First Mover Americas: Bitcoin Starts August in the Red After Losing Ground in July

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for August 1, 2023.

AccessTimeIconAug 1, 2023 at 12:25 p.m. UTC
Updated Aug 1, 2023 at 4:52 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 (BTC) starts August losing ground, declining 2% Tuesday morning to add to July’s 4% retreat. The price dropped to as low as $28,800, its weakest level since mid-June, while altcoins took a larger hit with Solana’s SOL falling 5%, Optimism’s OP 8% and Stellar XLM 6%. The broad CoinDesk Market Index (CMI) is off 1.9%. In traditional markets, U.S. stock futures retreated slightly from 16-month highs as caution prevailed after a five-month winning streak. The pull back came after a number of companies reported disappointing second quarter earnings.

Justin Sun, the founder of the Tron blockchain, stepped in to support the Curve Finance (CRV) token price in a move that could protect a massive loan tied to the decentralized exchange’s founder Michael Egorov from being liquidated. Blockchain data from Tuesday shows Sun purchased about 5 million CRV from a wallet tagged “Curve.fi Founder” at an average price of $0.40 (just over $2.3 million) in an over-the-counter transaction. While Sun paid well below curve’s $0.59 trading price at writing time on Tuesday, it is more than the $0.37 price level at which Egarov’s loan could be liquidated. Curve Finance, a stablecoin swapping giant, suffered a Sunday exploit that drove down the price of the CRV token, putting $168 million of Egorov's holdings at risk of being liquidated.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued internet marketer Richard Schueler, known online as Richard Heart, and his projects Hex, PulseChain and PulseX, alleging he raised over $1 billion across three different unregistered securities offerings. Heart also defrauded his investors, the SEC alleged in its Monday lawsuit, by using investor funds for personal goods. "Heart continually touted these investments as a pathway to grandiose wealth for investors, claiming that Hex, for example, 'was built to be the highest appreciating asset that has ever existed in the history of man,'" the lawsuit read. "Although Heart claimed these investments were for the vague purpose of supporting free speech, he did not disclose that he used millions of dollars of PulseChain investor funds to buy luxury goods for himself."

Chart of the Day

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  • The chart shows 1% market depth for decentralized exchange Curve's CRV token in U.S. dollar terms and native token terms.
  • The market depth – the market's ability to absorb large orders at stable prices – has declined in the dollar terms and is only slightly up in the native token terms.
  • A potential liquidation of Curve founder Micheal Egorov's multi-million dollar worth of CRV backed loans could thus have an outsized impact of CRV's price.
  • Source: FalconX Research, CoinMetrics

- Omkar Godbole

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Edited by Stephen Alpher.

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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.