 hours. Solana led the losers with a slide of over 3%. The drop in crypto prices coincided with a decline Thursday in global equity markets as investors digested hawkish U.S. Fed remarks on monetary policy. U.S. stock futures were trading flat during opening hours in Asia after all three major U.S. indexes logged losses of over 1.0% Thursday.

Cryptos drop as US bond yields soar

Bitcoin fell 2.10% in the last 24 hours to US$26,580.90 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency fell to US$26,389.30 on Thursday night, its lowest level in a week.

After deciding to keep interest rates unchanged in September as expected, the U.S. Federal Reserve projected one more interest rate hike by the end of 2023. While it lowered its prediction for the pace of interest rate cuts in 2024, comments from Fed members were “more hawkish” than analysts expected.

Following the Fed meeting Wednesday, benchmark 10-year U.S. treasury yields rose to a 16-year high of 4.49% on Thursday.

“U.S. equity and rates markets have broken some very key levels on the back of this (Fed projection), and reflexivity can take over with the bearish thesis from here,” said digital asset trading firm QCP Capital in a Thursday Telegram market update.

The drop in equity markets and rising treasury yields “could seep into crypto markets and take BTC lower with it, albeit with a lower beta as compared to other very stretched macro markets like the NASDAQ,” said QCP Capital.

Despite macro pressures, Bitcoin can receive some support from the multiple spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications ongoing in the U.S., said Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport.

“If the SEC approves a Bitcoin ETF, which we believe is a 70% probability over the next six months, then there could be an immediate re-pricing and Bitcoin could be +20% more expensive in an instant. Hence, it is essential to keep upside exposure to such an event,” Thielen said in an emailed comment.

Ether fell 2.35% to US$1,585.53 and was trading 2.66% lower for the week. The world’s second largest cryptocurrency fell below the US$1,600 support level for the first time since last Thursday.

All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies posted losses in the past 24 hours. Solana’s SOL led the losers, falling 3.73% to US$19.54. But it still posted a weekly gain of 3.35% 

Meanwhile, the collapsed Tokyo-based crypto exchange Mt. Gox delayed the deadline to repay its customers from October 2023 to October 2024, according to an announcement by Mt. Gox trustees on Thursday.

Around 850,000 Bitcoins (worth about US$22.57 billion at the current price) were stolen from Mt. Gox in 2014, which was then the largest crypto exchange in the world. The crypto exchange currently holds about 142,000 Bitcoins. Analysts expect the return of the lost Bitcoin to Mt. Gox customers will exert selling pressure on the wider Bitcoin market.

“(Mt. Gox’s delay) alleviates — at least for now — a wave of selling that many traders must have been prepping for and that can now be ignored,” said Justin d’Anethan, head of Asia-Pacific business development at Belgium-based crypto market maker Keyrock. 

Elsewhere, Tether Holdings, the issuer of the USDT stablecoin, expanded its USDT lending services during the latest financial quarter, less than one year after saying it would phase out the practice.

“Most investors and holders would see that as additional risk, as it means more assets will be used by third parties and, if market conditions were to turn for the worse, could pose liquidity issues,” said d’Anethan. 

USDT traded at US$1.0001 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, slightly higher than its 1:1 peg to the U.S. dollar. The valuation suggests “investors are not worried and actually prefer it to most other stablecoin options,” said d’Anethan.

The total crypto market capitalization dropped 1.67% in the past 24 hours to US$1.05 trillion, while trading volume jumped 158.64% to US$72.41 billion.

Bitcoin, Ether dip; Toncoin leads crypto retreat following hawkish Fed comments

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The U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged as expected at its September meeting on Wednesday. Bitcoin briefly fell below US$26,900 in the early hours of the morning after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said more interest rate hikes may be needed to curb inflation. But the token is now trading above the US$27,000 support level. Ether also dropped but held above US$1,600. Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies logged losses in the past 24 hours. Toncoin led the losers with a slide of over 6%. U.S. stock futures traded lower Thursday morning after a day of Wall Street losses Wednesday.

Cryptos down amid rate hike worries

Bitcoin dipped 0.28% in the last 24 hours to US$27,137.70 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong. But the world’s largest crypto token still posted a weekly gain of 3.52%, according to CoinMarketCap data. 

The Fed announced a much-anticipated pause in its rate hiking cycle Wednesday. The rate will continue at 5.25% and 5.50%, its highest level in 22 years. The Fed raised its projected interest rates for the end of 2023 to 5.6%, indicating another rate hike to come within the year. The agency also raised its projection for the end of 2024 to 5.1%, up from the 4.3% predicted in June.

“With 99% of forecasts predicting no change at the FOMC meeting, it was clear that we would see a stabilization of interest rate policy moving forward. However, it came as a surprise that the report emphasized slower rate cuts moving forward than previously projected,” Michael Silberberg, Head of Investor Relations at the U.S.-based crypto hedge fund AltTab Capital, said in an emailed comment.

“While it’s a relief that the Fed see us at the peak of rate hikes with their forecast of fewer rate cuts in 2024, it is hard for us to take today’s announcement with too much optimism,” added Silberberg.

Following Powell’s announcement, Bitcoin fell more than 1.5% to US$26,864.08 on early Thursday morning in Asia. But it soon recovered to above US$27,000.

On the regulatory front, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it would expand its regulatory scrutiny over the crypto industry. The agency has already sued multiple crypto companies for alleged securities violations. Those companies include software firm Ripple Labs and the U.S. branches of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase Global Inc. and Binance Holdings Ltd. 

“We’re going to continue to bring those charges,” SEC head of crypto David Hirsch said Tuesday at a forum in Chicago, indicating that the regulator would look into the actions of intermediaries such as brokers, dealers and clearing agencies.

Despite ongoing regulatory and rate hike concerns, Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, said he sees some “breakout signals” for Bitcoin. That includes the token’s move above its 50-day average of US$27,103. The 50-day average is a trend model that signals when Bitcoin is experiencing a bullish trend (above) or a bearish trend (below).

Ether dropped 1.26% to US$1,622.84 but was still trading 0.97% higher for the week. Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies logged losses in the past 24 hours. The exceptions were XRP and Solana’s SOL, which rose 1.52% and 1.33% respectively. 

Toncoin, the native token of The Open Network (TON), led the losers. The coin dropped 6.54% to US$2.41, while holding a weekly gain of 27.20%. The token has surged almost 75% in the past 30 days.

TON is a blockchain-based network originally developed by messaging giant Telegram. The Toncoin token received a boost last week from the launch of TON Space — a self-custodial digital wallet available to Telegram’s estimated 800 million users.

The total crypto market capitalization dipped 0.47% in the past 24 hours to US$1.07 trillion, while trading volume inched up 2.75% to US$28.05 billion.

Bitcoin trades above US$27,000; Toncoin extends rally

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-above-us27000-toncoin-extends-rally/

Bitcoin rose on Wednesday morning in Asia to trade above US$27,200, after reaching over US$27,400 earlier in the day. Ether remained flat at around US$1,640. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies logged gains in the past 24 hours, with Toncoin spearheading the rally with an over 7% increase. The crypto market received a boost from Japan’s leading investment bank Nomura, which announced a Bitcoin-based fund for institutional investors on Tuesday. U.S. stock futures traded flat, after Wall Street closed lower on Tuesday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision.

Bitcoin rose above US$27,400; Nomura unveiled Bitcoin fund

Bitcoin rose 1.75% in the last 24 hours to US$27,214.15 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong and moved up 5.11% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency rallied early Wednesday morning to reach US$27,488.76 — the highest price since Aug. 31, but soon retreated.

Laser Digital, a digital asset subsidiary of Japan’s Nomura Holdings, announced on Tuesday the launch of its Bitcoin Adoption Fund, which aims to provide “a seamless way for institutional investors to access the digital asset class.”

Nomura, which held around US$500 billion in assets under management, is Japan’s largest investment bank. The recently launched Bitcoin-related fund is the first in a range of digital adoption investment solutions that Laser Digital Asset Management will bring to the market.

“Technology is a key driver of global economic growth and is transforming a large part of the economy from analog to digital. Bitcoin is one of the enablers of this long-lasting transformational change and long-term exposure to Bitcoin offers a solution to investors to capture this macro trend,” Sebastien Guglietta, head of Laser Digital Asset Management, said in the announcement.

Meanwhile, as the equity market awaits the U.S. Fed’s interest rate decision on Wednesday, some expect the event to have a limited impact on the crypto market.

“While markets may become volatile during and after the meeting, any sustained directional effect is doubtful. In the current environment, making trading decisions based on macroeconomic data is less helpful due to Bitcoin’s reduced correlation with traditional assets,” wrote blockchain research firm K33 Research on Tuesday.

K33 also highlighted a slide in Bitcoin trading activities on the world’s leading crypto exchange Binance. Binance’s seven-day average Bitcoin spot volume had plunged 57% since the start of September, along with the crypto exchange’s intensifying regulatory challenges in the U.S.

Ether edged up 0.42% to US$1,643.57 and added 2.96% for the week. The second top cryptocurrency reached a 20-day high of US$1,659.53 on early Wednesday morning.

All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies logged gains in the past 24 hours. Toncoin continued leading the winners, which jumped 7.24% to US$2.58. The native token of the TON Network has surged 41.07% for the week.

The total crypto market capitalization gained 1.32% in the past 24 hours to US$1.08 trillion, while trading volume dropped 12.12% to US$27.29 billion.

Bitcoin, Ether rise; Toncoin leads crypto rebound

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-rise-toncoin-leads-rebound/

Bitcoin rose on Tuesday morning in Asia to around US$26,700, after briefly breaching the US$27,000 resistance level on Monday evening. Ether also logged gains but remained below US$1,650. Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies moved higher in the past 24 hours, with Toncoin leading the winners with a jump of more than 5%. The rally coincided with a rebound in crypto trading activities and expectations that the Federal Reserve will pause its interest rate hikes this week. U.S. stock futures traded flat after Wall Street closed near the flatline on Monday.

