Bitcoin Breaks $31,000 in BlackRock’s Updated ETF; Ether wins, Polygon leads as winner

Bitcoin surged above $31,000 in trading in Asia on Tuesday morning after Blackrock in the US refiled an application for bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) after regulators criticized an earlier application, suggesting that the world's largest wealth manager is determined to take the lead in the cryptocurrency markets. Ethereum also posted gains on institutional interest, while the other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed. Polygon was the winner and Litecoin was the loser.

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According to data from CoinMarketCap, bitcoin is up 1.83% in the past 24 hours to $31,142 in Hong Kong as of 07:50, up 2.85% over the past seven days. The world's largest cryptocurrency hit a high of $31,371 early Tuesday morning, its highest since June 2022.

BlackRock filed an amended filing for a spot bitcoin ETF on Monday after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said BlackRock's original filing was inadequate. According to a Bloomberg report on Tuesday, BlackRock indicated in the new filing that Coinbase, the custodian of the proposed ETF's Bitcoin holdings, will provide market surveillance in support of the ETF.

Several other financial institutions have filed Bitcoin ETF applications, despite a crackdown last month from the SEC, which last month filed lawsuits against Binance.US and Coinbase over alleged violations of securities laws in cryptocurrency trading.

In emailed comments, digital asset exchange BTSE chief operating officer Jeff Mei said the SEC's criticism of the filing last week prompted some selling, but “investors remain quietly optimistic about future approvals.”

Ether is up 1.18% to $1,954.24 and is up 5.23% for the week.

According to a Monday report by European cryptocurrency investment firm CoinShares, bitcoin and ether have both seen increased interest from financial institutions over the past week.

Bitcoin-linked digital asset investment products saw net inflows of around $123 million for the week ended June 30, while Ethereum-linked products saw net inflows of around $2.7 million. Digital asset investment products have seen two weeks of net inflows since June 19, after nine straight weeks of outflows.

Most other top 10 non-stablecoin tokens have traded higher over the past 24 hours, with Polygon's Matic token leading the rally, up 4.60% to hit $0.7119. It is up 10.18% this week, according to a report by the bloc on Monday, despite UK-based fintech neobank and crypto exchange Revolut planning to launch Polygon, Solana and Cardano tokens for its US users in September to take from the list.

Litecoin led the losers of a potential price correction, falling 5.83% to $106.69. It was still posting weekly gains of 22.47%, boosted by the token's upcoming third halving event on Aug. 2, which will make the token scarcer.

Litecoin investors also received a boost after the token was selected for trading on the newly formed EDX Markets exchange, which opened June 20 and is backed by Wall Street heavyweights including Citadel Securities, Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab.

According to CoinMarketCap data, the total cryptocurrency market cap increased by 1.28% to $1.22 trillion in the last 24 hours, while the crypto trading volume increased by 26.34% to $37.86 billion.

NFT volumes are increasing

The indices are proxy measures of performance of the global NFT market. They are managed by CryptoSlam, a sister company of Forkast.News under the Forkast.Labs umbrella.

In the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the main Forkast 500 NFT index fell 1.08% to 2,750 in the 24 hours ended 9:40 a.m. in Hong Kong, down 5.06% on the week. The two forkast indices that measure the performance of the NFT markets, Ethereum and Polygon, posted modest gains.

According to CryptoSlam data, over the past 24 hours, NFT trading volume on Ethereum increased by 18.72% to $27.29 million, while Polygon's volume increased by 121.63% to more than $1.89 million rose. Trading volumes also increased on the Bitcoin, Solana and BNB Chain networks.

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), the second largest NFT collection by market cap, saw a 52.56% increase in trading volume to $4.98 million, with Ethereum-based NFT collections Azuki and Mutant Ape Yacht Club ( MAYC) ranked second and third.

“Today there is a slight recovery on the ETH side, which is in the green for the first time in days. For top collections like Bean, Azuki and MAYC, reserve prices are up 7-20% and even BAYC has slowed its decline,” said Yehudah Petscher, NFT strategist at Forkast Labs, Forkast.News' parent company.

However, the reserve prices of some major NFT collections have still suffered significant losses over the past week, with BAYC's reserve price falling over 20% over the past seven days and Azuki falling more than 50% over the same period, as of data from CoinGecko.

Azuki Elementals is a collection of 20,000 NFTs introduced on June 27th as a spin-off of the original Azuki collection. While the Elementals sold out in 15 minutes, collectors began to complain that the supposedly new NFTs looked almost identical to the original Azuki collection.

Azuki DAOa community of disaffected azuki owners, was formed last week and bid farewell poll on Monday filed a lawsuit against azuki creator Chiru Labs, demanding that the 20,000 ETH ($39 million) the company owns should be returned to the DAO to “foster the growth of the entire azuki community “.

“NFT platforms have seen an increase in trading volume over the past few days, while blue-chip NFT prices have fallen,” Gracy Chen, chief executive of digital asset trading platform Bitget, said in an emailed comment.

“The NFT market is going through a major transition, but a decline doesn't necessarily mean the demise of the entire industry,” Chen said. “As NFT derivatives, including credit, indices, perpetual contracts and other products, gain traction, short-term price volatility will become more pronounced.”

US futures decline

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Image: Getty Images

US stock futures were trading flat to lower as of 11:20 am in Hong Kong. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were modestly down 0.01%, S&P 500 futures were down 0.04% and Nasdaq futures were down 0.12%. The three major US indices closed higher in Monday's regular session, posting declines ahead of the July 4 public holiday when the market is closed.

In Asia, mainland China's Shanghai Composite Index closed 1.31% higher on Monday despite a slowing recovery in the country's manufacturing sector. South Korea's Kospi rose 1.49%, according to CNBC on Monday, while Japan's Nikkei rose 1.7%, leading gainers in the region.

The U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 46.0 in June, the lowest since May 2020, according to a Monday report from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). A reading above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing, a reading below 50 indicates a decline.

“Companies scaled back production and began using layoffs to control staffing levels more than in previous months as sentiment was mixed as to when significant growth would return,” wrote Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, in the report.

The PMI for June is the eighth straight month of decline, below the forecast of 47.0, raising concerns about a recession, according to Reuters on Tuesday.

New York Federal Reserve Chairman John Williams speaks Wednesday and may provide an update on the Fed's assessment of inflation. The Fed releases its June meeting minutes on Wednesday, in which it decided to keep interest rates unchanged between 5% and 5.25%.

The Federal Reserve's next interest rate meeting is on July 26. The CME FedWatch tool projects an 89.9% chance of a 25 basis point rate hike, up from 87.4% on Monday. The probability that the Fed will not hike rates is now only 10.1%.

(Updates to “Shares” section.)

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