Little has changed in the cryptocurrency market, with Bitcoin still keeping above $30k. The largest cryptocurrency's 2023 gains so far remain at 84.7% while trading at $30,650 at the time of writing.
Bitcoin has lost momentum following a series of Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications in the final weeks of June. This could be due to the US financial regulator being unimpressed by the Bitcoin ETF applications by financial giants such as Blackrock and Fidelity Investments, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
Over the weekend, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that current Bitcoin ETF filings were “inadequate,” resulting in some of the issuers re-filing with Coinbase named as their market surveillance partner.
Bitcoin's latest price action has been despite a small bout of volatility in the middle of the week, which saw Bitcoin going from $30,157 to $29,894 Friday before stabilizing over the weekend. Ether, on the other hand, has jumped to now trade at $1,963.
Much like crypto, on the macro front as well, little has changed as the traditional market has limited trading hours on Monday and will be closed on Tuesday due to the July 4 public holiday. Meanwhile, investors expect more interest rate hikes this year in the US following reiterated warnings from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell last week that inflation has yet to be controlled.
US interest rates are now between 5% and 5.25%, the highest since 2006, with a 25-basis-point rate hike expected by the market at the Fed's next meeting on July 26.
So, as North America celebrates a long weekend, markets are quiet, and both bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are maintaining price stability.
State of the Crypto Market
The total cryptocurrency market cap is currently at $1.247 trillion as old coins like Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, and Litecoin continued to rally, riding the optimism of being included in the tokens trading on the Citadel Securities and Fidelity Investments-backed EDX Markets exchange that launched on June 20 despite the crackdown on crypto from US regulators.
Solana also added to gains after a slump following the SEC's labeling as security. SOL rallied after a raft of bearish indicators last week, with Solana-based NFT protocol Cardinal saying it was shutting down, citing “macroeconomic challenges” and the Revolut neobank along with crypto exchange delisting Solana as well as Cardano and Polygon for US-based users.
These tokens were among cryptocurrencies that the SEC named as illegally issued financial securities in its lawsuit against the Coinbase and Binance.US exchanges last month. Ethereum creator, Vitalik Buterin, wrote on Twitter on Friday that the tokens don't deserve to be targeted.
“If ethereum ends up “winning” through all other blockchains getting kicked off exchanges, that's not an honorable way to win, and in the long term, probably isn't even a victory,” he said.
Amidst this, crypto exchange Kraken was ordered by a US judge on Friday to submit information about its users to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in an investigation of underreported tax liabilities. Earlier this year, in February, the platform was fined $30 million for its staking services, which the federal agency said were an offering of unregistered securities.
Best Weekend Performer
While all this was happening in crypto, many digital assets enjoyed an uptrend over the weekend, with the likes of The Graph (GRT) and Compound (COMP) recording gains of as much as 23% and 18.6%, respectively. Other prominent gainers included Uniswap (15%), Injective (12.3%), Lido (9%), Cosmos (6.9%), Gate (4.4%), and Kucoin (3.3%).
Decentralized finance (DeFi), in particular, has been seeing renewed interest ever since mid-June, with the sector's market cap jumping by 20.5% to $50 billion. In the past 24 hours, yield trading protocol Pendle's price recorded the most gains of 28%, while lending protocol Compound's almost 80% gains made it the best performer this past week.
When it comes to the weekend gains, FLOW emerged as the winner with its 39% upside in price, which is currently at $0.7586. The token was trading at $0.510 before the weekend when it started rising in value and is up 13.8% in the past 24 hours. FLOW is also in the green against BTC by 13.3% on Monday. Technically, the price has resistance present at $0.80 and $1.0, while support levels are present at $0.40 and $0.20.
Despite these gains, FLOW's trading volume is now recording a 75.60% decrease from a day ago to $7.8 million, signaling a recent fall in market activity. This comes after the token's price has rallied 56.5% in the last 14 days. However, in 2023, FLOW has only seen an upside of 11% and is down a whopping 98.3% from its all-time high (ATH) of $42.40 in August 2021.
