Crypto Markets Largely Retain Recent Gains

Crypto markets have largely retained their recent gains, although talk of a potential short-term pullback persists.  


Bitcoin (BITCOMP) resided for most of last week in the upper end of the $27k-$28k range, barring a spell of volatility on Wednesday with a peak above $28,400 and a dip below $27,000. It recovered quickly and continues to trade around the $27,500 mark at the time of writing. 

Ethereum (ETH-X) had a slightly more turbulent week, opening on a generally downward trajectory towards the $1,700 mark, but ultimately recovering to a weekly high over $1,800 and currently trading around $1,740 this morning. 


Bitcoin fighting to reassert its safe haven status

Last week we spoke about a shift in the narrative surrounding bitcoin and its status in the financial ecosystem in the wake of concerns about the US banking crisis and wider financial services turbulence. 

Those concerns are of course persisting, but so is the uncertainty about bitcoin’s short-term price trajectory – which doesn’t diminish the “revival” chatter but does, I think, remind us of a tension in the fabric and perception of bitcoin as an asset. 

Bitcoin has always been an interesting asset in that it’s viewed as both a “risk asset” and a safe haven. The risk status comes from the fact that its price against fiat currencies can be highly volatile and driven by factors in the macro-economic environment. But it is also seen as a potential safe haven because it is a decentralized network, trustless and permissionless and existing outside of the traditional financial system – which, as we've seen, can be unstable and prone to crises.

Most of the time, it's easy to conflate these two components, with price activity tipping the balance of investor sentiment. However, the past few weeks have highlighted the difference between market volatility and structural stability – which is a distinction that may yet still prove essential to bitcoin’s appeal and future potential. 


Nasdaq crypto custody debut nears, in sign of ongoing institutional demand

According to a Bloomberg report on Friday, stock exchange operator Nasdaq Inc. is on track to debut its digital assets custody services by the end of the second quarter. 

Senior vice president and head of Nasdaq Digital Assets, Ira Auerbach, confirmed that the business is readying the necessary technical infrastructure and seeking the relevant regulatory approvals for a launch in the coming months, after plans for the services were first unveiled last September.

After a challenging few months in the DeFi arena, the commitment of a major mainstream player to the sector is a welcome reminder of persistent institutional investor demand, which has long been anticipated as a major driver of wider crypto adoption. 


BlackRock still exploring digital assets ecosystem

Nasdaq’s custody service news comes hot on the heels of further DeFi discourse from another giant of traditional finance recently. 

In his annual letter, Larry Fink, CEO of the world’s largest asset management firm, BlackRock (BLK), told investors that the business “continue[s] to explore the digital assets ecosystem”, including possibilities such as tokenization of stocks and bonds. 

Fink noted that the industry is “maturing” and that, despite elevated risks and the need for further regulation, his team is watching developments closely – particularly the advances in digital payments in emerging markets like India and Brazil. 

Once again, such eminent attention will be welcome news to a sector whose resilience has been thoroughly tested in recent months.

More By This Author:

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Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as investment advice, personal recommendation, or an offer of, or solicitation to buy or sell, any financial instruments. This material has been ...

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