Crypto News Headlines (16-May-2023)

Bitcoin and ether started the week positively, increasing 2.6% and 2.5% respectively in early Monday trading.

Bitcoin (BTC) is trading 3% below its 20-day moving average of $28,300 while ether (ETH) is trading 1.9% below its respective 20-day average. Investors will likely be watching to see if both assets can recapture their average, following a breach of the lower end of their Bollinger Bands in the prior week.

Volume will be key to watch, as the sentiment behind any directional move will be amplified or muted by the level of trading volume. While volume across all spot markets spiked 34% and 35% for bitcoin and ether respectively on Monday, activity for both trails their 30-day moving averages.

Solana (SOL) rose to a one-week high on Monday, as momentum shifted following a recent bear run.

SOL/USD surged to a peak of $21.49 earlier in today’s session., which comes after Sunday’s low of $20.65.

As a result of this rally, solana moved to its strongest point since last Monday, when price was close to $22.00.

One of the catalysts of today’s gains came as the 14-day relative strength index (RSI) broke out of a ceiling at 45.00.

The index is now tracking at 48.31, which is its highest reading in almost ten days of trading.

Should current sentiment extend throughout the week, there is a good chance SOL will near its long-term resistance at $24.00.

Atlendis, a Polygon-based uncollateralized lending platform, it’s launching its latest iteration, adding a host of new features and key crypto on-ramp along the way.

The protocol offers credit lines for institutional borrowers, and users can act as pooled lenders for such borrowers, earning interest payments and additional DeFi rewards.

Crucially, Atlantis addresses one of the key weaknesses in the crypto space: Uncollateralized lending.

Home loans on a blockchain. Image: Shutterstock

Projects like Aave or MakerDAO, for example, also provide loans to users, but these loans are typically overcollateralized, meaning that you need to post more collateral than you’ll get in the loan. Instead, Atlantis, much like a bank, offers loans without any collateral needed.

Borrowers still do undergo a creditworthiness check too via a partnership with Credora.

Bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), the world’s top two cryptocurrencies by market value, moved in tandem for much of 2022. That positive relationship has weakened this year, signaling an impending regime change in the market.

As of Monday, the 30-day rolling correlation between changes in bitcoin and ether prices was 77%, the lowest since 2021 and notably weaker than 96% seen two months ago, according to crypto data provider Kaiko.

Ether, in the past, has decoupled from bitcoin for brief periods. The latest weakening of correlation may be long-lasting, meaning bitcoin, the world’s largest and most liquid digital asset, may no longer anchor ether and the broader market, according to Pulkit Goyal, Vice President of trading at OrBit Markets, an institutional liquidity provider of options and structured derivatives in digital assets.

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council of the European Union — comprising finance ministers of all member states — has given the green light to the highly-anticipated Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation after a vote on May 16.

Finance ministers from 27 member states voted in favor of the MiCA bill, and amendments to several regulations and directives relating to the new legislation.

Two more pieces of legislation, including regulation on information accompanying transfers of funds and certain crypto assets, were also adopted by the European Parliament in conjunction with MiCA’s adoption.

Individual wallets holding at least one bitcoin (BTC) set a milestone figure earlier this week, suggesting long-term sentiment for the tokens remains intact even as broader markets weigh down bitcoin prices.

Data from the on-chain analytics tool Glassnode show bitcoin wallets holding more than one token crossed the millionth mark on Monday. This is a 20% bump since February last year.

The data shows that bitcoin wallets holding one token grew by 79,000 between November and January – amid the collapse of crypto exchange FTX as prices fell from over $22,000 to briefly under $16,000.

The global crypto market is expanding steadily despite recent bearish sentiments. Over 119 million people worldwide started owning cryptocurrencies in 2022, marking a 39% rise in total ownership. It reflects a growing demand for alternative payment methods and investment instruments.

More people now believe in the potential of futuristic asset classes like crypto. Particularly since innovators are bringing novel utilities to the table. But the road ahead isn’t all rosy. We must overcome several challenges before crypto-based assets bloom fully.

One key issue is the lack of simple, user-friendly, and stable instruments for beginner and pro investors. For instance, index investing, despite its strong track record in traditional finance, is mostly inaccessible to the crypto community. This exposes investors to market-related risks like high volatility, reducing their scope for diversification and generating suboptimal returns.

The battle between crypto exchange Coinbase and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rages on.

The latest twist occurred on Monday when the SEC sought a court order to dismiss Coinbase’s plea for the agency to clarify its stance on crypto regulations.

The exchange publicly voiced its grievances against the American financial watchdog on April 27, also revealing that it had initiated legal proceedings.

The crux of their argument was the SEC’s non-response to a petition filed in July 2022. The petition urged the SEC to clarify whether the existing regulatory frameworks for securities should extend to the cryptocurrency industry.

Coinbase petitioned a federal judge to compel the regulator to respond.

The firm’s Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal expressed the company’s frustration in a Twitter thread last month.

Pressure on zero-yield generating bank deposits is expected to continue, which makes ether (ETH) yields more attractive, Bernstein said in a research report on Monday.

Currently, the flight is from bank deposits to the U.S. Treasury money markets, but as the ether yield economy becomes more mainstream, “it is hard not see more demand for ETH deposits and ETH yields,” analysts Gautam Chhugani and Manas Agrawal wrote.

Bernstein notes that in the “hierarchy of yields,” money market yields at peak rates are the obvious choice for investors, but these are in U.S. dollars, a fiat currency base.

Ether holders are seeing nearly one month waiting period for setting up as network validators on Ethereum.

“Any hard landing leading to a decline in rates and USD debasement would immediately make ETH yields in ETH terms extremely attractive,” the note said. Ether yield is denominated in ETH, and the cryptocurrency continues to remain deflationary, the note added.

Japan is the biggest loser of cryptocurrency to North Korean hackers, according to a study by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. Asian countries make up three of the four top targets for the so-called Hermit Kingdom’s hackers, Elliptic found.

The study, commissioned and reported on by Japanese financial publication Nikkei, looked at losses of cryptocurrency from cyberattacks originating in North Korea from 2017 through 2022. The study took into account both hacking and ransomware attacks. It described the attacks as a “national strategy.”

Japan suffered losses of $721 million in those attacks, which was 30% of the world total of over $2.3 billion, Elliptic found, based on an estimate of $640 million of crypto lost in 2022. According to the United Nations, North Korean crypto theft reached a new high in 2022. Nikkei said:

“According to the Japan External Trade Organization, the $721 million stolen from Japan is 8.8 times greater than the value of North Korea’s exports in 2021.”