Bitcoin dipped but held above the US$30,000 threshold on Monday morning in Asia, with nearly all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies rising. The gains follow a number of traditional financial institutions showing interest in launching crypto-related exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and the U.S. securities regulator approved the first leveraged Bitcoin futures ETFs in the country on Friday. In the NFT market, a whale has been selling off Bored Ape Yacht Clubs.

Bitcoin little changed

Bitcoin edged down 0.35% to US$30,444 over the last 24 hours to 7:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, according to data from CoinMarketCap. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization rose 15.44% in the past seven days.

Ether gained 1.18% to US$1,898, with a 10.32% weekly gain.

Polkadot led gains among the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies with a 3.28% 24-hour rise to post a weekly gain of 14.28%. Beside Bitcoin, Litecoin was the only token on the list edging lower, dropping 1.48% over the past 24 hours but up 14.24% for the week.

On Friday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the nation’s first leveraged Bitcoin futures ETF offered by Florida-based Volatility Shares, CoinDesk reported. The “2x Bitcoin Strategy ETF” is set to start trading on June 27 on CBOE BZX Exchange, according to the fund’s website.

The ETF will not invest directly in Bitcoin but seek to benefit from increases in the price of Bitcoin futures contracts for a single day, according to its prospectus. The fund will correspond to two times the return of the S&P CME Bitcoin Futures Daily Roll index.

This comes after BlackRock and WisdomTree recently filed applications with the SEC to launch spot Bitcoin ETFs. The regulator has given a greenlight to a number of futures-based crypto ETFs but has not approved spot products.

“The turbulences of 2022 have led to a decline in confidence in crypto-native institutions, presenting traditional financial institutions with a prime opportunity to enter the crypto market,” Jonas Betz, crypto market analyst and founder of consultancy firm Betz Crypto, told Forkast last week.

Additionally, New York-headquartered investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. launched euro-denominated transactions on its blockchain-based payment system, JPM Coin, Bloomberg reported on Friday. 

JPM Coin allows clients to transfer euros or dollars held with their JPMorgan accounts immediately and at any time of the day, unlike traditional banking transactions that usually operate during business hours.

Bored Ape Yacht Club dump

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.

In the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the Forkast 500 NFT index dipped 0.25% to 2,905.28 in the 24 hours to 9:40 a.m. in Hong Kong. The index, however, is up 1.08% for the week.

NFT transactions on Ethereum fell 2.49% over the past 24 hours to US$18.38 million, while transactions on the Bitcoin network surged 138% to US$3.6 million, according to CryptoSlam data.

“Ethereum is still struggling with tumbling prices, especially in Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) whose average sales price remains in the low- to mid-US$70,000 range,” said Yehudah Petscher, NFT Strategist at Forkast Labs, the parent company of Forkast.News.

Over the past few days, NFT whale Jeffrey Huang, also known as Machi, has dumped dozens of his BAYC holdings. On Saturday, Machi sold 19 BAYC NFTs in one transaction on marketplace Blur for 651.56 Ether, or roughly US$1.22 million.

The floor price of BAYC stood at 37.4 Ether on Blur on Monday morning in Asia, gaining 4.18% over the past day but losing 13.52% over the past week.

Sales of BAYC jumped 26.11% over the past 24 hours to US$3.43 million, adding to weekly sales of US$13.11 million. BAYC was the most-sold collection for the past day and week in terms of transaction value.

Ethereum-based Azuki NFT transactions rose 25.68% in the past 24 hours to US$3.07 million, the highest after BAYC.

Azuki’s floor price on Blur rose 1.78% in the past day but was down 9.21% for the week.

U.S. stock futures rise

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Image: Wikimedia Commons

U.S. stock futures edged higher as of 10:40 a.m. in Hong Kong. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 0.19%, and S&P 500 futures added 0.24%. Nasdaq Futures rose 0.32%.

Equity markets across Asia were mostly mixed with investors unsettled by events in Russia over the weekend when Wagner Group mercenaries marched toward Moscow in what appeared to be a rebellion against the military leadership. 

The group later halted the advance, but it raised concern about instability in Russia as it may undermine the leadership of President Vladimir Putin. Oil prices rose on concern about supply disruptions from Russia, the world’s third-largest producer of crude oil. 

In macroeconomic developments, Japan’s services producer price index rose 1.6% year-on-year in May, according to official data released Monday.

“Japan’s economy, despite being affected by factors such as past high commodity prices, has picked up as private consumption, for example, has increased moderately,” the Bank of Japan said Monday in the summary of opinions of June 15-16 monetary policy meetings.

On U.S. inflation and interest rates, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said last week that the central bank is in consensus on the need for more interest rate hikes this year. 

U.S. interest rates are now between 5% and 5.25%, the highest since 2006. The CME FedWatch Tool predicts a 71.9% chance for another 25-basis-point rate hike, and a 28.1% chance the Fed will leave rates unchanged at the next meeting on July 26.

(Updates to add equities section)