Bitcoin breached US$27,000 for the first time in September

Bitcoin rose 1.11% in the last 24 hours to US$26,778.93 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong and added 6.62% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency surged on Monday evening to reach US$27,414.73 — the highest price since August 31, but soon retreated to below US$27,000.

The sudden rally in Bitcoin caught some investors off-guard, who had liquidated over US$44 million in Bitcoin positions in the past 24 hours, with over US$31 million of them in short positions, according to Coinglass data.

“Market activity seems to be growing again, after an abrupt decrease during summer months,” Matteo Greco, research analyst at Canada-based digital asset investment firm Fineqia International, said in an emailed note.

The cumulative daily volume on centralized exchanges from Sept. 10 to Sept. 17 reached US$11.3 billion, marking a 19% increase from the 7 days before, noted Greco.

“With the end of summer and the resumption of normal trading activity, the market is likely to see increased volatility again, after BTC reached the minimum volatility levels ever recorded on a 30-day basis during the first two weeks of August,” Greco said.

Along with Bitcoin, Ether rose 1.20% to US$1,638.41 and moved up 5.90% for the week. The second top cryptocurrency reached US$1,667.93 on Monday evening, which was also the highest price since August 31.

Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies logged gains in the past 24 hours. Toncoin spearheaded the winners, which surged 5.03% to US$2.41. The native token of the TON Network has jumped 46.96% in the past seven days.

Toncoin received a boost last week from a Thursday announcement that messaging app giant Telegram had partnered with TON to provide a self-custodial digital wallet — TON Space — that is available to the 800 million Telegram users.

Binance’s BNB was the only top 10 token logging a 24-hour loss, which dipped 0.12% to US$216.04 and was still trading 5.03% higher for the week. The world’s largest crypto exchange is facing mounting regulatory challenges in the U.S., with the chief executive officer of Binance U.S. leaving the firm last week.

The total crypto market capitalization gained 1.24% in the past 24 hours to US$1.07 trillion, while trading volume surged 76.96% to US$31.02 billion.

Bitcoin, Ether flat; altcoins drop amid FTX liquidation

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Bitcoin dipped on Monday morning in Asia to trade at around US$26,500. Ether also moved lower but stayed above its US$1,600 support level. Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies dropped, with Toncoin leading the losers with a slide of over 4%. Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX received court approval last week to sell its crypto holdings of around US$3.4 billion, which could add to the selling pressure in the crypto market — especially altcoins — for the rest of the year. U.S. stock futures edged up as investors await the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision this week. Wall Street closed lower on Friday, as mixed economic data in the U.S. moderated the investor’s risk appetite.

Bitcoin, Ether dip; selling pressure from FTX liquidation

Bitcoin edged down 0.18% in the last 24 hours to US$26,492.52 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong and went up 2.60% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency reached US$26,840.50 on Friday, the highest price since August 17.

Ether dipped 0.87% to US$1,619.94 and traded flat for the week with a 0.18% uptick.

Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies booked losses in the past 24 hours. Binance’s BNB token was the only exception, rising 0.66% to US$216.23 while adding 1.80% for the week.

Despite the uptick in BNB prices, the world’s largest crypto exchange faces mounting regulatory challenges. The firm’s U.S. affiliate Binance.US has laid off one-third of its staff and saw its Chief Executive Officer Brian Shroder leave the company last week, citing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) “aggressive attempts to cripple” the crypto industry. The exchange also lost its legal and risk executives last week, according to the Wall Street Journal

The crypto market is facing pressure from the liquidation of FTX, which plans to sell its US$3.4 billion worth of crypto assets by the end of 2023. The bankrupt exchange’s top three crypto holdings are Solana (US$1.162 million), Bitcoin (US$560 million) and Ether (US$192 million).

FTX said it will gradually sell the holdings with a US$100 million weekly cap to avoid a negative impact on crypto prices, but this limit could expand to US$200 million upon approval from two committees representing FTX customers. 

“Sales of this size are destined to have an impact,” wrote blockchain research firm K33 on Friday. “Especially altcoins with limited liquidity are exposed, making it vital for altcoin traders to maintain comprehensive oversight of FTX’s holdings.”

The total crypto market capitalization dipped 0.73% in the past 24 hours to US$1.05 trillion, while trading volume dropped 12.08% to US$17.53 billion.

Bitcoin, Ether rise; Deutsche Bank to provide crypto custody services

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-rise-deutsche-bank-crypto-custody/

Bitcoin rose on Friday morning in Asia to trade above US$26,500. Ether also moved higher to over US$1,600. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies gained with Tron network’s TRX token leading the winners with a 24-hour rise of over 3%. The rise in crypto prices coincided with an announcement from Deutsche Bank that said the largest German lender would provide crypto custody services. U.S. stock futures edged up after Wall Street closed higher on Wednesday following strong economic data from the U.S.

Bitcoin, Ether gain; Deutsche Bank news pumps optimism into crypto markets

Bitcoin rose 1.49% in the last 24 hours to US$26,610.48 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong and went up 1.60% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency reclaimed US$26,774.62 on Thursday evening, the highest price since Aug. 31.

Bitcoin’s rise this week “coincides with a noticeable return in investor sentiment,” Samer Hasn, market analyst at Australia-based global multi-asset broker XS.com, said in an emailed comment.

By the end of Wednesday, open interests in Bitcoin derivatives reached about 7.525 billion — its highest levels since Aug. 31, and the same applies to Ether open positions that reached around 3.7 billion, said Hasn, citing data from blockchain intelligence platform CryptoQuant.

Ether gained 1.38% to trade at US$1,629.33 but was still down 0.95% for the past seven days.

The crypto market received a boost from news that Deutsche Bank — a German lender that had US$1.4 trillion in total assets at the end of 2022 — will launch custody services for cryptocurrencies and tokenized assets of institutional customers in a partnership with Swiss fintech firm Taurus, according to a Thursday press release.

“As the digital asset space is expected to encompass trillions of dollars of assets, it’s bound to be seen as one of the priorities for investors and corporations alike. As such, custodians must start adapting to support their clients,” Paul Maley, global head of securities services at Deutsche Bank, said in the announcement.

“Deutsche Bank’s recent announcement to offer crypto custody services is a positive step towards a growing acceptance and development of crypto in the mainstream financial sector. It could also be potentially providing a renewed sense of confidence among investors,” said John Stefanidis, chief executive officer and co-founder of blockchain infrastructure decentralized organization, Balthazar DAO.

All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies posted gains in the past 24 hours. Tron’s TRX led the winners, which rose 3.46% to US$0.08388 and added 6.15% for the week.

Meanwhile, the positive sentiment came amid regulatory battles in the U.S., as the SEC earlier this week charged Stone Cats 2 — the company behind the “Stoner Cats” animated series — with conducting an unregistered offering of crypto asset securities in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

Back in July 2021, Stone Cats 2 sold 10,000 NFTs for US$800 each to fund the Stoner Cats series. The firm has agreed to a cease-and-desist order and will pay a civil penalty of US$1 million.

The total crypto market capitalization gained 1.27% in the past 24 hours to US$1.06 trillion, while trading volume edged up 3.00% to US$28.28 billion.

Bitcoin back above US$26,000 after CPI release

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-above-us26000-after-cpi-release/

Bitcoin rose on Thursday morning in Asia to trade above the US$26,000 support level. Ether also rose to reclaim US$1,600. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies moved up, with Solana spearheading the winners with a 24-hour rise of over 2%. The rally followed the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) release on Wednesday, which showed an acceleration in the annual inflation rate in August, while the core CPI that excludes food and energy prices posed a deceleration. U.S. stock futures traded higher, after Wall Street closed mixed on Wednesday.

Bitcoin reclaims US$26,000; altcoins stable after bankrupt FTX received approval to liquidate

Bitcoin rose 1.45% in the last 24 hours to US$26,251.64 as of 07:20 a.m. in Hong Kong, adding 1.88% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency reclaimed the US$26,000 support level on Wednesday afternoon and touched a daily high of over US$26,370 on early Thursday morning.

Despite reclaiming the key US$26,000 line, Bitcoin’s momentum has seemingly weakened on Tuesday, but is “still strong enough to hold on to most of what was reclaimed after the bounce,” Keith Alan, co-founder of monitoring resource Material Indicators, tweeted on Wednesday.

Bitcoin still faces multiple technical resistances, including a “death cross” between the token’s 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages – which currently sit at US$27,444 and US$27,670, as well as a 100-day moving average at US$28,292 that outlines the ceiling of the range, according to Alan on Tuesday.

Ether also gained 0.95% to US$1,609.32 but still traded 1.64% lower in the past seven days. The second top crypto reached a 24-hour high of US$1,619.11 on Tuesday night.

Bitcoin and Ether prices briefly dipped on early Thursday morning in Asia after the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX received court approval to sell its US$3.4 billion worth of crypto assets. The selling is capped at US$100 million per week, which can be extended to US$200 million.

FTX’s current crypto holdings include US$1.16 billion in Solana’s SOL and US$560 million in Bitcoin, according to a Monday court filing.

Despite the incoming FTX liquidation, crypto prices remain largely stable. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies posted gains in the past 24 hours. SOL led the winners, which rose 2.70% to US$18.43 but lost 6.70% for the week.

Visa wrote in a Tuesday research report that Solana blockchain “has attributes like high transaction throughput and scalability at low cost that help make it a good candidate for payments and Visa’s stablecoin settlement pilot.” The global payment giant announced a partnership with Solana on Sept. 5 to expand its USDC stablecoin settlement pilot to Solana’s blockchain

The total crypto market capitalization gained 1.07% in the past 24 hours to US$1.04 trillion, while trading volume dropped 21.30% to US$27.63 billion.

