Bitcoin

Bitcoin, Ether edge up after Fed raises interest rates as expected; Solana leads winners

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Bitcoin gained Thursday morning in Asia, but not enough to break through resistance at US$29,500 after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by the expected quarter point. The bank left the door open for another increase in September. Ether moved higher with most top 10 cryptocurrencies. Solana led the winners as its trading volume more than doubled in the past 24 hours. Dogecoin led the losers as the meme token lost some steam after gaining over 11% for the week. The Forkast 500 NFT index traded flat and U.S. equity futures were mixed, reflecting the same performance on Wall Street on Wednesday.

Top cryptos gain

Bitcoin rose 0.90% in the last 24 hours to US$29,459 as of 07:15 a.m. in Hong Kong, but was still down 1.37% for the week, according to data from CoinMarketCap. The world’s largest cryptocurrency briefly breached US$29,600 early Thursday morning.

Ether moved up 0.88% to US$1,874, but remained 0.68% lower for the seven-day period. 

The marginal gains followed the Fed’s decision to raise benchmark lending rates in the U.S. to between 5.25% and 5.50%, the highest in 22 years, to slow inflation. In a press conference, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said another rate hike in September is possible, but said decisions will be determined by the data at the time. 

“An interesting time for crypto markets although you wouldn’t be able to tell when looking at the price action. With macro markets timidly risk-on, BTC and ETH rose slightly to recoup levels lost earlier this week,” said Justin d’Anethan, head of APAC business development at Belgium-based crypto market maker Keyrock.

With the exception of Dogecoin, all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded higher in the past 24 hours.

Solana’s SOL led the winners, jumping 9.51% to US$25.35, but still sitting on a 3.80% loss for the full week. The token’s 24-hour trading volume surged more than 100% to over US$682 million, surpassing that of Ether and indicating investors are betting on a strong rebound.

Dogecoin lost ground after being the darling of the week as the rebranding of Twitter raised speculation it could be part of a payments system on the social media network. It fell 3.52% to US$0.0784, though is still holding a weekly gain of 11.82%.

The total crypto market capitalization gained 0.85% in the past 24 hours to US$1.19 trillion, while trading volume rose 20.51% to US$30.91 billion.

Elsewhere, Worldcoin, a cryptocurrency and digital identity project founded by OpenAI chief executive officer Sam Altman, issued its controversial WLD token on Monday and prices soared. The token dipped 1.49% to US$2.28 on Thursday, but is up 36.30% since the launch. 

“OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman’s Worldcoin project might just be one of the most ambitious cryptocurrency projects in recent years,” Louis Schoeman, managing director at Dubai-based trading platform Forex Suggest, said in emailed comments. 

The project’s core offering, its World ID, requires users to prove via an iris scan that they are human, and not an AI bot. Those who sign up will receive Worldcoin’s cryptocurrency token WLD,” said Schoeman.

“This sort of digital ID will be necessary in the development of AI, in order to tell the difference between humans and AI bots online. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish fiction from reality, which is a particular concern in the financial and democratic systems. Worldcoin wants to defend people from AI misinformation and make it clear who and what to trust online,” added Schoeman. 

In emailed comments on Worldcoin, Michael Silberberg, head of investor relations at Canada-based crypto hedge fund AltTab Capital, said: “The value of a real non-transferable, and cryptographically secure identity is potent as it could reduce digital fraud, help bank the unbanked, and even reduce the number of times I have to convince robots I’m not a robot a day.” 

According to reports, the Worldcoin project signed up more than two million users during beta testing and is now expanding operations to 35 cities across 20 countries, but the US isn’t yet one of them, said Schoeman.

“Altman made it clear the company didn’t feel the US would make or break the project, but with North America said to account for around 18% of the total world crypto value received, breaking into the US market will be a major concern for Worldcoin,” he said. 

“A global digital ID enabling private identity verifications is undeniably revolutionary, however, it’s certain to stir up controversy, with many already calling the exchange of biometric data for crypto tokens an outlandish bribe,” said Schoeman.



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