Bitcoin and Ether slipped during Thursday afternoon trading in Hong Kong, while all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization rose, except Dogecoin. Despite stagnating prices, crypto industry profitability is showing positive signs for investors, industry experts told Forkast.

See related article: Weekly Market Wrap: Bitcoin falls below US$30,000 as institutional interest in ETFs fails to lift markets

Bitcoin, Ether remain under key levels, Dogecoin reverses gains, top 10 cryptos rise

Bitcoin was little changed during afternoon trading in Asia, trading at US$29,426 as of 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong after it fell below the US$30,000 support level on Monday.

Ether slipped 0.1% during afternoon trading in Asia to US$1,872 and declined 1.89% during the past week.

“Although crypto revenues remain more than 50% below the high-water mark set in 2021, 2Q23 was the first quarter of aggregate profitability, an important milestone for the asset class’s investibility for institutional investors,”  Jamie Coutts, a senior market structure analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, told Forkast in a statement.

“Applications, the engines of the blockchain ecosystem, are driving profitability as more become economically viable.”

Solana’s SOL token was the day’s biggest winner in the top 10, after it rose 5.91% in the past 24 hours to US$24.97, followed by Polygon’s Matic token that gained 3.04% to US$0.7281

Reversing the gains of the past three days, Dogecoin fell 1.87% to US$0.07896, as the only token that fell in the top 10.

The total crypto market capitalization over the past 24 hours rose 0.94% to US$1.19 trillion while market volume increased 16.71% to US$30.77 billion, according to CoinMarketCap data.

Forkast 500 NFT index refreshes all-time low, Bitcoin NFT sales start recovery, Ethereum NFT sales extend declines

The Forkast 500 NFT index slipped 0.22% to 2,634.24 points in the 24 hours to 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong and fell 2.43% during the week. The index declined to an all-time low of 2,625.24 points earlier today.

Bitcoin’s 24-hour non-fungible token sales started recovering, rising 3.28% to US$598,139 with the network remaining the sixth largest blockchain by 24-hour NFT sales volume, according to CryptoSlam.

Ethereum’s 24-hour NFT sales continued to decline, falling 59% to US$13.35 million, while sales for the largest Ethereum-native NFT collection, the Bored Ape Yacht Club, fell 5.66% to US$969,388. CryptoPunks sales rose 55.48% to US$336,878.

In the wider NFT space, Themes and Variations, an NFT collection of 500 generative artworks by artist Vera Molnár, was sold out within an hour in a Dutch auction on Wednesday for 631 ETH (US$1.2 million). It is the first collection in Sotheby’s Gen Art Program, which aims to spotlight three generative artists each year. 

“In the future, we’re going to look back at this time in NFTs as a very special time for generative art. Between ‘The Goose’ sale at Christie’s, and now Sotheby’s auction of Vera Molnar’s first NFT collection, we’re setting milestones on the blockchain while using NFTs in their best form,”  said Yehudah Petscher, NFT Strategist at Forkast Labs.  

“The rest of the market is still pretty unremarkable with the indexes looking mostly flat. Buyers however have picked up on most of the top blockchains, especially on Solana.”

All Forkast Labs NFT indexes were in the red for the second consecutive day.

Asian equities mixed, U.S. stock futures rise after Fed interest rate hike

Wall Street Signs in Manhattan, New York City
Image: elements.envato

Major Asian equities were mixed as of 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index posting gains. The Shenzhen Component and the Shanghai Composite both declined.

U.S. stock futures strengthened during Thursday afternoon trading in Hong Kong, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures, the S&P 500 futures index and the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 futures all strengthening.

In line with preliminary expectations,  the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 25 basis points to between 5.25% to 5.5%. This puts borrowing costs at the highest level in 22 years.

Investors were optimistic after Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated that its next interest rate decision will be data-dependent, meaning that it could pause its rate hiking cycle in September.

Investors are now looking ahead at the European Central Bank’s monetary policy decision tomorrow. The bank is also expected to raise its borrowing rates, which are now at 3.5%, the highest since 2001.

On the corporate front, investors are now anticipating earnings from companies like Mastercard, Shell, McDonald’s Corporation. T-Mobile U.S. and S&P Global.

See related article: Standard Chartered’s great expectations for Bitcoin in 2024

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