Tuesday, 22 August 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 22 August 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$ 26,126.92 (-0.24%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,667.55 (-1.05%)  


Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has acquired a minority stake in Circle Internet Financial and is dissolving their Centre Consortium partnership responsible for issuing USD Coin (USDC), the world’s second-largest stablecoin. Circle will assume full control over USDC issuance and governance, while Coinbase’s stake size remains undisclosed, and no cash was exchanged. Furthermore, USDC will gain support on six additional blockchains, expanding its total compatibility to 15. These developments come amid shifts in the stablecoin landscape, including PayPal’s entry into the market with PYUSD. Meanwhile, Bitcoin experienced a significant drop as strong economic indicators signaled rising interest rates. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin recently deposited $1 million worth of Ether to Coinbase amid a broader market downturn, although his exact intentions for the transfer remain unclear.

Friend.tech, a recently launched decentralised social network operating on Coinbase’s layer-2 Base, has outperformed established crypto players by generating over $1 million in fees within a mere 24 hours and accumulating $2.8 million in fees since its August 11 debut. This platform enables users to tokenise their social connections, charging a 5% transaction fee, thereby fostering considerable activity and engagement. Created by the pseudonymous developer Racer, Friend.tech targets crypto influencers and Web3 projects, though discussions persist concerning its revenue model and potential risks. In a parallel development, crypto miner Hive Digital’s rebranding to Hive Digital Technologies signals a broader shift within the crypto mining sector toward diversification, incorporating artificial intelligence alongside cryptocurrency mining to explore the mutually reinforcing possibilities of AI and blockchain in the realm of Web3 development. Meanwhile, the Central African Republic expands its Sango blockchain project to tokenise land and natural resources, aiming to streamline business processes and boost economic growth.

Digital asset investment products experienced $55 million in outflows during the week of September 13, according to a CoinShares report, with Bitcoin (BTC) accounting for $42 million of these outflows. Ethereum products also suffered outflows of $9 million, and other cryptocurrencies like Polygon, Litecoin, and Polkadot collectively saw $2 million in outflows. Only Ripple’s XRP and Cardano saw inflows, with $1.2 million and $100,000, respectively. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s delay in approving a spot Bitcoin ETF has dampened optimism, leading to these outflows. Coin Center, a cryptocurrency advocacy group, has provided recommendations to U.S. lawmakers regarding cryptocurrency tax legislation, including establishing a de minimis exemption for crypto transactions and reconsidering reporting requirements for second parties. Additionally, Bitcoin’s recent volatility, driven in part by declining liquidity, is being analysed to determine its significance within the market structure, with a focus on derivatives data.

Binance has encountered difficulties with fiat withdrawals in Europe, particularly involving Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) transfers, causing the exchange to suspend euro deposits and withdrawals via SEPA. Binance attributed this issue to its payment provider’s inability to support these transactions, without specifying a timeline for resolution. European users expressed frustration, as they couldn’t access or withdraw euros from their accounts. This situation arose following Binance’s announcement that its euro banking partner, Paysafe Payment Solutions, would cease supporting the crypto exchange, requiring users to update their banking details. Meanwhile, PayPal’s launch of the PYUSD stablecoin has the potential to drive mainstream adoption, given its extensive user base and dominant position in the online payment processing market, although the closed ecosystem may primarily benefit PayPal itself. Lastly, Genesis Digital Assets Limited (GDA) has inaugurated a hydro-powered Bitcoin mining data center in Sweden, capitalising on the country’s renewable energy surplus. Located near the Porjus Hydroelectric Power Station, GDA expects all electricity consumption at the data center to be powered by renewable energy. The facility is equipped with 1,900 Bitcoin mining machines and aims to leverage Sweden’s abundant renewable energy resources for efficient mining operations.

Despite Bitcoin’s recent price decline and suggestions of fading interest in Bitcoin NFTs, ordinal inscriptions have remarkably sustained a commanding presence on the Bitcoin network. Data reveals that these inscriptions constituted a substantial 84.9% of the network’s activity, with over 400,000 recorded on a single day. This counterintuitive trend underscores the enduring relevance of ordinal inscriptions in Bitcoin’s transactional landscape, challenging the notion of their diminishing importance. In a parallel development, China’s exploration of implementing a social credit system akin to its real-world counterpart within the metaverse raises critical questions about privacy, surveillance, and government control in virtual spaces, posing potential implications for user identification and monitoring within these digital realms.





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