Friday, 15 March 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 15 March 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$71,388.94 (-2.30%) 
Ethereum Price: US$ 43,881.70 (-3.07%) 

BlackRock’s Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) achieves a record daily trading volume of over $3.9 billion, surpassing its previous record set earlier in March, despite BTC dropping 6% over the U.S. trading day. Meanwhile, Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) remains the largest U.S. Bitcoin ETF by assets, even as its market share falls below 50%. In contrast, two U.S. senators, Jack Reed and Laphonza Butler, pressure SEC Chair Gary Gensler to halt the approval of further crypto ETFs, citing risks to retail investors from thinly traded markets prone to fraud and manipulation. Lazarus Group, a North Korean hacking group, transfers $12 million stolen from hacks on the HTX exchange and HECO Chain to Tornado Cash for laundering, despite sanctions against the crypto mixer, highlighting ongoing challenges in combating illicit activities in the crypto space. 

Bitcoin mining difficulty reached a new historical high of 83.95 trillion hashes on March 14, coinciding with a surge in Bitcoin’s price to an all-time high of $73,835 as anticipation builds ahead of the April Bitcoin halving. This milestone underscores the growing complexity of mining operations and the robustness of Bitcoin’s network. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission has issued a warning against Bybit exchange for operating without proper licensing, adding to the regulatory challenges faced by cryptocurrency platforms. In other news, Worldcoin’s Orb software has undergone a third-party audit by Trail of Bits, which found no vulnerabilities related to the project’s goals. However, concerns persist regarding Worldcoin’s privacy practices, with privacy advocates cautioning against the potential risks associated with the collection of sensitive user data such as iris scans. 

Craig Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, has been dismissed by Judge James Mellor in the United Kingdom, following a lawsuit brought by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) seeking injunctive relief to prevent Wright from making further claims. COPA accused Wright of extensive document forgery to support his assertion. The trial began on Feb. 5, and despite Wright’s offer to settle out of court, COPA pursued legal action. Meanwhile, Ethereum layer-2 (L2) protocols experienced a significant decrease in transaction fees, with reductions of up to 99% post-Dencun upgrade, a scalability-focused enhancement on the Ethereum mainnet. Starknet and other L2 platforms saw substantial drops in gas fees, attributed to EIP-484’s introduction of data blobs, enhancing transaction efficiency. Furthermore, BNB Chain introduced a rollup-as-a-service (RaaS) solution to expand its layer-2 ecosystem, providing infrastructure and support for decentralized applications (DApps) on its network. This initiative aligns with BNB Chain’s goal of fostering mass adoption of Web3 technology, following its previous efforts in scaling solutions like opBNB. 


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