Solana Labs Launching Web3 Mobile Platform and Smartphone

Key Insights:

  • Solana has developed a Web3 software suite for Android.
  • The Saga crypto phone will be launched in Q1, 2023.
  • The device will facilitate secure crypto transactions and storage.

The Solana Mobile Stack, unveiled on June 23, will enable more Web3 decentralized applications (dapps) for Android mobile platforms. Solana Mobile Stack is a software ecosystem for Android, but the firm also intends to launch its own Android smartphone called Saga.

The self-branded smartphone is a first from a crypto company. It is designed to make dealings with digital assets more secure than on regular devices, which are often hacked or exploited. According to the announcement at a keynote in New York this week, Solana Saga is a high specification, 6.67-inch Android smartphone expected to launch in the first quarter of 2023 for around $1,000.

Web3 to Mobile

Anatoly Yakovenko, the co-founder of Solana, said that developers had been blocked from creating truly decentralized mobile apps because the “gatekeeper model” doesn’t work anymore. Leading operating systems from Google and Apple remain tightly controlled by the corporations and device manufacturers.

“We live our lives on our mobile devices – except for web3 because there hasn’t been a mobile-centric approach to private key management.”

The Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) offers an open-source, secure, optimized for web3, and an easy-to-use path forward, he added.

The SMS software kit will enable the development of native Android apps built on the Solana blockchain. It includes a Mobile Wallet Adapter, which enables Solana wallets to be plugged in and integrated, and the feature will work on all mobile devices, according to the announcement.

A feature called Seed Vault will provide a custody solution to keep private keys and crypto seed phrases secure on Android devices.

Solana Pay for Android is another feature that introduces payment rails and crypto wallet capabilities. There will also be a Solana dApp Store which will work together with Google Play Store to provide a marketplace for Web2 and Web3 apps.

Solana, which has often been dubbed an ‘Ethereum killer,’ is not without its centralization concerns, however. Just a handful of validators have the power to shut down the network if they need to. Additionally, the network has been plagued with reliability issues over the past year, with at least seven full or partial outages since September, according to its uptime tracker.

SOL Price Outlook

SOL prices ticked up 11% on the day of the announcement. At the time of writing, the network native token was trading at $39.14. SOL has had a solid week, having gained around 30% over the past seven days.

However, the token is still deep in bear territory, having slumped a whopping 85% from its all-time high of $260 in early November 2021. Solana is ranked 9th in the crypto charts with a market capitalization of $13.4 billion.

Binance Launches Zero-Fee Bitcoin Trading for American Customers

Key Insights:

  • Fee-free trading is only for BTC and only for Americans.
  • Binance is trying to generate more activity on its exchange.
  • Competitors such as Coinbase may have to follow suit.

Binance.US is starting to offer zero-fee trading for Bitcoin to its American customers in an effort to kick start more activity during this brutal bear market.

Centralized exchanges generate the lion’s share of their revenue by charging trading and transaction fees. Coinbase is one of the industry’s highest fee takers, but Binance has generally been on the lower side in terms of charges.

“Since inception, we have been known for our really low fees,” Binance.US CEO Brian Shroder told Bloomberg on June 22. He added that zero-fee trading would generate “positive user sentiment” that will bring new users.

The offer is only for BTC at the moment and only for U.S. clients.

Crypto Trading Competition

The move will likely increase competition between exchanges, especially in the U.S., where Binance has big rivals such as Coinbase, FTX, and Gemini. Analysts have already suggested that Coinbase would have to trim its already industry-topping fees to keep up. Coinbase offers discounted fees for the high-rollers that trade large volumes, but the average retail trader gets hit with the highest tier.

There is also no spread with zero-fee trading on Binance.US. A spread is a slight difference in price between the actual market value of an asset and what the exchange lists it for. Shroder added, “we take no spread because we are not involved in the transaction.”

The firm also wants to generate more revenue from its newly launched staking service, from which it takes a cut of the yields.

Earlier this month, Binance.US launched cryptocurrency staking services to its clients to rival those offered by competitors Coinbase. Users would earn varying yields from staking seven crypto assets, including Binance Coin (BNB), Solana (SOL), Avalanche (AVAX), Cosmos (ATOM), The Graph (GRT), Livepeer (LPT), and Audius (AUDIO).

Binance Exchange Volumes Stable

Binance trading volume has remained relatively stable for the past few months despite the massive slump in crypto markets. The global exchange’s daily spot volume is currently at $13 billion as of June 22, according to CoinGecko.

It has peaked above $50 billion per day and fallen to around $6 billion per day, but the long-term trend in trading volume is range-bound.

FTX is the second-largest crypto exchange by daily volume with $2.2 billion per day, and Coinbase comes in third with $1.8 billion. The range-bound patterns are similar for both of these centralized crypto exchanges.

Crypto markets have taken another turn south, dropping 0.7% on the day to $944 billion in total market capitalization. They have now retreated almost 70% from peak levels in November 2021.coinbas

ADA Slumps as Cardano Team Delays Vasil Hard Fork

Key Insights:

  • Cardano has delayed its long-awaited upgrade until the end of July.
  • IOHK head Charles Hoskinson is confident things will go smoothly.
  • ADA prices have lost 23% over the past fortnight.

Earlier this week, the core Input Output Global team working on the Vasil Cardano upgrade announced that they were close to completion, but there were seven outstanding bugs.

“We have agreed NOT to send the hard fork update proposal to the testnet today to allow more time for testing,” it stated.

The previously planned date for the mainnet hard fork was June 29, but this has now been delayed a month to the last week in July.

IOHK boss Charles Hoskinson took to Twitter on June 21 to explain the announcement. He added that the upgrade is “code complete,” meaning they could “probably flip the switch” and launch it. He also explained that additional testing was added in the wake of the Terra ecosystem collapse.

Cardano Vasil for Dapp Developers

The hark fork, which involves splitting the blockchain, was highly anticipated within the Cardano community as it heralds several crucial updates.

Vasil is part of the Basho upgrade phase, which aims to introduce “diffusion pipelining,” facilitating faster block propagation and validation times. Essentially, it allows larger blocks and increased transaction throughput without changing the consensus mechanism.

This will greatly benefit dapps (decentralized applications) and NFT projects (nonfungible tokens) that have chosen Cardano to run on. Hoskinson explained that:

“This is not a hard fork for the average Cardano user. The Vasil hard fork has always been specifically for dapp developers.”

