Sam Bankman-Fried and the spectacular collapse of FTX: Here’s a rundown

  • SBF was accused of misappropriating customer funds in FTX’s custody.
  • Experts noted that the chances of SBF’s conviction were high.

Once seen as the face of cryptocurrencies, disgraced entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) awaits his fate as he gets ready for the criminal trial beginning on 10 October for his role in what many experts have dubbed as one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the FTT Profit Calculator

The 31-year-old faces multiple charges for his alleged involvement in the high-profile collapse and subsequent bankruptcy of FTX [FTT], which was one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the market during its peak.

Primarily, he is accused of misappropriating customer funds entrusted with the exchange to prop up his crypto trading firm Alameda Research.

A trip down the memory lane

According to crypto market data provider Kaiko, FTX made pointed business moves in order to build a foothold in a market otherwise dominated by global behemoths like Binance and Coinbase.

FTX had one of the lowest and, therefore, most attractive fees among top crypto trading platforms. A report published last year noted that FTX charged a taker fee of just 0.07% and a maker fee of 0.02%, in comparison to Coinbase’s 0.5% for both.

Naturally, lower fees attracted tons of liquidity and individual investors.

Apart from cost advantages, the exchange doled out highly-leveraged and innovative derivatives contracts which attracted risk-seeking traders. In fact, FTX enjoyed an impressive derivatives market share at 15%, compared to just 6% in the spot market.

Source: Kaiko

Nonetheless, the exchange registered monthly volume of nearly $100 billion at its zenith, which was on par with Coinbase.

Source: Kaiko

FTX’s rise also resulted in a surge in the fortunes of founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

Prior to FTX’s collapse, he was ranked the 41st richest American in the Forbes 400 list and his net worth peaked at $26.5 billion. He spent his fortunes on venture investments, luxury real estate, and even political donations.

However, behind the rosy exteriors, was a cobweb of deception and dirty tricks

The empire comes crashing down

An explosive report by news publication CoinDesk proved to be the undoing of FTX. The investigative story revealed that Alameda Research, FTX’s sister company, was in possession of a significant amount of FTX’s native FTT tokens. So much so, that it had more FTT tokens on its balance sheet than the total market cap of the asset at that time.

What heightened scrutiny was the disclosure that Alameda used FTT extensively as collateral for loans issued by FTX.

Imagine an entity accepting collateral in the form of assets which its mints natively. This raised suspicion that FTX was funneling client’s funds in custody to extend credit to Alameda, a sign of insolvency.

This essentially triggered a bank run on FTX as customers scurried to get their funds out of the exchange. Withdrawal requests worth billions started to overwhelm the trading platform. The world’s largest exchange announced a bailout deal only to back out of it a day later.

Meanwhile, FTT was in free fall, losing 80% of its value in two days.  FTT’s collapse led to a rapid unwinding of the exchange, with a multi-billion-dollar hole in its balance sheet.

Source: Kaiko

Eventually, SBF stepped down as CEO of FTX and the exchange filed for bankruptcy protection on the same day. SBF’s empire, which was allegedly built on hard-earned money of unsuspecting traders, came crumbling down.

As of 10 March 2023, his net worth was reduced to just $4 million.

Kaiko’s research highlighted the profound impact of FTX’s collapse on the broader crypto market. Global exchange liquidity has been cut in half, and market depth is still a long way from restoring to pre-collapse levels.

Source: Kaiko

Odds stacked against SBF?

As SBF goes on trial, talks around the outcome of the case have taken center stage. Former official of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) John Reed Stark listed out three reasons which could lead to his conviction.

Stark noted that testimonies by high-profile corporate insiders, including Caroline Ellison – the former CEO of Alameda Research, to reduce their own criminal sentences, would play a big part in SBF’s implication.

Secondly, the authorities had access to a mountain of incriminating proof against the disgraced tycoon. He particularly praised restructuring officer John J. Ray for his work in gathering all the evidence.

Last but not least, Stark blamed the “blabbermouth syndrome” of SBF for his own downfall. His “public-relations campaign” during which he gave numerous interviews could be used by the prosecution to reveal inconsistencies in his statements, the ex-SEC official said.

