Tuesday, 30 April 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 30 April 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$ 63,880.27 (+1.13%) 
Ethereum Price: US$ 3,216.73 (-1.43%) 

The Ethereum staking protocol Eigenlayer recently unveiled a white paper for its new token, EIGEN, designed for apps that rely on intersubjective agreement, but the upcoming airdrop will exclude several jurisdictions, including the US and Canada. As a blockchain network that uses staked Ether as its native coin, Eigenlayer allows users to “restake” it to earn additional staking rewards. However, speculation arose from crypto trader DeFi Made Easy that the Eigenlayer team may be preparing to airdrop the new token to users, but attempts to verify this led to a 404 error when the webpage was accessed from a U.S. IP address and multiple VPN server addresses located in Europe. This led pseudonymous developer Chudnov to suggest that Eigenlayer may soon face a “yield crisis” as the value of the assets locked on its platform is growing faster than what is needed to secure the network. The announcement of the airdrop sparked criticism from users who felt left out due to its non-transferable token structure, aggressive geo-restrictions, and an apparently short snapshot period. Despite the outrage, Henrik Andersson, the chief investment officer of the Australian crypto investment firm Apollo Capital, described Eigenlayer’s total 15% allocation to users as “generous”. Meanwhile, exchange-traded fund issuers in Hong Kong, including Zhu Haokang, head of digital asset management firm China Asset Management, and Wayne Huang, head of custody firm OSL Digital Securities, remain unfazed by the potential classification of Ether as a security in the US, emphasising that Hong Kong will be the first in the world to launch an Ethereum spot ETF. 

MicroStrategy, the largest corporate holder of Bitcoin, faced a net loss of $53.1 million in Q1 2024, primarily due to a $191.6 million digital asset impairment loss, yet it persisted in its Bitcoin acquisition strategy, elevating its total holdings to 214,400 Bitcoin, valued at $13.5 billion. Despite the firm’s stock experiencing a 3.3% dip following the announcement, it had previously witnessed a surge of over 170% to $1704 by the end of March, propelled by a 65% increase in Bitcoin. In parallel, the Avalanche C-Chain network has forged an integration with payment firm Stripe, facilitating verified Stripe users to purchase Avalanche’s AVAX and transfer it to their wallets. This integration, encompassing eight Avalanche Web3 apps, is designed to address the “cold start problem” in Web3 by enabling users to convert fiat to crypto via Stripe’s platform. Meanwhile, Consensys’ lawsuit against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has shed light on the fact that the SEC and its chair, Gary Gensler, held the belief for at least a year that Ether was a security, a stance contradicting the SEC’s previous position that Ether was not a security, potentially influencing the decision-making process for the approval of a potential spot Ether exchange-traded fund in the U.S. 

Circle’s USD Coin (USDC) has overtaken Tether’s USDT in stablecoin transactions, recording 166.6 million transactions in April 2024, despite Tether’s market capitalisation being over three times larger than USDC. However, USDC still lags behind USDT in terms of total users, boasting only 9.57 million unique users compared to USDT’s 34.2 million. Meanwhile, Bitcoin miners have experienced a reprieve from the anticipated supply shock of reduced block rewards as the implementation of Runes has catapulted transaction fees, with Rune transactions contributing over 1,200 BTC worth of transaction fees to miners since the Bitcoin halving took effect. This development, viewed positively by major mining firm CEOs Beard and Swick, has intensified competition for Bitcoin rewards. Concurrently, Lido Finance, the largest liquid staking protocol on Ethereum, has achieved a milestone of one million Ethereum validators, accounting for the majority (28.5%) of staked Ether. This achievement, coupled with the surge in DeFi’s total value locked (TVL) from $36 billion in Q4 2023 to $97 billion in Q1 2024, is largely attributed to liquid staking protocols like Lido, which have accumulated over $47.7 billion in cumulative TVL. 

Source: https://cointelegraph.com 

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