Monday, 5 February 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 5 February 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$42,582.88 (-1.00%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 2,289.79 (-0.29%)

U.S. lawmakers, including Representatives Mike Flood and Wiley Nickel, along with Senator Cynthia Lummis, are challenging the SEC’s Staff Accounting Bulletin 121 (SAB 121), which limits banks holding client cryptocurrency assets. They introduced a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to repeal SAB 121, arguing it hampers regulated banks’ willingness to act as crypto custodians and treats crypto holdings differently than other assets. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s financial services department set a February 29 deadline for unlicensed virtual asset service providers (VASPs) to apply for a license. Existing service providers failing to meet requirements may cease operations by May 31. In another development, Sophos reports an evolution of “pig-butchering” scams, with criminals increasingly using fraudulent DeFi applications to steal from victims. Pig-butchering scams involve building an online relationship with victims before convincing them to invest in schemes, often ending with stolen funds and severed communication. Criminals are now turning to DeFi platforms, sidestepping technical barriers and creating the illusion of user control.

The upcoming Bitcoin halving, expected in April 2024, remains uncertain in terms of the exact date, with estimates ranging from April 8 to April 22, according to various countdown trackers. This event will reduce the Bitcoin mining reward from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC. The unpredictable nature of estimating the halving date is attributed to factors such as block height, hash rate, and mining difficulty. Although the community can’t accurately forecast the date, many speculate it could be April 20, 2024, coinciding with the international counterculture holiday and meme, 4/20. Meanwhile, sales of Bitcoin Ordinals, the first Bitcoin NFTs, dipped 61% in January to $335 million, influenced by market oversaturation, competition from other blockchains, and controversy within the Bitcoin community. Despite the decline, industry observers expect renewed interest after the halving event. In a related development, the digital custody service Qredo has undergone a partial acquisition by a firm linked to investor Dan Tapiero, leading to the launch of a new platform called Fusionchain. The QRDO token associated with Qredo will migrate to the Cosmos blockchain with the launch of Fusionchain, while Qredo’s custody platform will continue to operate.

Crypto exchange FTX has filed a motion in a Delaware court to sell its $175 million claim against the bankrupt Genesis Global Capital. The claim, originally sought at $3.9 billion, was negotiated down and approved by the court in October 2023. FTX seeks approval to sell the claim at different times to take advantage of favourable conditions. Meanwhile, bankrupt crypto lending firm Genesis Global Capital has requested court permission to liquidate shares in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE), and Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust (ETCG), totalling approximately $1.6 billion. Genesis aims to maximise funds for creditors’ distribution, emphasising the urgency of obtaining approval ahead of potential asset price fluctuations. In another development, the U.S. Department of Justice has charged two senior staff members of the Patterson Joint Unified School District for allegedly operating a crypto-mining operation on school premises, using school resources and increasing electricity costs. The charges involve the operation of a crypto mining farm that utilised high-end graphics cards and resulted in alleged thefts of funds by the accused individuals.


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