Bitcoin Price: US$ 28,797.10 (-5.21%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,933.73 (-8.07%)
Bitcoin (BTC) has dropped by 3% to hover near $29,300 after a massive sell order on Binance and UK inflation data triggered a tumble in prices. The majority of the liquidated BTC positions were long, according to data from Coinglass. Ether (ETH) followed a similar pattern, dropping below $2,000 for the first time in a week. Meanwhile, Optimism’s OP token rebounded from a broad market sell-off amid news that Andreessen Horowitz plans to build a “stack rollup” on the blockchain. The token was trading at $2.66 midday Wednesday, a 5% bump up from its 24-hour low.
The Shapella hard fork or the Shanghai upgrade, which reduced the risk of staking Ethereum’s native token, has generated institutional interest in the cryptocurrency. As a result, the number of active ether futures contracts trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange has increased by 39%, with open interest rising over 70% to $633 million. CME futures linked to ether and bitcoin are viewed as a proxy for institutional activity. In another development, Bitcoin network fundamentals, including difficulty and hash rate, are poised to hit new records this week, reflecting a mining boom that has helped ease profit margins after the bear market.
European Union lawmakers are set to vote on new regulations for cryptocurrency in the region that will end the industry’s “wild west” era and restore trust following the high-profile collapses of last year. The Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulations, which will go to a vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, are expected to mark a major milestone in the proposal’s passage into law. Several parliamentarians have hailed the introduction of a legal framework as a major step forward in the bloc. Meanwhile, hardware wallet manufacturer Trezor has rolled out a new privacy feature for its devices. The CoinJoin feature, developed in collaboration with Wasabi Wallet, is a privacy-enhancing technique that allows multiple users to pool their Bitcoin inputs into a single transaction, making it more difficult to trace transactions back to their original sources.
Deribit, the largest bitcoin options exchange, is launching a zero-fee spot exchange on April 24, allowing clients to trade derivatives and spot markets. At launch, the exchange will offer three pairs: BTC/USDC, ETH/USDC, and ETH/BTC, with the potential for more listings. While free trading will exist “for the foreseeable future,” the chief commercial officer says zero fees won’t last in the long term. In a separate announcement, Coinbase received a license to operate in Bermuda, which could lead to the launch of an offshore derivatives exchange as soon as next week. The exchange has been exploring the launch of a platform to trade perpetual swaps tied to cryptocurrencies, which provide a more capital-efficient way for traders to bet on the underlying crypto market.
New York’s top banking regulator, Superintendent Adrienne Harris, has refuted claims that the failure of Signature Bank was related to its exposure to the crypto industry. Speaking before the House Financial Services Committee’s panel on digital assets, financial technology and inclusion, Harris said that the bank’s collapse was not due to its crypto deposits and their instability. Rather, customers including fiduciary trusts and wholesale food vendors withdrew their money from the bank during a panic last month following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Meanwhile, following Ethereum’s Shapella upgrade last week, deposits have begun to outpace withdrawals, and the rate at which ether is burned has increased substantially.
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