This Week in Crypto: Bitcoin, Ether and XRP Hold Steady

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Despite the strong crypto market resurgence in January building hope for the crypto community, the wait for a gargantuan bull market might last longer.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, opened Monday on a quiet note after its largest weekly red candle since the year started. At press time, the crypto asset was exchanging hands at $21,613, down 4.93% in the past week, as per CoinMarketCap data.

After posting pronounced losses over the past week, most other cryptocurrencies exhibited lacklustre volatility. Ethereum, the No. 2 cryptocurrency by market cap, sank roughly 7.55% last week and was changing hands at $1,481 at press time.

Avalanche led in losses among the top 20 coins by market valuation, dumping 13% in the past week to tap $17.34 at the time of writing. Shiba Inu shaved 12% and trades at $0.00001264 at press time. Popular meme coin DOGE plunged 12.33% to $0.0810, while XRP lost 8% and currently sits at $0.36.

Much of last week’s bearish sentiment stemmed from renewed crackdowns by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on the industry. SEC’s decision to ban Kraken’s staking program last week has sent chills to players in the crypto sector, with investors worrying that the move will likely continue to hang over crypto markets for weeks.

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On Friday, Nexo, another crypto lending platform, announced that it would shut down its Earn Interest Product for all US clients on April 1, 2023, following a settlement with the SEC in January. Today, Paxos was reportedly ordered by the New York Department of Financial Services to stop issuing Binance’s BUSD token, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Hours earlier, WSJ reported that the SEC threatened to sue the lender for offering the said token, alleging that it is an unregistered security.

Following the collapse of high-profile firms like Three Arrows Capital, FTX and Celsius in the past year, the SEC has escalated its crypto enforcement campaigns, suppressing crypto prices. And while most crypto players have unanimously agreed that the sector needs appropriate regulations, the SEC- under Gary Gensler- has been criticized for regulating by enforcement, threatening to push crypto firms out of the US.

Meanwhile, as the regulatory debate rages on, crypto investors have also been keen on the Fed’s next move in its battle against inflation. While last month’s interest rate hike was smaller, it didn’t have much of a lasting effect on Bitcoin and other cryptos, which have continued to slide.

This week, investors will be looking at the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) report on Tuesday, which will show if inflation continues to fall.  A drop in CPI figures could boost crypto prices thanks to optimism that the Fed monetary tightening cycle could close at some point in early to mid-2023.

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