He added that he didn’t anticipate that the delay would affect the rollout of all of the dapps waiting to deploy on the network. Vasil is the largest and most significant for the Cardano ecosystem. It also introduces improvements to smart contract capabilities with a new technology called Hydra to further increase network throughput.

Cardano is a blockchain network that rivals Ethereum (ETH), offering the same technology such as smart contract and dapp support. The difference is that it has already scaled, whereas Ethereum native scaling is unlikely to happen until next year, though there are plenty of options with layer-2 networks.

ADA Prices Back Down

Cardano’s native token, ADA, has taken a hit on the hard fork delay news. ADA rose to a weekly high of $0.508 on June 21 but has since declined by almost 8% to $0.468 at the time of writing.

Furthermore, ADA has been hit hard in the crypto bear market, slumping 23% over the past fortnight. It has wiped out all gains made over the past 17 months and is trading almost 85% down from its September all-time high of $3.09.

Major upgrades often boost token prices, but with so much negative sentiment surrounding crypto markets, this may not be the case for Cardano.

ProShares to Launch First US ETF For Shorting Bitcoin

Key Insights:

  • The BITI short Bitcoin strategy ETF will go live on June 21.
  • It allows investors to speculate on the falling price of BTC.
  • There is still no sign of SEC approval of a spot-based Bitcoin fund.

ProShares, the largest provider of Bitcoin-based ETFs in the United States, has lined up another fund which it is readying for launch on June 21.

The ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BITI, provides a way for investors to profit from a decline in the price of Bitcoin (BTC). The fund has been designed to overcome the challenges of getting short exposure to the price of the world’s largest digital asset.

According to the June 20 announcement, BITI will deliver the inverse of the performance of the S&P CME Bitcoin Futures Index.

Shorting Bitcoin

Short selling is a strategy that speculates on an asset’s falling price. Bitcoin prices have fallen by 70% over the past six months, so it wouldn’t be a bad strategy in a bear market. Aside from using derivatives such as this ETF, there is no other way to short Bitcoin other than physically selling it and waiting for the price to drop before rebuying. However, institutional investors don’t like to “get their hands dirty” buying crypto directly.

ProShares CEO, Michael Sapir, said that recent times have shown how much Bitcoin prices can drop. “BITI enables investors to conveniently obtain short exposure to Bitcoin through buying an ETF in a traditional brokerage account,” he added.

The firm’s affiliated mutual funds provider, ProFund, aims to launch a similar product in mutual fund format called BITIX on June 21. Sapir added:

“With the additions of BITI and BITIX, ProShares and ProFunds will be the only fund families in the U.S. offering funds that allow investors to express their view on the direction of bitcoin—no matter whether they believe the price will go up or down,”

ProShares launched the first Bitcoin-based ETF in the United States in October 2021. The highly anticipated BITO fund generated more than $1 billion in investment in just a couple of days, becoming the most successful ETF launch in industry history.

The performance of the fund has since tanked along with the price of BTC, with a current daily volume of $143 million and $668 million in assets under management. BITO has returned -53.6% since the beginning of the year.

SEC Spot Procrastination

All the current funds available in the U.S. are based on futures contracts and are not backed by the physical asset. There is great demand for a spot-based crypto fund, but the Securities and Exchange Commission has other ideas with its repeated rejections and decision delays.

Analysts have concluded that SEC Chair Gary Gensler has an anti-Bitcoin agenda.

Earlier this year the world’s largest crypto fund manager, Grayscale, mulled a lawsuit against the regulator for its repeated rejections of a spot Bitcoin fund.

Bitcoin Miner Selloff Accelerates as Markets Fall to 18-Month Low

Key Insights:

  • Bitcoin prices fell to below $18,000 on Sunday.
  • Public BTC miners have been selling more of the asset recently.
  • The downward pressure on markets will likely continue until miner selling has been exhausted.

Cryptocurrency market capitalization plunged to an 18-month low on Sunday, June 19, falling below $850 billion. There has been a slight recovery during Monday morning’s Asian trading session by the bears still have complete control over the downtrend.

Since their peak of more than $3 trillion in November 2021, crypto markets have collapsed by 72.5%, or more than $2.2 trillion.

Bitcoin (BTC) fell to just below $18,000 late on Sunday, marking a 74% retreat from its all-time high eight months ago. The catalyst for the collapse has been public Bitcoin miners who are increasingly selling off their stashes.

Bitcoin Miner Movements

According to a report by Bitcoin technology firm NYDIG, public miners are starting to offload their Bitcoin. When miners receive a block reward they can choose whether to keep it or sell it to markets. In bull markets, miners have enough cash to cover energy and administration costs, but the opposite is the case in a bear market when they need to sell.

The report noted that public miners sold a net 4,411 BTC in May 2022, which is considerably more than the previous average of 1,115 Bitcoins per month earlier in 2022. It added that depressed prices could result in more of the asset being sold by miners.

“If prices continue to stay low, we may continue to see more bitcoin issuance circulated into the market.”

According to public filings, miners held around 46,594 BTC as of the end of May, worth around $1.5 billion at the time.

Co-founder and co-CEO of Iris Energy, Daniel Roberts, explained that Bitcoin mining is different from traditional mining. Higher-cost miners power down and exit when prices fall, but lower-cost miners earn a larger share of the block rewards, which lowers their costs.

It is likely that many newly started mining operations will close down or be acquired by some of the larger, more established ones.

Hash Rate Woes

The Bitcoin network hash rate, which refers to the computing power required to secure the network, is still around its highest level at 224 EH/s. This means that mining profitability decreases as the BTC price falls. It is currently down 83% since October at $0.075 per day per terahash per second.

Analyst Will Clemente commented:

“Lower Bitcoin price, higher hash/difficulty, and higher energy costs have put serious pressure on miners margins. Hashprice is now its lowest since October 2020.”

Last week, FXEmpire reported that miner to exchange inflows had accelerated to record levels, indicating that a broader selloff was about to occur.

Final Capitulation Fears Mount as Miners Send Record Amounts of Bitcoin to Exchanges

Key Insights:

  • Bitcoin miners sent a record 88,000 BTC to exchanges on Wednesday.
  • Mining profitability has slumped 80% since the November market peak.
  • A final capitulation could occur when miners offload these assets.

