Friday, 26 April 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 26 April 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$ 64,564.39 (+0.36%) 
Ethereum Price: US$ 3,155.80 (+0.44%) 

Institutional investors are expanding their altcoin portfolios, with Solana witnessing a significant surge in allocations from wealth managers and hedge funds, resulting in nearly 15% of surveyed investors investing in SOL, marking a substantial rise from CoinShares’ January survey. Interestingly, despite none of the surveyed institutions holding XRP, the cryptocurrency’s investment products experienced minor inflows of $1.3 million for the week ending April 19. Amidst this, the FBI issued a warning against the use of unregistered cryptocurrency money-transmitting services, potentially targeting smart-contract-driven privacy tools, and urged Americans to use only registered Cryptocurrency Money Services Businesses that adhere to existing Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws. However, this broad warning overlooks the nuances of how decentralised systems operate, emphasising the need for fit-for-purpose regulation and clear cryptocurrency guidance to replace regulation by enforcement for improved consumer outcomes. Parallelly, Bitcoin mining firm Marathon Digital is aiming to increase its 2024 hash rate target from 35-37 exahashes per second to 50 EH/s, attributing this to expanded capacity following recent acquisitions, and if achieved, this would signify a more than 100% increase in the firm’s hash rate since the start of 2024. 

An “epic sat,” a rare satoshi mined from the fourth Bitcoin halving block, was sold for 33.3 Bitcoin (BTC), approximately $2.13 million, on the cryptocurrency exchange CoinEx Global on April 25. This sale signifies the community recognition and widespread embrace of Bitcoin. The anticipation is building for the next Bitcoin halving event, expected to occur in 2028 at block 1,050,000, which will halve the mining rewards to 1.5625 Bitcoin. In parallel, Jack Dorsey’s fintech firm, Block, has announced a new feature for Square merchants. This feature allows them to allocate a portion of their daily sales to Bitcoin, with on-demand payouts via CashApp, thus empowering small businesses and individual proprietors to participate in the global financial economy. This integration was announced just a day after Block signalled its intent to build a full-scale Bitcoin mining solution. Meanwhile, payment service Stripe is reviving crypto in the form of stablecoin payments. This new service, available this summer, marks crypto’s return as a viable means of exchange. Stripe will offer payment services using USD Coin on the Solana, Ethereum, and Polygon blockchains, marking a return to crypto after discontinuing its Bitcoin payment option in 2018 due to increased transaction times and fees. 

Morgan Creek Capital CEO Mark Yusko predicts a massive influx of $300 billion into the crypto market, driven by baby boomers’ wealth and facilitated by the introduction of Bitcoin ETFs and increased interest from registered investment advisers. This influx could potentially push the crypto market’s capitalisation to $6 trillion, with Bitcoin ETFs already worth over $53 billion as of April 24. Concurrently, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reviewing a proposed rule change for trading options on Bitcoin exchange-traded products (ETPs), aiming to understand its potential impact on the overall market. Several financial firms, including Nasdaq and Cboe, have submitted proposals to the SEC seeking permission to trade Bitcoin options. In the meantime, BNB Chain is planning to enable native liquid staking on its BNB Smart Chain (BSC) as part of its shift to migrate the BNB Beacon Chain’s functions to BSC before it shuts down in June 2024. This move aims to streamline the network, improve efficiency, reduce security risks, and make the BNB Chain more attractive to users. 


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