Hello! Welcome back to Distributed Ledger, our weekly crypto newsletter that reaches your inbox every Thursday. I’m Frances Yue, crypto reporter at MarketWatch, and I’ll walk you through the latest and greatest in digital assets this week so far.
Find me on Twitter at @FrancesYue_ to send feedback or tell us what you think we should cover.
Crypto in a snap
Bitcoin BTCUSD has lost 5% over the past seven days, recently trading at around $39,930, according to CoinDesk data. Ether ETHUSD was down 3.1% over the seven-day stretch to around $3,013. Meme token Dogecoin DOGEUSD logged a 1.5% loss while another dog-themed token, Shiba Inu SHIBUSD, traded 8.7% higher from seven days ago.
|Biggest Gainers||Price||% 7-day return|
|Source: CoinGecko as of April 14|
|Biggest Decliners||Price||% 7-day return|
|Source: CoinGecko as of Jan.20|
Return of retail traders?
Trading volume for bitcoin has been sluggish for the past few weeks, especially with those from retail traders, as the Federal Reserve tightens its easy monetary policy by raising interest rates and looking to reducing its balance sheet.
The 7-day average bitcoin trading volume stood at $2.8 billion on Tuesday, the lowest level since December 2020, according to Arcane Research.
However, the market will see a comeback by retail interest, especially from Millennials, according to Lule Demmissie, chief executive at social trading platform eToro. Though the Fed tightening could “slow things down” in the interim, “you only need one other new disruption for people to realize, you know, capital markets is the best game and it’s the best game in town,” Demmissie told Distributed Ledger in an interview last week.
“I think the only thing that would worry me is if we had like enduring 1970s levels of inflation and then we have stagflation, because then that could make some of the investors a little jittery,” Demmissie said.
“But I think the memory of ’08 is seared in every Millennial’s mind,” Demmissie said. “What happened was in a way they saw the world ended, according to every news channel, and then the next year, the markets returned with 37% returns.”
‘Dorsey’s first tweet’ NFT
A crypto entrepreneur, who bought the non-fungible token, or NFT, of Twitter TWTR cofounder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet for $2.9 million, hoped to resell it for $48 million. But when the initial deadline he set expired on Wednesday, the highest bid stood at less than $300.
Sina Estavi, chief executive at Malaysian crypto project Bridge Oracle, relisted the NFT, which he bought in March 2021, at marketplace OpenSea for roughly $48 million last week. In the 2006 tweet, Dorsey wrote “just setting up my twittr.”
However, as of Wednesday, the deadline Estavi initially set, he only received seven total offers that range from 0.09 ETH, or $274, to 0.0019 ETH, or $5.80, according to a report by CoinDesk.
Estavi doesn’t seem discouraged. “The deadline I set was over, but if I get a good offer, I might accept it, I might never sell it,” he told CoinDesk. More bids have come in since Wednesday, with the highest one offering 3.3 ETH, or about $10,048.
Crypto consumer products?
Many digital asset companies are looking to launch more consumer-facing products, as demand grows, according to Stan Miroshnik, co-founder and partner at crypto-focused private equity firm 10T Holdings. “There’s been a lot of focus on how we take the yield that’s available in the space and deliver it to consumers in an easy way,” Miroshnik told MarketWatch in an interview recently.
Miroshnik mentioned examples where some crypto companies allow users to lend, borrow crypto, or use crypto as collateral to raise mortgages, which “is now becoming a thing, because as some people have these digital assets, they don’t want to sell them and pay taxes, or they just believe they will be more valuable over time, but there are real life concerns,” Miroshnik said.
Still, regulation remains a problem. In September, Coinbase dropped its plan to launch a program that would have allowed users to earn interest by depositing cryptocurrency, after the crypto exchange said earlier it received a lawsuit threat from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Robinhood lists Shiba Inu
Brokerage app Robinhood HOOD has listed the popular meme token Shiba Inu, months after its supporters called for the move, along with tokens of decentralized lending platform Compound, blockchains Polygon MATICUSD and Solana SOLUSD.
Crypto companies, funds
Shares of Coinbase Global Inc. COIN traded down 4% at $148.62 on Thursday. It has fallen 10.6% over the past five trading sessions. Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy Inc. MSTR lost 2.3% on Thursday to $452.86, while it was down 2.3% over the past five days.
Mining company Riot Blockchain Inc. RIOT shares dropped 5.6% to $15.12, and it was down 13.2% over the past five days. Shares of Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. MARA were down 5.2% to $21.13, with a 11% loss over the past five days. Another miner, Ebang International Holdings Inc. EBON, gained 0.5% to $1.11, with a 6.4% loss over the past five days.
Overstock.com Inc. OSTK’s shares were down 5.8% to $38.07. The shares have declined 6.6% over the five-session period.
Shares of Block Inc. SQ, formally known as Square, fell 3.2% to $122.07, with a 3.1% loss for the week. Tesla Inc. TSLA’s shares declined 3.4% to $987.24 while its shares lost 6.6% for the past five sessions.
PayPal Holdings Inc. PYPL lost 1.6% to $103.46, while it was down 8.5% over the five-session stretch. Nvidia Corp. NVDA lost 2.8% to $215.80, while was looking at a 10.85% loss over the past five trading days.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD lost 3% to $94.78 on Thursday, while it lost 8.7% from five trading days ago.
Among crypto funds, ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF BITO lost 2.8% to $24.94 Thursday, while Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF BTF was down 2.8% to $15.47. VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF XBTF declined 2.8% to $39.10.
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust GBTC traded 2.9% lower to $28.35.