Friday, 1 March 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 1 March 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$61,130.98 (-2.08%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 3,340.09 (-1.27%)

Coinbase unveils two innovative wallet solutions aimed at enhancing integration and balance transfer across Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) applications, facilitating developers’ entry into its layer-2 blockchain, Base. These solutions include a smart wallet enabling seamless balance transfer across various EVM-compatible applications integrated with the Coinbase Wallet SDK, and an embedded wallet enabling developers to integrate noncustodial white-labeled wallets into their applications, thereby streamlining the user experience in building Web3 products. Concurrently, Bitcoin analyst PlanB predicts a forthcoming period of intense FOMO lasting approximately 10 months, marking the official commencement of the Bitcoin bull market. Despite criticisms of PlanB’s stock-to-flow (S2F) model, his forecast aligns with other analysts’ expectations, bolstered by the recent surge in Bitcoin price following the approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Meanwhile, a Bitcoin Ordinals trader recounts a costly NFT purchase mistake on the Bitcoin network, inadvertently buying an NFT for $13,000 instead of $1,287. However, the seller promptly returns the excess funds after learning of the error, contrasting with previous instances where recipients failed to return mistakenly received crypto funds, illustrating the varied responses within the crypto community to such incidents.

Nokia outlines its 2030 strategy, focusing on meeting the increasing network demand expected from advancements in the metaverse, Web3, and artificial intelligence (AI), foreseeing a 22%-25% surge in demand by 2030. The company aims to invest in network equipment and services to support emerging innovations, particularly emphasising the Internet of Value ecosystem, including decentralisation and blockchain. Additionally, Nokia pioneers network digital twin technology for applications like assisting aircraft technicians using augmented reality. In another development, Elon Musk filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman, alleging a breach of their nonprofit agreement, asserting that OpenAI’s collaboration with Microsoft deviates from its original mission of advancing open-source artificial general intelligence (AGI) for societal benefit. Musk criticises OpenAI’s shift to a profit-driven model and proprietary technology, expressing concerns about the impact on public safety. Meanwhile, a Binance user shares a distressing experience of losing $70,000 in digital assets to a hacker, highlighting vulnerabilities in the exchange’s security measures and raising questions about the effectiveness of customer support in addressing such incidents.

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, affectionately dubbed “Crypto Mom,” advocates for greater decentralisation within the U.S. financial system and a more nuanced regulatory approach to cryptocurrencies during her discussion at the ETHDenver conference. Peirce underscores the advantages of decentralisation, citing concerns over concentrated risks posed by centralised entities. She expresses reservations regarding proposed legislation that could classify decentralised technologies as financial institutions and highlights the SEC’s struggle to regulate emerging sectors like decentralised finance (DeFi). Meanwhile, despite a notable rally in Bitcoin’s price, Bitcoin mining stocks experience substantial declines, possibly due to apprehension surrounding the upcoming halving event. This divergence prompts speculation on potential buying opportunities amid concerns over reduced miner rewards. In the derivatives market, daily trading volumes surge to record highs, driven by growing interest in spot Bitcoin ETFs and options trading, signalling increasing participation in crypto markets and derivative instruments.

The United States House Financial Services Committee (HSFC) has taken a significant step towards facilitating the involvement of banks in cryptocurrency custody by voting in favor of a resolution aimed at overturning the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 121 (SAB 121). This guideline, introduced in March 2022, has hindered banks from providing crypto custody services by requiring them to record crypto holdings as liabilities on their balance sheets. Republican Congressperson Mike Flood, who introduced the resolution, emphasised the adverse implications of SAB 121 on banks’ regulatory obligations and underscored the need to address these challenges to facilitate the integration of crypto custody services within the banking industry. Despite the committee’s endorsement, the resolution still awaits a full floor vote in both the House and the Senate before it can be implemented. Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency market is witnessing increasing institutional interest, particularly in spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with major wirehouses reportedly considering offering these products to their wealth clients. Bitwise’s Chief Investment Officer, Matt Hougan, anticipates a surge in institutional capital inflows into Bitcoin ETFs, heralding a new era of price discovery and potentially driving Bitcoin’s price substantially higher. As institutional involvement in the crypto market intensifies, miners are preparing for the upcoming Bitcoin halving event, revamping strategies to optimise profitability amidst changing market dynamics. CleanSpark, Riot, and TeraWulf are among the companies gearing up for the halving, implementing measures to manage costs and navigate the impact on mining operations.


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