Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:
Prices: Bitcoin holds near $30,000, as investors remain cautious, an analyst says.
Insights: Ben Zhou, the CEO of crypto exchange Bybit, sees different regional hubs competing for business in the future.
Crypto Traders Are Cautious as BTC Maintains $30K
As Asia begins its trading week, the CoinDesk Market Index is at 1,302, up 1.27%.
Bitcoin is at $29,951, up 0.3%, while ether is up 0.7% at $1,882.
“The trading range remains relatively narrow due to investors' cautious stance, primarily influenced by ongoing developments surrounding the legal case of XRP,” Johnny Teng, Senior Researcher at LBank Labs, wrote in a note to CoinDesk. “The disappointment expressed by SEC chair Gary Gensler over the court's ruling on the securitization of XRP token has added to uncertainty, with the possibility of an appeal by the SEC further complicating the situation.”
Anticipated selling pressure from the U.S. government's sale of confiscated BTC and profit realization by short-term holders, combined with strong support from institutional players and the existence of significant liquidity around $24,300, is contributing to a state of heightened uncertainty in the bitcoin market, necessitating prudent decision-making by investors, added Teng.
BitBull Capital’s Joe DiPasquale said that the market appears to be continuing a consolidation, and the sentiment is still positive, but both bulls and bears need to be cautious.
“For now, bulls may want to be cautious since drops are not out of the question,” DiPasquale wrote in a note to CoinDesk. “Bears will need to be extra cautious, since their downside risk, at this point, is far greater than any potential gain projections.”
This week is scheduled to be a busy one, with the FOMC decision on interest-rate policy due Wednesday, alongside plenty of earnings. But its already been telegraphed that this rate hike will be the last, meaning traders might have already priced it in.
|Solana||SOL||+3.0%||Smart Contract Platform|
|Ethereum||ETH||+1.6%||Smart Contract Platform|
|Stellar||XLM||−17.8%||Smart Contract Platform|
|Terra||LUNA||−9.5%||Smart Contract Platform|
Bybit CEO Ben Zhou: Regulators See "Opportunity, Rather Than Crisis"
The tone regulators are taking with regard to crypto is remarkably different in Asia and the Middle East to North America, said the CEO of Bybit, Ben Zhou, in an interview with CoinDesk.
Crypto licensing is no longer a process governed by anxiety and fear, Zhou observed, and while different jurisdictions are taking unique approaches, there is a shared commonality in that regulators are looking to work with crypto companies and not against them.
“You start to see many regulators realizing this is actually an opportunity, rather than a crisis,” Zhou told CoinDesk. “Hong Kong, for example, is becoming extremely aggressive, trying to attract crypto companies, trying to attract talent."
While all regulators, broadly, want the same goal they aren’t at the same place in the race.
Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), in Zhou’s opinion, is right now “more advanced” than Hong Kong.
“I think Hong Kong is at the very early stage, a little bit like how Singapore was maybe three, four years ago,” he said. “They're at the grandfathering stage.”
VARA, as Zhou explains from his interactions with them in getting Bybit licensed, has sophisticated,detailed procedures exchanges need to go through in order to get licensed. These include explaining how the exchange scrutinizes transactions, addresses sanctions, Anti-Money Laundering practices, and preventing engagement with polluted addresses.
Bybit doesn’t operate in the U.S., but once welcomed customers from Canada. It exited the country in May, citing a “challenging regulatory environment.”
“The attitude towards crypto in Canada has changed dramatically after FTX," he said.
Bybit had ongoing conversations with Canadian regulators and was invited to apply for a license, but post-FTX, the company decided to leave the market due to rules prohibiting stablecoins.
Does that mean Bybit will consider re-entry into the Canadian market?
Certainly, Zhou said, if the rules change.
8:30 a.m. HKT/SGT(12:30 a.m. UTC): Jibun Bank Manufacturing/Bank Services PMI (July Preliminary)
8:30 p.m. HKT/SGT(12:30 p.m. UTC): Chicago Fed National Activity Index (June)
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