Why Celsius Led Crypto Higher on Friday

What happened 

The crypto market sprang to life on Friday and values were quickly rising across the board. At noon ET, Ethereum (ETH -0.45%) was up 6.5% in the last 24 hours, Chainlink (LINK 1.78%) was up 9.5%, Polkadot (DOT 2.91%) had risen 8.2%, and Celsius (CEL -1.28%) had popped a whopping 31.7%. 

One big news item affecting markets today is the August jobs report, which showed an increase of 315,000 jobs on the nonfarm payroll during the month. That figure is the last major economic indicator before the Federal Reserve’s September meeting and investors think it likely means a 75-basis-point increase in short-term rates this month. 

So what 

Celsius Network, which is behind the Celsius token and is also in bankruptcy proceedings, said it would like to release about $50 million in assets to customers. This is far short of the $210 million in custody assets Celsius Network holds, but was seen as a positive sign nonetheless. 

The Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York will consider the filing on Oct. 6, and depositors are left in limbo until at least then. 

It’s not entirely clear why the Celsius token is jumping on this news. The company is still in bankruptcy proceedings and is a long way from emerging with any kind of meaningful business, which will be required to provide value to the token, but that hasn’t stopped investors from buying the digital asset today. 

Stocks are also rising today, which is often correlated with an increase in crypto valuations. Investors may be seeing more clarity about the future of rates after the jobs report, although it likely means rates are going higher short-term. 

Now what 

Crypto moves can be dramatic and volatile and today’s move is no different. But I don’t see much that changes the investment thesis in any of these cryptocurrencies long-term. Celsius, in particular, still faces myriad problems emerging from bankruptcy and having any value left for token holders. It may be positive that some people may be getting their money out, but that shouldn’t be a question in the first place from a lending company. 

The move to more risky assets is also helping crypto values today, but that’s not going to add value long-term. These blockchains need to see real businesses built and that’s going to take a long time to do. 

As bullish as I am on the future of cryptocurrencies, days like this aren’t necessarily a buying opportunity. Celsius seems to be pulling the market higher, but the bankruptcy of Celsius Network is a huge black eye for the industry. There were off-chain risks that brought the company down, and it’s not clear how Celsius Network would clean up its business even if it does emerge from bankruptcy in time. 

I would chalk up today as normal volatility for the crypto market. A strong economy would be good for crypto and the future does look bright, but today wasn’t driven by fundamental news. 

Travis Hoium has positions in Ethereum. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends ChainLink and Ethereum. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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