Markets performed well over the past week: BTC$ is up 12% over the past week and trading at 23.1k, while ETH$ outperformed BTC at large and is trading 33% higher at 1.6k. MATIC is up 28% over the week, and AVAX is trading 26% higher.
Questions: What triggered the rally? And will it be sustainable in the near- and mid-term?
The current upward trend in crypto is unsurprisingly backed with a general risk-on sentiment in the market as the Nasdaq traded 6.3% higher over the past week. However, it is very questionable as to whether there is any macro-economic justification for the rally. On the positive side, the market was relieved that Nord Stream 1 resumed operations as planned (albeit at reduced levels).
Other than this, there were hardly any positive developments: Mario Draghi finally resigned as prime minister, leaving Italy in political chaos with little hope for needed reforms.
The ECB surprised with a 50bps hike, and provided further details on their Transmission Protection Instrument (TPI). The TPI is essentially a new bond purchase scheme that is meant to lower the spread between countries in the North and South. To put it simply: the ECB acknowledges the danger of a renewed debt crisis in the EU as interest rates need to rise to fight inflation, and seems willing to standby countries who might get into trouble (whatever it takes?). A potenial showstopper could be various courts in member states, especially in Germany, where the federal constitutional court already ruled that a former stimulus programme was partly contrary to Germany’s national constitution.
For once, there was some positive news from the crypto space as the ETH merge to PoS could now come as early as mid-September. Ether finally completing the move to the much more energy efficient PoS certainly would be a big relief for the crypto market. The anticipation of success can most easily be observed in the discount of stETH vs. ETH, which shrank to only 2%.
Coming back to the question posed earlier as to whether the move this week is sustainable… While the upward momentum of the recent rally was strong, more is needed to confirm a true trend change. We remain optimistic.