Bitcoin, Ether bounce back; altcoins recover after FTX panic

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-bounce-back-altcoins-recover/

Bitcoin rose on Wednesday morning in Asia to near US$26,000, after sinking below the key support level of US$25,000 on Tuesday for the first time in three months. Ether also bounced back to near US$1,600 as all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies logged gains with Toncoin leading the winners with a 24-hour surge of over 12%. The rally followed the recent panic sell-off over an incoming liquidation from collapsed crypto exchange FTX, which is expected to unload its US$3.4 billion crypto holdings by the end of the year. U.S. stock futures traded flat after Wall Street closed lower on Tuesday amid oil price concerns.

Bitcoin nears US$26,000; Overreactions towards FTX liquidation plan?

Bitcoin rose 3.02% in the last 24 hours to US$25,867.44 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, adding 0.36% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency briefly touched an almost three-month-low of US$24,930.30 and bounced back to a high of US$26,451.94 on Tuesday.

Ether saw a similar rebound, rising 3.10% to US$1,595.00 but lost 2.28% in the past seven days. The second top crypto reached a 24-hour high of US$1,619.11 on Tuesday.

The current crypto market sentiment echoes “the late-stage bear market from 2015 and 2019,” as “a sustained period of poor momentum has pushed the fear and greed index to a nine-month low,” crypto research firm K33 wrote in a report Tuesday.

“The worsening sentiment originates from anticipated sell-side pressure related to FTX balances of US$560 million BTC, US$192 million ETH, and US$1.16 billion SOL,” wrote K33. “The market also expects further sellside pressure from Mt. Gox’s trustees and U.S. Silk Road Bitcoins. The schedule and structure of these potential sell-side flows are unknown but have all been decisive forces in hammering an already pressured sentiment.”

FTX, which went into bankruptcy in November 2022, may receive court approval on Wednesday to sell its crypto holding that totals around US$3.4 billion. However, the recent sell-off ahead of the liquidation could be an overreaction, according to Greg Moritz, co-founder and chief operating officer of crypto hedge fund Alt Tab Capital.

“FTX, having an interest in acquiring the highest price for its assets, will likely go about the liquidation in an orderly and rational way that minimizes the effect on market pricing,” said Moritiz in an emailed comment. 

“Overall, the actual impact of the potential FTX liquidation on the crypto market is likely to be quite small and take place over months, however, we already have downward pressure on many coins as a result of the proposal,” Moritz added. “This is primarily due to the retail crypto market not fully understanding FTX’s proposal and reacting based on fear rather than logic.  When that happens, it tends to create attractive buying opportunities for savvy investors with a long-term focus.”

All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies posted gains in the past 24 hours. Toncoin led the winners, which rose 12.49% to US$1.84 and gained 3.73% for the week.

Toncoin is the native token of the Open Network (TON), a blockchain-based, decentralized network originally developed by messaging app Telegram, whose price has jumped over 30% in the past month. TON is set to have a presentation with Telegram at the ongoing Token2049 event in Singapore on Wednesday, with the theme: “Transforming Telegram to Web3 with Toncoin.”

The total crypto market capitalization gained 2.54% in the past 24 hours to US$1.03 trillion, as trading volume rose 9.22% to US$35.33 billion.

Bitcoin, Ether lose key support levels; altcoins slide amid FTX liquidation woes

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-lose-key-support-levels/

Bitcoin fell on Tuesday morning in Asia to hover above US$25,000 after briefly losing the key support level for the first time in the past almost three months. Ether also slid to lose control of the US$1,600 support level. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies also booked losses, with XRP leading the losers with a 24-hour drop of more than 5%. The drop came ahead of a potential FTX liquidation that could see the collapsed crypto exchange sell its US$3.4 billion worth of crypto assets by the end of the year. U.S. stock futures edged lower, after Wall Street logged daily gains on Monday, as investors await key U.S. inflation data this week.

Bitcoin briefly falls below US$25,000

Bitcoin dropped 2.72% in the last 24 hours to US$25,115.32 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, down 2.57% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency dipped to its lowest price since June 15, touching US$24,930.30 on Tuesday morning.

Ether saw a bigger loss, dropping 4.31% to US$1,547.18 and lost 4.79% in past week, reaching US$1,533.43 on Tuesday, its lowest in six months. 

All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies posted losses in the past 24 hours. XRP led the losers, falling 5.17% to US$0.4727 for a weekly loss of 6.92%.

“The continued decline in altcoin values seems to be linked to the looming approval of FTX’s asset liquidation, a move that could impact the market values of many top cryptocurrencies including XRP, which FTX holds a substantial amount,” said John Stefanidis, chief executive officer of blockchain infrastructure foundation Balthazar DAO. 

FTX crypto exchange, which went into bankruptcy in November 2022, is likely to receive court approval on Wednesday to liquidate an estimated crypto holding of US$3.4 billion. The firm proposed to sell up to US$100 million in crypto assets per week, which could be extended to US$200 million.

The incoming FTX liquidation indicates the crypto market could “see another US$3.4 billion in crypto-to-fiat off-ramping — a potential liquidity gap that might be hard to fill in the absence of Signature Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, and Silvergate Bank, which were responsible for at least, 50% of all the fiat-to-crypto on-ramping during the last few years,” Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, said in an emailed report. 

The event could hit altcoins extra hard, said Thielen, due to “unfavourable tokenomics that compel early investors in projects (founders, Venture Capital investors, etc.) to make prudent financial and survival decisions, and liquidate positions.”

Meanwhile, digital asset investment products saw an outflow of US$59 million in the week ending Sept. 8, marking the fourth consecutive month in a run of outflows that totaled US$294 million, according to a Monday report by European alternative asset manager CoinShares

Coinshares also highlighted net inflows in short investment products, suggesting “sentiment remains poor for the asset class,” and attributed the grim mood to “continued worries over regulation of the asset class and recent dollar strength.”

The total crypto market capitalization dropped 2.88% in the past 24 hours to US$1.01 trillion as trading volume surged 60.28% to US$32.35 billion.

Bitcoin starts week below US$26,000; Ether dips after hack on Vitalik Buterin’s X account; more rate hike worries on Wall Street

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-below-us26000-ether-dips/

There was red ink across the crypto market Monday morning in Asia as Bitcoin dipped below the resistance level of US$26,000. Ether also fell to near the US$16,000 mark after a hack on the X account of Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. Other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies logged losses. Solana’s SOL led the losers with a 24-hour slide of over 6%. Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX could soon get the greenlight to liquidate its US$3.4 billion in crypto holdings, adding to selling pressure in the market. U.S. stock futures traded higher after Wall Street logged weekly losses Friday. Investors now look ahead to the release of more U.S. inflation data later in the week for clues on upcoming interest rate policy.

Latest FTX news depresses crypto market

Bitcoin dipped 0.25% in the last 24 hours to US$25,831.97 as of 07:50 a.m. in Hong Kong. It lost 0.53% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s leading cryptocurrency briefly traded above US$26,000 last Friday. But it soon lost that support level and remained range bound over the weekend at around US$25,900.

Ether, the Ethereum blockchain’s native token, fell 1.12% to US$1,616.79, and dropped 1.18% over the past seven days. 

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin’s account on X, formerly Twitter, was hacked Sunday, leading to losses totalling around US$691,000 for some of Buterin’s followers, according to blockchain investigator ZachXBT. Hackers posted links to a scam non-fungible token (NFT) project on Buterin’s Twitter page, advising users to connect their crypto wallets before withdrawing the funds.

Buterin’s father confirmed in a tweet Sunday that his son had been hacked and was restoring his X account. The alleged scam post has now been removed from the account. Buterin himself is yet to comment on the hack.

All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies posted losses in the past 24 hours. Solana led the losers, falling 6.17% to US$18.25 for a weekly loss of 6.80%.

On Sunday, a Wall Street Journal report predicted a September pause in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate hiking cycle. The report “probably had many investors re-thinking their valuations — not just for crypto but for risk assets in general,” said Justin d’Anethan, head of Asia-Pacific business development at Belgium-based crypto market maker Keyrock.

The market is also facing downward pressure from the latest FTX news. The collapsed cryptocurrency exchange is likely to receive approval on Sept.13 to start liquidating its crypto holdings, according to a tweet Saturday from blockchain analysts Whale Alert.

After filing for bankruptcy in November 2022, the exchange still holds an estimated US$3.4 billion worth of crypto assets. Part of the bankruptcy plan set up for the firm allows for the sale of up to US$100 million in crypto assets per week, which can be extended to US$200 million under certain circumstances.

Crypto analysts suggest the news could weigh on the market after gains earlier in the summer. Blockchain research firm IntoTheBlock tweeted Sunday that “despite positive news about Visa and a potential spot ETH ETF, FTX’s impending US$3 billion liquidation could be dictating market movement.”

The selling pressure from FTX will cause altcoins to underperform Bitcoin throughout the remainder of the year, Markus Thielen, head of research & strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, said in a Sunday LinkedIn post.

The potential selling of FTX’s crypto holdings could hit Solana particularly hard, according to Rachael Lucas, crypto technical analyst at Australia-based crypto exchange BTC Markets. The token “forms a substantial portion of these assets, with an estimated value of approximately $685 million. This impending event has heightened the sense of uncertainty among SOL investors.”

Meanwhile, Bitcoin is on the verge of a “death cross” — where the token’s short-term, 50-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) moves below its long-term, 200-day SMA. That could signal a coming slide in Bitcoin prices, Lucas said.

