Tuesday, 5 December 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 5 December 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$41,991.10 (+5.05%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 2,243.37 (+2.30%)

Tokens linked to the Terra ecosystems, including Luna Classic (LUNC), Terra 2.0 (LUNA), and TerraUSD Classic (USTC), have experienced significant gains, doubling in the past week and reaching year-to-date gains of over 10,000%. The surge follows strategic realignment and adaptability by the Terra community, showcasing resilience in the wake of Terra’s collapse in May 2022. Luna Classic is the original Terra network, while Terra 2.0 is a forked version. Recent catalysts include Terraform Labs allocating $15 million to enhance liquidity, and Mint Cash’s USTC revamp plan using Bitcoin as backing. Additionally, Binance continued its burn scheme for LUNC. In other news, Franklin Templeton’s CEO, Jenny Johnson, revealed holding bitcoin, ether, uniswap, and sushi in her portfolio. She considers these investments small but recognises the challenges of anchoring Bitcoin to an investment thesis. Meanwhile, MicroStrategy’s bitcoin holdings, acquired for $5.28 billion with an average price of $30,252 each, reached a value of over $7.3 billion amid bitcoin’s rally above $42,000, resulting in a profit exceeding $2 billion.

DigiFT, a digital assets exchange, has secured regulatory approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to operate collective investment schemes and function as an “organised market” for secondary-market trading. The exchange received a Capital Markets Services (CMS) license and a Recognised Market Operator (RMO) license after an 18-month process, including participation in MAS’s FinTech Regulatory Sandbox. DigiFT is the first exchange with an automatic market-making (AMM) mechanism to graduate from the MAS FinTech Regulatory Sandbox. The platform, built on the Ethereum blockchain, offers secondary trading liquidity for security tokens backed by real-world assets. In another development, BlackRock revealed it received $100,000 as “seed capital” for its proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The seed capital investor purchased $100,000 in shares of BlackRock’s “iShares Bitcoin Trust,” one of 13 applications awaiting SEC approval for a spot bitcoin ETF. The SEC is expected to approve one or more spot ETFs early next year, with a high likelihood in January. Additionally, IBM announced the unveiling of its 1,121-qubit “Condor” quantum computing processor, marking the company’s largest quantum processor by qubit count and considered one of the world’s most advanced gate-based, superconducting quantum systems. The quantum processor is part of IBM’s roadmap, with plans to reach a quantum computing “inflection point” by 2029 with a processor named “Starling,” capable of executing 100 million gates over 200 qubits.

Riot Blockchain, a Bitcoin mining company, is making a substantial expansion with the purchase of 66,560 mining rigs from MicroBT for $291 million, aiming to bolster its hash rate ahead of the scheduled Bitcoin halving in April 2024. This acquisition, considered Riot’s largest hash rate order, includes the right-to-purchase option from its initial agreement with MicroBT. The new machines, with a significant portion being MicroBT’s latest model, M66S, are expected to add 18 exahashes per second (EH/s) to Riot’s operations. Concurrently, the Swiss city of Lugano has announced the acceptance of Bitcoin and Tether for municipal services and tax payments, enhancing local cryptocurrency adoption. Lugano’s move is part of a collaborative initiative with Tether and aligns with its broader Plan B to leverage Bitcoin technology for financial system transformation. Meanwhile, Cosmos-based networks Umee and Osmosis are set to merge, creating a “DeFi Hub” for the Cosmos ecosystem. Umee’s decentralised lending protocol will be integrated into Osmosis, a significant decentralised exchange in the Cosmos network, facilitating advanced features like spot margin trading, shorting, liquidations, stablecoin pools, and more within the Cosmos DeFi landscape.

During the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), Envision Blockchain, in collaboration with HBAR Foundation and Swirlds Labs, unveiled an open-source Managed Guardian Service platform for carbon markets. Built on the HBAR Hedera Hashgraph, the digitised and digital measurement, reporting, and verification (dMRV) system aims to transform carbon markets using decentralised blockchain technology. The platform includes artificial intelligence and guided search features for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Clean Development Mechanism methodology library. It digitised 15 of the most used rules in collaboration with the UNFCCC secretariat. Additionally, the platform features a project data comparison tool addressing double counting issues and improving transparency in environmental projects. In other news, Bybit’s Q4 report revealed that institutional traders allocated 45% of their assets to stablecoins, 35% in Bitcoin, 15% in Ether, and 5% in altcoins, indicating a risk-averse approach during a bear market. Retail traders held more stablecoins but had the lowest Bitcoin holdings compared to other user types. Bybit noted a spike in institutional BTC holdings in September, potentially tied to positive market sentiment amid favourable lawsuit outcomes and anticipation for SEC approval of a spot BTC ETF.


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