Original Article By Damanick Dantes And Tracy Wang At Coindesk.com

It’s been a quiet week in crypto markets as prices consolidate after last week’s sell-off. Returns have been mixed, especially among alternative cryptocurrencies, with Solana’s SOL token down about 19% over the past week due to network failures, compared with a 34% gain in Avalanche’s AVAX token that was driven by the network’s latest $230 million funding round.

Bitcoin was trading at about $47,000 at press time and is up 6% over the past week. Some analysts expect BTC to consolidate over the short term as the broader uptrend remains intact.

“The combination of fundamental metrics presented on-chain, bullish technical indicators and soft macro picture allows us to confirm our view of a bullish run through the remainder of the year,” FundStrat, a global advisory firm, wrote in a Wednesday report. “We are buyers of BTC and ETH into any near-term selling.”

Regulation, however, remains a headwind for cryptocurrencies. Last week, El Salvador’s Court of Accounts received a complaint from a human rights organization regarding the government’s handling of bitcoin purchases and crypto ATMs. Opposition to the country’s bitcoin law has been vocal with protests across the capital, reported CoinDesk’s Sebastian Sinclair.

And on Thursday, Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Treasury Department is preparing a report on stablecoins and their potential risks to the financial system.

Latest Prices

  • Bitcoin (BTC), $47,516, +0.1%
  • Ether (ETH), $3,421, -4.0%
  • S&P 500: -0.9%
  • Gold: $1,752, -0.1%
  • 10-year Treasury yield closed at 1.378%

Market uncertainty

Similar to the spot market, the bitcoin options and futures market has also been relatively stable, albeit with some signs of caution.

“We’ve seen healthy spot buying demand in BTC, ETH and altcoins on the desk,” wrote crypto trading firm QCP Capital in a Telegram chat. “But we’ve also seen decent profit-taking in calls at current levels – mixed signals.”

A cautious stance among traders is apparent from the positive one-week and one-month bitcoin put-call skews, which measure the cost of puts – or bearish bets – relative to calls, which are bullish bets. The positive values imply that traders are seeking short-term downside protection, reports CoinDesk’s Omkar Godbole.

QCP expects bitcoin to consolidate at around the $45,000-$50,000 range over the short term given mixed signals from the options market.

“At these levels we have turned slightly short spot as well in BTC and ETH against our long spot positions in the altcoins,” QCP wrote.

Coinbase trading volumes decline

Trading volume on the Coinbase exchange eased slightly last week but remains elevated compared with recent months. That trend largely reflects the recent price consolidation in large cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and ether, while smaller alternative cryptocurrencies captured greater interest among traders.

In a Friday newsletter to institutional clients, Coinbase noted rising volume and said that it expected an eventful fourth quarter. “BTC volumes have caught up to ETH volumes,” Coinbase wrote. “While retail interest in ADA remains high, we have seen a significant rise in ALGO volumes this past week as the L1 [Layer 1] narrative continues to play out.”

Ether pulls back relative to bitcoin

Ether, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was trading at around $3,400 at press time and is down about 3% over the past 24 hours, compared with bitcoin’s flat performance over the same period.

ETH is still outperforming BTC over the past week, although the pace of its relative upside is starting to slow. The ETH/BTC ratio declined from the 0.08 resistance level during last week’s crypto sell-off and is approaching initial support near 0.07.

Altcoin roundup

  • Ripple has plans to build a market-making platform for XRP: The global payments company is looking to build a crypto market-making platform and is actively recruiting 10 staff across three cities, reported CoinDesk’s Will Canny. Last December, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Ripple with raising more than $1.3 billion in XRP sales in allegedly unregistered securities offerings. Ripple’s XRP token was previously the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
  • Stablecoin Tether denies holding Evergrande’s commercial paper in its reserve for USDT: Tether Ltd., the company behind the world’s largest stablecoin, has pushed back against lingering speculation that its dollar-pegged currency USDT is backed by commercial paper issued by the now cash-strapped Chinese property giant Evergrande Group, reported CoinDesk’s Omar Godbole. “Tether does not hold any commercial paper or other debt or securities issued by Evergrande and has never done so,” Tether external spokesperson Alex Welch said in an email on Wednesday.
  • Crypto custodian Copper says it now supports OXY and MAPS tokens, citing growing investor demand for DeFi: OXY and MAPS are the native tokens of the Oxygen and Maps.me ecosystems, which are built on Solana’s Serum decentralized exchange (DEX). The company says custody of OXY and MAPS on its Copper platform will support investments in the two decentralized finance (DeFi) projects from institutional investors.