Digital asset products buck losing streak to record weekly inflows

  • Inflows were attributed to the recent market rally and macroeconomic catalysts from the U.S.
  • Ethereum continued its slide while Solana emerged as the oasis of growth in the altcoin market

According to the latest report by crypto asset management firm CoinShares, digital asset investment products snapped their six-week bearish streak to record net inflows last week.

Institutional investors amassed cryptocurrencies worth $21 million as buying pressure trumped sell-offs in the market.

CoinShares stated that the inflows could be attributed to the recent market rally along with macroeconomic catalysts like the U.S. government funding impasse and rising U.S. government bond prices.

Source: CoinShares

These factors played a part

The U.S. government was locked in a political deadlock over demands from the opposition to curb public spending. In fact, the government narrowly avoided a complete shutdown of the federal services last week. Had it materialized, the shutdown would have caused a major blow to the economy.

To add to this, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield surged to a 16-year high, indicative of increased expectations of a recession and economic crisis ahead.

Together, these triggers could have spurred interest in institutional crypto products although there was no telling evidence to confirm the correlation.

Winners and losers

Majority of inflows centered around world’s largest crypto asset Bitcoin [BTC], totaling $20 million, representing about 71% of the total assets under management ( AuM). On a year-to-date (YTD) basis, Bitcoin saw aggregated capital infusion of $168 million.

On the other hand, the altcoin space continued to disappoint. The largest altcoin by market cap, Ethereum [ETH], ironically earned the moniker of the “least-loved altcoin” by CoinShares.

This was owing to its lackluster performance, which resulted in net selling for the seventh consecutive week, reaching $1.5 million, and YTD total outflows of $114 million.

The oasis of growth turned out to be Solana [SOL]. The native asset of the popular smart contracts network clocked its 27th week of inflows when compared to just four weeks of selloffs in 2023.

Regional divergence seen

The report reaffirmed geographical variations in investors’ sentiment. While U.S. witnessed outflows of $19 million last week, Canada and Europe recorded robust inflows of $23 million and $17 million respectively.

The global crypto market cap was $1.09 trillion, marking a 1.87% decline in the last 24 hours, per CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin’s move past $28,000 turned out to be short-lived as the crypto retreated back to $27,603 as of press time.

Whales make sure to attend Ethereum’s staking party

  • The total value of ETH’s staked supply topped $50 billion at press time.
  • The rise in staked supply was in stark contrast to ETH’s dwindling liquid supply.

2023 would be remembered as the year which galvanized Ethereum [ETH] staking into becoming one of the hottest money-making opportunities in the crypto space.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the ETH Profit Calculator

Stakes are high for whales

The Shapella upgrade, which went live in April, closed the loop on one of the key aspects of staking that had been eluding stakers for more than two years – withdrawals. With freedom at their disposal to control their funds, users turned to staking with much more confidence.

The renewed enthusiasm was reflected in the actions of Ethereum whale investors. According to Lookonchain, some of these prolific holders were steadily pulling out ETH from trading platforms and locking them up in Ethereum’s deposit contract.

One particular whale withdrew 4,288 ETH coins from Binance exchange, worth $7.4 million at going prices, and staked it a few days ago for further yields.

More recently, another whale wallet took out more than twice the amount, about 9,530 ETH, and subsequently deposited in the smart contract.

The staking revolution

These whale moves served as another evidence of how staking has become lucrative in the market. As per the latest data from Glassnode, the total value of ETH’s staked supply topped $50 billion.

In ETH’s terms, a total of 30.47 million coins were staked on the network, marking a 67% jump since the execution of Shapella.

Source: Glassnode

The rise in staked supply was in stark contrast to ETH’s dwindling liquid supply on exchanges, as shown above. The balance on exchanges was 14.6 million, less than half of the staked supply.

This underlined that people were taking ETH out of the market and using it as an investment to earn rewards.

Read Ethereum’s [ETH] Price Prediction 2023-24

ETH looks bullish

Ethereum blasted past the $1,700 mark for the first time in a month, as a wider market rally jolted many of the top crypto assets out of dormancy. As of this writing, the precise cause of the breakout was unknown.

