Monday, 11 December 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 11 December 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$43,789.51(+0.17%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 2,352.39 (+0.51%)

Native tokens linked to layer 1 (L1) blockchains experienced substantial gains, with Cardano (ADA) leading the way with an almost 20% surge as investors shifted capital to altcoins amid Bitcoin’s steady prices. While Bitcoin traded within the $43,000 to $44,000 range, altcoins saw notable increases, reminiscent of the early November “altcoin rotation.” Cardano (ADA) notably surged 25% to 57 cents, marking its highest level since August 2022. Other top performers included Polkadot (DOT), Algorand (ALGO), Avalanche (AVAX), and Solana (SOL), each posting gains between 7% and 11%. As Bitcoin’s momentum showed signs of stalling, analysts discussed the potential for a pullback to lower price levels. Bitcoin-focused analyst Willy Woo mentioned a potential pullback to $39,000-$41,000, citing a price gap in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Bitcoin futures market. Despite short-term speculation, Bitcoin’s overall outlook remains bullish, with growing institutional interest. Concurrently, Chainlink’s expanded staking program attracted over $632 million worth of LINK tokens, filling its new capacity within six hours of the early-access period. The upgraded Staking v0.2, part of Chainlink’s Economics 2.0 initiative, offers enhanced security features and garnered significant community participation, leading to a 12% increase in LINK’s price to $16.72. Additionally, Bitcoin experienced a brief dip as the U.S. economy reported stronger-than-expected job growth of 199,000 in November, with an unemployment rate of 3.7%, beating expectations. Bitcoin briefly dipped 0.5% to $43,500 as traditional markets saw higher interest rates and U.S. stock index futures turned lower following the jobs report. The strong job growth could impact expectations for Federal Reserve interest rate policy and influence Bitcoin’s short-term momentum.

As the Bitcoin halving event approaches in April, marking a 50% reduction in mining rewards every four years, larger mining companies like Marathon Digital, Hut 8, CleanSpark, and Riot Platforms are strategically preparing for increased competition and industry consolidation. With the halving making new Bitcoin acquisition more challenging and reducing rewards to 3.125 BTC, miners are accumulating funds and assets to stay ahead. Simultaneously, national security officials from the U.S., South Korea, and Japan held a trilateral meeting to discuss North Korea’s crypto thefts and its use of cryptocurrency for illicit weapons programs, emphasising responses to crypto-related activities. Lazarus Group, linked to North Korea, has stolen over $600 million from projects like Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge. Additionally, Bitcoin’s inscriptions were flagged as a cybersecurity risk by the U.S. National Vulnerability Database (NVD), highlighting a flaw exploited by the Ordinals Protocol in 2022. This flaw allows data to be masked as code, potentially causing network congestion and impacting performance.

The KyberSwap exploiter is linked to a movement of $50 million in HAXcoin (HXA), the native utility token of the Herencia Artifex NFT project. Cyvers, a blockchain security firm, detected the movement and believes it’s related to a potential flaw in the Multicall function used in the HXA token’s smart contract. Cryptocurrency exchange MEXC temporarily halted HXA token withdrawals and deposits, citing abnormal on-chain operations. In another development, the U.S. government has removed two provisions from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) aimed at addressing anti-money laundering concerns related to cryptocurrency, including anonymous transactions involving crypto mixers and tumblers. On the other hand, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed extensive monitorship over Binance operations, detailing an “exhaustive list” of compliance commitments, including oversight by various sections of the DOJ’s criminal division and a five-year monitoring period by FinCEN. Legal expert John Reed Stark views these commitments as potentially leading to the shutdown of Binance. The SEC is incorporating DOJ’s enforcement actions and settlements into its case against Binance and its former CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, who admitted to violating U.S. laws around money laundering and terror financing, agreeing to pay $4.3 billion in fines on November 21.

Over a four-day period, wallets linked to defunct crypto trading firms FTX and Alameda Research moved $23.59 million in digital assets to major cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, Coinbase, OKX, and Galaxy Digital OTC. Blockchain analytics firm Spot On Chain identified the movements, estimating that the entities have transferred $591 million since October 24, using 59 different cryptocurrency tokens. The wallets associated with FTX spread the latest transfer of $23.59 million across 19 tokens to various exchanges. Meanwhile, despite El Salvador’s government promoting widespread cryptocurrency adoption, a CoinGecko report highlighted that less than 2% of the country’s population owns Bitcoin. Approximately 109,175 people in El Salvador own Bitcoin, representing around 1.72% of the population. Additionally, asset manager VanEck filed a fifth amendment to its spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application, updating the VanEck Bitcoin Trust to be listed under the ticker symbol “HODL,” a term used by Bitcoiners to describe a strategy of holding onto the digital asset. The filing suggests that VanEck anticipates SEC approval for the Bitcoin ETF in January and estimates $2.4 billion in inflows in Q1 2023.


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