Interestingly, less than a month ago, the token's price went on to hit an all-time low at $0.44. This has been due to SEC calling FLOW as well as a dozen other altcoins' regulatory status into question.
The agency's lawsuit against Coinbase labeled FLOW as security, for which the SEC focused on the history of Dapper Labs, claiming the appreciation in FLOW's value wouldn't have happened without the company's support.
“Given that FLOW are required to interact with the Flow blockchain, the demand for and the value of the FLOW token would increase as a result of Dapper Labs' and the Flow development team's efforts to develop the Flow blockchain network,” the SEC said in its lawsuit. It further pointed to Coinbase Ventures participating in an early fundraising round for Dapper Labs. As of June 2023, the company has a total of $612.5 million in funding, according to data from Crunchbase.
Dappers Labs has been accused of being securities in another lawsuit as well, and back in Feb., a judge denied the company's motion to dismiss the case, which an NBA Top Shot user brought.
Dapper Labs is a Canadian firm that is behind several recognizable NFT projects like CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot. It launched the high-speed, low-cost blockchain Flow blockchain in 2020.
The blockchain's native token, FLOW, is used to pay for transaction fees and buy and sell digital collectibles, as well as in staking, where holders lock up their tokens in exchange for receiving rewards for validating transactions on the Flow network.
Worst Weekend Performer
Amidst the broad green market, Monday has LEO token down by 8.7%. With 24-hour losses of 4.8%, Kaspa is feeling the heat, too, with Bitcoin SV and XDC Network also in the red by 2.6% and 1.5%, respectively. Meanwhile, the past week has been the worst for Radix (-18%), followed by Apecoin (-9.7%), Conflux (-9.3%), Kava (-7.1%), Near (-7%), Sui (-6.6%), and Stacks (-6.5%).
While the crypto market recovered over the weekend, some coins still managed to record negative performance. During this period, KASPA dropped as much as 9.8% to lead the losses, with crypto exchange Bitfinex's LEO token close behind thanks to its 9.3% losses. Other weekend losers include Pepe (-8.9%), Bitget (-2%), and Cardano (-1.3%).
Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR)
The $1.6 billion market cap cryptocurrency had been pretty volatile last week, with prices starting at $0.05 only to drop to $0.0475. Over the next couple of days, the price constantly went up and down, and right into the weekend, HBAR price surged to $0.0518. Then over the weekend, the price dropped 4.6% but has since managed to make some recovery and is now trading at $0.0513.
With this, HBAR is up 2.8% in the past 24 hours and seeing a 24.20% increase in its trading volume at $18.42 million. While up 11.5% in the last 14 days and 32.64% year-to-date (YTD), the token has lost over 91% of its value since hitting its $0.57 peak in Sept. 2021.
HBAR is the native token of Hedera Hashgraph, which is used for enabling low-fee and highly customizable transactions on the network. The token was launched with a price of $0.36, only to slump to $0.03 when it started trading in late 2019.
Hedera boasts high throughput with fast finality and low, predictable fees. According to its website, Hedera's native services can scale to 10,000 TPS while costing an average of $0.001 with finality in 3-5 seconds.
The network is governed by a council of leading corporations and universities worldwide. The council is responsible for maintaining the stability and security of the Hedera network and oversees its future development.
Hedera Hashgraph has forged partnerships and working arrangements with numerous firms and institutions, including Boeing, LG, IBM, Standard Bankand, energy giant EDF, and University College London (UCL). In Feb. 2020, it also onboarded Google to its governing council, then three years later this year, Dell Technologies also announced that it had joined the Council.
Earlier last month, Hedera's council member Abrdn, a major UK asset manager, launched its first blockchain-based investment by tokenizing part of its £15 billion Lux Sterling money market fund. The token was issued on Hedera's DLT, and the company used the Archax Tokenisation Engine to mint the token.
“Where we really see the opportunity is in the broader adoption of digital securities as the next evolution of the market infrastructure,” said Russell Barlow, Global Head of Alternatives at Abrdn.