This week in coins. Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt.
Bitcoin and Ethereum fell on Friday, dashed hopes for the crypto market’s fourth straight week of market-wide gains. But coins still have a much better year in 2023 than in 2022.
Bitcoin (BTC) is flat for the past seven days as of Saturday morning, according to CoinGecko price data, and it is currently trading at $22,924. Researchers said this week that the end of the first day of Chinese New Year is an optimal time to open long positions in crypto, as based on the past eight years, selling brings an average 9% gain 10 days later.
Ethereum (ETH) is down 5.2% on the week and is trading at $1,571. Ethereum developers announced on Tuesday that they have made significant progress toward the network’s next planned upgrade, the much-anticipated Shanghai upgrade. Shanghai will finally allow stakers to withdraw their ETH (you need to stake 32 ETH or about $51,000 to start mining Ethereum) and any rewards accrued so far.
Other names saw healthy gains.
Aptos (APT) experienced a blistering 56% rally and is currently trading at $17.09. The token has rallied strongly throughout the week. It’s difficult to pinpoint just one reason, but a large portion of the trading volume came from arbitrage trading in South Korea, where crypto is often valued as much as 50 cents higher on some exchanges. This discrepancy has been referred to as the “kimchi premium” in relation to Bitcoin and can be exploited by savvy traders to make small profits. (It was with the kimchi bounty that Sam Bankman-Fried started crypto trading.)
When Aptos launched late last year, it crashed by 40% and the project was largely priced for launch with obscure tokenomics, large token allocations (49%) for developers and private investors, and promising speeds of up to 120,000 transactions per second (tps ) planned. , but manages only 4 tps at startup.
Axie Infinity (AXS), the native token for the blockchain-based video game of the same name, blasted 25% this week and surged 22% on Monday alone after an unlocked token brought 2% of the game’s total supply to market. It is currently worth $11.44.
Other notable rallies in leading cryptocurrencies this week included Avalanche (AVAX) exploding 16% to $20.29, OKB surging 13% to $38.25 and Polygon (MATIC) surging 8.5% rose to $1.11.
Crypto on the regulatory agenda
This week regulators in the US and Europe have signaled that they will continue to keep cryptocurrencies on their to-do list. On Monday, New York’s Department of Financial Services released a new set of guidelines advising crypto companies on storage, use, and other responsible and compliance-friendly practices when storing digital assets for customers.
On Tuesday, European Union lawmakers passed requirements for banks to disclose when trading cryptocurrencies. The proposals also reportedly include rules requiring crypto-friendly banks to hold more capital to offset potential crypto losses, but the regulatory package has yet to be approved by EU finance ministers and the European Parliament.
On Thursday, French regulators toned down their approach to crypto licensing in the country, voting in favor of a change that would allow crypto companies to continue operating without a license until the European Union’s landmark crypto regulations come into effect. The bloc’s landmark Crypto Asset Markets (MiCA) bill is a unified regulatory framework that, once enacted, will be applied to crypto across the Union. The vote will take place in April, and if the rules are approved, it will take another 18 months for them to be enforced.
Finally, crypto-friendly Republican Senator Ted Cruz continued his push to bring Bitcoin up Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, he issued new policy encouraging House and Senate operational leaders to work with people who accept crypto. Cruz’s proposal calls for vending machines and gift shops as places for crypto-savvy Washingtonians to spend their hard-earned BTC.