However, the rally fueled hopes of reclaiming the $1,800 level, which was lost after the market crash of August. The king of altcoins exchanged hands at $1,733.85 at the time of writing, per CoinMarketCap.

Another week, another sorry tale of blockchain hacks

  • In terms of scale, the $200 million Mixin Network cloud service provider database hack stood out.
  • Security vulnerabilities and phishing incidents were the most utilized attack vectors.

While the extended bear market continues to test the patience of crypto enthusiasts, it has not been able to safeguard the blockchain industry from the predatory intentions of hackers.

No respite from security breaches

According to blockchain security firm SlowMist, multiple incidents of exploits were discovered in the last week, for the period ranging from 23 to 29 September. A total of 18 hacks resulted in the loss of cryptos worth more than $208 million.

SlowMist added that security vulnerabilities and phishing incidents were the most utilized attack vectors in the aforementioned period.

In terms of scale, the $200-million Mixin Network cloud service provider database hack stood out. As of this writing, the attack method was unknown and SlowMist was working with the affected party to unearth the root cause.

The Mixin team suspended trading activities on the network but assured users that a solution to recover the stolen assets was in the works.

The other high-profile target was the cryptocurrency exchange HKX, formerly Huobi. One of its hot wallets was compromised, resulting in a loss of $8 million worth of Ethereum [ETH].

HTX’s advisor Justin Sun said that losses incurred from the attack have been covered and users’ funds were safe.

 Broader data highlights the seriousness of the problem

The total amount of losses from blockchain-related hacks since 2012 shot up to nearly $31 billion at the time of writing. As shown below, 2019 and 2021 were the most targeted by unscrupulous players.

Source: SlowMist

While security incidents have evidently decreased in recent years, this was mostly due to the bear market and overall decline in funds locked in smart contracts. Nonetheless, 2023 witnessed its fair share of attacks, resulting in thefts worth nearly $2 billion.

These losses were a result of 318 hacking occurrences from the beginning of the year until press time.

SlowMist also analyzed the losses by category to ascertain which market sector was the most impacted by exploits. Cryptocurrency exchanges were the most attacked entities, accounting for nearly 36% of total losses. A total of 127 hacking incidents have been reported to date.

Additionally, the most favored mode of attacks by hackers were contract vulnerability, rug pulls, and flash loan attacks. Contract vulnerability accounted for nearly 13% of all hacking occurrences.

Source: SlowMist

Bitcoin jumps above $28k for the first time since August 2023

  • At press time, buying pressure was stronger than selling pressure in the market.
  • OI in Bitcoin futures jumped 7.28% over the past 24 hours.

The world’s largest crypto asset, Bitcoin [BTC], broke through the $28,000 barrier for the first time in over six weeks, and investors hoped that the breakout would pave the way for more substantial gains in the days to come.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the BTC Profit Calculator

Buyers dominate the market

The rally pulled Bitcoin out of the narrow trading range it had been in since 2023’s largest market crash in mid-August. At the time of writing, the king coin exchanged hands at $28,065 with gains of 3.75% in the 24-hour period, per CoinMarketCap.

According to CryptoQuant author Maartunn, on 1 October, buying pressure was stronger than selling pressure in the market. This was because the Net Taker Volume flipped into positive territory after a gap of nearly four months.

Historically, Net Taker Volume has been regarded as a reliable indicator for predicting Bitcoin’s next moves.

If the price of Bitcoin is low, and aggressive buying is taking place, it means that a bottom is around the corner. Hence, the press time state of the market pointed towards a dominant bullish sentiment.

Trouble for bearish-leveraged traders

The rally also affected traders who were bearishly positioned. According to a recent update by Glassnode, short positions worth nearly $6 million were wiped out on cryptocurrency exchange Binance. This was the largest short liquidation in more than a month.

Read Bitcoin’s [BTC] Price Prediction 2023-24

Furthermore, the Open Interest (OI) in Bitcoin futures jumped to $12.31 billion, representing an increase of 7.28% over the past 24 hours, as per Coinglass. An increase in OI coming alongside an increase in price is interpreted as new money entering the market and is thus a bullish sign.

