Bitcoin, ether are flat after days of declines

Both bitcoin and ether were flat on Saturday in a calm start to the weekend after several days of declines. The two cryptocurrencies fell over the past week amid the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Kraken crackdown, with bitcoin down 7.6% as ether plunged 9%.

Bitcoin was trading at $21,630 on Saturday afternoon, basically unchanged over the past 24 hours. Ether was also flat at $1,514, according to TradingView.



TradingView chart of Bitcoin price over past week.

Altcoins also had a tough week, with XRP falling 8%, Cardano declining 10.5% and Solana falling 17.5%. Memecoins didn’t fare any better, with Dogecoin declining 16.3% and Shiba Inu down 15.7%.

The biggest winner was The Graph’s GRT token that indexes blockchain data across dozens of ecosystems with an API, rising a whopping 50% over the past week. SingularityNET, an AI-focused, also continued to rally over the period, rising 26%.

It’s not all bad news, though, with bitcoin still up almost 21% over the past month. El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele appeared to celebrate the International Monetary Fund’s acknowledgment that some of the worst-case scenarios feared when the Central American adopted bitcoin as legal tender had not emerged. 

“#Bitcoin risks have not materialized,” he tweeted, referencing the report.

Crypto stocks

Crypto stocks also had a tough week, as the SEC’s settlement with Kraken caused fears about the future of staking revenue. Coinbase shares were down 22.6% over the week, while Block fell 11.4% and Microstrategy declined 12.8%. Silvergate had another hard week, with shares falling 14.8%.

Ark Invest bought the dip, saying it added 162,325 Coinbase shares to its portfolio on Friday, alongside a substantial purchase of 263,504 Robinhood shares, which had declined 7.3% over the week. The trading platform reported Wednesday a net loss of $166 million for the fourth quarter, which was wider than the estimate for a $131 million loss.

Switzerland-based Backed Finance, meanwhile, said on Monday it was launching its first product, a tokenized version of the iShares iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF.

“We believe tokenization will unlock trillions of dollars worth of value and power a new wave of economic activity,” it wrote, noting that the tokens are not available for U.S. individuals.

‍Macro matters

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell spoke at The Economic Club of Washington on Tuesday with billionaire investor and philanthropist David Rubenstein.

“We expect 2023 to be a year of significant declines in inflation,” Powell said, reaffirming earlier statements. “My guess is it will take certainly into not just this year but next year” to get to the Fed’s 2% inflation target.

The market will next get a chance to evaluate those statements on Tuesday, when January inflation data is scheduled to be released. Analysts are expecting an increase of 6.2%, which would mark a slowdown from December, when year-over-year prices were reported to have risen 6.5%.

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