Bitcoin miners are an essential function of the network, but they also have a substantial influence over market movements. BTC prices have slumped a whopping 25% over the past seven days, and the pain may not be over yet.

On-chain metrics have revealed that Bitcoin miners have been sending more of the asset to exchanges, with a new all-time high of 88,000 BTC sent on June 15, according to CoinMetrics.

The analytics platform also noted an all-time high in dollar terms with a net $1.94 billion worth of BTC sent to exchanges yesterday.

On-chain data provider Glassnode confirmed the findings reporting that the seven-day moving average of miners to exchange flow just reached a seven-month high of 9.47 BTC.

Bearish Bitcoin Movements

When miners move large amounts of Bitcoin to centralized exchanges, it is usually a sign that they are preparing to liquidate. Exchange inflows mean BTC is being transferred to a place where it can be quickly converted into stablecoins or fiat.

Rising energy costs worldwide will also have a major impact on mining revenue, so they may be attempting to offset some of those expenses by selling the asset.

Bitcoin mining profitability has tanked to its lowest level since October 2020, according to Bitinfocharts. Since the crypto market peak in November 2021, the metric has fallen by 80%, from 0.45 USD per day per terahash per second to under USD 0.10/day per TH/s.

Consequently, mining revenue has fallen to its lowest level for a year. Daily revenue is currently around $22.5 million, down 70% from the $74.4 million they were earning in October 2021, according to Blockchain.com.

Bitcoin hash rate often referred to as the computing horsepower for the network, remains close to its all-time high, however, at 226 EH/s (exahashes per second). Mining difficulty is also near peak levels which have compounded those revenue and profitability woes.

Castle Island Ventures partner, Nic Carter, saw the bright side suggesting that it was a sign markets were near the bottom.

“Miner selling was a key catalyst I was looking for to signal the bottom, granted it’s not over, but it’s important that a lot of it apparently happened already,”

A Final Capitulation?

The concern is that this significant miner sell-off could cause a final capitulation event dumping crypto asset prices even further. BTC has regained the $22,500 price level during Thursday morning’s Asian trading session, but a big miner offload is likely to send it crashing below $20K quickly.

Bitcoin is currently 67% down from its all-time high, so there is likely to be more pain before the bears are finished since previous market cycles saw drawdowns of more than 80%.

Lido Staking Woes Continue as stETH Selloff Accelerates

Key Insights:

  • The Lido stETH token has fallen 5% from its Ethereum price peg.
  • Three Arrows Capital has been liquidating its stETH holdings.
  • The embattled Celsius platform holds more than 400,000 stETH, causing concern.

Staked Ethereum tokens from the Lido network are being liquidated to markets as it has remained below its peg for the past few days.

Lido provides a liquid staking service whereby users can stake Ethereum and receive the equivalent value in a token called stETH. This can then be deposited in other decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols to generate additional yields on top of the staking reward or be used as collateral for loans.

It has several advantages over direct Ethereum staking as there is a flexible limit, and funds can be withdrawn or redeployed. To stake ETH on the Beacon Chain (Ethereum consensus layer) directly, there is a minimum of 32 ETH (worth approximately $38,400), and it remains locked there until after the Merge.

Lido Liquidation

Lido has been wildly popular for those that don’t have the minimum amount of ETH and want more flexibility with their investments. It has 4.2 million ETH staked, about a third of the total Ethereum staked overall (12.8 million ETH).

The problem arises when the stETH token falls below the price of Ethereum, which it is supposed to be pegged to at 1:1. Ethereum is currently trading at $1,217 while stETH is at $1,156, 5% lower, and only worth 0.927 of an ETH.

Adding fuel to the fire is the current liquidation of Lido’s staking token. According to a June 14 tweet by blockchain security firm PeckShield, venture capital firm Three Arrows Capital has been offloading stETH. At least 22,830 stETH tokens were converted back into ETH recently, according to the 3AC wallet address.

On June 15, 3AC co-founder Zhu Su attempted to alleviate the concern by tweeting:

“We are in the process of communicating with relevant parties and fully committed to working this out,”

The Curve Finance DeFi platform has a liquidity pool for stETH and ETH that should be in balance. However, the de-pegging and stETH selloff has caused an imbalance in the pool. It is currently 78.4% heavy on stETH with just 21.6% in Ethereum.

Liquidity for staked Ether is shrinking, making it very difficult to conduct token swaps and collateralized loans using the Lido token.

The Celsius Concern

The Celsius fiasco has also been a cause for concern because the crypto lending platform holds a large amount of stETH. Earlier this week, Celsius sent millions of dollars worth of crypto to the FTX exchange in an attempt to shore up liquidity.

Celsius currently holds a whopping 409,260 stETH, equivalent to almost $500 million at the time of writing. If this is liquidated, the de-pegging situation will likely get far worse quickly.

On June 15, Bitcoin Magazine’s Dylan LeClair commented:

“While everyone is focused on the Celsius collateralized loan, the biggest worry for the market may just be their massive stETH position. No resolution in sight.”

Bitcoin Slices Through Key Technical Price Level, Where is the Bottom?

Key Insights:

  • Bitcoin has fallen below the 200-week moving average.
  • The technical indicator is a long-term support level for Bitcoin prices.
  • Analysts predict more pain on major macro-economic fear and uncertainty.

Bitcoin prices have fallen through a crucial support level which has served as the bottom in previous bear markets. The 200-week moving average has been a critical level of support for long-term Bitcoin price movements in previous market cycles.

BTC prices plunged through this key level in a fall to just over $21,000 during the Tuesday morning Asian trading session. The 200-week moving average was around the $22,000 price level, but this has failed to hold, with prices currently hovering around $21,883, according to Tradingview.

The move was noted by analyst and trader Josh Rager, who tweeted “help us all” on June 14.

Partner at Placeholder VC, Chris Burniske, also commented on the implications of falling through such a solid level of support:

“Structural macro flows are so against us, it likely only matters when the risk-tides turn, could be entering relatively uncharted bear territory for crypto soon here. The fight going on in markets is much bigger than us.”

Unprecedented Fear

Bitcoin has currently fallen 69% from its November all-time high, and in previous bear markets, the decline was more than 80%, so there could be more pain to come. BTC could realistically fall to around $13,000 if history rhymes with this crypto winter.

What appears to be apparent during this cycle is that it is different from previous ones. The entire planet is in economic turmoil with galloping inflation and a cost of living crisis. Very few have any money to invest in anything, and fear and doubt are at unprecedented levels.

