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Crypto market continues slide, though institutions ready to buy the dip

2021.07.20 Adam James

Regulatory actions in the United States have weighed the crypto market down today, as has another flash loan attack. 

The cryptocurrency market has sold off overnight, driving its total capitalization down 6.7% alongside a 5% decrease in the price of BTC — per data from CoinGecko. The price of ETH, meanwhile, is down nearly 6%. Various major altcoins, such as DOT, are down by double-digit percentages.

Even the prices of various stablecoins — such as USDT and USDC — have fallen slightly below their 1:1 peg with USD, per data from Coin360. The negligible difference may be attributed to yesterday's push from United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to establish a regulatory framework for stablecoins in the coming months.

The cryptocurrency market is a sea of red today, with even most stablecoins seeing slight decreases. Source: Coin360

The market-wide decrease in valuations has also caused an even deeper drop in sentiment. Per multifactorial sentiment analysis from alternative.me, the BTC market is more fearful than it was yesterday, last week and last month. The fear is likely being driven by fears of a capitulatory move as the price of BTC struggles at key support.

The cryptocurrency market is even more fearful than usual. Source: alternative.me

U.S. seeking to forbid DCEP usage at Beijing Winter Olympics

Meanwhile, U.S. senators are also focusing on China's official central bank digital currency, DCEP. Specifically, the lawmakers are not fond of the prospect of American athletes participating in 2022's Beijing Winter Olympics using the digital yuan. In a letter to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, three senators wrote:

"We write to express our concerns with the communist Chinese government’s plans to officially launch the Digital Currency Electronic Payment, commonly referred to as the digital yuan, prior to the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. Specifically, we urge the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to forbid American athletes from receiving or using digital yuan during the Beijing Olympics."

The senators' concerns are primarily centered around protecting "the privacy of American athletes from the Chinese Communist Government."

In other news, BlockFi — a major cryptocurrency lending platform — has been ordered to suspend its services in New Jersey by the state's Bureau of Securities. According to BlockFi's founder, however, the company is not suspending services to existing customers but rather must stop accepting new interest-account clients from the Garden State from July 22.

DeFi market drops following another flash loan attack

Leading headlines in the decentralized finance sector today is yet another flash loan attack — this time against Array Finance. In a Twitter thread from the relatively unknown DeFi protocol, which has less than 800 followers on the social media platform, the project detailed how an attacker stole roughly $515,000 in crypto assets.

Elsewhere, the wider DeFi market is struggling alongside the greater cryptocurrency market. The total values locked for most major DeFi protocols are down today — with the likes of Aave, Curve, Compound, MakerDAO, Uniswap, Yearn Finance, Balancer and others all seeing TVL drops. Per data from Defi Llama, the global DeFi market has dropped by 5.66%.

Most major DeFi protocols are in the red over the past 24 hours and seven days. Source: Defi Llama

Polygon spins off NFT-focused decentralized gaming studio

In nonfungible token-related news, Polygon has created a new subsidiary to focus on blockchain gaming and NFTs. As widely reported by crypto-focused media, the Ethereum infrastructure developer's Polygon Gaming Studio aims to lead the decentralized-gaming niche while developing its NFT ecosystem and further positioning Polygon as a leading Web 3.0 player.

Generally speaking, NFTs have seen something of a resurgence in interest lately. Per data from DappRadar, CryptoPunks sales are up 155.56% over the past 24 hours, while Art Blocks and Sorare have seen sales increase by roughly 20% and 17%, respectively.

CryptoPunks have been popular over the past day. Source: DappRadar

Top altcoin gainers and losers: DASH drops hardest among large-caps

  • LET/USDT +20.81%
  • LMCH/USDT +8.74%
  • IOST/USDT +4.35%
  • ROAD/USDT -18.83%
  • CVT/USDT -19.02%
  • WGRT/USDT -26.39%

Falling just outside of the top three altcoin performers on OKEx today is LEO, which is up 4.35% on the day, per the exchange's default time settings. No other altcoin with a market capitalization over $1 billion has seen an increase — excluding stablecoins, such as DAI's 0.02% increase.

Legacy altcoin DASH is the biggest loser among major coins and tokens today, having dropped nearly 15%.

LEO is the top-performing altcoin on OKEx today. Source: OKEx

BTC technical analysis: Capitulation concerns remain amid second-worst decline

The price of BTC has fallen dangerously below a critical area of support. Unless it reverses direction in the immediate future, a test of roughly 27,000 USDT seems possible — a loss of which opens the door to a test of the previous all-time high around 20,000 USDT.

OKEx's BTC/USDT 4h chart — 7/20. Source: OKEx, TradingView

Bolstering BTC in the longer time frames, however, may be new data that shows institutional investors are keener than ever on gaining exposure to cryptocurrencies. Per a survey from Fidelity Digital Assets, the majority of the 1,100 institutional investors polled expect to make future investments into digital assets.

ETH technical analysis: ETH bounces but remains bearish

The price of ETH has seen a modest bounce against BTC above the support line of a large descending triangle formation. However, it is still trading underneath the four-hour ribbon of exponential moving averages — thus, the short-term bias remains bearish. 

For now, the leading altcoin is likely beholden to BTC's next moves as any fervor surrounding EIP-1559 is being overshadowed by the wider market's movements.

OKEx's ETH/BTC 4h chart — 7/20. Source: OKEx, TradingView

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