Bitcoin rose 3.46% from July 7 to July 14 to US$31,222 at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Hong Kong. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has been trading above the US$30,000 mark for the whole week. Ether rose 6.88% over the week to US$1,992.

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In a major win for the crypto industry, U.S. District Court Judge Analisa Torres ruled on Thursday that Ripple Labs’ programmatic sales of its XRP cryptocurrency did not qualify as financial securities.

The decision followed a 30-month legal battle, offering crypto investors a boost of optimism, which pushed up Bitcoin to US$31,736 on Friday and Ether to US$2,022, a high for Ether since May 2022.

“Thursday’s landmark ruling that Ripple’s XRP tokens sold on exchanges weren’t securities has in part contributed to the boost in the price of Bitcoin, pushing it past the long-awaited US$31,000,” Lucas Kiely, the chief investment officer of digital asset platform Yield App, told Forkast, adding that further positive news from institutions will boost Bitcoin prices.

In other positive news, Europe’s first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is expected to be publicly listed this month, following a 12-month delay. The news came after a flurry of spot Bitcoin ETF applications in the U.S. from financial heavyweights such as BlackRock, WisdomTree and Fidelity Investments.

Similar positive catalysts will be needed to boost investor sentiment and maintain Bitcoin above US$31,000, according to Jonas Betz, crypto market analyst and founder of consultancy firm Betz Crypto.

“The approval of a Bitcoin ETF would be a major step towards mainstream acceptance of Bitcoin, signaling regulatory confidence and potentially paving the way for significant institutional investment. News like this could trigger a bullish market reaction, pushing Bitcoin above US$31,000,” wrote Betz, in a statement shared with Forkast.

Boston-based Circle Internet Financial Limited, the issuer of the USDC stablecoin, on Wednesday announced workforce reductions and investment in non-core activities to refocus its business. The exact number of layoffs is unknown.

Adding to investor concerns, market talk suggested that the Bank of America was closing customer accounts related to Coinbase. The exchange’s chief executive officer, Brian Armstrong, created a Twitter poll on Wednesday asking if any customers had their Bank of America accounts closed due to transactions with Coinbase. Some 8.9% of the respondents said yes, while 19.3% said no and the other 71.9% simply chose “show results.”

The next day, Barclays downgraded Coinbase’s stock, ahead of the exchange’s earnings release scheduled for August 3, according to the bank’s research report. On the upside, the bank raised its price target for Coinbase stock to US$70, from US$61.

In the macroeconomy, U.S. inflation fell to 3% in June, down from 4% in May, representing the slowest rate of inflation since March 2021.

Max Breus, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Ubix Network, a protocol that connects blockchains with different consensus mechanisms, said that macroeconomic developments are just as important for the crypto market as the actions of regulatory agencies.

“The situation in the main global markets, the stock market, the bond market, the Fed’s rate policy is very important for investor sentiment. If there is a downtrend in global markets, then the cryptocurrency market will also be under pressure. Spot Bitcoin ETF is an important factor, but it is only a financial instrument. Global factors are more important for investor sentiment,” wrote Breus, in a statement shared with Forkast.

The global crypto market capitalization stood at US$1.25 trillion on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Hong Kong, up 6.83% from US$1.17 trillion a week ago, according to CoinMarketCap data. With a market cap of US$606 billion, Bitcoin represented 48.5% of the market while Ether, valued at US$239 billion, accounted for 19.2%.  

Notable Movers: XRP, XLM

The XRP token was this week’s biggest gainer among the top 100 coins, rising 72.16% to US$0.8036. XRP started its rally on Thursday, boosted by Ripple’s court win over the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The XLM token, the native crypto of the Stellar blockchain, was the week’s second-biggest gainer, up 57.57% to US$0.1515. The token started its rally on Thursday, in parallel with the XRP token, boosted by market-wide euphoria from the court ruling.

See related article: Global crypto industry worth US$180 billion, says K33 Research report

Next week: Bitcoin needs to close above US$31,000 to pave way to US$32,500

Next week, investors will attend the sixth edition of the Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) in Paris, France, which is the largest Ethereum-themed convention in Europe.

On the macroeconomic front, the Federal Reserve is set to release its latest balance sheet on Thursday, showing the Fed’s assets and liabilities. Investors will also anticipate a Tuesday speech from the vice-chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Michael Barr, for clues on the Fed’s upcoming monetary policy decisions.

Yield App’s Kiely said that Bitcoin needs to hold above US$30,500 to maintain its bullish momentum.

“July began with a steady upward trend. Bitcoin retook recent resistance levels of US$30,500 earlier this week. Staying above that level will be key if Bitcoin is to continue the bullish trend,” Kiely wrote.

Ubix Network’s Max Breus said that US$31,000 is a key level for Bitcoin investors to watch.

“This is the high level of consolidation since June 20. If the weekly price closes above US$31,000, then next week has a high chance of moving to US$32,500,” wrote Breus.

See related article: XRP’s partial victory as Russia inches toward CBDC; Arkham draws flak