Bitcoin and Ether continued their weekly slide, while all other top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization fell in Friday morning trading in Asia. The world’s number one cryptocurrency fell below US$23,000 for the first time in over a week. Investors remain tentative about macroeconomic trends – inflation and interest rates in the U.S. and a slowing economy in China. 

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin fell 1.4% in the past 24 hours to trade at US$22,992 as of 8:30 a.m. in Hong Kong. Ether was changing hands at US$1,821, down 0.4%, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin has dropped more than 4% over the past 7 days, while Ether is down 3% in the same period.
  • Dogecoin, the memecoin that sits in the last spot in CoinMarketCap’s top 10, fell 7.1% to US$0.074. Less than US$1 billion in capitalization now separates Dogecoin and Polkadot in slot 11, so they may soon be swapping places, though Polkadot was down 4.5% to US$7.9 in early Asia trading. Another memecoin, Shiba Inu, fell 9.2% to US$0.0000134.
  • “Even though we might think of it as a joke [memecoins are] such a great tool for capturing people’s imagination,” Igneus Terrenus, head of communications at Singapore-based crypto exchange Bybit, told Forkast in an interview, adding that capital investment then follows.
  • U.S. equities markets were largely little changed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up less than 0.1% while the S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index both added 0.2% in Thursday trading.
  • The release of the Federal Open Market Committee July meeting minutes this week indicates the U.S. Federal Reserve looks set to raise interest rates again at its next meeting in September, not a good omen for equity investors and by extension crypto markets. The minutes showed the Fed remains focused on taming inflation and rate hikes are the main tool in its bag.
  • China’s poor economic outlook is also causing concern for investors as the world’s second-largest economy has seen a slump in its real estate market and industrial output. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with top officials earlier in the week and urged them to support local businesses.

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