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Ethereum network upgrade and uptick in Arbitrum active users could trigger an ARB price reversal

While the Arbitrum governance token ARB has been in a consistent downturn since the airdrop in late March, its ecosystem shows healthy growth. 

A recent Nansen report shows that Arbitrum’s activity improved after the airdrop, stabilizing “at a level higher” than before the airdrop. The daily active users, gas fees and transaction count have maintained consistently higher levels since April 2023.

The gap between the number of active users on Arbitrum and Optimism widened after the Aribtrum airdrop, closing in on Ethereum.

Daily active users of Arbitrum, Ethereum and Optimism (past 6 months). Source: Nansen

The trading volume on Arbitrum-based decentralized exchanges paints a similar picture, showing an evident rise in volume after the airdrop.

The trading volume of DEXs on Arbitrum. Source: DefiLlama

Moreover, Nansen’s report shows that ARB airdrop recipients only accounted for around 5% of the activity on the blockchain and that Arbitrum has attracted considerably more new users after the airdrop.

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3 key Ethereum price metrics point to growing resistance at the $1,750 level

Ether (ETH) price plunged 7% between June 14 and June 15, reaching its lowest level in three months and impacting investors’ view that the altcoin was en-route to turning $2,000 to support. 

It is worth noting that the $1,620 bottom represents a $196 billion market capitalization for Ether, which is higher than PetroChina’s $186 billion, and not far from chipmaker AMD’s $198 billion.

Being the 66th largest global tradable asset in the world is no small feat, especially considering that the cryptocurrency is merely 8 years old and does not return any kind of direct profit for the project’s maintenance. On the other hand, securities enjoy the benefits of corporate earnings and eventual government subsidies, so perhaps investors should be concerned by the recent price drop from Ether.

Ether price pressured succumbs to regulation and lowered network activity

Regulatory pressure helped to subdue investors’ appetite for Ether as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a rule change regarding the definition of an exchange. Paul Grewal, chief legal officer of the Coinbase exchange, has pushed back against the proposed change, claiming that it violates the Administrative Procedure Act.

More concerningly, decentralized applications (Dapps) usage on the Ethereum network failed to gain momentum despite gas fees plummeting by 75%. The 7-day average transaction cost dropped to $4 on June 14, down from $16 one month prior. Meanwhile, Dapps active addresses declined by 18% in the same period.

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Bitcoin price eyes $26K ‘acceleration’ zone as Binance fears fade

Bitcoin (BTC) headed toward a “crucial area” after the June 16 Wall Street open as a recovery from three-month lows continued.

BTC/USD 1-hour chart

Bitcoin reinforces rebound from multi-month lows

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD nearing $26,000 on Bitstamp.

BTC price built on an overnight rebound from its lowest levels since early March amid ongoing regulatory and macroeconomic pressures.

For Michaël van de Poppe, founder and CEO of trading firm Eight, $26,000 represented a key level for bulls to flip next.

“Long weekend is coming up with the bank holiday on Monday,” he told Twitter followers, referencing the June 16 Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in the U.S.

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Bitcoin price eases downside as traders demand $24.5K support holds

Bitcoin (BTC) recovered some lost ground on June 16 as markets shook off mixed United States macro signals.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart on Bitstamp. Source: TradingView

BlackRock Bitcoin ETF plan buoys markets

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD circling $25,500 on Bitstamp, after bouncing around $1,000 from the previous day’s lows.

Popular trader Skew followed moves on major exchange Binance around the price action, uncovering concerted buying efforts at the lows. Sellers subsequently stepped in closer to $26,000.

The uptick occurred in step with news that the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, had filed to list a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

For Michaël van de Poppe, founder and CEO of trading firm Eight, this formed a positive contrast to the slew of negative events concerning crypto regulation over the past ten days.

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Korean crypto contagion, Bank of China on Ethereum, HK’s exchange red carpet: Asia Express

While some jurisdictions (cough: America) have adopted a regulation-by-enforcement approach toward crypto, others are doing the opposite. According to a June 15 report from The Financial Times, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority is pressuring major financial institutions to accept crypto clients. But it’s not just regulators laying down a red carpet to boost the special administrative region’s (SAR’s) Web3 industry. In one instance, Johnny Ng Kit-Chong, Member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, wrote on June 10:

“There have been a lot of news about international virtual asset exchanges in the past two days. I send forth an invitation to welcome global virtual asset exchanges, including @coinbase, to come to Hong Kong, apply for a compliant exchange, and negotiate a listing plan. I am willing to provide assistance!”

