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Bitcoin, Ether fall; Polkadot leads the losses

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Bitcoin fell in Wednesday morning trading in Asia, although it held above the US$23,000 lower resistance line. Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies declined, with Cardano, Polkadot, and Shiba Inu posting the biggest losses. U.S. equities retreated on Tuesday to close out February in the negative after inflation concerns resurfaced on a series of stronger economic data readings, suggesting the Federal Reserve will be taking a tougher line on interest rate hikes.

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin dipped 1.45% in the past 24 hours to US$23,172 as of 8 a.m. in Hong Kong, losing 5.23% in the past seven days, according to CoinMarketCap data. Ether fell 1.69% to US$1,606, for a weekly loss of 3.15%. Despite the recent declines, Bitcoin is up 39% for the year to date, while Ether has gained 34% in the same period. 
  • Polkadot dropped 3.59% to US$6.35, bringing losses for the past week to 12.33%. However, data from PolkaInsiders showed the number of stakers on the network rose in February and Polkadot will be showcasing its latest developments at the ETHDenver conference on March 2-5. The token is up 45% year-to-date.
  • Shiba Inu fell 3.88% to drop out of the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. It’s lost 7.96% for the week. Blockchain intelligence company Arkham reported on Tuesday that the bankrupt crypto platform Voyager Digital holds about US$77 million in Shiba Inu and has been rapidly selling these holdings, along with others. This adds downward pressure on the meme token after a wallet transferred 182 billion of Shiba Inu tokens to crypto exchanges on Monday, a move which usually precedes selling.
  • Litecoin, which replaced Shiba Inu in the top ten non-stablecoin token list, dipped 0.15% to US$94.00 and held onto a weekly gain of 0.20%. Litecoin Foundation announced last week a partnership with Metalpha Technology Holding Ltd to improve the security and energy efficiency of Litecoin mining.
  • The total crypto market capitalization moved 1.38% lower in the past 24 hours to US$1.05 trillion. And the total trading volume over the last 24 hours dropped 9.82% to US$41.69 billion.
  • U.S. equities closed lower on Tuesday after a brief Monday rebound, as investors repositioned after a series of economic data readings in the latter half of February suggested higher interest rates will be around for longer than what some had expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.71%, the S&P 500 dipped 0.30% and the Nasdaq Composite Index edged 0.10% lower.
  • The U.S. personal consumption expenditures price index for January released last week rose 4.7% on year and 0.6% on month when excluding food and energy prices, beating expectations and pointing to possible larger interest rate increases ahead.
  • U.S. interest rates are now between 4.5% to 4.75%, the highest since October 2007. Analysts at the CME Group expect a 76.0% chance that the Fed will raise rates by another 25 basis points this month. They also predict a 24.0% chance for a raise of 50 basis points, an increase from 23.3% as reported on Tuesday

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