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Bitcoin bulls defend yearly open after BTC price rebounds 5.5% from $29K

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Bitcoin (BTC) bulls could celebrate a modest victory on July 21 after record bids kept BTC/USD its 2021 opening price.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

$31,000 back in play for BTC

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed the largest cryptocurrency avoiding a trip lower than $29,000 over the past 24 hours.

After breaking through $30,000 support, concerns swiftly mounted that Bitcoin would surpass even its May lows and continue towards $24,000 or lower.

These ultimately did not come to pass, thanks to, as Cointelegraph reported, the “biggest bid ever” keeping bears working.

With that, BTC/USD was back above $30,000 at the time of writing on Wednesday, but whether or not the bottom is in was a major topic of discussion.

For Cointelegraph analyst Michaël van de Poppe, the fact that Bitcoin had not matched its May levels left the door open for a restest. More broadly, behavior both then and now conformed to a trading pattern which had not yet broken down.

“Bitcoin is still acting inside this range of wicks,” he summarized before the rebound.

“Didn’t take liquidity fully as there are still some wicks to take the liquidity from. However, the daily candle on Ethereum is interesting, as that one is in support. Let’s see whether we lose this and reach $26K next.”BTC/USD scenario with support and resistance zones. Source: Michaël van de Poppe/Twitter

He added that Bitcoin was “insanely cheap” at sub-$30,000 levels.

Fellow trader Crypto Ed shared his sense of foreboding, arguing that it was not yet time for a true recovery.

#BTC
EW labelling was spot on so far.
Need to see how this bounce unfolds but should be a corrective bounce before more doom.
Always expect the unexpected so we determined levels where this is invalidated and we turn bull. Just not yet. pic.twitter.com/RnhlPidjb4

— Crypto_Ed_NL (@Crypto_Ed_NL) July 21, 2021

Orderbook data showed resistance building at $31,000 on the day, placing a hurdle in the way of bulls who had propelled the market 5.5% higher to a local top of $30,900. Support at $29,000 and under, despite its prior test, remained in place.

BTC/USD buy and sell levels (Binance) as of July 21. Source: Material Indicators/Twitter

Altcoins stage strong comeback

Altcoins welcomed the relief rally in Bitcoin, Van de Poppe’s curiosity over Ether (ETH) well founded as it gained nearly 6% in hours.

Related: Fed takes on stablecoins: 5 things to watch in Bitcoin this week

Previously, the largest altcoin had lost a trend of higher lows which had characterized it throughout 2021.

Gains of up to 20% meanwhile featured across the top fifty cryptocurrencies by market cap, underscoring altcoins’ current sensitivity to Bitcoin’s movements.

The total cryptocurrency market cap returned above $1.25 trillion.

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Axie Infinity refreshes record high as AXS ascends 131% in just 3 days

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The price of Axie Infinity’s native token, AXS, more than doubled in just three days of trading amid speculation that it is going to revolutionalize the blockchain-enabled gaming industry forever.

The AXS/USD exchange rate reached a record value of $32.69 on Friday, up 31.28% intraday, and about 131% from its Tuesday low of $14.09. That placed the pair in the list of best-performing digital assets on a year-to-date timeframe; its 2021 gains are now above 5,000%.

Axie Infinity’s massive upside moves appeared due to its rising popularity as a play-to-earn gaming service. In detail, the Ethereum-enabled blockchain project is a Pokemon-like game, wherein players adopt, breed and trade digital pets — called Axies — in the form of nonfungible tokens.

Axie developer Sky Mavis called the game “a nation with a real economy,” which allows people to shape economic policies and practice local governance in a metaverse. The virtual environment has gained traction among netizens, insomuch that its total revenue closed toward $120 million in July versus $1.92 million at the beginning of this year.

Axie Infinity revenue is close to hitting $120M. Source: Axie World

Analysts at Delphi Digital forecasted that Axie’s revenue would reach approximately $153 million by the end of July and $1.1 billion by the 2021’s close.

What is AXS?

Axie developers focus on creating a play-to-earn model. In doing so, the project rewards players for the effort and time they put in both playing and growing the ecosystem. Every functional ecosystem needs tokens to transfer value. In Axie’s case, two assets fill that role: Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) and Small Love Potion (SLP).

