Bitcoin rose 0.77% from Sept. 15 to Sept. 22, to US$26,647 as of 8:30 p.m. Friday in Hong Kong. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has been trading below US$30,000 since Aug. 9, according to CoinMarketCap data. Ether, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, fell 1.48% over the week to US$1,598.

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On Monday the third largest banking institution in the U.S., Citigroup, announced the launch of a blockchain-based cross-border payments solution for institutional clients called Citi Token Services. The services will leverage tokenized deposits and smart contracts for real-time cross-border settlements and liquidity for institutional clients worldwide.

Nomura, Japan’s largest investment bank, launched a Bitcoin adoption fund for institutional investors on Tuesday through its digital asset subsidiary Laser Digital Asset Management. The US$500 billion investment bank said that the fund is just the first in a range of digital asset investment solutions planned to be launched by the financial giant.

“Nomura’s Bitcoin Adoption Fund is expected to act as a catalyst for increased inflows into Bitcoin,” Lucas Kiely, the chief investment officer of digital asset platform Yield App, told Forkast

“This move has the potential to drive substantial capital into the cryptocurrency market by year-end, however, don’t expect the inflows to show up on price charts. Bitcoin is a sophisticated market and price movements are based on multitudinous factors.”

Following Nomura’s announcement, Bitcoin rose to a weekly high of US$27,475 on Tuesday, but fell to US$26,413 on Thursday, losing the US$27,000 support level.

“A trendline from the recent resistance level of US$31,000 down through the pivot points gives us US$27,000 as considerable resistance,” wrote Yield App’s Kiely.

“The more Bitcoin gets rejected at this level, the more likely it is to break through. While the longer-term pattern for Bitcoin is bearish, it seems for this reason that–at least on a short-term basis – Bitcoin is showing bullish signs.”

In other developments, Bitcoin surpassed payments giant Visa’s annual transaction volume, shared Will Clemente, the co-founder of Reflexivity Research, in a Sept. 16 Twitter post, referencing the chart below.

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This represents a significant landmark for Bitcoin that highlights its growing dominance in the financial space, according to Manuel Ferrari, the co-founder of Money On Chain, the first Bitcoin-backed stablecoin protocol on Rootstock.

“As more individuals and institutions recognize its capabilities, it is likely that demand for Bitcoin will continue to rise. This could result in increased liquidity and higher valuations for Bitcoin as an asset class,” wrote Ferrari in a statement shared with Forkast.

Last week, bankrupt crypto exchange FTX received court approval to sell its crypto holdings worth around US$3.4 billion. This could mean additional sell pressure for the crypto market for the rest of the year, especially for Solana, which is the bankrupt exchange’s biggest holding valued at US$1.16 billion. FTX also holds US$560 million worth of Bitcoin and US$192 million worth of Ether.

Money On Chain’s Ferrari said that FTX’s liquidations could create a new bottom for altcoins and erode investor sentiment.

“The extent of these implications will depend on various factors such as market conditions, investor sentiment, and FTX’s strategy in executing the sell-off.”

Yet, according to Kadan Stadelmann, chief technical officer of blockchain infrastructure development firm Komodo, the market will absorb most of the sell pressure from FTX.

“The influx of these assets into the market could increase supply, leading to downward pressure on prices, however, it is most likely the market will absorb these sales as FTX offloads coins in a controlled manner,” wrote Stadelmann, in a statement for Forkast.

Yield App’s Kiely said that FTX’s US$560 million Bitcoin holdings will likely have a negligible effect on Bitcoin’s US$518 billion market capitalization, but noted that it could create additional market uncertainty. 

Over in the macroeconomy, the U.S. Federal Reserve kept its benchmark borrowing rate unchanged but signaled that another interest rate increase is likely to come before the end of the year. Following the hawkish remarks, major U.S. stock futures fell on Thursday, for the first day of the week.

Notable movers: IMX, TON

ImmutableX NFT platform’s native token (IMX) was this week’s biggest gainer in the top 100, rising 33.8% to US$0.6625. While the coin started rallying on Thursday, with no identifiable news catalysts, Upbit exchange’s wallets were responsible for US$9.45 million worth of IMX tokens accumulated on Thursday, according to pseudonymous blockchain analyst Lookonchain.

He added that the wallet associated with Upbit holds US$15 million worth of IMX, making it the ninth largest holder of the asset.

Toncoin was the week’s second biggest gainer in the top 100, rising 17.37% to US$2.29. Toncoin started picking up significantly last Friday and has received stronger investor interest since Telegram announced its partnership with Toncoin last week.

See related article: NFT creators seek alternatives after OpenSea cuts royalties

Next Week: Can Bitcoin rise above US$27,000 next week?

“Bitcoin has faced resistance at US$27,000. If it breaks above this level, the price could then break out to US$28,800 where it would again meet resistance,” wrote Ferrari, adding that Bitcoin has solid support around US$23,000.

Bitcoin’s price action will remain subdued due to larger economic concerns, according to Komodo’s Stadelmann.

“Barring a credit crisis, during which Bitcoin will likely trade higher, Bitcoin is likely to be brought down by any macroeconomic crisis, such as a stock market sell-off. There are many indicators currently on the chart which suggest one best remain bearish on a medium length timeline,” wrote Stadelmann.

Over in the macroeconomic landscape, investors will be looking forward to a Thursday speech from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who will be hosting a town hall with educators in Washington D.C.

See related article: Valkyrie CIO expects US spot Bitcoin ETF approval in Q2 2024