Bitcoin and Ether Hold Steady as SEC Targets NFT Firm

Bitcoin and Ether Hold Steady as SEC Targets NFT Firm

4 min read

Bitcoin and Ether showed little movement on Tuesday morning in Asia, while several other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies exhibited mixed trading patterns, according to a Forkast news report. Cardano’s ADA saw notable gains following optimistic remarks from its founder, Charles Hoskinson, who foresees a surge in ADA’s price that could surpass both Ether and Bitcoin.

Meanwhile, Solana’s SOL faced losses despite the recent news of its partnership with Shopify for Solana Pay. Analysts anticipate a change in the generally downbeat summer sentiment within the crypto market as the fall season approaches.

In contrast, the Forkast 500 NFT Index continued its decline, signalling more challenges for the NFT industry. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made an announcement on Monday, revealing charges against Los Angeles-based media company Impact Theory for securities violations linked to its NFT offerings.


Crypto Market Losses Expected to Ease Off

Bitcoin experienced a minor dip of 0.12% in the last 24 hours, bringing it to a value of US$26,050.51 as of 07:00 a.m. in Hong Kong. Over the week, Bitcoin faced a 0.30% decline, according to CoinMarketCap data. The leading cryptocurrency briefly reached a high of US$26,198.58 early in the day before receding. Ether also saw a 0.40% decrease, landing at US$1,650.23, resulting in a weekly loss of 0.99%.

Michaël van de Poppe, CEO of Amsterdam-based crypto trading company MN Trading, suggested, “There might be another selloff taking place, but currently we’ve experienced the standard August and September correction, through which it seems likely that we won’t be continuing that fall for long and rather have an upwards trend from here on out.” Van de Poppe’s perspective aligned with a report from JPMorgan Chase & Co., which predicted “limited downside” for the crypto market as losses taper off. JPMorgan’s analysts noted a decrease in the number of unsettled Bitcoin-linked futures contracts on exchanges, suggesting that the downward price movement is losing momentum.

Van de Poppe also pointed to the upcoming Bitcoin halving event scheduled for April 16, 2024, as a source of optimism for the fourth quarter of this year. The halving event will reduce the rate at which new Bitcoin is issued, increasing its scarcity and widely anticipated to boost its price. He also identified this week’s release of U.S. employment data and the purchasing managers’ index as potential drivers for Bitcoin’s price.

Van de Poppe added that the SEC’s decisions on Bitcoin exchange-traded fund applications from major players like BlackRock and Fidelity, expected to be made as early as Saturday, will influence the market.


Cardano Leads Gainers, Solana Faces Losses

Other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies displayed a mixed performance. Cardano’s ADA led the gainers, with a rise of 1.46% to US$0.2669, reflecting a weekly gain of 1.24%. Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano blockchain, made an ambitious prediction during a conference in Denver, stating that ADA could surpass Bitcoin and Ethereum to become the world’s largest cryptocurrency. ADA currently ranks as the seventh-largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalisation of US$9.36 billion.

Conversely, Solana’s SOL was among the losers, declining by 1.35% to US$20.50, resulting in a weekly loss of 3.61%. These losses occurred despite the announcement of Solana Pay’s partnership with Canada-based e-commerce platform Shopify, allowing for USDC stablecoin payments in online shopping without intermediary fees.

Benjamin Stani, director of business development at Hong Kong-based digital asset broker Matrixport, downplayed the significance of Solana’s integration with Shopify, describing it as a minor victory for the industry that would have limited market impact.


Prepare for NFT Market Volatility

Indices tracking the performance of the global NFT market continued to exhibit volatility. The primary Forkast 500 NFT index declined by 0.16% over the past 24 hours to reach 2,240.52 as of 7:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, representing a 3.25% loss for the week. Forkast’s Ethereum, Polygon, and Cardano indexes showed declines, while the Solana index recorded an increase.

The NFT industry reacted to unfavourable regulatory news from the U.S., with the SEC announcing charges against Los Angeles-based media company Impact Theory for offering and selling unregistered NFTs. These charges mark the first regulatory action against an NFT project. Impact Theory reportedly generated nearly US$30 million by selling Founder’s Keys, digital tokens, to hundreds of investors in late 2021. The company has agreed to pay US$6.1 million in fines and to destroy all Founder’s Keys it controls, although it neither admitted nor denied the charges.

Yehudah Petscher, NFT strategist for Forkast Labs, cautioned, “Prepare for a bloodbath in the NFT markets,” and expressed concern that the NFT community appeared unprepared for such regulatory actions. Petscher anticipated that the SEC would pursue charges against more NFT projects in the future, causing NFT prices to plummet as traders exit the market.

Over the past 24 hours, total NFT trading volume increased by 3.23% to US$9.94 million. Ethereum saw a decline in volume, while the other top five chains—Solana, Mythos, ImmutableX, and Polygon—experienced increases.


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