Players earn SLP through Axie’s gameplay. They can later exchange the token for fiat, enabling a system where playing time turns into a person-hour wage. Axie reported that many of its players were making $5 a day by playing Axie, but the income surged to $20 as of late.

play-to-earn is basically yield farming, only it’s prettier and it appeals to a larger base of people

that’s it, that’s the tea

— 0xElle (, ) (@0xElle) July 23, 2021

Meanwhile, AXS operates as a settlement currency inside the Axie Infinity ecosystem, using trading fees, governance, and Axies’ buying and selling. As a result, its holders receive 95% of Axie Infinity’s total revenue, just like a government that receives tax revenues from its citizens.

Sky Mavis holds about 20% of the total AXS token supply.

The proposition has helped to push AXS demand higher even amid an ongoing sector-wide downtrend. Since its launch, the Axie Infinity token has raked in more than 18,000% profits for its investors.

AXS price technicals

The latest AXS rally also surfaced in the wake of a sector-wide rebound, led by Elon Musk’s revelation that his space technology firm, SpaceX, holds Bitcoin (BTC). He also committed that Tesla would resume the Bitcoin payment option for its electric vehicles once the flagship cryptocurrency switches to green energy solutions for mining.

Related: Axie Infinity (AXS) axes almost half its value following 971% bull run

Bitcoin’s rebound from below $30,000 has sent altcoins in a similar retracement trajectory, thereby benefiting AXS. However, the Axie Infinity token posted better short-term profits than its digital asset rivals, given the euphoria surrounding its gaming project.

AXS has been in a steady uptrend since launch. Source: TradingView

Technically, AXS’s latest move uphill had it break above its parabolic resistance. The cryptocurrency now holds $24.07 as its interim support while eyeing a run-up toward its next potential upside targets at $36.48, $56.57, $76.65, and so on.

Conversely, slipping below $24.07 exposes AXS to deeper downside levels at $19.78, $16.40 and $14.03.

AXS trading volume and market sentiment rise 

Additionally, VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro detected a bullish outlook for AXS on Friday before its recent price rise.

In detail, the VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points, including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. AXS price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for AXS first flipped green early on Friday at 00:15 UTC. Then the AXS prices began to rise, reaching as high as 78 four hours before the price peaked at $32.14.

At the time of writing, the VORTECS™ Score for AXS has slid back down to 65, suggesting that the conditions are still favorable for more upside price potential.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Possible ‘white hat hacker’ exploits THORchain for $8M, proposes 10% bounty

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Cross-chain decentralized exchange THORChain has suffered its second multi-million-dollar hack in as many weeks, with $8 million worth of Ether impacted.

However, the attack appears to have been carried out by a white-hat hacker, with THORChain announcing the perpetrator had requested a 10% bounty. ETH will be halted until the code has been audited.

Liquidity providers impacted by the exploit will be subsidized using the project’s treasury funds

The whitehat requested a 10% bounty – which will be awarded if they reach out, and they should be encouraged to do so.

It is a tough time for the community and project, and the pain is real.

The treasury has the funds to cover, but it’s time to slow down.

— THORChain (@THORChain) July 23, 2021

The exchange — which is still in the middle of a staged beta launch called Chaosnet — conceded that the “complexity” of its state machine comprises THORChain’s “Archille’s heel,” however asserted that its issues “can be solved with more eyes on, as well as a re-think in developer procedures and peer-review.”

A screenshot shared from the project’s Discord forum appears to show a message forwarded to the project by the hack via transaction data.

The hacker claims they deliberately minimized the damage from the exploit in a bid to teach THORChain a lesson, stating: “Do not rush code that controls 9 figures,” and “Disable until audits are complete.”

The hacker adds that they could have stolen Ether, Bitcoin, Binance Coin, Lycancoin, and many BEP-20 tokens if they had wanted to, asserting that “multiple critical issues” were found and that a 10% bug bounty could have prevented the incident.

message from hacker… pic.twitter.com/1j8wOPcYHa

— zillaQuest!? (@zillaQuest) July 23, 2021

On July 16, Cointelegraph reported that THORChain had been halted after 4,000 Ether worth $7.6 million was drained from the protocol. The protocol unsuccessfully proposed a bug bounty to the hacker in exchange for returning the stolen funds.

