Bitcoin moved back above US$28,000 in Monday morning trading in Asia, leading a rally among all top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies. Ethereum broke through the resistance ceiling of US$1,900. The gains followed an in-principle agreement between U.S. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin Mccarthy to raise the country’s debt ceiling, which boosted investors’ appetite for risk assets.
Bitcoin rose 3.98% over the last 24 hours to US$28,195 at 9:30 a.m. in Hong Kong. It recorded a weekly gain of 5.73%, according to data from CoinMarketCap. The world’s largest cryptocurrency moved above US$28,000 for the first time since May 10.
Ether jumped 3.48% in the past 24 hours to US$1,916, moving up 6.53% over the past seven days. It was trading above the US$1,900 mark for the first time in three weeks.
Cryptocurrency prices received a boost after U.S. President Biden on Saturday said he had reached an in-principle agreement with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to raise the government’s debt ceiling, which averts the threat of a default in the world’s biggest economy. If ratified, the agreement would run through Jan. 1, 2025.
Both parties are now urging U.S. Congress to pass the deal by June 5 – the deadline set by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The talks had rattled investors for weeks as a debt default in the U.S. could have caused panic in global markets.
The sense of relief among investors that a deal is on the verge of completion has led to “fresh buying of risk assets,” said Markus Thielen, Head of Crypto Research & Strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, in a note shared with Forkast.
“So many investors were scared about the debt ceiling and the potential default by the U.S. government – which is just so unlikely. Now, they need to find something else to be bearish about while the market likely rallies,” said Thielen.
With Bitcoin taking the lead, all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded higher over the past 24 hours. The total market cap for cryptocurrencies rose 3.00% in that period to US$1.17 trillion. The 24-hour trading volume also jumped 57.01% to US$31.73 billion.
Neo, the token that supports China-affiliated Neo blockchain, saw the largest weekly gain in the top 100 cryptocurrencies. It rose 23.83% to US$11.37. Neo is backed by Onchain, a Chinese blockchain company and member of the country’s internet finance industry lobby.
Neo outperformed most other larger-cap cryptocurrencies in the past week with investors now “positioning themselves for the Hong Kong opening event,” said Thielen of Matrixport.
Hong Kong will unlock trading for retail investors from June 1, as the city seeks to become a hub for the crypto industry.
Bitcoin NFT sales surge
In the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the Forkast 500 NFT index edged up 0.57% to 3,373.39 in the 24 hours to 11:20 a.m. in Hong Kong, but is still down 0.82% for the past seven days.
NFT sales on Ethereum dipped 8.07% in the past 24 hours to US$13.10 million, according to CryptoSlam data. In contrast, NFT sales on the Bitcoin network surged 95.50% to US$8.29 million.
$OXBT BRC-20 NFTs, a Bitcoin NFT collection launched last Thursday, saw its sales exceed US$3 million in the past 24 hours, or more than 35% of all the NFT sales on the Bitcoin blockchain. The collection has attracted over 34,000 owners in four days.
Data from CryptoSlam indicates a rapid rise of Bitcoin in the NFT space, said Yohann Calpu, Chief Marketing Officer at Forkast Labs.
“I have never seen an ecosystem boot up this fast, except for NFTs in 2020-2021, and I would argue that it’s even moving faster this time around,” said Calpu. He added that the Ethereum and Bitcoin networks are competing for NFT supremacy, with Bitcoin protocol potentially better suited for NFT projects “that see immutability and scarcity as features instead of weaknesses.”
Peter Schiff, Euro Pacific Capital Chief Economist and vocal Bitcoin critic, said on Saturday he had collaborated in an art project to launch 50 Ordinal inscriptions – the Bitcoin blockchain’s iteration of NFTs – on the Bitcoin blockchain, which will be open for bidding in an auction in early June.
“Seeing Peter Schiff convert makes me happy,” tweeted Binance Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Our Force 1, the NFT sneaker collection launched by sportswear Giant Nike last Wednesday, has seen sales exceed 75,000 in five days to around US$1.48 million, giving each NFT sneaker a price of US$19.82, according to data from PolygonScan.