As of 09:50 a.m. in Hong Kong, Bitcoin’s 50-day SMA sat at US$27,658.19, with a 200-day SMA of US$27,608.57. Following the previous Bitcoin death cross on Jan.14, 2022, the token’s price dropped over 10% within seven days. 

“The looming question that occupies the minds of market participants pertains to whether Bitcoin will chart a similar course in response to this bearish technical pattern or has the market already priced in this event?” Lucas said. 

“This uncertainty is exacerbated by the forthcoming release of U.S. inflation figures, with technical indicators currently signalling the potential for further downside,” she added.

The total crypto market capitalization dropped 0.74% in the past 24 hours to US$1.04 trillion. Trading volume rose 50.61% to US$20.25 billion.

Bitcoin above US$26,000; JP Morgan working on blockchain payment system

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-above-us26000/

Bitcoin rose on Friday morning in Asia to trade above the resistance level of US$26,000, leading a rally across most top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies. The exceptions were Cardano and Toncoin, which both posted minor losses. Ether logged moderate gains but remained below US$1,650. U.S. financial services giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. is reportedly exploring a blockchain-based payment and settlement system, raising optimism for more institutional adoption of blockchain. U.S. stock futures traded mixed, after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed lower on Thursday. Stronger-than-expected jobs data has added to U.S. rate hike concerns.

Bitcoin spearheads crypto winners

Bitcoin rose 1.62% in the last 24 hours to US$16,179.43 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, turning a weekly loss into a gain of 0.75%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s leading cryptocurrency had been trading between around US$25,500 and US$26,000 since Saturday. It reached an eight-day high of US$26,409.30 early Friday morning.

JPMorgan, the largest bank in the U.S. by asset size, is “in the early stage” of developing a blockchain-based digital deposit token for cross-border payments and settlements. The bank has already laid out most of the underlying infrastructure, but will wait for approval from U.S. regulators before making the token itself, Bloomberg reported Friday.

Deposit tokens are transferable digital assets representing deposit claims against a commercial bank. Token transactions take place on blockchains, making deposits faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

“It is another sign that large corporations continue to build their blockchain capabilities during this bear market,” Markus Thielen, head of research & strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, said in an emailed comment.

The market is currently waiting on a decision from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding another U.S. financial giant — BlackRock. On June 15, the world’s top asset manager applied for approval to create a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

“While most expect the SEC Blackrock decision to hit the market in October, the news of a potential ETF approval can also come any time,” Thielen said. 

“Once Bitcoin regains some momentum, the rally could have legs and bring prices back above US$30,000,” he added.

Elsewhere, Martin Gruenberg, chairman of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), said on Thursday that despite the apparent good health of the U.S. economy, the country’s banking industry “continues to face significant downside risks from the effects of inflation, rising market interest rates, and geopolitical uncertainty.”

Bitcoin prices have historically benefited from uncertainties in the banking system, such as the crisis at Zurich-based lender Credit Suisse in March. The bank’s sudden collapse sent the token’s price from below US$27,000 to over US$28,000 on March 19.

Ethereum gained 0.77% to US$1,644.68 over the past 24 hours and edged down 0.07% for the past seven days. 

Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies logged small gains. Cardano’s ADA and the TON network’s Toncoin were the only tokens that posted losses, dipping 0.14% and 0.70% respectively. But both coins posted gains for the week at 1.07% for ADA and 3.68% for Toncoin.

The total crypto market capitalization gained 1.37% to US$1.05 trillion. Trading volume dropped 11.95% to US$23.81 billion.

No bounce for Ether after Ark Invest files for first US spot Ether ETF

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-flat-no-bounce-for-ether/

Bitcoin traded flat Wednesday morning in Asia below the resistance level of US$26,000. Ether also traded flat, hovering around US$1,600. Wednesday’s U.S. spot Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF) application by asset manager Ark Invest is yet to have an effect on the token’s price. Other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed. Solana led the losers, while Toncoin posted the most gains. U.S. stock futures edged lower. That followed a slide Wednesday on Wall Street as stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data raised investor concern about inflation and interest rate hikes.

Bitcoin, Ether tread water amid regulatory uncertainty

Bitcoin dipped 0.05% in the last 24 hours to US$25,764.75 as of 07:20 a.m. in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has been largely range bound between US$25,500 and US$26,000 since last Friday.

“This coldness continues in cryptocurrency market trading amid low traders’ sentiment, with continued uncertainty about the future of the regulatory environment for this market, especially in the United States,” Samer Hasn, market analyst for online brokerage XS.com, said in an emailed comment.

Hasn highlighted the delayed decisions by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Bitcoin-backed ETF applications from a number of major financial institutions, including global investment firm BlackRock. The lack of regulatory clarity has, he said, contributed to decreasing risk appetite among investors.

After Bitcoin lost the key support level of US$26,000 on Sept. 1, US$25,300 could be the new “invisible hand” propping up the token’s price, said Markus Thielen, head of research & strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, in an emailed comment. 

Bitcoin fell to US$25,362.61 on Sept. 1, its lowest level since June 16. Thielen said he can see “significant” price volatility continuing as macroeconomic pressures, such as rising U.S. bond yields and dollar prices, amplify risk sentiment. 

Meanwhile, a U.S. regulatory body voted Wednesday in favor of a new accounting standard for crypto assets. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) will require crypto businesses to use “fair value” accounting from 2025. That means that, at least once a year, they will have to evaluate the current value of their crypto assets separately from other assets they hold.

The move is considered a win for crypto businesses who view fair value accounting as a more accurate way to assess their financial health. Bitcoin rose to a high of US$25,953.02 in the immediate aftermath of the vote before falling back. 

Ether has lost 4.22% over the past seven days. It traded flat at US$1,632.60 for the past 24 hours, posting no gains despite news that Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest has filed for the first spot Ether ETF in the U.S. Spot Bitcoin ETF applications have boosted Bitcoin’s price in the past, but there was no such bounce for Ether as market enthusiasm for ETF applications wears off.

“There’s been so much regulatory controversy about a Bitcoin spot ETF that I guess many people thought it was a step too far — but we don’t,” Wood told Bloomberg in a Thursday report. “And it’s always nice to be first.”

Ark Invest made the Ether ETF application in partnership with fellow asset manager 21Shares. Ophelia Snyder, co-founder of 21Shares, said in a comment posted to X that Ethereum markets are becoming more established.

Other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed over the past 24 hours. Solana led the losers with a 3.28% drop over the past 24 hours to US$19.62, falling 6.04% for the week. 

Toncoin, the native token of the decentralized network TON (The Open Network), led the winners. It rose 2.67% to US$1.82 for a weekly gain of 5.81%. TON Foundation, the group behind TON, was officially registered as a non-profit organization in Switzerland on Wednesday. 

The total crypto market capitalization inched down 0.01% to US$1.04 trillion. Trading volume rose 7.97% to US$27.04 billion.

Japan’s Mizuho bank to join MUFG’s stablecoin platform

https://forkast.news/headlines/mitsubishi-ginco-tackle-crypto-tax-japan/

One of Japan’s major banks, the Mizuho Financial Group, will join Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) in its stablecoin issuance platform that remains under development, according to Nikkei Tuesday.

See related article: Japan exempts cryptocurrency issuers from 30% tax on unrealized gains

Fast facts

  • The new stablecoin aims to provide an alternative to traditional trade finance that can be costly and time-consuming. The platform will be capable of settling cross-border transactions instantly at zero cost.
  • The new network will be operated by Progmat, a company that Mitsubishi UFJ Trust will establish next month in partnership with major Japanese banks, the Japan Exchange Group and NTT Data.
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking is spearheading development of the platform, which is expected to be established as early as in 2024.
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is a Japanese financial services group with total assets of approximately US$3.1 trillion.
  • Meanwhile, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking and Web3 developer Ginco will introduce Japan’s first “crypto asset trust,” in a collaboration to improve custodial services for digital assets and tackle Japan’s thorny token taxation issue. 
  • The trust will lobby for an “appropriate taxation system” for crypto asset issuers and investors in Japan. Such a system will make the country “a healthy and attractive environment” for crypto investment, an English-language press release said Wednesday.
  • In the partnership, the trust arm of MUFG will serve as trustee and will oversee custody of the crypto assets held in the trust. Ginco will provide crypto wallet and digital asset management services.
  • A trust is a legal vehicle that allows a third party — known as trustees — to hold and direct assets on behalf of a beneficiary. The crypto asset trust operated by MUFG and Ginco will allow customers to invest in crypto without directly transacting in the underlying assets.
  • Japanese crypto advocates often describe the country’s tax system as a stumbling block preventing domestic and overseas crypto developers from setting up shop in Japan.
  • Until June, corporations in Japan that issue and hold crypto assets were subject to year-end market valuation and taxation on unrealized profits. But a June 20 revision to the tax law by the country’s National Tax Agency exempted crypto assets held in certain trusts.
  • The MUFG-Ginco digital asset trust aims to start operations by the end of fiscal year 2023. Eight Japanese digital asset firms — including venture capital firm Infinity Ventures Crypto and NFT developer Financie — will also participate in the trust.
  • KEB Hana Bank, one of the largest financial institutions in neighboring South Korea, announced on Tuesday that it too will offer digital asset custody services from the latter half of 2024. Hana will partner with crypto service provider BitGo Trust Company on the project. 

Bitcoin, Ether flat; US equities drop as rate hike concerns return

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-flat-us-equities-drop/

Bitcoin was trading flat below the resistance level of US$26,000 Wednesday morning in Asia. Ether edged up but remained below the US$1,650 mark, while other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed. Solana led the winners after Visa announced it would expand stablecoin payments to the Solana network. U.S. stock futures traded mixed after a down day Tuesday. Oil supply restrictions from Russia and Saudi Arabia have aroused inflationary concerns and fear among investors of more U.S. interest rate hikes to come.

