Thursday, 23 May 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 23 May 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$ 69,054.59 (-0.84%) 
Ethereum Price: US$ 3,737.73 (-1.37%) 

The US House of Representatives approved the FIT21 Act with a vote of 279 to 136. Despite this majority support, Representative Maxine Waters voiced opposition, expressing concerns that the bill could push cryptocurrencies into a “regulatory no man’s land” and potentially trigger a market crash and recession. Amidst this legislative activity, three US-based asset managers, BlackRock, Grayscale, and Bitwise, have amended their spot Ether ETF applications to exclude provisions for staking, with the SEC expected to make a decision on these applications by May 23. Concurrently, US Congress members are scrutinising the regulatory landscape, seeking records from the SEC and FINRA regarding Prometheum’s SPBD application process and the regulatory classification of ETH. This scrutiny stems from concerns about a potential precedent being set following Prometheum’s launch of a custody service for ETH as a security, a move that occurred despite ongoing disputes over ETH’s classification. 

MetaMask, a wallet application primarily supporting Ethereum and Ethereum-based tokens, is reportedly expanding its horizons by working on supporting native Bitcoin, with the integration potentially available in June. This expansion of services continues despite recent security incidents and includes a notable partnership with PayPal and a new staking service. Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has issued a warning about the potential vulnerability of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to decryption attacks from quantum computer systems, recommending that CBDCs be built with quantum-proof protections at their core through a methodology called “cryptographic agility”. In response to the rapidly evolving digital landscape, the Bank of England (BoE) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are set to adopt a “proactive” and flexible regulatory approach through the Digital Securities Sandbox (DSS). This significant “cultural shift for regulators” will allow firms to use developing technologies, including digital ledger technology (DLT), that would otherwise not be permitted under a more flexible rulebook. 

Bitcoin and Ethereum-based exchange-traded products (ETPs) are poised to make their debut on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) following the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approval, with trading set to commence on May 28. However, these ETPs will be exclusively accessible to professional and institutional investors, in line with the 2021 ban on retail customers trading crypto derivatives. This development coincides with an emerging bullish sentiment surrounding Bitcoin investments, which is being fuelled by increasing inflows into spot BTC exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and favourable trading conditions. Bitfinex researchers, studying the weekly market conditions, have posited that Bitcoin has established a bottom price around the $60,000 mark. In the midst of these market dynamics, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has expressed support for X engineer Haofei’s announcement on the decentralised social media platform Farcaster, which revealed plans to make “Likes” private. Buterin further suggested that Farcaster should implement zero-knowledge (ZK) likes as a means to combat preference falsification, a phenomenon where individuals misrepresent their true preferences due to social pressure or fear. 


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