Wednesday, 23 August 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 23 August 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$ 26,056.00 (-0.27%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,634.99 (-1.95%)  


Balancer, a prominent decentralised crypto trading platform on Ethereum, has urged users to withdraw their assets following the discovery of a critical vulnerability, resulting in nearly $100 million being rapidly withdrawn. This vulnerability, found in high-yield boosted pools, led to a significant drop in the protocol’s Total Value Locked (TVL). While some pools were paused to prevent further losses, others remained at high risk, necessitating user withdrawals. Approximately $10 million, or 1.4% of total value locked, remains exposed, despite 80% of assets being secured through emergency measures. Simultaneously, BNB, the cryptocurrency closely associated with Binance, has hit its lowest point in over a year at $204 due to concerns about Russia sanctions and mounting regulatory pressures, exacerbated by allegations that Binance facilitated Russian users in circumventing international sanctions. Binance, already facing extensive global regulatory scrutiny and an SEC lawsuit, has seen BNB’s value impacted significantly. As the fourth-largest cryptocurrency with a $32 billion market value, further declines in BNB could potentially influence the broader crypto markets. Meanwhile, Australia’s central bank has completed a CBDC pilot exploring the potential for an e-AUD, finding it valuable in various areas including complex payments and asset tokenisation. However, concerns over legal and regulatory aspects surrounding CBDCs were highlighted in the report, emphasising the need for resolution as such currencies are considered for issuance.

The Stellar Development Foundation has announced its affiliation with the Bytecode Alliance, a consortium dedicated to advancing the development of WebAssembly (Wasm), positioning it as an alternative to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). While EVM is the standard for executing smart contracts in most blockchain networks, Stellar embraced Wasm for its computation engine in April 2022, citing cost-efficiency and scalability advantages over EVM. This development marks Stellar’s commitment to enhancing its functionality and scalability. Wasm, originally designed for browser applications, aligns well with blockchain’s challenging, adversarial environments. In parallel, the South Korean city of Cheongju has revealed plans to seize cryptocurrency holdings from local tax evaders, seeking cooperation from seven South Korean crypto exchanges to identify and collect from tax delinquents. This move reflects the increasing use of cryptocurrencies to conceal property and aims to hold tax-evading residents accountable. Meanwhile, Oman has inaugurated a $350 million cryptocurrency mining center, the second such facility in the country, signaling a strategic shift toward digitalisation of the economy, reducing dependency on oil exports. Operated by Exahertz and Moonwalk Systems, the facility is set to host 15,000 machines by October 2023, utilising cutting-edge hardware from Bitmain Technologies to bolster Oman’s digital transformation efforts.

Komainu, a collaborative venture involving Nomura and cryptocurrency firms CoinShares and Ledger, has secured a full operating license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), reflecting Dubai’s welcoming stance toward crypto innovation and entrepreneurship. The multi-step process to attain a VARA license, including provisional approval, a minimal viable product (MVP) license, and the full market product license, has been successfully completed by Komainu, aligning it with other prominent crypto exchanges operating in the region. This licensing enables Komainu to offer a comprehensive suite of custody services, including institutional staking and collateral management via its Komainu Connect collateral management service. Meanwhile, a mysterious Bitcoin wallet has surged to become the world’s third-largest holder of Bitcoin in just over three months, accumulating 118,000 BTC, valued at $3.08 billion, sparking conjecture about its owner’s identity. Bitcoin’s current sideways trend, despite being oversold, has left market participants apprehensive, with limited liquidity on the Binance BTC/USD order book, potentially leading to a significant price movement. However, some analysts anticipate a V-shaped recovery in Bitcoin’s price to potentially target $26,500 or higher, driven by historical flash crash recoveries and oversold signals.




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