Crypto markets continued to see green for the second week running.
Bitcoin gained 3% over the last seven days and currently changes hands at $21,314. Ethereum rose nearly 2% during that time and trades for $1,640. Both could have made more headway, but the U.S. Federal Reserve’s announcement on Wednesday of yet another 0.75% interest rate hike—the fourth this year—quickly scuppered their trajectory.
Interest rate hikes are typically (but not always) met with bearish sentiment among investors who go for riskier assets like crypto or equities. The reason being that higher rates make it harder for people to borrow money, so broadly speaking they hold onto their wealth and forgo their chancier investments.
On Friday, the two market leaders recovered a little following the release of a Labor Department report showing that U.S. job growth was up.
Uniswap (UNI) and Cosmos (ATOM) both added about 10% to their price.
Top meme coin Dogecoin (DOGE) mooned 22% over seven days and topped 12 cents (yes, yes, a far cry from its high of 73 cents in May 2021). Like last week, everyone’s favorite memecoin is still responding positively to the news of Twitter’s new executive manager
And the most impressive rally among the top 30 coins was Polygon (MATIC), which ballooned 28% over the week in the wake of Reddit’s booming Polygon NFTs and an announcement on Wednesday by Meta that Instagram would integrate Polygon for its upcoming NFT minting feature.
Twitter going crypto?
It’s been a week since Elon Musk took over Twitter and the news since has offered strong hints that the world’s biggest microblogging platform may pivot towards Web3 and crypto sooner than we think.
For a start, on Monday, Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao appeared on CNBC and said his exchange had invested half a billion dollars in Musk’s takeover to give crypto a “seat at the table when it comes to free speech.”
CZ also elaborated on potential crypto use cases on Twitter, saying that Musk’s tentative plans to charge subscription fees for verified accounts could be “done very easily, globally, using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment”.
The previous day, Sriram Krishnan, a general partner at venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) shared a photo to his followers from Twitter’s San Francisco office and tweeted that he is “helping out Elon Musk with Twitter temporarily with some other great people.”
Krishnan added, “I (and a16z) believe this is a hugely important company and can have great impact on the world and Elon is the person to make it happen.”
The steady mainstream adoption of crypto continued this week when on Monday the industry cheered two important announcements.
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission says it is now ready to conduct a public consultation on how to give retail investors access to crypto. Although crypto exchanges are allowed to operate in the special administrative region, onboarding is restricted to investors with at least HK$8 million ($1 million) in their portfolios.
The regulator said it is open to reviewing property rights for tokenized assets and the legality of smart contracts at some point and it is exploring a number of pilot projects to test the potential benefits of using crypto.
Potential projects include issuing an NFT for Hong Kong Fintech Week 2022 and possibly even a pilot of Hong Kong’s own central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Private equity giant Apollo Global—which stewards half a trillion dollars in wealth—announced on Monday that it will hold crypto for institutional clients through a new partnership with Anchorage Digital, the first federally chartered crypto bank in the United States.
Anchorage will custody a “significant portion” of Apollo’s portfolio. COO Adam Eling said in a statement: “We were drawn to working with Anchorage given their commitment to operating under strict regulatory oversight, their strong emphasis on security and segregation of client assets, and their ease of use for asset managers to hold digital tokens.”
On Wednesday, the decentralized finance pilot program of Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS) executed “the first real-world use case for institutional-grade DeFi protocols,” according to Aave founder Stani Kulechov who spoke to Decrypt.
J.P. Morgan, DBS Bank and SBI Digital Asset Holdings used the Aave protocol on Polygon to complete foreign exchange and government bond transactions on Ethereum. The banks exchanged tokenized versions of Singapore government securities bonds for Japanese government bonds, and Japanese Yen for Singapore Dollars as a test.
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