Monday, 1 July 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary July 1 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$ 62,741.03 (+2.88%) 
Ethereum Price: US$ 3,438.16 (+1.76%) 

Nigerian analyst Obinna Uzoije has lauded the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) stablecoin rules, advocating for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to adopt a similar regulatory framework. Uzoije is confident that such a framework could draw more investors by mitigating regulatory uncertainty and bolstering the fight against money laundering. Meanwhile, the global landscape of cryptocurrency is witnessing a significant expansion with the number of cryptocurrency ATMs installed worldwide escalating by 17.8% to 38,279 over the last 12 months, inching closer to its record of 39,541 set in December 2022. The United States leads the pack, hosting more than 82% of the world’s cryptocurrency ATMs, followed by Canada at 7.7%, while Australia is experiencing a surge in installations. Amidst these developments, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has voiced his frustration over the current state of cryptocurrency regulation, painting a picture where good-faith cryptocurrency developers find themselves cornered by regulatory efforts. As potential solutions, Buterin proposes limiting leverage, mandating audits and transparency, and introducing knowledge tests as prerequisites for usage. 

Runes, a new token standard on the Bitcoin blockchain, has experienced a significant drop in its daily average transaction count by over 88% from its peak in June. This decline has not only impacted Bitcoin miner fees but also caused Bitcoin’s hash price to plunge to nearly its lowest level ever, while Bitcoin miner reserves hit a 14-year low at 1.90 million Bitcoin on June 19. Amidst these fluctuations, the cryptocurrency market was anticipating the launch of United States-based spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as early as July 2. However, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed this to mid-July or later due to additional time required to review the S-1 forms submitted by prospective spot Ether ETF issuers. Despite this setback, SEC Chair Gary Gensler confirmed a smooth progression in the approval process, hinting at a potential summer launch. On another front, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange with over 200 million users and $100 billion in assets under management, is facing legal challenges. The exchange failed to persuade a United States court to dismiss most claims made against it by the country’s securities regulator, including those related to Binance’s staking program, the sale of BNB after its initial coin offering, and anti-fraud violations. Despite the ongoing lawsuit and the revocation or denial of its right to renew its money transmitter license by seven U.S. states, Binance continues to hold its position as a leading player in the global cryptocurrency market. 

In an effort to close the tax gap posed by digital assets, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released its final draft of new crypto broker reporting requirements. These regulations exempt decentralised exchanges and self-custody wallets but include stablecoins and tokenised real-world assets. However, these proposed rules have raised concerns among industry advocacy groups due to their incompatibility with decentralised finance networks and potential privacy issues. Meanwhile, Bitdeer, a Bitcoin mining company, has entered into a 30-year leasing agreement for a site in Ohio. The company aims to secure up to 570 MW of additional power in two phases and has garnered attention from industry analysts and investors such as Tether. However, the Bitcoin halving in April 2024 has raised concerns about miner profitability due to high energy costs and a decreased block reward, leading to potential unprofitability for several mining companies. On another front, Kazakhstan’s Financial Services and Regulatory Committee has approved Toncoin for trading on regulated exchanges, making it one of the 107 approved cryptocurrencies. The Open Network, which uses Toncoin, is gaining popularity in the developing world, especially in the realm of blockchain gaming, despite warnings from government officials about potential issues with token withdrawal and increasing phishing attacks. 


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