Friday, 17 March 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 17 March 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$ 24,998.78 (+2.94%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,673.73 (+1.44%)  


Bitcoin and ether have not been impacted by the latest US job market data which shows that the job market remains strong. Despite expectations of a decrease in jobless claims from 212,000 to 192,000, unemployment claims remain almost the same as they were in January, indicating that the labor market is still overheated. Meanwhile, Ethereum core developers have approved April 12 as the target date for the highly anticipated Shanghai hard fork, which will enable staked Ether withdrawals on the Beacon Chain, completing Ethereum’s transition from proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus. The upgrade is predicted to trigger a sell-off in the short term.

Coinbase has warned that unstaking requests on its platform may take weeks or even months to process after the update to the Ethereum network enables the functionality next month. This comes after the Ethereum Merge event in September 2022, which transitioned Ethereum from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS), but stakers’ holdings remained locked up. The Shapella upgrade in April will enable ETH holders to withdraw their staked ETH and stake more without being subject to an indefinite lockup period. In other news, the hacker behind the $196 million attack on Euler Finance has moved 1,000 ETH, approximately $1.65 million, through a crypto mixer only hours after Euler Labs launched a $1 million bounty to uncover the hacker’s identity.

Bitcoin’s dominance in the cryptocurrency market is nearing 46%, the highest it has been in nine months, as its market cap accounts for more of the total value of all cryptocurrencies than at any time since June 2022. This trend-setting move by the largest crypto asset is reminiscent of classic bull cycles and could indicate a significant trend shift in BTC price action. On the other hand, Bitcoin bears could face a $440 million loss in Friday’s options expiry, as Bitcoin bulls are well positioned to profit after the recent surge in price attributed to various factors, including the bailout of Silicon Valley Bank and the $25 billion funding by the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury.

Galaxy Digital CEO Michael Novogratz has warned that a credit crunch is imminent in the United States, advising investors to consider purchasing gold, silver, and Bitcoin. Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box on March 15, Novogratz stated that banks rebuild their capital by lending less, which is a sign that a credit crunch is on the horizon. In other news, several YouTube influencers and the talent management firm Creators Agency are facing a class-action lawsuit seeking over $1 billion in damages for allegedly promoting unregistered securities and the collapsed exchange FTX. 

Former FTX CEO and co-founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, received $2.2 billion in payments and loans, mostly from Alameda Research, while other ex-staff received significantly less, including former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, who received $6 million, according to documents filed by the new management of the exchange. Meanwhile, layer 2 project Arbitrum will airdrop a governance token, ARB, to community members on March 23, representing 12.75% of the token’s total supply. The token will control the governance of the Arbitrum One and Nova networks through a DAO, with the goal of giving governance power to community members who have actively participated in the network over the last year.

The European Parliament has passed a proposal for an EU-wide digital identity framework with zero-knowledge-proof technology to protect user privacy. The wallet will allow citizens access to public services while giving them control over sharing personal data. The legislation now moves to inter-institutional negotiations. As for other news, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has said that the tokenisation of asset classes could drive efficiencies in capital markets, shortening value chains and improving cost and access for investors. BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager with $8.6tn in assets under management, will continue to explore the digital asset ecosystem, particularly areas relevant to its clients, such as permissioned blockchains and tokenisation of stocks and bonds.



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