Markets: Bitcoin edges higher, Ether little changed; XRP, Polkadot post strong gains in mixed market
Bitcoin edged higher to the US$23,000 resistance line, while Ether traded little changed in mixed early morning trading in Asia on Tuesday. Most top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies were moving in a boxed range of 1%. XRP and Polkadot were the breakout exceptions with both gaining more than 5%.
- Bitcoin traded 0.9% higher at US$22,928 in the 24 hours to 8 a.m. in Hong Kong, bringing gains in the past calendar week to 8.2%. Ether dipped less than 0.1% to US$1,627, a rise of 3.2% for the week., according to data from CoinMarketCap.
- XRP gained 5.9% to trade at US$0.42, a weekly gain of 9.8%, following the addition of a new function to the XRP Ledger network, known as CheckCashMakesTrustLine. There is also growing optimism from executives at Ripple Labs – the company whose payment network is powered by XRP – that the lawsuit filed against Ripple by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will be resolved in the first half of this year.
- The XRP bump also follows the unusual purchase of a non-fungible token (NFT) on the nascent XRPL NFT market. The NFT was created by developer Wietse Wind without images or metadata purely as a test on the network, but was bought regardless.
- Polkadot jumped 5.9% to US$6.57, a weekly gain of 13.1%, following the successful start of the network’s XCM “cross-consensus messaging” version 3, which reportedly improves cross-chain communication and lays the groundwork for NFTs on the network.
- The total crypto market capitalization over the 24 hours gained 1.5% to US$1.05 trillion, while trading volume rose 6.6 % to US$56.3 billion.
- U.S. equities rose on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8%, the S&P 500 Index climbed 1.2% and the Nasdaq Composite Index closed 2% higher as it recorded back-to-back gains of over 2%.
- The gains in the tech-heavy Nasdaq were helped by strong performances from firms like tech-giant Apple Inc., which gained 2.4% to US$141.11 and chipmaker NVIDIA Inc., which rose 7.6% to US$191.93.
- Several major earnings reports are expected this week from the likes of Tesla Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Visa Inc.
- U.S. Federal Reserve members will be in a so-called blackout period before they meet to decide the next move on interest rates on Jan. 31 – Feb. 1, where analysts from CME Group predict a 99.8% chance of a raise of 25 basis points. Other U.S. economic indicators coming this week that may influence that decision include durable goods orders and consumer sentiment.