The Nasdaq Crypto Index (NCI) closed Sunday (11/27/22) 1.2% above last week’s closing. The index’s neutral performance was influenced by ether (ETH), up 2.8%, while bitcoin (BTC) remained stable.
Coming out of a week dominated by fears that Genesis Global Capital would be forced to declare bankruptcy, investors braced for more bad Genesis news and the possibility that other counterparties might become insolvent before the Thanksgiving holiday due to FTX’s collapse.
On Monday, BTC prices began to sink around midday on the East Coast after Bloomberg published an article claiming that Genesis Capital was “struggling” to raise the $1 billion it would need to remain solvent. Genesis Global reacted to the article by releasing a statement that clarified it had “no plans to file bankruptcy imminently.” As closing hours neared for stock markets in the US, BTC registered its weekly low of $15,665—its lowest price point in over two years.
Crypto assets registered a modest recovery on Monday evening, but fell again during early hours of Tuesday. ETH reached its weekly low of $1,082 shortly after the Wall Street Journal published an article confirming Bloomberg’s unidentified Genesis source. In the article, the WSJ claimed that Binance had refused to bail out the troubled crypto lender due to potential conflicts of interest. The article also cited that Genesis had approached private equity firm Apollo Global Management, but did not reveal the state of those negotiations.
Crypto markets began recovering as US markets opened on Tuesday and regained upward momentum in the afternoon when Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester stated that it “makes sense that we can slow down a bit the ... pace of (rate) increases.” Her comments echoed those made by other Fed officials, all of which suggested that the worst of the current rate hike cycle is in the rear view mirror. Before Tuesday gave way to Wednesday, all major US stock indexes closed in the green, BTC gained over $750 and ETH surged by $80 .
On Wednesday, prices began losing steam as US stock markets opened. However, later that day, November’s Fed minutes were released. The FOMC’s meeting notes reaffirmed that “a substantial majority of (meeting) participants judged that a slowing in the pace of increase would likely soon be appropriate”.” News that the Fed had confirmed its more dovish outlook in writing would ensure that traditional markets closed in the green once again and that crypto markets would sustain an upward trajectory until late in the night, when BTC reached its weekly high of $16,753.
On Thursday, BTC prices would taper down, before recovering on Friday to settle just above $16,500. BTC prices would remain stable while moving sideways as trading volume slowly fell throughout the weekend. ETH’s price slowly rose throughout the entirety of Friday, eventually registering its weekly high of $1,221 in the day's final hours and before stabilizing just below that threshold for the remainder of the weekend.
Investors will continue to monitor the fallout of the FTX collapse, but some analysts believe an eventual Genesis Capital’s bankruptcy may have already been priced in. On Wednesday, the release of the eurozone Consumer Price Index (CPI) will be on the radar of investors concerned about global inflation. On Thursday, the release of the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) index could confirm that inflation is waning in the US and reassure investors that the Fed will announce a 50 bps rate hike in mid December.
FTX hack continues to puzzle crypto analysts
During the last two weeks, investors have been monitoring developing stories related to mysterious hacks. After a week of disastrous news for FTX, the troubled exchange managed to give investors one final scare before turning in for the weekend by announcing it had been hacked. Initial reports suggested $600 million in tokens were drained from FTX wallets
The breach was originally divulged by an account administrator in an FTX Support Telegram chat. Later, FTX General Counsel Ryne Miller claimed in a tweet that the transactions resulted from “precautionary steps to move all digital assets to cold storage.” Others speculated that the funds were moved at the behest of Bahamian Financial authorities. Neither statements appear to be true.
During the following week, the hacker converted such a large volume of tokens into ETH, making the wallet in question the 35th largest amongst all ETH addresses on November 16th. Last week, the malicious actor spent the weekend converting millions of ETH to Ren bitcoin (renBTC), an ERC-20 token used to represent the value of BTC in other blockchains, possibly in an attempt to launder the funds. Analysts continue to monitor the hacker’s activities, and we’ll keep a close eye on the matter to make sure Hashdex investors stay up-to-date with this unfolding situation.
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