The market is waiting for the Fed’s next move, or clarity around an ETF, say analysts
Bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) were mimicking the dullness of traditional finance ahead of Wednesday’s key FOMC rate decision during the Asia trading day. The world’s largest digital asset changed virtual hands at $29,213 according to CoinDesk data, while ether moved at $1,853 as east Asia’s day came to a close.
A big breakout isn’t going to come until the Fed changes course on rate decisions, or the Securities and Exchange Commission approves a bitcoin ETF, say analysts.
Bitcoin zoomed above $30,000 about a month ago after finance giant BlackRock’s application for a bitcoin ETF spurred speculation this – if the world’s largest asset manager wins regulatory approval – could funnel large amounts of money from conventional investors into digital assets. But it’s been stuck around that level ever since, partly due to worry about the Fed’s looming July 26 decision – a likely 25 basis point (bps) rate increase.
“The increase in liquidity is volatile and is currently quite flat. This is because many central banks are still tightening, and China’s policy is still unclear, so it’s still too early to call for a bull market in digital assets, however, these ranges represent excellent accumulation zones for those with a long-term outlook,” Vivien Fang, head of financial products at Bybit, told CoinDesk.
Bitcoin had tumbled below $29,000 at one point Monday – its lowest level since June – after The Wall Street Journal reported that Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao had suggested in a private conversation that the crypto exchange’s affiliates had conducted wash trading several years ago, and China’s policymakers warned of a tortuous economic recovery.
“Inflation and rate concerns could be what [has been] keeping crypto prices depressed,” Noelle Acheson wrote in her “Crypto is Macro” newsletter Tuesday. “These usually recover relatively quickly, but the new lower BTC level seems to be holding, reinforcing the idea that there are just not enough new buyers ready to take positions yet.”
According to Coinglass data, $5.68 million short positions have been liquidated in the last 12 hours versus $9.3 million in longs. Overall, on-chain data shows that 49% of traders are taking long positions on bitcoin, while 50% are taking short positions.
Outside of crypto, U.S. banking sector issues resurfaced overnight, with shares in regional lender PacWest Bancorp (PACW) falling by more than 26%. Bitcoin barely budged in stark contrast to its bullish reaction to the banking sector instability of March.
Dogecoin experienced its largest single-day gain in four months with a 10% jump, amidst speculation of its usage in the revamped Twitter platform, leading the futures open interest to exceed $500M for the first time since April.
Musk has taken a special interest in DOGE with his various pronouncements even before he acquired Twitter, driving the token’s price. “Elon clearly has an affinity for DOGE, almost as part of a running joke, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually went through with enabling payments via DOGE,” Brian D. Evans, CEO and founder of BDE Ventures, a Web3 venture studio and advisory firm, told CoinDesk.
Ether (ETH), XRP, Solana (SOL)
Ether (ETH), the second-largest crypto by market value, was recently changing hands at around $1,853, up 0.16% versus 24 hours earlier. Among other major altcoins, XRP was recently up 2.3%, while SOL, the native crypto of the Solana smart contracts platform, gained 2.24%.
The CoinDesk Market Index, a measure of overall crypto market performance, was recently up 0.38%. The CoinDesk Bitcoin and Ethereum trend indicators were in neutral territory, a downturn from earlier this month when they held steady in uptrend mode.
“Some investors may be taking profits as they bet on hawkish language from the U.S. Fed following reports of rising house prices in the worlds biggest economy, which will likely give the [Federal Open Market Committee] reason to continue hiking rates throughout the year,” Tim Frost, CEO of digital wealth platform Yield App, wrote in an email to CoinDesk.
BY: Sam Reynolds & James Rubin
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