Bitcoin and Ether were up in early Thursday trading in Asia, but the majority of the top ten non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies are mixed. Matic Polygon topped the winners in network upgrades, while Ripple’s XRP fell. Stock futures in the United States sank, reflecting losses on Wall Street on Wednesday. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a predicted 25 basis points, but Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned that inflation remained a problem, heightening concerns that further rate hikes were imminent. Investors are still skeptical that the banking sector is out of trouble after a string of bank crashes since March.
According to CoinMarketCap statistics, Bitcoin surged back above the US$29,000 resistance line, up 1.23% to US$29,032 in the 24 hours to 8:00 am in Hong Kong. Over the past seven days, the world’s largest cryptocurrency has gained 2.12%, surpassing its 20-day moving average.
Bitcoin is up 75% this year so far, and Standard Chartered Bank expects to reach US$60,000 this year, as financial troubles in the United States may convince some investors of Bitcoin’s position as a safe haven.
The second largest token, ether, gained 1.84% to US$1,905, up 2.06% on a weekly basis. The remaining top ten non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies in terms of market cap are mixed.
Polygon’s Matic topped the winners, jumping 2.99% to US$1.01 and increasing its weekly profit by 2.03%. Polygon said on Wednesday that it had updated its network to promote the adoption of decentralized applications, or dApps.
Ripple fell 0.32% to $0.4635.
In the last 24 hours, the overall crypto market value increased 1.14% to US$1.20 trillion, while trading volume increased 19.42% to US$41.97 billion.
In the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the Forkast 500 NFT index fell 1.69% to 3,648.07 in the 24 hours to 8:00 am in Hong Kong, taking the week’s total to 1.65%.
“I believe it is gas related (cost).” It’s high today, and people comment on it when it prints (or doesn’t print because of it),” said Yehudah Petscher, NFT Strategist at Forkast Labs.
In other NFT news, major South Korean blockchain game developer Wemade debuted its Bored Ape Golf Club (BAGC) NFT collection on its platform on Wednesday.
According to a Wemade press statement, the golf-themed edition of Yacht Club’s acclaimed Bored Ape collection had 40,000 concurrent users during last year’s presale period. Wemade, founded in 2000, serves a variety of play-to-earn video games internationally, including MIR4, and had over US$83 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2022.
On Wednesday, US authorities alerted NFT trading platforms when they charged Nathaniel Chastain, former head of product at OpenSea NFT marketplace, with money laundering and fraud in “the first digital asset insider trading scheme.”
At 8:00 am in Hong Kong, US stock futures were down. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.41%, S&P 500 Index futures fell 0.37%, and Nasdaq-100 futures fell 0.37%.