Bitcoin was trading below US$26,000 on Monday afternoon in Asia, while Ether and all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies posted losses. The market is also under pressure after news that the collapsed FTX crypto exchange may soon liquidate its US$3.4 billion in crypto holdings. Asian equities traded mixed. U.S. futures gained ahead of crucial inflation data release while European bourses gained ahead of the central bank policy meeting later this week.

See related article: FTX sues LayerZero Labs to recover US$21 million

All top 10 cryptos drop

Bitcoin dropped 0.15% to US$25,811 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its weekly losses to 0.56%, according to CoinMarketCap data

“Currently, Bitcoin’s price is trading without a clear direction amidst cautious market sentiment. Bitcoin, which leads the entire crypto market, will be influenced by various technical factors in the absence of news and legal decisions related to the cryptocurrency market in the coming week,” Rania Gule, market analyst at multi-asset brokerage firm told Forkast.

“I believe that the crucial support level of US$24,995 will determine whether Bitcoin’s price goes up or down. A clear and strong break below this level would send Bitcoin toward the very important support level at US$24,000, which would indicate a clear bearish trend reversal. In the worst-case scenario, the selling momentum in this case could push the price down to around US$21,915, which is roughly the mid-March level,” Gule said.

Ether, the Ethereum blockchain’s native token, fell 0.78% to US$1,611 in the last 24 hours, and dropped 1.63% in the last seven days. 

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin’s account on X, formerly Twitter, was hacked on Sunday, resulting in losses 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.

“Ethereum price indicators continue to show signals of the ongoing bearish trend, supported by a breach of the trendline that took the price below the critical support level of US$1,687. This paves the way for a potential 27% drop in ETH price. I believe the price could reach a significant level of US$1,200, with intermediate support at US$1,366,” Gule of pointed out.

The crypto 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 from blockchain analysts Whale Alert. After filing for bankruptcy in November last year, the exchange still holds an estimated US$3.4 billion worth of crypto assets.

John Stefanidis, chief executive of blockchain infrastructure foundation Balthazar DAO, said, “The recent dip in value of altcoins could be attributed to the anticipated authorisation of the liquidation of assets held by FTX. With a portfolio encompassing billions in cryptocurrency assets, a potential liquidation could significantly influence market values, notably affecting Solana, Aptos, Dogecoin, Matic, TON, and XRP.”

Toncoin was the biggest loser, declining 3.38% to US$1.70 in the past 24 hours, and losing 9.96% in the past seven days. 

Ripple’s XRP was the second biggest loser, dropping 2.91% to US$0.4857 on the day and 3.54% on the week. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) submitted a filing last Friday to push the court of the Southern District of New York to appeal its ruling on the agency’s lawsuit against Ripple Labs. The SEC requested the court to review its prior ruling by Judge Analisa Torres that posed “knotty legal problems,” according to the filing. In July, a summary judgment by Judge Torres ruled that Ripple’s XRP sales to institutional investors violated securities laws, but sales on public exchanges to retail investors did not.

Ripple Labs also announced that it will acquire Nevada-based crypto infrastructure startup Fortress Trust, giving Ripple a regulatory license in the state of Nevada. 

Elsewhere, the Group of 20 (G20) meeting under India’s presidency, said during the weekend that member countries will work together to develop a coordinated global regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, cross-border cooperation and information sharing. 

“Crypto assets and how regulation can be put in place – we contributed to a roadmap so [that] over the next month progress can be made in that area,” Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of International Monetary Fund said at the conclusion of G20 leaders summit in India’s capital New Delhi on Sunday. 

However, one of the key challenges facing the cryptocurrency industry globally is the delay in implementing these recommendations at a national level, according to Caroline Bowler, chief executive of Australian digital asset exchange BTC Markets.

“While international organizations are setting the framework for a harmonized regulatory environment, it is imperative that governments and regulatory authorities act promptly to translate these guidelines into actionable regulations. Delayed implementation could hinder the industry’s growth, create uncertainty, and potentially leave investors and consumers exposed to risks,” Bowler said in an emailed statement on Monday. 

Total crypto market capitalization dropped 0.54% to US$1.03 trillion, while market volume gained 36.82% to US$20.63 billion. 

Total NFT sales volume, transactions drop

The indexes are proxy measures of the performance of the global NFT market. They are managed by CryptoSlam, a sister company of Forkast.News under the Forkast.Labs umbrella.

The Forkast 500 NFT index fell 0.85% to 2,119 in 24 hours to 7 p.m. in Hong Kong, dropping 3.53% on the week, with Forkast’s Ethereum, Solana and Polygon indexes also declining.

Total NFT sales volume dropped 4.08% to US$8,757,370 in the past 24 hours, according to CryptoSlam data. NFT transactions dropped over 10% at the same time. 

“As we head into the slowest months of the year one has to wonder how low we can really go, and if we can fall to Feb. 2021 levels where we saw US$35-50 million in sales,” said Yehudah Petscher, NFT strategist at Forkast Labs.

Among blockchains, Ethereum topped the rankings by sales volume, which rose 2.67% to US$4.7 million. Mythos and Polygon networks ranked second and third respectively.

Among collections, Mythos-based DMarket topped rankings although its sales volume fell 7.76% to US$1,012,238 in the past 24 hours.

“Football NFTs were hot with the kickoff of the NFL season. Both DraftKings with their fantasy football NFTs and NFL All Day with their pure collectibles saw millions in sales over the past seven days,” Petscher said. 

Sales of Polygon-based DraftKings gained 45.96% to US$579,756, ranking it the third biggest collection by sales volume.

Asian equities mixed; U.S. futures, European bourses gain

U.S. President Joe Biden in Vietnam on Sept. 11. Investors are looking forward to latest U.S. inflation data due for release later this week. Image: President Biden/Twitter

Major Asian stock markets traded mixed on Monday as investors await the latest U.S. inflation data due for release later this week. China’s Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component Index, as well as South Korea’s Kospi gained. Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped at the end of trading hours.

The U.S. consumer price index (CPI) for August will be released on Wednesday. Analysts expect the inflation gauge to rise 3.8% year-on-year, up from 3.2% in July, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. 

A recent rise in oil prices and stronger-than-expected growth in U.S. services recorded last week have fueled inflation concerns in the U.S., Reuters reported.

The CPI prediction of 3.8% is still higher than the Federal Reserve’s long-term goal of bringing the annual inflation below 2%. The Fed last raised the interest rate in July to between 5.25% and 5.5%, the highest since early 2001.

U.S. stock futures strengthened as of 8 p.m. in Hong Kong on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures, the S&P 500 futures, and the Nasdaq 100 Futures were all in the green.

India’s benchmark index Sensex rose 0.79% at the close of trading hours on Monday.

European bourses – the benchmark STOXX 600 and Germany’s DAX 40 – gained on Monday. Investors are looking forward to the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) policy meeting outcome on Thursday, which is expected to indicate whether the central bank will increase interest rates further. ECB policymakers are divided over raising rates again, amid slowing economic activity and persistent inflation that remains above the 2% target.

“If you cannot get yourself to hike in September, the case will not be stronger in October as economic data will likely worsen, and inflation in September will come lower quite a bit,” said UBS chief European economist Reinhard Cluse, who expects a 25 basis-point increase, according to a Reuters report

(updates with equities section.)