NewsCoins

This Week in Coins: Bitcoin Back Below $40K, Markets Mostly Flat

Among the few leading coins to post gains were Apecoin, Monero, and Terra's Luna. Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic each fell about 8%.

5 min read
Image: Shutterstock
This week in coins. Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt.

Most leading coins stagnated this week, with minimal new institutional adoption of crypto a big contributor to that.

Still, compared to the two previous weeks, losses slowed. Bitcoin dropped 2% to trade at $39,629, while Ethereum dropped 2.7% to $2,960—each still slightly below a critical threshold. 

Coins that forked from the market leaders fared much worse over the last seven days: Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic both posted losses of just over 8%, with Bitcoin Cash trading for $318 and Ethereum Classic worth $35 at the time of this writing.

Few other top 40 cryptocurrencies posted major dips. The most notable loss was felt by holders of XRP, which sank 8.45% over the last seven days to around $0.71. 

Three top cryptocurrencies surged over the week, including Terra’s LUNA, which rose 14.35% to $93.09.

Privacy coin Monero (XMR) shot up 18.58% to $272.55 after news of a hard fork due in July. A Reddit-organized bank run also could be driving up that price. On Monday, a group of Monero fans inspired likeminded heads to take as much Monero off centralized exchanges as they could afford, in a shopping spree dubbed the “Monerun.”

Lastly, ApeCoin rallied to a one-month high today. The Bored Ape Yacht Club ecosystem fungible is up an eye-watering 40% from last Saturday, currently trading at $17. 

Several factors are at play, including ApeCoin’s listing on lending protocol Gemini Earn and rumors that Bored Ape Yacht Club parent company Yuga Labs is planning land sales for its upcoming BAYC-inspired virtual metaverse Otherside, for which ApeCoin will be the native currency. 

The week’s news

Is crypto getting assimilated into traditional markets? It’s too early to say, but on Monday digital asset research group Arcane published a report revealing that the price of Bitcoin is currently more correlated with tech stocks, like Google and Tesla, than at any point since July 2020. 

The report also found that Bitcoin has started posting a negative correlation with gold, meaning that Bitcoin is less like “digital gold” and more like a vote of confidence in the tech industry.

Three U.S. federal institutions—the FBI, the Treasury Department, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency—released a cybersecurity advisory on Monday warning of North Korean state-sponsored attacks targeting the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries.

The most high-profile crypto heist so far linked to North Korean hackers was last month’s historic $622 million Ronin bridge exploit.

Elsewhere, El Salvador’s Bitcoin gambit doesn't appear to be working as well as Bitcoin-maxi President Nayib Bukele had hoped. The country’s former Central Reserve Bank president, Carlos Acevedo, told reporters on Monday that the government’s Bitcoin pivot is “killing” relations with the IMF and that Bukele’s plans to release Bitcoin-backed bonds are “getting complicated.”

“First they said in January, then in March, then they said that the Digital Assets Law was not ready, then that pensions were a priority, now the security issue,” said Acevedo. “I believe that the government has realized that there is not enough interest in the markets to acquire this issue.”

Irish lawmakers are drafting rules that will ban political parties from accepting crypto donations. The measures are aimed at preventing possible election interference from Russia.

In addition to prohibiting cryptocurrency donations, the amended rules—enforced by a soon-to-be-established electoral commission—will tighten requirements for foreign donations and give the government the power to remove content from social media platforms.

Meanwhile, in the southern hemisphere, Australians soon will join Canadians in having access to licensed Bitcoin and Ethereum spot Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). On Tuesday, Australian asset management firm ETF Securities and Switzerland-based ETF issuer 21Shares announced the launch of two ETFs on April 27

Canadian regulators have approved five crypto ETFs so far. Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has so far rejected every spot ETF application. 

Spot ETFs are big news because they are auditable investment vehicles that could become massively popular with investors. In a nutshell, a Bitcoin spot ETF is a product that allows investors to trade the current price of Bitcoin like a stock, and it carries the seal of regulatory approval, providing traders with exposure to crypto without the risk of buying it directly.

British luxury department store Harvey Nichols on Wednesday launched an NFT space called “HN NFT Vault” at the Pacific Place mall in Hong Kong. The gallery space hosts a variety of “top blue-chip projects, for exploration and sale,” including CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, CloneX x Takashi Murakami, Azuki, and Doodles. The store encourages current NFT owners to apply to exhibit and sell NFTs through the HN NFT Vault.

On Thursday, news broke that “Alien” film director Ridley Scott will produce an adaptation of The Defiant founder Camila Russo's book, "The Infinite Machine," about the founding of Ethereum.

Payments company Stripe on Friday announced a pilot program that will offer a “select group of creators on Twitter” the option to get paid in crypto. Payouts will be executed on the speedy Ethereum scaling platform Polygon and initially only support Circle’s USDC stablecoin. Other networks beyond Polygon and Ethereum also are on the agenda, according to Stripe.

Finally, power company Greenidge Generation’s Bitcoin mining farm in upstate New York is facing an “uphill battle” to renew its mining permit, according to Basil Seggos, commissioner of the state's department of Environmental Conservation. Environmentalists fear that Bitcoin mining plants put at risk New York’s ability to honor climate pledges set out in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act signed into law in July 2019.

Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox.