Daily Market Update: August 18, 2023

August 18, 2023

BTC is currently trading around $26,300 and ETH around $1,700.  Notable gainers in the last 24 hours are INJ, FLEX, and XDC.  The global crypto market cap is $1.10T, down 6.4% over the last day.  DeFi Total Value Locked is ~$39b and BTC dominance is around 49%.

Crypto prices fell suddenly on Thursday night as $1b in liquidations occurred and bitcoin touched as low as $25,000 on Binance.  Some attributed the decline to a WSJ article implying Elon Musk’s SpaceX had sold its bitcoin, while others blamed the shaky macro backdrop that includes recent equity market weakness, multi-year high bond yields, and East Asian economic headwinds.  In addition, the move was likely exacerbated by low liquidity and concentrated dealer gamma positioning.  Lastly, global equity markets are down across the board, with US equity indexes falling below their 50-day moving averages and Chinese property giant Evergrande filing for bankruptcy protection in the US.

On a positive note, Bloomberg reported that the SEC will approve an Ether futures ETF as soon as October.  And some are speculating that we may get a decision as soon as today on Grayscale’s lawsuit against the SEC in its attempt to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF.

Other notable news includes: Crypto businesses in the UK will be required to comply with the FATF’s Travel Rule beginning in September; the judge in the SEC vs. Ripple Labs case granted the SEC’s request to file a motion enabling it to argue for an interlocutory appeal; a US federal judge granted a motion of summary judgement siding with the US Treasury in a lawsuit where six individuals sought to remove OFAC sanctions placed on crypto mixer Tornado Cash; Mastercard formed a partnership program with seven blockchain and payment providers to promote CBDC innovation; Farmington State Bank announced that it would wind down after the Federal Reserve levied an enforcement action against it for issuing a stablecoin without receiving Fed approval; Grayscale posted open roles for its ETF team; defunct centralized crypto lender BlockFi gained court approval to enable user withdrawals; OpenSea announced it will sunset its on-chain royalty enforcement tool Operator Filter; Finn, the pseudonymous co-founder of NFT PFP project DeGods, announced that they are transitioning away from the project; and, a Shiba Inu co-founder stated technical difficulties associated with the launch of its layer 2 Shibarium were due to a massive influx of user activity and denied that there are any stuck bridged funds.

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Matt Kunke, Research Analyst | TwitterTelegramLinkedIn
Brian Rudick, Senior Strategist | TwitterTelegramLinkedIn

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