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Market Wrap: Bitcoin Price Barely Budges as Traders Await Powell Speech

Facebook iconLinkedin iconTwitter iconSuspense regarding Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech Friday is growing. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Suspense ahead of Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech Friday is growing among mainstream and crypto traders. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Price Action

Bitcoin Little Changed as Traders Await Powell Speech

Bitcoin’s price changed little on Thursday, hovering around $21,500 as traders remain focused on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the U.S. central bank’s Economic Symposium, scheduled for Friday.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization started the week at $21,518 and was recently trading at $21,524. But Friday should bring some action.

This article originally appeared in Market Wrap, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter diving into what happened in today’s crypto markets. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

On the first day of the Fed’s 45th annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, officials offered few clues as to whether the bank now prefers a 50 or 75 basis point rate hike, which would be announced in September at the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

In an interview with CNBC, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said that decision depends on the next inflation reading, expected Sept. 13. But he doesn’t think it’s wise to “rush way up” but instead to “go up and sit for a while.”

“I think we have to recognize that a 50 basis point move is still a substantial move, so whether it’s 50 or 75 I can’t say right now. But let’s not think that 50 isn’t a substantial move,” Harker said.

Harker also said he’d like to see rates go up to 3.4% and leave them there for a little while before making another move. However, Kansas City Fed President Esther George said in an interview with Bloomberg that rates may need to go above 4%.

Read more: Wounded Crypto Traders Desperate for Clues From Fed’s Big Meeting This Week

Regarding the Fed’s long-term inflation outlook, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard told CNBC he thinks markets are mispricing inflation and that price pressure will be sticky for longer than most investors anticipate.

Meanwhile, ether (ETH) continued to inch upward on Thursday. The native token of the Ethereum blockchain has gained 5% this week amid the confirmation of the long-awaited Merge’s kick-off date, expected somewhere between Sept. 10 and Sept. 20.

ETH optimism could be short-lived, however, and long-term sentiment could soon turn bearish, according to Rafal Tworkowski, a market analyst at forex trading firm Conotoxia.

“With Ethereum set to become a proof-of-stake blockchain at the beginning of September, the ether tokens might hold firm for a while,” he said. However, the token’s technical chart showed ether sliding below its 50-day moving average, which could point “to the downside,” he added.

Latest Prices

Bitcoin (BTC): $21,582 −0.5%

Ether (ETH): $1,704 +1.7%

S&P 500 daily close: 4,199.20 +1.4%

Gold: $1,771 per troy ounce +1.3%

Ten-year Treasury yield daily close: 3.03% −0.08

Bitcoin, ether and gold prices are taken at approximately 4pm New York time. Bitcoin is the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX); Ether is the CoinDesk Ether Price Index (ETX); Gold is the COMEX spot price. Information about CoinDesk Indices can be found at coindesk.com/indices.

Featured Story

NFT and Metaverse-Related Cryptocurrencies Underperform as Floor Prices Sink

By Jimmy He

Cryptocurrencies related to non-fungible tokens (NFT) and the metaverse underperformed over the past week as sentiment about the NFT market remained sour.

The Flow network’s FLOW token, which can be used to build NFTs and decentralized applications (dapps) such as games on the Web3 platform, slumped 20% during the past seven days. FLOW’s decline was the second largest during that period among 52 cryptocurrencies with a market cap over $1 billion, according to crypto data and analysis firm Messari.

The general crypto market has stalled amid recent investor concerns about inflation, the economy and the pace of U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hikes. But NFT- and metaverse-related token declines reflect price and profit declines for NFTs that have occurred in recent months.

Read more: Most NFT Projects ‘Convey No Actual Ownership’: Galaxy Digital Research

According to a report from NFT data aggregator NonFungible.com, the amount of U.S. dollars traded in the NFT market dropped 25% in the second quarter from the first three months. NFT resell profit also fell 46% for a total loss of $1.4 billion.

The floor price – the minimum purchase price – of an NFT from Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), the largest NFT collection by market cap, is down over 50% from its high of 153.7 ETH in April 2022 to around 73 ETH. Over the past seven days, the collection’s floor price slumped 5.6%.

Read the full story here.

Altcoin Roundup

  • Reddit Starts Airdrop of Polygon-Based ‘Collectible Avatars’: The social media network has begun airdropping its Polygon-based “Collectible Avatars” as the first step toward a wider push for including blockchain technology. Read more here.
  • Ether Leads Crypto Recovery on Merge Confirmation, but Traders Remain Cautious: Ether (ETH) rose some 5% in the past 24 hours to lead a recovery among major cryptocurrencies as Ethereum developers confirmed The Merge’s dates on Wednesday. Read more here.

Trending Posts

  • Listen 🎧: Today’s “CoinDesk Markets Daily” podcast discusses the latest market movements and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s widely anticipated meeting.
  • The Graph Adds Gnosis Chain to Its Decentralized Blockchain Indexing Protocol: Gnosis Chain is the first chain after Ethereum to gain support on The Graph’s decentralized network, which will soon replace The Graph’s centralized “hosted” service.
  • Decentralized Exchange THORSwap to Support Cross-Chain Swaps for Over 4,300 Ethereum-Based Tokens: Starting Thursday, users are able to swap supported ERC-20 tokens across eight blockchains in a single transaction.
  • Alchemy Acquires Web3 Educational Platform ChainShot to Onboard Developers: The Web3 developer backend has been steadily growing its educational resources over the past several months.
  • Ex-S. Korean Finance Minister Yong-Beom Kim Appointed as CEO of Hashed Open Research: The research arm of crypto venture capital fund Hashed is looking to bridge the gap between the blockchain industry and the South Korean government.
  • Afghan Authorities Shut Down 16 Crypto Exchanges in One Week: Report: Police reportedly closed the exchanges and arrested their staff after Afghanistan’s central bank stated that digital currency trading should be stopped, citing problems and scams.

Other Markets

Biggest Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Shiba Inu SHIB +4.6% Currency
Terra LUNA +3.1% Smart Contract Platform
Ethereum ETH +1.7% Smart Contract Platform

Biggest Losers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Polygon MATIC −2.2% Smart Contract Platform
Gala GALA −2.1% Entertainment
Avalanche AVAX −1.9% Smart Contract Platform

Sector classifications are provided via the Digital Asset Classification Standard (DACS), developed by CoinDesk Indices to provide a reliable, comprehensive and standardized classification system for digital assets. The CoinDesk 20 is a ranking of the largest digital assets by volume on trusted exchanges.

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Source coindesk.com

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