Analyst Alex Krüger pitched in with his take, which supported the notion that there was a wider spread fear occurring:

“Realize how little this crypto dump has to do with Celsius and the stETH drama and all to do with the widespread panic in risk assets (equities and crypto alike) and broken charts.”

The “broken charts” have rendered a lot of traditional technical analysis (TA) ineffectual since the patterns and indicators have not been adhered to this time.

However, it is not just crypto getting hammered as stocks across the board are also getting smashed.

Where Lies The Bitcoin Bottom?

With the FUBAR state of TA, it has become challenging to predict the movements of crypto markets over the next few months. Nevertheless, it would be safe to say that the bears are not finished yet.

The total market cap has dumped 70% to below $1 trillion for the first time since January 2021, so the previous high of $830 billion in January 2018 does not seem that far off now.

Ethereum Collapses 24% in Weekend Rout as Staked Assets Drop Pegs

Key Insights:

  • Ethereum has fallen below its 2018 peak price.
  • Some staked ETH assets have dropped their pegs.
  • Gloomy predictions ahead for ETH prices.

Ethereum prices are still tanking during the Monday morning Asian trading session, and the asset has lost a whopping 24% since late Friday. At the time of writing, ETH was trading at $1,350, down 8% on the day as the sell-off continued.

On-chain analytics provider Glassnode reported that the Ethereum market has fallen below the ETH Realized Price of $1,781. This was on June 12 when the asset plunged to $1,453 – it has lost even more since then.

The realized price of ETH 2.0 deposits is even higher, so the weekend attack of the bears has resulted in unrealized losses of more than 40%.

ETH Staking Issues

There is a lot of concern about the ETH currently staked and locked on Beacon Chain flooding the markets after the Merge later this year. It could induce an even heavier price collapse. However, the assets will be released in stages several months after the Merge.

Market analyst Alex Krüger observed that ETH had fallen back to its previous peak price during the 2018 cycle, but it is currently below that today.

Technical indicators such as the RSI are deep into oversold territory for ETH at the moment. While there could be a minor bounce to the upside, the bear market is only deepening, meaning more pain ahead for Ethereum and all cryptocurrencies for a while.

There are also concerns over staking protocols such as Lido, which has almost a third of the total amount staked. According to industry experts, such centralization could result in an attack on the network.

Another issue is the de-pegging of staked assets. When users stake ETH on Lido, they get the equivalent stETH in return to use as collateral on other DeFi platforms. The major sell-off has resulted in a divergence in the price of ETH and its staking token, which is currently trading 4.4% below its peg, according to CoinGecko.

Ethereum Price Breakdown

Technical analysts predict a massive breakdown in Ethereum prices following the formation and confirmation of a head and shoulders pattern. The gloomy outlook puts the ETH price at around $650, according to this analyst.

A dump that low would result in a correction of almost 87% and considering the last cycle saw ETH fall by 84%, he may not be far off with that prediction.

On a brighter note, Ethereum’s long-term prospects are excellent, especially once it transitions to proof-of-stake and rolls out scaling upgrades. The supply issuance has been predicted to become deflationary, and it will still yield returns for stakers, making it a unique asset.

Bloomberg Expands Terminal Coverage to Top 50 Cryptocurrencies

Key Insights:

  • Every crypto asset in the top 50 has more than $1B market capitalization.
  • Bloomberg began tracking Bitcoin prices in 2013.
  • Institutional interest is still prevalent despite the bear market.

On June 9, Bloomberg announced the expansion of its industry-leading coverage of assets to include the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

Clients can now use the Terminal to monitor intraday pricing for an expanded selection of crypto assets, indices, and futures contracts in real-time. The Bloomberg Terminal is a subscription-based computer software system that professionals use to analyze real-time financial markets.

It began offering data on Bitcoin (BTC) prices back in 2013 when the asset was trading at around $100 before its massive surge to over $1,100 at the end of the year. In 2018 Bloomberg expanded the Terminal to cover the top ten crypto assets and now the top 50 due to increased institutional interest, according to the announcement.

Testament to Growth

Each of these digital assets now has a market capitalization of over a billion dollars, even in a bear market which is a testament to how much the crypto token industry has grown in recent years.

In late 2018, just a handful of cryptocurrencies had more than a billion dollars in market cap. At the time of writing, decentralized finance platform Aave held the number 50 spot with its native token of the same name (AAVE) with a market cap of $1.3 billion.

The Bloomberg vetting process includes assessments of institutional custody support, trading access, market capitalization, and consistency of turnover. Alex Wenham, product manager for cryptocurrencies at Bloomberg, said that their mission is to “help the global institutional investor community to seamlessly incorporate digital assets into their workflows” before adding:

“As this market develops, we will continue to evolve our data-driven offerings to help our clients define and develop their strategies in this space.”

The move comes at a time when larger financial institutions are entering the space. This week it was reported that investment firms Fidelity and Schwab will be working with hedge fund manager Citadel Securities to develop a cryptocurrency marketplace for institutional clients.

Crypto Winter Deepens

The move also comes at a time of crypto market contraction as the bears show no signs of loosening their grip on markets.

Another couple of percentage points have been lost from the total market capitalization, which has fallen to $1.28 trillion over the past 12 hours or so.

However, markets have been mainly consolidating over the past month since their giant slide in April and early May. The total market cap is currently 58.4%, down from its $3 trillion peak in November 2021.

Bitcoin has fallen 1.2% on the day, dipping below $30,000, while Ethereum (ETH) 1% sliding to $1,778 at the time of writing. Most altcoins are also in the red during the Friday morning Asian trading session.

Fidelity, Schwab Reportedly Tapping Market Makers For Crypto Trading Platform

Key Insights:

  • Fidelity and Schwab will be working with Citadel Securities on its new crypto marketplace.
  • They will not offer crypto trading directly due to U.S. regulatory uncertainty.
  • The institutional crypto marketplace is expected to launch in early 2023.

Mainstream and institutional investors may have more avenues into crypto markets as two more big names enter the fray. As reported by FXEmpire on June 8, Citadel Securities announced plans to build a cryptocurrency marketplace with several partners.

It has been reported that Charles Schwab and Fidelity will be among those working with the firm with a plan to roll out the crypto marketplace in early 2023.

