Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 17 April 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$ 63,884.29 (+0.68%) 
Ethereum Price: US$ 3,084.22 (-0.57%) 

The recent days of zero inflows into Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) should not be misconstrued as a failure of the products, according to Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart, who emphasised that such occurrences are normal across most ETFs. Seyffart explained that significant mismatches in supply and demand are required to record new inflows or outflows, a phenomenon not always present in ETF trading. Meanwhile, Railgun, a crypto privacy protocol, denied allegations of being used by North Korea for money laundering, citing its privacy-focused technology and introducing measures like Private Proofs of Innocence to prevent illicit activity. Despite these controversies, Railgun’s total volume nears $1 billion, fuelled by endorsements from figures like Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. Additionally, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz raised $7.2 billion across various tech sectors but did not allocate additional funds to its crypto-focused fund, opting instead to bolster investments in gaming, infrastructure, applications, and other sectors. Each fund within the firm will have its own experts to maximise success, reflecting the diverse expertise needed across different industries. 

GameFi projects are experiencing a resurgence amidst the current bull market, with notable developments indicating a renewed interest in the sector. StepN’s partnership with Adidas for a Genesis Edition NFT drop on Solana highlights the convergence of lifestyle rewards and NFTs, while Ordz Games introduces the BitBoy One, a Web3 handheld gaming device allowing players to earn Bitcoin through retro-style games. Additionally, ARPG Seraph: In the Darkness achieves significant sales through in-game NFTs, signalling growing enthusiasm for blockchain-integrated gaming experiences. Despite past criticisms, GameFi continues to evolve, with data showing a substantial increase in active wallets and predictions suggesting further growth. In parallel, Homium’s successful Series A funding round underscores the expanding application of blockchain technology beyond gaming, with its home equity line of credit (HELOC) tokenisation protocol offering innovative solutions for homeowners and investors. Meanwhile, Bybit predicts a dwindling supply of Bitcoin on exchanges in the coming months due to increased institutional interest and the upcoming halving event, highlighting the evolving dynamics of the cryptocurrency market. 

ICP’s integration of threshold-Schnorr signatures marks a significant step toward enabling decentralised finance (DeFi) capabilities and smart contract functionality on Bitcoin’s base layer. The implementation of Schnorr signatures will empower ICP smart contracts to interact directly with the Bitcoin blockchain, facilitating various functionalities such as signing transactions, inscribing Ordinals, and bridging BRC-20 tokens. This move is expected to enhance the efficiency and security of Bitcoin transactions while opening up new possibilities for decentralised applications (DApps) and services leveraging Bitcoin’s liquidity and security. Meanwhile, gold proponent Peter Schiff questions the validity of a $100,000 Bitcoin price target amidst the current bull run, citing discrepancies in the performance of Bitcoin-related equities. Despite the optimism surrounding Bitcoin ETFs, Schiff highlights the bearish performance of key Bitcoin-linked stocks, sparking debates within the crypto community. Additionally, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warns of an impending expansion of the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance powers through a proposed bill that could drastically increase government surveillance over internet-related services. Snowden’s alert underscores concerns regarding privacy rights and government overreach, prompting strong opposition from both political parties and civil liberties advocates. 

BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF stands out as the only spot Bitcoin fund in the United States to experience inflows over the past two days, with other ETFs either seeing no inflows or lower. The iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) attracted net inflows of $73.4 million on April 15, although this was a decrease from the previous day’s $111.1 million. Meanwhile, all 10 spot Bitcoin ETFs collectively witnessed net outflows totalling $55.1 million on April 14 and $36.7 million on April 15. The recent outflows coincide with Bitcoin’s price volatility, which has experienced a downturn, reaching $63,410 as of the report. In another development, cryptocurrency exchange OKX has launched its Ethereum-based layer-2 network called X Layer to offer lower fees and interoperability for users interacting with decentralised applications (DApps). Leveraging Polygon’s chain development kit (CDK), X Layer facilitates faster and cheaper transactions using zero-knowledge proofs while maintaining compatibility with Ethereum’s Virtual Machine (EVM). The network aims to enhance user experience and connectivity within the Web3 ecosystem by enabling seamless interaction with various Ethereum-based DApps and decentralised finance (DeFi) protocols. Additionally, Bitcoin Depot, the largest Bitcoin ATM operator in the United States, has recorded no correlation between its revenues and the price of Bitcoin historically, indicating that its users primarily utilise its services for non-speculative purposes such as money transfers and remittances. Despite Bitcoin’s high volatility, Bitcoin Depot’s revenues in 2023 and 2022 remained unaffected by price fluctuations, emphasising the resilience of its business model. 


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