Similarly, Joseph Chan Ho Lim, Hong Kong’s Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, revealed in an interview that The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has conducted public consultations on the launch of stablecoins and is in the process of establishing a regulatory framework by the end of the year.  “Hong Kong will continue to support the development of the industry in the future and welcomes the industry and talents to come to the SAR,” the politician said.

The Hong Kong Web 3.0 Festival gallery hall (Twitter)

On Jun. 1, Hong Kong Securities Regulatory Commission issued regulations stipulating the requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges to apply for a license to operate in Hong Kong. For regulated trading platforms, a license application must be submitted to the Securities Regulatory Commission within nine months, or before Feb. 29, 2024. If not, their business in Hong Kong must be terminated before May 31, 2024.

Bank of China mints debt notes on Ethereum

On Jun. 12, BOCI, the investment banking subsidiary of Bank of China, revealed the tokenization of 200 million Chinese Yuan ($28 million) in digitally structured notes on the Ethereum blockchain. The move is reportedly the first act of a Chinese financial institution tokenizing a security in Hong Kong. The notes are governed by both Hong Kong and Swiss law as per their origination by the Swiss investment bank UBS. Ying Wang, deputy CEO at BOCI, commented: 

The Hong Kong Web 3.0 Festival gallery hall (Twitter)
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Curve’s (CRV) price hits a 1-year low amid looming liquidation threat

The Curve decentralized autonomous organization’s (DAO’s) governance token CRV dropped 12% on June 15 after reports surfaced of risky loans taken by its founder, Michael Egorov, on Aave. The token recorded its lowest trading level against Ether (ETH) at 0.00035010 ETH on June 15.

According to on-chain analytics outlet LookOnChain, Egorov deposited 431 million CRV (worth around $246 million) across multiple decentralized lending protocols and borrowed $101.5 million of stablecoins on multiple platforms. The deposits by Egorov account for 50.5% of CRV’s circulating supply.

DefiLlama data shows that CRV faces a liquidation threat of $107 million on Aave (AAVE) if its value falls below $0.37. After a liquidation is triggered, the CRV tokens will be locked in Aave’s smart contracts until an interested buyer settles and liquidates the collateral. A proposal has been made to freeze Egorov’s loans on Aave and prevent further CRV loans to avoid a catastrophic situation.

While the size of Egorov’s loans puts the token under tremendous pressure, the negative bets on CRV have risen considerably, providing fuel for a possible quick upside move.

Is a CRV short squeeze in the making?

The open interest volume for CRV perpetual swap contracts has increased from $35.5 million to $46.3 million following the revelation of Egorov’s loans.

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Buying Bitcoin is preferable to BTC mining in most circumstances — Analysis

While, intuitively, mining Bitcoin may appear like a highly profitable endeavor, research suggests otherwise. 

After discovering Bitcoin (BTC), most users go down the rabbit hole and consider whether it is better to mine or buy Bitcoin directly. They usually give up on mining due to the cost and rigor of running ASIC miners, regulatory uncertainty and the lack of technical expertise.

Hypothetically, if people overcome the above challenges, they could enjoy advantages such as full autonomy over their operations and diversification of their crypto investment via physical hardware instead of directly purchasing Bitcoin, but the entire venture can be risky and labor intensive.

To mine, or not to mine BTC?

An analysis by Bitcoin mining data firm Hashrate Index suggests that “buying bitcoin is preferable to mining it in most circumstances.”

Jaran Mellerud, a Bitcoin mining analyst at Hashrate Index, calculated the projected earnings of miners in the next five years under various bullish and bearish scenarios. Mellerud found that miners will likely incur a loss even in optimistic Bitcoin price projections.

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3 Bitcoin price metrics showing ‘insane’ similarities to 2020 breakout

Bitcoin (BTC) is copying the prelude to its 2020 breakout to an “insane” extent, the co-founders of Glassnode have said.

In a tweet on June 15, Yann Allemann and Jan Happel highlighted three BTC price metrics that are anything but bearish.

Metrics echo Bitcoin’s “major reversals and rallies”

BTC/USD reached local highs of $31,000 in April but, since then, has dipped around 20%. Sentiment has taken a beating in the process, with downward price predictions becoming the norm in the intervening weeks.