Fidelity Investments provides financial planning, retirement plans, wealth management services, and trading and brokerage services. Last week it was reported that the firm plans to fill 210 new positions for its Fidelity Digital Assets division, signaling longer-term ambitions in the crypto space.

Charles Schwab (SCHW) is an American multinational financial services company, bank, and stockbroker with an electronic trading platform.

Institutional Arrival

According to Barron’s, a Schwab spokeswoman confirmed the move into the crypto sector:

“Schwab has made a minority, passive strategic investment in a new digital asset venture. We know there is significant interest in this cryptocurrency space, and we will look to invest in firms and technologies working to offer access with a strong regulatory focus and in a secure environment.”

A spokeswoman for Fidelity added, “Fidelity supports efforts that further efficiency in the digital assets marketplace and provide more optionality to source liquidity for investors,”

The move could be a big step towards onboarding more institutional and longer-term investors. The current options are limited to crypto exchanges which require some technical knowledge to use, and platforms such as PayPal (PYPL), which recently enabled crypto withdrawals, or Robinhood (HOOD)

It could be that these major institutional players are viewing the current bear market as a buying opportunity. Crypto markets have gone through several boom-bust cycles such as this one over the past decade.

However, Schwab did state that it had no plans to offer direct crypto trading due to the regulatory uncertainty in the United States. The spokeswoman continued:

“We recognize that there is considerable interest in cryptocurrencies, particularly in certain segments of the market, and will consider introducing direct access to cryptocurrencies when there is further regulatory clarity,”

Fidelity does not offer direct crypto trading yet, either. Its clients can get exposure to digital assets through thematic exchange-traded funds. It also announced plans to provide access to Bitcoin (BTC) in its 401(k) plans, a move that has drawn scrutiny from U.S. policymakers.

Crypto Winter Deepens

Crypto markets are back in the red again today, printing a 2% decline in total market capitalization over the past 24 hours. The figure currently stands at $1.29 trillion, down 58% from its peak of just over $3 trillion in November.

Crypto traders and analysts believe that there is more pain to come as the crypto winter deepens. Previous bear cycles have had a ‘capitulation wick,’ or massive final sell-off where the last of the weak hands are flushed out.

PayPal Finally Allows Users to Move Their Crypto Off Platform

Key Insights:

  • After nearly two years, U.S. PayPal users can move their cryptocurrencies to external wallets.
  • The payments provider wants to remain competitive in the crypto sector.
  • PYPL stock is up marginally but has lost 55% since the beginning of 2022.

Payments giant PayPal enabled crypto trading and holding for select users in October 2020. However, it restricted what they could do with those tokens by preventing them from leaving the platform.

On June 7, the company announced that it would finally allow users to transfer their crypto assets to external wallets.

However, as with crypto trading, the freedom of token movement is only available to select customers in the United States, according to the California-based company.

PayPal (PYPL) acknowledged that users had been requesting this feature since it enabled crypto access nearly two years ago.

Remaining Competitive

SVP and general manager of blockchain, crypto, and digital currencies at PayPal, Jose Fernandez da Ponte, told TechCrunch:

“This feature was the most demanded from our users since we began offering the purchase of crypto on our platform,”

Users can now move their Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), or other supported cryptocurrencies into exchange wallets or hardware devices. There will be network fees to pay, and PayPal will take its cut of transfers out of its ecosystem.

“If users have crypto somewhere else and want to consolidate, they can bring it to PayPal from external addresses,” Fernandez da Ponte added before confirming that “they can also send crypto to anyone who is in the PayPal system.”

The move was unavoidable if the company wanted to remain competitive in the crypto industry. Fernandez da Ponte confirmed PayPal’s ambitions in the sector, stating:

“We see ourselves as a conduit between the fiat, or traditional finance, environment and the web3 environment. We are enabling connectivity to other wallets, exchanges, and applications.”

He added that people are still adopting crypto despite the current market conditions. “This move shows we’re in this for the long term,” he said before confirming that PayPal would continue to invest in the space and “stay the course.”

U.S. PayPal users must comply with additional KYC (know-your-customer) procedures if they want to transfer crypto assets.

The move was catalyzed by the transition from a “conditional” to a “full” BitLicense following approval from the New York Department of Financial Services.

PayPal Stock Boosted

PayPal stock saw a marginal 2.5% gain on the day on June 7 to change hands for $88.31 in after-hours trading.

However, like most tech stocks, it has been hammered recently, dropping more than 55% since the beginning of the year. PYPL is down more than 70% since its all-time high of just over $300 in mid-2021.

Citadel Securities Building Cryptocurrency Trading Marketplace

Key Insights:

  • The firm is working with Virtu Financial to build its crypto platform.
  • It aims to create more efficient access to crypto liquidity for institutional investors.
  • CEO Ken Griffin has reversed his pessimistic outlook on the asset class.

The American market-making firm founded by billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin is building a cryptocurrency trading platform in collaboration with high-frequency trading firm Virtu Financial.

Citadel Securities is the sister company to hedge fund giant Citadel. It is also working with crypto venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Paradigm, according to reports citing unnamed sources on June 8. Sequoia and Paradigm participated in Citadel Securities’ $1.15 billion funding round earlier this year.

The new “cryptocurrency trading ecosystem” will be designed to create more efficient access to crypto asset liquidity for institutional traders. The firm appears to be unfazed by the deepening bear market in the crypto sector, which has seen total market capitalization decline by almost 60% since November 2021.

No Fear of The Bears

There has been remarkable interest in the asset class from financial institutions during the last bull market. They usually plan for longer-term returns, so are unlikely to be deterred by the current crypto market conditions, which have happened several times before. If anything, bear markets allow for more significant opportunities for profits if investing in assets at depressed prices.

According to the source, who spoke to Coindesk, the Citadel consortium will be joined by additional wealth managers, market makers, and industry leaders expected to be part of the platform ahead of launch. They did not specify a timeframe for the launch, however.

The source added that the current crypto market structure is “deficient and inhibits wider adoption from a lot of investors” before continuing to explain:

“It’s more of a crypto trading ecosystem or marketplace than an exchange. It’s going to take on the exchanges by building a better mousetrap.”

The firm has also been hiring executives to build out the crypto stack on the quiet.

Virtu Financial is a market maker for crypto derivatives products and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Canada. According to reports, it also works closely with the Coinbase and Gemini exchanges.

