Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:
Prices: Bitcoin remained below $27K, but an analyst says that the largest crypto by market value is in an "accumulation phase."
Insights: BRC-20 tokens reach toward a $500 million market cap, and Glassnode data shows that they continue to be a lucrative source of fees for miners.
Bitcoin Hits an "Accumulation Phase"
Crypto prices remained lethargic as Asia markets opened Friday.
Bitcoin was recently trading at about $26,835, roughly flat over the previous four hours but down 1.2% from Wednesday, same time, according to CoinDesk Indexes. The largest cryptocurrency has seemed almost entirely unaffected by the Wednesday, late-night U.S. House vote to pass a debt ceiling increase that would ensure the government can pay its bills, at least short-term. The Senate will likely vote on the bill late Thursday night (ET).
But in an email to CoinDesk, Bob Baxley, the CTO of DeFi infrastructure platform Maverick Protocol, wrote that crypto markets may now have to reckon with a U.S. Treasury having to replenish its general account, which has shrunk in recent months. That could sap liquidity otherwise available for digital asset investments.
“The risk here is that the roughly trillion dollars flowing back into the general account could suck a tremendous amount of liquidity out of the market," Baxley wrote. "Something like this happened in 2019, and the strain placed on the market basically compelled the Federal Reserve to step in and add emergency liquidity to prevent a full-blown crisis. So, in short, just because a deal has been reached doesn’t mean we are out of the woods yet."
Ether, the second largest crypto in market value, was recently trading at about $1860, up 0.6% over the past 24 hours. ETH spent part of Thursday in the green on a day when most assets dithered in negative territory. GRT, the token of the The Graph indexing protocol and popular memecoin SHIB tumbled more than 7% and 4%, respectively. But litecoin continued its recent winning ways to rise more than 3%. LTC has risen 7.5% over the past 30 days as investors eyed its halving two months away and increased trading activity.
In its opening hour Friday, the Nikkei Index rose about 0.6%. U.S. equities closed largely up, despite ongoing concerns about the inflation and the potential for more hawkish interest rate hikes this year.
Maverick's Baxley wrote optimistically that crypto investors seem "to be a general accumulation phase."
"The moving averages are pointing to neutral or perhaps a little more bullish, suggesting that we are in the process of building another foundation for another leg upwards," he wrote, noting that markets had already priced in potential U.S. central bank rate hikes, which in the past have shaken prices.
He added: "What matters most in this day and age is liquidity. And much of what plays out in the coming weeks likely depends on how carefully the Treasury can carry out its replenishing process. Most investors are taking a rather cautious approach right now as a result, I suspect.”
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BRC-20 tokens are pushing toward a market cap of $500 million, and new data from Glassnode shows that they continue to be a lucrative source of fees for miners.
According to on-chain data, inscriptions now account for 25% of all transaction fees and roughly 40% of all transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.
While inscriptions remain controversial within the broader bitcoin community, for miners they’ve been a boon.
A miner's revenue comprises two elements: block rewards, currently 6.25 BTC ($167,709), and transaction fees that fluctuate based on network demand, with fees traditionally being lower than rewards since 2017.
Data from CryptoQuant shows that the fees-to-reward ratio for bitcoin miners has swung in favor of miners thanks to inscriptions and ordinals.
The fees-to-reward ratio is up to 7.22%, compared to an average of around 2-3% earlier this year.
As an example of how this is helping miners’ bottom line, over the last three months, bitcoin has risen 16% while Valkeryie’s mining ETF, WGMI, is up a whopping 42%.
However, this might not last forever, as the unexpected surge in miners' revenue may be short-lived due to high transaction fees driving users toward alternatives like the Lightning Network and stablecoins.
It didn’t go unnoticed when Binance had to pause withdrawals twice in one day.
8:30 p.m. HKT/SGT(12:30 UTC) United States Average Hourly Earnings (YoY/May)
8:30 p.m. HKT/SGT(12:30 UTC) United States Nonfarm Payrolls (May)
8:30 p.m. HKT/SGT(12:30 UTC) United States Unemployment Rate (May)
Bitcoin (BTC) and the broad cryptocurrency market sold off for the second consecutive day on Thursday, with fears over inflation and continued rate hikes resurfacing. Todd Groth, CFA, CoinDesk Indices head of index research, shared his crypto markets analysis. Plus, InvestHK head of financial services and fintech King Leung discussed Hong Kong's state of crypto as the country's securities regulator begins accepting applications for crypto trading platform licenses. And, Nestcoin co-founder Yele Bademosi shared his reaction to crypto adoption and innovation in Nigeria.
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