First Mover Americas: XRP Momentum Could Set Precedent for Bitcoin

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for July 20, 2023.

AccessTimeIconJul 20, 2023 at 12:19 p.m. UTC
Updated Jul 20, 2023 at 2:59 p.m. UTC

This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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Bitcoin spot ETFs could increase BTC demand to the tune of $30 billion, according to a report by NYDIG. The crypto trading firm estimates that there are $27.6 billion in spot-like products, compared with $210 billion invested in funds for gold, to which bitcoin is often compared. “Bitcoin is about 3.6x more volatile than gold, meaning that on a volatility equivalent basis, investors would require 3.6x less bitcoin than gold on a dollar basis to get as much risk exposure. Still, that would result in nearly $30B of incremental demand for a bitcoin ETF,” NYDIG writes. The possibility of a spot bitcoin ETF in the U.S. looks far more likely since BlackRock submitted an application to list one with a “surveillance-sharing” agreement, which the SEC sees as necessary to prevent market manipulation.

El Salvador’s junk-rated bonds due 2027 have seen a substantial upward trend in the last six months amid bitcoin’s rally, defying some analysts’ expectations. The Central American country, which made BTC legal tender in 2021, had its debt rating downgraded by Fitch last September with a prediction of a debt default in January. In fact, the junk-rated bonds are up 62% since the start of 2023 and are trading at 72 cents on the dollar. Bitcoin rose 79% in the same period. El Salvador’s bonds have, however, even outperformed the Invesco Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt ETF (PCY), one of the largest holders of the country’s debt, according to Factset.

Kuwait’s financial regulator has banned crypto payments, investment and mining as a means to combat money laundering. The prohibitions are aimed at coming into compliance with the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) global recommendations for crypto assets, according to the regulator. "Securities regulated by the Central Bank of Kuwait and other securities and financial instruments regulated by the Capital Markets Authority are excluded from this prohibition," the regulator said in a circular. FATF compliance does require guardrails against money laundering, but the international watchdog says it has not asked any countries to ban crypto, it told CoinDesk in May.

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows XRP's social dominance, which measures the percentage of social media discussions related to a cryptocurrency compared to all top 100 coins, has shot up to highest since January 2021.
  • Increased crowd chatter is often observed at interim market tops.
  • Source: Santiment

- Omkar Godbole

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Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

Omkar Godbole

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