Bitcoin and Ether fell in Tuesday morning trading in Asia as U.S.-based crypto lender Blockfi filed for bankruptcy overnight in what is seen as another casualty of the collapse of the FTX exchange this month. All other non-stablecoin top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization fell in a week that began with global capital markets rattled by protests in China against zero-Covid policies. BNB had the biggest drop, while Solana was second, falling out of the top 10 list altogether.
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- Bitcoin fell 1.4% to US$16,213 in the 24 hours to 8 a.m. in Hong Kong, while Ether dropped 2.2% to trade at US$1,169, according to CoinMarketCap.
- BNB, a token backed by Binance Global Inc, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, fell 5.2% to US$292.91.
- BNB had jumped after Binance released proof of its reserves on Friday amid a push for greater transparency in the industry following the collapse of Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange, FTX.com. However, Jesse Powell, cofounder and CEO of rival crypto exchange Kraken, tweeted on Saturday that Binance’s statement of assets was “pointless” without showing liabilities.
- Solana dropped 5% to change hands at US$13.40 as it was overtaken on CoinMarketCap’s top 10 list by Tron and the meme token, Shiba Inu.
- U.S. equities had their worst day of trading in nearly three weeks on Monday following the protests in China as well as hawkish sentiment out of the U.S. Federal Reserve regarding interest rates and a possible looming rail strike in the U.S.
- The protests across universities and at least eight cities in China erupted on Friday following a fire that claimed the lives of at least 10 people in an apartment building in Urumqi in the north-western region of Xinjiang. Many people were reportedly locked inside their homes due to China’s zero-covid policy and unable to escape.
- China’s police came out in force on Monday to try and prevent further protests, erecting barriers in cities where demonstrations were held and arresting people, according to media reports.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.5%, the S&P 500 Index dropped 1.5% and the Nasdaq Composite Index ended the day 1.6% lower.
- Unemployment in the U.S. could reach as high as 5% in 2023, up from the current 3.7%, as the Fed’s campaign to tame near-four-decade high inflation slows the economy, John Williams, president of the New York Fed, said in a virtual speech to the Economics Club of New York on Monday. Williams predicted that inflation would remain at roughly 5% for the rest of this year before settling back to 3% to 3.5% by the end of 2023.
- The Fed has been raising interest rates since March this year to try to slow inflation, raising them from near zero to a 15-year high of 3.75% to 4%, and have signaled that rates may end up exceeding 5%. The Fed has signaled that it will continue to raise rates until inflation reaches a target range of 2%. The consumer price index showed inflation was running at 7.7% in October, down from 8.2% in September.
- U.S. President Joe Biden asked Congress on Monday to intervene in a railroad strike which he said would “devastate our economy.”
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