Cryptocurrency markets continued their skid in Wednesday afternoon trading in Asia, with the global market capitalization dipping to around US$997 billion, down 6% in the last 24 hours. All cryptocurrencies in the top 10 by market cap fell. Solana led the losers, with Bitcoin coming in second. Stock markets slumped.
- Bitcoin fell 9.2% in the past 24 hours to trade at US$20,250 at 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong, while Ethereum dropped 6.9% to US$1,597, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Despite the overall slump, Bitcoin is still up 8% over the past 7 days, while Ether is up 5% in the same period.
- Solana posted the biggest losses in CoinMarketCap’s top 10, falling 13.6% to US$33.2. Dogecoin, which just rejoined the top 10 after leapfrogging Polkadot, suffered least among the group, losing 5.5% to change hands at US$0.06.
- The US Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index released on Tuesday showed higher than expected inflation figures, triggering a fall in U.S. equity markets that spread into Asia, with the cryptocurrency market following suit. However, for cryptocurrency investors, the CPI isn’t the only major event this week. Ethereum’s much anticipated “Merge” is almost here.
- The Etherium Merge is “arguably the biggest event in the cryptocurrency space in 2022, and remains a “bullish factor,” said Sailor Zhong, chief executive officer and founder of blockchain technology service company ChainUp, in an email to Forkast. However, Zhong added that the broader market decline is likely to continue into early October.
- Daniel Dizon, the chief executive officer and co-founder of blockchain, Web3 and Defi protocol Swell Network DAO, said Ethereum prices might diverge from the current market slump. “We expect this decoupling move to continue in the near term as investors digest the long-term implications of the Merge,” he said in an email.
- U.S. equities on Tuesday posted the worst day of trading since June 2020 after the CPI release, and Asia stock markets followed in falling across the board in trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was the worst performer, losing 2.8%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng lost 2.3%, while The Shanghai S.E. Composite Index declined 0.8%.
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