Bitcoin pulls back in May

Bitcoin prices hit a two-month low early this month following a strong run up to the end of April. Contributing to the pullback were concerns around the recent release of macroeconomic data and what the Fed Reserve will do at its June meeting.

As at 21 May 2023, bitcoin was trading at US$27,065. Ethereum underperformed bitcoin over the week, up 0.66% vs bitcoin’s 0.80% gain. Bitcoin’s market capitalisation is US$525 billion, with the total crypto market cap at US$1.13 trillion. Bitcoin’s market dominance is up to 46.4%.

Price High Low Change from previous week
BTC (in US$) $27,067 $27,646 $26,415 0.77%
ETH (in US$) $1,817 $1,845 $1,777 0.65%

Source: CoinMarketCap. As at 21 May 2023. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Performance is shown in US dollars and does not take into account any USD/AUD currency movements.

Source: Glassnode. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Crypto news we’re watching

Binance woes continue

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, has had to suspend deposits using PayID for Australians. Its third-party service provider, Cuscal, decided to restrict its access so that the exchange could no longer facilitate PayID deposits. The provider did not comment directly on the ban but stated: “Cuscal has, and will continue to, terminate any clients or their customers and/or merchants that do not meet our strict requirements.”

Binance Australia said it is working to find an alternative to continue offering AUD deposits and withdrawals.

The same day, Westpac announced it was banning customers from transacting with the “high risk” exchange. The General Manager of risk and fraud operations at Westpac said: “Digital exchanges have a legitimate role to play but we have blocked access to some overseas exchanges that are used more frequently than others for scams.”1


This follows Binance announcing on 12 May that it was exiting the Canadian market, citing regulatory guidance making it less feasible for its crypto business to operate in the country as the reason for its decision.2


Ordinals inscriptions pass 7 million mark

As of 16 May, over 7 million Ordinal inscriptions have been embedded on the Bitcoin blockchain. In short, Ordinals are NFTs that you can mint directly on the Bitcoin blockchain. The inaugural Ordinal occurred on 16 December 2022. Inscriptions have picked up in the month of May, setting a new all-time high for the most transactions on the Bitcoin network, which has also been a boon for miners who receive fees for their role in processing the inscription transactions.3


CRYP company spotlight

CleanSpark, Inc.

CleanSpark, Inc., the 10th largest holding in CRYP, reported second quarter EPS of -$0.23, $0.09 better than the -$0.32 analyst estimate. Revenue also came in higher at $42.5 million versus the consensus estimate of $41.8 million.4

According to the company’s website: “CleanSpark (NASDAQ: CLSK) is America’s Bitcoin Miner. Since 2014, we’ve helped people achieve energy independence for their homes and businesses. In 2020, we transitioned that expertise to develop sustainable infrastructure for Bitcoin, an essential tool for financial independence and inclusion.”5

On-chain metrics

Bitcoin (BTC): Number of Transactions (7d Moving Average)

This metric shows the total amount of transactions. Only successful transactions are counted.

According to data from Glassnode, transactions have steadily increased throughout the year, however shot up during the first week of May and hit all-time highs of over 586K transactions. As at 20 May, transactions have started to decline off the highs, but remain above 500K. It is evident that Ordinal inscription activity is playing a major role in recent transactions movement.

Source: Glassnode. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Bitcoin (BTC): Total Transaction Fees

This metric shows the total amount of fees paid to miners. Issued (minted) coins are not included.

Based on data from Glassnode, the month of May has many times more transaction fees than the historical norm due to their role in processing inscriptions transactions. Miners have been rewarded with over 1,324 bitcoin (BTC) valued at $35.86 million.

Source: Glassnode. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Altcoin news

Over the last week to 21 May where most of the top cryptocurrencies had changed marginally, Ripple’s XRP was up over 10.1% hitting a 3-week high. News possibly helping push the price higher was Ripple entering a deal to acquire Metaco, which is a Swiss-based crypto custodian, for US$250m. The deal will help Ripple expand its offerings into crypto custody.

In other developments, the US Securities and and Exchange Commission (SEC) request to keep certain documents sealed in the ongoing case against Ripple has been denied by the presiding judge. Investors are hopeful that these documents will be positive for the outcome in determining XRP’s classification of not being a security.6

Investing in crypto assets or companies servicing crypto-asset markets should be considered very high risk. Exposure to crypto assets involves substantially higher risk when compared to traditional investments due to their speculative nature and the very high volatility of crypto-asset markets.
Investing in crypto assets or crypto-focused companies is not suitable for all investors and should only be considered by investors who (i) fully understand their features and risks or after consulting a professional financial adviser, and (ii) who have a very high tolerance for risk and the capacity to absorb a rapid loss of some or all of their investment. Any investment in crypto assets or crypto- focused companies should only be considered as a very small component of an investor’s overall portfolio.


Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Off the Chain is published every 2nd Tuesday. It provides the latest news on bitcoin and the rest of the crypto market, along with analysis and insights into the world of crypto.

It provides general information only and is not a recommendation to invest in any crypto asset, crypto-focused company or investment product.

This article mentions the following funds

Gain exposure to the leaders of the rapidly emerging crypto economy

Photo of Justin Arzadon

Written by

Justin Arzadon

Director, Adviser Services & Head of Digital Assets.

C4 Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP) and Blockchain Council Certified Bitcoin Expert™ with over 18 years’ experience in the ETF market. Passionate about the future of money.

Read more from Justin.

1 comment on this

  1. Ian  /  23 May 2023

    Awesome Justin a great read. Real happy to see coverage of crypto and nice balance with stocks & crypto. Great insight !

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous article
Next article