Record network activity and a second NFT boom send WAX price higher

WAXP price appears to be gaining strength after the NFT-focused project introduced staking, yield farming and partnerships with companies that offer pop culture collectibles.

Just a few days before Bitcoin (BTC) price plunged below $30,000, the NFT sector was dominating headlines for the second time in 2021, led by a month-long 972% surge in the price of Axie Infinity

Another NFT-focused protocol that has been gaining fundamental strength in recent months is Worldwide Asset eXchange, also known as WAX — a protocol that claims to “deliver the safest and most convenient way to create, buy, sell, and trade virtual items to anyone, anywhere in the world.”

WAX/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that between June 27 and July 9, the price of WAX’s WAXP token climbed 70% to a high of $0.151 before the Bitcoin-led sell-off pulled the price to its current value of $0.11.

Three reasons for the rally in WAXP include the growing list of well-known brands launching collectibles on the project’s blockchain, an active network with fast transaction times and its integration to decentralized finance via cross-chain compatibility with the Ethereum (ETH) network.

Popular brands launch NFT projects on WAX

Nostalgia can be a potent source for attracting an audience willing to engage with a product and WAX has managed to capitalize on this by partnering with somewell-known brands in the United States.

Current partners include Atari, Topps, William Shatner and Capcom and a scroll through the project’s Twitter feed shows recent campaigns for Street Fighter V Series 2 cards and special edition Bratz collectibles.

Popular collectibles like baseball cards and Garbage Pail Kids, along with more modern games like Alien Worlds (TLM) offer users a variety of options that help attract a wide audience to the WAX network and this has resulted in an increase in on-chain activity.

WAX boasts the highest activity of any network

A second sign of the growing strength of the WAX network can be found by looking at the 24-hour activity of the top-ranked blockchains, which WAX leads by a wide margin.

Top 6 most active blockchain networks. Source: Blocktivity

Data from Blocktivity shows that the 24-hour activity on WAX is now higher than 17 million operations and more than double that of Stellar (XLM), which is its closest competitor. WAX  more than six times the amount of activity on EOS, the creator of the EOSIO software which is utilized by the WAX network.

Yield opportunities arrive through DeFi and staking

The recent introduction of a cross-chain bridge to the Ethereum network allowed WAX to of yield farming and staking on the protocol, which has been enhanced through the introduction of a cross-chain bridge to the Ethereum network.

The WAX blockchain operates with a delegated proof-of-stake consensus model, meaning the simplest way that token holders can earn a yield on their holdings is by staking WAXP on the network to earn an annualized reward rate of 4.42% according to data from Staking Rewards.

Related: Altcoin Roundup: Data shows social metrics surge ahead of DeFi and NFT price rallies

Token holders can also convert their WAXP into WAXE, a version of the token that can operate on Ethereum and be used to participate in decentralized finance (DeFi) by providing liquidity on decentralized exchanges and yield farms.

Through offering opportunities related to NFTs and DeFi, two of the hottest sectors in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the WAX network is well-positioned to continue to attract new users and maintain a high level of on-chain activity.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Institutional demand for Bitcoin evaporates as BTC struggles below $31K

A lack of institutional demand and several bearish factors are complicating all efforts to pull Bitcoin price back above the $31,000 level.

The rocky road that Bitcoin (BTC) has been on for the past two months continued on July 19 as a widely predicted move downwards materialized in the early hours on Monday and dropped the price of BTC below $31,000. 

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that a wave of mid-day selling pushed the price of BTC to a low of $30,400 before bulls arrived to provide support and lift the price back to $30,850.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The market as a whole continues to face an uphill battle as the miner exodus following China’s crackdown on the mining industry has led to the fourth consecutive negative adjustment in the Bitcoin mining difficulty, a figure which has fallen by almost half since mid-May.

Heavy volume near $31,700

Insights into the current state of the Bitcoin network were provided in the newest report from Glassnode which set the stage by looking at the UTXO Realized Price Distribution, a metric that identifies on-chain volume profiles across different price groupings.

Bitcoin UTXO realized price distribution. Source: Glassnode

Current data shows that 10.5% of the circulating supply of BTC has transacted in the range between $31,000 and $34,300, the highest level seen since a price of $11,000.

While this indicates a healthy level of volume at the current level, it’s important to note that should BTC price break lower, the next significant support levels are at $26,500, $23,300 and $18,800.

Institutional appetite for BTC dissolves

The market-wide pullback in May has led to a significant decline in interest from institutional investors, who now appear to be in risk management mode as BTC price struggles to climb higher.