While recent events have placed additional pressure on the market, Allemann and Happel see at least three good reasons for optimism.

Several on-chain indicators, they revealed, now look uncannily like they did in Q3 2020, just before BTC/USD beat its old 2017 all-time high of $20,000.

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Opinion: GOP crypto maxis almost as bad as Dems’ ‘anti-crypto army’

After nearly a decade of gridlock, the United States may finally be on the cusp of crafting a cohesive policy framework for digital assets. In Congress, lawmakers are mulling a variety of proposed bills governing everything from stablecoins and securities rules to sanctions. The 2024 presidential race, meanwhile, may be the first to see crypto as a focal point.  

While both sides of the aisle are playing valuable roles, Republicans — especially influential congresspeople like Tom Emmer and Patrick McHenry — have emerged as the industry’s most important allies. However, the GOP’s pro-crypto bias may also be its downfall. From uncritical crypto “maximalism” to Orwellian surveillance paranoia, Web3’s industry bromides have crept into the party’s campaign rhetoric and, worse, its policy proposals. In seminal upcoming legislative opportunities, such as the House’s draft crypto regulatory bill, Republican policymakers must focus on putting “America first.”

Memeified campaign rhetoric

During his presidential campaign announcement in May, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis insisted that “the current regime, clearly, has it out for Bitcoin.” The candidate’s populist red meat has been the Republican “party line” on crypto in this election cycle. So far, it has been difficult to differentiate the rhetoric of GOP presidential hopefuls from that of “freedom-maximalist” influencers on Crypto Twitter.

For candidates like DeSantis, protecting Americans from “a federally controlled central bank digital currency surveillance state” ranks high among blockchain’s potential use cases. Even GOP longshot Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur who claims to “understand this stuff in a much more deep and rich way” than DeSantis, says he views Bitcoin as a “decentralized alternative” to the U.S. dollar and wants to “make the 2024 election a referendum on fiat currency.”

Meanwhile, at the other extreme, progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren and her “anti-crypto army” depict crypto as an omnipresent threat, simultaneously eroding investor protections, abetting money launderers and worsening America’s “tax gap.” What is lacking in this partisan hothouse is any informed appreciation of blockchain’s potential or its importance to America’s long-term economic interests.

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‘Pick your targets’ — Bitcoin analyst believes Fed will favor bulls

Bitcoin (BTC) stayed below $25,000 on June 15 after a snap reaction to United States economic policy changes saw three-month lows.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart on Bitstamp. Source: TradingView

Hawkish Powell “all bark, no bite”

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView tracked BTC/USD as it consolidated after the prior day’s losses totaled over 3%.

The U.S. Federal Reserve had delivered an expected pause in interest rate hikes — its first since 2021 — while keeping the mood hawkish. Fed chair Jerome Powell suggested that fresh hikes may be necessary in the future to tame inflation.

“As I noted earlier, nearly all committee participants expect that it will be appropriate to raise interest rates somewhat further by the end of the year,” he said at a press conference, referencing the views of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

“But at this meeting, considering how far and how fast we have moved, we judged it prudent to hold the target range steady to allow the committee to assess additional information and its implications for monetary policy.”

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Fed pauses interest rates, but Bitcoin options data still points to BTC price downside

Bitcoin's price has been pinned below $26,300 since June 10, reflecting a 14.8% correction in two months. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq tech stock market index gained 13.6% in the same period, indicating that investors are not exactly fleeing to the safety of cash and short-term debt. In fact, the demand for United States government bonds has been declining for the past six weeks.

U.S. 2-year government bond yield. Source: TradingView

The yield on two-year U.S. Treasurys, for example, increased from 3.80% on May 4 to 4.68% on June 14. Lower demand for debt instruments increases payouts, resulting in a higher yield. If the investor thinks that inflation will continue above target, the tendency is for those participants to demand a higher yield when trading bonds.

The U.S. Treasury is set to issue more than $850 billion in new bills between June and September. As additional debt issuance tends to cause higher yields, the market expects increased borrowing costs for families and businesses. Still, that does not explain why investors have been flocking to tech companies but avoiding Bitcoin (BTC), as depicted by the past two-month performance.

Eight consecutive weeks of crypto fund outflows

According to CoinShares' latest “Digital Asset Fund Flows Report,” the sector’s investment product outflows amounted to $88 million in the week ending on June 10. The substantial drawdown added to the ongoing eight-week streak of outflows, which now total $417 million.

