Bitcoin slipped under US$30,000 in Wednesday morning trading in Asia on the back of profit-taking and liquidation of long positions after the recent run up on optimism spot exchange-traded funds for the token may win approval and attract institutional investment. Ether and most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies also declined in lower trading volume. Ripple’s XRP token was the exception, gaining almost 4% in early Asia trade as the tailwind continued from the company’s partial victory last week in the lawsuit brought by the U.S. securities regulator.
Bitcoin, Ether retreat
Bitcoin fell below the US$30,000 line that has offered floor support since late June and lost 2.46% for the week, according to data from CryptoMarketCap. As of 06:40 a.m. in Hong Kong, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency traded at US$29,784.42, down 1.22% over the last 24 hours.
The token continued to fluctuate around the US$30,000 line later in the Asia morning as overall trading volume in cryptocurrencies fell more than 9% on the day.
Data from Coinglass showed large liquidations in long positions in Bitcoin, or bets that prices for the token would rise further.
Ether dropped 0.76% to US$1,898.40, though it is still logging a 1.15% gain for the week.
Investors seemed unimpressed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) agreeing on Monday to review the application by digital asset manager Valkyrie Investments Inc. to launch a Bitcoin Spot exchange-traded fund (ETF).
The SEC agreed the same for the application by BlackRock on July 13, which along with several other Bitcoin ETF applications set off a bullish run in crypto for the past month. BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager with US$9.4 trillion in assets. Tennessee-based Valkyrie had more than US$1 billion in assets under management in 2022.
In more background noise for crypto markets later today, Brian Armstrong – the chief executive officer of Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the U.S. – is expected to sit down with Democratic members of Congress to discuss regulation of digital assets, according to Bloomberg.
The SEC sued Coinbase on June 6, claiming that the exchange breached federal securities laws by offering unregistered financial securities to investors. Armstrong and other Coinbase executives have said they will fight the SEC allegations in court.
The SEC on July 13 received a setback in another lawsuit, filed more than two years ago, against Ripple Labs, when a U.S. district court ruled that Ripple Labs’ programmatic sales of its XRP cryptocurrency did not qualify as offerings of financial securities.
The Ripple ruling is a “potential watershed” for the broader crypto market, wrote Robert Quartly-Janeiro, the chief strategy officer of Singapore-based crypto exchange Bitrue, in an email statement shared with Forkast Tuesday.
XRP was the only top 10 cryptocurrency to gain on Wednesday morning, adding 3.89% to US$0.7678, further extending its weekly surge of 61.26%.
Losses were led by Polygon’s Matic and Solana. Polygon dipped 5.81% to US$0.7363, falling 0.36% in the past seven days.
Solana lost 5.24% to US$25.33, but it’s holding gains of 15.01% for the week.
The total crypto market capitalization fell 0.50% in the past 24 hours to US$1.2 trillion, with trading volume dipping 9.49% to US$32.17 billion.
NFT trade sinks toward yearly low
In the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the Forkast 500 NFT index fell 0.37% in the past 24 hours to 2,717.68 as of 07:45 a.m. in Hong Kong.
Total NFT trading volume fell 14.05% to US$17.83 million in the past 24 hours, according to data from CryptoSlam. Forkast NFT market indexes measuring the performance on Ethereum, Polygon and Cardano blockchains all dropped, while the Solana index rose.
“We’re on pace for another yearly low for total global transactions today, and in general, sales are pretty unremarkable across blockchains,” said Yehudah Petscher, NFT Strategist at Forkast Labs, the parent company of Forkast.News. “The top collections are struggling to even reach $500k in daily secondary sales, which is unusual to see. The index reflects a flat market.”
Ethereum-based Azuki NFT collection topped trading volume, rising 3.26% to US$972,691. Uncategorized Bitcoin Ordinals — unique digital assets on the Bitcoin network that are not identified as part of one established collection — ranked second in volume, gaining 5.05% to US$698,982.
Luxury brand Louis Vuitton launched new digital collectibles on Monday celebrating its Speedy 40 VIA bag, which was designed in collaboration with American singer-songwriter Pharrell.
“Each [owner] will be given access to exclusive digital products, each accompanied by its physical twin,” tweeted Gaspard Lézin, the NFT collection manager for Louis Vuitton, on Monday.
U.S. futures flat; CME predicts 99.8% chance of Fed rate hike
U.S. stock futures traded flat as of 10:20 a.m. in Hong Kong after all three major U.S. indexes gained during regular trading on Tuesday.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained on the bullish U.S. market session that followed upbeat earnings reports from major corporations, according to Trading Economics.
However, most other Asian stock markets continued a downtrend after China reported lower-than-expected economic growth of 6.3% for Q2 on Monday. The Shanghai Composite fell for the third consecutive session. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, and South Korea’s Kospi also posted losses as of 10:40 a.m. in Hong Kong.
U.S. financial heavyweights Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley & Co. both beat analyst estimates in Q2 earnings, lifting investor sentiment. Later on Wednesday, Tesla, Netflix, United Airlines and Goldman Sachs Group all report earnings for Q2.
The CME FedWatch Tool predicts a 99.8% chance the Fed will raise interest rates by 25 basis points at the next meeting on July 26. U.S. interest rates are now at 5% to 5.25%, the highest since 2006.
(Updates to add equity section)