Bitcoin fell to near US$28,000 on Friday morning in Asia, with Ether trading flat and most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies losing steam. Dogecoin led the losers. The slide comes amid broader concerns about liquidity and the direction of the U.S. economy. The U.S. regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies is another down-arrow, with Coinbase, the largest U.S.-based crypto exchange, indicating it’s considering moving elsewhere. U.S. equity futures traded mixed in Asia after Wall Street closed lower on Thursday on recession concerns and the prospect of higher interest rates ahead.

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin fell 2.10% to US$28,321 in the 24 hours to 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, expanding its weekly loss to 7.95%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency dropped to a low of $28,037 earlier on Friday, but then later made up some of that ground. 
  • Ether was the only top 10 non-stablecoin token logging gains in the past 24 hours, but it essentially traded flat at US$1,950, up 0.16%. The token has lost 7.14% over the past seven days. The Ethereum Name Services, a digital identity protocol, said on Thursday it partnered with crypto payment platform Moonpay to allow the purchase of .eth domain names through fiat currencies.
  • Dogecoin led the losers, falling 7.63% to US$0.08446 for a weekly loss of 4.57%.
  • Cryptocurrencies face pressure from the potential weakness in the U.S. and European economies and the prospect of higher interest rates, said Denys Peleshok, Head of Asia at CPT Markets. “Both economies could continue to see a slowdown in growth, contributing to a deterioration in investors’ sentiment and appetite for risk, in particular among institutional investors,” said Peleshok.
  • Coinbase on Thursday said it had acquired a license to operate in Bermuda. The announcement followed Coinbase Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong’s statement on Tuesday that the company may move outside the U.S. due to the lack of clarity from regulators, according to a Bloomberg report on Tuesday.  
  • The total crypto market capitalization dropped 1.35% in the past 24 hours to US$1.20 trillion. The total trading volume over the last 24 hours fell 16.17% to US$52.28 billion.
  • In the NFT market, the Forkast 500 NFT index slid 1.73% to 3,962.23 in the 24 hours to 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, down 1.23% for the week. The index is a proxy measure of the performance of the global NFT market and includes 500 eligible smart contracts on any given day. It is managed by CryptoSlam, a sister company of Forkast.News under the Forkast.Labs umbrella.
  • NFT trades fell off due to a surge in gas fees on the Ethereum blockchain, which can partly be attributed to the recent hype surrounding the meme PepeCoin, said Forkast Labs NFT Strategist Yehudah Petscher.
  • U.S. stock futures traded mixed as of 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 0.05%. The S&P 500 futures inched 0.04% higher. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.14%. The three indexes fell Thursday, partially on poor first-quarter earnings from Tesla Inc. and AT&T Inc. 
  • The U.S. Labor Department on Thursday reported initial jobless claims in the prior week were higher than expected, pointing to a slowing economy.
  • Despite the soft economic readings and rising concerns about a recession, Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said on Thursday she expected interest rates to move above 5% this year, but noted the monetary tightening circle was nearing an end.
  • U.S. interest rates are currently between 4.75% to 5%, the highest since June 2006. Analysts at the CME Group now see a 17.9% chance the Fed will leave interest rates unchanged at its next meeting on May 3, while 82.1 predict a 25-basis-point increase, down from 83.3% on Thursday.

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