Stock Analysis & Ideas

This Week in Crypto: A Breakout Materializes after Weeks of Consolidation

Story Highlights

After weeks of horizontal price action and a narrowing range, major cryptos have experienced an upside breakout as the U.S. dollar retreats, triggering a rally across the ecosystem. This positive momentum helped the total crypto market capitalization reclaim the $1 trillion mark.

Bitcoin Retakes $20,000

After weeks of consolidation and rangebound movement, the value of Bitcoin (BTC-USD) has finally jumped past the $20,000 psychological resistance level. Over the last seven sessions, BTC registered around 8.5% in gains.

The current rally in the price of BTC is attributed to several factors, including a short squeeze that has helped propel the value higher. BTC’s recent gains triggered a wave of short liquidations. On top of that, the sudden rise in U.S. equities and a declining U.S. dollar also played vital roles in pushing BTC’s value past the critical resistance point.

Investor confidence in cryptocurrencies is also rising based on expectations that the Federal Reserve will scale back anticipated interest rate hikes over the coming months. Per investor consensus estimator MacroMicro, investors increasingly believe that upcoming interest rates will be lower than previously anticipated.

Small-Cap Coins Lead the Crypto Market Higher

Helped partly by the market-wide rally sparked by Ethereum’s (ETH-USD) latest gains, low and mid-cap altcoins experienced a spectacular run over the last seven sessions, with many tokens registering impressive double-digit gains. For instance, lesser-known altcoin Klaytn (KLAY) surged by ~78%, meme coin DOGE is up by ~27%, and Toncoin (TON) jumped by nearly 46.7%.

A key driver behind KLAY’s increase includes Klaytn’s latest partnership with the cross-chain smart contract platform Zetachain (ZETA). However, much of KLAY’s recent success relates to a proposal to reduce the Klaytn network’s block rewards. The Klaytn Governance Council (KGC) approved the measures, bringing into effect a new reward scheme where block rewards will shrink from 9.6 KLAY to 6.4 KLAY per block.

Meanwhile, Dogecoin (DOGE) rallied as “Dogefather” Elon Musk prepares to finalize the Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) transaction. The billionaire’s recent tweets and changes in his Twitter profile bio touched off a new rally that saw DOGE break past the upper bound of its most recent range.

Among other outperformers, the value of TON rose almost 50% over the last seven sessions as messaging platform Telegram announced a TON-based username auction marketplace to buy and sell unique usernames. Additionally, news that Toncoin (TON) secured a listing on the KuCoin crypto exchange contributed to TON reaching the highest level since early September.

Not Everyone Tagged Along for the Rally

While many tokens recouped prior weeks’ losses, a few altcoins missed the bullish momentum that captured most of the market. Among the biggest decliners were Chain (XCN), Maker (MKR), and Axie Infinity (AXS). The value of Chain’s XCN token dropped by roughly 21.6% this week, Maker DAO’s MKR fell by 12.20%, and Axie’s AXS slid by nearly 7.8%.

New AXS tokens released into circulation earlier this week were the primary driver behind the latest price downturn. Like other crypto projects, Axie Infinity has a vesting schedule where native tokens are unlocked at specific intervals. The latest unlock event saw more than 21.5 million AXS tokens enter circulation, amounting to approximately 8% of the entire circulating supply.

Other low-to-mid-cap tokens, such as TerraClassic (LUNC) and TerraClassicUSD (USTC), dropped around 3.5% and 4.9%, respectively, primarily due to the ongoing legal pressure on Terra Co-Founder Do Kwon. The value of Elrond (EGLD) also fell by 1.2% over the last seven sessions, while Helium (HNT) and Ethereum Name Service (ENS) slid by roughly 0.9% and 2.8% apiece.

New Crypto Debit Cards, Kazakhstan Pursues CBDC, and More

Crypto’s acceptance as payment continues to expand, with crypto exchange Blockchain.com having entered into a strategic partnership with Visa (NYSE: V). The duo will soon launch a crypto-backed credit card set for initial rollout in the U.S. This new credit card will empower users to pay daily expenses using crypto or cash balance across all outlets and stores where Visa cards are accepted.

Meanwhile, as regulatory activity picks up pace and governments worldwide explore the use of crypto, oil-rich Kazakhstan has become the latest country to embrace blockchain technology. The National Bank of Kazakhstan has elected to integrate its central bank digital currency (CBDC), called the digital Tenge, with Binance Chain (BNB). This move follows Kazakhstan’s efforts to regulate and promote crypto within its borders following a pilot test of the digital Tenge.

Last but not least, the Norwegian governmental agency, Bronnoysund Register Center, has partnered with accounting firm Ernst & Young to launch its first-ever virtual office location in the Metaverse. The virtual office, designed to appeal to younger generations through its approach, will handle numerous registers on behalf of the agency and convey important information relating to crypto regulation, taxation, and company formation.

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