This Week In Coins: Bitcoin’s Bad Week Sinks the Crypto Fleet

Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt.

After ten years, the Mt. Gox bankruptcy’s Bitcoin distributions have officially begun—and the crypto market is spooked.

On Friday, the price of Bitcoin collapsed as low as $53,898, its lowest price since February, according to CoinGecko. That’s a 27% drop from its all-time high of $73,700 registered in March, and the largest pullback from a local high since the asset’s bottom at $15,500 in November 2022.

Though Bitcoin’s price fell swiftly after the exchange revealed it was initiating distributions, on-chain data suggests that the pullback was far more driven by narrative than by the event itself.

“Mt. Gox wallets continue to hold in total 138,985 BTC ($7.52B),” tweeted blockchain data platform Arkham Intelligence on Friday. That means just 2,701 BTC had actually left the exchange’s wallets for repayments—and only a fraction of those coins may have been sold by recipients.

Indeed, the bearish narrative surrounding Mt. Gox has proven so overpowering that even altcoins completely unrelated to the exchange are collapsing.

While BTC has slightly recovered to $56,372—a 7% drop over seven days—Ethereum has slid way down and closed out the week at $2,989 for an 12% weekly drop. That’s despite a counter-bullish narrative for the asset surrounding Ethereum spot ETFs that could go live next week, affirming that Mt. Gox and Germany’s Bitcoin are the top concerns in crypto right now.

The top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap, excluding stablecoins, all ended the week in the red.

So what is holding up? Solana, apparently, down only 4% this week—and is actually up a modest 3% over the past 24 hours. The asset is potentially next to get the digital asset ETF treatment, with industry watchers suggesting it could happen after the U.S. federal election when crypto’s arch-nemesis Gary Gensler may lose his position at the SEC.

Speaking of the election, Solana-based political meme coins went on a rollercoaster this week around speculation of President Joe Biden potentially being replaced as the Democratic Party nominee.

The Jeo Boden (BODEN) meme coin fell 43% on the week, partially recovering after Biden promised not to drop out of the race. Regardless, Kamala Horris (KAMA)—the coin based on his Vice President—is still up 326% as crypto bettors briefly favored Kamala Harris to replace Joe Biden. The president flipped his vice president yesterday.

The lasting appeal of meme coins has also, sadly, been leveraged by scammers. Earlier this week, the $SMASH token—a meme coin inspired by UFC star Khamzat Chimaev—dumped to zero immediately after the fighter promoted it over social media, with on-chain footprints pointing to an orchestrated pump and dump.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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