Market Wrap: Crypto Assets Stabilize As BTC Retakes $20K
By Krisztian Sandor, Jimmy He, Helene Braun
Bitcoin traded at $20,900 in the afternoon, while some altcoins surged on positive news and improved sentiment.
Crypto assets stabilized on Thursday and regained ground after Wednesday’s volatile trading saw bitcoin tumble below $20,000 and altcoins drop.
Bitcoin (BTC) climbed back to $20,900 by Thursday afternoon, recovering from its 24-hour low of $19,764, while ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was up about 5.5% at above $1,100.
Stocks gained Thursday, with the S&P 500 up 1%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 1.5%, a sign of improved sentiment toward riskier assets.
Some altcoins benefitted from the positive sentiment and surged during the day on positive news.
MATIC, the native token of Ethereum-scaling platform Polygon, jumped 19% in the last 24 hours after Polygon introduced improved privacy for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) on its network. The Cosmos network’s token, ATOM, gained 12% after decentralized exchange dXdY announced it would build its own blockchain with Cosmos, ditching Ethereum.
Further downside could squeeze exchanges
The $20,000 price point for BTC remains pivotal for the crypto market as analysts debate whether the largest cryptocurrency will see further declines akin to 2013, when BTC fell by 85%, and to 2017, when it plunged 84%. If bitcoin experiences a similar fall this time around, the prices would fall close to $10,000.
Low prices for a sustained period of time might spell trouble for crypto exchanges, crypto data firm Kaiko warned in a research note Thursday.
“As prices remain low, volumes decrease, hedge funds unwind and fees compress, exchanges will be put to the test,” Kaiko analyst Riyad Carey wrote in the note.
“Those that have enough volume and spent responsibly through the bull market will likely be able to weather the storm, while those that played fast and loose with risky staking products and investments may go under if they aren’t acquired or bailed out by FTX or Alameda,” Carey added, referring to two companies led by billionaire entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried.
For example, futures crypto exchange CoinFLEX announced that it’s pausing withdrawals because of “extreme market conditions” and uncertainty around a certain counterparty.
Earlier this week, crypto exchange FTX supplied crypto lender BlockFi with $250 million in credit. Last week, Bankman-Fried’s trading outfit Alameda Research bailed out crypto broker Voyager Digital.
●Bitcoin (BTC): $20,892 +3.58%
●Ether (ETH): $1,124 +4.81%
●S&P 500 daily close: 3,795.76 +0.95%
●Gold: $1,828 per troy ounce −0.32%
●Ten-year Treasury yield daily close: 3.07% −0.088
Fed warms to digital dollar
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that the U.S. central bank plans to recommend to Congress how to advance a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC).
When asked about the Fed’s next steps regarding the rollout of a CBDC, Powell told U.S. lawmakers in a Thursday monetary-policy hearing that “it’s something we really need to explore as a country” and that “it should not be a partisan thing.”
“It’s a very important potential financial innovation that will affect all Americans,” he said. “Our plan is to work on both the policy side and the technological side in coming years and come to Congress with a recommendation at some point.”
The Fed issued a report on the question of a digital dollar earlier this year, and officials are still combing through the responses from the crypto industry, traditional financial firms and investors. Those answers are likely to inform the Fed’s eventual recommendation.
Avalanche surges: Smart contracts platform Avalanche added support for bitcoin on its cross-chain bridge, allowing users to transfer bitcoin assets through its newly launched ‘Core’ wallet. The platform’s token, AVAX, rose 4.3% in the last 24 hours, outperforming bitcoin and ether.
Voyager cuts daily withdrawal limit: Crypto broker Voyager Digital (VOYG) reduced its daily withdrawal limit to $10,000 from $25,000. The move comes after the firm disclosed its exposure to struggling hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and said it may issue a “notice of default” if the crypto fund fails to make a loan repayment. The broker’s token, VGX, dropped 3.6% in the last 24 hours.
NHL signs NFT deal: The National Hockey League has signed a multiyear partnership agreement with non-fungible token (NFT) platform Sweet to start a digital collectibles marketplace. The partnership will allow hockey fans to collect and trade NFTs during the league’s 2022-2023 season.