Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt.
Markets managed to finally overcome four weeks of inertia and grow a little this week, but perennial leaders Bitcoin and Ethereum remained virtually flat, with only nominal gains over the last seven days.
Bitcoin (BTC) added 1.8% this week and traded on Saturday at around $27,189. It briefly reclaimed $28,000 at the start of the week, however, after U.S. lawmakers ended their standoff over the debt ceiling last weekend with a tentative deal.
Ethereum (ETH) outpaced the world’s favorite cryptocurrency this week. It grew 4.1% to reach $1,903 at the time of writing.
There were no significant losses among any of the leading cryptocurrencies this week, but a few coins rallied: XRP rose 10% to $0.52, Solana (SOL) grew 8% to $21.18, Litecoin (LTC) rallied 10% to $96.94, and TRON surged 9.4% to $0.083773.
On Thursday, dollar-pegged stablecoin Tether (USDT) hit a new all-time high market capitalization of $83.6 billion.
Regulatory talk in Bali, U.S. and Hong Kong
On Sunday, Bali—a Hindu-majority province of Indonesia and popular holiday destination—reiterated its ban on tourists using crypto to pay for services. Bali Governor Wayan Koster warned increasingly disruptive visitors that crypto use could be punished with deportation and penalties.
Indonesian law dictates that all transactions must be settled in the local currency, rupiah. While crypto is currently permitted to be kept as an asset, using it to settle payments in Indonesia is illegal.
After details of the agreement reached between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on the U.S. debt ceiling were made public on Sunday, U.S. Congressman Warren Davidson confirmed on Twitter on Monday that the agreement has now blocked an unpopular White House proposal for a 30% excise tax to be applied to crypto firms based on how much electricity they consume.
That day, the central banks of Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates met in Abu Dhabi and discussed plans to strengthen their financial cooperation and work together to regulate virtual assets.
Hong Kong began allowing retail investors to trade crypto on Thursday, a move seen as a big step for crypto’s drive in China—a country that has cracked down heavily on the industry since summer 2021.
In the U.S. on Wednesday, no-coiner Senator Elizabeth Warren continued to sound a note of alarm over crypto. As an example, Warren told a hearing of a Senate Banking Committee that crypto had been used by a criminal organization to buy precursor drugs to manufacture nearly half a trillion dollars worth of the lethal synthetic opioid Fentanyl.
Crypto exchange Gemini announced on Thursday that it has begun the process of acquiring a license to operate in the United Arab Emirates barely a week after announcing its new European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.
In these moves, Gemini follows Coinbase, another popular exchange that has been on a global expansion drive recently as U.S. regulators continue to hit the industry with enforcement actions rather than guidance.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Thursday issued a new proposal to revise its risk management rules to account for "evolving technologies" like cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence.
Finally, miners in Texas can breathe a sigh of relief this week. In a meeting of the legislature on Monday, Texas Senate Bill (SB) 1751 did not pass, which means miners in the Lone Star State can continue to enjoy energy credit incentives for cooperating with the local grid in times of peak demand.