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First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Hovers Over $23K in Weekend Trading; an Edgy Environment at Seoul's Blockchain Megaweek

Analytics

www.coindesk.com 08 August 2022 02:07, UTC
  
Reading time: ~5 m

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:Prices: Bitcoin holds steady over $23K in weekend trading; most other major cryptos rise.Insights: South Korea holds its blockchain megaweek. The atmosphere is excited but edgy because of recent events in the blockchain space.

Prices

●Bitcoin (BTC): $23,235 +1.2%

●Ether (ETH): $1,706 +0.7%

●S&P 500 daily close: 4,145.19 −0.2%

●Gold: $1,790 per troy ounce +1.0%

●Ten-year Treasury yield daily close: 2.84% +0.2

Bitcoin, ether and gold prices are taken at approximately 4pm New York time. Bitcoin is the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX); Ether is the CoinDesk Ether Price Index (ETX); Gold is the COMEX spot price.

By James Rubin

Bitcoin held its footing above $23,000 throughout the weekend as investors seemed mostly recovered from Friday's surprisingly strong jobs report.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was recently trading at about $23,300, up slightly over the last 24 hours and roughly where it started the weekend. Bitcoin fell below $23,000 early Friday following the U.S. Labor Department report, which doubled most analysts expectations for July job growth, before regaining its previous perch above the threshold. The additional jobs countered previous indicators suggesting the economy was slowing enough to allow the U.S. central bank to soon scale back steep interest rate increases that many investors believe will cast the economy into a recession and send riskier assets spiraling.

Bitcoin has lost more than 50% of its value since the start of the year, plummeting with stocks, as investors fretted about the dual threats of inflation and economic contraction. Digital assets have rallied along with stocks over the past three weeks, however, amid hopeful signs, and held fast the past three days.

"If Bitcoin can hold onto the $23,000 level, that could be very promising for the medium-term outlook," Oanda Senior Market Analyst Americas Edward Moya wrote in an email, adding optimistically. "Bitcoin has been stabilizing here and could see further bullish momentum on the break of the $25,000 level.

Ether, the second largest crypto by market cap, was recently trading hands at approximately $1,700, up roughly a percentage point and about where it stood when the weekend began. Other major cryptos were mixed with Theta and ATOM rising over 7% and 6%, respectively at one point, but FIL dropping more than 5%.

Cryptos tracked major equity markets on Friday, which dropped following the jobs numbers before regaining ground in the afternoon to finish flat. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 0.5% on Friday while the S&P 500, which has a strong technology component, was down 0.2%. Both indexes nevertheless advanced for a third consecutive week, buoyed not only by signs of slowing growth but upbeat forecasts by a number of global technology and financial services brands.

The 528,000 added jobs in July was more than double the consensus among analysts who study labor markets and a clear sign that this one part of the economy remains strong.

"The economic stats have suddenly taken on a bit brighter hue," Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi tweeted on Sunday. "The July jobs report shows the economy’s resilience, and why we are neither in recession nor is a near-term recession inevitable."

Zandi added that these trends would "become clearer" with the release of July's consumer price index.

Meanwhile, crypto markets digested a mix of good and bad news. On Monday, an exploit of cross-chain messaging protocol Nomad allowed $200 million to be siphoned off the platform.

But markets were encouraged by the latest initiatives involving large institutional investors. Asset manager Brevan Howard completed the largest crypto hedge fund launch ever, with more than $1 billion in assets under management, and BlackRock formed a partnership with crypto exchange Coinbase to make crypto directly available to institutional investors. Coinbase's shares closed 10% higher on Thursday and jumped an additional 4.6% on Friday.

"Traditional finance firms continue their crypto push," Arcane Research noted in its Friday newsletter.

Investors will be eyeing Coinbase's second quarter earnings report on Tuesday. Bitcoin miners Marathon Digital and Riot will also be announcing earnings early in the week.

(SEOUL) – It’s blockchain megaweek in Seoul, with BUIDL Asia, Eth Seoul, and Korea Blockchain Week stacked back-to-back over a 10-day period.

This being the first set of conferences in Asia post-Covid, there should be a certain energy in the air. And by all means, there’s an excitement about the return of in-person conferences to the continent – masks and all – but the ghost of the Terra blockchain’s spectacular crash still looms large.

Prosecutors are on a warpath in Korea, raiding exchanges and the home of Terra’s founder while banning some current and former staff from leaving the country.

On stage at BUIDL Asia, the T-word was not quite verboten but almost: CoinDesk heard that speakers were told not to mention the word on stage. Of course, the Streisand effect was in full force and it was used again and again to drive home a point.

But that’s not the first time that there was a certain nervousness around the word.

Months ago when Luna was smoldering, CoinDesk reported that Korean VC Fund Hashed had taken a $3.5 billion hit on Terra’s Luna token.

Almost immediately after the article was published, a public-relations representative for Terraform Labs got in touch with CoinDesk – not to dispute the veracity of the story – the Hashed founder later confirmed the amount in an early August interview with Bloomberg –  but rather to ask that language be toned down regarding Hashed’s participation in Terra’s funding rounds. Law enforcement was looking at anyone that touched the fundraise with the country’s largest magnifying glass.

Of course the question on everyone’s mind, is will someone get served at Korea Blockchain week? So far, there have been no reports of process servers gracing BUIDL Asia and Eth Seoul with their presence, but these were small events for what’s to come.

It was just last year when Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon confirmed he was served with a subpoena at Messari’s Mainnet crypto conference by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


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