Read in the Digest:
Goldman Sachs predicts Bitcoin (BTC) at $12k as markets plunge ahead of Fed rate hike.
Steep decline sees Ethereum (ETH) fall to 2-month low – ETHW loses 86%.
Cardano’s Vasil hard fork enters its final stage, ADA risks record drop.
SEC and Ripple Labs both file motions for the immediate conclusion of the case.
The U.S. publishes crypto framework – ECB chooses Amazon CBDC prototype.
Goldman Sachs Predicts Bitcoin (BTC) at $12k as Markets Plunge Ahead of Fed Rate Hike
Bitcoin’s (BTC) brief release over the weekend proved unstainable as the crypto market plunged once again amid fears of a new interest rate hike. The United States Federal Reserve is expected to raise its interest rate in response to the recently published inflation report.
Previous comments by Fed chief Jerome Powell suggest that the September 21st interest rate hike could be the highest made by the apex bank of the United States in the last four decades.
The fearful sentiment sent the price of BTC plunging beneath the $20k support level it had held over the weekend. Bitcoin has dropped in value by 6.5% over the last 24 hours to trade as low as $18,390, a new 3-month low.
The 24 hour price chart for Bitcoin (BTC). Source: CoinMarketCap
Analyzing the bearish macroeconomic environment, a team of Goldman Sachs economists, led by Jan Hatzius, predicts that the price of Bitcoin could fall to as low as $12,000 if the Fed continues to hike interest rates.
Popular pseudonymous crypto analyst “Capo”, who foresaw the 2022 crypto market crash, has predicted an imminent short-term rally for BTC.
Why You Should Care
The ongoing Bitcoin crash mirrors that of the broader stock markets, which have endured weekly decline since June 17th.
Steep Decline Sees Ethereum (ETH) Fall to 2-Month Low – ETHW Loses 86%
The recent Ethereum (ETH) merge has proven incapable of shooing the bears away, with Ether experiencing its steepest decline in four months, losing 11% of its value in the last 24 hours, and 26% since the merge itself.
The steep decline has sent the price of the Ether spiralling down to $1,287, the lowest point recorded for ETH since mid-July. ETH has since recovered over the past few hours to trade at $1,322 at the time of writing.
The 4 day price chart for Ethereum (ETH). Source: CoinMarketCap
Ethereum’s plummeting price contributed not insignificantly to the huge chunk of $400 million liquidations suffered by over 40,000 traders in the last 24 hours. Since September 20th the liquidation of ETH-based positions has reached over $163 million, surpassing BTC’s $122 million.
The Proof of Work hard fork of the Ethereum chain, EthereumPoW (ETHW), has fared even worse than Ether since the merge on September 15th. Following the transition of the network’s mainnet, the price of ETHW has tumbled by more than 86%.
The 4 day price chart for EthereumPoW (ETHW). Source: CoinMarketCap
While the projected positive effects of the merge have not been seen in the short term due to prevailing macroeconomic pressure, the upgrade is still expected to yield huge results for Ethereum in the future.
Cardano’s Vasil Hard Fork Enters Final Stage – ADA Risks Record Drop
Charles Hoskinson, CEO of Input Output Global (IOG) and Founder of Cardano has announced that a hard fork combiner was applied for and successfully accepted. This means that the implementation of the Vasil hard fork has entered its final stage.
According to Hoskinson, an automated process has already begun to upgrade the Cardano network. Hoskinson urged the community to upgrade to Daedalus 5.0.0, the latest version of their crypto wallet, which fixes some known issues ahead of the hard fork.
Although the Vasil mainnet hard fork combinator event is scheduled to go live on September 22nd, a range of technical issues have delayed the Plutus V2 cost model to be available at the start of epoch 366, on September 27th.
The positive confirmtation of the update has been unable to prevent Cardano (ADA) from crashing, and the value of the ADA has fallen 11% in the last 24 hours to as low as $0.4344.
The 24 hour price chart for Cardano (ADA). Source: CoinMarketCap
Veteran trader Peter Brandt highlights that ADA is exhibiting a bearish continuation pattern, the same pattern that preceded BTC’s 50% crash in the 2018 crypto winter.
If ADA completes the pattern, it could fall to a low last seen in January 2021.
Why You Should Care
The Vasil hard fork will improve Cardano’s throughput and script efficiency, while reducing latency in block transmissions to increase the network’s capacity.
SEC and Ripple Labs Both File Motions for the Immediate Conclusion of the Case
The almost 2 years old case between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ripple Labs could be heading for to a conclusion, as both parties involved filed separate motions on September 17th requesting that an immediate ruling be made.
In December 2020, the SEC filed a class action lawsuit against Ripple Labs, alleging that Ripple’s initial coin offering (ICO) for the XRP violated U.S. securities laws. Ripple Labs has been in court ever since, insisting that XRP is not a security.
Both parties have now filed for a conclusion to the case, arguing that the judge overseeing the case has enough information to make a determination. The SEC’s filing for summary judgment argued that an “investment contract” can exist without a contract.
Ripple, for their part, maintains that XRP sales and trading did not meet the tenets of the ‘Howey Test’. According to Ripple’s filing, the profits on its XRP tokens came from “market forces of supply and demand.”
The SEC and its Chairperson, Gary Gensler, have been criticized for their approach toward crypto companies and crypto assets.
Why You Should Care
When the court grants the summary judgement, the court ruling will play a significant role in determining the type of cryptocurrencies that constitute a security under U.S. securities laws.
The U.S. Publishes Crypto Framework – ECB Chooses Amazon CBDC Prototype
The White House has just released its first-ever framework for regulating the crypto space in the United States. The comprehensive framework, published by the White House, is built on six months of wide-ranging research across the digital asset sector.
The framework approves the SEC and CFTC’s regulation of the crypto industry, while the Treasury will aim to complete a risk assessment for DeFi and NFTs by 2023. The framework also makes reference to the possibility of the issuance of a digital dollar.
In Europe, the ECB (European Central Bank) announced that it will be working with Amazon on the creation of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Other companies on the project include Nexi, CaixaBank, Worldline, and the European Payments Initiative.
Each company will focus on a specific use case for digital Euro front-end prototypes. Amazon will be tasked with e-commerce payment solutions for the digital Euro, though it will not be implemented until the later phases of the digital currency project.
The Blockchain Association has labeled the White House’s crypto framework a “missed opportunity” to cement the U.S.’s place at the forefront of crypto development and innovation.
Why You Should Care
The moves being made by governments around the world highlights the possible role that crypto could play in the future of finance.