Monday, 20 May 20204

Market Summary

Market Summary 20 May 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$ 66,248.02 (-0.96%) 
Ethereum Price: US$ 3,071.19 (-1.66%) 

Venezuela has banned crypto mining to protect its power grid by disconnecting mining farms to manage excessive energy consumption and stabilise the unreliable national power supply, a move that follows a crackdown on illegal mining and forms part of a broader anti-corruption initiative involving top officials and the national crypto department. Meanwhile, Phantom Wallet has risen to the third position in the utility category of the Apple App Store, indicating a potential bullish trend for Solana; initially a Solana-only wallet, Phantom has expanded support to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Polygon, with its growing user base seen as a sign of broader crypto adoption. In another development, Microsoft faces a potential multibillion-dollar fine from the EU for not responding to a request for information about Bing’s generative AI risks by May 27, as the EU’s Digital Services Act mandates this request focusing on concerns about AI-related issues such as deepfakes and misinformation, with penalties up to 1% of Microsoft’s annual revenue. 

LayerZero Labs has concluded the sybil self-reporting phase of its solution to address “airdrop farming,” identifying 803,093 potential sybil addresses that will not receive the total token allocation. The sybil bounty hunting process begins on May 18 and will continue until May 31, with participants required to report at least 20 addresses with a clear methodology to be eligible for a reward. Despite unfavourable odds from several crypto analysts regarding the approval of spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETF) by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), some analysts suggest that there is room for surprise. Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas has placed his odds for approval at 35%, while the broader crypto community has set their estimates closer to the 7% mark. Bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Genesis Global has secured court approval to return about $3 billion in cash and cryptocurrency to its creditors, leaving its parent company, Digital Currency Group (DCG), with no recovery from the bankruptcy. Genesis is one of multiple cryptocurrency lending firms affected by the massive crypto bear market of 2022 and reportedly owes more than $3.5 billion to its top 50 creditors. 

John Louis Anthony Bigatton, an Australian national promoter for the now-defunct crypto exchange BitConnect, has recently pleaded guilty to providing financial product advice without the requisite Australian Financial Services license. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 5, following an order from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California for a restitution of $17 million due to the fraudulent scheme. In a parallel development, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has been sentenced to a four-month prison term for failing to maintain an effective Anti-Money Laundering program at the exchange. Despite his estimated net worth of $33 billion, Zhao has already paid a $50 million penalty as part of a November deal with U.S. authorities and plans to “write something” during his incarceration. Meanwhile, U.S. authorities have arrested Daren Li and Yicheng Zhang on charges of masterminding a money laundering scheme, which involved funnelling over $73 million through U.S. financial institutions and converting the funds into Tether’s USDT token. If found guilty, they could face a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment for each count, potentially amounting to a staggering 140 years behind bars. 


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