Monday, 22 May 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 22 May 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$ 26,747.78 (-1.31%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,804.91 (-0.80%)  


Demand for tokenised versions of U.S. Treasury bonds has surged as crypto investors seek higher yields offered by traditional financial markets. CoinDesk data reveals that the market capitalisation of tokenised money market funds has quadrupled this year, nearing $500 million. These funds, which hold short-term government securities and provide a relatively safe means of earning a yield, have attracted investors due to their perceived safety and interest rates of 4-5%, surpassing those of bank deposits. In response to this demand, various platforms have emerged, offering access to tokenised government bonds on the blockchain. Investment giant Franklin Templeton’s Franklin OnChain U.S. Government Money Fund (FOBXX) is the leading offering in this space, with assets reaching $276 million by April-end. Ondo Finance’s OUSG and Matrixdock’s SBTB tokenised products are also gaining market share. Meanwhile, Bitcoin hovers below $27,000 as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell hints at the potential for the central bank to ease back on rate hikes due to stress in the banking sector. BTC’s price recently stood at around $26,800, with Powell emphasising the impact of credit stress on economic growth, hiring, and inflation. The assessment of interest rate decisions remains ongoing, with market expectations leaning toward a pause in rate hikes and the possibility of a rate cut later this year. In a separate development, a new phishing scam called Inferno Drainer has targeted various crypto projects on major blockchains, resulting in the theft of several million dollars. Scam Sniffer, an anti-scam platform, has linked the malicious software provider to thousands of scams, with 4,888 victims losing over $5.9 million in cryptocurrencies and NFTs. The scams came to light when a suspected member named “Mr Inferno” appeared in a Scam Sniffer Telegram group, leading to the discovery of a website promoting the scammer’s services. The scammer charges a percentage of the stolen assets in exchange for their malicious software, which is utilised to create fraudulent websites.

ConsenSys, the company behind MetaMask browser-based crypto wallet, has clarified that it does not collect taxes on crypto transactions and has not made any changes to its terms of service to do so. The company responded to misinformation circulating on Twitter and other platforms, where claims were made about a change in MetaMask’s terms that would allow the withholding of taxes. ConsenSys clarified that the tax section in their terms of service only applies to products and paid plans offered by the company, not to MetaMask or any other products that do not involve sales tax. Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden, following his participation in the G7 forum, criticised wealthy tax cheats and crypto traders during budget negotiations with Republican lawmakers. Biden emphasised the need for a bipartisan agreement and expressed his opposition to a deal that protects wealthy tax cheats and crypto traders while risking food assistance for nearly 1 million Americans. In the world of decentralised finance (DeFi), Lido Finance is considering introducing a staking feature for its LDO token. The proposal suggests that LDO holders would be able to stake their tokens and earn rewards from the protocol’s revenue. If passed, stakers could earn between 20% and 50% of the Lido DAO’s revenue, with the rewards distributed through token buybacks. However, stakers would also bear the risk of contributing funds to the project’s insurance fund in case of a hypothetical mass-slashing event.

Senator Cynthia Lummis has dismissed the possibility of a 30% excise tax on Bitcoin miners proposed by President Joe Biden, stating that it “isn’t going to happen.” Lummis made these comments during a fireside chat at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami, where she highlighted that miners have the flexibility to operate anywhere in the world and that enabling Bitcoin mining within the United States is crucial for national security and energy security. In other news, crypto startup Keyp is repurposing original Nintendo Game Boy consoles into a hardware wallet called the Game Wallet. This innovative wallet uses gamification elements to generate users’ seed phrases through quests and interactions with non-playable characters. The Game Wallet can store cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum and offers an offline storage solution without firmware updates. The project aims to make Web3 accessible and safe while adding a nostalgic touch to crypto storage.

Ledger, the popular cryptocurrency wallet manufacturer, has faced significant backlash and anger from users following the launch of its Recover service. Éric Larchevêque, Ledger’s co-founder, expressed his devastation at the negative response, stating that he was on the verge of tears. The Recover service, available for a monthly fee, involves splitting users’ recovery phrases into encrypted fragments held by Ledger, Coincover, and another provider. Users raised concerns about centralisation, identity theft risks, and the potential for seed phrases to be accessed without consent. Some individuals expressed their frustration by destroying Ledger devices and criticising the company online. In other news, Justin Sun, the founder of TRON, shared his plans to revitalise cryptocurrency exchanges Huobi and Poloniex by listing memecoins. Sun believes that Binance’s listing standards create an opportunity for other exchanges to cater to smaller memecoins, as Binance typically requires a market capitalisation of at least $100 million or $1 billion for listing.




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