This Week in Crypto: Web3 and Metaverse Tokens Spark Rallies
Despite the brief pullback in crypto, which capped the previous week’s gains, Bitcoin (BTC-USD) has resumed its upward trajectory this week. The legacy cryptocurrency jumped past the $23,000 resistance, delivering gains of nearly 10.3% in the previous seven sessions. Following the upward momentum throughout January, BTC’s 30-day return now stands at around 37%.
This week’s rally was primarily attributed to the positive Consumer Price Index (CPI) report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which reflected a -0.10% decline in overall inflation for All Urban Consumers month-over-month. This data marked the most significant decline in inflation since April 2020, triggering hopes of a less aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hike during the next decision due on February 1.
Meanwhile, a fresh report from on-chain analytics firm Santiment indicates that BTC whale wallets are on an accumulation spree. The report highlighted that BTC wallet addresses holding between 1,000 to 10,000 BTC accumulated around 64,638 BTC – worth around $1.46 billion – over the last two weeks alone.
Aptos and Threshold Lead the Charts as Altcoins Surge Higher
Following Bitcoin’s lead, most of the altcoins were able to sustain their last week’s uptrend as well, with almost every altcoin registering double-digit increases. Among the top 10 altcoins by market capitalization, Cardano (ADA) jumped by 12.3% over the last seven sessions as the Cardano team gears up for the launch of its highly-anticipated DJED stablecoin.
However, this week was exceptionally favorable for Web3 and metaverse-related tokens, with Aptos (APT) leading this week’s altcoin rally with a staggering 126.6% rise and a 207.8% jump in its 24-hour trading volume. There are a few catalysts behind the skyrocketing value of Aptos’ APT token, including a series of developments on its Layer-1 blockchain ecosystem, increased on-chain user activity as a result of numerous non-fungible token (NFT) projects, as well as Binance’s new liquidity pools for the $APT token.
Web3 token ApeCoin (APE) also stormed 30.2% higher this week amid sizeable spikes in its network growth metrics and the decision by Australian crypto exchange Cointree to list the $APE token on its platform. At the same time, popular play-to-earn (P2E) game Axie Infinity’s AXS token and Stepn (GMT) rebounded sharply this week, climbing around 43% and 44.3%, respectively, as both NFT and GameFi ecosystems continue witnessing a recovery of inflows.
Emerging blockchain infrastructure provider Threshold network pushed the altcoin rally even further after rising approximately 164.6% over the last seven sessions. This upward movement for the T token, which serves as the network’s utility token and the governance token for its Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), comes at the heels of Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) announcing that it will list the T token on its platform in the coming weeks.
Helium Losing Streak Persists as ETHPoW Misses Out on Rally
The broader altcoin outperformance over the last week left out just a few names among the top 100 cryptocurrencies by capitalization, including Helium (HNT), the blockchain network for the Internet of Things (IoT). Since entering the limelight following a mention from famed investor Bill Ackman, the value of the HNT token has been languishing, tumbling nearly 95% from its all-time high of $55.22.
The confirmation about the upcoming migration of Helium to Solana, which will help simplify the network’s system architecture and increase scalability, hasn’t made much of a difference in investor sentiment, with the value of $HNT dipping another 1.7% over the last seven sessions. Other underperformers included blockchain gaming platform Enjin’s ENJ token and the forked Ethereum (ETH-USD) proof-of-work’s ETHPoW, dropping by 2% and 1.3% each.
Bitcoin Mining in Focus, Bithumb Clampdown, and More
With Bitcoin back on the rise, mining operations are returning to life. Underscoring the renewed interest in mining, infrastructure firm Blockstream has raised a total of $125 million to fund its BTC mining co-location services to cater to the heightened demand for institutional hosting services. In the meantime, lending platform BlockFi is selling off $160 million worth of its loans backed by roughly 68,000 Bitcoin mining machines as the next step in its bankruptcy proceedings.
Moving onto the crypto legal and regulatory arena, South Korea’s prosecutors have requested an arrest warrant to apprehend Kang Jong-Hyun, the Chairperson and owner of the Bithumb crypto exchange. According to reports, Kang and two other Bithumb executives are wanted on allegations of embezzlement and breach of trust.
Last but not least, the infamous hacker behind last year’s $321 million Wormhole Bridge attack has resurfaced. The latest on-chain data indicates that the hacker moved a large chunk of the stolen funds, around 96,630 ETH tokens worth around $155 million, to the OpenOcean DEX and then converted the same into ETH-pegged assets like Lido Finance’s stETH and wstETH.
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