Thursday, 27 June 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 27 June 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$ 60,854.08 (-1.61%) 
Ethereum Price: US$ 3,371.44 (-0.69%) 

The U.S. government transferred 3,940 Bitcoin, previously seized from drug trafficker Banmeet Singh, to a Coinbase Prime wallet. Singh, who was arrested in 2019 and extradited to the U.S. in 2023, had been running a narcotics network from 2012 to 2017 and was compelled to surrender over 8,100 Bitcoin. This has sparked fears of government sell-offs impacting the Bitcoin market, especially in light of the German government unloading its Bitcoin. As the largest state holder of Bitcoin, the U.S. government also holds substantial quantities of Bitcoin acquired through seizures and asset forfeiture. Amidst these developments, Investcorp announced a partnership with Securitize to provide a tokenised fund, offering investors exposure to ISCG’s general partner staking strategy. This comes as real-world asset tokenisation is gaining popularity in the crypto industry, with projects delivering a 214% return for investors in the first half of 2024. Meanwhile, gaming and metaverse giant Animoca Brands is contemplating a return to the public market after being delisted from the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in March 2020. In addition to this, Animoca is exploring other funding sources, including the tokenisation of a Stradivarius violin from 1708 to use as collateral for a loan with Galaxy Digital. 

In anticipation of the full enforcement of Europe’s Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA), Bitstamp, a cryptocurrency exchange that was among the first to list Tether’s euro-pegged stablecoin, EURT, in November 2021, is now delisting it. This move aligns with Bitstamp’s efforts to comply with MiCA and its mission to make crypto regulation uniform across the European Union. In a parallel development in the crypto world, PancakeSwap, a multichain decentralised exchange (DEX), has entered into a partnership with Allora Network. This collaboration aims to launch an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered prediction market on Arbitrum, featuring AI-driven price feed data sourced through Allora, thereby enabling PancakeSwap users to forecast Ether price movements. Meanwhile, the Cardano blockchain, following a failed spam attack aimed at manipulating it into charging lower fees for high-value transactions, is undergoing a node upgrade. This upgrade, initiated by developers, is designed to deter future distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that could potentially result in the theft of staked Cardano tokens from the network. 

The Sui network is strategically expanding its custody capacities through a partnership with Copper, with the aim of attracting institutional finance and bolstering support for Sui-native tokens like the Ondo USD Yield (USDY) stablecoin. As part of this expansion, new custody features are being rolled out to enhance options for clients issuing stablecoins and real-world assets, thereby positioning Sui as a top destination for storing and deploying digital assets. In parallel, the decentralised application (DApp), built on the River Protocol, is revolutionising product development and user engagement by fostering enhanced interaction between product teams and their user base. This innovative DApp enables users to interact directly with team members, share ideas, and engage with other power users, all while being rewarded for their valuable input. Meanwhile, U.S.-based spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) saw a reversal on June 25 after a week of net outflows, with net inflows reaching $31 million, marking a significant change from the previous seven consecutive trading days which saw $1.1 billion in total outflows. In another development, following a soft approval of spot Ether ETFs by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in May, prospective U.S. issuers, including investment manager VanEck, are finalising their registrations, with trading potentially beginning by July 2, bringing the launch of these ETFs one step closer. 

Hong Kong is strategically targeting decentralised finance (DeFi) and metaverse technologies to bolster its global fintech dominance, with government-backed studies underscoring the meteoric rise of DeFi from a $6 billion market capitalisation in 2021 to over $80 billion in 2023. Despite grappling with issues around governance, compliance, and vulnerabilities, the potential of DeFi to revolutionise financial services through reduced transaction speed and enhanced innovation, automation, and financial inclusion is widely recognised. Concurrently, in the United States, the process of launching the first spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is progressing smoothly under the watchful eye of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler. The SEC has approved 19b-4 filings from eight ETF bidders, and asset managers are in the process of finalising their Form S-1s, the last hurdle before trading can commence. This progress is noteworthy, especially considering the U.S. crypto industry’s ongoing lobbying efforts to make digital assets an election issue amidst a wave of enforcement actions led by Gensler’s SEC. Meanwhile, the supply of new Ether is experiencing its longest inflationary period since the Merge in 2022, largely attributed to the blockchain’s Dencun upgrade in March. This upgrade introduced nine Ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs), including EIP-4844, which allows for separate and temporary storage of transaction data, thereby reducing fees on Ethereum layer-2 networks. Despite the recent inflationary trend, the total supply of ETH has decreased significantly since the Merge, with more than 1.5 billion ETH burned and 1.36 billion ETH added, resulting in an overall supply reduction of 345,000 ETH, equivalent to just over $1.1 billion at current prices, marking a significant milestone since Ethereum’s transition to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. 


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