RekTimes Weekly Markets
25 June 2022: Over the past week, Bitcoin dropped below the 2017 market peak — dipping as low as $17,600 over the holiday weekend — but has since bounced up 19% to $21,000 as of time of writing. Many have speculated that dropping below the high of the previous bubble would spell disaster for the crypto markets at large as this has never happened before.
This drop sparked FTX and founder Sam Bankman-Fried to act as the JPMorgan of crypto, bailing out crypto companies such as BlockFi and Voyager in an attempt to curb contagion. The BlockFi bailout is reported to be $250MM.
Despite the relative ‘soft-landing’ of the crypto & equity markets, major corporations & institutions are still gearing up for what is expected to be another recession. Inflation is at extraordinary levels & the US Federal reserve has made no indications it will be slowing down its rate hikes.
Key Takeaway — Markets are in uncharted waters
In the Know — Around the Cryptoeconomy
There were numerous announcements over the past week, most of which were made during NFT.NYC — a global NFT conference that took place in New York City between June 20–23.
Some of the biggest announcements & news stories to break this week are listed below:
One of the announcements to come out of NFT NYC was Solana Mobile( known as Saga). It’s exactly what it sounds like; an android mobile phone running the Solana network built for crypto. Critics were quick to make jokes about the phone’s service dropping whenever the Solana network is down as has happened repeatedly since its inception. The phone is expected to launch early 2023.
KnownOrigin, a Manchester UK based NFT marketplace was acquired by eBay for an unknown price, proving that crypto and NFTs are here to stay.The appears to be Ebay & CEO Jamie Lannone’s attempt to disrupt the NFT market & put pressure on OpenSea’s market share.
Uniswap (UNI) also made a move of their own by acquiring NFT data aggregator Genie. With these moves, it helps to further legitimize the NFT market as a whole.
Circle announced plans to launch a euro-backed stable coin called Eurocoin, in addition to its US dollar backed stable coin known as USDC. This news comes as Tether, the largest stable coin by market cap, looks to be on the cusp of getting flipped by USDC. Circle is a start-up backed in part by Goldman Sachs and partnered with Coinbase.
This could mean that stable coins backed by provable reserves are the next step in legitimizing crypto in the eyes of governments. Dollar backed stable coins such as USDC allow global commerce to remain to be denominated in dollars while the Federal Reserve figures out how to implement a CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) of its own.
Vitalik Buterin, founder of ethereum, tweeted out an attack on the infamous PlanB stock-to-flow price model for bitcoin, claiming when “financial models that give people a false sense of certainty and predestination that number-will-go-up are harmful and deserve all the mockery they get.”
This comes on the heels of the ETH Merge getting postponed yet again. When markets are down the crypto space becomes cannibalistic . The new rough date for the ETH Merge is sometime in September of this year.
Admix & LandVault Merge
In a major move that kick-started NFT.NYC, Admix CEO Sam Huber announced that his web2 giant would be merging with the world’s largest metaverse builder in LandVault. LandVault would become the primary name for the two companies.
This is a major move for the metaverse market as LandVault is the largest builder in all of the leading platforms, including that of Decentraland & The Sandbox. LandVault (formerly Admix) now has a $300MM valuation.
Crypto Exchanges & CeFi
Coinbase vs. Binance.US
Coinbase announced plans to end its advanced platform called Coinbase Pro sometime in 2022. Critics are quick to say this shows cracks in Coinbase’s ability to weather the crypto-winter, but Coinbase President and COO Emilie Choi tweeted out clarity on the issue.
According to Emilie, this move is a doubling down on the pro user experience by allowing advanced features on the main exchange. The reduced pricing on the Pro platform will remain as well. All accounts will merge into the Coinbase main account interface. This news comes after Binance.US announced it will remove commissions/fees for spot bitcoin trades.
Will this cause a domino effect of exchanges removing fees for bitcoin trades much like Robinhood’s trading platform caused Schwab, TD Ameritrade and the like to remove their commissions not too long ago? Time will tell.
In dealing with the aftermath of Celsius, Ben Armstrong, known as BitBoy-Crypto, tweeted plans to launch a class action lawsuit against Celsius. It looks like he plans to have two suits simultaneously, one focusing on large accounts with over $1 million of value and a second for account values under the $1 million threshold.
