Thursday, 17 August 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 17 August 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$ 28,730.51 (-1.61%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,807.81 (-1.16%)  


Bitcoin and gold, commonly perceived as safe havens, struggle to gain traction despite emerging signs of turmoil in global markets marked by currency volatility in distressed nations. The Russian ruble plummeted to its lowest since March 2022, prompting a cumulative year-to-date loss of 33%, driven by concerns over diminishing energy revenues and compelling the central bank to raise rates to 12%. Simultaneously, the Argentinian peso devalued by 18%, reaching 350 per dollar, down 98% for the year. These developments, highlighted as weak links by experts, underscore the allure of the U.S. dollar amid rising yields, although these stress indicators haven’t sparked notable demand for bitcoin, which remains stagnant above $29,000, and gold weakened to a seven-week low of $1,896 per ounce. The robust U.S. government bond yields and strengthening dollar index likely impede the rise of both assets. In other news, Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution Arbitrum plans to release over $1 billion worth of ARB tokens in March 2024, initiating a four-year phased unfreezing process. Also, Ripple Labs contests the U.S. SEC’s request for an interlocutory appeal following a summary judgment, asserting that the appeal should await a final judgment with a complete record, presenting three legal arguments against the request.

Stringent regulatory requirements in Canada allowed Kraken, a crypto exchange, to continue its operations there, benefiting from regulatory clarity and enabling investments in the country despite the demanding process. The Canadian regulatory environment was praised for its collaboration and clear regulatory pathway, leading Kraken to invest and maintain a staff of over 250 in Canada. Other exchanges, such as OKX, exited due to the registration rules imposed in February. Kraken’s commitment and user base supported its efforts to comply. However, on-ramps and off-ramps remain challenging, as major banks in Canada have shown hostility towards crypto. WonderFi CEO Dean Skurka noted that institutional interest in crypto is growing due to Canada’s emerging regulatory clarity, with institutions exhibiting greater immunity to market sentiment and focusing on fundamental investment approaches. In the crypto sphere, Shiba Inu launched the Shibarium Ethereum L2 mainnet after extensive testing, offering a scalable and cost-effective transaction platform through its proof-of-participation consensus mechanism. The Shiba Inu community remains active despite price fluctuations, creating a decentralised ecosystem around the cryptocurrency.

Asset management firm Valkyrie has submitted an application for an Ether futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The application comes as an addition to their previous move to adapt their investment strategy for a Bitcoin futures ETF according to regulatory guidelines. The proposed ETF will not directly invest in Ether but instead intends to acquire ETH futures contracts, with Ether being the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain. Meanwhile, an anonymous user has moved 1,005 BTC that were mined in 2010 to new addresses, sparking speculation about the entity’s identity and intentions, as these dormant coins were valued over $29 million. Additionally, founders of the digital asset hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), Kyle Davies and Su Zhu, are facing fines from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) over violations related to the OPNX exchange, highlighting the growing scrutiny and regulatory enforcement in the crypto sector.

ConsenSys has successfully launched its Ethereum scaling rollup called Linea, which has attracted over 150 partners and facilitated the bridging of more than $26 million in Ether. This Ethereum scaling solution, based on the zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM), enables decentralised applications (DApps) to migrate from Ethereum’s mainnet or other scaling solutions, offering lower transaction costs and higher throughput. Linea’s zkEVM, compatible with Ethereum’s existing smart contract execution environment (EVM), enhances security and maintains the network effects. Additionally, hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger has integrated its Ledger Live software with PayPal, allowing U.S. users to buy Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin directly through Ledger Live using their PayPal accounts. This integration simplifies crypto transactions while maintaining security measures. Cryptocurrency custody platform BitGo has raised $100 million in a Series C financing round, bringing its valuation to $1.75 billion. The funds will be used for strategic acquisitions and global expansion of BitGo’s custody, wallet, and infrastructure solutions, driven by increased demand for regulated custody solutions and growing participation in the crypto industry.




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