Monday, 20 November 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 20 November 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$37,359.86 (+2.17%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 2,011.47 (+2.49%)  

Fidelity, a major asset management firm, has filed for the creation of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) focused on Ethereum’s ether (ETH), joining BlackRock in expanding its involvement in the crypto space. The proposed Fidelity Ethereum Fund aims to be listed on an exchange owned by Cboe Global Markets. However, approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is required, similar to BlackRock’s pending applications for both bitcoin (BTC) and ether ETFs. If approved, these ETFs could significantly impact the crypto market by offering a more accessible investment route for traditional investors, potentially bringing a surge of new funds into digital assets. Meanwhile, the SEC has delayed decisions on Franklin Templeton’s and Global X’s spot bitcoin ETF applications, pushing the deadlines into early 2024. In another development, Taiwanese trading firm Kronos Research experienced unauthorised access to its API keys, resulting in an estimated $25 million worth of ether being stolen. The company temporarily paused all trading, affecting operations on the Woo X exchange, which was incubated by Kronos. Woo X assured users that their funds were safe, and trading has resumed following the liquidity disruption caused by Kronos’s pause.

Decentralised exchange (DEX) dYdX faced a targeted attack resulting in $9 million in user liquidations on November 17, with losses stemming from a coordinated assault on long positions in (YFI) tokens. The founder, Antonio Juliano, called it a “targeted attack against dYdX, including market manipulation of the entire $YFI market.” The incident raised concerns about a potential exit scam and prompted a review of risk parameters. dYdX also implemented measures, including increased margin requirements in less liquid markets, such as tokens like Eos, 0x Protocol, Aave, and others, to mitigate trading-related risks. Additionally, the exchange banned “highly profitable trades” following the profitable trade that led to the insurance fund usage. Meanwhile, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) conducted a study indicating that central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) face scepticism without privacy protections. The report found that users’ willingness to adopt CBDCs significantly increases when privacy levels are assured, emphasising the importance of privacy protection in CBDC design. Countries are increasingly exploring CBDCs, with privacy becoming a crucial factor in user acceptance.

Mastercard’s lead for blockchain and digital assets in Asia-Pacific, Ashok Venkateshwaran, stated that there is currently no justification for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) because customers are comfortable using existing forms of money. He emphasised the need for widespread adoption and spending flexibility similar to cash. Mastercard’s CBDC Partner Program, including participants like Ripple, Fireblocks, and Consensys, aims to engage key industry players and deepen Mastercard’s involvement in CBDC developments. While around 130 countries are exploring CBDCs, only 11 have introduced a digital currency. Meanwhile, dogecoin (DOGE) futures open interest surged by about 40%, reaching over 7 billion DOGE tokens, indicating increased risk-taking behaviour among traders. This metric historically marks local price tops in crypto markets. The rise in DOGE open interest contrasts with a 5% drop in futures tracking major tokens like bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH). Additionally, Bitcoin firm Strike has expanded its global services, allowing users in 36 countries (soon to be 65+) to buy bitcoin through its app. The move aims to meet the demand of Bitcoin users globally and offers ease of purchase with a 3.9% fee for international users. Strike has also partnered with crypto payments firm Bitrefill to facilitate instant and nearly free everyday purchases globally using the Lightning Network.


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