Billionaire U-turns on Crypto

Griffin compared Bitcoin to Tulip Bulb mania in 2017 when the asset was trading at around $10,000. However, the billionaire has made a U-turn on his stance towards crypto assets, recently telling Bloomberg in March that he made the wrong call by being a naysayer. At the time, he stated:

“Crypto has been one of the great, great stories in finance over the course of roughly the last 15 years and, I’ll be clear, I’ve been in the naysayer camp over that 15-year period,”

In November 2021, Griffin touted the properties of Ethereum (ETH), postulating that assets based on the network would eventually replace Bitcoin (BTC) due to higher transaction speeds, lower costs, and a much lower environmental impact.

Gemini Exchange Sued by Retirement Investment Firm Over $36M Hack

Key Insights:

  • IRA Financial holds Gemini responsible for a $36 million hack of its client accounts in February.
  • The suit claims that there was a ‘fatal flaw’ in Gemini’s API.
  • Gemini refutes the allegations claiming that it acted to mitigate losses.

The Winklevoss twins’ fully regulated Gemini exchange is the latest to land in hot water this week. On June 6, retirement investment company IRA Financial filed a lawsuit against Gemini Trust Company for failing to protect its clients following a hack earlier this year.

On February 8, hackers began siphoning IRA clients’ accounts, withdrawing Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and U.S. dollars, stealing as much as $36 million before the attack was spotted. IRA Financial was using Gemini’s architecture to secure clients’ crypto accounts.

According to Gemini, IRA was responsible for the losses as the transfers were made “by utilizing properly authenticated accounts” controlled by IRA that “complied with IRA’s approval processes and appeared to Gemini to be legitimate.”

However, the financial investment firm begs to differ and stated in the suit:

“In reality, Gemini’s greedy focus on lining its owners’ pockets at the expense of security caused tens of millions of dollars in damages to customers and to IRA.”

Master Key Fatal Flaw

The suit alleges that IRA changed from Gemini’s online platform to its API (Application Programming Interface) to streamline the account opening process.

It also claims that the API had a “fatal flaw” and a “single point of failure,” which if exploited, allowed a bad actor to “steal all crypto assets held by the customers of an institutional customer, like IRA.” The alleged flaw granted access to a “master key” that could access all sub-accounts to IRA’s master Gemini account. Gemini never informed IRA about this master key, the suit claims.

Eric Ostroff, attorney for the investment firm, said that “Gemini’s platform inexplicably had a single point of failure that allowed criminals to steal tens of millions of dollars of crypto assets from customer retirement accounts.”

Communications lead at Gemini, Natalie Rix, disputed the allegations stating that “as soon as IRA Financial notified us of their security incident, we acted quickly to mitigate the loss of funds from their accounts.”

The blame game has been going on for months while the theft victims have yet to see any sign of compensation.

Gemini has been downsizing recently as the bear market bites deeper. Last week the firm announced it was slashing 10% of its workforce in light of the coming crypto winter.

A Bad Day For Binance

Gemini is not the only crypto exchange getting into hot water this week. The world’s largest exchange, Binance, has come under the spotlight of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over its BNB token.

The SEC, which assumes all cryptocurrencies as securities, claims that Binance held an unregistered token sale of BNB in 2017. It appears to be a similar move that the regulator has taken against Ripple over its XRP sale.

In reality, crypto assets have yet to be officially defined and classified in the United States.

Kim Dotcom Predicts ‘Great Economic Reset’, Is Crypto a Solution?

Key Insights:

  • Failing U.S. central bank monetary policy could cause economic collapse.
  • The USD is the world’s reserve but Fed printing has caused dollar devaluation and higher inflation.
  • Crypto assets could be the answer, but there are also a number of risks.

On June 6, the 48-year-old German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur and political activist took to Twitter with his predictions of economic collapse.

The premise is based on the fact that the U.S. has massive national debts (currently $30 trillion), and the Federal Reserve prints more money to pay for things. This causes higher inflation (8.3% at the moment) and devalues the underlying currency, also the world reserve currency.

Biggest Theft in History?

That world currency status is what has exacerbated the issue for so long.

“Nations everywhere hold USD as a secure asset. So when the US Govt prints trillions it’s robbing Americans and the entire world. The biggest theft in history.”

He stated that this has been happening for decades, and there is no way to fix it before adding “mass poverty and a new system of control” is coming. More examples of asset values and debt liabilities were provided, implying that the entire economy was a house of cards. Dotcom then asks the question of what comes next:

“You may have heard about the ‘great reset’ or the ‘new world order’. Is it a controlled demolition of the global markets, economies and the world as we know it?”

Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, is the founder and former CEO of the now-defunct file hosting service Megaupload. He was charged with criminal copyright infringement and money laundering, among other things, by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012.

The Crypto Pros and Cons

Many responses to the post, which was retweeted 3,600 times in just a few hours, suggested that Bitcoin and crypto could be the solution.

There are arguments for and against crypto being a savior of economic collapse. On the pro-crypto side is the biggest argument of all – decentralization. Governments and central banks cannot control Bitcoin (BTC), its supply, or its fluctuating values. This makes it a vital part of a portfolio otherwise comprised of fiat-backed assets or stocks heavily controlled by nation-states.

No country has a leash on crypto, making it perfect for cross-border transfers. It has also become the choice of a younger generation with little trust for boomer bankers and policymakers, who have essentially made them poorer over the past decade.

There are some counter crypto arguments, however. In an epic global economic collapse scenario, crypto still requires electricity, the internet, and wallet infrastructure to operate. A government or state still has to be in control of this.

Volatility is also a massive downside as most digital assets are too volatile to be used as a daily currency. This will only level out once mass adoption occurs, which could be several years away. The industry is also plagued with scams and exploits, which also add elements of risk to using crypto as a global currency.

There is no doubting that the U.S. and global economy are in dire straits following years of failed monetary policy, an unprecedented pandemic, and now a war. The house of cards could come tumbling down soon, but it remains to be seen if crypto will shine through as the financial liberator.

Crypto Miner Revenue Slumps as Energy Usage Draws White House Scrutiny

Key Insights:

  • U.S. lawmakers are preparing new policy recommendations for crypto miners.
  • Mining revenue and profitability have tanked to yearly lows.
  • Crypto markets are down 30% over the past 30 days.

