Monday, 24 July 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 24 July 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$ 30,083.75 (+0.97%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,888.73 (+1.19%)  


In the Asian trading week, the CoinDesk Market Index rose by 1.27% to reach 1,302. Bitcoin saw a slight increase of 0.3%, reaching $29,951, while ether experienced a 0.7% gain, reaching $1,882. However, the trading range remained narrow due to cautious investor sentiment, influenced by ongoing developments surrounding the legal case of XRP. The disappointment expressed by SEC chair Gary Gensler over the court’s ruling on the securitisation of XRP token added to the uncertainty in the market. Heightened uncertainty in the bitcoin market is being driven by anticipated selling pressure from the U.S. government’s sale of confiscated BTC, profit realisation by short-term holders, and strong support from institutional players. As a result, investors are urged to make prudent decisions. Meanwhile, Craig Wright, who claims to be Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, has won an appeal that allows him to argue for copyright protection of the Bitcoin file format under UK law, with a trial scheduled for January 2024 to determine the validity of his claim. Arkham Intel Exchange, a crypto intelligence bounty marketplace, has seen a steady start since its launch, with 11 submissions, including the identification of Elon Musk’s wallet and addresses associated with major crypto entities like Bitwise and MicroStrategy. However, the platform faced criticism from some in the crypto community for incentivising the revelation of identities behind blockchain addresses, which the CEO argues is inherent to how most blockchains operate.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has launched its instant payments service, FedNow, which has raised speculation about the potential for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the country. While the Fed denies any connection to the digital asset space, experts believe FedNow’s infrastructure could lay the groundwork for a CBDC. However, concerns over privacy and government control have been voiced, especially among Republican lawmakers. Some fear that a programmable CBDC could be used to surveil transactions or censor certain activities, raising dystopian possibilities. In the decentralised finance (DeFi) space, Maker (MKR), the governance token of MakerDAO, saw a surge of 28% in a week following the launch of a token buyback program, where MKR supply is removed from the market. Meanwhile, NFT marketplace OpenSea introduced a feature called “Deals” to enable direct trading of NFTs among collectors, aiming to make the process more trustworthy. McDonald’s also entered the metaverse by launching “McNugget Land” in The Sandbox platform, though web3 funding has experienced a significant decline in the first half of 2023. However, some projects, like Futureverse, remain optimistic, securing a $54 million Series A funding round led by 10T Holdings.

A long-dormant Bitcoin wallet, holding 1,037 BTC worth $31 million, suddenly transferred its entire stash after 11 years of inactivity. The wallet initially obtained the BTC in 2012 when the price was around $4.92, making it worth just over $5,000 at the time. The transferred funds were received by a seemingly fresh wallet address. Additionally, crypto payment platform Alphapo suffered a hack, losing at least $31 million in hot wallets on Ether, TRON, and Bitcoin. Investigations are ongoing, and the stolen funds were swapped and bridged across different blockchains. In another development, Stellar (XLM) has experienced a price rise of over 60%, following a federal judge’s ruling that XRP sales did not break U.S. securities laws. XLM’s price surge has coincided with a growing positive correlation with XRP. However, XRP faces potential bearish stress, which could impact XLM’s price as well. Technical indicators suggest XLM may undergo a price correction, possibly declining towards its 50-week EMA by September.

A report by TRM Labs highlights the increasing use of cryptocurrency by ISIS affiliates in Asia, with evidence of on-chain connections between these groups and pro-ISIS fundraising campaigns in Syria. The report indicates that Tether on the Tron network was predominantly used in these transactions. Another article emphasises that even in the event of an appeal by the SEC, it would not significantly affect XRP holders, following the judge’s ruling that the sale of XRP tokens through exchanges does not classify them as securities. Meanwhile, Custodia Bank CEO Caitlin Long raises concerns about the Federal Reserve’s actions and access to its payment systems, citing discrepancies in how a European firm obtained a spot in the new FedNow system while U.S. firms face difficulties. Long is leading a fight over access to the FedWire network and is currently involved in a lawsuit against the Federal Reserve. She believes the issue goes beyond crypto and that the industry might help address government overreach.




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