5 Things to Know in Crypto Today: ETH Ranges Near $1,200 as Merge Date Proposed
- Crypto markets are in consolidation mode in thin weekend trading volumes as traders look back on a turbulent week.
- Bitcoin was last trading in the $20,600s and Ethereum around $1,200.
- Ethereum’s senior developer said the merge to PoS could take place in September.
Crypto Prices Consolidate in Thin Weekend Trading Volumes
Cryptocurrency markets are in consolidation mode amid thin weekend trading volumes. Bitcoin was last trading in the $20,600s and is for now finding support above its 21-Day Moving Average in the $20,300s, about 9.0% higher versus Wednesday’s sub-$19,000 lows. But the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap still looks set to end the week around 1.0% lower.
Ethereum, meanwhile, is consolidating around $1,200 after momentarily hitting fresh one-month highs above $1,280 on Friday. The world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap was last around 19% higher versus Wednesday’s lows just above $1,000 and one course to post a close to 3.0% weekly gain.
Total cryptocurrency market capitalization was last around $900 billion almost bang on flat for the week. That masks the fact that it was a very turbulent week with some important macro developments. In short, US Consumer Price Inflation data surprised to the upside again, but Fed members pushed back against the idea of a 100 bps rate hike later this month, meaning a 75 bps rate hike remains the market’s base case.
Other US data relating to the consumer (Retail Sales and Consumer Sentiment) also surprised to the upside, easing US recession fears somewhat. In the end, macro developments this week have proven to be neither a headwind or a tailwind for crypto. Next week should be a little quieter, with no tier one US data releases scheduled. Any commentary from further Fed policymakers will be closely scrutinized, as usual.
Ethereum’s Merge to PoS Now Has a Date
According to Tim Beiko, a senior developer at the Ethereum Foundation, Ethereum’s merge from a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mechanism will take place during the week of 19 September. The merge should reduce Ethereum’s energy usage by some 99.95%. The proponents of PoS think it provides better security and scalability.
Crypto Venture Capital Investment Down 26% YoY in H1 2022
The sum total of investments made in crypto companies by Venture Capital (VC) firms in the first half of 2022 was down 26% versus its levels in H1 2021, Crunchbase reported. Total investments in H1 2022 were $9.3 billion versus $12.5 billion in H1 2021. Despite the lower headline figure, the number of individual deals rose to 534 from 456.
The fall in VC investment in crypto comes as VC investment across economic sectors drops. According to GlobalData, total VC investment deals in the US fell by 22% YoY in H1 2022 to $123.1 billion.
US Lawmakers Concerned About “Disturbing” Crypto Miner Energy Use
A group of Democrat lawmakers in the US Congress sent a letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DoE) expressing concerns about “disturbing” levels of crypto miner energy use. Crypto miners “account for a significant – and rapidly growing – amount of carbon emissions,” they said.
According to the group of lawmakers, the energy capacity deployed for the top seven crypto miners in the US would be enough to power all of the homes in Houston, Texas. The lawmakers requested that the two agencies work together to require the reporting of energy use and emission from crypto miners.
Putin Bans Digital Payments in Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed into law a ban on the use of digital payments, after the law had been approved by Russia’s State Duma earlier in the month. Russia’s central bank has been pushing for an outright ban on crypto activity similar to China, though the country’s Finance Ministry would prefer regulation and introduced a crypto regulation bill back in February.