Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 18 June 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$ 66,544.44 (-0.10%) 
Ethereum Price: US$ 3,511.46 (-3.12%) 

As part of its economic reform plan, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) is gearing up to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC), alongside liberalising foreign investment in banking and creating a regulatory sandbox for innovative financial solutions. This is a significant move considering digital currencies are currently illegal in Ethiopia, yet the country has already embarked on economic liberalisation, evident in the termination of the state monopoly on mobile money services and the adoption of blockchain-based digital infrastructure for large government payments. In the broader digital asset market, exchange-traded products and funds witnessed $600 million in outflows last week, predominantly from Bitcoin investment vehicles, attributed to a more hawkish-than-expected outlook from the Federal Reserve. However, altcoins like Ether, LIDO, XRP, BNB, Litecoin, Cardano, and Chainlink bucked the trend, recording inflows over the same period. Despite the buzz around the launch of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States, experts, including Marc Degen, co-founder of blockchain firm Trust Square, opine that institutional adoption of digital assets is still in its early stages, likening the current phase to an “amateur league”. Meanwhile, TikTok is enhancing its Symphony ad suite with “stock avatars” and an “AI dubbing” feature to aid brands in content creation and localisation and is also experimenting with “custom avatars” that mimic content creators and brand spokespeople, equipped with the same “multi-language abilities” as the stock bots. 

Terraform Labs has agreed to a $4.47 billion settlement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) following a jury verdict that held the company and its co-founder accountable for the collapse of the Terra ecosystem, leading to the loss of $40 billion in investor assets, and has decided to cease operations as a result. This has prompted Ripple’s lawyers to request a court to consider an “appropriate” civil penalty in its ongoing case with the SEC, arguing for a maximum penalty of $10 million, a figure disputed by the SEC which suggests a penalty of $102.6 million based on the same ratio applied to Terraform’s penalty. Meanwhile, Tether is making waves by launching a gold-backed stablecoin, Alloy (aUSDT), pegged to the U.S. dollar and overcollateralised by Tether Gold (XAUt), marking the company’s first tethered asset. The synthetic dollar is designed to mimic the value and functionality of the U.S. dollar without being directly backed by it, and the platform could see the creation of other tethered assets, including yield-bearing products. To incentivise the new asset, Tether is offering USDT holders a bonus at a 2:1 ratio, setting aside 10 million aUSDT for this purpose. In other news, the zkSync token (ZK) has officially launched on exchanges, boasting a total supply of 21 billion ZK and a market capitalisation of roughly $971 million. However, the launch was not without its challenges, as it was marred by network load and remote procedure call (RPC) issues. Following the announcement that over 695,000 wallets were eligible for the recent ZK token airdrop, there has been a notable increase in malicious decentralised applications (DApps) impersonating zkSync, leading to community concerns about the methodology used to filter Sybil farms in the token distribution program, which aims to distribute 3.675 billion ZK tokens to eligible users. 

Bitcoin Runes, a new protocol for issuing fungible tokens on the Bitcoin network, has signalled the growth of Bitcoin-native DeFi by generating over 2,500 BTC in transaction fees in less than two months. This surge in transaction fees, including those from protocols like Runes, is providing a significant lifeline for Bitcoin miners post-halving. Furthermore, Bitcoin Runes are outperforming BRC-20 tokens and Ordinals in terms of onchain activity since their launch in April 2024, further solidifying their position as the dominant standard for issuing fungible tokens on the Bitcoin network. This rise in transaction fees is seen as a lifeline for Bitcoin miners, a sentiment echoed by Nazar Khan, co-founder and chief operating officer of TeraWulf. Despite these advancements, the cryptocurrency industry is still in its infancy in terms of corporate adoption and trust, even with the previous approval of the first spot Bitcoin ETFs. Marc Degen, the co-founder and chairman of Trust Square, a blockchain-focused technology hub, argues that corporate adoption is still in the “amateur league,” and emphasises the need for corporations to foster more trust among mainstream users. Meanwhile, the Ethereum ecosystem is experiencing a surge in its combined transactions per second (TPS), reaching a new all-time high due to a sudden TPS spike in a relatively unknown Ethereum layer 3. However, some industry analysts caution that TPS may be an overrated metric when measuring the performance of blockchains. 

Source: https://cointelegraph.com 

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