This week the price of Bitcoin (BTC) started trading around $9,200 and quickly moved up to $9,450. A potential rally was rejected close to $9,500 and BTC’s price then moved back down to $9,150, but it has since recovered back to $9,300.
Ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, had a similar price performance this week. After starting at $230 and moving to $250, a breakout failed and the cryptocurrency has since been trading between the $230 and $245 marks.
Overall trading volumes in the cryptocurrency space have been relatively low. CryptoCompare’s June 2020 Exchange Review found that last month spot crypto trading volumes plummeted to “roughly half of the trading volumes” since May. Top-tier trading platforms, defined by the firm’s Exchange Benchmark, traded $177 billion, 36% less than in the month before, while lower-tier exchanges traded $466 billion, 53% less than in May.
The highest spot trading volume recorded in a single day last month, among top tier exchanges, was $9.26 billion. In comparison, its March 2020 Exchange Review revealed that during the March 12-13 crypto market crash, top tier exchanges traded $21.6 billion in a single day.
Cryptocurrency derivatives and options trading saw a double-digit decline last month, with the former even reaching its lowest monthly volumes so far this year.
Derivatives volumes dropped 35.7% in June, a decline lower than that of spot volumes. This means that derivatives gained market sharing during the month, representing 37% of global trading volumes, compared to 32% in May. Notably, institutional options volumes on CME reached an all-time monthly high of 8,444 contracts traded up 41% since May, where 5,986 options contracts were traded.
Alt Season Begins
Despite the declining trading volumes, retail investors are pumping the price of several altcoins, as some analysts are claiming the long-awaited alt-season is finally arriving. An alt-season refers to a period in which alternative cryptocurrencies – cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin – outperform BTC. The last major alt-season was in 2017, when bitcoin’s market share of the crypto space dropped to 34%.
Talks of an alt-season gained momentum after a viral video on TikTok calling on investors to buy Dogecoin (DOGE) helped the cryptocurrency’s price grow over 100% over a two-day period. The video asked investors to buy $25 worth of DOGE, which would get them 10,640 coins before the pump, hoping the cryptocurrency’s price could reach $1 with the movement.
If so, the $25 investment would give them a return of over 42,000%. The price of the cryptocurrency has since started declining, presumably as interested in the pump waned. Other altcoins, however, have been growing for other reasons.
The AVA token, the native currency of the crypto travel booking platform Travala, surged after the firm announced a partnership with the Expedia Group, while VeChain’s VET token moved up after it was announced was attending the World Artificial Intelligence Conference 2020, hosted by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government. The conference is set to be attended by major tech firms like Alibaba, Tencent, Amazon, and Microsoft.
Kyber Network’s KNC is up over 600% so far this year thanks to its upcoming Katalyst update, which will allow token holders to earn ETH rewards by staking their tokens. Staking will also allow them to participate in the governance of the Kyber Network protocol.
Cryptocurrency Exchanges Make Waves
Amid these developments, leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance confirmed the acquisition of cryptocurrency debit card issuer Swipe for an undisclosed amount. The deal will bring Binance one step closer to issuing its Binance Card, a crypto debit card that will let users pay with crypto in millions of locations worldwide.
The card, like other crypto debit cards already available, will convert crypto to fiat currency at the point of sale, so the merchant receives their local currency and doesn’t have to manage any cryptocurrency wallet.
Coinbase, a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange seen by some as the main cryptocurrency on-ramp, is reportedly planning to go public, via a direct listing instead of a traditional initial public offering (IPO). Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reports the exchange has not registered its intention with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but has reached out to law firms and investment banks.