Evidence of the decline in interest can be found by looking at the market price of GBTC, which continues to trade at an -11.0% to -15.3% discount, or by observing the net inflows to the Purpose ETF which has slowed down significantly. Data from Glassnode shows that the ETF saw a net outflow of -90.76 BTC, which is its largest outflow since mid-May.

Purpose Bitcoin ETF flows. Source: Glassnode

Although institutional activity has been muted, on-chain deposits of BTC to exchanges continue with more than 28,700 BTC, the largest inflow in over a month and a half, taking place on July 16th.

Bitcoin all-exchange inflow. Source: CryptoQuant

Inflows during times of consolidation and corrections are often seen as a negative developments as they can result in increased selling which can lead to a short-term price breakdown.

Glassnode also pointed to the net inflow of 1,780 BTC to over-the-counter (OTC) trading desks in the past two weeks as “moving against the structural trend of outflows in place since November 2020.”

Total Bitcoin balance held by OTC desks. Source: Glassnode

Glassnode said:

“It remains to be seen whether this net inflow is just a short-term impact, or the early signs of a reversal in the balance of supply and demand.”

Related: Institutions cautious as crypto products post weakest volume since October

Covid-19 concerns take their toll on the markets ag

The cryptocurrency market wasn’t the only market that faced downward pressure on July 19 as a surge in Covid-19 cases led to a pullback in global financial markets.

The S&P 500, DOW and NASDAQ all closed the day down 1.59%, 2.09% and 1.06% respectively.

Out of the top 200 cryptocurrencies, the only two notable performances of the day were a 24% gain for Bitcoin Standard Hashrate Token (BTCST) and a 17% rally from Dash (DASH).

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.245 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 46.3%.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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$31.5K Bitcoin price on track for lowest weekly close of 2021

Performance remains grimly sideways on the day of the largest GBTC unlocking event.

Bitcoin (BTC) was on track to lose nearly $3,000 this week as a weekend of mixed price behavior came to an end.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Trader hopes for last-minute BTC price volatility 

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD trading at just above $31,500 late Sunday — a potential -$2,800 weekly candle.

BTC/USD 1-week candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

The weekend had produced little by way of surprises, with Bitcoin moving within a predictable range after seeing an initial brief spurt over $32,000 Friday.

Despite retaining $31,000 support and so far not retesting $30,000, Bitcoin was nonetheless on track to seal its lowest weekly close since December 2020.

While some traders and analysts expressed their lack of satisfaction with spot price action after two months of hovering in the same range, others were still mindful of potential disruption.

“Wouldn’t surprise me if we get a random move in the final 2-3 hours of this weekly candle on Bitcoin,” Michaël van de Poppe told Twitter followers.

Sunday marked the date of the largest in a series of unlockings at the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ($GBTC). An event anticipated with nervousness by many, any obvious impact on price behavior had yet to be seen at the time of writing.

GBTC unlocking schedule. Source: Bybt

Altcoins set to lock in losses

Altcoins looked similarly lackluster on Sunday, with many of the top fifty cryptocurrencies by market cap lining up weekly losses akin to Bitcoin’s -8%.

Related: Bitcoin sees second-longest bull market drawdown with BTC price ‘stuck’ at $30K

Ether (ETH) hovered at $1,900, still clear of a support zone around $100 lower, while Amp (AMP) managed daily gains of 12%.

ETH/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

The overall cryptocurrency market cap stood at $1.294 trillion, with Bitcoin’s share at 45.9%, a touch lower versus Friday.

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SEC delays another ETF decision, Binance news, and more sideways BTC price action: Hodler’s Digest, July 11–17

Coming every Saturday, Hodlers Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

 

New data hints why Bitcoin price action has spent two months at $30K

Bitcoin (BTC) posted another week of range-bound price action. Bitcoin has traded in a fairly tight range over the past several days, acting more like a volatile stablecoin than the bullishly tilted turbulent cryptocurrency folks know and love. Bitcoin has largely been stuck in a price range between roughly $30,000 and $40,000 for weeks.

Nunya Bizniz, a Bitcoin-focused Twitter personality, noted $30,000 as a potential key level on Bitcoins price chart, citing a number of reasons, including a Fibonacci level.

Will Bitcoin head north or south next? No one knows for sure, but data from Glassnode revealed folks stocking up on BTC off centralized exchanges, with roughly 2,000 Bitcoin leaving those platforms each day over the past fortnight. Such data rhymes with activity seen in April, when Bitcoin rose to nearly $65,000 per coin.

On the bearish front, trader Michal van de Poppe noted a potential price fall for Bitcoin down to around $29,000 and then $24,000 if support around $31,000 broke down.

 

SEC delays decision on Wisdom Tree Bitcoin ETF

An approved Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) continues to elude the United States. This week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, postponed its decision on Wisdom Trees Bitcoin ETF, looking for comments from the public on the product something the commission has done in the past regarding Bitcoin ETF proposals.

