Thursday, 21 December 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 21 December 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$43,668.93 (+3.29%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 2,202.17 (+1.11%)

Solana (SOL) has surpassed XRP to become the fifth-largest cryptocurrency, reaching a 20-month high market cap of $33.7 billion. Solana’s recent growth is attributed to a growing decentralised finance (DeFi) ecosystem and meme coin mania. Total value locked on Solana exceeded $1 billion this week, driven by rising asset prices and consistent inflows to DeFi protocols. Decentralised exchanges on Solana experienced increased trading volume, with meme coins like Bonk contributing to the activity. Speculators purchasing Solana as the underlying asset for meme coin trades have fueled buying pressure. Solana has improved network stability, distancing itself from FTX after the exchange’s collapse. The token is trading at $81.04, up 9.14% in the past 24 hours. In a separate development, Stacks (STX), the native token of Stacks Network, surged 27% following positive comments from investor Tim Draper. Stacks is a layer 2 network enabling smart contracts on Bitcoin. Tim Draper expressed excitement about Stacks, emphasising the trend of moving important applications to Bitcoin. Stacks has gained prominence with the rise of bitcoin-based NFT projects, and its capital locked has increased from $7 million to $50 million this year. In China, the Ministry of Science and Technology plans to release a Web3 strategy document to clarify the development path for the industry, addressing issues of inheritance, innovation, security, and government obligations. Despite China’s crypto ban, the ministry acknowledges the importance of the Web3 industry and aims to promote innovation, research, and talent development in the sector, focusing on areas like government affairs and industry, encouraging new business models such as NFTs and distributed applications (dApps).

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the U.S. has adopted a rule governing the use of its official signs and advertising, potentially impacting the perception of certain crypto firms. The rule clarifies regulations on false advertising, misrepresentations of deposit insurance coverage, and misuse of the FDIC’s name or logo. Institutions insured by the FDIC will be required to display a black and navy blue sign instead of the traditional gold and black sign, aiming to prevent entities from misleading customers about FDIC insurance. The move responds to abuses by crypto firms like Gemini Earn, FTX US, and Voyager Digital. Meanwhile, the Bank of China’s Shanghai branch completed the first-ever cross-border settlement for precious metals using the digital yuan (e-CNY) central bank digital currency. The settlement involved the transfer of 100 million yuan ($14 million) e-CNY for gold via the Shanghai Financial Exchange International Board. Bank of China Shanghai is actively participating in digital yuan pilot testing and recently facilitated the import of iron ore using the CBDC. Additionally, Ledger, the hardware cryptocurrency wallet provider, has pledged to reimburse users affected by the Ledger Connect Kit exploit. The exploit resulted in approximately $600,000 in assets being impacted or stolen from users through blind signing on Ethereum Virtual Machine decentralised applications (DApps). Ledger commits to making affected users whole and repaid by the end of February 2024, discontinuing blind signing with Ledger devices and working toward a new standard to protect users.

As the anticipation for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) grows, Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein believes that the approval of such ETFs could bring about $30 trillion into the market. In an interview with CNBC, Sonnenshein expressed optimism in the Bitcoin market, stating that many investors are adding Bitcoin to their portfolios. He emphasised the potential impact of spot Bitcoin ETFs on the advised market in the U.S., which currently holds about $30 trillion worth of advised wealth. Grayscale is actively seeking approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF, and other executives, including Jan3 CEO Samson Mow and MicroStrategy co-founder Michael Saylor, have also shared positive views on the potential of ETFs to drive demand and exposure to Bitcoin. Meanwhile, major financial institutions like JPMorgan and HSBC have increased their blockchain-related activities, accelerating the adoption of distributed ledger technology in traditional finance. The interest from these institutions indicates a shift from previous scepticism, and Franklin Templeton executive Sandy Kaul mentioned that the adoption of blockchain technology is accelerating quickly, with potential for reengineering global financial markets. Additionally, a Grayscale poll revealed that approximately 73% of U.S. voters believe that a presidential candidate should be informed about innovative technology, including cryptocurrencies. The poll highlighted the relevance of crypto in the 2024 elections, with respondents expressing interest in Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation and economic concerns.


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