In an unexpected turn of events, the cryptocurrency market went through a tumultuous week, set into motion by May’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) data release and numerous conversations on Monetary Policy. Here are the major crypto news that happened in the past week.
Bitcoin’s Price Rollercoaster
Bitcoin (BTC), the flagship cryptocurrency, experienced its trading range bouncing between US$24,900 and US$26,250. After a strong start above the US$26,000 mark at the beginning of the week, it eventually dropped below the US$25,000 line, landing at its lowest since March.
This fall came as a response to the Federal Reserve’s decision to retain its existing interest rates. The Fed also predicted two more rate hikes in this cycle, coinciding with market expectations but resulting in a resumed sell-off in the crypto market which had been ongoing for the past three weeks.
The Federal Reserve’s Interest Rates
The Fed’s key interest rate currently lies between 5% and 5.25%, its highest point since 2007. This is significant, as it determines the interest charged on short-term loans by banks and other financial institutions.
Bitcoin’s Recovery and Ethereum’s Performance
The last 24 hours of the week, however, saw a turnaround with Bitcoin surpassing US$25,500. This bounceback was partly due to BlackRock’s application for a crypto-backed ETF. Bitcoin’s over 1% gain put a halt to a three-day losing streak, showcasing resilience amidst legal actions taken by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against Binance and Coinbase. Despite a month-long decline of 6%, Bitcoin has displayed an impressive 53% growth year-to-date.
Meanwhile, Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency, was not left out of the action, oscillating between US$1,600 and US$1,700. Much like Bitcoin, Ethereum saw an upswing on Friday, breaking its three-day dip. While ETH recorded a drop of more than 10% in its monthly performance, it has witnessed a 39% rise year-to-date.
The Impact of Regulatory Actions
The crypto market’s lukewarm response to the pause in rate hikes could be attributed to the aftermath of the SEC’s charges against Binance and Coinbase.
Furthermore, last week saw the implementation of much-anticipated cryptocurrency regulations in Hong Kong, marking the start of a new regulatory framework for virtual assets. These regulations, permitting retail trading, highlight Hong Kong’s ambition to become a significant virtual asset hub.
Louis Vuitton’s NFT Venture
In other exciting developments, Louis Vuitton, the luxury French fashion brand, is gearing up to unveil its NFT collection, ‘Via Treasure Trunks.’ The NFTs, linked to physical items, will provide unique products and experiences to members. Registration for these NFTs started on June 8 for customers in select countries, including the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and Australia.
Top Performing and Underperforming Cryptocurrencies
A look at the performance of the top 100 cryptos by market cap over the week reveals some clear winners and losers. As of Sunday, June 18th, 2023, the top five gainers were:
- Sui (SUI) – Up by 25%
- KuCoin Token (KCS) – Up by 23%
- Trust Wallet Token (TWT) – Up by 20%
- Aptos (APT) – Up by 18%
- Fantom (FTM) – Up by 15%
On the flip side, the cryptos with the greatest losses were:
- THORChain (RUNE) – Down by 10%
- ApeCoin (APE) – Down by 8%
- Flow (FLOW) – Down by 8%
- Curve DAO Token (CRV) – Down by 7%
- Rocket Pool (RPL) – Down by 6%
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