Source: Coinglass

Surprisingly, despite the price rip and short liquidations, the majority of the traders bet in favor of future price drops. The number of shorts outpaced the longs in the futures market as of this writing.

Source: Coinglass

PEPE’s Q4 starts on a promising note, will its gains continue?

  • After a rally on 28 September, PEPE retraced by more than 3% the next day.
  • It appeared that a broader market accumulation was underway.

There’s hardly been a single dull chapter in the brief history of the frog-themed Pepe [PEPE]. The memecoin’s fickle price swings, which can make or break a portfolio, have piqued the interest of many cryptocurrency watchers.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the PEPE Profit Calculator

PEPE moves unpredictably

On 28 September, the memecoin jumped more than 12% in value, as per data from CoinMarketCap. Seeing the trajectory, the bulls might have geared for further gains. But unfortunately, this was not the case.

Source: CoinMarketCap

A day later, on 29 September, PEPE retraced more than 3%. While this might be attributed to profit-seeking traders, the fluctuations were an accurate reflection of the memecoin’s volatile behavior.

Are whales on to something?

The third-largest memecoin by market cap saw sustained trading activity in recent days. The market moves of a specific address garnered considerable interest.

According to Lookonchain, the traders have been buying and selling PEPE tokens on a regular basis in order to maximize gains.

After having made a whopping $2.34 million from their previous trades, the address purchased PEPE worth $645,000 in a transaction on 29 September. Needless to say, the trader was bullish on PEPE’s near-term prospects.

But it was not just restricted to one wallet. According to data from Santiment, whales added to their stacks lavishly, as evidenced by the spike in supply held by top addresses.

Source: Santiment

Moreover, the supply on exchanges has declined considerably over the week. This suggested that a broader market accumulation was underway and PEPE could rise further after testing the support levels.

Remember that the turbulent world of memecoins is fraught with dangers. Investors are advised to tread with caution and DYOR.

Social activity dips

Surprisingly, the social buzz around PEPE has climbed down after peaking a week ago. This despite the steady increase in the value of the coin.

Additionally, weighted sentiment fell into the negative territory as of 29 September, indicating that investors had a pessimistic view

Source: Santiment

Read Pepe’s [PEPE] Price Prediction 2023-24

PEPE was a departure from the numerous dog-themed tokens that dominated the market. The crypto coin exploded 10x within days of its launch, attracting a swarm of profit-hungry traders.

According to PEPE’s official site, the coin doesn’t have any intrinsic value or expectation of financial return.

Chainlink CCIP integrates with Binance: Assessing LINK’s response

  • The latest integration was expected to unlock new avenues of growth for Web3 developers.
  • LINK was the best performing crypto asset over the last 30 days. 

Chainlink’s [LINK] Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) continued its march as the flagship product made its debut on the BNB Chain, according to a 29 September tweet.

Realistic or not, here’s LINK’s market cap in BTC terms

The integration was expected to unlock new avenues of growth for Web3 developers looking to tap into the multichain ecosystem.

CCIP gains traction

Powered by Chainlink’s oracle networks, CCIP enables developers to securely transmit data and tokens between several blockchain networks.

Moreover, it provides a platform where developers can leverage the strengths of other chains and collaborate with developers from different chains to build robust cross-chain applications.

Protocols like CCIP attempted to plug a critical gap in the Web3 ecosystem-fragmentation—in which blockchains operate in isolation, with no interaction with other networks.

The protocol has found a lot of takers since its launch in July earlier in the year.  With the latest launch on the BNB Chain, CCIP became operational on as many as seven networks, as per a Chainlink community member.

What’s the update on LINK?

The growing prominence of CCIP started to reflect on the native token LINK. As per CoinMarketCap, it was the best performing crypto asset over the last 30 days. The coin accumulated gains of nearly 35% in the said time period.

Notably, whale investors seemed to have provided the impetus to the price movement. As per popular on-chain sleuth Ali Martinez, wallets holding between 10,000 to 1 million coins added 7.5 million LINKs to their portfolios in the last two weeks.

