Bitcoin Struggles at $29K Amidst Summer Trading Slump
The price of bitcoin (BTC) barely maintained the $29,000 level early Wednesday as the summer slump in trading activity impacts digital assets. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization dipped to as low as $29,028, its weakest level since August 7, marking a 1.3% drop from $29,400 a day prior. It had modestly bounced to just above $29,100 at press time. Vetle Lunde, a senior analyst at digital asset firm K33 Research, noted that “Bitcoin still struggles to find any directional momentum as prices remain glued to $29K.”
Ethereum Follows Suit with a Slight Dip
Ether (ETH), another prominent cryptocurrency, also experienced a slump, trading around $1,820, a loss of 0.8% over the last 24 hours. The CoinDesk Market Index (CMI) similarly fell, showing a decline of 1.7%.
Bullish Predictions for Bitcoin on ETF Approval
Amid the bearish action, Tom Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors gave a wildly optimistic prediction on CNBC. He stated that approval of a spot bitcoin ETF could drive the price up more than five times from its current levels. Lee asserted, “I think the demand will be greater than the daily supply of bitcoin, so the clearing price [...] is over $150,000, could even be $180,000.” Several spot BTC ETF applications are under review by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including one from BlackRock, with a recent delay in decision-making on ARK21’s application.
Altcoins Face a Sharp Decline
Major alternative cryptocurrencies or altcoins tumbled throughout the day, vastly underperforming the CMI’s 1.7% decline and trailing both BTC and ETH. Cryptocurrencies like Solana’s SOL, dogecoin (DOGE), and Polygon’s MATIC saw each decrease between 5% and 7% over the past 24 hours.
Ripple's XRP Experiences a Notable Drop
Ripple’s XRP, the fifth-largest digital asset by market cap, plunged below 60 cents for the first time since its mid-July rally inspired by court rulings. It's now lower by 4.7% over the past 24 hours and 19% over the past month.
Expert Insights on Current Market Volatility
Matthew Sigel, head of digital asset research at investment manager VanEck, spoke to CoinDesk TV about the current market conditions. He stated, “Current price action is marked by unusually low volatility, low levels of leverage, and speculative activity.” He also remarked on the decreasing volatility trend despite significant events, such as the bankruptcy of every major crypto lender over the past year.