Solana surges on Visa partnership

Bitcoin edged up 0.01% in the last 24 hours to US$25,764.10 as of 07:10 a.m. in Hong Kong for a weekly loss of 6.72%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s leading cryptocurrency has been trading between US$25,500 and US$26,000 since Saturday. It was trading at the same range in June before U.S. investment giant BlackRock’s Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application sent the price over US$30,000 

“The market seems to underestimate the potential impact of U.S. BTC spot ETFs. A spot ETF approval should attract enormous inflows, creating significant buying pressure on BTC. Conversely, if the BTC spot ETFs are rejected, nothing changes,” wrote crypto research firm K33 Research in a report Tuesday. 

“Prices are now the same as before the Blackrock news that injected new life into BTC spot ETF chances. In the same time span, the Nasdaq 100, often a good indicator of the market’s general risk appetite, is up 2%. The BTC spot ETFs will be huge, and with improved odds of approval, it looks evident that the market is mispricing it,” the report continued.

Digital asset manager Grayscale Investments sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Tuesday urging the regulator to approve its application to turn the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot Bitcoin ETF. That followed a favorable court decision on August 29 for the digital asset management firm requiring the SEC to review an application it rejected last year.

“GBTC  is ready to operate as a bitcoin ETF upon regulatory approval, and Grayscale looks forward to further constructive engagement with the SEC,” said Grayscale in a Twitter thread on Tuesday.

Justin d’Anethan, head of Asia-Pacific business development at Belgium-based crypto market maker Keyrock, said the resubmission of Grayscale’s request to the SEC for their ETF approval is a reason for optimism. “Again, the arrival of a crypto-linked ETF seems to become more and more likely, although the timeline itself remains iffy,” he said.

Ethereum gained 0.51% to US$1,631.79, down 5.53% for the past seven days. The second largest cryptocurrency has been trading around US$1,640 since the weekend. But K33 analysts said they expect the token’s price to rise in the near future.

“September and October favor overweight exposure in ETH, as ETH carry stronger ETF momentum in the short term,” wrote K33 in Tuesday’s report. “Futures-based ETH ETFs are scheduled to receive their final verdicts in mid-October, with strong chances of approval.” 

Nearly a dozen companies including Volatility Shares, Bitwise, Roundhill and ProShares have filed to launch Ethereum ETFs in the U.S.

Other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed over the past 24 hours. Solana’s SOL led the winners, rising 4.43% to US$20.22 but still posted a loss of 7.19% for the week.

Visa Inc. announced on Tuesday it would expand its USDC stablecoin settlement services to the Solana blockchain. The global payments giant has been supporting USDC settlements on the Ethereum blockchain since March 2021.

“By leveraging stablecoins like USDC and global blockchain networks like Solana and Ethereum, we’re helping to improve the speed of cross-border settlement and providing a modern option for our clients to easily send or receive funds from Visa’s treasury,” Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa, said in the announcement.

Solana said in a tweet Tuesday that Visa’s addition of the blockchain to its payment network follows an extensive period of planning and infrastructure evaluation.

“The partnership between Solana and Visa is a positive development for the blockchain ecosystem,” said John Stefanidis, CEO of blockchain infrastructure foundation Balthazar DAO. 

“It broadens the range of use-cases beyond just Ethereum-based applications. Additionally, Solana offers faster and more cost-effective transactions which makes it a great option for settling transactions internally,” Stefanidis said.

Meanwhile, crypto exchange Coinbase launched a new crypto lending platform for U.S. institutional investors on September 1. The platform has raised over US$57 million in investment, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made Friday. 

The platform’s launch follows the bankruptcies of major crypto lenders including Celsius Network, BlockFi and Genesis Global. Those collapses opened up a vacuum in crypto lending services that the new Coinbase platform could come to occupy.

The total crypto market capitalization edged up 0.15% to US$1.04 trillion. Trading volume rose 5.55% to US$25.05 billion.

Bitcoin, Ether down; Binance loses another top executive

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-down-binance-loses-top-executive/

Bitcoin edged lower on Tuesday morning in Asia to trade below the weekend’s resistance level of US$26,000. Ether dipped to near the US$1,600 mark, while other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed. XRP posted the biggest gains while Solana led the losers. Digital asset investment products saw a minor outflow last week accompanied by a surge in trading volumes, indicating mixed sentiment among institutional investors. U.S. stock futures traded mixed ahead of regular trading following the long holiday weekend.

Bitcoin below US$26,000

Bitcoin dipped 0.57% in the last 24 hours to US$25,804.63 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong for a weekly loss of 1.15%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s leading cryptocurrency had been trading in the US$26,000 range since Friday. It briefly breached US$28,000 last Tuesday as an apparent victory for Grayscale Investment against the U.S. Securties and Exchange Commission boosted sentiment. That optimism has now cooled. 

Ether dipped 0.49% to US$1,627.26, losing 1.58% over the past seven days.

The crypto market is suffering from regulatory uncertainties in the U.S., said Samer Hasn, market analyst for online brokerage XS.com, in an emailed comment. He also noted the effect of large transactions on the market, including a US$213 million XRP transaction and a US$37 million Shiba Inu transaction recorded over the weekend.

“Although the reasons behind the series of huge transfers that we are witnessing in the cryptocurrency market are not yet completely clear, I believe that they may continue to fuel a state of anticipation and caution in the markets, especially since these transfers come amid weak sentiment among market participants, with the continuing battle in the judicial arena in the United States,” Hasn said.

Meanwhile, Binance’s global head of product Mayur Kamat resigned from the company, Reuters reported on Monday. The world’s largest crypto exchange faces lawsuits from the U.S. SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), as well as an investigation from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed over the past 24 hours, with movement within the 1% range across the board. XRP led the winners with a 0.61% gain to US$0.5082, but remained 3.01% lower for the week. 

Digital asset investment products saw a minor outflow of US$11.2 million in the week ending Sept. 1. That was a slowdown from US$168 million last week, according to a Monday report by European alternative asset manager CoinShares. Despite the small outflow, digital investment products’ trading volume totaled US$2.8 billion,  a 90% rise on the year-to-date average.

“The recent minor outflows from digital asset funds may be due to uncertainty around the approval of the spot Bitcoin ETFs — following an initial surge of enthusiasm upon their announcement,” said John Stefanidis, CEO of blockchain infrastructure foundation Balthazar DAO.

“As we approach the upcoming Bitcoin halving event, it will be interesting to see how these regulatory uncertainties are balanced,” he added.

The Bitcoin halving event will see the amount of new tokens issued every 10 minutes cut in half, increasing its scarcity. This is widely anticipated to produce a surge in the token’s price. The next Bitcoin halving is expected to take place in April 2024.

Elsewhere, crypto exchange Bybit introduced TradeGPT on Monday — an artificial intelligence-powered education tool that uses ChatGPT to generate market analysis and answer technical questions based on Bybit’s real-time market data. Other crypto exchanges including Binance, Crypto.com and OKX also launched A.I.-powered analyzing tools earlier this year.

The total crypto market capitalization dipped 0.56% to US$1.04 trillion. Trading volume rose 20.65% to US$23.77 billion.

Bitcoin flat below US$26,000 as rate hike woes cool down

https://forkast.news/bitcoint-below-rate-hike-woes-cool-down/

Bitcoin edged up on Monday morning in Asia but remained below the US$26,000 resistance level, giving up much of last week’s gains from a favorable court ruling on Grayscale’s spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund application. Ether also stayed range-bound at around US$1,650, while other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed, with XRP leading the winners and Dogecoin the losers. U.S. stock futures edged down Monday morning after Wall Street closed the week higher on a cool-off in the U.S. labor market that soothed the concerns for more interest rate hikes.

Bitcoin gave up gains from Grayscale’s victory

Bitcoin edged up 0.30% in the last 24 hours to US$25,958.25 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong and traded 0.46% lower for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s leading cryptocurrency lost control of the US$26,000 support level on Friday and fluctuated around the mark over the weekend.

Bitcoin briefly reached a weekly high of over US$28,000 last Tuesday on a court ruling that required the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to review asset manager Grayscale’s Bitcoin ETF application, but soon gave up all the gains after the SEC delayed all pending ETF applications on Thursday.

“While investors might be looking at the Grayscale v. SEC developments, it feels like the recent price action is linked to activity from the FTX wallets, igniting fear of a potential dump as some (or all) of these assets would be liquidated into fiat for expenses, repaying investors,” said Justin d’Anethan, head of Asia-Pacific business development at Belgium-based crypto market maker Keyrock. 

A Solana-based cold wallet owned by collapsed crypto exchange FTX transferred over US$10 million worth of cryptocurrencies, including LINK, SUSHI, LUNA and YFI, to Ethereum addresses from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, according to Arkham Intelligence data cited by blockchain journalist Colin Wu

Ether inched 0.17% higher to US$1,635.19 and was down 1.27% over the past seven days.

Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed over the past 24 hours and moved no higher than 1%. The exception was XRP, which led the winners by gaining 1.07% in the past 24 hours to US$0.5048, but remained 3.46% lower for the week. 

Dogecoin led the losers, dropping 0.62% in the past 24 hours to US$0.06315 and stayed flat for the seven-day period.

Toncoin, the native token of Ton network, surged 23.86% in the past week, boosted by the network’s launch of its new smart contract programming language Tact on August 22.

The total crypto market capitalization dipped 0.09% to US$1.04 trillion. Trading volume dropped 10.77% to US$19.78 billion.

Uniswap securities violation charges dismissed by US court

https://forkast.news/headlines/uniswap-securities-violation-dismissed/

A U.S. district court on Wednesday dismissed charges against a group of five firms, including Uniswap Labs and investment giant Andreessen Horowitz, for alleged securities violations on the Uniswap decentralized trading platform.

