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ETH is up 20% for the week. Is this a bull trap?

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Ethereum gained 20% over the past week and continued to build on the gains this morning, hitting $1,412. Euphoria over the impending move to Proof-of-Stake or a bull trap?

As of this morning’s writing, Ethereum was well ahead of bitcoin regarding growth. Meanwhile, a popular crypto analyst and trader nicknamed Bluntz noted that ETH has recovered above its 200-week moving average. This could be a signal that the coin has hit bottom.

Recall that the growth rate of ETH picked up towards the end of last week after it became known that the Ethereum blockchain may move to a new Proof-of-Stake algorithm as early as September 19. This was announced by one of the developers of the project. Against this background, the exchange rate of ETH immediately jumped more than 12% to $1,300.

The developers plan to complete all of the updates to the test networks before the main network moves. For example, the Goerli test network has yet to “merge” (go through the Merge phase) with the new algorithm on August 11.

However, it’s too early to celebrate the victory. ETH is still trading 71% below its all-time high of November, and the crypto market continues to be dominated by gloomy sentiment.

Many industry analysts still expect a final surrender triggered by further interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve and gloomy news on the recession and inflation. In that case, bitcoin could head back under the $20,000 mark, and Ethereum would surely follow it southward as well.

If that’s the case, the 3-day ETH pummeling might just be a bull trap, since the coin has been in a downtrend for the past 8 months, and bear markets don’t usually end that quickly.

The number of ETH on the steaming blockchain is on the rise

Investors, however, continue to consistently accumulate ETH stocks. According to CoinShares, capital inflows from institutional investors into Ethereum-based products and funds have started to increase again, although investors’ positions on bitcoin have remained mostly short.

On July 18, analyst firm Glassnode reported that the number of addresses with more than 32 ETH on their balance sheet hit a 16-month high of 116,895, breaking the previous day’s record.

As a reminder, 32 is the smallest number of tokens to have on their balance validator nodes. However, many exchanges now offer various staking services, so in fact, an investor can engage in staking even with a smaller number of coins. 

According to Beacon Chain, there are currently 13,089,105 ETH in staking. At current prices, this is equivalent to about $18.3 billion and represents nearly 11% of the total number of coins in circulation.

Speculation periodically starts creeping around the market that a powerful wave of Ethereum sales should be expected after the Merge phase. However, developers have repeatedly confirmed that the coins will not be unlocked in an “all at once” format to maintain the security and performance of the network. 


Bitcoin onchain metric are stronger than ever

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bitcoin onchain metrics

Galaxy Digital analysts published a report that examined key bitcoins onchain metrics (BTC), compared the world’s main cryptocurrency to other asset classes and explained what events could be the catalyst for the coming price rally. The company is confident that the bulls have plenty of reasons to remain optimistic – even despite difficult macroeconomic conditions.

BTC has become the best performing asset of 2023

Bitcoin is the best performing asset in 2023 compared to a lot of stocks, fixed income securities, indices, and commodities. It shows the best or some of the best performance over various time horizons (except for 1 year), and it looks even stronger over the long haul.

In addition, bitcoin’s correlation with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 stock indices has begun to decline, while its correlation with gold, which is considered a classic haven asset, has risen sharply. This happened against the backdrop of the crisis that engulfed U.S. banks and led to the closure of Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate and Signature.

Given the nature of the current crisis, in which the system of partial bank reserves is tested for strength, the fundamental characteristics of the BTC favorably distinguish it from traditional assets.

Accumulation, not driving price rally speculation

A number of key market indicators indicate that bitcoin’s price rally is driven by the accumulation of coins on the spot, not speculation in the derivatives market. The futures funding indicator has remained virtually unchanged since the beginning of 2023 – meaning that the market is net-neutral regarding speculative positioning. The same can be said about volume and open interest in the CME.

The total number of addresses with non-zero balances also continues to grow rapidly, with more than 45 million wallets holding BTC today. At the same time, most of them have never spent coins, but only received new ones.

The approaching halving will affect the level of inflation in the BTC network

The next bitcoin halving will occur in April 2024 and will cause the network’s inflation rate to fall below 1%. The halving events of 2012, 2016 and 2020 catalyzed a price rally and reached a new all-time high as investor demand for BTC quickly exceeded the declining supply level.

This event will put bitcoin among the most stable assets and make it less susceptible to inflation than gold and silver.

Early we reported that Whales are interested in Litecoin, again.

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Whales are interested in Litecoin, again: will it help LTC price return to the $100 mark

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Litecoin price forecast

In February, Litecoin, albeit briefly, returned to the $100 level for the first time since the collapse of the Terra ecosystem in May 2022. In early March, the price of the asset dipped below the $70 mark again. But that didn’t seem to hinder the whales’ plans, as large holders actively bought LTC during the correction.

Whale activity continues to rise

According to analyst firm IntoTheBlock, the average LTC transaction size increased more than 600% in March 2023, from $13,355 to $81,022.

The increase in average transaction size as the price pulls back signals an influx of large investors looking to buy back the decline in the asset. Given the financial strength of the whales, this could push LTC to another rally in the coming weeks.

Litecoin price forecast – could reach the $110 mark

Santiment’s Market to Realized Value Ratio (MVRV) shows that investors who bought Litecoin in the last 30 days made a 10% profit. According to historical MVRV readings, LTC holders have often captured profits of around 20%. This means that the $100 level is likely to be the next resistance zone.

If the price of the asset can combine above $100, the coin may continue its upward movement towards $115. However, bears can reverse the situation if the LTC falls below $80. With further declines, LTC could fall back below $70.

Early we reported that China intends to work with crypto-businesses through Hong Kong.

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China intends to work with crypto-businesses through Hong Kong

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Banking for crypto-businesses

Hong Kong subsidiaries of major Chinese banks began to provide services for local cryptocurrency firms involved in projects related to Bitcoin, altcoins and various startups. It was reported by Bloomberg, citing sources in the region.

It is alleged that the local branches of Bank of Communications, Bank of China and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank have begun, or are working to provide banking services to crypto-businesses. According to the publication, a representative of an unnamed Chinese bank even visited the office of a crypto firm to promote the services of the financial institution. A top manager of an unnamed large Chinese bank said in a media commentary that banks promote their services in Hong Kong due to the tacit approval of Beijing. The interest in the business is also due to the uncertainty around lending to the local market, they said.

Loyal attitude to the market of cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong has already “bounced back” to local investors with considerable losses. According to calculations by local law enforcement agencies, the region lost over $200 million in 2022 alone. 2,336 cases of crypto-fraud were registered in Hong Kong in 2022.

However, Chinese authorities’ interest is not limited to the crypto market. In early March, the South China Morning Post reported that China intends to stimulate the digitalization of the economy in Hong Kong with its own currency. The authorities are offering citizens a 20% discount for making payments in digital yuan. At the same time, the promotion is valid only for Hong Kong citizens and only in the southern technology center of Shenzhen (connecting China and Hong Kong).

Recall that in the fall of 2022, Hong Kong authorities announced plans to develop a cryptocurrency market in the region. According to the Hong Kong government’s website, the authorities will work with local regulators to create “favorable conditions” for developing the local cryptocurrency industry.

Early we reported that Cryptotraders lost more than $250,000,000 in liquidations after Fed rate hike.

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