BTC gained ground after languishing below $16,800 and falling to $16,625.15 on Tuesday, January 3. Following a high of nearly $16,973, it traded tightly around $16,800 and approached $17,000 with the release of the nonfarm payroll report on Friday, January 6. Subsequently, BTC leveled off at roughly $16,940 and barely moved through the weekend. On Monday, January 9, it rose to a three-week high of $17,359.37.
The pioneering coin has fluctuated between $16,500 and $17,500 for most of the past month, with roughly 20% lost since the FTX collapse. Although it ticked up on the December employment report, the latter provided mixed signals for the inflation outlook. According to the figures, the US labor market has barely loosened up despite the Federal Reserve's aggressive strategy. Following the report release, the Crypto Fear & Greed Index descended back to extreme fear at 25.
As of this writing, BTC is changing hands at $17,333.33, with a 24-hour gain of +2.3% and 7-day growth of +4.3%.
ETH eclipsed BTC, gaining more than twice as much over the past seven days. Ascending from $1,200, it reached $1,250 on Wednesday, January 4, and $1,275 on Friday, January 6. The weekend locked it in a narrow range around $1,265. Then, in the early hours of Monday, January 9, ETH soared above $1,300, and the price eventually reached $1,341.41.
According to technical analysts, ETH is consolidating gains with the potential to grow if it holds above support at $1,270. Signs of cooling in the employment market prompted a rush into riskier assets, with Ether options traders betting on a 160% rally in the first quarter of 2023. The coin soared in lockstep with the crypto market and reached three-week highs. However, another hawkish move by the Fed might dampen the market sentiment again.
As of now, ETH is worth $1,333.33, with a 24-hour rise of +5.3% and a 7-day jump of +11.0%.
Following a crash to $0.326194 on Monday, January 2, XRP swiftly bounced back to over $0.353, seesawed lower through Tuesday, January 3, and held firmly above $0.343 the next day. The slide to $0.333 on Friday, January 6, was followed by soaring to nearly $0.346 at the start of the weekend. XRP stayed close to $0.345 until Monday, January 9, when its rise culminated in a high of $0.357418.
Last week, XRP became the most traded token among the top 100 BSC whales. It also gained one of the most prominent rate listings in the past two years — against USDT on BitMart. This pair went live on Thursday, January 5, which appeared to boost the price as XRP holders may now access one of the leading exchanges. Several major platforms delisted XRP in 2020 and 2021 due to the SEC's lawsuit against Ripple Labs.
At press time, XRP is trading at $0.357427, with a 24-hour rise of +4.8% and 7-day growth of +5.4%.
Bitcoin above $17K for the first time since mid-December
As the weekend drew to a close, Bitcoin gained enough momentum to push past the psychologically important level of $17,000. The coin hit a three-week high, and a jump over $17,100 could unlock the next technical level at around $17,800, according to a report by Coinbase Institutional's David Duong.
Based on blockchain data, FundStrat's Sean Farrell has pointed to a significant number of ready buyers with an "appetite to buy BTC at the very specific level of $16,000-$17,200." This "strong buy wall at current market prices" hints at the formation of "a strong bottom."
The $17,000 threshold had been BTC's rally ceiling since mid-December. The biggest cryptocurrency briefly ticked past it on Friday, January 6, but cementing the move took time.
US employment data
Financial markets reacted positively to the latest US jobs report, which indicated that the service sector had slowed in December. However, the figures do not seem compelling enough for the Fed to abandon its adherence to aggressive tightening.
According to the report, jobs grew only moderately in December, while wage growth slowed down and more US citizens worked or sought positions compared to November. That said, the outlook for inflation remains vague — while the labor market has weakened, it is still too robust for the Fed to reach its target of 2% inflation.
Key developments to follow
The Fed's hawkish policies have been unfavorable for BTC, leading to its poorest annual performance in the past four years. In the last 12 months, the coin has shed 64% of its value, and crypto traders expect more volatility soon. Aside from the Fed and the upcoming US inflation report, all sights are on the future of Digital Currency Group, Tron, Huobi, and Solana.
- The next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to begin on January 31. According to the CME FedWatch tool, a rate hike of 50 to 75 basis points is the most likely. The new US consumer price data due on January 12 should play a crucial role in the decision-making process.
- Crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group and its subsidiary Genesis are under investigation by the SEC (the US Securities and Exchange Commission) and the EDNY (US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York). According to Bloomberg, federal prosecutors are scrutinizing transactions between the two companies in light of heavy losses sustained amid the 2022 crypto turmoil.
- Meanwhile, Tron's TRX token and Huobi's HT slid last week on the news of internal tensions at the crypto exchange. Huobi, whose advisory board includes Tron founder Justin Sun, announced laying off 20% of staff and converting all salaries into stablecoins.
- The performance of Solana's SOL could prove impactful, as the token used to be one of Sam Bankman-Fried's favorites. It became one of the biggest casualties of the FTX implosion in late 2022.
The payout from the Mt Gox crypto-exchange rehabilitation plan settlement could also sway the crypto prices. According to a document released last week, the deadline for registration and repayment method selection has been put back from January 10 to March 10, 2023.
SOL and ADA soar, setting monthly highs
Supporters of Cardano and Solana rejoiced on Sunday, January 8. According to CoinGecko, both cryptocurrencies shot up by over 21%, reaching levels last seen in November. As of this writing, ADA is at $0.323881, with a 7-day rise of 29.5%. Meanwhile, SOL is at $16.20, with a staggering 62.5% gain over the same period.
For Solana, the first week of the year brought stellar performance that eclipsed all other coins in the top 20. It gained 11% on Monday, January 3, 16% the next day, and continued rising. This latest rebound is astonishing, considering the dramatic freefall following the FTX collapse.
As Sam Bankman-Fried had praised Solana and invested in its ecosystem, his downfall dragged it down, triggering a loss of over 41%. At press time, SOL is almost 94% below its all-time high of $259.96 on November 7, 2021.
The spectacular resurgence came after the launch of BONK, a novel coin designed to compete with SHIB. This Shiba Inu-themed asset outshined all major cryptos last week after being airdropped to developers, creators, and NFT holders. Following a jump by over 3,000% to $0.00000487, the coin descended on January 6, 2022, and is currently 1,776% above its December 30 price.
The backdrop to ADA's rise was vague, as the last significant development on its roadmap occurred in September when the Vasil fork went live. According to BeinCrypto, DeFi activity on Cardano has recently ticked up — the total value locked across all projects hit a two-month high last week, with double-digit gains for the top five. As per DeFiLlama, TVL reached $90 million, rising by 40% since the beginning of the year.
The latest news primarily concerned Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinson. Last week, he announced that clients of his new Hoskinson Health & Wellness Clinic would be able to pay in ADA. His other non-blockchain business — Nessie's restaurant and whiskey lounge — is also expected to accept the coin, while Input Output HK, a technology and engineering company he founded, is gearing up to launch the Lace wallet for ADA.
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