In brief

  • OKEx struggles to recover after Chinese authorities launched an investigation against the company.
  • Bitcoin's price holds steady while Stellar's XLM and Crypto.com's CRO token swing wildly.
  • Stock markets are up after renewed hopes of a Covid vaccine and US stimulus package.

Over the weekend beleaguered cryptocurrency exchange OKEx struggled to regain its footing. 

The exchange, headquartered in Malta but most active in China, suspended withdrawals late last week after Chinese authorities called for an investigation. In the immediate aftermath, the exchange suspended all withdrawals leading to a 2.5% drop in the price of Bitcoin. 

Since then, things have got worse. The founder of OKEx, Xu Mingxing was taken away by police on Friday for questioning. Subsequently, the exchange’s token, OKB collapsed 25% over the weekend, recovering 5% in the past 24 hours. With no date set for withdrawals to start again, OKEx customers are going to have to get used to the ambiguity. 

Across crypto land, however, prices ticked up a modest 0.02% in the past 24 hours. Bitcoin and Ethereum saw marginal gains, while the vast majority of the top 20 coins by market cap moved up or down by less than 2%. 

 

Crypto.com’s coin however, lost 15% over the weekend, topping a terrible week where the exchange’s token CRO lost more than 30%. The reason? Crypto.com slashed its rewards program for staking CRO tokens by 70%. But the exchange did pass five million users during the same time. You win some, you lose some. 

Stellar HODLers had reason to rejoice over the weekend. The project’s currency XLM rose by 10% and has risen 4% in the last 24 hours thanks to Circle - and its US dollar-pegged stablecoin - announcing support for Stellar in Q1 of 2021

Stocks keen for a vaccine 

The stock markets are having their own fuzzy warm moment as well. Asian markets rose on duel hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine and a US stimulus package. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced it was pressing for authorisation from regulators to get its vaccine to market quicker if its current trials go well. 

Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appear to be edging closer to a deal as talks over a US stimulus deal come into sharper focus. 

European markets have been trading in the green in early hours trading today. 

But there’s a potential party pooper on the horizon. The European Union is expected to be given the go-ahead this week to impose tariffs on $4 billion of US imports in a dispute over aircraft subsidies, a World Trade Organization document showed on Monday.

The EU won the right to retaliation in its dispute with the United States over subsidies to planemaker Boeing this month, potentially deepening a record trade spat that has already prompted Washington to slap duties on EU goods. 

With the US election just days away now, sentiment among market watchers is, “hold on to your hats.”

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