Bitcoin Price: US$ 27,115.21 (+0.17%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,890.01 (-0.11%)
Crypto lender Celsius Network’s decision to shake up its ether (ETH) staking strategy has caused congestion in the Ethereum network’s validator queue, which is already experiencing a month-long delay. Celsius redeemed $813 million of staked ETH from Lido Finance and moved $745 million of ETH into staking contracts, resulting in a 44-day queue for new validators. This move follows the lender’s filing for bankruptcy protection in July and its subsequent restructuring, which included the auctioning of its assets to investment group Fahrenheit. In other news, the US economy added 339,000 jobs in May, surpassing economist forecasts of 195,000. The unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.7%. Meanwhile, Bitcoin (BTC) remained steady at around $27,000 after the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report. Crypto-services provider Matrixport suggests that Bitcoin miners may be selling their output at the $28,000 level due to compressed profit margins and increased mining difficulty, making mining less profitable.
Coinbase Derivatives Exchange is set to launch bitcoin and ether futures for institutional clients on June 5, offering a way for them to hedge market bets or express long-term market views. The futures contracts, settled in US dollars monthly, will be sized at 1 bitcoin and 10 ether per contract and come with lower fees compared to traditional offerings. Meanwhile, decentralised finance (DeFi) activity on Ethereum has declined, but there is growing interest in liquid staking derivative (LSD) tokens, which could revive network activity. The drop in gas consumed by DeFi protocols and the underperformance of DeFi “blue chip” tokens against ETH have been noted, with the staking of ETH now serving as a benchmark rate for token returns. Additionally, the price of Arbitrum (ARB) surged after the US Senate voted to raise the debt limit, and notable trader Andrew Kang engaged in buying activity associated with the cryptocurrency.
Millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency have been reported missing from the decentralised Atomic Wallet, raising concerns among users. The self-custodial wallet, with over 5 million downloads, acknowledged the compromise and is actively investigating the apparent vulnerability. Meanwhile, crypto analytics firm Elliptic is incorporating artificial intelligence into its tracking and risk detection capabilities using OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot, enabling faster data organisation. However, certain use limitations are in place to ensure data security. In another development, Rosbank, one of Russia’s largest banks, is reportedly exploring the use of cryptocurrency for cross-border payments, despite being subjected to sanctions by the US Treasury Department.
The class-action lawsuit against Elon Musk regarding his involvement with Dogecoin has taken a new twist as investors now accuse him of insider trading and manipulative practices. The amended filing alleges that Musk utilised his significant social media following and public appearances to influence the price of Dogecoin for his personal profit. Examples cited include Musk’s tweets and memes related to Dogecoin, which the plaintiffs claim manipulated the cryptocurrency market. In other news, Hong Kong’s new licensing regime for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) is seen as a positive development for the crypto industry, although challenges remain in terms of banking support for crypto businesses. Additionally, crypto exchange volumes have experienced a decline, with May recording the lowest level since November 2020, according to data from The Block Research. Binance, Coinbase, and BTSE were among the top exchanges mentioned in terms of market share.
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