Ben has the largest crypto YouTube channel in existence. Presumably if he is tweeting about a lawsuit against Celsius it means two things: one, Ben got rekt, and two, he told millions of his followers to use the Celsius platform during this past bubble.
CoinFLEX exchange also announced a freeze on withdrawals from the platform claiming “extreme market conditions”. They then go on to say that this is not the result of a counter-party such as 3 Arrows Capital (3AC) or any lending firm undergoing financial instability.
Coinbase KYC Rule
Coinbase announced plans to comply with a new Dutch regulation surrounding KYC/AML laws (know your customer and anti money laundering laws) taking effect June 27th. In order to send crypto off of Coinbase a Dutch user will need to include information on the receiver, specifically the name and physical address of the individual as well as the purpose of the transfer.
This announcement is just the first domino to fall as all regulated cryptocurrency exchanges will fall in line if they want to remain active in this jurisdiction. Governments tend to float test balloons, so there is a good chance that if this is successful in the eyes of governments, it will spread to the remaining European Union member states.
It is no surprise that Chair Gensler of the SEC has it out for crypto. He has instructed his SEC to regulate crypto not by creating a clear framework for developers to create within, but instead to regulate by enforcement, meaning by suing indiscriminately in order to stifle innovation through fear. The real story today is that Commissioner Hester Peirce (known by the corporate media as Crypto Mom even though no-one in the real world ever calls her that) released a statement condemning Chair Gensler’s leadership.
Her main takeaway states, “We once sought to protect retail investors; we now rush to the aid of professional investors.” A footnote read, “the rule to expand the definition of “exchange,” could draw in numerous communication protocol systems from both the traditional and decentralized finance worlds.”
It is clear that Chair Gensler does not have full consensus of the commissioners when taking action in a manner that stifles innovation. Will anything come of this? Only time will tell.
Harmony Bridge Hack
Harmony Bridge suffered a hack resulting in approximately $100 million in crypto stolen. The investigation is ongoing, but according to the Harmony team they reached out to the exchanges in an effort to curb the transfer of stolen loot.
Harmony’s native token ONE has since collapsed in value:
Bancor ILP Pause
Bancor, a DeFi protocol, announced a pause to its impermanent loss protection function this past Sunday due to hostile market conditions. This move was made mostly due to Celsius taking ILP rewards and dumping them on the market, placing significant selling pressure on the BNT token.
Solend is a lending platform, DeFi app, built on the Solana blockchain. The protocol proposed freezing the wallet of a large whale in order to prevent an extremely large margin position from getting liquidated and causing the asset to drop in value.
Ultimately the vote did not pass, but it still leads the question: is this type of action a bad precedent to set? Would bitcoin holders want the code changed to prevent Satoshi Nakamoto from accessing his/her/their million plus coins?
Crypto Market Analysis
The past week saw the Total Crypto Market rebound substantially to regain its 200 Weekly Moving Average. Notably, both Bitcoin & Ethereum — after dropping below their 2017 highs — have regained those levels.
The problem — both major coins remain below their own respective 200 WMAs, a critical level that they failed to overtake during the most recent market uptrend. The overall Total Crypto Market also failed to regain a $1 trillion market cap.
With the Total Crypto Market showing relative strength, there is a probability that Bitcoin’s drop to $17,600 and Ethereum’s drop below $1000 may have been indicative of a cycle bottom. It is also notable that several original DeFi protocols have been in a substantial bear market since May 2021 — nearly 14 months now.
Many DeFi giants have seen significant gains over the past week:
- Uniswap (UNI): +46%
- Aave (AAVE): +21%
- Maker (MKR): +38%
- THORChain (RUNE): +34%
- Synthetic (SNX): +72%
The risk-reward ratio at this point in the market absolutely favors the buyers versus sellers. With many coins sitting 90% or more below all time highs, those looking for an entry point into the market have one.
It is important to keep in mind there is significant bearish sentiment in the global economy right now — not necessarily just crypto markets. Please conduct your own due diligence beyond this assessment.
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Coming RekTimes Articles:
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Long Term Projects:
- The Emerging Cryptoeconomy: Overview of Cryptoeconomics & Real World Applications — Q3 2022
- Investigation on MOBI — Q3 2022
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