Bitcoin and Ether rose during Thursday afternoon trading in Hong Kong, while the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization were mixed. Investors remained optimistic as new institutional players like Fidelity prepare to file their Bitcoin ETF applications.

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Bitcoin, Ether rise, top 10 cryptos mixed, as Fidelity prepares Bitcoin ETF application

Bitcoin rose 1.07% from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong to US$30,428. Ether gained 1.2% in the same timeframe, to trade at US$1,849.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, briefly touched US$30,465 during yesterday’s session, as risk appetite remained strong after large financial institutions led by BlackRock filed spot Bitcoin ETF applications in the past weeks.

Asset management giant Fidelity is preparing to submit its own spot Bitcoin ETF application, a source familiar with the matter told The Block Tuesday.

“This move is seen as a significant step towards legitimizing cryptocurrencies and could bring in new institutional investors into the market,” wrote Kadan Stadelmann, chief technical officer of blockchain infrastructure development firm Komodo, in a statement shared with Forkast.

“Fidelity’s entry into the cryptocurrency market is expected to bring in more institutional money, which could drive up demand for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This move is also expected to increase the adoption of cryptocurrencies by traditional financial institutions, further legitimizing them as an investment asset class.”

Solana’s Sol token was the day’s biggest gainer in the top 10, rising 1.32% to US$16.27. Dogecoin was the day’s biggest loser, down 1.91% to US$0.06297.

The total crypto market capitalization over the past 24 hours rose 0.03% to US$1.17 trillion and market volume decreased 21.30% to US$29.58 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin dominance rose to 50.4%, which marks an over two-year high. April 25, 2021, was the last time Bitcoin Dominance was over 50% when Bitcoin was trading above US$53,000.

Bitcoin NFT sales rise, Ethereum NFT sales fall with Azuki Elementals

The Forkast 500 NFT index fell 0.64% to 2,848.52 points in the 24 hours to 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong and declined 2.22% during the week. 

Bitcoin’s 24-hour non-fungible token sales rose 111.14% to US$3.05 million, as sales for $FRAM BRC-20 NFTs rose 62.94% to US$806,351.

Ethereum’s 24-hour NFT sales fell 65.84% to US$23.49 million, as sales for Azuki decreased 41.7% to US$3.89 million after collectors were disappointed in the release of the new Azuki Elementals collection. Despite selling out within the first 15 minutes on Tuesday, investors criticized the collection for looking almost identical to the original Azuki collection. 24-hour sales for Azuki Elementals fell 56.13% to US$3.62 million.

Among the Forkast Labs NFT indexes, the Forkast CAR NFT Composite was the only one in the black, inching up 0.43% to 990.62 points.

Asian equities fall, U.S. futures rise as Fed chair warns of more rate hikes

Major Asian equities declined as of 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong, except Japan’s Nikkei 225 that inched up 0.12%. The Shenzhen Component Index inched down 0.099%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.24% and the Shanghai Composite lost 0.22%.

Investor sentiment came under pressure from remarks from U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell signaling two or more interest rate hikes towards the end of the year. Powell also warned that the U.S. banking turmoil may not be over as there were still some funding vulnerabilities.

Investors await the release of China’s Purchasing Manager’s Index for June, scheduled for Friday, which may show some weak signs of the country’s economic recovery.

Despite Powell’s hawkish remarks, U.S. stock futures strengthened during Thursday afternoon trading in Hong Kong. The S&P 500 futures index inched up 0.13%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 futures strengthened 0.17% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 0.15%. 

Although the Fed paused the interest rate hikes on June 14, it projects the interest rate to rise to 5.6% in 2023, indicating two more rate hikes within the year. 

The Federal Reserve’s next meeting on interest rates is July 26 and the majority view is they will raise. The CME FedWatch Tool predicts an 84.3% chance for another 25-basis-point rate hike, up from 74.4% a week ago.

Markets in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are closed for the Eid al-Adha holidays.

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(Corrects first section to show Bitcoin is world’s largest cryptocurrency.)