5 Things to Know in Crypto: BTC Pulls Back to $23,000 Ahead of Big Week of Macro Risk
- Bitcoin was last trading just above $23,000 and Ethereum around $1,670 as both succumb to modest profit taking.
- It’s set to be a busy week on the macro front with key US jobs and ISM survey data scheduled.
- Aave is to create a new stablecoin called GHO, which marks the latest algorithmic stablecoin experiment.
Major Cryptos Succumb to Modest Selling Pressure Ahead of Busy Macro Week
Major cryptocurrencies have pulled back a little from weekend highs amid profit-taking, with the broader macro tone subdued ahead of a host of important macro risk events later this week. The main event will be the release of the official US jobs report for July on Friday, with traders on the lookout for signs of further US economic weakness. In that regard, Monday’s US ISM Manufacturing PMI survey data and Wednesday’s ISM Services PMI survey data (both for July) will also be important in shaping US recession perceptions this week.
As has been the playbook as of late, crypto prices may respond positively to poor US economic data, if that data results in a pullback of Fed tightening bets. However, some analysts have been critical of the recent pullback in Fed rate hike bets following recent weak data and last week’s Fed meeting (which has given a significant boost to stocks and crypto). With inflation still so high and unlikely to return to the Fed’s 2.0% target anytime soon, it’s too early to bet on a dovish pivot, they argue. Traders should also keep an eye on some important G10 economic events, including Australian and UK central bank decisions on Tuesday and Thursday.
Bitcoin was last changing hands just above $23,000, down about 3.0% in the last 24 hours according to CoinMarketCap, but still well within recent ranges. Ethereum was last trading around $1,670, down about 2.0% in 24 hours and now down close to 7.0% versus last week’s highs near $1,800. In terms of the major altcoins, similar modest declines are being observed, with BNB, XRP, ADA, SOL and DOGE all down between 2-5% in the last 24 hours.
Tether Criticizes USDT Short-sellers Again
“The simple fact that hedge funds view Terra’s collapse as a constructive thesis to short USDT represents the asymmetric knowledge gap between cryptocurrency market participants and entities in the traditional finance space”, Tether, the creator and issuer of USD-pegged stablecoin USDT, said in a blog post last week.
Tether said that misconceptions about its reserves are behind the short-seller thesis, pointing to conspiracies that the company holds a significant portion of Chinese commercial paper, or that USDT is created out of thin air. “In short, the underlying thesis of this trade is incredibly misinformed and flat-out wrong… It is further supported by a blind belief in what borders on outright conspiracy theories about Tether,” the company said.
Tether claims that USDT is fully backed by cash or liquid cash equivalents. In a separate recent blog post, it reaffirmed its intention to reduce its total commercial paper holdings to zero by November from over $30 billion last year. USDT’s current market capitalization is $66.2 billion, meaning it retains its spot as the largest stablecoin currently on the market.
Aave to Create New Algorithmic Stablecoin GHO
Decentralized Finance protocol Aave’s decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) just passed a proposal to create a new algorithmic stablecoin GHO. 99.99% of the 501,000 AAVE tokens that voted on the proposal voted in favor. In order to get GHO (the equivalent to borrowing), Aave protocol users will need to post collateral at a pre-specified ratio.
Once they pay back their GHO or get liquidated because of a drop in the value of their collateral, Aave will burn the GHO. Given Terra’s UST stablecoin’s failure in May, many within the crypto space are skeptical about whether GHO can succeed. According to Aave’s proposal, however, GHO will be over-collateralized. GHO will initially be available on the Ethereum mainnet.
Israel Tightens Restrictions on Cash Usage
Israel is set to implement further restrictions on personal/business transactions conducted using cash, as it seeks to further reduce disincentive cash use. As of this Monday, cash payments are limited to less than 6,000 shekels (around $1,760) for individuals and less than 15,000 shekels ($4,400) for businesses. Authorities in Israel claim their goal is to accelerate the shift towards digital payments in order to better combat tax evasion and illicit activity.
“The goal is to reduce cash fluidity in the market, mainly because crime organizations tend to rely on cash,” an official from Israel’s Tax Authority told local media. Some crypto analysts see the increasing restrictions on cash in Israel, a trend also being observed elsewhere, as a good sign for crypto adoption.
From Monday Israel will ban cash payments over $4,400! That means you cannot pay cash for a used car, designer bag, or any other higher ticket item.
Not the first or last country to introduce such restrictions.
— Lark Davis (@TheCryptoLark) July 30, 2022
Jewelry Maker Tiffany Launches CryptoPunk NFT-Themed Diamond Pendants
Jewelry makers Tiffany & Co. is set to sell 250 diamond-encrusted pendant necklaces exclusively to the holders of the well-known CryptoPunks Non-fungible Token (NFT) collection for 30 ETH each, or just over $50,000 each at current prices. The launch will occur on 5 August. CryptoPunk NFT holders will also be able to purchase the pendants in the form of NFTs, which will be redeemable for the physical necklace.
We’re taking NFTs to the next level. Exclusive to CryptoPunks holders, NFTiff transforms your NFT into a bespoke pendant handcrafted by Tiffany & Co. artisans. You’ll also receive an additional NFT version of the pendant. Learn more: https://t.co/FJwCAxw8TN #NFTiff #TiffanyAndCo pic.twitter.com/pyKlWejHv4
— Tiffany & Co. (@TiffanyAndCo) July 31, 2022
Tiffany’s pendant release will be conducted in tandem with crypto start-up Chain, which is looking after the back end of the launch. According to Chain, holders of NFTs from the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection will soon also be able to purchase similar pendants.
Who says Punks get to have all the fun?
— Chains NFT (@chains_nft) July 31, 2022