The eight-week cumulative outflows for Bitcoin reached $254 million, representing approximately 1.2% of the total assets under management. Analysts at CoinShares have attributed this trend to monetary policy considerations, as interest rate hikes show no signs of slowing down, prompting investors to remain cautious.

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Here’s what happened in crypto today

The crypto market remains volatile after the June 14 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announcement and presser with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell revealed that the central bank would pause rate hikes for June.

While this move aligned with investors’ expectations, the crypto market has yet to show any bullish momentum. Powell also mentioned that at least two more rate hikes would be needed in the future. 

The Bitcoin (BTC) price started the day up, trading above $26,000, but it has since retraced to a 24-hour low of $25,791 after the FOMC announcement. Some analysts are predicting that a drop to $25,000 is inevitable based on the current state of BTC derivatives data.

Cryptocurrency market performance, 1-day chart. Source: Coin360

The muted crypto price action and lack of a bullish response to today’s rate hike pause could be the lingering effect of the charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Binance and Coinbase.

Related: ‘Holy shit, I’ve seen that!’ — Coldie’s Snoop Dogg, Vitalik and McAfee NFTs

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Why is the BNB price up today?

The price of BNB was up over 3% on June 14, in part due to bearish traders opening more BNB-tied contracts despite suffering losses via liquidations in the previous 24 hours. In addition, BNB (BNB) stands extremely “oversold," which may have prompted traders to buy the dip.

BNB price bounces after being “oversold” 

On June 14, the BNB price climbed nearly 4% to $253. The gains came as part of a recovery that saw the price rebounding 12% two days after falling to a six-month low of $220.

From a technical perspective, BNB’s rise on June 14 came on the heels of its “oversold" status. Notably, the daily relative strength index (RSI) dropped to around 16.6 two days earlier, its lowest reading since March 2020.

BNB/USD daily price chart. Source: TradingView

An RSI reading below 30 typically precedes a consolidation or recovery period in the market.

For instance, the BNB daily RSI stint below 30 in December 2022 preceded a 50% price rally in the next two months.

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‘Holy shit, I’ve seen that!’ — Coldie’s Snoop Dogg, Vitalik and McAfee NFTs: NFT Creator

Coldie is a real one. Best described as a mixed media artist, the Californian resident is a true OG of the NFT scene, with his work dating back to 2018, including the iconic themed “Decentral Eyes,” “Sellout” and, more recently, a collaboration with Snoop Dogg. 

His distinct 3D stereoscopic work jumps off the screen, and, similar to the likes of Josie Bellini and Trevor Jones, Coldie leans into crypto culture — the good, the bad and everything else in between. 

“Decentral Eyes — Vitalik Buterin — Variant 02” by Coldie (SuperRare)

“Art is history. It’s visual history. As I got deeper into the crypto culture on my journey, I was trying to be somewhat of a historian of the time, creating pieces that were contextual to what was going on, whether it was Vitalik [Buterin] or John McAfee. Or later on, [Edward] Snowden and [Warren] Buffett. To me, it was like a time capsule I was trying to create in real-time.” 

“When I look back to 2018, I remember Andreas Antonopoulos doing speaking tours and McAfee talking about eating his junk. That was amusing to me, so it made it easy to make art about. It was a lot of fun.” 

Coldie says it didn’t take long to understand the basic fundamentals of NFTs and blockchain technology. Then he discovered you could put art on it.

Decentral Eyes — Vitalik Buterin — Variant 02 by Coldie
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Bitcoin stays flat at $26K after PPL data as markets await Fed’s Powell

Bitcoin (BTC) stuck to $26,000 on June 14 as fresh United States macroeconomic data prints failed to move cryptocurrency markets.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart on Bitstamp. Source: TradingView

PPI offers Bitcoin bulls little fuel

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD staying stubborn as Producer Price Index (PPI) data showed U.S. inflation continuing to slow.

In line with its reaction to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) print the day prior, the pair failed to offer traders volatility, sticking to a familiar range between various moving averages.

Market commentators thus turned to the day’s upcoming Federal Reserve decision on interest rates, as well as subsequent comments from Chair Jerome Powell, for a source of inspiration.

“Happy hawkish pause day!” financial commentator Tedtalksmacro wrote in part of the day’s analysis.

