This Week in Coins: Bitcoin and Ethereum Pump—Then Dump—Amid Roaring Kitty Rush


Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt.

Bitcoin and crypto investors received a lot of good news this week, even though the market still can’t manage to break free from its highs three months ago.

On Tuesday, the US Bitcoin spot ETFs absorbed net inflows of $887 million—the second-best daily performance for the ETFs to date. The price of Bitcoin surged above $71,000 in the process, reaching its highest price since March.

That performance was followed by not one, but two high-profile Bitcoin ETF sponsors assuring investors that a second, much larger wave of institutions was coming to buy Bitcoin through the funds. Bitwise CIO Matt Hougan wrote in a memo that crypto regulatory progress on Capitol Hill was untapped “alpha” for investors, while Franklin Templeton CEO Jenny Johnson said the ETFs had only been touched by their “first wave of the early adopters.”

And at least in the memecoin world, the bull market appeared to be back in full swing. Bitcoin’s very first BRC-20 token, ORDI, surged by over 30% to $60 as of Friday, while PUPS and Bitcoin Wizards (WZRD) more than doubled in value intraweek, according to CoinGecko data.

Other more popular memecoins like PEPE, BONK, and SHIB weren’t as lucky, all posting losses this week.

The Solana-based meme coin GME seriously spiked, blasting up 467% at its height this week, building on the momentum of its stock market namesake Gamestop (GME). Meme influencer Roaring Kitty—who sparked the Wall Street-confounding GameStop movement back in 2021—gave the stock a second wind with his surprise returns to both YouTube and live streaming, with his net worth briefly edging toward $1 billion—before a Friday cold shower from the game retailer.

Performance-wise, between Bitcoin and meme coins is Ethereum, which kept pace with Bitcoin’s gains this week as its progressed toward a spot ETF launch. VanEck analysts posted a lengthy report arguing that ETH will reach $22,000 per unit by 2030, after sucking away financial market share from Apple, Google, and big banks.

Finally, with both the Bank of Canada and European Central Bank lowering interest rates this week, BitMEX co-founder Arthur Hayes told followers that it was officially time to start apeing into Bitcoin and shitcoins.

Yet his call may have been a tad premature: at the end the week, a liquidation cascade on Friday sent Bitcoin crashing from $71,000 to $68,000, and ETH down from $3,800 to $3,600. Meanwhile, GME—both the stock and the memecoin—cratered by over 35% each.

Bitcoin is trading for $69,335 as of writing, while Ethereum is priced at $3,686. The price of the GME meme coin has once again settled near $0.014.

Prices current as of 3am ET on June 8, 2024. Edited by Ryan Ozawa.





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