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Weekly Crypto Wrap: 6th July 2023

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Rachael Lucas
Weekly Crypto Wrap: 6th July 2023

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TLDR

  • RBA holds interest rates steady.
  • Litecoin surges 28% as halving event approaches.
  • Nasdaq reapplies to list Blackrock’s Bitcoin investment fund (ETF).
  • Mastercard expands crypto ventures with blockchain app store.
  • Blockchain Australia CEO calls for action against crypto scams.

State of crypto

Over the past two weeks, Bitcoin (BTC) has been range bound after reaching its highest price in over a year on June 23rd where it reached US$31,431. Despite multiple attempts, price has been unable to break through resistance levels.

Price action was propelled by the news of BlackRock's resubmission for a Bitcoin ETF. This is viewed as a significant step toward institutional adoption, further enhancing Bitcoin's reputation and facilitating exposure among institutional investors.

Bitcoin closed the trading week on Monday at US$30,617.03, representing a 0.51% gain. Ethereum performed better with a 2.04% gain, closing at US$1,937.48. On the other hand, XRP experienced a decline, closing at US$0.4845 with a 1.18% loss.

Litecoin gained an impressive 28.78% during the trading week, closing at US$113.58. The surge in price occurred after the EDX Exchange announced it would be listing the project. ADA struggled during the week, finding support at US$0.2599 and rebounding to close at US$0.2916, resulting in a slight loss of 0.17% for the week.

Bitcoin's market capitalisation experienced a decrease of 0.80% but maintained its dominance over the crypto market at 51.10%. The overall cryptocurrency market capitalisation cooled off following double-digit gains in the previous week. However, it still managed to maintain an upward trend with a 1.34% gain, closing the week at US$1.164 trillion.

In terms of year-to-date performance, Bitcoin has shown significant growth, leading the market with an 82.44% increase whilst Ethereum follows behind with a 53.51% gain. XRP has maintained a gain of 36.91% for the year and Litecoin is up by 18.86%. Lastly, Cardano is holding on to a 9.44% annual gain.

*The weekly trading stats as of Monday, July 3rd, 10:00 am AEST, based on data from Tradingview in USD.

The week ahead

Upcoming economic events.

July 7th: US ISM Services PMI, JOLTS Job Opening, Non-Farm Payrolls and Unemployment Rate. Canada’s Ivey PMI index and Unemployment Rate.

July 10th: China’s Inflation Rate.

July 11th: Westpac Consumer Confidence Index and National Australia Banks (NAB) Business Confidence report. United Kingdom Unemployment Rate and Claimant Count change. Germany’s ZEW Economic Sentiment Index.

July 12th: RBA Governor Lowe’s Speech. US Monthly, Annual and Core Consumer Price Inflation Rates.

July 13th: Canada’s Interest Rate. China’s Balance of Trade. United Kingdom Monthly GDP MoM. United States Producer Price Inflation MoM.

Economic Calendar (tradingeconomics.com)

Market reflections

Australia

During its July meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) maintained the cash rate at 4.1%, following a 25bps increase in the previous month. The RBA's stated its aim is to achieve a sustainable balance between supply and demand in the economy, and the current higher interest rates contribute to this goal.

Reports indicate that inflation in Australia has reached its peak but remains elevated, requiring a return to the target range within a reasonable timeframe. Economic growth has slowed, and while labour market conditions have eased, they remain tight. The RBA said it will closely monitor inflation expectations and labour costs as part of its decision-making process.

Recent data indicates that retail trade in Australia is performing well. Retail turnover increased by 0.7% in May 2023 compared to the previous month and by 4.2% compared to May 2022. This growth reflects increased consumer spending on food, dining out, and discretionary goods.

Australia had more exports than imports, resulting in a trade surplus for the month of May. The increase was driven by higher exports, particularly non-monetary gold, and stronger demand from China. Australia also experienced robust domestic demand, leading to higher imports. Overall, it indicates positive economic performance for the country.

Although uncertainties exist in household consumption and the global economy, further tightening of monetary policy may be necessary to reach the inflation target according to the RBA, as they reiterated their commitment to bringing inflation back to the desired level.

Global

The US Federal Reserve has announced plans to raise interest rates multiple times to control inflation. This decision has already impacted sectors like housing and investment, but its full effects will take time to be seen. 

