Bitcoin fell and Ether rose during Thursday afternoon trading in Hong Kong, along with all the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Bitcoin rose above US$30,000 earlier today, following news of institutions like BlackRock, Fidelity and Deutsche Bank entering the crypto space.

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Bitcoin rises past US$30,000 for first time since April, with BTC dominance at 2-year high

Bitcoin inched down 0.16% from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong to US$30,069. Ether rose 0.79% in the same timeframe, to US$1,908, exceeding US$1,800 for the first time since June 10.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, exceeded US$30,000 for the first time since April 19. 

Investor sentiment continued to improve after some of the biggest companies in traditional finance announced their venture into the crypto space. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with US$8.59 trillion under management as of the end of 2022, filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF on June 15, with and market talk hinting that Fidelity is preparing its spot Bitcoin ETF filing. Earlier this week, Germany’s largest bank Deutsche Bank also applied for a license to operate a crypto custody service, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

“As recession fears collide with an improving outlook, Bitcoin is testing a cycle-defining technical resistance level. With the removal of regulatory risk, vastly better market structure and stable on-chain activity, the asset looks fairly priced based on some fundamentals,” Jamie Coutts, a senior market structure analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a research note shared with Forkast.

“Although Bitcoin will not be spared from any potential risk asset selloff brought about by a Fed-induced recession, the asset’s risk-reward profile since the start of the year has been the most favorable in four years, based on market structure.”

U.S. Fed chair Colin Powell reportedly said during a monetary policy hearing at Capitol Hill on Wednesday that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have “staying power” as an asset class, and that the central bank regards stablecoins used for payments as a form of money. He also said that the central bank should have a stronger role in regulating stablecoins. 

Polygon’s Matic token was the day’s biggest gainer in the top 10, rising 8.05% to US$0.7002, followed by Cardano’s ADA token that strengthened 7.98% to US$0.3002.

The total crypto market capitalization over the past 24 hours rose 4.01% to US$1.18 trillion and market volume increased 21.18% to US$58.25 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin dominance remained high at 49.5%, marking a two-year high. April 2021 was the last time Bitcoin dominance exceeded 49%, when Bitcoin was trading above US$53,000.

Bitcoin NFT sales rise for fourth consecutive day along with Ethereum NFT sales 

The Forkast 500 NFT index rose 0.6% to 2,917.70 points in the 24 hours to 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong while inching up 0.13% during the week. 

Bitcoin’s 24-hour non-fungible token (NFT) sales rose for a fourth consecutive day, up 194.13% to US$9.78 million, boosted by a 5,203% sales increase in the Neo Yauto collection that generated US$1.12 million for the network. Sales for Uncategorized Ordinals also increased 2.2% to US$7.36 million, according to CryptoSlam data.

Ethereum’s 24-hour NFT sales rose 12.71% to US$16.64 million, after a sluggish Wednesday. Sales for the largest Ethereum-native collection, the Bored Ape Yacht Club, increased 3.15% to US$3.57 million and Mutant Ape Yacht Club sales rose 22.33% to US$860,154.

Looking at the day’s most notable NFT sales, NeoYauto Citizen #8330272 was sold for US$334,419 and Bored Ape #2376 sold for US$286,422.

U.S. futures fall after hawkish remarks from Fed chair

Image: JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Major Asian equity markets – China, Hong Kong, Taiwan – were closed on Thursday due to the Dragon Boat Festival.

U.S. stock futures decreased as of 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong, following Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s testimony before Congress that more rate hikes are likely to combat inflation. The S&P 500 futures index fell 0.2%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 futures lost 0.26% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slipped 0.16%. 

“Inflation remains well above our longer-run goal of 2%,” Powell said. “Nearly all FOMC participants expect that it will be appropriate to raise interest rates somewhat further by the end of the year.”

Investors await Powell’s speech to the Senate Banking Committee later today, along with the release of U.S.’ weekly jobless claims report.

Although the Fed paused the interest rate hikes on June 14, it projects the interest rate to reach 5.6% in 2023, indicating two more rate hikes within the year. New York Fed President John Williams on Tuesday warned that “we haven’t said we’re done raising rates,” adding that it will take time for the Fed’s actions to “restore balance to the economy” and return inflation to the 2% target.

U.S. interest rates are now between 5% and 5.25%, the highest since 2006. The Federal Reserve’s next meeting on rates is July 26. The CME FedWatch Tool predicts a 28.1% chance the Fed will keep rates unchanged in July, and a 71.9% chance for another 25-basis-point rate hike, down from 76.9% on Wednesday.

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(Updates with equities section.)