Bitcoin rose 17.77% from June 16 to June 23 to trade at US$30,079 at 7:00 p.m. Friday in Hong Kong. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization rose past US$30,000 for the first time since April 19. Ether rose 12.61% over the week to US$1,879.
The business regulator of the U.S. state of Nevada on Wednesday issued a cease and desist order to crypto custodian Prime Trust, alleging that the firm could not honor customer withdrawals. The move grew market concern as Prime Trust was the tech partner of TrueUSD (TUSD), the fifth largest stablecoin by market cap. On Thursday, TrueUSD said it has no exposure to Prime Trust and that the firm maintains multiple USD rails for minting and redemption.
Following the news, Bitcoin fell to a daily low of US$29,689 around 11:55 p.m. on Thursday but recovered above US$30,000 as investors remained upbeat following one of this year’s most eventful weeks that saw notable TradFi alumni entering the crypto space.
The institutional adoption wave started last week, when the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF on June 15, which if accepted, would be the first publicly-traded Bitcoin product on the U.S. market. Earlier this week, Germany’s largest bank Deutsche Bank also applied for a license to operate a crypto custody service, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
“The turbulences of 2022 have led to a decline in confidence in crypto-native institutions, presenting traditional financial institutions with a prime opportunity to enter the crypto market,” Jonas Betz, crypto market analyst and founder of consultancy firm Betz Crypto, told Forkast in a LinkedIn response.
“Initiatives like Deutsche Bank applying for a digital asset custody license should improve investor sentiment… All in all, regulation and institutional players will lead to an influx of fiat money into the crypto sector in the long run, driving prices up.”
EDX Markets, a crypto exchange backed by major Wall Street players like Citadel Securities, Fidelity and Charles Schwab, officially launched on Tuesday in the U.S., despite the recent regulatory crackdown on crypto.
New York-based asset management firm WisdomTree also filed an application for a Bitcoin ETF on Tuesday, a day before Valkyrie Investments filed its own spot Bitcoin ETF application. Rumors are circulating that Fidelity is also preparing its own application.
James Wo, the founder and chief executive officer of crypto investment firm DFG, said that BlackRock’s move means “old money” from traditional finance is entering the crypto space.
“If the application can be approved, it shows that the SEC is not just cracking down on cryptocurrencies, but SEC regulation will help further the maturity of the industry, and more products similar to ETF will emerge, which is a great benefit for the industry.“ wrote Wo, in a statement shared with Forkast.
Kadan Stadelmann, chief technical officer of blockchain infrastructure development firm Komodo, said that there are more rumors circulating about Fidelis preparing its own spot Bitcoin ETF application.
“This move could be indicative of institutional players joining the crypto market and may signal an uptick in institutional interest. The potential approval of a Bitcoin ETF has been highly anticipated by many industry experts as it could bring more mainstream adoption to cryptocurrency,” wrote Stadelmann, in a statement shared with Forkast.
The global crypto market capitalization stood at US$1.17 trillion on Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Hong Kong, up 12.5% from US$1.04 trillion a week ago, according to CoinMarketCap data. With a market cap of US$583 billion, Bitcoin represented 49.9% of the market while Ether, valued at US$225 billion, accounted for 19.3%.
Notable Movers: PEPE & STX
Pepe, the year’s most trending memecoin, was this week’s biggest loser in the top 100. Pepe started gaining momentum on Wednesday, rallying 64.49% to US$0.000001537, as risk appetite returned.
STX, the native token of Bitcoin smart contract layer Stacks, was the week’s second-biggest gainer. The token started picking up on Tuesday, boosted by Bitcoin’s bullish momentum paired with the recent spot Bitcoin ETF applications by the likes of BlackRock.
See related article: Why the US is waging war on Binance, Coinbase
Next week: More Bitcoin ETF applications on the way?
Komodo’s Stadelmann said that institutional interest in crypto is heating up due to developing regulations and increasing customer demand.
“Major financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have also expressed interest in offering crypto-related products to their clients. Moreover, the recent surge in Bitcoin’s price has further piqued the interest of institutional investors who are seeking exposure to this emerging asset class,” wrote Stadelmann.
Jamie Coutts, a senior market structure analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said that Bitcoin is in an early bull market and expects the cycle to last until November 2025.
“Bitcoin will likely absorb more of the global economic base while subsuming value from traditional banking and payment providers,” wrote Coutts.
Next week, investors will be anticipating speeches from key Federal Reserve officials, including Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, for cues on the health of the world’s largest economy.
European investors will be looking to European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde’s speech, for hints on the block’s future monetary policy decisions.
See related article: Crypto firms eye Hong Kong amid tough US regulations, says fintech association chair