Bitcoin rose 2.36% from June 23 to June 30 to US$30,802 at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Hong Kong. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has been trading above US$30,000 since June 23. Ether rose 0.55% over the week to US$1,890.

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The growth of institutional interest in cryptocurrencies continued. After weeks of rumors and reports, asset management giant Fidelity submitted its spot Bitcoin ETF application, following the likes of BlackRock, Valkyrie Investments and WisdomTree.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, briefly rose to US$31,173 in the 24 hours following Fidelity’s application.

“Bitcoin’s recent positive momentum can be attributed to the buzz around institutional players preparing to set up traditional financial instruments such as exchange-traded funds for cryptocurrencies,” Jonas Betz, crypto market analyst and founder of consultancy firm Betz Crypto, told Forkast.

“This could potentially lead to increased buying pressure as new investors, previously wary of cryptocurrencies due to a lack of knowledge about how to facilitate direct crypto exposure, can easily enter these vehicles to gain exposure to crypto.”

Max Breus, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Ubix Network, a protocol that connects blockchains with different consensus mechanisms, said that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accepting a spot Bitcoin ETF application would bring significant upside for Bitcoin.

“Each new request to the SEC increases the chances of getting a positive decision… This will allow crypto to integrate deeper into global financial markets,” said Breus in a statement shared with Forkast. 

Binance’s troubles extended in Europe this week as the world’s largest crypto exchange announced on Wednesday that it will be changing its euro banking partner from Sept. 25, after Paysafe Payment Solutions said it will stop offering euro payment support for the exchange. This came two weeks after reports surfaced of Binance France being investigated for money laundering and the illegal provision of digital asset services.

The global crypto market capitalization stood at US$1.2 trillion on Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Hong Kong, up 2.56% from US$ 1.17 trillion a week ago, according to CoinMarketCap data. With a market cap of US$597 billion, Bitcoin represented 50% of the market while Ether, valued at US$227 billion, accounted for 19%.  

Bitcoin’s 50% dominance is its highest mark in over two years. Bitcoin last accounted for more than half of the crypto market on April 25, 2021, when it traded above US$53,000.

“MicroStrategy Inc. bought US$347 million of Bitcoin in the second quarter. Perhaps this explains the growing dominance of Bitcoin,” said Breus. 

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s hawkish remarks signaled two or more interest rate hikes towards the end of the year. Powell also warned that the U.S. banking turmoil may not be over, citing funding vulnerabilities.

Notable Movers: BCH & COMP

Bitcoin Cash was this week’s biggest gainer among the top 100 coins. Bitcoin Cash rose 115.15% to US$306.75, starting its uptrend after June 20, when EDX Markets, a crypto exchange backed by Citadel, Fidelity and Charles Schwab, listed the coin. 

Algorithmic yield generator Compound’s governance token, COMP, was this week’s second biggest gainer in the top 100. The token rose 89.44% to US$57.14, picking up significant momentum on Thursday, a day after Compound CEO Robert Leshner announced the founding of a new company focused on creating regulated financial products bridging traditional markets and blockchain.

According to on-chain intelligence firm Lookonchain, a whale wallet withdrew US$5.53 million worth of Comp tokens from Binance on Thursday, contributing to the token’s price surge.

See related article: Why the US is waging war on Binance, Coinbase

Next week: Can Bitcoin remain above US$30,500?

Next week, investors will be looking for the release of the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) meeting, for hints on the Fed’s future monetary policy. The minutes of the meeting are set to release on Wednesday, shortly before a speech from FOMC Member John Williams, followed by a speech from Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas CEO Lorie K. Logan on Thursday.

The U.S. non-farm payroll report for June is scheduled for next Friday. The report is used by investors to gauge the health of the labor market and offer indications on the Fed’s upcoming interest rate decisions.

Meanwhile, investors will be eagerly watching the SEC’s response to the mounting spot Bitcoin ETF applications. According to Lucas Kiely, the chief investment officer of digital asset platform Yield App, a positive response could breathe life into the crypto market and attract more institutional investors.

“If Bitcoin manages to remain above US$30,500 for numerous closes and maintains that support level, there is a significantly increased likelihood of a bullish trend continuing. Conversely, if Bitcoin fails to remain above this level or experiences a significant drop below US$25,000, it could signal a bearish trend,” said Kiely.

See related article: Crypto firms eye Hong Kong amid tough US regulations, says fintech association chair