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Bitcoin briefly slipped below $29K last Monday for the first time since Jun 21 before rising modestly later in the week on Wednesday after the US monetary policy decision announcement. The Fed delivered a widely-expected 25 basis points increase to the benchmark rate after the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.
The priced-in hike brought the target range for the federal funds rate between 5.25% and 5.5% – the highest since 2001. The adjustment also represented the eleventh interest rate hike over the last 17 meetings and a resumption of the trend after a break in June. Range-bound action in the market reflected uncertainty following reports of the US SEC planning to appeal the court's decision in its case vs. Ripple Labs.
In coming weeks, US jobs data and S&P 500 companies earnings reports pose a potential macro catalyst for risk assets.
“A lot of important jobs data this week,” the Kobeissi Letter commentary wrote on X highlighting ISM Manufacturing and JOLTS Jobs data expected on Tuesday, ADP Payrolls data on Wednesday, Jobless Claims data on Thursday and July Jobs report on Friday.
Bitcoin set for its second red monthly close this year in July
A cocktail of mild catalysts, including macro developments in the US and other global markets, saw Bitcoin fall sharply on Friday and retreat to $29,200, where it steadied heading into the weekend. Most altcoins similarly fell south, eating away at their Thursday gains and remaining unchanged on Saturday.
In Sunday's market action, Bitcoin rose sharply towards $29,400 in the morning hours before further advancing to challenge Thursday highs.
Bitcoin registered 12% in monthly gains across June to seal a green quarter as BTC price rose 7.2% across Q2 per Coinglass data. With less than 36 hours left in July, Bitcoin is poised to print its second red monthly candle this year. Bitcoin fell 7% across May to record the first monthly loss of the year after a massive first quarter.
Rocket Pool (RPL), Fantom (FTM), and ApeCoin (APE) have lost most value among mid and large-cap altcoins thus far in July – down 20%, 19% and 14%, respectively in the last 30 days.
Render (RNDR) and Stack (STX) have also dropped by double digits in the same period.
Optimism (OP) and Bitcoin SV (BSV) have posted the biggest gains in the last 24 hours, 11% and 8%, respectively, among the top 100 cryptocurrencies in market cap rankings. Sunday has also seen a resurgence of meme coin frenzy due to speculative price action around tokens like BALD, COIN, and BASED that recently went live on Base. Worth noting, Coinbase's Ethereum layer-2 network is yet to be officially launched.
MakerDAO's governance token (MKR) was another trending alt this week, thriving on the vast transfers of Maker (MKR). Research-driven tech VC firm Paradigm Capital moved 3,000 MKR tokens on Wednesday after fellow VC firm a16z, which deposited $9.7 million of its MKR holdings to Coinbase last weekend. In March, Paradigm executed a similar move from two wallets, transferring 26,625 MKR tokens ahead of sale on Coinbase.
Institutional interest in alts
CCData captured in its report that institutional investments have been building up their allocations into Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM) and Solana (SOL) products. Markedly, products based on XLM have seen recorded 63% higher inflows this year to $17.3 million in assets under management. Those focused on XRP and SOL have equally tracked double-digit increases of 33.2% to $65.7 million and 55.7% and $87.8 million.
Stellar Lumens (XLM) recent momentum comes on the back of a Wednesday research report from the Stellar Foundation showcasing the blockchain's off-ramps dominance. XLM is up 52% this month, while SOL and XRP have gained 49% and 30%, respectively, in the last 30 days.
Memecoins – DOGE and SHIB
Twitter owner Elon Musk announced last Monday that the social platform would be rebranding from Twitter to X alongside changes to its logo – from the blue bird logo to the letter X. He also updated his Twitter location to feature the symbol “Ð” associated with Dogecoin. The changes reignited speculations that the meme token could be integrated into the rebranded ‘everything app' for payments.
In April, Musk teased DOGE payments on the platform in a tweet proposing it as an option for subscription to Twitter Blue. Dogecoin (DOGE) rallied double-digits on Tuesday, marking the largest daily gains in more than three months. CoinMarketCap data shows DOGE has rallied 11% in the last 7 days and 24% in the last 30 days.
Shiba Inu (SHIB) has equally been trending this month, fueled by the hype around its Shibarium blockchain's Ethereum bridge going live on testing. The bridge between the soon-to-be-launched Shiba Inu-based layer two and Ethereum is the latest attempt by the dog-themed project to evolve past its meme coin status. Shibarium developers have previously suggested exploring the metaverse and gaming applications to create utilization for tokens like bone, shib and leash.
House committees pass crypto bills meant to bring regulatory clarity
Last week, two House committees endorsed legislation meant to bring the US crypto industry under proper regulatory oversight. The Financial Services Committee voted to advance the Financial Innovation Technology for the 21st Century Act, which seeks to define a regulatory framework for digital assets, on Wednesday. The Agriculture Committee also gave its green light on the joint bill on Thursday afternoon.
The market structure bill prior narrowly secured bipartisan approval in the Financial Services Committee the evening before. A group of committee members from both political sides found fault with the Digital Assets Market Structure bill, which seeks to empower the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) with more authority, arguing that it would create more confusion. The Democrat critics also showed dissatisfaction with the provisions of the bill as it would undermine consumer protections preserved by the securities laws making investors even more exposed to fraud.
Separately, the Financial Services Committee passed Rep. Tom Emmer's Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act on Wednesday. Emmer, the majority whip, previously proposed the legislation last session, but the bill didn’t graduate from the committee.
The House Financial Services Committee convened again on Thursday, passing a regulatory framework for stablecoins in talks involving congressional Democrats, Republican counterparts and the White House. The bipartisan negotiations around the payment stablecoins bill broke down on Thursday’s markup as Chair Patrick McHenry inculpated the White House for objecting to some provisions and not showing urgency.
The partisan clash also involved committee Democrats led by the agency’s ranking member Maxine Waters and Stephen Lynch, who faulted the Republicans for lacking patience and railroading parties involved in the process. Nonetheless, the version of the stablecoin bill eventually settled upon was approved by the committee in a vote concluding 34-16, which referred the bill to the House floor.
Cyberattack disclosure rules
In other news last week, the US SEC adopted rules requiring registered public companies, including those operating in the digital assets industry, to disclose any major cybersecurity incidents within four days of breaches being deemed ‘material.' For cases where the admission is considered a potential national security risk, listed companies will be allowed to petition to postpone the same. The incoming rules also mandate registrants to report on how they manage cybersecurity-related risks.