Most cryptocurrencies traded higher on Friday after a volatile week.
Ethereum (ETH) was the standout, climbing as much as 5% in the past 24 hours, just shy of $3,000 for the first time in two weeks. Meanwhile, bitcoin (BTC) rose above $42,000 and was up 3% over the same period.
Equities were also higher on Friday, while gold, a traditional safe haven asset, traded lower. The rebound in stocks and the outperformance of several alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) suggests a greater appetite for risk among investors.
But there is still the potential for greater price swings in the near term. “Despite the risk-on week for crypto assets, we will likely encounter additional volatility in the near term. We remain optimistic that any dips for ETH and BTC are buying opportunities,” Sean Farrell, vice president of digital asset strategy at FundStrat, wrote in a Friday email.
●Bitcoin (BTC): $42,243, +2.83%
●Ether (ETH): $2,981, +4.80%
●S&P 500 daily close: $4,463, +1.17%
●Gold: $1,920 per troy ounce, −1.16%
●Ten-year Treasury yield daily close: 2.15%
Bitcoin, ether and gold prices are taken at approximately 4pm New York time. Bitcoin is the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX); Ether is the CoinDesk Ether Price Index (ETX); Gold is the COMEX spot price. Information about CoinDesk Indices can be found at coindesk.com/indices.
Bitcoin’s trading volume across exchanges continued to decline after the spike on Wednesday. Further, the volume of buy orders versus sell orders in the futures market was balanced on Friday, which could mean the current upswing in price lacks conviction.
The average funding rate, or the cost of holding long BTC positions in the perpetual futures listed on major exchanges in the perpetual swaps market, ticked higher, possibly reflecting bullish sentiment.
In other news, the Bored Ape Yacht Club-linked ApeCoin (APE) was up 90% on its second day of trading, rebounding to over $15 after lows of $6.48 on Thursday. That’s a strong rebound from an 80% decline on Thursday.
Ether bounces on merge progress
Ether’s rise is partly due to progress on the merge of the Ethereum blockchain’s mainnet with the Beacon Chain.
Earlier this week, Ethereum merged on the Kiln testnet ahead of the blockchain’s eventual move to a proof-of-stake network, with network validators now producing post-merge blocks containing transactions, CoinDesk’s Shaurya Malwa wrote (