This week in coins. Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt.
Last week’s crypto mega rally slowed this week. Still, many leading coins still posted double-digit gains over the last seven days.
The upward price action was escalated by the crisis hitting Credit Suisse, which last Wednesday needed a $54 billion loan from Swiss National Bank to shore up liquidity.
By Sunday, there was an announcement that domestic rival UBS agreed to buy the ailing bank in an emergency deal worth over $3 billion.
The banking news continued to drive investors towards risk-on banking alternatives, like crypto.
Bitcoin (BTC) soared amid the banking chaos, jumping from just over $20,000 on March 10 to trade at $27,537 at the time of writing. Ethereum’s growth was a similar story over the same period, rising from roughly $1,400 to today's price of $1,740, per CoinGecko.
Several prominent figures in the industry pointed to Credit Suisse’s collapse, alongside the collapses of crypto-friendly banks like Silvergate, Signature, and Silicon Valley Bank—all of which happened this month—to publicly shill Bitcoin and rehash its potential role as a “safe haven” asset.
Another development on Bitcoin this week was the news that Solana’s largest NFT marketplace, Magic Eden, added support for Ordinals, a protocol that enables crypto-savvy NFT fans to mint non-fungible assets on Bitcoin without the need for high-functionality smart contracts like those on Ethereum or Solana.
On Friday, the number of Bitcoin Ordinals surpassed 550,000 thanks to the proliferation of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) copies on the network.
Other notable positive price movements this week included XRP, which rallied 21% to $0.46 and Litecoin (LTC) jumped 6.4% to $91.
Only three top thirty cryptocurrencies posted significant losses this week: The OKB token dropped 16.1%, Cosmos Hub (ATOM) fell 16% to $11.18, and Toncoin (TON) sank 14% to $2.11.
Desantis leads CBDC attack
In the U.S. this week, several prominent Republicans rebelled against the idea of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), essentially a dollar-pegged cryptocurrency that would be issued by the Federal Reserve.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis went first.
On Monday, he proposed an outright ban on CBDCs in his state. He announced the measure from a podium where the words “Big Brother’s Digital Dollar” could be read in the background.
He justified the measure by saying: “What [a] central bank digital currency is all about is surveilling Americans and controlling Americans. You're opening up a major can of worms, and you're handing a central bank huge, huge amounts of power, and they will use that power.”
Warren Davidson, a Republican representative for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District, on Tuesday, tweeted that CBDCs were an “Orwellian payments system” and shared a letter he wrote to his colleagues urging them to reject a CBDC.
By Wednesday, Ted Cruz, the junior Senator from Texas, aped DeSantis and proposed his own legislative pushback against the idea of a Fed cryptocurrency.
That same day, the White House released this year’s Economic Report of the President.
In several places, the report conveyed Washington’s skeptical stance on crypto, calling it “highly volatile and subject to fraud,” and saying it “frequently reflects an ignorance of basic economic principles that have been learned in economics and finance over centuries."
Finally, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) thinly veiled crypto crackdown continued apace on Wednesday when the agency hit Coinbase with a Wells Notice, alleging that the exchange's staking products constitute unregistered securities.