Weekly Crypto Roundup: Bitcoin Stabilizes, Altcoins Show Mixed Performance Amidst Market Caution

2023/05/23 05:20:21

Crypto markets experienced heightened volatility last week, with Bitcoin exhibiting a significant decline and reaching a two-month low under $26,000 before recovering over the weekend trading period and challenging the $28,000 mark. This turbulent period caused uncertainty among investors and traders, reflecting the cautious sentiment in the market. However, recent news developments have the potential to impact Bitcoin's future trajectory over the coming weeks.

Tether's announcement of diversifying reserves by purchasing a significant amount of Bitcoin reflects the growing demand for digital assets in the global financial landscape, reinforcing bullish market sentiment. This move could potentially influence Bitcoin's market dynamics, as Tether's actions often have a notable impact on the crypto market and significantly affect overall market sentiment.

BTC/USDT Chart on 5-day Timeframe | Source: KuCoin

Altcoins followed a similar pattern to Bitcoin last week, with most experiencing relatively stagnant price movements on a daily scale. While some altcoins managed to defend key support levels, others faced minor declines. The overall market sentiment for altcoins remained cautious, reflecting the broader sentiment in the crypto market. However, noteworthy movements and developments have taken place within specific altcoins.

Among the top altcoin gainers, Render Token (RNDR) recorded a significant increase of 41.75%, followed by Synthetic (SNX) with a gain of 17.38%, and Mask Network (MASK) with a gain of 12.89%. These notable gains indicate potential bullish momentum within these altcoins.

On the other hand, Pepe (PEPE) experienced a decline of 10.93%, followed by Sui (SUI) with a decline of 10.58%, and Toncoin (TON) with a decline of 6.91%. These altcoins faced selling pressure during the weekend despite bullish action the week prior.

Ongoing discussions between the Biden administration and Republican Kevin McCarthy regarding the US debt ceiling could also impact altcoin prices. As the crypto market is interconnected, any potential economic consequences arising from the US debt issue could create volatility across altcoin markets.

Crypto Heat Map | Source: Coin360

Top Altcoin Gainers and Losers

Top Altcoin Gainers

Render Token (RNDR) ➠+41.75%

Synthetic (SNX) ➠+17.38%

Mask Network (MASK) ➠+12.89%

Top Altcoin Losers

Pepe (PEPE) ➠-10.93%

Sui (SUI) ➠-10.58%

Toncoin (TON) ➠-6.91%

Fear and Greed Index Remains Neutral

The Fear and Greed index remained within the neutral range last week, maintaining a three-week neutral sentiment lock-in amidst uncertain market conditions. While the index briefly pushed towards greed, approaching 54 mid-week, ongoing doubt regarding the greater economic landscape has established an uncertain truce between bulls and bears.

Crypto Fear & Greed Index | Source: Alternative

This Week’s Crypto News Highlights

Tether Announces Massive Bitcoin Purchase to Diversify Reserves

Market-leading stablecoin Tether has announced an initiative to diversify the reserves backing USD through the purchase of approximately $222 million, or 15 percent of Tether’s net profit, into Bitcoin.

Primarily focused on stabilizing and diversifying the value that backs USDT, the new initiative represents a small portion of Tether's overall net profit. The majority of Tether’s excess income, however, will continue to be allocated toward operational expenses.

Tether's decision to reinforce its reserves with Bitcoin aligns with the growing demand for digital assets in the global financial landscape. The initiative follows Tether's recent disclosure of holding significant amounts of Bitcoin and gold, alongside cash and cash-like assets, as part of its diverse reserve portfolio. With a circulating supply surpassing $82.8 billion, USDT remains the largest stablecoin in the market.

Ledger Stirs up Community Controversy with New “Ledger Recover” Feature

Ledger, widely known within the cryptocurrency community as a leading manufacturer and distributor of hardware wallets, captured mixed responses last week subsequent to the reveal of “Ledger Recover,” a new offering that aims to provide users with an “additional layer of protection” when managing secret recovery phrases.

Recovery phrases play a critical role in securing crypto assets, allowing users to access their wallets. Ledger hardware devices provide users with the ability to use recovery phrases generated securely on their own devices without any access granted to the company.

The latest update to Ledger’s product suite, Ledger Recover, however, offers users the option to subscribe to a backup service for their SRP. The option to provide access to recovery phrase information through a Ledger-managed backup service has met with mixed responses from the crypto community, highlighting concerns over providing access to sovereign wallet information to a “trusted third party.”

It’s important to note, however, that this feature is not automatically enabled through firmware updates, emphasizing the importance of user choice and control. Despite Ledger's emphasis on security and user control, Ledger Recover has faced criticism from industry experts.

Éric Larchevêque, Ledger co-founder and CEO, responded to community concerns via Reddit following controversy over a now-deleted Tweet published via Ledger’s Twitter account. Larchevêque highlights that using third-party hardware to manage private keys and recovery phrases is, a priori, a step away from wholly sovereign digital asset management.

Understanding how hardware wallets firmware may affect your crypto security is critical. To learn more about hardware wallets, take a look at KuCoin’s guide on The Use of Hardware Wallets in Crypto Investing and Trading.

Impasse on US Debt Ceiling Shakes Up Crypto Market

Ongoing discussions between the Biden administration and Republican Kevin McCarthy regarding the US debt ceiling have raised concerns about the potential impact on the global economy, including the crypto market.

Discussions between President Joe Biden and McCarthy have provided some hope for a resolution to the deadlock over the federal debt. A White House report highlights the possibility of over 8 million job losses in the event of a debt default, which could have a cascading effect on the overall economy. This includes the crypto market, as the US constitutes a significant portion of worldwide crypto users, accounting for 10% of total cryptocurrency asset holders. The loss of jobs could potentially force some crypto users to sell their holdings prematurely, adding further pressure to the already declining trading volumes.

The uncertain outcome of the debt ceiling negotiations and the potential economic consequences have created a sense of unease in both traditional and crypto markets. Even a short breach of US Federal debt limits could lead to a spike in interest rates, a plunge in equity prices, and potentially drive institutional capital away from traditional assets and into digital asset markets, heralding a potential price breakout.

Bitcoin (BTC/USDT) Technical Analysis

Following heightened volatility towards the end of last week, Bitcoin experienced a significant decline, reaching a two-month low of under $26,000. Since then, the cryptocurrency has exhibited reduced fluctuations in its trading patterns. The subsequent weekend saw a relatively calmer period as the asset managed to recover some of its losses, hovering around the $27,000 mark.

Early last week saw Bitcoin exhibit witnessed a momentary price surge, briefly surpassing the $27,600 mark. However, this upward momentum was short-lived. The subsequent day, Bitcoin experienced a notable decline of over $1,000. Nonetheless, it managed to initiate another upward movement, encountering resistance at $27,500. The rejection at this level was more pronounced, leading the asset to slide below $26,400.

BTC/USDT Chart on 5-day Timeframe + RSI | Source: KuCoin

The bulls swiftly intervened to prevent further declines, leading to a partial recovery as Bitcoin returned to its familiar territory of around $27,000. New market action at the beginning of the week has seen Bitcoin once again challenge the $28,000 mark, heralding a potential breakout should the relative strength index (RSI) continue to breach either the resistance level at 44.00 or the support level at 39.00.

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