Friday, 31 May 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 31 May 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$ 68,383.39 (+1.09%) 
Ethereum Price: US$ 3,747.91 (-0.52%) 

SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce has proposed a cross-border sandbox program for U.S and U.K. firms. This initiative, which follows a joint proposal from the Bank of England and the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, aims to provide a safe environment for these firms to experiment with tokenised securities and test real-world implementation of securities issuance and trading. However, the road to implementation may not be smooth. The introduction of the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21) could be a lengthy process, requiring extensive coordination between U.S regulators. CFTC Commissioner Summer Mersinger predicts a slow regulatory process if the bill becomes law, with the rulemaking phase potentially extending over several months or even years. Amid these regulatory developments, the crypto industry is witnessing a decline in losses from fraud and hacks. According to a report from blockchain security firm Immunefi, crypto losses have declined by 12% year-over-year, a trend that continued in May, with most losses resulting from two individual attacks. 

Terraform Labs and its former CEO, Do Kwon, have agreed to settle a fraud case with the SEC, with the settlement terms expected to be finalised by June 12, 2024. The case, centred on the misleading promotion and sale of crypto tokens, could lead to a hefty financial penalty for Terraform and Kwon, and the SEC has proposed a prohibition on Kwon’s roles in any securities-issuing entity. Meanwhile, Citadel-backed brokerage firm Hidden Road has suspended access to the ByBit exchange due to disagreements over KYC verification procedures and AML regulations. In response to this, ByBit plans to conduct an audit of its brokerage business, a move that comes amidst research suggesting that AML regulations have a negligible impact on illicit financial activities. On another front, Robinhood has launched a crypto trading API for US-based users, enabling them to set up automated trading strategies and trade crypto without the need to open the Robinhood app. This API, which offers analytics, real-time data processing, and enhanced security, is specifically designed for seasoned crypto traders. Furthermore, Robinhood claims to offer the lowest average cost for crypto trading, making it a potentially attractive option for these advanced traders. 

Ocean Mining, a Bitcoin mining pool backed by Jack Dorsey, is making strides in the cryptocurrency world by establishing a hub in El Salvador to further its decentralisation efforts and advance the country’s cryptocurrency adoption. This move, which comes six months after Ocean Mining’s launch, has been welcomed by El Salvador’s Bitcoin office, reaffirming the country’s Bitcoin-first culture. In parallel, DBS Bank is making headlines with a crypto wallet reportedly holding over 170,000 Ether, worth nearly $650 million. Despite the bank’s denial of this position, speculation is rife that the Ether could be assets held on behalf of investors from DBS’ digital exchange for accredited investors. Amid these developments, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin sees Ethereum layer-2s as a rallying point for “subcultures” that grow the Ethereum ecosystem, believing that all subcultures on Ethereum layer-2s can be balanced by the concept of “cultural pluralism,” ultimately benefiting the Ethereum ecosystem. 


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