The Commission requests that interested persons provide written submissions of their views, data and arguments with respect to the issues identified above, as well as any other concerns they may have with the proposal, the SEC detailed in a public document.

 

Binance stops stock token sales, ‘effective immediately’

More Binance headlines flowed in this week as the exchange decided to halt stock token trading offerings. The company gave no rationale for the move. Folks with current positions in the platforms stock tokens are allowed a 90-day window to exit their trades.

Over the past couple of weeks, Binance has faced regulatory resistance on a number of fronts.

This week brought further regulatory news regarding Binance. Italy jumped on the bandwagon of national regulators concerned with the exchange. Binance lacks approval for providing crypto trading in the region, according to a warning sent out from the Italian Companies and Exchange Commission.

 

US government delves deeper into crypto accountability with $10M bounty

United States government agencies have not been shy about regulating the burgeoning crypto industry. Thursday news detailed that President Bidens team plans to further track crypto asset usage. In part, the team is focused on looking for any ransomware ties to crypto usage.

Folks who help the government track down nefarious characters involved in certain online attacks could find themselves rewarded with as much as $10 million in bounty.

 

Crypto community divided on whether Bitcoin is an inflation hedge

For many in the crypto community, Bitcoin is considered a potential hedge against inflation. Bitcoins recent price action, however, has given less evidence for such classification as inflation surges to decade highs in the U.S. Some folks doubt the asset as a hedge, while others argue the opposite.

Meanwhile, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has slightly altered his take on BTC.

The first part of it is I think the underlying technology of blockchain is really incredible and has lots of different things, particularly in fintech and finance, he told CNBC. I think as it relates to Bitcoin if people want to buy Bitcoin as a substitute, no different from buying gold or some other asset its fine.

Winners and Losers

 

 

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $31,895, Ether at $1,911 and XRP at $0.59. The total market cap is at $1.30 trillion, based on CoinMarketCap data.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Axie Infinity (AXS) at 57.38%, Flow (FLOW) at 30.36%, and NEM (XEM) at 17.86%.

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Telcoin (TEL) at -31.02%, 0x (ZRX) at -24.41%, and Theta (THETA) at -23.42%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraphs market analysis.

 

 

Most Memorable Quotations

 

Were trying to be the fastest tortoise in the race. The long game pays off over time.

Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of crypto exchange Gemini

 

The issue isnt #Bitcoin, #Ethereum, or other crypto protocols theyre just fine. The risk comes from the banks operational processes.

Caitlin Long, Avanti Bank & Trust CEO and founder

 

I think the regulatory pressure is stronger than before but it will get a lot of bad actors out of the industry and make sure that the industry’s reputation is much better than without it. So, I think this kind of a crackdown may be a good thing for the industry in the long term.

Jihan Wu, Bitmain co-founder and ex-CEO

 

Market intelligence suggests cryptoassets are largely held by retail investors, with institutional investors having limited exposure at present. However, there are some signs of growing interest in cryptoassets and related services from institutional investors, banks, and key payment system operators. These developments could increase the interlinkages between cryptoassets and other systemic financial markets and institutions.

Bank of England, the United Kingdoms central bank

 

If we are the biggest exchange, [buying Goldman Sachs and CME] is not out of the question at all.

Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX CEO

 

The easiest industry to reduce overnight was a gray area industry. Some 68,000 gigawatts of power was removed instantly from China just by saying no to Bitcoin mining.

Phil Harvey, CEO of Phoenix Store

 

Certainly Bitcoin has been a great performer over time. But most of the gains have occurred during a great global deflationary period in which all risk assets rose. Now that inflation is picking up for real, for the first time since Bitcoins inception, its drastically underperforming.

Mati Greenspan, founder of a firm known as Quantum Economics

You wouldnt need stablecoins, you wouldnt need cryptocurrencies if you had a digital U.S. currency. I think thats one of the strong arguments in its favor.

Stephen Lynch, U.S. representative

 

I believe that cryptocurrency is an inherently right-wing, hyper-capitalistic technology built primarily to amplify the wealth of its proponents through a combination of tax avoidance, diminished regulatory oversight and artificially enforced scarcity.

Jackson Palmer, Dogecoin co-founder

 

“Money is definitely a drug.”

Damien Hirst, artist

Prediction of the Week

 

El Salvador Bitcoin move will put pressure on network: JPMorgan

Bitcoin became an official currency of El Salvador in June. However, a recent report from JPMorgan Chase doubts Bitcoins ability to function under that context.

