Crypto Market Surpasses $2T, Asset Manager Sees BTC As A “Hedge Against Higher Inflation” While ETH OI Doubles to $8.65B

ADA is now leading past $2 and just 15.27% away from its peak, with Bitcoin and Ether still 28% and 25.3% off of their respective ATHs. The dollar is staying firm near its highest level in four months as the Fed sets itself apart from more dovish central banks.

Ahead of the weekend, the crypto market has started pumping yet again.

On Thursday, Bitcoin experienced a small drop in price as it fell to about $43,750. In tandem with BTC, Ether went to $2,972, and the rest of the crypto market went just under $1.89 trillion.

But already, the market is back up and running with Bitcoin past $46,350 and Ether at $3,230 on Friday. The total cryptocurrency market cap is now past $2 trillion, not far from the mid-May all-time high of $2.55 trillion as digital assets started rallying in the past two weeks.

Among the top cryptos, Cardano (ADA) is rallying spectacularly, now past $2 and just 15.27% away from its peak, in anticipation of the Cardano smart contract announcement. IntoTheBlock noted,

“The crypto-asset hits $2 for the first time since May, poised by a strong number of HODLERS. The number of addresses holding ADA +1 year just hit a new ath with 221.49k addresses, aggregating 4.46b.”

BTC & Ether Back in Action

Both Bitcoin and Ether are still 28% and 25.3% away from their respective ATHs.

As prices go upwards, sentiment is recovering, with funding rates turning positive after staying negative for an extended period of time. This implies traders are now leaning towards longs but still, the highest Bitcoin funding rate, as of writing, is 0.0289% on Deribit.

With this, the open interest on Bitcoin futures has risen to $16.18 bln, from $10.62 low on June 26, with the ATH at $27.68 bln, as per Bybt. As for Ether futures, it has nearly doubled to 8.65 bln, from $4.43 ln low, and is fast nearing its peak of $11.6 bln.

When it comes to Ether, the London upgrade last week has kickstarted the bulls into motion as EIP 1550 got activated. So far, in less than ten days, more than 37,000 ETH worth over $114 million have been burned.

This crunch in Ether supply is helping push its prices upwards, aided by the NFT mania. Last year was all about DeFi, but this year is about NFT, which, unlike the complex decentralized finance sector, has managed to take crypto mainstream.

Renewed Mania

NFTs and digital collectibles have experienced massive growth this year, and while the crypto prices were experiencing a drawdown between May and July, NFT activity has made its way back to the peak mania of March. Daily transfers of ERC-721 tokens are currently on their way to breaching ATHs.

CryptoPunks, a pioneering NFT project which is being sold for millions, along with Bored Apes Yacht Club and Meebits, will be auctioned by Christie’s next month. Recently, Three Arrows Capital also went on an NFT buying spree, mostly focused on CryptoPunks and Art Blocks, a platform for creating generative NFT art. CoinMetrics noted,

“With NFTs becoming a mainstay of the burgeoning digital economy on Ethereum, institutional players may be taking notice and contributing to this recent rise in volume and activity.”

Coming Up

Amidst this, firms continue to file for ETFs, with the 21st being an Ether ETF by Kryptoin. After SEC Chair Gary Gensler signaling more openness for futures-backed ETFs, four companies have filed for them in the past two weeks.

Just this week, asset manager giant Neuberger Berman who has $433 billion assets under management, gave its Commodity Strategy Fund the green light to invest in cryptos. The 164.4 million mutual fund, which invests in commodity-linked futures contracts, can now add exposure to Bitcoin and Ether through futures.

The fund’s portfolio managers see cryptos as increasing diversification and providing a hedge against higher inflation, a spokesman for the fund told Reuters. The spokesman added,

“Accessing these markets through exchange-traded instruments is a prudent way to gain exposure, which the portfolio management team will seek to do over the coming weeks and months.”

On the macro front, the dollar is staying firm near its highest level at 92.758 in four months as the US Federal Reserve starts discussing tapering with an announcement by the end of the year seen as a near certainty. While consumer price data indicates that inflation may be peaking, the wholesale price data underscored the strength of inflationary pressure.

As we reported, several Fed officials this week came out in support of reducing monetary stimulus, setting themselves apart from more dovish central banks such as the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan.

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