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This Week in Crypto: Did Someone Say “Inflation”?

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Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rallied after the release of US CPI (consumer price index) data on Wednesday, with the world’s largest cryptocurrency jumping by 2% within minutes after the report was released and breaching the US$24,000 threshold.

The CPI rose 8.5% in July from a year ago, a slower-than-expected reading largely due to falling energy prices. The crypto markets reacted positively to the report, while the broader financial markets also rallied, with the S&P 500 hitting it’s highest level in three months and the tech-heavy NASDAQ climbing out of bear territory.

BTC 7-Day Chart. Data: CoinMarketCap

At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at US$24,359.97 (+6.30%) while Ethereum (ETH) is trading at US$1,883.18 (+12.44%). Major altcoins such as Solana (SOL), Avalanche (AVAX), and Polkadot (DOT) have also been trading in green within the same period.

Meanwhile, the third and final Ethereum test environment network – Goerli – has completed a dry-run of The Merge on Wednesday, with the community now convinced that Ethereum’s mainnet will now successfully complete its transition from PoW (Proof-of-work) to PoS (Proof-of-Stake) come mid September. ETH has surged by nearly 80% over the past month, after Ethereum developer Tim Beiko first announced a tentative date (19 September) for The Merge back in July. hacked

Curve Finance, the DeFi ecosystem’s second-largest decentralised exchange, has been hit with a frontend exploit that led to US$570,000 being stolen from the protocol.

Users were reportedly directed to a fake website, which led to malicious contracts being approved therefore draining users’ assets from their wallets.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Binance founder Changpeng Zhao claimed that Curve uses GoDaddy for their DNS, which makes them susceptible to “social engineering”.

According to the Curve Team, the issue has since been resolved and “reverted”, although it is unclear if any of the stolen funds have been recovered and returned to users.

Ripple eyes Celsius assets

San Francisco-based blockchain payments company Ripple Labs Inc is interested in purchasing the assets of bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network.

Read more: Wash Trading, Losses: Celsius Network Has Bigger Problems Than LUNA

“We are interested in learning about Celsius and its assets, and whether any could be relevant to our business,” the spokesperson told Reuters, adding that Ripple Labs was actively looking for M&A opportunities to “strategically scale” the company.

Celsius froze withdrawals in June, citing “extreme” market conditions, and filed for bankruptcy last month. Crypto exchange FTX was reportedly interested in making a deal with Celsius, but walked away because of a US$2 billion deficit on the company’s balance sheet

Trading Volume

The global crypto market cap stands at US$1.15 trillion, a 6.75% increase since yesterday. The total crypto market volume over the last 24 hours is US$88.08 billion, a 29.68% increase.

Fear & Greed Index

Risk appetites are still somewhat sapped – the Crypto Fear and Greed Index currently stands at 41, indicating fear. The index uses 5-6 measurements to assess the current sentiment of the market and then rates that level of emotion on a scale of 1-100 – 1 is extreme fear and 100 is extreme greed.

The index has improved significantly from Monday’s score of 31, as investors are becoming optimistic that the Federal Reserve will be less aggressive in its rate hikes in the coming months.