This week in pieces: Ethereum overtakes Bitcoin as markets thaw

This week in pieces: Ethereum overtakes Bitcoin as markets thaw

This week in parts. Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt

Companies are doing everything in their power to stay solvent through the crypto winter — freezing buybacks, laying off employees, cutting expenses, filing for bankruptcy, negotiating takeovers — but those conditions couldn’t prevent the markets to heat up over the past week.

Bitcoin is up 8% in the past seven days to hit $22,337, at the time of this writing, but the world’s favorite cryptocurrency has been heavily outperformed by Ethereum, which has surged 27% to 1,523 $.

Anticipation of Ethereum’s next network upgrade – the so-called merger – seems to have spurred its growth, although Ethereum Classic (a fork of Ethereum based on the original ledger, which includes records from an infamous $55 Million DAO Hack which was wiped from Ethereum by vote), jumped 80% this week to $27. Obviously, while some buyers are looking to the future, others are nostalgic.

Other blockchains with high functionality smart contracts performed well: Solana rose 9% to $40.04, Cardano rose 10% to $0.47, Polkadot rose 9% to $7.25 , the NEAR protocol inflated 25% to $4.26 and Avalanche rose 23% to $23.57.

Other notable rallies for the week included Chainlink up 9% to $6.78, Cronos up 9% to $0.12 and Bitcoin Cash up 15% to $121.07.

No leading coin suffered significant weekly losses.

75%

Even as the markets warmed up, signs persisted that the crypto winter was far from over. Last week, Celsius joined fellow lender Voyager and crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital in bankruptcy filing after weeks of rumors of insolvency. This week, Singaporean exchange Zipmex became the latest to stop withdrawals— after Vauld and Celsius.

Along the same lines, Legion Strategies, a hedge fund affiliated with Anthony Scaramucci’s Skybridge Capital, investor redemptions halted. Legion Strategies owns shares in Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX. About 10% of the $230 million in assets held by the fund are cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain.com has joined the ranks of Gemini, Coinbase and OpenSea in announcing collective redundancies which include closing its Argentina operation, effectively halting expansion plans. Coinbase also announced that it is “temporary closurethe company’s US affiliate marketing program to cut costs.

News broke on Wednesday that electric car maker Tesla had sold 75% of his Bitcoin, worth about $936 million. In February 2021, the company invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin.

Elon Musk may be less bullish on Bitcoin, but he noted later that Tesla still owns all of its Dogecoin, which over the week is up around 6%.

The European Central Bank announced this week that interest rates increase up 0.5% as the bloc tries to stem runaway inflation which hit 8.6% in June. This also signals the end of the -0.5% negative interest rate offered by the ECB since 2014. The prices of major cryptocurrencies have all taken a small blow on the news.

Finally, Paraguay and Colombia have moved closer to crypto regulation, with the Paraguayan legislature approving a bill to create a fiscal and regulatory environment for crypto miners, while Colombia released draft regulation solicit public comment.

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