After two bullish weeks crypto momentum, Bitcoin (BTC-USD) winning streak ended suddenly this week. The legacy token is on the verge of breaking the 10-year record of maintaining a green candle for 15 consecutive days. However, the streak ended on January 18 after BTC fell below support at $21,500.
At the time of writing, BTC is consolidating below the $21,000 mark. BTC’s pullback from its previous weekly high can be attributed to the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to open an “international cryptocurrency enforcement action” on January 18.
Another potential reason behind the Bitcoin price pullback is the US Producer Price Index (PPI) numbers released this week. Contrary to expectations, December 2022 producer price index (PPI) is at 6.2% year-over-year (YoY) compared to the previous figure of 7.3%, indicating a reduction in inflation. With investors speculating that the US Federal Reserve may slowly raise interest rates, BTC and other major cryptocurrencies saw a sharp sell-off that reduced weekly returns after the data was published.
Solana Leads Altcoins to the Upside
Most of the altcoins were able to sustain the upward momentum of the previous week, with Solana (SOL) establishing itself as one of the top performers. Followed by a month of population decline as a result of FTX is brokenSOL registered an impressive 31% gain over the past week, mainly due to increased developer activity, user adoption, and a series of promising announcements.
While several other altcoins also recorded double-digit returns, this week’s standout performance came from Decentraland (MANA), Frax Finance (FRX), and Aptos (APT). The value of Decentraland (MANA) increased by almost 67.37% this week after the metaverse platform announced a partnership with the Australian Open (AO) tennis tournament.
Meanwhile, Ethereum (ETH-USD)-based project Frax Finance (FRX) propelled its way to the top 100 cryptos by capitalization this week after surging 65% over the last seven sessions. This positive price action in the value of FRX and other liquid staking cryptocurrencies can be linked to Ethereum’s upcoming “Shanghai” upgrade, after which users can withdraw Ethereum that is currently staked to validate network activity.
APT token Aptos is another strong performer after jumping about 54% this week. Value of Layer-1 blockchain The original APT token surged following news that Web3 infrastructure provider Moralis would merge with Aptos. The new integration will add support for all existing API endpoints, build custom Aptos APIs, and integrate real-time data streaming via webhooks from Aptos to Moralis.
Monero and ApeCoin Face Unrelenting Resistance
Despite the generally positive performance recorded in the crypto landscape over the last seven sessions, Monero (XMR) and ApeCoin (APE) significantly underperformed their peers after both tokens lost nearly 5% of their value. Monero’s Falling Hashrate is one of the main reasons behind its price drop this week. The value of XMR briefly rallied last week but began consolidating shortly after and is now trading 70% below its previous all-time high.
ApeCoin (APE), on the other hand, continues to fight a price correction due to a consistent drop in the number of daily active users on the network. The asset’s trading volume has continued to decline in recent weeks due to weak investor sentiment due to an unexpected drop in open interest (OI) rates.
Australia’s New Stablecoin, Web3’s $500 Million Fund, and More
Amidst interest in national currency digitization and central bank experiments, the National Australia Bank (NAB) is the latest central bank to open a blockchain initiative with plans to launch a stablecoin pegged to the AUD on top of the Ethereum blockchain in mid-2023. The AUDN stablecoin aims to speeding up cross-border transactions and trade of carbon credits, helping users solve problems related to the SWIFT payment network.
Turning to funding and investment trends, venture capital firm Hashkey Capital has closed a $500 million investment round. The funds will be allocated to infrastructure, tools, and applications designed to accelerate the mass adoption of blockchain, Web3, and other emerging technologies. At the same time, Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital has invested in a new crypto company founded by former FTX US President Brett Harrison.
Last but not least, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has implemented an “international crypto enforcement action” in coordination with France against the Hong Kong-based P2P crypto platform Bitzlato and its founder Anatoly Legkodymov for their involvement in unlicensed money transmission higher than $ 700 million. The news triggered an immediate sell-off in the crypto ecosystem before a moderate rebound from the bottom.