Crypto markets were mixed Tuesday morning, with some cryptocurrencies spiking higher and other dropping. This is in contrast to trends over the last few weeks that have consistently seen crypto values magnify the market’s move higher or lower.
Coinbase (COIN -1.40%) fell as much as 5.4% in early trading and is still down 2% at 11:30 a.m. ET. Two of the big movers in crypto were ApeCoin (APE 3.28%), which climbed as much as 9.8% in a quick jump, and Stellar Lumens (XLM 8.19%), which was up 10.5%.
On the downside, it was reported that cryptocurrency market maker Wintermute lost $160 million in a hack of the decentralized finance company. Management said that over-the-counter services hadn’t been affected and the company remains solvent.
There were also several small but altogether meaningful news items out from the industry. Solana NFT project Okay Bears signed a global licensing deal with IMG, which represents actors and other players in media. This is another step into the mainstream for crypto and NFTs.
Colorado also announced that its residents could pay their taxes using cryptocurrency through PayPal.
ApeCoin specifically is up in anticipation of staking for the token. It’s not clear when staking will be available, but Horizen Labs, who was chosen to provide the staking platform, is hosting a Twitter Space to discuss updates on Thursday, Sept. 22.
Coinbase may be down because it announced a lower fee structure yesterday. Less trading is required to get to lower fee levels, and the fees themselves are down slightly, which could hurt revenue at the crypto exchange.
Finally, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s trading firm Alameda said that it will repay a $200 million loan to Voyager, which is in bankruptcy. This continues the slow and steady de-risking of the crypto market over the last six months.
This may seem like a jumble of news, but I think all these items are pointing to a maturing crypto industry. Major companies are taking crypto more seriously, states are accepting crypto, and fees are falling as the industry matures.
All of these trends are good for the future of cryptocurrencies and the businesses being built in the industry. What’s still worrying is that hacks continue to be commonplace. There may be a long way to go in building more durable technology that’s safe for users, but that was the case in the early days of the internet as well.
I don’t think this should change investors’ thesis about cryptocurrency long term, though. It will likely take years for Congress or regulators to create clear rules for the industry to follow, and there’s a lot of internal maturing to be done. But this is still an asset class to be bullish on, and that’s why I’m staying bullish today.