Bitcoin traded below US$25,000 on Thursday afternoon in Asia for the first time since March 17 this year, when it stood at US$24,973. Ether, alongside all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies, also dropped amid lawsuits by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against two of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges, Binance and Coinbase. As widely expected, the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday. However, the Fed warned of more rate rises to come later in the year as the central bank attempts to bring inflation down to its 2% target level.
Bitcoin continues slide; SEC-targeted coins drop
Bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, dropped 3.82% to US$24,909 in the 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong. That brought its weekly losses to 5.80%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The dip took Bitcoin below US$25,000 for the first time in the week since the U.S. SEC filed lawsuits against Binance.US and Coinbase.
Ether, the second biggest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, lost 6.10% to US$1,635 in 24 hours, and has dropped 11.24% on the week. Ether dropped below US$1,700 on Thursday afternoon in Asia for the first time since March 17 when it stood at US$1,667.13.
Solana, Cardano and Polygon – the top three cryptocurrencies named as securities by the U.S. SEC in its lawsuits against both Binance.US and Coinbase – each dropped more than 20% over the past week.
Cardano’s ADA token lost 5.76% to US$0.2561 in the past 24 hours. Its market capitalization was also down 7.10% in the last 24 hours to US$8.88 billion. On June 5 — the day the SEC filed a legal complaint against Binance.US claiming crypto tokens including ADA, Solana and Polygon’s Matic are securities requiring registration and regulation — that figure stood at US$13.02 billion.
Solana dropped 1.87% in the past 24 hours to US$14.78. Its market cap declined 2.75% to US$5.88 billion in the same period, down from US$8.15 billion on June 5.
Polygon’s Matic token also dived 4.94% to US$0.6151 in the past 24 hours. Its market cap lost 5.92% to US$5.70 billion in that period, down from US$8.01 billion on June 5.
“The status of individual cryptocurrencies has led some exchanges in specific markets to contemplate delisting some of the larger and widely followed altcoins such as ADA, SOL, and MATIC,” said Robert Quartly-Janeiro, Chief Strategy Officer of crypto exchange Bitrue, in an emailed statement.
“What sets the current situation apart is the regulatory focus shifting from market-providing exchanges to scrutinizing individual altcoins: that’s a step change. In raw numbers, the affected coins have experienced bearish performances, with Cardano dropping by 24%, Solana down by 28%, and Polygon shedding 27% in the past week. Other altcoins witnessed similar declines,” Quartly-Janeiro added.
Ripple’s XRP token led the losers in the crypto top 10. It fell 6.45% in 24 hours to US$0.4697, posting a weekly loss of 9.87%.
Those losses came despite the release of the so-called “Hinman documents” this week. The documents suggests that cryptocurrencies liker Ether are not in fact securities, as claimed by the SEC. Its release was therefore widely expected to prove favorable for Ripple in its own ongoing legal battle with the regulator, which began December 2020.
BNB, the native token of the world’s biggest crypto exchange Binance — whose U.S. operations are now the target of the SEC’s regulatory clampdown — lost 4.49% in the 24 hours to US$235.83, and is down 9.66% on the week.
The global crypto market capitalization dropped 3.53% to US$1.02 trillion, while total crypto market volume gained 22.04% to US$38.21 billion in the last 24 hours.
Pradipta Mukherjee is a business reporter and has worked for Bloomberg News and Business Standard in India. An MBA and a post-graduate in Economics, Mukherjee focuses on financial markets and corporates. She is a Mary Morgan Hewitt award recipient for Women in Journalism. She has also won the Jefferson Fellowship; the Thomson Reuters Foundation fellowship on ‘Social Media and Digital Journalism’ at The Chinese University of Hong Kong; and most recently, the Kiplinger Fellowship at Ohio University, USA.[email protected]
Will Fee is an editor and Asia correspondent based in central Tokyo. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Japanese Studies from Oxford University, where he specialized in postwar politics, culture and society. He previously covered domestic politics for The Japan Times and is interested in exploring the political implications of a regulatory pivot toward crypto and Web3 in East Asia.[email protected]
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