18/05 Market Recap: Crypto Stabilizes Amid Continued Fraud


After a sluggish start to May that saw Bitcoin’s value dip under $57,000, it mounted an impressive comeback. News of lowering U.S. inflation rates provided an initial boost, propelling Bitcoin past $66,000. Further momentum came from growing inflows into Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), ultimately driving Bitcoin to a 5-week high of over $67,400 before stabilizing at $66,700 currently.

Ethereum also joined the rally in full force, finally breaking through the $3,000 resistance level to climb above $3,100 for the first time in over a week. While Ethereum had struggled to keep pace with Bitcoin’s gains initially, it has now firmly established its presence in the current upswing.

Most larger-cap altcoins are basking in the green as well, enjoying gains of around 1-2% while Fantom (FTM, +10.5%) and Uniswap (UNI, +6.4%) stand atop the leaders. However, not all cryptocurrencies are sharing in the joy, with Toncoin down 3.8% and SAFE in dangerous territory with a 7.5% loss. Meme coins are down with WIF (-12.5%), PEPE (-8.9%) and FLOKI (-5.7%) also notably in the red.

The total cryptocurrency market capitalization has swelled significantly, adding around 0.3% overnight to stand at $2.42 trillion. Despite this overall growth, Bitcoin’s dominance over altcoins is neutral at 54.3%, indicating a more distributed growth among various digital assets.

In other crypto news and continued string of recent fraud, U.S. authorities made a high-profile arrest of two Chinese nationals, Yicheng Zhang and Daren Li, charged in a $73 million cryptocurrency scam that defrauded victims through a “pig butchering” scheme. The defendants allegedly laundered funds through U.S. financial institutions to accounts in the Bahamas.

Additionally, a New York man named Thomas John Sfraga known as crypto personality TJ Stone pleaded guilty to wire fraud for swindling over $1.3 million from investors through bogus real estate projects and a fictitious cryptocurrency. Sfraga infamously used a company named “Vandelay Contracting Corp”, referencing the fictional “Vandelay Industries” from the classic sitcom Seinfeld.