Bitcoins scalability has been a significant talking point in recent years, with the asset transitioning to a store of value rather than a currency. Bitcoins blockchain does not move funds particularly quickly or cheaply compared to mainstream payment cards or various other crypto assets.

In the JPMorgan Chase report, experts note the weight BTC must carry should El Salvador rely heavily on the asset following its recognition as legal tender. Daily payment activity in El Salvador would represent 4% of recent on-chain transaction volume and more than 1% of the total value of tokens which have been transferred between wallets in the past year, the report detailed, as per Bloomberg.

FUD of the Week

 

Ukrainian police seize 3,800 PS4 consoles used for illegal crypto mining

Allegedly, a group of crypto miners thought it was a good idea to set up shop in a warehouse previously owned by an electricity supply outfit called JSC Vinnytsiaoblenergo.

Pilfering the necessary wattage from JSC Vinnytsiaoblenergo, the unlawful miners used almost 4,000 PlayStation 4 consoles, as well as many other tech devices, for their operation. Ukrainian police raided the facility.

 

Crypto crackdown targeting USD access points has begun: Caitlin Long

The regulatory skies may be darkening in the distance, with further crackdown headed toward crypto in the United States.

Bitcoin and Ethereum may be safe from the storm in a direct manner, although regulators may pursue fiat on-ramps and middlemen connected to crypto activities, according to Avanti Bank & Trust founder and CEO Caitlin Long.

 

UK FCA will spend 11M to warn people about investing in crypto

The United Kingdoms Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, sees crypto investing as highly risky, according to a draft of a speech from FCA executive Nikhil Rathi.

The agency wants the countrys people, particularly its younger generations, to know about such risks, putting about $15 million worth of pound sterlings to work toward getting its message across. More people are seeing investment as entertainment, Rathi expressed, as per the draft.

 

Best Cointelegraph Features

Hedge funds see the crypto market decline as an investment opportunity

From rebalancing cash positions to announcing new investment products, hedge funds seem undeterred by the current crypto market decline.

Chinas crypto industry is gone? Beijings crackdown keeps sending shockwaves

The Chinese governments ongoing crusade against cryptocurrencies might have dramatic consequences for both domestic and global crypto traders.

Adopting a decentralized way of life, from small steps to giant leaps

Decentralization may seem out of reach for many, but here are some realistic ways to reject the idea of centralization in our daily lives.

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Uncertainty prevails as December 2021 Bitcoin futures show an inverted pattern

The inverted pattern in the Bitcoin futures curve is a signal that investors’ confidence in BTC price continues to slump.

It’s not yet known whether Binance’s recent news of  being temporarily suspended from the U.K.’s financial system is the main driver behind today’s Bitcoin (BTC) price drop. As Cointelegraph reported, the exchange sent emails to affected customers but has not given any details.

Regardless of the reason behind the price weakness, derivatives contracts started to display some oddities, and this could be a troubling sign.

Bitcoin quarterly futures are the preferred instruments of whales and arbitrage desks. Although it might seem complicated for retail traders due to their settlement date and price difference from spot markets, their most significant advantage is the lack of a fluctuating funding rate.

When traders opt for perpetual contracts (inverse swaps), there is a fee usually charged every 8-hours that will change depending on which side demands more leverage. On the other hand, fixed-date expiry contracts typically trade at a premium from regular spot market exchanges.

This effect occurs as sellers are postponing settlement, therefore requesting compensation for this time.

Bitcoin futures annualized premiums. Source: BitcoinFuturesInfo.com

As depicted above, the Sept. 24 contract is trading with a 2.2% annualized premium at Deribit, while the Dec. 31 contract is at 3.8%. This curve is precisely what one should expect in healthy markets because a longer settlement period would usually cause sellers to request a more substantial premium.

Keep in mind that there’s a decent ‘Cash and Carry’ activity being deployed by arbitrage desks, buying Bitcoin while simultaneously shorting (selling) the futures contract. These players aren’t effectively betting on a negative price swing as their net exposure is flat, but this activity limits the premium on futures contracts.

Related: Bitcoin price is down, but here’s 3 reasons why $1B liquidations are less frequent

Focus on the broader picture, is the 3-month premium below 4%?

Therefore, a couple of exchanges presenting a flat or slightly inverted futures’ curve should not be interpreted as a bearish indicator. More importantly, investors should measure the 3-month futures premium, which should stay above 4% annualized.

Whenever this metric falls below that, it indicates a lack of interest in leverage longs and is interpreted as bearish.

Currently, the average September annualized basis (premium) of the four exchanges examined is running at 3.3%, which is definitively worrisome.

However, this is not unusual after the market experienced a 50% correction. This situation should simply be interpreted as a lack of confidence from buyers instead of an alarming bearish sign.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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