See related article: What’s holding back DeFi and keeping the masses away

Fast facts

  • The plaintiffs in the case are U.S. and Australian residents who allegedly suffered losses from “scam tokens” listed on the Uniswap exchange in 2021. They say the platform — acting as an unregistered securities exchange or broker dealer — facilitated “the issuance of thousands of scam tokens” by failing to enforce listing fees, vetting processes, and appropriate criteria for issuing tokens. As such, they are entitled to compensation for their losses, they claimed.
  • The court ruled that the defendants are not responsible for those losses. Presiding Judge Katherine Polk Failla said “due to the Protocol’s decentralized nature, the identities of the Scam Token issuers are basically unknown and unknowable.”
  • The five defendants named in the case were originally charged in April 2022 with “unlawful promotion, offer, and sale of unregistered securities.” The court’s decision to reject those claims was celebrated by Uniswap Labs. 
  • “One longtime fear of mine has been bad legal interpretation of our complex, technical industry,” Uniswap founder Hayden Adams tweeted Thursday following the court ruling. “It’s highly motivating to see US courts hold up arguments I’ve felt deeply for years.”
  • Judge Polk Failla said the court had declined to “stretch” federal securities laws to cover the case because the U.S. Congress and courts “have yet to make a definitive determination as to whether such tokens constitute securities, commodities, or something else.” The court determined that the plaintiffs’ concerns should be directed to Congress instead.
  • Bill Hughes, a lawyer and regulatory lead at blockchain software firm Consensys, tweeted on Wednesday that the Uniswap ruling will have a greater impact on securities regulation in the Decentralized finance industry than higher profile cases involving blockchain platforms Ripple and TerraForm Labs.
  • “The court notably found that (i) the Uniswap platform was capable and indeed was being in many instances used lawfully; (ii) there were not transactions between the plaintiffs and the Uniswap platform/protocol lab; and (iii) current securities laws seemingly do not reach the liability of the DeFi protocol itself for the actions of people using it to defraud others,” Hughes added about the findings of the court.

See related article: SEC to appeal in Ripple case, says ruling is a matter of opinion

Hong Kong grants SEBA Bank in-principle approval for crypto trading

https://forkast.news/headlines/hong-kong-seba-bank-crypto-approval/

The Hong Kong branch of SEBA Bank has received an in-principle approval from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to provide virtual asset trading services in the jurisdiction, the Swiss crypto-focused lender announced on Wednesday.

See related article: Hong Kong to open crypto to retail traders, plans guardrails

Fast facts

  • The SFC’s approval — when fully granted — will allow SEBA Hong Kong to offer regulated crypto services including over-the-counter derivatives, advice, and account management.
  • “SEBA Hong Kong commends the example Hong Kong sets for regulatory standards worldwide, and values the role of this licence in expanding our regulated footprint across Asia Pacific,” Amy Yu, the Asia-Pacific Chief Executive Officer of SEBA Hong Kong, said in the Wednesday announcement.
  • The in-principle approval granted to SEBA Hong Kong marks another crypto milestone for the jurisdiction. In June, a new crypto licensing regime set out a regulatory framework for exchanges and began granting licences for retail trading services.
  • SEBA Bank has a longstanding interest in Hong Kong. The Bank established its office there in November 2022 as part of its Asia-Pacific expansion efforts.
  • Prior to SEBA Bank, local crypto exchanges HashKey and OSL received their own licence upgrades from the SFC in early August. Those upgrades made them the first crypto exchanges approved for retail services in Hong Kong.
  • Weeks after receiving the upgraded licence, HashKey launched its retail services on Monday. The platform currently only allows trading of Bitcoin, Ether and the USDT stablecoin, although HashKey said it plans to introduce more tokens depending on future regulations.

See related article: Global shifts in crypto capital are underway. Here’s where the money is going

SEC charges NFT project with securities law violations

https://forkast.news/headlines/sec-charges-nft/

In the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s first enforcement action against non-fungible tokens (NFTs), it charged media and entertainment company Impact Theory Monday with offering unregistered securities in the form of NFTs.

See related article: US court rules in favor of XRP in Ripple Labs case against SEC, with caveats

Fast facts

  • Los Angeles-based Impact Theory launched an NFT project called “Founder’s Keys” in late 2021, and raised around US$30 million from hundreds of investors, according to an SEC press release on Monday. The U.S. regulator claimed that Founder’s Keys offered and sold to investors were investment contracts and therefore securities, resulting in the company violating securities laws.
  • “Impact Theory encouraged potential investors to view the purchase of a Founder’s Key as an investment into the business, stating that investors would profit from their purchases if Impact Theory was successful in its efforts,” said the SEC in the press release.
  • Impact Theory did not admit or deny SEC’s claims, but agreed to a cease-and-desist order finding that it violated securities registration rules, and will pay over US$6.1 million in “disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty.” The firm will also destroy any Founder’s Keys NFTs it owns, and eliminate any royalty it might receive in the secondary markets.
  • Impact Theory will also make clear that all of the firm’s digital assets are “collectibles with utility,” and will “fiercely discourage” people from treating these assets “as anything other than what they are,” said its co-founder Tom Bilyeu Thursday.
  • In response to the enforcement action, SEC members Hester Peirce and Mark Uyeda issued a dissenting statement Monday, questioning the SEC’s move to use the decades-old Howey test to determine whether NFTs are investment contracts.
  • “The NFTs were not shares of a company and did not generate any type of dividend for the purchasers,” the statement said, “We do not routinely bring enforcement actions against people that sell watches, paintings, or collectibles along with vague promises to build the brand and thus increase the resale value of those tangible items.”
  • The two SEC commissioners said the case “raises larger questions with which the Commission should grapple before bringing additional NFT cases.”
  • SEC has launched lawsuits against multiple crypto firms including Binance, Coinbase and Ripple Labs for allegedly offering unregistered securities in the form of cryptocurrencies. The enforcement action on Impact theory marks the first case where the U.S. regulator applied this approach to NFTs.
  • “Expect more projects to have charges filed against them in the near future, but also for NFT prices to plummet as traders look to exit quickly,” said Yehudah Petscher, NFT strategist at Forkast Labs. “This will be how the market finds its bottom, but we are far away from that actually coming into picture.”

See related article: The SEC has spoken: The future of finance is not in America

Binance delists sanctioned Russian lenders from P2P services: WSJ

https://forkast.news/headlines/binance-delist-sanctioned-russian-lenders/

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has removed sanctioned Russian banks from its peer-to-peer (P2P) trading service, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. 

See related article: Binance denies Russia sanctions violation reported by WSJ

Fast facts

  • Binance’s P2P service has reportedly ceased processing transactions involving five blacklisted Russian banks. Although the exchange began restricting certain Russian nationals from cryptocurrency trading and deposits in April 2022 and by March 2023 barred Russian users from P2P transactions in euros and U.S. dollars, the exchange still enabled ruble-based transactions via sanctioned institutions, notably Sberbank and Tinkoff Bank, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • On Binance’s P2P platform, payment options through Sberbank and Tinkoff Bank were labeled as “green” and “yellow” instead of the institutions’ names, according to Russian media outlet RBC. These coded designations have since been removed from the platform. 
  • P2P trading platforms, by design, enable users to transact directly, bypassing centralized crypto exchanges. This can complicate enforcement of sanctions, as P2P exchanges often capture fewer transaction details, as highlighted by the U.S. think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
  • The development came days after a separate Wall Street Journal report last week alleged the platform facilitated overseas money transfers for Russian entities. 
  • “As a matter of policy, Binance aims to diligently comply with the global sanctions rules and enforces sanctions on people, organizations, entities, and countries that have been blacklisted by the international community, denying such actors access to the Binance platform,” a Binance spokesperson told Forkast on Monday, referencing the exchange’s decision to drop sanctioned Russian banks from its P2P platform.
  • Binance faces mounting regulatory challenges, including in the U.S. where the Department of Justice is reportedly investigating whether the crypto exchange was illegally used to help Russian entities bypass the U.S. sanctions. The platform is also facing charges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for alleged securities law violations.
  • Elsewhere, Dubai-based exchange Bybit has also halted ruble transactions through sanctioned Russian banks including Sberbank and Tinkoff Bank, as reported by Web3-focused news outlet BeInCrypto last Friday.

See related article: First aid kits, boots and batteries — how small but significant crypto funds are used in global conflicts

Bitcoin back down to US$26,000 as investors await US Fed chair speech

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-back-down-to-us26000/

Bitcoin dropped to around the US$26,000 level Friday morning in Asia, giving up much of the previous day’s gains. Ahead of the U.S Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s Friday speech at Jackson Hole, investors are looking for signs of an end to the rate hike cycle, with repercussions for the crypto market. Ether moved lower to near the US$1,600 support level, while most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies logged losses. Solana led the losers after its own day of gains Thursday. The Forkast 500 NFT index fell, although the Solana blockchain’s new partnership with e-commerce platform Shopify could mean better times ahead for NFTs. U.S. stock futures posted marginal gains after Wall Street closed lower on Thursday, with all three major U.S. indexes logging losses of over 1%.

Bitcoin gives up gains as cautionary mood prevails

Bitcoin dropped 1.40% in the last 24 hours to US$26,081.21 as of 07:20 a.m. in Hong Kong and traded 2.90% lower for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s leading cryptocurrency reached a low of US$25,914.93 on early Friday, a 2.9% decline from its high daily high of US$26,688.48 on Thursday.

According to Samer Hasn, market analyst at Australia-based global multi-asset broker XS.com, the current caution in the crypto market is due to increased regulatory scrutiny in the U.S. 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought lawsuits against a number of digital asset firms, including Ripple Labs, Binance.US and Coinbase. Luxembourg-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp said Thursday it will stop Ether staking services for U.S. customers from Sep. 25 in light of recent regulatory developments.