The crypto winter is starting to bite deeper, not just for digital asset investors. Crypto and Bitcoin miners are also suffering due to declining profitability as the White House wolves continue to circle.

The Biden administration is preparing new policy recommendations to decrease the energy consumption and carbon footprint of the crypto mining industry, according to Bloomberg. It is the first major foray into a sector that is poorly understood by U.S. policymakers, many of which would be happy to see it quashed in its entirety.

The crypto mining sector is a grey area for politicians who like to hold it accountable for the climate crisis, among other things. The principal assistant director for energy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Costa Samaras, commented:

“It’s important, if this is going to be part of our financial system in any meaningful way, that it’s developed responsibly and minimizes total emissions. When we think about digital assets, it has to be a climate and energy conversation,”

While the annual BTC mining energy consumption is more than that of the Netherlands, according to Cambridge University, the vast majority of mining operations in the U.S. uses renewable sources. By comparison, the global Bitcoin mining sector consumes about the same amount of energy annually as all of the lighting and televisions in the U.S. alone.

Mining Revenue Plunges

Ill-informed lawmakers are not the only thing crypto mining operators have to be worried about. The lengthening downtrend in markers has caused revenues and profitability to crash to their lowest levels in a year.

Bitcoin mining revenue tanked more than 25% in May to a low of $900 million, according to on-chain data. Blockchain.com reported that it fell from around $40 million per day at the beginning of the month to below $30 million by the end of May. Daily mining revenue slumped to an eleven-month low of $22 million on May 24, and on June 2, it was measured at $24 million.

Mining profitability, which measures the dollar income per day per terahash per second, has also plummeted to its lowest levels in 19 months, according to Bitinfocharts. Currently, Bitcoin miners can expect to earn just $0.128 USD per day per TH/s, a figure that is down more than 70% since November 2021.

Crypto miners usually sell off some of their holdings and power down their rigs during bear markets, which could cause further downside pressure on markets.

Crypto Winter Deepens

Crypto markets are up marginally on the day, but the downtrend is strongly bearish. Total market capitalization has climbed 1.7% to $1.31 trillion. However, it is down more than 30% or $600 billion over the past month.

Bear markets are usually long, drawn-out affairs lasting more than a year, so there could be much more pain ahead for crypto assets.

 

Insurers Slowly Warming to Crypto According to Goldman Sachs

Key Insights:

  • 11% of U.S. insurers are currently invested in or considering cryptocurrencies.
  • Crypto ranked fifth behind private equity, commodities, emerging market equities, and real estate equity.
  • Insurers are still very cautious about this volatile asset class.

In its annual recently released insurance survey, Goldman Sachs (GS) polled 328 Chief Investment Officers (CIOs) and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), including cryptocurrency-related questions for the first time. The participants represented more than $13 trillion in global balance sheet assets, around half of the global insurance industry.

One of the key findings was that insurers now see rising inflation as one of the most significant threats to their portfolios. The bank reported around 6% of those surveyed were already invested in crypto assets or considering doing so. Geographically, American insurers are slightly more interested, with 11% currently invested or considering cryptocurrencies, compared to Asian insurers at 6% and just 1% of those in Europe.

While these figures sound underwhelming, they represent an increase in interest in the crypto sector from executives in the insurance business. Around 20 CIOs responded positively to digital asset investments, which is surprising considering the current market carnage.

Institutional Interest Increasing

One significant difference between this bear market cycle and previous ones is that there has been a much greater institutional interest in the asset class, whereas previously, there was virtually none.

Major corporations such as Tesla, MicroStrategy, and Square bought and held on to Bitcoin (BTC) despite some of them being underwater on those holdings. This suggests conviction for the longer term and confidence that markets will rebound.

Insurers ranked crypto assets as the fifth asset class expected to deliver the highest returns over the next 12 months. They followed private equity, commodities, emerging market equities, and real estate equity. However, cryptocurrencies were ranked above middle-market corporate loans and infrastructure equities.

Goldman’s global head of insurance asset management and liquidity, Mike Siegel, commented:

“If this becomes a transactable currency, they want to have the ability down the road to denominate policies in crypto. And also accept premium in crypto, just like they do in, say, dollars or yen or sterling or euro.”

Mathew McDermott, Goldman’s global head of digital assets, added that he has been “positively surprised by the rising adoption by global Asset Managers, who clearly recognize the potential of this market.”

For the handful of U.S. insurers that do dabble in cryptocurrencies, they seem to prefer non-direct exposure investments such as funds offered by Grayscale, according to S&P research last year.

Crypto: Highly Volatile

Goldman Sachs has also warmed to digital assets, with recent reports suggesting a deal with the FTX crypto exchange to onboard derivatives products could be on the cards.

Cautious entry into a highly volatile asset class is expected, however. Crypto markets have resumed their downward march today, dropping 5.8% of total market capitalization over the past 24 hours. The figure currently stands at $1.29 trillion, slumping 58% from its peak level in November.

FTX U.S. Seeking Derivatives Brokerage License in Goldman Sachs Tie-up

Key Insights:

  • FTX wants to become a “futures commission merchant” to handle derivatives in-house.
  • Goldman is considering integrating some of the crypto exchange’s products.
  • U.S. regulators are highly skeptical about the deal and anything crypto-related.

Goldman Sachs is in talks with the U.S. branch of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange to onboard some of its derivatives products.

Citing a ‘person familiar with the matter’ on June 1, Barron’s reported that FTX is seeking a license modification from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The upgraded license will allow the exchange to act as an intermediary for leveraged derivatives trading, it added.

The exchange will handle the collateral and margin requirements internally when borrowed money is used for trading. Currently, brokerages acting as “futures commission merchants” (FCMs) fulfill this role.

FCM Ambitions

Derivatives are financial contracts between two or more parties deriving their value from an underlying asset, cryptocurrency, in the case of FTX (FTT). They can consist of futures, options, forwards, and swaps.

Goldman (GS) is one of the FCMs in talks with FTX as they are warming to what the exchange offers, according to FTX US president Brett Harrison, who told the outlet:

“We have multiple FCMs already committed to integrating technologically with the exchange. There are several large ones you can probably name.”

Goldman’s integration with FTX could introduce several additional services, another person familiar with the matter said. These could include “trading futures directly, introducing clients and acting as an on-ramp to the exchange, or providing capital top-ups for clients,” they added.

