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Weekly Roundup: Ethereum and Bitcoin Fall Back But Aptos, Axie and Avalanche Advance

This week in coins. Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt.

Bitcoin and Ethereum fell on Friday, dashing hopes that the cryptocurrency market posted its fourth straight week of market-wide gains. But currencies still do much better in 2023 than they did in 2022.

As of Saturday morning, according to CoinGecko price data, Bitcoin (BTC) has been flat over the past seven days and is currently trading at $22,924. Researchers said this week that the end of the first day of Chinese New Year is an optimal time to open long crypto positions, because based on the past eight years, selling 10 days later earns an average profit of 9%.

Ethereum (ETH) is down 5.2% on the week, trading at $1,571. Ethereum developers announced Tuesday that they had made significant progress toward the network’s next scheduled upgrade, the long-awaited Shanghai upgrade. Shanghai will allow stakers to finally withdraw their ETH (to start “mining” Ethereum you need to lock 32 ETH or about $51,000) and the rewards they have accumulated so far.

Other names saw healthy gains.

Aptos (APT) experienced a lightning surge of 56% and is currently trading at $17.09. The value has been rising strongly all week. It’s hard to pinpoint a single reason, but a large part of the trading volume came from arbitrage trading in South Korea, where cryptocurrencies often trade as much as 50 cents higher on some exchanges. This discrepancy has already been dubbed the “kimchi premium” when it comes to Bitcoin and can be exploited by expert traders for small profits. (The kimchi premium is how Sam Bankman-Fried got his start in cryptocurrency trading.)

When Aptos launched late last year, it plunged 40% and the project was widely criticized for launching with obscure tokenomics, large token allocations (49%) for developers and private investors, and for promising speeds of up to 120,000 transactions. per second (tps), but only got 4 tps on launch.

Price evolution of the Aptos cryptocurrency. Image: Tradingview

Axie Infinity (AXS), the native token for the blockchain-based video game of the same name, is up 25% this week and gained 22% on Monday alone after a token unlock unlocked 2% of the game’s total supply. in the market. It is currently worth $11.44.

Other notable rallies in major cryptocurrencies this week included Avalanche (AVAX) up 16% to $20.29, OKB up 13% to $38.25, and Polygon (MATIC) up 8. 5% up to $1.11.

Cryptocurrencies on the political agenda

This week, US and European regulators signaled that they continue to keep cryptocurrencies on their to-do list. On Monday, the New York Department of Financial Services released a new set of guidelines advising cryptocurrency businesses on responsible and compliant storage, use, and other practices when holding digital assets for clients.

On Tuesday, European Union lawmakers approved requirements for banks to disclose whether they trade cryptocurrencies. The proposals also purportedly include rules forcing crypto-friendly banks to hold up more capital to offset potential cryptocurrency losses, though the regulatory package still needs to be approved by EU finance ministers and the European Parliament.

On Thursday, French regulators softened their approach to cryptocurrency licensing in the country and voted on an amendment allowing cryptocurrency companies to continue to operate without a license until European Union cryptocurrency regulations take effect. The Crypto Asset Markets Bill (MiCA) is a unified regulatory framework that, if passed, will apply to crypto throughout the Union. The vote will take place in April and, if approved, the rules will take another 18 months to take effect.

Lastly, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a friend of cryptocurrencies, continued to push for Bitcoin to reach the Capitol. On Wednesday he issued a new directive encouraging the chief operating officers of the House of Representatives and the Senate to work with people who accept cryptocurrency. Cruz’s proposal envisions vending machines and gift shops as places where cryptocurrency-savvy Washingtonians can spend their hard-earned BTC.

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