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
went up 3.2% over the past seven days, trading at around $30,221 on Thursday, according to CoinDesk data. Ether
lost 1.6% over the seven-day stretch to around $1,818. Meme token Dogecoin
gained 2.2% while another dog-themed token, Shiba Inu
was up 1.4% from seven days ago.
Synthetix Network Token
Source: CoinGecko as of June 2
Terra Luna Classic
Over the past year, bitcoin has mostly been trading in tandem with U.S. stocks, especially growth stocks. Both have suffered so far this year, as investors are concerned about soaring inflation, signs of a softening economy and the Federal Reserve’s tightening of its monetary policy.
Crypto investors have long hoped for a “decoupling” between the two assets, which had shown some signs of happening recently. Late last week, bitcoin tanked while U.S. equities went up. The cryptocurrency rallied while stocks declined early this week.
However, such signals appeared to be fleeting, as both crypto and stock traded lower on Wednesday, and edged up on Thursday.
Some analysts said the brief “decoupling” was in part because some technology stock investors, who had also been trading crypto as a speculative asset, have paused their activity in the space, as the collapse of Terra shook their confidence in the digital asset market.
After Terra, once one of the most popular blockchains, crashed last month, “traditional investors that would be investing in tech equities are kind of a little bit apprehensive [about crypto] due to this idea that you know, I could make a bad bet, and my investment could go to zero,” Budd White, chief product officer and co-founder of crypto exchange Tacen, told Distributed Ledger in an interview.
Bitcoin fell to as low as $25,402 on May 12 following the incident. “So maybe it washed out the weak hands, and [bitcoin] is still in a price ‘normalization’ mode,” said Mark Connors, head of research at digital asset management firm 3iQ.
Connors also attributed the decoupling partly to the fall of volatility in bitcoin, as adoption grows while the cryptocurrency has a supply cap of 21 million.
Bitcoin’s recent volatility is much lower than its average during the past four years, while the volatility of the S&P 500 index and Nasdaq is elevated compared to historical levels.
Still, cryptocurrencies could “remain heavily correlated to equities over this interest rate hiking cycle period by the Fed”, as the economic uncertainty continues to weigh on investors’ risk appetite, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
“I want to see decoupling for the right reasons, said Tacen’s White. “The proper way for the proper signal for decoupling is for investors to view crypto not as a risky asset right where they can get quick gains, but to start to look at the other value and the utility that’s being built in the market for the longest time,” White said.
Gemini’s layoff plan
Billionaire twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss said Thursday that 10% of jobs at their cryptocurrency exchange and custodian, Gemini Trust, would be eliminated, according to a blog post.
The layoffs were a part of an assessment of the business amid “turbulent market conditions that are likely to persist for some time,” they said.
“This is where we are now, in the contraction phase that is settling into a period of stasis — what our industry refers to as ‘crypto winter.’ This has all been further compounded by the current macroeconomic and geopolitical turmoil. We are not alone,” Winklevosses said.
Gemini made the move as the bitcoin price more than halved from its all-time high in November, while last month’s collapse of TerraUSD stablecoin proved another blow for the industry.
Crypto companies, funds
Shares of Coinbase Global Inc.
went up 8.1% to $74.20 on Thursday, and they were up 6.3% over the past five trading sessions. Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy Inc.
rallied % T4.2hursday to $248.6, and it was up 14.9% over the past five days.
Mining company Riot Blockchain Inc.
shares were up 8.1% to $7.04, and it was up 4.8% over the past five days. Shares of Marathon Digital Holdings Inc.
gained 4% to $9.58, with a 6.1% loss over the past five days. Another miner, Ebang International Holdings Inc.
gained 2.4% to $0.97, with a 4% gain over the past five days.
shares jumped 7.9% to $33.20. The shares have gained 4.9% over the five-session period.
Shares of Block Inc.
formerly known as Square, rallied 8% to $88.41, with a 5.9% gain for the week. Tesla Inc.
shares gained 5.3% to $779.57, and were up 10.2% over the past five sessions.
PayPal Holdings Inc.
gained 5.7% to $87.19, and it was up 8.4% over the five-session stretch. Nvidia Corp.
shares rose 6.6% to $195.20, looking at a 9.5% gain over the past five trading days.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
shares were up 7.4% to $108.70 on Thursday, while it was up 10.2% from five trading days ago.
Among crypto funds, ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF
went up 0.8% to $18.79 Thursday, while Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF
was up 0.8% at $11.69. VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF
gained 0.9% to $29.53.
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust
traded up 2.6% to $19.97.
Fidelity’s Crypto-Focused Business Plans Tech Hiring Spree (The Wall Street Journal)
First she documented the alt-right. Now she’s coming for crypto. (The Washington Post)
Cryptocurrency Firms Expand Physical Footprint in New York (The New York Times)