Bitcoin, Ether edge higher; Litecoin leads winners; investors assess the impact of the US debt crisis
Bitcoin prices surged on Monday morning in Asia to over $27,000 due to higher transaction fees due to network congestion. Ether managed to rise above the $1,800 support level as the blockchain developers say they have added updates to fix what caused last week’s performance issues. Litecoin led the winners among other top 10 non-stable coin cryptocurrencies. US stock futures fell on Friday as US investors fear a possible debt default.
See related article: Weekly Market Wrap: Bitcoin Falls to $26,166 as Memecoins Flood the Blockchain
Bitcoin, Ether rise from weekly losses
Bitcoin rose 1.15% to $27,010 in the 24 hours to 9:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data. It had a weekly loss of 5.18%.
Over the weekend, the world’s largest cryptocurrency hit a two-month low, falling to USD 25,964 on Saturday. The token has experienced network congestion with the popularity of Bitcoin Ordinals and new BRC-20 memecoins Pepe and Floki, increasing transaction costs.
Ether gained 0.69% to $1,809, maintaining the key support level of $1,800, but down 3.54% in the last seven days.
The Ethereum blockchain experienced technical problems twice on May 11 and 12 that caused the network to stop completing blocks, regarding users of the blockchain’s performance stability.
On Saturday, Ethereum blockchain consultant Superphiz so on Twitter that the issue – which “appears to have been caused by a high load on some Consensus Layers clients, which in turn was caused by an exceptional scenario” – had been resolved.
Ethereum developers deployed updates in response to the technical issue, Superphiz confirmed.
All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded higher on Monday morning. Litecoin led the gains, adding 3.97% to $83.50. The Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency faced a surge in interest due to the higher transaction fees affecting the world’s most dominant digital currency.
Litecoin also has its quadrennial block halving event on August 3rd. Halving refers to a pre-programmed reduction in the rate at which new tokens are created, which reduces supply and can drive prices higher.
The total crypto market capitalization rose 0.43% in the last 24 hours to $1.13 trillion. Total trading volume fell 3.02% to $22.07 billion.
NFT index rises, Bitcoin Ordinals have biggest sales
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 added 0.97% to 3,342.85 points in the 24 hours to 12:30 in Hong Kong, but is down 5.10% for the week.
NFT sales on the Ethereum blockchain fell 15.52% in the last 24 hours to $12.74 million, according to Cryptoslam data. However, NFT buyers on the Ethereum blockchain totaled 53,417 over the past seven days – an increase of 188.55% from last week.
With the continued rise in popularity of Bitcoin Ordinals – a type of NFT inscribed on individual satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin – Bitcoin placed second on Cryptoslam’s blockchain ranking by NFT sales volume. That was an 80% increase, taking the total to $2.11 million.
“NFTs on the OG blockchain were red hot,” said Yehudah Petscher, an NFT strategist at Forkast Labs. As a result, he added, “The Bitcoin ecosystem seems to be in ‘just up’ mode right now, and when it will end, no one knows.”
Ordinals also had the highest sales in the last seven days among NFT collections, jumping 459.16% to $15.5 million. The Binance NFT marketplace announced on May 9 that it plans to support the Bitcoin-based NFTs later this month.
US stock futures fall on default fears
US stock futures traded flat to lower at 11:00 a.m. in Hong Kong. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 0.039 percent. S&P 500 futures fell 0.042%, while Nasdaq Composite futures lost 0.078%. The three U.S. indexes fell in regular trading on Friday as worries remain about liquidity at regional banks and delays in talks to raise the debt ceiling.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said earlier in May that the Treasury Department will begin defaulting on US payment obligations as early as June 1. Faster action is needed by Congress to avoid that scenario, she said. But with an agreement yet to be reached, concerns that the crisis could lead to debt defaults are affecting overall investor sentiment.
During last week’s Group of Seven finance ministers meeting in Japan, Yellen said a US default would trigger an “economic and financial disaster” that would trigger a “global economic downturn”.
Yellen plans to update Congress on how close the country is to defaulting on its financial obligations in the next two weeks, Bloomberg reported Saturday.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and congressional leaders are scheduled to gather this week to discuss the upcoming “X date,” or when the government could default.
On June 14, the Federal Reserve will decide its next move on interest rates. The rate of between 5 and 5.25% is the highest since 2006. The CME FedWatch Tool predicts an 84.5% chance that the Fed will keep interest rates unchanged in June. However, it also predicts a 15.5% chance of another rate hike of 25 basis points, up from 3.9% on Friday.