Asia Trailblazer: Bitcoin Holds Above $21,000 | Cryptocurrency

The round involved two of Thailand’s largest banks, but the country also faces a major challenge in retaining its top technical staff.

Hello. Here’s what happens:

Price: Thailand’s interest in crypto is on the rise, but regulation in the country has lagged behind.

Conclusions: Bitcoin maintained significant gains on Friday to continue trading above $21,000; Ether held above $1,700.


Bitcoin Holds Above $21,000

James Rubin

Bitcoin held above its most recent low of $21,000 over the weekend as investors continued to look forward to positive US inflation data in the coming week.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was recently trading at around $21,800, up about 1% and slightly higher than it was at the beginning of the weekend. BTC soared more than 10% at some point on Friday amid market optimism that when prices start to decline, the US central bank can return to its current regime of sharp interest rate hikes and liquidity squeeze next year.

Noting Bitcoin’s encouraging rebound from $18,500 earlier in the week, Joe DiPasquale, CEO of cryptocurrency manager BitBull Capital, also said that such a resurgence was not unusual for cryptocurrencies during a bear market. “While the bulls will welcome this rebound, it is important to note that the ongoing bearish price action has periodic upswings, especially when shorts take profits,” he said.

Ether has recently fallen by about 1% but is still trading well above the $1,700 level it rebounded on Thursday evening. Investors in the second largest cryptocurrency by market value are looking forward to the merger, the transition of the Ethereum blockchain from proof of work to a more energy efficient proof of work protocol, which is expected to be completed within the next nine days. Most of the other big coins in CoinDesk’s top 20 by market capitalization were slightly in the red, with UNI recently down over 3% and popular coins DOGE and SHIB down over 2%.


The rise in crypto prices followed stocks that ended a three-week losing streak on Friday, with the tech-focused Nasdaq closing up 2.1% and the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) up 1.5% and 1.2. % respectively. a lull in risk aversion stemming from inflationary optimism. The link between bitcoin (BTC) and stock prices, especially tech stocks, is getting closer again.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the latest consumer price index (CPI) on Tuesday, and many economic watchers expect inflation to fall further, at least in part due to lower energy prices. The price of Brent crude oil, a widely watched indicator in energy markets, is currently hovering around $90 a barrel, about 25% lower than in early June when it topped $123. The July consumer price index, which stood at 8.5%, fell slightly from the previous month, although it remains at the level of almost a four-year high.

Speaking on Friday, St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard said he had become more supportive of a third consecutive 75 basis point rate hike and that investors should not underestimate the possibility of keeping rates high in 2023.

In crypto news, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin surprised Kyiv Tech Summit attendees on Friday by demonstrating his support for war-torn Ukraine. And LUNA, a recreation of the Terra blockchain after a spectacular explosion earlier this year, tripled in value within hours on Friday, trading near its all-time high set in early June when the token was introduced. The price of the token soared to almost $7 from less than $2, according to cryptocurrency price tracking system CoinGecko, although it was trading below $6 most recently.

BitBull’s DiPasquale said that he is “skeptical about the continuation of the rally due to the lack of fundamental macroeconomic improvements”, and that the upcoming ETH merger and the Federal Open Committee meeting later this month, which will decide on the size of the interest rate increase, “remain key events.” watch”.


Thai interest in crypto is growing, but regulation lags behind

Sam Reynolds

Forward, a decentralized finance (DeFi) project in Thailand that is building a decentralized derivatives exchange, just completed a $5 million funding round.

And this is not an old trick: the venture divisions of the two largest banks in the country participated.

Kasikornbank and Bank of Ayudhya invested an undisclosed amount. Udomsak Rakwongwan, co-founder of Forward, notes that this is the first time that two regulated banks are directly investing in DeFi because they want to digitize and transform banking.

But while Thai banks have to operate in a heavily regulated environment — a product of the 1997 financial crisis — there is simply no clear regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

Rakwongwan notes that Forward, although a Thai project, is registered in Singapore due to the clarity of the regulation.

Siam Commercial Bank, another major bank in the country, has a blockchain-based venture capital fund and “opens doors to the future of regulation,” Rakwongwan said, given its prudent approach and positive relationship with regulators. SCB recently backed out of a deal to buy a majority stake in local exchange BitKub on the advice of regulators.

Rakwongwan told CoinDesk that he has contacted the SEC of Thailand, a meeting is scheduled for the near future, and so far his project has been received positively.

But progress is slow. Meanwhile, the country is suffering from a brain drain. The low cost of living locally indicates that salary expectations are low and Thai talent is competitive overseas. The Web3 remoting environment indicates that collaboration has no limits.

“I believe that Thailand can become a hub for innovation and technology. We have investors who are ready to support new talent,” said Chanon Charatsutikul, another co-founder.

Rakwongwan added that the $5 million seed round is of great importance for Thailand. But there won’t be many such rounds of investment in Thai companies until the rules become clearer.

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