1. Market Wrap: Bitcoin Rallies Ahead of Senate Compromise
Bitcoin and ether remain well bid as U.S. senators reach a compromise on the crypto provision of the infrastructure bill.
Cryptocurrencies are in rally mode as bitcoin held above $45,000 on Monday. Buyers were active ahead of a U.S. Senate compromise on tax-reporting requirements for digital assets. Crypto-related stocks such as Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ: RIOT) and Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) moved higher in a mixed day for the overall stock market in hopes for regulatory clarity.
Ether was also well bid above $3,000 at press time and is up 21% over the past week, compared with an 18% rise in bitcoin during the same period.
Bitcoin (BTC) $46190.3, +5.91%
Ether (ETH) $3162.7, +6.51%
S&P 500: 4432.4, -0.09%
Gold: $1729.9, -1.88%
10-year Treasury yield closed at 1.318%, compared with 1.307% on Friday.
Bitcoin above 200-day moving average
Bitcoin pierced the 200-day moving average for the first time since April 2020, which preceded a broad crypto rally. “With bitcoin crossing above its 200-day, we think bitcoin will rally strongly into year-end,” Thomas Lee, managing partner of FundStrat, wrote in a Monday newsletter.
Forward returns tend to be bullish for bitcoin after a successful break of the 200-day moving average. Technical charts suggest the next resistance will be around $50,000 to $55,000.
2. Gary Gensler’s Insane Crypto Policy
Gensler wants to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps and treat the crypto industry as something to stifle rather than support.
Does cryptocurrency need new regulatory disclosure mandates from Washington, D.C., to be of service to consumers? No, but that is what Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler is seeking.
As stated in a speech on Aug. 3, Gensler indicated he wants to double down on the same tried-and-failed approach his predecessor used. From disclosure-heavy mandates to investor-protection obsession, everything he has proposed is a regulatory version of insanity — doing the same things but expecting different results.
Under the guise of technology neutrality, Gensler seeks to force the crypto industry to heel to the SEC. As he stated, “I think former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said it well when he testified in 2018: ‘To the extent that digital assets like [initial coin offerings, or ICOs] are securities — and I believe every ICO I have seen is a security — we have jurisdiction, and our federal securities laws apply.’”
Indeed, one would be hard pressed to find a crypto innovation over which he doesn’t want to exert control. Stablecoins? Check. Exchanges? Check. Decentralized finance (DeFi)? Check.
That hasn’t gone well so far.
By any account, the commission’s crypto policy has been a mess. Former Chairman Clayton seemed perpetually perplexed by such new technologies, finally appointing a crypto “Czar” — career bureaucrat Valerie Szczepanik — in 2018. A year later she and Corporation Finance Director William Hinman produced a widely panned 13-page crypto “framework.” The document was so impenetrable, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce compared it to a highly abstract Jackson Pollock painting.
3. Several Crypto Mining Stocks Up Sharply as Bitcoin Rises Above $46K
The increase also came at a time when bipartisan support emerged for excluding miners from being considered “brokers” in the U.S. infrastructure bill.
Crypto mining stocks rallied on Monday on the recent rise in bitcoin’s price, as well as on support for an amendment to the U.S. infrastructure bill that would specifically exclude miners from additional tax reporting requirements.
BIT Mining (BTCM), CleanSpark (CLSK) and Bitfarms (BITF) were all up by double-digit percentages on Monday, rising around 21%, 12%, and 11%, respectively, while Riot Blockchain (RIOT), Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA), Hive Blockchain Technologies (CVE) were also up 8%, 5% and 7%, respectively. Argo Blockchain (ARBKF), which reported earnings early on Monday, however, was down 2%.
“Mining stocks currently are levered plays on the price of bitcoin,” said Michael Del Grosso, an analyst who covers Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital Asset Holdings at Compass Point Research. “All of that is occurring while the hash rate is relatively muted … because of the Chinese miner disruption, which is still taking months to shake out.”
Bitcoin was up 6% over the last 24 hours, rising from around $43,600 to more than $46,000. The rise in mining stocks also comes at a time where bipartisan support emerged for an amendment to the U.S. infrastructure bill that would exclude miners from being considered “brokers” under the crypto tax reporting provision of the bill. The U.S. Senate, however, rejected the amendment in a vote on Monday afternoon.
4. NFTs Over DeFi: OpenSea Just Overtook Uniswap on Ethereum Usage
Since last year, Uniswap has usually commanded the top spot.
Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea topped the leaderboard in gas consumption on the Ethereum blockchain over the past 24 hours in a rare finish ahead of the decentralized finance (DeFi) exchange Uniswap.
Since last year, Uniswap — the largest decentralized exchange on Ethereum — has typically commanded the most in daily transaction fees, a key barometer for actual usage of the world’s second-largest blockchain.
The resurgence of NFTs from highs earlier this year, however, has helped put OpenSea in the top spot with over $1.9 million in gas spent on transaction fees in the past day. By comparison, a combined $1.57 million in transaction fees has been spent on Uniswap V2 and V3.
A slew of NFT projects have been launched in recent weeks, such as Pudgy Penguins, Sad Frogs District and Space Poggers. The projects host different types of auctions that allow users to mint a random NFT for a given amount of ether (ETH, +6.52%), the native currency of the Ethereum blockchain.
5. Crypto Coin Listings Exploded in 2021
Data aggregators have listed more than 2,000 new crypto assets in the first half of 2021.
In the first half of 2021 data aggregator CoinMarketCap added 2,655 new crypto assets to its database, bringing the total number of listed coins to 10,810, according to data shared with us.
For perspective, in 2018, during the peak of the initial coin offering (ICO) boom, CoinMarketCap listed its 2,000th asset on its website.
This year “saw a Cambrian explosion of new crypto assets largely as a consequence of several tailwinds,” said Aaron Khoo, head of listings at CoinMarketCap, referring to the evolutionary event that took place 541 million years ago when large numbers of new organisms seemingly burst into existence.
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August 10, 2021