In May, the prices of goods and services in the US increased, indicating inflation. Personal income in the US rose due to higher wages, salaries, and government payments. However, personal spending only saw a small increase, with decreased spending on goods balancing out the increase in spending on services. The manufacturing sector in the US contracted in June, with reduced output and employment.

In China, manufacturing activity has been slowing down for the past three months, which means factories are producing less. Despite challenges, business sentiment remained positive but weakened recently.

Japan's consumer confidence increased slightly, indicating a more positive economic outlook. Large manufacturers in Japan also expect improved conditions in the coming months.

Germany's inflation rate in June 2023 was higher than the target set by the European Central Bank. Energy and service prices increased, but the price of goods rose at a slower pace. Germany's trade surplus narrowed as exports decreased and imports increased.

The Euro Area's unemployment rate remained low, indicating a strong job market. Inflation in the Euro Area decreased in June, while France experienced consumer price inflation compared to the previous year.

Alt Action

Litecoin surges ahead of upcoming halving.

Litecoin, often referred to as "digital silver", has experienced a remarkable price surge in recent days. The price of Litecoin rose over 28% last week, surpassing the US$100 milestone. This surge in price is accompanied by a significant increase in the hash rate of the Litecoin blockchain, indicating a rise in the computing power dedicated to securing the network.

The Litecoin community is eagerly awaiting an upcoming event known as the "halving," which is scheduled to occur in early August. During this event, the rate at which new Litecoin’s are created will be reduced by 50%. The anticipation of this halving event has played a role in driving up the price of Litecoin, as investors expect a decrease in the supply of new coins and potentially higher demand.

This surge in price is part of a broader upward trend for Litecoin, as its price has increased by approximately 50% so far this year. The recent surge has pushed Litecoin's price to reach yearly highs of US$115. The doubling of the hash rate over the past year further demonstrates the growing interest and participation in the Litecoin network.

LTC is currently trading at US$105.33.

The Big 3

Nasdaq reapplies to list Blackrock’s Bitcoin investment fund (ETF).

Nasdaq, the US based stock exchange, has reapplied to list a Bitcoin investment fund (ETF) by BlackRock. The application had to include a surveillance-sharing partner to prevent market manipulation, and Nasdaq has named Coinbase, as its partner. Other ETF applications, including those from Fidelity and Cboe, have also chosen Coinbase as their partner to meet the requirement.

This move by BlackRock into the crypto market has attracted attention from mainstream financial players interested in bridging the gap between traditional finance and cryptocurrencies. While some worry about the impact on Bitcoin's decentralised nature, others believe it brings regulatory stability and advanced technology.

In other news, the Bitcoin Ordinals launchpad platform Luminex has proposed a new standard called BRC-69 to simplify the creation of a specific type of digital asset to reduce costs by using a more efficient process. The Ordinals protocol has become popular for creating tokens and digital assets on the Bitcoin network, leading to increased transactions and fees.

Bitcoin miners, who typically held onto the cryptocurrency they mined, are now selling their tokens due to rising prices. Data from Glassnode, a crypto analytics firm, shows that miners are sending a record percentage of their earnings to exchanges. With Bitcoin's price increasing significantly this year, miners are taking advantage of higher prices to sell their mined coins.

Buy Bitcoin on BTC Markets.

Controversy surrounding Lido Finance, a staking pool, in the Ethereum community.

Lido Finance currently dominates the network's staking pools, accounting for a significant portion of the market. This has sparked concerns about centralisation and potential risks. While some community members are calling for the development of alternative staking protocols, others emphasise the challenges of solo staking and the importance of improving user experience.

Lido Finance is a decentralised finance (DeFi) platform that allows users to stake their Ethereum (ETH) tokens and earn rewards. Staking is a process where users lock up their cryptocurrency to support the operations of a blockchain network and, in return, receive incentives. Lido Finance specifically focuses on Ethereum 2.0 staking, which is the upgrade to the Ethereum network aimed at improving scalability and security.

Buy ETH now on BTC Markets.

Pro-XRP lawyer criticises Coinbase for delisting XRP and inconsistent treatment of securities.

A pro-XRP lawyer, Bill Morgan, has called out Coinbase for its treatment of XRP compared to other assets labelled as securities by the SEC. Coinbase delisted XRP following the SEC's lawsuit against Ripple but continues to facilitate trading for assets like Cardano and Solana, which are also classified as securities.

