Monday, 31 January 2022

Market Summary

Market Summary 31 January 2022

Bitcoin Price: US$ 37,881.76 (-0.75%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 2,601.68 (+0.01%)

 

Bitcoin miners believe global hash rate to grow ‘aggressively’

  • Samir Tabar, chief strategy officer at Bit Digital — a publicly listed Bitcoin miner — told Cointelegraph that the BTC hash rate refers to the amount of computing power being contributed to the network at any given time. Tabar explained that when it comes to Bitcoin mining, a higher hash rate equates to a good hash rate. “The more computing power going towards maintaining a network, the more secure it will be and the more transactions it will be able to handle,” said Tabar.
  • As such, the recent hash rate figures for Bitcoin are extremely notable, even with the price of BTC being down. Peter Wall, CEO of crypto mining firm Argo Blockchain, told Cointelegraph that he wasn’t surprised to see the BTC hash rate hit close to 200 EH/s. Wall further stated that even with events that have recently disrupted BTC mining hash rate like the political upheaval in Kazakhstan, the hash rate will continue to grow higher each month:
  • “Argo Blockchain’s mining margin last year in 2021, which is our revenue minus our direct costs, was over 80%. It was a very good year for miners. In 2020, where BTC prices were much lower, our margin was 41%. So, this year I think we will still see strong margins in the space despite the recent drop in the price of Bitcoin and the increase in the hash rate.”

 

Cyber vigilante hunts down DeFi scammers running away with $25M rug pull

  • However, in an interview with Cointelegraph, an anonymous cyber vigilante shares insights into how he went about tracking down a group of decentralized finance (DeFi) scammers responsible for the $25 million StableMagnet rug pull, coordinating with police authorities and eventually having the stolen money returned back to the investors.
  • The StableMagnet platform lured unwary investors under the pretext of high returns against stablecoin deposits. In a typical rug pull event, StableMagnet managed to run away with the $25 million that was invested by over 1000 users.
  • Right before the rug pull, the cyber vigilante (anonymous for obvious reasons) examined the code to ensure the legitimacy of the project prior to investing himself. However, what he missed out on were a number of messages on Twitter alerting him on the possible exploits and vulnerabilities in the system. 

 

Meta goes Brazil to trademark Bitcoin and crypto services

  • Meta, the world’s biggest social media platform, has filed a trademark registration with the Brazilian authorities to design, develop and provision hardware and software for various Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto-related services. 
  • Meta recently rebranded from Facebook as a move to better align with the Metaverse developments despite regulatory hurdles faced during its numerous previous attempts to enter the crypto space.
  • Accelerating this effort, Meta filed a trademark registration with the Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) for crypto products and services related to trading, wallets and exchanges platforms.

 

SEC approves BSTX for blockchain settlements on traditional markets

  • The Boston Security Token Exchange (BSTX), a new facility of the Boston-based BOX exchange, received regulatory approval from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to operate as a blockchain-based securities exchange. 
  • BSTX was launched jointly by BOX and Overstock’s blockchain arm tZERO, originally seeking approval for launching publicly-traded registered security tokens. However, the SEC approval to operate as a national securities exchange allows BSTX to use blockchain technology for faster settlements in traditional markets. According to the SEC,
  • “The Commission notes that the [BSTX] Exchange’s current proposal does not involve the trading of digital tokens and such a proposal, or any other additional use of blockchain technology.”

 

The Sandbox — LAND Smart Contract Migration

  • A new version of the LAND smart-contract has been deployed; its address is 0x5CC5B05a8A13E3fBDB0BB9FcCd98D38e50F90c38
  • The migration interface can be found here: https://sandbox.game/en/me/migration/
  • The previous smart contract contained a vulnerability that was first reported on December 25th, 2021.
  • The vulnerability has been fixed and the fix audited. It has not been exploited by any malicious user and has now been secured.

 

Trezor removes controversial address verification protocol, other wallets follow suit

  • The Trezor hardware wallet introduced AOPP signing as part of its latest January update last week, allowing users to generate signatures that conform to the AOPP standard used in certain jurisdictions. On Jan. 28, Trezor announced that it will remove this protocol in the next Trezor Suite update “after careful consideration of recent feedback.”
  • Recent feedback refers to Reddit and Twitter users who were concerned that the use of AOPP signaled Trezor’s support for greater regulation and a disregard for a potential loss of privacy.
  • In a blog post explaining the removal, Trezor admitted it “underestimated how this feature would be received,” but that the company “welcomes public scrutiny.” The fact that it listened to its users and reacted so quickly demonstrates the power of social media sentiment.
  • The hardware wallet maker claimed it is against the regulations that concern AOPP, namely the data leak risks associated with using a stringent identification process like Know Your Customer, or KYC, to buy Bitcoin. The company clarified its intent:
  • “Our sole aim was to make withdrawal to self-custody easier for users in countries with strict regulation, but we acknowledge that more harm than good could be done in the end if this were viewed as proactive compliance with regulations we do not agree with.”

 

Users flock to Curve amid lack of stablecoin liquidity on major DEXs

  • Curve, a popular platform for stablecoin trading, offered its insight on the matter. “Uniswap actually now works much better than what the screenshot shows. Sushiswap is just unsuitable for stablecoin-to-stablecoin swaps always,” said the Curve team via a tweet.
  • During bear markets, investors typically flee from holding volatile cryptocurrencies and instead pile into stable assets that generate fixed income. For example, the amount of deposits in Terra Luna’s flagship stablecoin savings protocol, Anchor, which promises yields of up to 20%, has increased from $2.3 billion to $6.1 billion in the past 60 days.
  • However, the capital flight has also resulted in issues, such as stablecoin liquidity disappearing from exchanges, causing their spread to widen to excruciating levels. In addition, the flock of stablecoins into the Anchor protocol has caused its yield to become unsustainable as there are not enough borrowers to pay depositors’ interest.
  • But despite large fluctuations in the market, Curve appears to be doing better than ever. According to its developers, the platform saw a record trading daily volume of $3.6 billion, with total deposits surpassing $16.7 billion. Investors typically seek to take advantage of the occasional difference between stablecoins’ theoretical peg to fiat money or other stablecoins to make a profit.

 

Fidelity seeks approval for 2 more crypto-metaverse ETFs

  • Fidelity Investments appeared undeterred by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s, or SEC’s, rejection of its Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) on Thursday. Following the setback, the company filed two more prospectuses involving crypto-metaverse ETFs for regulatory approval. The proposals are for the Fidelity Crypto Industry and Digital Payments ETF and the Fidelity Metaverse ETF, respectively. In rejecting the Wise Origin Bitcoin ETF, the SEC cited the exchange listing the ETF, the Cboe BZX, for not having a proper “surveillance-sharing agreement with markets trading” to prevent fraud and protect investor interests.
  • However, neither of the two new ETF applications will have any exposure to digital assets. Instead, they seek to gain exposure to stocks of cryptocurrency and metaverse companies operating in the space. Additionally, the constituent companies must generate substantial revenue for their shares to be added to the fund.

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