Thursday, 19 October 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 19 October 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$ 28,320.00 (-0.27%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,563.44 (-0.10%)  


Bitcoin (BTC) is holding steady at around $28,300 despite the S&P 500 and Nasdaq experiencing roughly 1% declines due to rising interest rates. The CoinDesk Market Index (CMI) is also slightly down, with tokens like Solana’s (SOL), Polygon’s (MATIC), and litecoin (LTC) seeing about a 1% drop. Interest rates are climbing, with the 30-year Treasury bond yield reaching 5.02%, its highest since 2007. While rumours about the SEC approving a spot bitcoin ETF have not been confirmed, market participants are increasingly certain about their approval, with some expecting it in 2023. However, CryptoQuant suggests that $155 million may flow into Bitcoin through spot ETFs, potentially nearly tripling the crypto’s price. In other news, the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) is criticised for not providing clear guidance to the banks it oversees regarding crypto, prompting the FDIC to develop a new strategy by January. Ethereum’s transition to a proof-of-stake blockchain has seen the rise of projects like Lido Finance, which allows users to stake ETH while getting tradable tokens, stETH. However, the project’s popularity is causing issues, including the risk of supermajority control and operational challenges. Ethereum’s community is showing resistance to such projects, and Lido has faced problems such as validators being penalised and the sunset of its staking service on the Solana blockchain due to high costs.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has imposed sanctions on several individuals and entities, including a Gaza-based exchange called Buy Cash Money and Money Transfer Company, for their alleged support of Hamas terrorist operations. In other blockchain-related news, Bitcoin layer-2 infrastructure developer Lightning Labs has introduced the Taproot Assets protocol on the main network, enabling the issuance of stablecoins and other assets on Bitcoin and Lightning, marking a significant development towards making Bitcoin a multi-asset network. Additionally, Stellar, a payments-focused blockchain project, is set to take on the smart contracts arena with its Soroban project, aiming to enable decentralised finance and other applications on the Stellar network. The Stellar Development Foundation has partnered with Certora, a security platform, to ensure the safety and reliability of smart contracts on the network. 

In Hong Kong, a recent survey conducted by The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s business school indicates that public sentiment toward cryptocurrency has declined following the JPEX crypto exchange scandal, with 41% of respondents now preferring not to hold virtual assets, a 12 percentage point increase from May, and only 20% expressing a desire to hold virtual assets in the future, down five percentage points from the earlier survey. In other news, Bitcoin holdings at Tesla remained unchanged at $184 million in Q3 2023, marking the fifth consecutive quarter without buying or selling Bitcoin, while the company has invested in doubling its computing capacity to support AI projects. Furthermore, the Middle East’s progressive regulatory frameworks have attracted cryptocurrency exchanges and businesses, fostering growth in the region, with Dubai-based Binance FZE highlighting the benefits of regulatory certainty, offering an ecosystem for Web3 companies and startups.




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