Bitcoin and Ethereum struggle to make headway, Ripple (XRP) pulls ahead

The crypto markets are struggling to recover lost ground heading into Wednesday, with total market capitalisation hovering around two-month lows of US$923bn.

After recovering the key US$19,000 price point yesterday, Bitcoin dipped a couple of percent once again, thus heading below the line.

Ethereum performed similarly and is currently trading close to US$1,300; a worrying figure for holders.

The altcoin space is a bit of a mixed bag- on the upside, payment coin Ripple (XRP) had a stellar 7.5% rally in the past 24 hours and is currently valued at over US$20.2bn.

Cardano and Polkadot traded essentially sideways, but competitors Solana and Polygon dipped 2% and 3% respectively.

Meme coin DOGE enjoyed incremental gains, while its competitor Shiba Inu (SHIB) lost over 3%, bringing its market cap down to US$5.8bn.

Other top movers this Wednesday morning included network tokens EOS and Steller (XLM), as well as HT, native token of the Huobi Global digital asset exchange.

In the decentralised finance (DeFi) space, US$556mln derivatives exchange Synthetix (SNX) copped a 6% hit to its market value, while Curve also suffered losses. 

On the other hand, Compound Finance and Binance-based decentralised exchange PancakeSwap opened the day in green territory.

Total value locked across all protocols is slightly less than US$54bn.

The Crypto Fear & Greed Index, which tracks market sentiment, is stuck firmly in the extreme fear category.

In the news

It seems likely that a legal dispute is flaring up between Ethereum and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

While an official statement has yet to be made, SEC chair Gary Gensler has made repeated allusions to Etherum’s post-Merge proof-of-stake (PoS) validation method.

A successful move from the SEC would see the majority of crypto assets fall under securities law and would have far-reaching consequences for Ethereum and any Ethereum-based application.

Market maker Wintermute has been hit with a US$160mln in a hack to its DeFi operations.

Founder and chief executive officer Evgeny Gaevoy stated on Twitter that despite the attack, the firm remains “solvent”.