Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:
Prices: Bitcoin retreats below $26.5K amid a wider crypto decline as Binance, Coinbase-related fears linger.
Insights: The decline in bitcoin and ether prices since 2022 mirrors the decrease in stablecoin balances over the same period.
A Bitcoin Retreat
Bitcoin returned to its downtrodden ways on Wednesday amid a wider crypto decline that swept up altcoins mentioned and unmentioned in the Securities and Exchange (SEC) lawsuits against Binance and Coinbase earlier this week.
The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was recently trading at $26,364, off 3.2% over the past 24 hours. BTC had soared above $27,200 on Tuesday as investors seemed to already price in the latest regulatory body blows against an industry already reeling from assorted debacles. Bitcoin and ether, along with Tether’s USDT stablecoin, traded at large premiums on Binance.US, a sign that investors were exiting the platform.
In an email to CoinDesk, Ruslan Lienkha, chief of markets at Web3 crypto and fiat service provider YouHodler, wrote that the firm was expecting continued higher volatility for "days or even weeks" as a result of the SEC suits.
But he added: that "in general, the market seems in better shape and better prepared for possible outcomes. Undoubtedly, crypto market participants are doing a better job at managing risks than they did two to three years ago."
ETH fared somewhat better than BTC to recently trade at $1,834, off 2.7% from Tuesday same time. CoinDesk Indices‘ Ether Trend Indicator (ETI) moved into “significant uptrend" territory, an improvement over its reading a day prior. The ETI, which gauges price momentum, suggested that "recent bullish price action is outpacing previous price moves," CoinDesk analyst Glenn Williams wrote in a column.
Still, SEC fallout was fierce on Wednesday. BNB, the Binance Smart Chain’s native token, recently dropped 7.6% from Tuesday, same time, and at one point earlier in the day sank to about $252, its lowest price since early January, according to CoinDesk data. Cardano’s ADA, Polygon’s MATIC and Solana’s SOL, all top 10 tokens by market capitalization that were noted in the SEC filing, recently took a dive between 6% and 9%.
The CoinDesk Market Index, a measure of crypto markets performance, was recently down 3.1%.
Equity indexes closed mixed with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ticking up a few notches but the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 falling 1.3% and 0.4%, respectively, just a day after reaching 2023 highs as investors fretted about the Bank of Canada's unexpected interest rate hike. The decision offered the latest evidence that central banks remain anxious about inflation and that the monetary hawkishness that has hamstrung asset markets over the past year may continue.
In an note, Edward Moya, senior market analyst for foreign exchange market maker Oanda, noted that Canada’s central bank was among the most proactive about monetary policy. "They were the first to raise rates in 2022 and then put them on hold earlier this year," Moya wrote. "The BOC is signaling that more rate hikes could come and that has everyone rethinking that the Fed will be done after the July hike."
What Do Current Stablecoin Balances Mean?
While the financial community eyes jobs data, inflation figures and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) impacts, one straightforward factor my give more insight into where the price of bitcoin is headed next.
As a primary vehicle for buying crypto assets, the amount of stablecoins on exchanges can serve as a precursor to buying demand.
While some notable exchanges offer a “fiat onramp,” meaning the exchange of U.S. dollars directly for crypto, some investors acquire crypto assets via the exchange of stablecoins like USDC and USDT for crypto.
Per on-chain data firm Glassnode, the amount of stablecoins held on exchange addresses has declined from 32 billion to 19 billion between January 2022 and June 2023. The price for both BTC and ETH are down 45% and 50% respectively over that time frame.
Increases in the stablecoin exchange balance during the remainder of 2023 will be a likely indication that buying demand is increasing.
This article was written and edited by CoinDesk journalists with the sole purpose of informing the reader with accurate information. If you click on a link from Glassnode, CoinDesk may earn a commission. For more, see our Ethics Policy.
The Non Fungible Conference (Portugal)
Brussels Blockchain Week (Belgium)
Bitcoin (BTC) bounced back after tumbling to a three-month low of less than $25,000 on Tuesday following news that Coinbase (COIN) had been sued by the SEC on allegations of violating federal securities law. This followed a similar suit against Binance on Monday. Arca Chief Investment Officer Jeff Dorman weighed in. Plus, Solidus Labs Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Kathy Kraninger discussed how regulatory action is impacting consumers. And, CoinDesk Managing Editor Nikhilesh De broke down the latest developments as SEC seeks a temporary restraining order to freeze assets tied to Binance.US on Tuesday.
Coinbase CEO Armstrong Says Not Shutting Down Staking Service: The country’s largest exchange will continue to offer staking services despite facing lawsuits over the service from federal and state regulators.
BNB Drops to 6-Month Low as ADA, MATIC, SOL Lead Altcoin Tumble: Cryptocurrencies the SEC characterized as securities in recent lawsuits led the drop among altcoins, while BTC traded mostly flat.
The Petrodollar and Its Discontents Point to Bitcoin's Role in the Financial Future: Recent moves by Saudi Arabia, Russia and China have raised fears that the U.S. dollar could lose its preferred status for oil trading. And yet alternative national currencies aren’t that appealing. Could a bitcoin-like currency do better?
Aave Lending Protocol Moves Closer to Launching GHO Stablecoin on Ethereum Mainnet: The developer proposed two key features for the decentralized stablecoin in a governance post on Tuesday.
Stablecoin Issuer Circle Receives Digital Token License in Singapore: The issuer of USDC received in-principle approval in November last year.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.