Wednesday, 1 November 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 1 November 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$34,474.73 (-0.15%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,809.04 (+0.77%)  


The tokenised U.S. Treasury market has surged nearly sevenfold this year, growing from $100 million to $698 million, driven by new platform entrants and Ethereum’s dominance. Additionally, the Republic of the Marshall Islands has strengthened its laws regarding decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs), further positioning itself as a global leader in recognising DAOs as legal entities. Meanwhile, OKX celebrates a year of adopting Proof of Reserves (PoR) as an industry standard, with a PoR report indicating $12.5 billion in over-collateralized assets. This reflects the importance of transparent solvency measures. Overall, these developments demonstrate the rapid evolution and increasing mainstream recognition of the cryptocurrency and blockchain space.

On October 25, hackers exploited LastPass, a platform that stores and encrypts password information, to steal approximately $4.4 million worth of cryptocurrencies from at least 25 users. This cyberattack, linked to a breach of LastPass’s cloud-based storage service last year, has affected 80 crypto wallets across Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB, Arbitrum, Solana, and Polygon blockchains. Crypto wallets are a prime target for hackers seeking private keys, enabling unauthorised access to funds. This incident follows previous crypto heists and highlights the importance of securing digital assets. In other news, Animoca Brands is poised to receive a $50 million investment from Saudi Arabia’s NEOM Investment Fund, focusing on Web3 initiatives and bolstering NEOM’s vision as a futuristic tech hub in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, crypto exchange-traded products (ETPs) witnessed a substantial influx of $326 million in inflows for the week ending October 27, marking the largest weekly inflow in over a year. This surge is attributed to investor optimism that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will approve a spot-based Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), potentially leading to further inflows to U.S.-based funds after approval. Bitcoin ETPs accounted for 90% of these inflows, while Solana (SOL) attracted $24 million, contrasting with Ether funds experiencing $6 million in outflows.

SnowTrace, a popular blockchain explorer for Avalanche, is set to close its Etherscan-powered explorer, provided through Etherscan’s Explorer-as-a-Service (EaaS) toolkit, on November 30. While the SnowTrace team did not explicitly state the reason for the shutdown, some suggest that Etherscan’s service fees for its EaaS toolkit could be a factor, with annual subscriptions costing between $1 million and $2 million. This move underscores the need for decentralised smart contract verification to meet regulatory requirements. In other news, the UK government has published plans for regulating fiat-backed stablecoins, aiming to introduce specific legislation in 2024 under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to regulate fiat-backed stablecoins used in UK payment chains, making local companies responsible for ensuring overseas stablecoins meet local standards. Non-fiat-backed stablecoins, including algorithmic ones, may not enter regulated payment chains. Finally, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has surged to become the second-largest Bitcoin futures exchange in terms of open interest, surpassing Bybit and OKX, and trailing behind Binance. This rise in open interest demonstrates a growing interest in the Bitcoin futures market and points to increasing institutional involvement. The CME has also recorded over 100,000 BTC in cash-settled futures volume, capturing 25% of the Bitcoin futures market share.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced plans to collaborate with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on joint digital asset pilots involving fixed income, foreign exchange, and asset management products. This initiative builds on Singapore’s ongoing asset tokenisation project, Project Guardian, which began in 2022 and involved 15 financial institutions conducting pilots on asset tokenisation. The new Project Guardian policymaker group will work to identify potential risks, legal gaps, and common standards for digital asset networks, enhancing cross-border interoperability in the digital asset ecosystem. In other news, US-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken will share the data of approximately 42,000 users with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in compliance with a court order. The information includes names, dates of birth, tax IDs, addresses, contact information, and transaction history of clients who conducted transactions exceeding $20,000 during any single year from 2016 to 2020, including those who made no transactions but deposits and withdrawals. The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit is reviewing a similar case involving the IRS’s demand for users’ data from Coinbase.




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