Thursday, 16 May 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 16 May 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$ 66,177.50 (+7.49%) 
Ethereum Price: US$ 3,032.55 (+5.23%) 

Mastercard, in its pursuit of exploring future use cases to scale new solutions, has incorporated five new startups into its Start Path Blockchain and Digital Assets program. These selected firms are set to benefit from opportunities for collaboration, bespoke training, and access to Mastercard’s customers and channels over a four-month program. Additionally, Mastercard and Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong (SCBHK) have successfully completed the first live test of Mastercard’s Multi-Token Network (MTN), which involved tokenising carbon credits within the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Fintech Supervisory Sandbox. The MTN, launched in June 2023 and built on Mastercard’s private blockchain, had previously undergone trial runs with the Reserve Bank of Australia and the HKMA. Meanwhile, as Bitcoin is on the verge of reaching all-time highs, GameFi projects are making a comeback. Ethereum Web3 gaming studio Immutable has released its flagship title, Guild of Guardians (GOG), on Google Play and the Apple App Store. In another exciting partnership, Animoca Brands Japan has teamed up with Square Enix to develop the latter’s nonfungible token (NFT) hero game Symbiogenesis. Adding to the momentum, the ARPG classic dark fantasy game Seraph: In the Darkness has recently seen sales surpass 11,000 Ether through multiple in-game NFT sales. 

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged brothers Anton Peraire-Bueno and James Pepaire-Bueno with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, alleging that they exploited the maximum extractable value (MEV) in the Ethereum blockchain to steal $25 million in cryptocurrency. Despite requests to return the stolen funds, the brothers allegedly concealed the assets using shell companies and foreign crypto exchanges. Meanwhile, trading platform Robinhood is expanding its crypto services to European users by introducing its first crypto-staking product. Customers can now stake Solana through the app and receive a 5% yield, and the company has also rolled out local-language versions of its crypto services for users in Italy, Poland, and Lithuania. Amid these developments, industry insiders at the Next Block Expo in Warsaw have highlighted that Bitcoin, not memecoins, will continue to be a pivotal driving force in this bull run. They emphasised that Bitcoin remains a core indicator of market performance, with historical data around previous halvings suggesting significant upside for BTC into 2025. 

Binance Labs-backed pSTAKE Finance has launched a liquid staking solution for Bitcoin, with the aim of simplifying the Bitcoin staking process and offering additional yield generation opportunities. This initiative is part of a broader movement known as Bitcoin DeFi (BTCFi), which is striving to bring DeFi capabilities to the world’s first blockchain network. In parallel, the Worldcoin Foundation has taken a step towards enhancing data security by open-sourcing its secure multi-party computation (SMPC) system. This system is responsible for encrypting iris codes into secret shares held by multiple parties, thereby enabling the Worldcoin Foundation to permanently delete iris codes generated through its previous uniqueness-checking system. Meanwhile, Circle Internet Financial, the company behind the world’s second-largest stablecoin, USD Coin, has announced its plans to shift its legal base from the Republic of Ireland to the United States, a move that aligns with Circle’s recent step toward going public. 


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