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Why Bitcoin’s resistance to retesting the $25K support could be futile

Bitcoin has been trading in a narrow 3.4% range for the past three days after successfully defending the $25,500 support on June 10. In this time, investors’ attention has shifted to the macroeconomic area as the United States Federal Reserve will announce its interest rate decision on June 14.

Cryptocurrencies might work independently from the traditional finance markets, but the cost of capital impacts almost every investor. Back in May, the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate to 5–5.25%, the highest since 2007.

All eyes will be on Fed Chair Jerome Powell's media speech 30 minutes after the rate announcement as markets are pricing in 94% odds of a pause at the June meeting, based on the CME FedWatch tool.

Crypto fears more than just an FOMC meeting

The upcoming Federal Open Market Committee meeting isn’t the only concern for the economy, as the U.S. Treasury is set to issue more than $850 billion in new bills between now and September.

Additional government debt issuance tends to cause higher yields and, thus, higher borrowing costs for companies and families. Considering the already-restrained credit market due to the recent banking crisis, odds are that gross domestic product growth will be severely compromised in the coming months.

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Bitcoin price rejects CPI boost as market Fed rate pause odds near 95%

Bitcoin (BTC) fell back in line at the June 12 Wall Street open after a brief macroeconomic data jolt failed to shift the status quo.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart on Bitstamp. Source: TradingView

Markets expect first Fed pause since 2021

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD continuing to circle $26,000, avoiding major volatility.

The largest cryptocurrency saw a brief spike toward $26,500 on the back of the latest United States Consumer Price Index (CPI) print, which came in below expectations.

While ostensibly a boon to risk assets, crypto markets remained cautious on the day, with comments from the Federal Reserve and further macro prints due in the coming days.

Bets on the Fed pausing its rate hike cycle on June 14 after the meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), meanwhile, climbed following the CPI event. At the time of writing, per CME Group’s FedWatch Tool, the odds stood at over 90%, having started the day at 75%.

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Bitcoin gets closer to '51% attack' on altcoin market

Bitcoin's (BTC) percentage share in the crypto market has risen to nearly 50% in the aftermath of the last week's altcoin market rout.

On June 13, the Bitcoin Dominance Index (BTC.D), which tracks BTC's weight against other cryptocurrencies, reached 49.29%, slightly down from its two-year highs of 49.66% seen earlier this week. 

BTC.D daily price chart. Source: TradingView

BTC not an "unregistered security" 

The surge in Bitcoin dominance comes after the United States' Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) lawsuit against the crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase. In its court filings, the commission accused many leading altcoins, including Cardano (ADA) and Solana (SOL), of being "unregistered securities."

Related: SEC’s Gensler says BTC, ETH ‘not securities’ in a newly surfaced video

Bitcoin's market share typically rises during high market stress, given that traders view it as the least volatile, non-stablecoin crypto asset than most cryptocurrencies. For instance, at the height of banking crisis in March 2023, Bitcoin's dominance versus altcoins had also rebounded to 50%.

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Peter McCormack’s Real Bedford Football Club puts Bitcoin on the map

Buying a small-town soccer club with the aim to propel it into the Premier League — the world’s most popular football league — is a script suitable for a Netflix series.

In fact, actor Ryan Reynold’s bid to revitalize lower-league Welsh soccer team Wrexham FC has already caught the attention of Disney+ writers. 

It’s a quaint, quintessentially British underdog story of how an ultra-rich Hollywood actor can do something different with his wealth. However, Reynolds has no connection to Wrexham; he flies in for most games, and he’s unlikely to live out the rest of his days building out the deprived historic mining town.

The story has netted mainstream media attention from the likes of the BBC, the Guardian and Sky News.

In the Bitcoin world, a similar story is unraveling. However, it’s spearheaded by a local boy who’s using Bitcoin not only to boost the Real Bedford Football Club but his hometown as well.

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BTC price focuses on $26K as Bitcoin traders brace for CPI volatility

Bitcoin (BTC) returned above $26,000 on June 13 as analysts eyed resistance overhead. 

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart on Bitstamp. Source: TradingView

Bitcoin price inches between trend lines

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD attempting to reclaim $26,000 support after the daily close.

The pair had seen a curiously uneventful start to the week despite ongoing fallout from United States legal action and markets preparing for a slew of macroeconomic data releases.

Thus, Bitcoin remained in a narrow range, which has been in place since midway through the weekend.

“Risky day for any deep trades,” popular trader Crypto Tony wrote in part of the day’s Twitter analysis, considering upside potential should the support flip occur.

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