Thursday, 30 May 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 30 May 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$ 67,645.27 (-1.00%) 
Ethereum Price: US$ 3,767.43(-2.01%) 

BlackRock’s spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are poised for a potential launch by late June, following an update to its Form S-1 for its iShares Ethereum Trust (ETHA) with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Despite this promising development, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas maintains a cautious stance, pegging the approval odds around July 4 and considering an earlier approval a “long shot”. Amidst these advancements, the United States Treasury Department has taken a proactive step by releasing its inaugural finance risk assessment for nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The assessment identifies a spectrum of potential risks, from terrorist financing to money laundering, and underscores the potential risks to investors from theft, rug-pulls, or other forms of fraud. However, it is important to note that the report emphasises that the majority of these illicit activities are not unique to the digital asset space and predominantly occur through fiat financing and transactions. In parallel, Mastercard has initiated its crypto credentials P2P pilot program, aiming to streamline crypto transactions and minimise user error. This innovative system assigns human-readable ‘aliases’ to individuals, verified by Mastercard, thereby eliminating the need for users to rely on the cumbersome process of sending and verifying the traditional long string of numbers and letters that characterise wallet addresses. 

Ethereum layer-2 network Celo has integrated Chainlink’s CCIP protocol for cross-chain interoperability. This ‘layer 0’ protocol, which has successfully conducted pilot tests with SWIFT and the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), underscores potential synergies between blockchain, traditional banks, and international business. Meanwhile, investment manager Hashdex has withdrawn its application for a spot Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF) just a day after similar financial products were approved by the SEC. Notably, Hashdex’s application, which combined spot Ether holdings with Ether futures contracts, aimed to mitigate potential manipulation, setting it apart from other applicants. On another front, crypto exchange Gemini has initiated the reimbursement process for users of its now-defunct lending program, Earn. Paying out $2.18 billion in digital assets, which represents 97% of the assets owed to users, Gemini’s fund distribution is the result of a settlement reached with Genesis and other creditors in the bankruptcy process, ensuring that all Earn users receive 100% of their digital assets back in kind. 

Polygon Labs has developed a novel type of zero-knowledge (ZK) proof, termed as pessimistic proof. This innovation, built using SP1, a ZK virtual machine created by Succinct Labs, is designed to safeguard the AggLayer network by ensuring that no single chain can compromise the deposits of others. The integration of SP1 with Rust and Plonky3 has further streamlined ZK development, paving the way for expedited development times. In parallel, PayPal has broadened the reach of its stablecoin, PayPal USD, to the Solana blockchain, marking a milestone as its inaugural venture beyond the Ethereum ecosystem. This expansion is set to facilitate transactions at a reduced cost, thereby aiming to broaden the utility of PYUSD stablecoin as a viable payment method for everyday purchases. Meanwhile, the crypto market has witnessed a bullish memecoin run over the past couple of weeks, propelling Shiba Inu to dethrone Cardano from the top 10 crypto rankings by market capitalisation. This bull cycle is characterised by the emergence of a new era of memecoins, most of which are barely a year old, with six out of the top 10 gainers over the past 24 hours being memecoins. 


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