Hasn said the “negative sentiment may continue to put pressure on the cryptocurrency market in the coming weeks or months until a regulatory and legislative environment that regulates the cryptocurrency market becomes clear.”

He pointed to data from blockchain intelligence firm Santiment that shows Bitcoin whales moving large amounts of the token to their wallets as a further sign of a decline in market sentiment.

“The relatively huge movements in cryptocurrency wallets, led by Bitcoin, may continue to weaken the confidence of participants and fuel a state of caution about what may happen in the future in the market and lead to collapses or wide fluctuations,” Hasn added.

Greta Yuan, head of research at Hong Kong-based digital asset exchange VDX, said that investors have to recognize that “the bear market is not over yet.” With trading volume across the market still weak, Bitcoin’s price could remain in the range of US$25,000-27,000 for some time, she added.

Alongside Bitcoin’s losses, Ether also dipped 1.40% to US$1,652.77 and was down 3.27% over the past seven days.

Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded lower over the past 24 hours. The exception was Binance’s BNB token, which edged up 0.58% to US$217.48 but still logged a weekly loss of 1.87%. 

Mastercard said it will end four crypto card programs in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Bahrain by September 22. The global payment giant was partnered with Binance on the four programs. No reason was provided for the cancellations, first reported by Reuters on Thursday.

Solana’s SOL token led the losers, falling 3.09% to US$20.90 for a weekly loss of 4.98%.

SOL reached a four-day high of US$21.99 on Thursday as it announced that Solana Pay — a free-to-use payment protocol built on the Solana blockchain — has partnered with Canada-based e-commerce platform Shopify to allow USDC stablecoin payments for online shopping without intermediary fees.

The total crypto market capitalization dropped 1.23% to US$1.05 trillion. Trading volume fell 22.52% to US$27.41 billion.

Bitcoin back at US$26,500 as crypto mirrors Wall Street gains

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-back-at-us26500/

Bitcoin rose on Thursday morning in Asia to trade in the US$26,500 range. The token logged its biggest one-day increase for the past six weeks on Wednesday, making up some of the losses from last week’s nosedive. Ether also moved up to challenge the US$1,700 resistance level, while all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded higher. The rise across cryptocurrencies mirrored a rally in the U.S. equity market on Thursday. S&P Global’s purchasing manager’s index for August showed a slowdown in the U.S. economy, mitigating inflation and rate hike concerns. 

Solana’s SOL led the crypto winners after Solana Pay announced a partnership with Shopify to allow USDC payments on the e-commerce platform. The Forkast 500 NFT index fell as OpenSea’s decision to stop enforcing creator royalties continues to impact the market. Meanwhile, U.S. AI chipmaker Nvidia released a better-than-expected earnings report which drove a 6% rise in the firm’s shares and a boost for U.S. equities.

Cryptos benefit from Wall Street gains

Bitcoin rose 2.23% in the last 24 hours to US$26,510.04 as of 07:20 a.m. in Hong Kong, but lost 8.11% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s leading cryptocurrency reached a seven-day high of US$26,786.90 on Wednesday, a jump of over 3.7% from its daily low of US$25,806.99.

The rise in Bitcoin came on the back of a Wall Street rally. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite posted gains of more than 1% at close of trading Wednesday. That followed the release of S&P Global’s flash U.S. Composite PMI index — a measurement of economic activity in both the manufacturing and service sectors. 

The index showed that economic growth in August was close to stalling. Investors were hopeful that a slowdown in consumer spending could lead the U.S. Federal Reserve to pause its cycle of interest rate increases — good news for the crypto market playing out in today’s price increases.

CoinGlass data showed total Bitcoin liquidations at US$39.08 million over the past 24 hours. That included US$9.65 million of long positions — positions where investors bet the cryptocurrency price will rise. 

It was the first time since August 20 that liquidations on Bitcoin short positions — which totaled US$29.43  — surpassed long position liquidations, indicating an improvement in investor sentiment.

Like Bitcoin, Ether gained. It rose 3.04% to US$1,681.25 but was still down 7.06% over the past seven days.

Bitstamp, a Europe-based crypto exchange, revealed Wednesday it will stop providing Ether staking services to U.S. customers from September 25, citing “current regulatory dynamics” in the country. The exchange previously announced it would suspend trades of seven cryptocurrencies declared securities by the U.S. Securitees and Exchange Commission (SEC) from August 27.

All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded higher over the past 24 hours. Solana’s SOL token led the winners, jumping 5.35% to US$21.61. But it was still down 5.23% for the week. 

Solana Pay, a free-to-use payment protocol built on the Solana blockchain, announced a partnership with Canada-based e-commerce platform Shopify on Wednesday. The partnership will allow Solana Pay users to use USDC stablecoin for online shopping without intermediary fees. The protocol will also consider adding other payment options such as SOL and BOND in the future, TechCrunch reported on Wednesday.

The total crypto market capitalization rebounded 2.53% to US$1.07 trillion. Trading volume rose 10.71% to US$35.37 billion.

Bitcoin below US$26,000 with a new low of US$20,000 in the cards

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-below-us26000/

Bitcoin fell Wednesday morning in Asia to trade below US$26,000. Ether also dropped to near the US$1,600 support level as all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded flat to lower. Solana’s SOL led the losers. The Forkast 500 NFT index declined, while a former manager at NFT marketplace OpenSea received jail time for insider trading. U.S. stock futures edged higher after Wall Street closed mixed on Tuesday. S&P Global Ratings joined the Moody’s ratings agency in downgrading a number of U.S. banks.

New Bitcoin support level at US$25,000?

Bitcoin dipped 0.71% in the last 24 hours to US$25,946.61 as of 07:20 a.m. in Hong Kong and lost 11.05% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s leading cryptocurrency has been trading around the US$26,000 mark this week following a near 10% slide last Friday. But it reached a 24-hour low of US$25,520.73 on early Wednesday morning.

After the previous week’s nosedive, some crypto analysts are predicting further losses. Social media commentator Ali Martinez put the token’s new key support level at US$25,400. Keith Alan, co-founder of analytics firm Material Indicators, put it as low as US$25,000. Both Martinez and Alan said losing the key support level could drive the token to a new low in the US$20,000 range.

“Bitcoin prices falling below a US$25,000 support level could be considered a bearish indicator, from a technical perspective, as it may signal a general uptrend reversal,” Wade Guenther, partner at U.S.-based asset management firm Wilshire Phoenix, said in an emailed comment.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s technical indicators including the Relative Strength Index (RSI) and the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) suggest the token’s price could be oversold.

“The 50-day moving average (MA) has begun to sharply diverge towards the 200-day MA. Generally, it could be considered a bearish signal if the 50-day MA crosses below the 200-day MA,” added Guenther.

On the regulatory front, investors await a much-anticipated verdict in the lawsuit between Grayscale Investments and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Grayscale has applied for permission from the regulator to convert its Bitcoin trust product (GBTC) to a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). However, the decision was delayed twice last week.

That delay added to the delays of other Bitcoin applications. On Aug. 11 the SEC delayed its decision on the ETF application submitted by Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest.

Elsewhere, decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Balancer reported Tuesday that it had detected a vulnerability affecting several of its liquidity pools.

The company said it has introduced “emergency mitigation procedures” to secure user assets. An update on early Wednesday showed 1.4% of the total value locked (TVL) on Balancer was still at risk. That would amount to US$9.19 million, according to data from DefiLlama.

Like Bitcoin, Ether posted losses. It fell 2.20% to US$1,631.18 for a 10.75% decline over the past seven days.

Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded lower over the past 24 hours. The exceptions included Tron’s TRX, which logged a gain of 0.20%. Solana’s SOL token led the losers, dropping 3.35% to US$20.54 and 13.78% for the week. 

Binance’s BNB token also posted losses. It dropped to a 14-month low of US$204.40 on early Wednesday evening after a Wall Street Journal report said the world’s leading crypto exchange helped Russian entities move money abroad after Russia invaded Ukraine — a violation of international sanctions. The company denied the claim, saying it follows global sanction rules on Russia. 

The report could prove damaging given Binance’s mounting regulatory challenges. The SEC sued the company in June for alleged securities violations.

The total crypto market capitalization creeped closer to the psychologically important US$1 trillion level, dropping 1.46% in the past 24 hours to US$1.04 trillion. Trading volume rose 8.88% to US$31.95 billion.

Bitcoin recovers after falling below $26,000 as the ETF excitement bubble bursts

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-recovers-after-falling-below-26000/

Bitcoin stabilized Tuesday morning in Asia after dropping below the key US$26,000 support level overnight. Ether also dipped but held the US$1,600 mark. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded flat to lower, with Polygon’s Matic leading the losers. Alternative asset manager CoinShares reported a US$55 million outflow in digital asset investment products last week. Analysts say disappointment from the stalemate on U.S. Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications has impacted sentiment. Meanwhile, the Forkast 500 NFT index continued its downward slide in the wake of NFT marketplace OpenSea’s decision to stop enforcing creator royalties. U.S. stock futures traded lower after Wall Street closed mixed on Monday.

ETF logjam and low liquidity damaging sentiment

Bitcoin dipped 0.10% in the last 24 hours to US$26,133.35 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, expanding its weekly loss of 11.12%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s leading cryptocurrency dropped to a low of US$25,846.09 just after midnight, but rallied to reclaim US$26,000 as the night progressed.

“As the beginning of the week turned positive for traditional markets, crypto markets seem to — for now — be back in stagnation mode,” said Justin d’Anethan, head of Asia-Pacific business development at Belgium-based crypto market maker Keyrock. 

“Many investors were understandably spooked by last week’s rapid rise in volatility and the subsequent price fall, which now means that a positive mood will only be just enough to keep crypto markets where they are.”

For some analysts, last week’s rapid decline in the price of Bitcoin is a correction for price increases since June caused by ETF hype in the U.S.

“The recent turmoil led BTC price to trading levels that mirror the ones preceding the Blackrock filing for their BTC Spot ETF,” Matteo Greco, research analyst at Canada-based digital asset investment firm Fineqia International, said in an emailed note. 

“The fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) which lasted a few weeks after the filing seems to be now disappeared, waiting for news on the matter,” Greco added.

Low liquidity in the crypto market also contributed to last week’s slide. Limited trading volume is driving market makers — which typically absorb sudden fluctuations in supply and demand and help provide a more predictable trading environment — to wind down their activities and wait for a better time to fully resume operations. 

GSR Markets, described by Greco as “one of the most important market makers,” has recently gone through two rounds of layoffs in response to worsening market conditions. Greco pointed out that before GSR, influential market makers Jane Street and Jump took similar actions citing difficulties with the state of the market.

Along with Bitcoin, Ether dropped 0.84% to US$1,667.73 and moved down 9.55% for the past seven days.

All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded lower over the past 24 hours. Polygon’s Matic token led the losers. It dropped 3.53% to US$0.5589 for a weekly loss of 17.81%. 

Digital asset investment products saw an outflow of US$55 million in the week ending August 18. That followed a US$29 million inflow the previous week, according to a CoinShares report released Monday.

“We believe this is in reaction to recent media highlighting that a decision by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission in allowing a U.S. spot-based ETF is not imminent,” the company wrote in the report.

Bitcoin-linked investment products saw the majority of last week’s outflow, totaling US$42 million. Ethereum, Polygon, Litecoin and Polkadot also recorded outflows, while XRP-linked inflows totaled US$1.2 million.

The total crypto market capitalization dipped 0.62% in the past 24 hours to US$1.05 trillion, while trading volume rose 35.31% to US$29.31 billion.

Bitcoin, Ether stable after last week’s nosedive; XRP leads crypto gains; US stock futures mixed 

https://forkast.news/bitcoin-ether-stable-after-nosedive/

Bitcoin edged up on Monday morning in Asia to trade slightly above the US$26,000 support level, after sliding over 10% for the week. Ether also moved higher but remained below US$1,700 following last week’s losses. Other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed. XRP led the winners, despite the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) moving to challenge a June court ruling in favor of Ripple Labs. Meanwhile, the Forkast 500 NFT index dropped as NFT marketplace OpenSea said it will stop enforcing creator royalties from August 31. U.S. stock futures traded flat after Wall Street logged weekly losses at close of trading Friday.

Baby steps upward for cryptos after painful few days

Bitcoin edged up 0.28% in the last 24 hours to US$26,178.36 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, logging a weekly loss of 10.68%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s leading cryptocurrency hit a two-month low of US$25,409.11 on Friday, but held position above the US$26,000 support level over the weekend.

A cool-off of Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) hype in the U.S. could be behind the retreat of the token. That’s the view of James Butterfill, head of research at European alternative asset manager CoinShares.

“The surge in June, spurred by BlackRock’s application for SEC approval of a Bitcoin ETF, led to a noticeable spike in prices,” said Butterfill in a report released Friday. 

“However, markets are now coming to terms with the realization that an immediate SEC approval for a Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. is unlikely. It’s noteworthy that current Bitcoin prices have stabilized around levels observed before this announcement,” he added.

The low volume and volatility in Bitcoin, a rise in U.S. treasury yields, as well as concerns over China’s ailing economy contributed to Bitcoin’s sharp weekly decline, the CoinShares report found.

“The outlook for the markets in the forthcoming months presents a blend of opportunities and challenges. It’s anticipated that the U.S. Federal Reserve will refrain from hiking rates further in September,” Butterfill said. 

A dovish shift in Fed policy could provide a boost to Bitcoin’s prospects, he added.

“On the flip side, investors are eagerly awaiting the SEC’s verdict on the Grayscale ETF and BlackRock applications in September. Anticipations are that decisions on both applications might be postponed, potentially leading to investor disappointment,” Butterfly said.

Along with Bitcoin, Ether moved up 0.85% to US$1,683.57 but remained 8.50% lower for the past seven days.

The U.S. SEC could approve several ETFs based on Ethereum futures by October 2023, Bloomberg reported on Friday citing unnamed sources. Investment firms Volatility Shares, Bitwise, Roundhill and ProShares have all applied for Ethereum ETF licenses.

Other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed over the past 24 hours, but all posted weekly losses. Cryptocurrencies have seen a total liquidation of US$24.91 million in the past 24 hours. 

That’s a considerable decrease on the daily losses posted last week during a calamitous downturn in the crypto market. On Friday alone, traders liquidated over US$1 billion in cryptocurrencies, including US$851.94 million in long positions — positions where investors bet the cryptocurrency price will rise. On Monday, long position liquidations stood at US$6.89 million for the past 24 hours, according to data from crypto information platform CoinGlass.

Ripple’s XRP token led the winners, gaining 3.96% to US$0.5408 but plunged 13.76% for the week.

In the on-going legal battle between Ripple Labs and the SEC, Judge Analisa Torres on Thursday granted the SEC permission to appeal an earlier judgement in favor of Ripple Labs. That ruling in late June found that the technology firm’s programmatic sales of XRP did not violate securities laws.

In a Saturday tweet, Ripple’s Chief Technology Officer David Schwartz said the SEC should not be allowed to appeal until the conclusion of the case. He said that, even if an appeal is granted, “the case should still continue and the appeal should run in parallel.” 

Ripple will have until September 1 to respond to the SEC’s appeal motion.

The total crypto market capitalization edged up 0.45% in the past 24 hours to US$1.06 trillion, while trading volume fell 13.09% to US$21.67 billion.

Over $1 billion in crypto market liquidations as Bitcoin hits 2-month low

https://forkast.news/1-billion-crypto-liquidations-bitcoin-2-month-low/

After bottoming out at a two-month low of around US$25,400, Bitcoin recovered some losses on Thursday morning in Asia to trade around US$26,800. Ether also fell dramatically to a low of around US$1,550 before rebounding to just under the US$1,700 line. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptos logged losses as macroeconomic factors — including the depreciation of the Chinese yuan and the bankruptcy of Chinese property giant Evergrande — hit investor sentiment. Overall, investors liquidated $1 billion in cryptocurrencies, driving the total market capitalization to the edge of the psychologically important US$1 trillion threshold. 

XRP led the losers, after a U.S. judge granted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approval to file a motion to appeal the recent favorable ruling for Ripple Labs regarding retail sales of token XRP. Meanwhile, the Forkast 500 NFT index dropped but a rise in transactions continued. U.S. stock futures steadied after Wall Street closed lower on Thursday. The release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting continues to fuel concerns of more monetary tightening ahead

Bitcoin, Ether slide after giving up key support levels

Bitcoin slid 7.02% in the last 24 hours to US$26,819.27 as of 07:20 a.m. in Hong Kong, logging a weekly loss of 8.88%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s leading cryptocurrency hit a two-month low of US$25,409.11 on early Friday morning.

“During late US / early Asia trading volumes, Bitcoin prices broke the critical support level at US$28,000. We knew a crash (or sharp decline) could be coming,” Markus Thielen, head of crypto research at digital asset service platform Matrixport, wrote in an emailed note. 

“Realized volatility had hit 18%; the last time volatility was this low, in November 2018, Bitcoin’s 30-day realized volatility spiked to over 100% as prices crashed by 46%. In Bitcoin, sharp price declines have often followed low volatility periods. We are not predicting such a significant decline but expected, at least, a -13% decline (so far, prices are down -10%).”

There is also the looming shadow of macro risks to consider, added Thielen.

“The biggest is a potential devaluation of the Chinese Yuan, trading at the weakest level since 2007. In August 2015, when China devalued the Yuan for the last time, Bitcoin prices declined by -23% during the two weeks following the devaluation,” he said.

Adding to the bearish sentiment in Bitcoin, a Friday report by The Wall Street Journal showed Elon Musk-founded rocket company SpaceX wrote down the value of its Bitcoin holdings by a total of US$373 million in the past two years.

“This is really a past event (but) it is still news and investors understandably saw this as a bearish catalysis on top of macro moves,” said Justin d’Anethan, head of APAC business development at Belgium-based crypto market maker Keyrock.

Along with Bitcoin, Ether dropped 5.64% to US$1,706.22 and lost 7.80% for the past seven days, after reaching a five-month low of US$1,551.71 on early Friday morning.

Other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies all traded lower.

Cryptocurrencies saw a total liquidation of US$1 billion over the past 12 hours, with US$812.67 million of long positions — positions where investors bet the cryptocurrency price will rise — wiped out, according to data from crypto information platform CoinGlass.

Ripple’s XRP token led the losers, plunging 12.52% to US$0.5136 for a weekly loss of 18.85%.

In the on-going legal battle between Ripple Labs and the SEC, Judge Analisa Torres on Thursday granted the SEC’s request to appeal an earlier summary judgement in favor of Ripple. 

In June, Torres ruled that Ripple’s programmatic sales of XRP did not violate securities laws, while its sales to institutional investors did. The ruling was seen as a partial victory notched by Ripple. The SEC first sued the company in December 2020 for offering unregistered digital asset securities — an allegation Ripple denies.

“The request for appeal (even if granted) doesn’t change the fact that XRP is not a security. That’s not up for debate / trial,” said Ripple Chief Executive Officer Brad Garlinghouse in a tweet on Wednesday.

According to Thursday’s court filing, the SEC will file a motion for appeal on Friday, and Ripple has until September 1 to file its opposition papers. 

The total crypto market capitalization dropped 5.69% in the past 24 hours to US$1.07 trillion — close to the psychologically important US$1 trillion threshold — while trading volume surged 78.91% to US$60.58 billion.