At various stages today, the crypto market has seemed close to falling off the cliff. It could do with being lowered a rope sometime soon, considering its overall market cap is down 4.2% in the past 24 hours.

Maybe that lifeline will come once we move past the heaviest of the GBTC shares unlocks later this week.


Bitcoin is presently down 4.8%, having lost some crucial support (it’s always crucial, isn’t it?) around US$32,400.

According to the popular Dutch YouTubing crypto analyst, Michaël van de Poppe, the $31-31.5K level needs to hold if a more dramatic tumble is to be avoided.

At the time of writing, BTC was hanging on at $31,372 – a long way up from this time last year (when it was US$9,203), but a long way down from its all-time high of US$64,804.

Ethereum, meanwhile, was hanging out at US$1,901, down 5.5%. Its smart-contract platform rival and fellow top-fiver Cardano (ADA) was down about the same percentage, pulling back to US$1.21.

Both projects have plenty of bullish fundamentals on their horizon, with much-anticipated protocol upgrades that could help give the market the boost it needs when both those narratives really begin to take hold.

Ethereum’s hard fork is set to go live on August 4, with the Cardano mainnet release also expected later that month.


Bearish fundamentals at play today

Here are some of the more negative stories floating about the cryptoverse today, which could be contributing to lower price movements…

• Yet another defi (decentralised finance) exploit – with yield farming aggregator ApeRocket suffering a US$1.26m flash loan attack.

• More anti-crypto rhetoric from US Federal Chairman Jerome Powell, who said at a Senate hearing that cryptocurrencies had “completely failed” as a payment system.

• More regulatory scrutiny for leading crypto exchange Binance. This time it’s coming from the Italian regulator Consob, which has warned Binance it’s not authorised to operate in Italy.

• The UK’s FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) has announced it will spend £11 million on a marketing campaign warning young Brits about the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies.

Note: if the FCA had invested about a quarter of that marketing budget into Bitcoin at the start of this year, they’d be up about £250,000 on that investment. They could have bought a Lambo.


Mooners and shakers

This is starting to get repetitive, but NFT gaming project Axie Infinity (AXS) is again one of the market’s better performers. On the back of sustained traction and usage, especially in the Philippines, the project continues to fare well in choppy waters, currently cruising at $US24.92, up about 6% in the past 24 hours and 104% on the week.

Pockets of the gaming and NFT sector have been bucking the bearish trend this week, in fact. ChainGuardians (CGG) has moved 100% in green territory in the past seven days, Aussie NFT/open world gaming project Illuvium (ILV) is up 51% on the week, and Ethernity (ERN), a trading platform for limited-edition NFTs, is up by 48.6%.

Some of the worst-performing top 100 projects of note today were: KuCoin (KCS), FTX (FTT), Synthetix (SNX), Polygon (MATIC) and Solana (SOL).