Bitcoin is up 3.46% from July 7-14 to $31,222 as of 7:30 p.m. Friday in Hong Kong. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap has been trading above the $30,000 level all week. Ether is up 6.88% for the week at $1,992.
In a key victory for the crypto industry, U.S. District Court Judge Analisa Torres ruled Thursday that Ripple Labs’ programmatic sales of XRP cryptocurrency do not count as financial collateral.
The decision followed a 30-month legal battle that gave crypto investors a boost of optimism that sent bitcoin to $31,736 and ether to $2,022 on Friday, a high for ether since May 2022.
“Thursday’s landmark decision that Ripple’s XRP tokens sold on exchanges were not securities partially contributed to Bitcoin’s price surge, propelling it above the long-awaited $31,000 mark,” said Lucas Kiely, Chief Investment Officer of digital asset platform Yield App forcastadding that more positive news from institutions will push bitcoin prices higher.
In other positive news, Europe’s first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is expected to go public later this month after a 12-month delay. The news came after a spate of spot Bitcoin ETF filings in the US from financial heavyweights including BlackRock, WisdomTree and Fidelity Investments.
Similar positive catalysts are needed to boost investor sentiment and sustain Bitcoin above $31,000, according to Jonas Betz, crypto market analyst and founder of consulting firm Betz Crypto.
“Approval of a bitcoin ETF would be an important step towards mainstream bitcoin acceptance, would signal regulators’ confidence and potentially pave the way for significant institutional investment.” News like this could spark a bullish market reaction and take bitcoin above $31,000 drifting,” Betz wrote in a statement he shared with forcast.
Boston-based Circle Internet Financial Limited, the issuer of the USDC stablecoin, announced on Wednesday it will be cutting staff and investing in non-core activities to refocus its business. The exact number of layoffs is unknown.
Adding to investor concerns, market talk suggested that Bank of America would close customer accounts related to Coinbase. The exchange’s chief executive, Brian Armstrong, created a Twitter account Opinion poll asked Wednesday whether customers’ accounts at Bank of America have been closed due to transactions with Coinbase. About 8.9% of the respondents said “yes”, while 19.3% said “no” and the other 71.9% simply chose “view results”.
The next day, Barclays downgraded Coinbase stock before the exchange was due to release earnings on Aug. 3, the bank’s research note said. On the bright side, the bank raised its price target on Coinbase stock to $70 from $61.
On a macro level, US inflation fell to 3% in June, compared to 4% in May, the lowest inflation rate since March 2021.
Max Breus, co-founder and CEO of Ubix Network, a protocol that connects blockchains to various consensus mechanisms, said macroeconomic developments are as important to the crypto market as regulators’ actions.
“The situation in the major global markets, the stock market, the bond market and the Fed’s interest rate policy is very important for investor sentiment. Should there be a downward trend in the world markets, the cryptocurrency market will also come under pressure. Spot Bitcoin ETF is an important factor, but it is only a financial instrument. Global factors are more important to investor sentiment,” Breus wrote in a statement he shared forcast.
According to data from CoinMarketCap, the global crypto market cap stood at $1.25 trillion in Hong Kong as of 7:30 p.m. Friday, up 6.83% from $1.17 trillion a week ago. With a market cap of $606 billion, bitcoin made up 48.5% of the market, while ether, valued at $239 billion, made up 19.2%.
Notable movers: XRP, XLM
The XRP token was the biggest gainer among the top 100 coins this week, surging 72.16% to $0.8036. XRP started its rally on Thursday, boosted by Ripple’s court victory over the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The XLM token, the native cryptocurrency of the Stellar blockchain, was the second-biggest gainer of the week, surging 57.57% to $0.1515. The token started its rally alongside the XRP token on Thursday, fueled by the market-wide euphoria over the court ruling.
See related article: According to K33 Research report, the global crypto industry is worth $180 billion
Next week: Bitcoin must close above $31,000 to pave the way to $32,500
Next week, investors will attend the sixth edition of the Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) in Paris, France, the largest Ethereum-themed conference in Europe.
On the macro front, the Federal Reserve is due to release its latest balance sheet on Thursday, detailing the Fed’s assets and liabilities. Investors will also expect a speech from Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Michael Barr on Tuesday, who will provide guidance on the Fed’s upcoming monetary policy decisions.
Yield App’s Kiely said that Bitcoin needs to stay above $30,500 to maintain its bullish momentum.
“July started with a steady uptrend. Bitcoin reclaimed the recent resistance level of $30,500 earlier this week. Staying above this level will be crucial if Bitcoin is to continue the uptrend,” Kiely wrote.
Ubix Network’s Max Breus said that $31,000 is a key level for bitcoin investors to keep an eye on.
“This is the highest level of consolidation since June 20th. If the weekly price closes above $31,000, there is a high chance it will rally to $32,500 next week,” Breus wrote.
See related article: XRP’s Partial Victory As Russia Approaches CBDC; Arkham draws criticism