Bitcoin pulls ahead as Ethereum’s pre-Merge rally dries up

Bitcoin continues to outperform Ethereum in the crypto markets after weeks of the opposite, as investors pull out of long-ETH positions in the lead up to the landmark Ethererum Merge scheduled for this Thursday.

BTC added a further 3% this morning and remains bullish at the time of writing with a US$22,400 price tag, while ETH saw a fractional decline to US$1,720.

The crypto markets as a whole are at US$1.07 after adding 1.2%, further encouraged by strong price action in the network token space.

Solana (SOL) in particular outperformed – and indeed has been outperforming for a good week now – by adding double digits in the past 24 hours, bringing its market capitalisation up to US$13.5bn.

Solana’s strong performance is partially attributed to record NFT activity on the blockchain.

Polygon and Avalanche also performed well in the blockchain space, while Cardano pulled back slightly.

Both Terra LUNA tokens – community-supported LUNC and disgraced Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon’s relaunched LUNA token – suffered heavy losses today of nearly 20% each.

Also bearish this morning were Helium (HNT), Loopring (LRC) and decentralised exchanges Curve and PancakeSwap.

The decentralised finance (DeFi) space as a whole currency has US$59.3 in total value locked across all protocols.

In the news

Nikhil Wahi, brother of a former Coinbase employee Ishan Wahi, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in the first US legal case pertaining to insider trading in the crypto sector.

The brothers were arrested in July on at least 14 occasions of wire fraud and conspiracy involving 25 digital assets following an official complaint by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Ishan has pleaded not guilty and is expected to appear in court in March 2023.

A few crypto-related neologisms have made their way into Merriam-Webster’s latest round of additions to its lexicon, namely ‘altcoin’ and ‘metaverse’.

The latter, apparently, is “a persistent virtual environment that allows access to and interoperability of multiple individual virtual realities”.

This could come in handy the next time a request for a definition of the metaverse is met with blank stares.