Morgan criticised Coinbase's inconsistency and highlighted that its reason for delisting XRP is no longer valid. He questioned the exchange's policies and lack of support for XRP despite supporting other similar assets.

In January 2021, Coinbase announced it was suspending trading of XRP on its platform. Coinbase stated that it would continue to monitor legal developments regarding XRP and provide updates to its customers.

Buy XRP now on BTC Markets.

Crypto news

Mastercard expands crypto ventures with beta launch of blockchain app store.

Mastercard, is continuing its exploration of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. They plan to release a beta version of their Multi-Token Network (MTN) this summer, starting with a launch in the United Kingdom. The MTN will serve as a testbed for developing applications and use cases with financial institutions, fintech companies, and central banks.

Mastercard aims to attract developers to build on their permissioned blockchain, which they believe can enhance their payment capabilities. They are inviting teams to participate in the MTN Innovation Sprint, where selected developers will gain access to MTN's capabilities and start developing on the platform.

The initial apps will involve tokenised bank deposits, a concept gaining popularity among central and commercial banks. Mastercard is prioritising safety and secure token transfers. They have also partnered with several crypto exchanges to issue debit or prepaid cards that enable users to make purchases with their digital assets.

Blockchain Australia CEO calls for united action against crypto scams.

Blockchain Australia's CEO, Simon Callaghan, has urged banks, the government, and the crypto industry in Australia to unite in the fight against rising crypto scams. Callaghan emphasised the need to protect consumers and highlighted that most scams originate on social media and telecommunication channels. He believes that Australia can set an example by effectively cooperating and addressing the issue, potentially leading to global progress.

The Australian government has already taken steps to tackle scams, with the establishment of the National Anti-Scam Centre. The taskforce includes experts from public agencies and private industries and aims to disrupt scammers. It will operate for six months and publicly report its outcomes. Regulators have called on banks to improve their efforts in protecting customers from scams.

The goal is to remove scam websites, educate consumers, and share real-time information to reduce victims' losses. The government is also working on new codes of practice and considering laws for reimbursement of scam victims. Blockchain Australia indicated that it plans to analyse scam data and share best practices for prevention.

Regulation Roundup

UK crypto bill on track to regulate the industry.

The United Kingdom is working on a new law to regulate cryptocurrencies like traditional assets. The bill has been approved by the upper chamber of parliament and is awaiting final approval from King Charles.

The goal of this law is to create clear rules for cryptocurrencies and support their use in the country. It will give authorities the power to make and enforce regulations for crypto businesses. The UK government sees blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies as opportunities for the economy and wants to attract more crypto companies to the UK.

Additionally, the UK government is also working on a bill to target cryptocurrencies involved in illegal activities. They want to improve their ability to confiscate and recover crypto assets used in financial crimes and terrorism. Furthermore, the UK's financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has set a deadline for firms promoting crypto assets to comply with new advertising rules.

Compliance conversations

Be aware of scams during crypto tax season.

Tax time provides the perfect opportunity for scammers to target unsuspecting victims. Protecting yourself from these scams, starts with understanding the deceptive tactics employed by these individual. Below are some of the signs to watch out for:

Recognise red flags: Scammers often pose as trusted figures, like legitimate crypto exchanges or ATO representatives, on social media, SMS, or email. Only engage with BTC Markets representatives via verified accounts on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. 

Watch out for unexpected gifts: Scammers may offer enticing deals through SMS or email, asking you to log into online services via a provided link. Be cautious and wary of such promises. Verify any communication through official channels or contact our support team directly.

Be wary of prolonged conversations: Scammers try to extract personal information by engaging in lengthy discussions. Don't share sensitive details and confirm the legitimacy of any interaction through our official channels.

By understanding the tactics scammers use and following these protective measures, you can safeguard your investments and avoid financial losses. 

For more information on common tactics to watch out for during tax time, visit the ATO’s website.

Feedback

If you have any feedback on our newsletter or want to request specific content, please submit a support ticket and we will respond shortly.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this email is for general purposes only. It should not be construed as professional financial advice from BTC Markets Pty Ltd. BTC Markets is not a financial adviser, and you should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to ensure that the information relates to your unique circumstances. BTC Markets is not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided directly or indirectly, by use of this information contained within this email. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. We note that we may, at any time, change the characteristics of the product. The information provided is intended for recipients in Australia. This information is not to be reproduced without permission.

Prices are accurate as of 10:00 AM AEST, on 06/07/2023.

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