Wednesday, 29 November 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 29 November 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$37,818.87 (+1.55%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 2,048.14(+1.02%)  

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong expresses optimism that the settlement between Binance and the U.S. Department of Justice marks a turning point for the crypto industry, allowing it to move beyond the actions of “bad actors.” Armstrong suggests that enforcement actions against Binance and FTX, both facing legal issues, demonstrate that going offshore to evade regulations is not a sustainable strategy. While Coinbase itself is dealing with regulatory challenges, including allegations of operating an unregistered broker, exchange, and clearing agency, Armstrong is confident in the outcome and sees it contributing to regulatory clarity in the U.S. He emphasises the importance of the race to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF, describing it as “monumental” for the industry. In Hong Kong, Chief Executive John Lee expresses willingness to grant regulators more powers to crack down on unlicensed crypto exchanges following fraud cases involving platforms like Hounax and JPEX. Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Bank reiterates its April forecast that Bitcoin will reach $100,000 by the end of 2024, citing the potential approval of U.S.-based spot Bitcoin ETFs and the upcoming Bitcoin halving as catalysts for price upside.

Bitcoin experienced a rally, reaching over $37,700, following dovish comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Chris Waller. Waller suggested that recent data indicating an economic slowdown and moderation in inflation supports the current Fed policy. He mentioned the possibility of rate cuts if inflation continues to decline, surprising observers as he is considered the third-most hawkish member of the Federal Open Market Committee. Bitcoin’s price gained over 1% in response to Waller’s comments, reaching $37,700. Meanwhile, Cecilia Skingsley, a Bank for International Settlements (BIS) official, addressed privacy concerns regarding central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), stating that central banks have no interest in personal data. Skingsley emphasized the importance of preserving privacy when designing retail CBDCs and highlighted the potential benefits of wholesale CBDCs for cross-border payments. In other news, Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) is stepping down from the board of Binance.US as he transitions to a post-Binance life. This move follows Binance’s recent settlement with U.S. regulators and law enforcement agencies, where CZ resigned as CEO, and Binance agreed to exit the U.S. and pay a $4.3 billion settlement.

Former Bank of Spain Governor Miguel Fernández Ordóñez has suggested that a digital euro, unlike bank deposits, is a safe asset and could potentially bring an end to bank crises or even lead to the deregulation of banks. Speaking at a public hearing hosted by the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Ordóñez argued that bank deposits are essentially promises to return money and are not euros, while a digital euro is an actual euro, making it a safer asset. He also highlighted that a digital euro could help deregulate banking activities, improve competition, and enable the European Central Bank to have direct monetary policy. Meanwhile, a rare bullish signal has emerged in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) futures market tied to Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The so-called “next-month” futures contracts are trading at a notable premium to the “front month” contracts, signalling a strong investor inclination to take leveraged bullish bets on these cryptocurrencies. This pattern, considered rare since 2018, indicates a very bullish sentiment on the CME, with investors showing a strong desire to add long exposure. Lastly, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeking public input on the proposed Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from Franklin Templeton and Hashdex. The SEC has requested written comments on both proposals, addressing issues related to potential ETF approval, including susceptibility to manipulation, the size of hosting exchanges, and the correlation between Bitcoin spot and futures prices.

Coinbase has reportedly sent warnings to customers, notifying them that it has received a subpoena from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regarding the Bybit cryptocurrency exchange. The CFTC is seeking information about Bybit, and Coinbase may have to provide information on users’ accounts and transaction activities unless the subpoena is reversed by a court by November 30. Bybit, based in Dubai, stated earlier this year in its terms of service that it does not provide service in the United States, but it is reportedly accessible using a virtual private network (VPN). Bybit recently announced that it had reached 20 million users and described itself as a “top-three cryptocurrency exchange.” Meanwhile, multi-party computation (MPC) wallet provider Fireblocks has launched a new trading system for institutions that use centralised exchanges, named “Off Exchange.” This system allows institutional traders to swap tokens without first depositing them on the exchange, eliminating counterparty risk and preventing incidents similar to FTX’s collapse. Fireblocks claimed that Off Exchange will help prevent such incidents that arise from the unique structure of the crypto trading market, where exchanges play the role of both a custodian and trading venue. In a separate development, Hong Kong authorities have reported that 145 users were affected in a scam by the unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange Hounax, resulting in a loss of 148 million Hong Kong dollars ($18.9 million). Hounax claimed to be a licensed platform that cooperated with legal financial institutions and allegedly recruited local customers through false claims about its origins and affiliations.

Web3 investment firm Animoca Brands is set to become the largest validator on The Open Network (TON) blockchain, aiming to bring blockchain-based games to Telegram’s 800 million users. The partnership will involve funding, research, and an analytics platform for third-party TON ecosystem applications. Animoca’s investment, including undisclosed value, involves staking Toncoin as part of the validator agreement. The firm will support TON Play, a gaming infrastructure project on the TON blockchain, exploring porting existing games to Telegram. Additionally, Animoca has developed a TON Analytics Dashboard for metrics. The move aligns with Animoca’s efforts to drive Web3 adoption. The firm also joined Chiliz Chain as a validator. In another development, JPMorgan and Apollo revealed plans for a tokenised enterprise mainnet, with the MAS Project Guardian pilot exploring asset tokenisation use cases.

Source:
https://cointelegraph.com
https://coindesk.com 

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