Bitcoin Price: US$ 22,197.96 (-0.95%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,561.96 (-0.25%)
Bitcoin briefly dropped below $22,000 after US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell hinted at a potential increase in interest rates due to unexpectedly high inflation in his testimony before Congress. However, the cryptocurrency quickly rebounded and has remained rangebound, trading at around $22,060 at the time of writing. Ether also fell 1% to trade around $1,550. The CoinDesk Market Index was down 1.3% for the day, in line with equities markets, which struggled after Powell’s remarks. Meanwhile, analysts are now looking to US Treasuries for fresh directional cues as Bitcoin continues to trade flat.
According to Matrixport, a crypto services provider, relative value trades are the best way to navigate the current cryptocurrency market, which is caught between issues at Silvergate bank, operational bottlenecks at major exchanges, and optimism about Ethereum’s impending upgrade. The firm recommends buying call options on ether and financing them by selling calls on bitcoin, taking advantage of the high volatility of ether and the lower volatility of bitcoin. Meanwhile, Hong Kong has seen a surge in cryptocurrency scams, with losses amounting to $216.6 million in 2022, up 106% from the previous year, according to local police. In addition, analytics firm Glassnode revealed that Bitcoin may need to drop to $19.3K to cool profit-taking by short-term holders.
Argo Blockchain, a publicly listed Bitcoin mining firm, has increased its daily BTC production despite a 10% increase in average network difficulty. In February, Argo mined 162 Bitcoin or BTC equivalents, equivalent to 5.7 BTC per day. Meanwhile, TeraWulf has started a new crypto mining facility in Pennsylvania, called Nautilus Cryptomine, solely running on nuclear power generated on-site, making it arguably the lowest cost power in the sector. Lastly, the total value locked (TVL) in decentralized finance applications on Arbitrum has doubled since the start of 2023, and the GMX platform has become a major hub for decentralized derivatives trading and offers high yields for crypto yield hunters.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has suggested that transaction monitoring and Anti-Money Laundering measures may be implemented on the firm’s new layer-2 blockchain network Base at launch. While Armstrong acknowledged that Base has some centralized components today, he stated that it would become more decentralized over time. However, he suggested that Coinbase would have the most responsibility to avoid money laundering issues and that there would be transaction monitoring and AML requirements for users of the new layer-2 network. Meanwhile, Ameen Soleimani, a former Tornado Cash developer, has launched a new Ethereum-based mixer called “Privacy Pools” on GitHub. He claimed that the new service addresses a “critical flaw” in Tornado Cash, allowing users to opt out of an anonymity set that contains an address associated with stolen or laundered funds, with the option to help regulators isolate illicit funds without revealing the user’s entire transaction history.
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