Bitcoin plummeted under the $26,000 level during Asian trade on Friday, virtually wiping off a major amount of its recent gains. As all eyes turn to Jackson Hole for US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s upcoming address, the possible repercussions of an end to the ongoing rate rise cycle are sending tremors through the crypto landscape. In addition, Ether witnessed a fall, coming closer to the important $1,600 support level. While other top non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies suffered losses, Solana stood out following its recent spike.
A ray of hope appeared in the NFT arena amid this market volatility. The Forkast 500 NFT index rose slightly, boosted by the hopeful collaboration between Solana’s blockchain and e-commerce titan Shopify. This collaboration suggests that the NFT market’s prospects are improving. At the same time, US stock futures showed small gains, attempting to restore footing following a day of drop on Wall Street, where major indexes all lost more than 1%.
According to CoinMarketCap data, Bitcoin fell 1.40% in the last 24 hours, finishing at $26,081.21 at 07:20 a.m. in Hong Kong. This equated to a 2.90% weekly loss. On Friday, the cryptocurrency fell to a low of $25,914.93, a 2.9% drop from its high of $26,688.48 on Thursday.
Samer Hasn, a market analyst at Australia-based XS.com, attributes the heightened regulatory attention in the US to the crypto market’s caution. With notable digital asset startups like Ripple Labs, Binance.US, and Coinbase facing SEC lawsuits, regulatory concerns have thrown a shadow. Bitstamp, a Luxembourg-based exchange, has also announced that it will discontinue Ether staking services for US customers owing to changing restrictions.
According to Hasn, this unfavorable feeling may endure until a better regulatory and legislative framework for the cryptocurrency business arises. He cited Santiment statistics indicating massive Bitcoin transfers by whales to their wallets, which could indicate declining market sentiment.
Greta Yuan, the chief of research at VDX, a Hong Kong-based digital asset exchange, cautioned investors to recognize that the bear market is far from over. With low trading volume across the market, Bitcoin’s price may remain stable in the $25,000 to $27,000 region for some time.
Ether followed Bitcoin’s lead, falling 1.40% to $1,652.77 for a 3.27% weekly loss. Most other leading non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies have also lost ground in the last 24 hours, with the exception of Binance’s BNB token, which climbed 0.58% to $217.48, albeit still suffering a 1.87% weekly loss.
In an unexpected reversal, Mastercard announced its plan to discontinue four crypto card projects in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Bahrain on September 22, in collaboration with Binance. The reasons for this change were not disclosed.
Solana’s SOL token was in the spotlight after falling 3.09% to $20.90, representing a 4.98% weekly drop. SOL had reached a four-day high of $21.99 the day before, riding the wave of its collaboration announcement with Canada-based e-commerce platform Shopify. This collaboration enables USDC stablecoin payments for online shopping without the need for an intermediary.
Total cryptocurrency market capitalization fell by 1.23% to $1.05 trillion, while trading volume fell by 22.52% to $27.41 billion. The Forkast 500 NFT index gained 0.20% in the last 24 hours but is still down 7.36% for the week. The Ethereum and Cardano NFT indexes fell, whilst the Solana and Polygon indexes rose.
Despite the inherent volatility, NFT trade volume increased by 24.48% in the previous 24 hours, totaling $15.20 million. Solana led this gain with a 125% increase in trading volume, hitting $2.24 million. This increase was largely owed to Meegos, a new profile-picture (PFP) collection created by Blocksmith Labs that brought in over $1 million in sales.
As the NFT market maintains its momentum in the midst of a broader bear market, optimism persists. With substantial sales and innovative collaborations like as Solana’s connection with Shopify, NFTs are rapidly approaching broad adoption, portraying a picture of a movement that is here to stay.