First Mover Americas: Meme Coin PEPE Surges to $1B Market Cap

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for May 5, 2023.

AccessTimeIconMay 5, 2023 at 12:54 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 8:37 p.m. UTC
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Pepecoin (PEPE), the new token based on “pepe the frog” meme, has reached a $1 billion market capitalization after it debuted last month. The token has gained 70% over the past 24 hours, reaching an all-time high, according to data from CoinGeko. The PEPE rally has spurred increased trading activity in other meme tokens on decentralized exchanges, according to data from IntoTheBlock. For instance, WOJAK and PEEPO have climbed more than 600% in a week. Longer-standing meme tokens such as dogecoin (DOGE) and shiba inu (SHIB) have not witnessed the same price movement, both trading in the red on the week.

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U.K.'s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), continues its crackdown on unlawful crypto ATMs. The FCA said it has inspected sites in Exeter, Nottingham and Sheffield alongside the regional police. The devices for turning fiat currency into crypto are seen as a money laundering threat, and none are logged with the FCA as is required by law, the regulator said in a statement on Friday. “Crypto ATMs operating without FCA registration are illegal,” said Therese Chambers, the FCA’s Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight. “We will act to stop illegal activity.”

Crypto exchange Coinbase reported Q1 revenue of $773 million, exceeding analysts’ estimates of $655 million, according to FactSet, and up from Q4 revenue of $629 million. The company reported an adjusted loss of $0.34 per share, versus estimated loss of $1.45 per share and a narrowing from Q4’s loss of $2.45 per share. Trading volume came in at $145 billion versus estimates of $147.7 million for the quarter. Trading volume was roughly $146 billion in the fourth quarter. Shares of Coinbase were up about 8% to $53 in after-hours trading Thursday. Shares are up about 40% this year, with bitcoin’s rise of roughly 74% year to date.


Chart of the Day

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  • The chart shows gold's weekly price action since May 2017.
  • The yellow metal is looking to break out its three-year trading range amid many uncertainties, including the U.S. debt ceiling issue, banking sector instability, and recession fears.
  • According to Matrixport, a breakout in gold would bode well for bitcoin.
  • "Gold has been leading Bitcoin since November 2022 and both assets appear to be correlated," Markus Thielen, research and strategy head at Matrixport and the author of Crypto Titans said in a weekly report.
  • "Bitcoin will likely fly higher under the wing of gold as the yellow metal makes new all-time highs," Thielen added.

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Edited by Omkar Godbole.

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CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.


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