AI-themed cryptos on the rise; NFT lenders duke it out; US debt talks continue
Bitcoin and Ether rose on Friday morning in Asia, along with almost every other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrency. Binance is jumping on the non-fungible token (NFT) lending bandwagon to take on Blur, which launched an NFT lending protocol earlier this month that is now dominating the market. US investors continue to monitor the country’s ongoing debt ceiling talks, with media reports saying talks are nearing a deal.
Nvidia boost for cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin rose 1.82% in the past 24 hours to $26,431 at 9:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, according to data from CoinMarketCap. However, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was down 1.53% over the past seven days.
Ether climbed 1.85% in the last 24 hours to $1,800. It remained little changed over the past week.
“This week, Bitcoin briefly fell below its two-week range between $26,500 and $27,000, and is now challenging the critical 200-week moving average of $26,275,” said Rachel Lin, CEO of Singapore-based decentralized derivatives exchange Synfutures .
“A close below this weekly range could negatively impact Bitcoin and the broader crypto market, but a bounce from this level could signal a possible recovery,” Lin added.
Litecoin was the biggest gainer in the last day among the 10 non-stablecoin cryptos. It rose 4.53% in the last 24 hours to USD 87.4, but it recorded a loss of 4.09% for the week.
Tron recorded the biggest weekly gain among the top 10 tokens, adding 9.38% for the week. However, it fell 0.17% in the last 24 hours to $0.07684. Cardano’s ADA token fell 0.22% in the last day and fell 3.94% in the last week.
Meanwhile, rising interest in chip maker Nvidia — whose Nasdaq stock closed 24% higher on Thursday given its strong first-quarter results — has extended into the crypto space. Tokens related to artificial intelligence are showing significant gains.
FET – which has a market capitalization of $193 million – is the native currency of the AI-powered blockchain platform Fetch.ai. It rose 4.13% in the last 24 hours.
Similarly, SingularityNET, the initial coin of the decentralized AI marketplace SingularityNET, rose 9% in the last 24 hours. Render Token, the initial coin of GPU-based rendering platform Render Network, also yielded 3.31%.
Elsewhere, crypto exchange OKX announced Thursday that it has upgraded its app to serve retail investors in Hong Kong. The city’s new framework for crypto trading will come into force on 1 June.
OKX users in Hong Kong will soon be able to trade 16 major cryptos, including Bitcoin and Ether.
Blur, Binance vies for top NFT lender status
The indices are proxy measures of the performance of the global NFT market. They are managed by CryptoSlam, a sister company of Forkast.News under the Forkast.Labs umbrella.
In the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the Forkast 500 NFT index fell 0.94% to 3,336.45 in the 24 hours to 11:00 a.m. in Hong Kong. The index has fallen 1.7% over the past seven days.
NFT sales on Ethereum fell 25.33% in the last 24 hours to $13.75 million, according to CryptoSlam data. While sales on the Bitcoin blockchain rose 9.04% to $2.2 million.
NFT lending has emerged as a major area of competition between industry players, with Binance and Blur now vying for the top spot as the sector’s primary lender.
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is betting big on NFT lending. On Thursday, it launched an NFT lending feature that, it says, “merges the NFT and DeFi spaces to provide liquidity to NFT holders through collateral-based lending.”
The move builds on Binance’s launch of its own NFT marketplace in June 2021.
Blur – an NFT marketplace that rose to prominence earlier this year with its zero-fee transaction model – introduced its own NFT lending protocol Mixture 1st May. It has since beaten 82% of the NFT lending market, according to a Thursday report from blockchain data firm DappRadar.
The report reveals that Blend handled a total loan volume of 169,900 Ether (approximately 305.8 million USD) in the first 22 days.
“Blur continues to drive innovation in bringing products and tools to traders, and NFT lending options are an important part of the development and maturation of the NFT space as a whole,” said Brendan Humphries, chief business officer at Pine Protocol, a peer- two-protocol NFT lending platform, via email.
Humphries added that Blur’s governance framework and its token incentives have allowed it to take dominant market share in its new rivalry with other NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea.
“The continuous nature of Blend’s loans has proven attractive to traders seeking additional leverage,” Humphries said. “Products like Blend contribute to the continued maturation of the NFT market, increasing market efficiency and making the space more attractive to new entrants seeking sophisticated products and tools.”
Elsewhere, Pudgy Penguins, an Ethereum NFT collection launched in July 2021, has gained momentum with a 24.34% increase in the last 24 hours. That made it the 14th best-selling collection with US$280,680 in daily sales. These gains follow those of the project liberation of new physical action figures May 19 Over 20,000 of the figures sold in the first two days.
In addition, sportswear brand Nike’s virtual creation debut has received positive industry reactions. The Force 1 NFT sneaker collection – which went on sale starting Wednesday – sold over 55,000 pieces to over 30,000 unique members in its first day via the brand’s own NFT platform .SWOOSH.
Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) saw the most selling across the NFT market over the past 24 hours, although its daily sales fell 52% over the past 24 hours to $1.06 million.
US futures fall
Major U.S. stock futures were trading lower at 12:40 p.m. in Hong Kong. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.15%, while tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures edged down 0.2%. S&P 500 futures lost 0.2%.
US negotiators are nearing a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing a source familiar with the matter. The report said U.S. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy now only discount $70 billion in their discretionary spending estimates.
These expenses cover areas of the budget that include housing, education and the military.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has referred to June 1 as the potential “X date” when the government will no longer be able to service its debt. Failure to agree to an increase in the debt ceiling by that date would have devastating consequences for US and global markets.
Meanwhile, Australia said on Friday that the country’s retail sales remained flat in April amid cost-of-living pressures and rising interest rates.
“Spending was again soft in April, but was boosted by increased spending on winter clothing in response to cooler and wetter than average weather across the country,” Ben Dorber, head of retail statistics at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, said in a statement on Friday.
Elsewhere, inflation in Malaysia rose at a slower rate of 3.3% in April, compared with a 3.4% increase in March, according to official data released on Friday. This is in line with market expectations.