Close up of metal shiny bitcoin crypto currency coins on US dollar bills.

Bitcoin, Ether prices extend losses; Dogecoin sole gainer

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Bitcoin continued to trade below US$22,000 in Monday afternoon trading in Asia. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies dropped except Dogecoin. Crypto markets have been trading lower since the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged U.S.-based crypto exchange Kraken a fine of US$30 million for failing to register its staking service

See related article: A house divided? SEC Commissioner Peirce attacks agency’s fines against Kraken exchange

Fast facts

  • Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, dropped 0.14% to US$21,794 in 24 hours to 4.30 p.m. in Hong Kong, after losing 4.72% on the week. Ethereum lost 1.27% to US$1,514, a weekly loss of 7.25%, according to CoinMarketCap data.
  • Dogecoin was the only top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrency to gain, rising 1.25% to US$0.0829 in 24 hours, after falling 10.5% in the last seven days. 
  • Polygon was the biggest loser among the top 10 in Monday afternoon trade, dropping 4.57% to US$1.20. 
  • XRP fell 2.25% to US$0.3733, after losing 6.45% in the last seven days. U.S.-based Ripple Labs, whose payment network is powered by XRP, has been involved in its own legal tussle with the SEC since December 2020 for allegedly selling US$1.3 billion in unregistered securities. Ripple Labs expects a court decision in the first six months of this year.
  • “While the SEC enforcement [on Kraken exchange] is negative for the industry, it excluded (so far) once again, U.S. crypto users from being part of the innovation,” said Markus Thielen, head of research at Matrixport in a Feb. 10 report shared with Forkast. “The winners will likely be staking providers in Asia and despite this announcement, we remain bullish on staking opportunities.”
  • Asian equity markets were mixed on Monday, as traders await crucial U.S. inflation data on Tuesday. Economists expect the year-on-year January U.S. consumer price index to come in at 6.2%.
  • Although inflation in the U.S. has declined steadily over the past few months, the Federal Reserve is expected to increase interest rates further to bring down inflation to its 2% target. Interest rates in the U.S. are the highest in 15 years, at 4.5% to 4.75%, and central bank officials have suggested they could rise to as much as 5%. 
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.12% at Monday’s close while Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.88%. 
  • The Shenzhen Component Index gained 1.14% to close the day, while the Shanghai Composite climbed 0.72%. According to Jason Yu, Schroders’s Asia head of multi-asset management, China’s overall economy is expected to stage a “marked recovery” as early as the second quarter of 2023, although the pandemic could pose challenges and affect the momentum of recovery in the first quarter. 
  • “Owing to the potential risk of recession in Europe and in the U.S., external demand for Chinese goods may fall. In this regard, it would be wise for investors to keep track of China’s export performance in 2023,” Yu said in a report shared with Forkast
  • See related article: Coinbase CEO says he will “happily defend” crypto staking service against claim it’s a securities product

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