Monday, 15 April 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 15 April 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$ 66,012.46 (+1.74%) 
Ethereum Price: US$ 3,155.11 (4.93%) 

The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) anticipates a surge in crypto tax evasion cases, with IRS criminal investigation chief Guy Ficco warning of an increase in Title 26 crypto cases. Ficco noted a rise in pure crypto tax crimes, including failure to report income from crypto sales and hiding the true basis of crypto assets. The IRS has partnered with blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis to enhance its ability to track crypto-related financial crimes. Meanwhile, in the venture capital arena, there’s a resurgence in funding for crypto startups, with investors pouring funds into various projects. Notably, Seamless, Degen Chain, and Pandora are offering grants to creators and developers, while SingularityNET plans to launch a funding round for decentralised AI initiatives. Additionally, notable funding rounds include Sapien’s $5 million seed investment, Alpen Labs raising $10.6 million, HYCHAIN’s $8 million node sale, and Web3Firewall securing $2.5 million in pre-seed funding. However, Nigeria’s crackdown on Binance executives is causing concerns in the country’s web3 industry, with investors withdrawing from deals due to perceived regulatory risks and government hostility towards crypto exchanges. 

Bitcoin’s sharp 7% decline resulted in significant losses, totalling $256 million for traders with long positions. Analysts, however, view this downturn as routine, citing previous cycles of similar magnitude drops. Despite escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, including Iran’s attack on Israel, sentiments remain relatively calm among market observers. Additionally, the SEC’s recent actions against decentralised exchange Uniswap have sparked debate, as it diverges from established policy guidelines. Cinneamhain Ventures’ Adam Cochran highlighted inconsistencies in the SEC’s approach, particularly regarding Uniswap’s classification as an exchange. Cochran’s analysis underscores the distinction between Uniswap’s frontend and protocol, suggesting potential implications for its regulatory status. These developments underscore the evolving landscape of both cryptocurrency markets and regulatory oversight, prompting continued scrutiny and discussion within the industry. 

The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) witnessed substantial outflows totalling over $166 million and more than 2,500 Bitcoin withdrawn from its holdings on April 12, contributing to a net negative flow of $16.2 billion since its conversion to a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in January. Despite Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein’s recent suggestion of stabilising outflows, the trend persists, possibly due to GBTC’s comparatively high management fee of 1.5%. Meanwhile, pseudonymous blockchain investigator ZachXBT warned of a group of scammers behind the Leaper Finance lending protocol, responsible for multiple rug pulls and losses exceeding $20 million. These scams underscore the vulnerability of decentralised finance (DeFi) platforms to exploitation. Additionally, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is seeking an interlocutory appeal in its ongoing lawsuit against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), focusing on whether an investment contract requires post-sale contractual obligations, which could significantly influence the case’s outcome and implications for the broader crypto industry. 


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