Bitcoin (BTC) has been trading in a tight range this week as it struggles to stay above $42K as NFTs trading volume rises and meme coins rally.
BTC coin had a very rough time at the start of the year raising fears of a reaped of the market dip that took place in 2018 after the 2017 price rally. It is roughly flat over the last 24 hours and has only managed to move up 2.72% this week.
The trading volume of bitcoin has suffered greatly as it continues to drop by the day. Over the last 24 hours, the volume has dropped by 48.34% to about $23,073,046,169.
Most traders are cautious
Most traders are extremely cautious although BTC avoided sliding below $40,000 at the beginning of this week.
On Friday, Q9 Capital, a Hong Kong-based crypto investing platform, wrote in a briefing:
"Price swings are all happening on wafer-thin volumes, which can amplify price movements… No fresh capital is coming in and nobody is willing to sell or buy."
Alex Kuptsikevich, an analyst at FxPro, also wrote in an email to CoinDesk:
"Attempts earlier in the week to form a rebound are encountering more substantial selling, further indicating seller pressure."
Besides being concerned about the bear market in bitcoin, Kuptsikevich is more concerned about Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. He anticipates that ether will see a worst-case scenario of $1,300 to $1,700 (50% below the current market price level) if the coin’s momentum continues to deteriorate.
The surge in NFTs
While the majority of large cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Cardano, and the like are experiencing a slowdown, Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are surging.
More and more blockchain projects are venturing into NFTs with most launching NFT marketplaces and NFT collections, especially within the metaverse space.
OpeanSea, one of the largest NFT marketplace, for example, is on track to exceed $6 billion in transactions by the end of January.
According to CoinMarketCap, today’s top ten NFT collections include Meta Waifus, Heavens Sevens Lotto, basis.markets, SOLEX S2 Mystery Box, I'M AIKO, SOL NFL Player's, Gangster Gorillas, Solana Doodle Apes, Lo Sciamano, and Scalp Empire.
Meme coins are rallying
Meme coins especially the dog-themed coins are breaking off from the general crypto market slowdown and they have started rising in an attempt to correct the recent dips.
Shiba Inu (SHIB) for instance has surged above $0.00003, a price level most analysts believe is critical in determining the next phase of Shiba Inu price movements.
Dogecoin (DOGE), the first dog-themed coin to be invented, surged by more than 14% on Friday after Tesla started accepting it as a mode of payment for merchandise in its online shop for a variety of products. Over the past week, DOGE has risen by over 21% and it is expected to continue rallying as it rides on the Tesla development.
Meme coins form the majority of today’s top gainers. Some of the meme coins that have gained the most are Dogelana (DGLN) which is up 332%, Kuma Inu (KUMA) which is up 77%, and Web3 Inu that is up 68%.