Bitcoin was higher in Asia on Thursday morning, trading in the $26,500 range. The token posted its biggest one-day gain in six weeks on Wednesday, recouping some of losses from last week’s nosedive. Ether also surged and challenged the $1,700 resistance level, while all other top 10 non-stable cryptocurrencies traded higher. The surge in all cryptocurrencies reflected a rally in the US stock market on Thursday. S&P Global’s August Purchasing Managers’ Index showed a slowdown in the US economy, easing concerns about inflation and interest rate hikes.
Solana’s SOL led the crypto gainers after Solana Pay announced a partnership with Shopify to enable USDC payments on the e-commerce platform. The Forkast 500 NFT Index fell as OpenSea’s decision to stop enforcing copyright royalties continues to impact the market. Meanwhile, US-based AI chipmaker Nvidia released a better-than-expected earnings report, leading to a 6% surge in the company’s shares and a boost for US stocks.
Cryptos benefit from Wall Street gains
According to CoinMarketCap data, bitcoin is up 2.23% over the past 24 hours to $26,510.04 (as of 7:20 a.m. Hong Kong) but is down 8.11% this week. The world’s leading cryptocurrency hit a seven-day high of $26,786.90 on Wednesday, up over 3.7% from its daily low of $25,806.99.
Bitcoin’s surge came amid a Wall Street rally. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were up more than 1% at the close on Wednesday. This followed the release of S&P Global’s flash US composite PMI index – a measure of economic activity in both the manufacturing and services sectors.
The index showed that economic growth was close to stalling in August. Investors were hoping that a slowdown in consumer spending could prompt the Federal Reserve to pause its cycle of rate hikes – good news for the crypto market, reflected in today’s price increases.
CoinGlass data showed that total bitcoin liquidations over the past 24 hours totaled $39.08 million. This included long positions worth $9.65 million – positions where investors are betting that the price of the cryptocurrency will rise.
It was the first time since Aug. 20 that bitcoin short liquidations — which totaled $29.43 — exceeded long position liquidations, indicating an improvement in investor sentiment.
Like bitcoin, ether has also rallied. It rose 3.04% to $1,681.25 but is still down 7.06% over the past seven days.
Bitstamp, a Europe-based crypto exchange, announced on Wednesday that it will stop providing ether staking services to US customers starting September 25, citing “current regulatory dynamics” in the country. The exchange previously announced that it would suspend trading of seven cryptocurrencies classified by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as securities starting August 27.
All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies have traded higher over the past 24 hours. Solana’s SOL token led the gainers, up 5.35% to $21.61. But it was still down 5.23% this week.
Solana Pay, a free payment protocol built on the Solana blockchain, announced announced a partnership with Canada-based e-commerce platform Shopify on Wednesday. The partnership will allow Solana Pay users to use USDC stablecoins for online purchases with no intermediary fees. According to TechCrunch, the protocol will also consider adding more payment options like SOL and BOND in the future.
The total crypto market cap increased by 2.53% to $1.07 trillion. Trading volume increased 10.71% to $35.37 billion.
The NFT market has not bottomed out yet
The main Forkast 500 NFT index fell 1.11% to 2,271.35 in the last 24 hours as of 10:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, down 7.48% on the week. Forkast’s NFT indices Ethereum and Cardano also posted losses, while Solana and Polygon indices gained.
The Forkast 500 is down 44.87% year-to-date. But the index still has room for a decline, said Yehudah Petscher, NFT strategist at Forkast Labs, in a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday.
“Last year the market lost over 75% of its value from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, which means we have much more to fall. Possibly 30% (down) or more,” Petscher said.
All is not lost, however, as rising transactions point to the potential for industry growth.
“NFTs are dead? “Someone is lying to you,” Petscher tweeted on Wednesday. “Total sales are similar to early/mid 2021 levels, but the number of buyers/sellers is close to 2022 levels. Transactions also hit an all-time high last week at 3,701,251.”
Total NFT trading volume dropped 11.20% to $12.92 million in the last 24 hours. According to CryptoSlam, volumes on blockchains Ethereum and Polygon declined, while volumes on Solana, Bitcoin, and Cardano increased slightly.
“Overall, OpenSea’s royalty policy is still having an impact on the market. “Transactions are down, total sales are down and the average selling price is up,” Petscher said.
“The higher average selling price lately indicates that expensive NFTs are being sold, but these are typically at a loss these days,” he added.
OpenSea, one of the world’s leading NFT marketplaces, announced last week that it would stop enforcing royalties – a key source of revenue for NFT creators – effective August 31.
In response to OpenSea’s announcement, rival NFT marketplace Rarible said Wednesday it would continue to support royalty payments. In addition, the aggregation of orders from the OpenSea, LooksRare and X2Y2 marketplaces, all of which no longer charge license fees, will be discontinued.
“Decentralization offers an opportunity to dispel the stigma of the ‘starving artist’ and allow for the continued growth of projects through true ownership and ongoing revenue,” said Alex Salnikov, co-founder of Rarible, in one opinion posted on Twitter.
“We stand in solidarity with the creators and artists. Therefore, we will no longer support marketplaces that neglect royalties,” he added
Following the announcement, Rarible saw a 310.85% increase in 24-hour trading volume to $34,000 as of 11:00 a.m. in Hong Kong. That’s still a fraction of OpenSea’s $2.19 million 24-hour volume — an 8.82% decline, according to DappRadar data.
“I don’t think it moves things one way or the other, but now is the time for collectors and creators to walk the talk,” Petscher said in Wednesday’s YouTube video.
“If creators feel strongly that royalties are necessary, they will rely on Rarible and work with Rarible. And the same goes for collectors,” he said.
Ethereum-based Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) surpassed 24-hour NFT collection sell volume. It fell 50.91% to $1.34 million in the last 24 hours. DMarket, based on the Mythos chain, and Sorare, based on Ethereum, took second and third place in the rankings.
(Updates with NFT range.)