1. Market Wrap: Bitcoin Declines as Indicator Shows Rally Could Lose Steam
Comments from J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon contributed to a sour mood across crypto markets.
Bitcoin’s price dipped below $57,000 on Tuesday as analysts said the extreme buying in the market could mean the rally may soon be running out of steam.
They pointed to the bitcoin Fear & Greed Index, which entered “extreme greed” territory last week and is at the highest level since early September, which preceded a sharp sell-off in bitcoin.
Comments from J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon at a conference on Monday contributed to a sour mood across crypto markets. Dimon stated that governments will regulate bitcoin, which he personally thinks is “worthless.”
On the regulatory front, “China’s domestic energy and power crunch has led to increased scrutiny of mining projects in various regions, such as the seizure of idle mining machines in inner Mongolia,” WuBlockchain wrote in a Monday newsletter.
Some analysts consider the recent rally in crypto prices is being driven by continued speculation the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will finally approve a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), although others are skeptical an approval will have a beneficial effect on bitcoin’s price.
Bitcoin (BTC): $55,336, -3.7%
Ether (ETH): $3,466, -1.5%
S&P 500: -0.2%
Gold: $1,761, +0.4%
10-year Treasury yield closed at 1.566%
“The market is over-emphasizing (SEC Chairman) Gary Gensler’s public comments about support for the [Chicago Mercantile Exchange] and futures,” Jeff Dorman, chief investment officer at Arca, a digital asset management firm told. “We believe the concerns the SEC has raised historically regarding market manipulation of bitcoin and unregulated exchanges have not been solved.”
Still, some analysts remain optimistic, pointing to improving blockchain data and bitcoin’s rising price trend.
Transaction activity on the rise
Increasing transaction activity on the Bitcoin blockchain could point to fresh buying demand this quarter, according to data compiled by Glassnode.
“Active entities, the count of individual participants on-chain each day, has grown 19% to this week, reaching around 291K active entities per day,” Glassnode wrote in a blog post. “More active market participants have historically correlated with growing interest in the asset during early stage bull markets.”
2. Global Finance Watchdog Says $133B Stablecoin Sector Remains Niche
The Financial Stability Board, a G20 entity that provides recommendations for the global financial system, found stablecoins are not being used at any significant scale for payments at present.
A Financial Stability Board (FSB) stocktake has found that stablecoins, or cryptocurrencies pegged to real-world assets, are currently not being used at a significant scale for mainstream payments.
The finding was mentioned in an FSB roadmap and progress report for enhancing cross-border payments on Wednesday. The FSB published its first targets for improving cross-border payments in October last year. Wednesday’s progress report acknowledged that the market capitalization of existing stablecoins has continued to grow in the last two years, and that stablecoins could contribute to facilitating better cross-border payments.
The FSB is a Bank for International Settlements-funded entity that provides input into the global financial system. It is currently chaired by Federal Reserve Vice Chair Randal Quarles.
Overall, stablecoin issuers have minted more than $133 billion worth of tokens, according to CoinGecko.
“From a policy perspective, there is value in assessing whether and how the use of well-designed global [stablecoins] could enhance cross-border payments. An action to that extent has been added,” the report said.
Large players in cross-border payments, like MoneyGram, are already looking to use private stablecoins like USDC in speeding up cross-border transactions, and regulators are getting nervous.
The FSB roadmap is only the latest institutional document to consider the role of private stablecoins in cross-border transactions, and how they should be regulated: last week, the BIS published guidance on how international payments laws could be applied to stablecoins.
Meanwhile, global financial institutions are encouraging central banks to explore CBDCs. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) said central banks must consider the cross-border implications of CBDCs. Last month, Benoit Cœuré, the head of BIS Innovation Hub, signaled central banks should speed up work on CBDCs in light of stablecoins.
“CBDCs will take years to be rolled out, while stablecoins and crypto assets are already here. This makes it even more urgent to start,” said Cœuré.
3. Binance to Delist Chinese Yuan Trading from C2C Platform
The crypto exchange will also run “inventory” to make sure none of its users are from mainland China.
Crypto exchange Binance announced it will delist the Chinese Yuan from its consumer-to-consumer trading platform, according to a Wednesday press release.
The exchange will also run inventory on its users to ensure none are located in mainland China. Chinese users will have their accounts switched to “withdrawal only” so that they can close their positions. These users will be notified by email seven days before their account is closed.
A Sept. 24 announcement from China’s top financial and tech regulators declared all crypto-related transactions illegal, and kickstarted a renewed crackdown on crypto in the country.
Dozens of exchanges, wallets, and other crypto firms have shut down or will be retiring China-based user accounts in response. Notably, Huobi announced it will be gradually expelling all Chinese users.
The day after the Sept. 24 policy update, Binance stopped accepting Chinese phone numbers for registration, Bloomberg reported. On Sept. 26, it told Chinese media that it does not have any crypto exchange business in China.
4. Bitcoin Takes a Breather, Could Find Support at $50K-$52K
Upside momentum is slowing, although pullbacks could be limited into Asian trading hours.
Bitcoin (BTC) buyers are exiting positions as overbought signals appear on the charts. Resistance is seen at around $58,000-$60,000, the level that preceded a price drop in May. This time, however, pullbacks could be limited toward the $50,00-$52,000 support zone.
BTC was trading at around $55,600 at press time and is down 3% over the past 24 hours.
The relative strength index (RSI) on the four-hour chart is declining from overbought levels last week, which suggests the current pullback could extend into Asian trading hours.
The RSI is also overbought on the daily chart similar to early September before a price correction occurred.
For now, immediate support is seen at the 50-period moving average on the four-hour chart, which is at $54,000. Short-term volatility could remain elevated as indicators show a stalemate between buyers and sellers.
5. Coinbase Has Received the Third-Most Complaints Among Digital Wallet Firms
A report by a prominent consumer advocacy group reviewed complaints filed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over a four-year period.
Coinbase’s digital wallet has received the third-most complaints among companies operating such wallets over the past four years.
Coinbase received 755 complaints from 2017 through April 2021, according to the Massachusetts Student Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG), the consumer research and consumer advocacy group that reviewed complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB first began receiving complaints about digital wallets in 2017.
Complaints against Coinbase and other cryptocurrency exchanges have been rising steadily. Coinbase received the most complaints among the top crypto exchanges in the U.S., with 1,060 overall over a year-long period starting in May 2020, including those about its digital wallet and domestic and international money transfers. The rise in complaints has dovetailed with Coinbase’s rapid growth. The company now has over 68 million verified users.
Coinbase did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services cited the MASSPIRG report in a memorandum for an Oct. 14 hearing on the impact of the cashless economy on underserved communities.
The MASSPIRG report found that the three most common complaints against firms with digital wallets concerned opening, closing or otherwise managing accounts; frauds and scams; and executing transactions, including unauthorized transactions.
Payment service providers PayPal and Square had the most complaints, receiving 4,431 and 1,202 complaints, respectively. PNC Bank and JPMorgan Chase came in fourth and fifth place with 594 and 324 complaints, respectively.
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October 13, 2021