Crypto Price Check: Bitcoin and Ethereum fall while Aave and Compound rise

If you were hoping this would be the week the cryptocurrency rally restarted, you’re in for a disappointment — instead, prices have either continued to tumble or remained roughly stable for most major cryptocurrencies.

Still, there have been some interesting developments over the past seven days, including successful funding rounds and greater commercial acceptance of cryptocurrencies. 

Bitcoin is down from $33,443 last Friday to $32,732 today (according to figures from Coingecko) — a decrease of around 2.8%. Similarly, Dogecoin fell 18.7% from $0.22 to $0.2 over the same period and Ethereum decreased 1.8% from $2,093 to $2,083.

This is the general trend among cryptocurrencies, but a few coins have bucked the trend. Aave’s price has increased 21.2% over the past week, while Compound has risen by an impressive 19%. What makes them different, you might ask?

Both cryptocurrencies belong to money market protocols that pool funds for lending and borrowing, — and they’ve both been boosted by recent announcements. The past week has seen the launch of Aave Pro (a feature that will allow institutional investors to borrow and earn interest on major cryptocurrencies). Meanwhile, Compound’s recent statement about a Compound Treasury allowing non-crypto businesses to use their system has made a stir in the crypto world.

Another success story is PancakeSwap — the crypto exchange’s token jumped 15% in value between 5 July and 6 July after a token burn, which reduced supply and increased value.

Despite the disappointing performance of Ethereum so far, Goldman Sachs revealed on Tuesday that it believes Ethereum may overtake Bitcoin in value and eventually become the dominant cryptocurrency.  Still, the bank isn’t expecting cryptocurrencies to replace gold as the go-to safe haven asset any time soon due to their high volatility and the high competition between different cryptocurrencies. 

“This competition among cryptocurrencies is another risk factor that prevents them from becoming safe-haven assets at this stage,” the bank stated.

Finder published their panel’s forecast for Ethereum for the end of 2021. The panel is comprised of 27 experts Finder reach out to and who gave an average of $4,596 for Ethereum by the end of the year.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that non-fungible token (NFT) sales have reached $2.47 billion so far in 2021 ($1.23 billion in the first quarter and $1.24 billion in the second quarter). This is far more than the same period last year, which only saw sales reach $13.7 million.

Meanwhile, Visa crypto cards have reached a total spending of $1 billion this year, demonstrating how crypto is becoming a viable payment method. Although some of these purchases are fiat spends that resulted in crypto rewards, the figures are a promising start — especially as Visa is now adding stablecoins to its payment network, further merging the worlds of traditional and decentralized finance.

At the start of the week, a new DeFi protocol themed around chess, Tranchess, raised $1.5 million in a seed round.  The project launched on Binance’s Smart Chain on June 24 and offers a new way to match investors with investment opportunities that match their risk preferences and goals.

Meanwhile, Solrise Finance, a fund management protocol that aims to widen the reach of decentralized finance (DeFi), raised $3.4 million in a funding round. The firm bases its investment protocol in Solana and is non-custodial — investors can enter and exit funds as they wish and their fund managers don’t have direct ownership over the money. This successful fundraising project shows how real-life applications of blockchain technology are growing in number

Borderless Capital also raised $10 million this week, which it will use to stake and mine HNT (the native coin of The People’s Network, which is built on the Helium blockchain) through the HNT.Fund. It also wants to create a Wrapped HNT to help its users earn greater yields.

The race for governments to understand cryptocurrencies continues. Japan’s plans for a digital yen are going full swing ahead, with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party now aiming to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by late 2022. There are some concerns the project will pose problems for banks or private businesses, but the party claims this is unlikely.

Japan isn’t the only country testing the water — on Monday, the Bank of France also outlined its plans to test how a digital currency would affect insurance and settlement activities would affect the nation.

Back in the commercial world, the hotel group Pavilions announced on Wednesday that it will accept more than 40 cryptocurrencies as payment for its bookings, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. It joins a list of other big-name merchants that have taken the step, including the luxury chain hotel firm Kessler Collection.