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Market Wrap: Bitcoin Suffers Its Worst Month Since 2011

Sep 24, 2022

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Hi, I'm Helene Braun, here to take you through the day's crypto market highlights and news.

June was tough for crypto markets.

Bitcoin (BTC) saw its biggest monthly price drop since 2011, 37.3%. Ether (ETH) was down 45% last month.

The declines resulted largely from a range of macroeconomic problems that has made traders risk-averse.

“This was one of the worst quarters on record pretty much everywhere across the equity market, across the bond market, across a lot of different places,” Jeff Dorman, chief investment officer at the digital-asset manager Arca Funds, told CoinDesk.

With inflation still running at a 40-year high, and because of uncertainty caused by supply-chain disruptions and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, investors across all markets are fearful, and rightfully so.

The GDPNow gauge, a popular tracker from the Atlanta Fed, showed Thursday that real gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 1% in the second quarter, which would be the second consecutive month that the U.S. economy saw negative growth, indicating that we already might be in a recession.

But it’s not all outside factors that affected the crypto market. Crypto itself suffered big shocks last month, causing declines that outpaced even major stock indexes, which continued to shed value.

Two weeks ago, Celsius’s CEL token fell in value by over 50% after announcing it was halting withdrawals, although it regained some ground by month's end to finish down only 24%.

CoinFLEX, a crypto exchange focused on derivatives trading, also paused withdrawals. Its FLEX token declined over 65% in 24 hours.

“The story should be about the [decentralized finance] platforms that have worked in service to their customers admirably and without issue, while their [centralized finance] counterparts like Celsius have blown up,” Dorman said.

A number of analysts believe bitcoin will break below the roughly $18,000-$21,000 support it held throughout June.

“A successful retest appears likely at this time and could set the base for a gradual recovery spread over a few months,” BitBull CEO Joe DiPasquale wrote to CoinDesk. “A breakdown from this range could see bitcoin trading between $13,000 to $15,000 and could send the market into a spiral that may require a longer period of time for recovery.”

Latest prices

Bitcoin (BTC): $19,340 +2.1%

Ether (ETH): $1,062 +4.2%

SP 500 daily close: 3,828.11 +1.1%

Gold: $1,808 per troy ounce +0.2%

Ten-year Treasury yield daily close: 2.89% −0.08

Bitcoin, ether and gold prices are taken at approximately 4pm New York time. Bitcoin is the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX); Ether is the CoinDesk Ether Price Index (ETX); Gold is the COMEX spot price. Information about CoinDesk Indices can be found at coindesk.com/indices.

Grayscale 'GBTC Discount' Widens After SEC Bitcoin ETF Rejection

A key crypto market metric known as the "Grayscale discount" is widening after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected an application by the CoinDesk sister company to convert its bitcoin fund, the world's biggest, into an exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) are now trading at a 31% discount to the value of the underlying bitcoin, based on figures posted on the website for Grayscale Investments, the fund's manager. Prior to the SEC's decision, the GBTC discount was 28.4%.

The widening in the discount is seen as a sign of waning optimism for a conversion anytime soon – the opposite of what was happening last week, when some investors were buying GBTC, betting on the fund's chances, said Pablo Jodar, financial products manager at Storm Partners, a tech supplier for the crypto industry in Europe.

“Now, with the news that the SEC is not approving the ETF, it is having the opposite effect,” Jodar said.

Read the full story here.

Altcoin roundup

  • Meta begins testing NFT Facebook integration: According to Meta (FB) Product Manager Navdeep Singh, the social media giant has started to test Polygon- and Ethereum-based non-fungible tokens (NFT) among a selected group of creators on Facebook. The testing follows a series of pilot integrations on Instagram in May. Read more here.

  • Tether reduces commercial paper holdings: The stablecoin issuer has cut its holdings of commercial paper by 58% to $8.5 billion, with a further reduction to $3.5 billion expected at the end of the month as it seeks to tackle speculation about the quality of support for its dollar-pegged USDT token. Tether's market cap has fallen to $66.1 billion from $82.2 billion in two months. Read more here.

  • Hxro conducts test launch on Solana: The crypto derivatives marketplace layer conducted a test launch on the Solana mainnet. Trading was restricted to a handful of bitcoin futures contracts that use a dummy token as collateral as developers stress test the network. Read more here.

Relevant insight

  • Listen 🎧: Today’s CoinDesk Markets Daily podcast discusses the latest market movements and how firms can attract talent using Web3.

  • Brutal Month for Bitcoin as June Ends With Biggest Drop in 11 Years: Crypto markets saw heavy losses with investors increasingly worried about high inflation and Federal Reserve rate increases. Some analysts say the bitcoin price could go even lower.

  • Ignite CEO Peng Zhong Announces Departure Shortly After Re-Organization: Zhong’s exit comes weeks after the company’s former CEO, Jae Kwon, said he is re-joining the company as the CEO of spinoff New Tendermint.

  • Celsius Shareholder BnkToTheFuture Proposes Bitcoin Investments, Restructuring in Rescue Bid: The community investing platform put forth three proposals on Thursday night in a bid to save Celsius Network from going under.

  • Crypto World Is Cautious of Finer Details In EU's MiCA Law: Web3 advocates are cautiously welcoming Europe's new law, but must first resolve its paradoxes – like when is a non-fungible token fungible?

  • Good Time to Buy Crypto Mining Stocks, Says DA Davidson as It Slashes Hashrate Forecasts: Trading will be restricted to dummy collateral as the developers stress test their network.

  • Two Polygon, Fantom Front Ends Hit by DNS Attack: Two gateways provided by Ankr were exploited on Friday, but Polygon said there are no indications any funds were lost.

  • Bank of America Customers’ Crypto Activity Slowed as Market Slid: Almost 70% of the U.S. population hasn't invested in or isn't interested in investing in cryptocurrencies, the bank said.

  • Troubled Crypto Lender Babel Finance Looking to Hire Restructuring Specialist Houlihan Lokey: Sources: The company is reportedly in the process of signing an engagement letter with the investment banking firm.

  • FTX US Gains 'Option to Acquire' BlockFi for Up to $240M The agreement reached with the FTX unit has a total value of "up to $680 million," according to BlockFi's CEO.

Other markets

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Sector classifications are provided via the Digital Asset Classification Standard (DACS) , developed by CoinDesk Indices to provide a reliable, comprehensive and standardized classification system for digital assets. The CoinDesk 20 is a ranking of the largest digital assets by volume on trusted exchanges.


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