Bitcoin remains above US$25,000; NFT sales down; Asian, European markets gain with U.S. futures mixed


Bitcoin rose in Friday afternoon trading in Asia, a day after asset management firm BlackRock provided a timely fillip to the digital asset industry by filing to launch an exchange-traded fund (ETF) for the cryptocurrency. Ether and most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptos rose, with the exception of Polygon and Tron. Meanwhile, global markets are seeing some upside after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to pause interest rate hikes.

See related article: Asia lays out a welcome mat for crypto, while US bars its door

Bitcoin receives timely boost

Bitcoin rose 2.43% to US$25,515 in the 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, but lost 3.70% over the last seven days, according to CoinMarketCap data . The world’s biggest cryptocurrency also saw its market capitalization rise 2.40% to US$495.71 billion in the last 24 hours. 

Some of that positive movement came on the back of the announcement late Thursday that the world’s biggest asset manager, BlackRock, intends to launch the first publicly traded U.S.-based Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Coinbase Custody Trust Co. will act as the custodian for the company’s Bitcoin.

The ETF, if approved, will be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

And @coinbase is in fact the custodian pic.twitter.com/eCKKgjsKDx — Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) June 15, 2023

Bitcoin dropped to US$24,909 on Thursday afternoon in Asia for the first time since March 17 this year. It then rallied to a high of US$25,700 in the hour after the BlackRrock announcement, before reverting back to the US$25,500 mark. 

Ether, the second-biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, also rose 2.12% to US$1,669 over the past 24 hours, but is down 9.09% for the week. 

Litecoin was the biggest gainer in the last 24 hours, rising 3.62% to US$75.22, although it is down 14.09% on the week. 

Polygon and Tron were the only losers among top 10 non-stablecoin cryptos. Polygon’s Matic token dropped 4.07% to US$0.5896, bringing its weekly losses to 23.85%. 

Tron lost 1.95% to US$0.06986 in 24 hours and 9.81% over the last week.

BNB, the native token of world’s biggest crypto exchange Binance, rose 1.43% to US$239.19,  but its weekly losses stood at 7.36%. 

“Binance Coin (BNB) is testing the critical US$220/200 level and IF this level breaks, there could be severe consequences on sentiment,” said Markus Thielen, Head of Research & Strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, in an emailed statement.

The U.S. SEC filed lawsuits against crypto exchanges Binance.US and Coinbase in the week of June 5. Doing so, it named several altcoins as financial securities, including Solana, Cardano, Polygon and BNB. 

“There is now a real possibility that the altcoins from the 2020/21 bull market will never reach new all-time highs again,” Thielen said.

“Unless the investor is a trader with risk management skills, parking their crypto exposure in Bitcoin might be the only sensible option until a new bull market emerges that carries more weight than simply favorable macro tailwinds, and until the regulatory overhang diminishes,” he added. 

U.S.-based trading platform Robinhood will delist Cardano, Polygon and Solana from June 27, after the SEC labeled them as unregistered securities. This has caused their prices and market capitalization to take a beating. 

The three tokens combined had a market capitalization of US$20.6 billion as of Friday afternoon in Asia. That figure is a drop of 29.4% from the US$29.18 billion prior to the SEC’s lawsuits. The severe drop is a sign of  liquidity leaving the industry. 

“Early in the week, there was hope that the back-to-back U.S. CPI (consumer price index) and Fed rate pause would boost the markets, but that did not happen,” said Le Shi, Head of Trading at crypto trading firm Auros.  

“A clear divergence in the fortunes of U.S. equities compared to the crypto market after these events made it clear that traders were more concerned with regulatory risk than any expected macro tailwinds arising from the Fed rate pause or softening CPI,” Shi added.

The global crypto market capitalization rose 1.96% to US$1.04 trillion, while total market volume dropped 14.98% to US$32.52 billion in the last 24 hours. 

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