There could be regulatory pushback, however. Major U.S. financial regulators, the CFTC and the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) are very skeptical of digital assets and any exchanges that deal with them.

The CFTC has previously said that FTX’s ambitions to become a FCM warrant scrutiny. The firm’s proposal to integrate derivatives trading in-house threatens a market dominated by large investment banks such as Goldman.

Market Volatility Concerns

The Futures Industry Association, which represents derivatives brokerages, said the FTX proposal could “exacerbate financial instability in a time of heightened market volatility.”

Highly leveraged traders have been blamed for the huge price swings and volatility in crypto markets. Significant events can cause a cascade of leveraged trades being liquidated, which dumps the underlying asset’s price very quickly.

FTX argues that the proposed integrated derivatives model would improve market stability. It holds customer collateral, calculates margin requirements every 30 seconds, and automatically liquidates positions rather than waiting overnight.

It claims that the system has been “battle-tested” on its international exchange, which has much higher volumes and liquidity than the U.S. version.

FTX.US currently has around $200 million in daily spot trade volume, whereas the international exchange has closer to $2 billion according to CoinGecko.

Harrison believes that the FTX model would free up capital for brokerages acting as FCMs, leading to more significant revenues.

Ethereum Layer-two Network Optimism Initiates Token Airdrop

Key Insights:

  • OP tokens were made available to 248,699 eligible addresses.
  • The claims interface was overwhelmed and had to be temporarily suspended.
  • OP token prices are up 20% since they launched a few hours ago.

On June 1, Optimism’s OP token went live, rewarding early adopters of the platform with a claimable airdrop. OP tokens were sent to almost 249,000 eligible wallets though many users failed to get their free swag.

Optimism originally announced plans to launch a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and airdrop its OP token in April. Since then, hoards of “airdrop hunters” have created dubious wallets in the hope of being eligible for the token handout. For this reason, Optimism opted for a phased airdrop campaign.

The first wave, or “Airdrop #1,” was only available to a select few, however. These included early Optimism users, DAO voters, multi-signature signers, Gitcoin donors, and active users of decentralized apps on Ethereum critical to ecosystem growth.

Not Smooth Sailing

As expected, demand was overwhelming, and the team described it as a “turbulent launch,” which it managed to stabilize after more than “five hours of non-stop work.”

Once the smart contract was opened for claims, there was no way to stop it. “Our biggest mistake here was failing to make this contract pausable,” the team added. The claims user interface (UI) was overwhelmed and was shut down, resulting in users creating their own sharing links. The team stated:

“We became concerned that scammers might use custom UIs to phish funds from Optimism users and made the decision to (quietly) re-deploy the primary UI.”

As a result of the overloaded UI, many of those eligible could not claim their airdrops. Optimism is planning “Airdrop #2,” where it hopes it can alleviate some of these problems from lessons learned in the first attempt.

Optimism is a layer-two Ethereum scaling solutions provider that uses optimistic rollup technology, which alters the consensus principle by assuming data submitted to the chain is correct and allowing a challenge period. This speeds up transactions and lowers their cost on layer-one Ethereum (ETH).

The Optimism DAO initiative called the “Optimism Collective” is split into two components focused on public goods, software upgrades, and protocol incentive structures.

The next major airdrop is likely to come from the popular Ethereum wallet MetaMask which has already confirmed that a token is in the pipeline. However, if there were problems with Optimism’s handful of eligible recipients, MetaMask will need to up its game to airdrop new tokens to a potential user base of around 30 million.

OP Price Outlook

The Optimism OP token began life around 5 hours ago, priced at $1.43 when it launched. It quickly surged to $2.10 but has retreated to $1.74 at the time of writing, according to CoinGecko.

A circulating supply of 463 million tokens gives OP a market capitalization of just under $800 million.

Ethereum Merge Testing Enters Final Phase, Price Pumps 6%

Key Insights:

  • A new Beacon Chain has been launched on the Ropsten testnet.
  • The final testnet Merge will occur on June 8, with the mainnet Merging in August.
  • Ethereum prices have reached $2,000 again for the first time in a week.

On May 31, lead Ethereum developer Tim Beiko announced that the network’s longest-lived testnet is moving to proof-of-stake

A new Beacon Chain was launched on the Ropsten testing network, and the Merge will occur around June 8, he added. Ropsten is the closest development network to the real Ethereum mainnet, so it provides the most accurate testing environment for any new upgrades, especially one as significant as this.

After the Ropsten transition, the Goerli and Sepolia testnets will be transitioned to proof-of-stake before focus shifts to mainnet. The mainnet deployment is likely to occur in August, according to developers.

Why The Merge is a Big Deal

The Merge is Ethereum’s most highly anticipated upgrade since inception. It involves docking the current Ethereum proof-of-work blockchain with the new Ethereum Consensus Layer (formerly known as ETH 2.0) proof-of-stake chain, which will take over as the primary consensus mechanism, ending the energy-intensive mining process.

This will reduce network energy consumption by more than 99% since power-hungry mining rigs are no longer necessary to validate blocks. Consensus will be achieved by staking the asset (ETH) into a smart contract instead. With all the negativity surrounding the energy consumption of Bitcoin (BTC) and proof-of-work cryptocurrencies, this will be good news for Ethereum.

Contrary to many reports, the Merge will not significantly reduce network fees which are paid in gas. This will only occur when further scaling upgrades are implemented on the network. However, these upgrades are not expected until 2023, so for now, layer-one Ethereum will remain costly to use when under heavy loads, but there are plenty of layer-two options.

At the time of writing, there was 13.3 million ETH staked on the Beacon Chain, according to the Launchpad dashboard. This is equivalent to around 11% of the entire supply and is worth around $26.5 billion at current prices.

There have also been conflicting reports about all of this collateral being sold to markets when the Merge takes place, and it is freed up from the staking smart contract. However, the ETH will be released in tranches several months after the Merge, so there will be no mass liquidation event.

ETH Prices Up 6%

Ethereum prices have gained 6.2% on the day, briefly topping $2,000 during the Tuesday morning Asian trading session. ETH is currently trading at $1,991, which has wiped out the past weeks’ losses.

However, Ethereum has lost 27% over the past month and is trading down almost 60% from its November all-time high.

Crypto markets in general have gained 5.8% on the day as total market capitalization reaches $1.37 trillion. Nevertheless, the bears are still in complete control of the longer-term trend, and there is likely to be more pain before any significant turnaround.