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Bitcoin and the rest of crypto continue to stabilise today, even as the US stock markets continue their slide upon opening. Meanwhile, Polkadot is in with half a shot at a massive sports sponsorship deal with FC Barcelona.

A decoupling of digital assets from stocks could be considered the holy grail for the crypto industry as it seeks to become a more independent mover in the investment space and less influenced by macro tides.

That said, based on recent correlation following the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, which in turn follow the US Federal Reserve’s every move, this would seem highly premature. Still, no harm in hoping.

Speaking of the Fed, though, markets are preparing for some volatility mid-to-late week as the latest two-day Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee meeting kicks off.

Will we see aggressive inflation-combatting rate hikes? Anything less than that, and perhaps it will spell a continued bounce for the markets, which have been thriving in the pandemic stimulus, dollar-inflating era.

The Fed has previously stated it will tighten monetary policy with up to four rate hikes in 2022 to keep inflation in check. This triggered a sell-off in asset markets everywhere, including the ASX.

Fed chair Jerome Powell will be briefing the media from about 6.30am AEDT on Thursday.

Top 10 overview

With the overall crypto market cap up about 7% over the past 24 hours, here’s the state of play in the top 10 by market cap at the time of writing – according to CoinGecko data.

Having bounced as high as US$37,475, Bitcoin (BTC) has largely been chopping sideways above US$36k all day. The calm before a battering Fed-induced storm… or gentle, life-giving rain.

The clear top-10 gainer is the last in line – layer 1 protocol Polkadot (DOT), with a 9.2% gain over the past 24 hours, although still down massively on the week, like most other top coins.

Polkadot and its much-vaunted ecosystem is a bit of a grower. Unlike when it first burst onto the scene in 2020 as a major contender to Ethereum’s smart-contract platform crown, its narrative has slowed considerably. But with the launching, one by one, of its all-important parachains, it’s clear its building.

Case in point, Acala (ACA), the blockchain’s DeFi hub project…

Acala offers a trustless staking derivative (liquid DOT), a multi-collateralised stablecoin (aUSD), and an AMM DEX. (What’s an AMM DEX? Find out here.)

Is FC Barcelona teaming up with Polkadot?

A near double-digit gain is a turn up for the books for Polkadot, which has shown pretty lacklustre price action comparatively with other strong projects, for several months now. But here’s another thing to keep an eye on…

If it manages to seal the deal as the major sponsor on FC Barcelona’s jersey, which apparently it’s well in the running for, then… insert your favourite goal-scoring expression of delight here.

Winners and losers: 11–100

Sweeping a market-cap range of about US$18.6 billion to about US$860 million in the rest of the top 100, let’s find some of the biggest 24-hour gainers and losers at press time.

DAILY PUMPERS

• Pocket Network (POKT), (mc: US$968m) +30%

• Loopring (LRC), (mc: US$1.2b) +22.5%

• Fantom (FTM), (mc: US$6.2b) +18%

• Curve (CRV), (mc: US$1.2b) +16%

• Secret (SCRT), (mc: US$934m) +15.7%

DAILY SLUMPERS

• Bitkub Coin (KUB), (mc: US$868m) -3%

• Terra (LUNA), (mc: US$25.9b) -2.2%

• Radix (RDX), (mc: US$1.54m) -2%

• Leo Token (RUNE), (mc: US$3.3b) -0.5%

• Monero (XMR), (mc: US$2.57b) -0.5%

Lower-cap winners and losers

Moving below the crypto unicorns (in some cases well below), here’s just a selection catching our eye…

DAILY PUMPERS

• Magic (MAGIC), (mc: US$77m) +122%

• Pluton (PLU), (mc: US$26m) +112%

• Oxygen (OXY), (mc: US$84m) +85%

DIA (DIA), (mc: US$73.4m) +61%

Guild of Guardians (GOG), (mc: US$33m) +38%

DAILY SLUMPERS

• Tenset (10SET), (market cap: US$138m) -17%

Decentralized Social (DESO), (market cap: US$552m) -17%

• Gamestarter (GAME), (mc: US$15.6m) -13.5%

Acala (ACA), (mc: US$141m) -7.5%

Wonderland (TIME), (mc: US$748m) -7%

Final McWords…

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