Related: ChainSwap announces compensation and ‘deep audit’ plan after $8M exploit

The decentralized exchange also lost $140,000 in a separate exploit suffered last month.

THORChain entered into its guarded “Chaosnet” launch in April, enabling cross-chain swaps across the Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Binance Chain networks.

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Stacks (STX) price rallies 195% after revealing plans to bring DeFi to Bitcoin

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Ethereum (ETH) is currently the leader when it comes to smart contract capabilities and the sheer number of projects operating on its network, but the push to build products on Bitcoin (BTC) is gaining traction with advocates like Square CEO Jack Dorsey spearheading the effort to bring decentralized finance (DeFi) to the Bitcoin network. 

One project aiming to combine the features of DeFi with the security of the Bitcoin network is Stacks (STX), a layer-one blockchain protocol designed to bring smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps) to the Bitcoin network.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that since dropping to a low of $0.50 on June 22, STX price rallied 195% to $1.47 on July 11 and now that Bitcoin has shown some bullish momentum, STX price is moving higher again with a 10% gain on  July 22. 

STX/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Three reasons for the recent strength in STX include the release of the Clarity programming language which brought smart contracts to Stacks 2.0 and Bitcoin, the ability for STX holders to stake tokens for BTC rewards and the arrival of DeFi and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) to the Bitcoin network.

Smart contracts come to Bitcoin

The introduction of the Clarity programming language on Stacks has been the main catalyst of growth for the Stacks ecosystem because it enabled the creation of smart contracts on the Bitcoin network.

I hear this smart contracts for Bitcoin thing might be, maybe, sort of a big deal.@Stacks

— muneeb.btc (@muneeb) July 8, 2021

Clarity claims to be  a “decidable language” which means that “you can know, with certainty, from the code itself what the program will do.”

The main difference between Clarity and other smart contract languages is its decidable language, which is not Turning complete, and the fact that the language is interpreted and broadcast on the blockchain as is, rather than being compiled, which “ensures that the executed code is human-readable and auditable.”

The collaboration between the two networks means popular sectors like DeFi and NFTs now have a way to operate and be recorded on the Bitcoin network without needing to worry about slow transaction times and increased costs.

STX holders can earn BTC by staking

Stacks recently rolled out STX staking for holders and this enables them to earn BTC as a reward.

The Stacks network uses a novel mining protocol called proof-of-transfer (PoX), which runs in parallel to Bitcoin and uses the BTC network as a reliable broadcast medium for its block headers.

While most proof-of-stake networks offer staking rewards paid out in the native token, members of the Stacks community can stake their STX tokens to earn BTC at an average rate of 10%.

This represents one of the few opportunities across the crypto space where a token holder can stake their tokens and earn BTC as a reward.

Related: Crypto staking rewards and their unfair taxation in the US

DeFi and NFTs come to Bitcoin

On July 10 STX created and sold the first-ever Bitcoin NFT from the Stacks blockchain.

Historic moment for #Bitcoin

Cara Delevingne’s “Mine”, the first ever Bitcoin #NFT to be minted and auctioned on the #Stacks blockchain has sold for 18000 STX. $21000 at current prices

Cost to mint and transfer “Mine” was just 0.0007 #STX or $0.001https://t.co/hjJRZwGPgR

— Jim.btc (@iCrypto_) July 10, 2021

 The event was meant to mark the beginning of a new era of smart contracts on Bitcoin and additional bullish news revealed that USD Coin (USDC) will expand to the Stacks network. This prompted some pundits to cite the Bitcoin Law which states that “successful experiments in crypto will eventually come to Bitcoin.”

The arrival of NFT and DeFi capabilities have also introduced new ways to leverage these popular sectors to earn a yield in BTC and this has the potential to attract new participants.

As a result of these developments, momentum for STX has been on the rise in July as evidenced by an increase in price and 24-hour trading volume.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for STX on July 19, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. STX price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen on the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for STX climbed into the green on July 19 and reached a high of 70 roughly 34 hours before the price rallied 42% over the next two days.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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