At going market price, this was worth more than $60 million.

Source: ali_charts/Santiment

Read Chainlink’s [LINK] Price Prediction 2023-2024

The buying binge indicated that there was optimism about the near-term outlook, and LINK’s price may continue to rise. However, this shouldn’t be taken as investment advice and readers were advised to DYOR.

Meanwhile, the Chainlink ecosystem was erupting with excitement as the highly anticipated SmartCon 2023 was about to begin. The event would span four days, the objective of which was to promote global Web3 adoption.

Why the crypto market delivered yet another dud in September

  • Volumes across major exchanges like Binance and OKX continued to be lackluster.
  • Implied volatility plunged, while the derivatives market also had very little to celebrate.

The crypto market continued to underperform in September, with key indicators like volumes, volatility, and Open Interest (OI) remaining subdued throughout the month.

The total cryptocurrency market cap fell by 1.8% over the past month, data from CoinMarketCap showed, as bellwethers like Bitcoin [BTC] and Ethereum [ETH] traversed in tight trading ranges.

Source: CoinMarketCap

Indeed, the king coin oscillated between $25,900 and $27,200 for most parts while ETH was stuck in the $1,600-region. The muted price action turned traders away from crypto trading platforms.

Lull in spot, derivatives markets

According to digital asset research firm Reflexivity Research, volumes across major exchanges like Binance [BNB] and OKX continued to be lackluster. This was in stark contrast to the previous years, when traders frequently flipped their holdings for quick profits.

Source: Reflexivity Research

Notably, liquid supply of Bitcoin and Ethereum sank further in September, as demonstrated by data from Glassnode. Dwindling faith in the stability of exchanges, along with more lucrative use cases such as staking and long-term HODLing, drove traders to self-custody.

Source: Glassnode

Moreover, once infamous for its untamed price swings, the crypto market surprisingly entered into a period of hibernation. Bitcoin’s 1-month realized volatility drifted lower in September, coinciding with the drop in the asset’s value.

While the historical volatility plunged, the implied or forward-looking volatility also reflected the overall gloom in the market. Deribit’s implied volatility index declined in September, signaling that the market would continue to be less active in the near future.

Consequently, expectations of a meaningful rise in price plummeted.

Derivatives markets hold a lot of significance for digital assets. This is because, by the very nature, cryptos are speculative and seasoned traders look to profit from potential rises and falls in value.

The Open Interest (OI), which measures the amount of money invested in derivatives at any given time, is a useful metric to analyze this market. The OI tracks the number of active positions in the market, be it longs or shorts.

According to Reflexivity Research, the dollar value locked in Bitcoin’s unsettled contracts on futures exchanges continued its slide in September.

Notably, the futures market was yet to recover from the shocks dealt in the last month, when billions of dollars in OI were wiped out in the biggest crypto market crash of 2023.

Source: Reflexivity Research

U.S. no longer boosting Bitcoin’s value

Another fascinating finding which came to light was the underwhelming performance of the U.S. market. The analysis revealed that during late Q2 and early Q3, the cumulative return of Bitcoin in U.S. trading hours outperformed that of Europe and Asia-Pacific (APAC).

Source: Reflexivity Research

However, as Q3 progressed, U.S. bids for Bitcoin in particular, and cryptos in general, fell drastically. In fact, the cumulative returns from the global economic giant dipped below those of the APAC region.

The state of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust

Meanwhile, crypto investment behemoth Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) saw a spike in the discount to its underlying Bitcoin holdings over the past month. At the time of writing, the discount was 20.74%, as per YCharts.

However, on a year-to-date basis, significant improvements were seen. Recall that the discount to net asset value NAV had expanded to about 50% late last year and spent much of 2023 in a range around 40%.

Source: Reflexivity Research

Typically, when the discount narrows, it implies that investors are becoming more confident in the trust.

Grayscale has attempted to convert its trust into a spot Bitcoin ETF, but has been rejected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, a recent court verdict directed the SEC to review its decision, spurring hopes of an approval in the near future.

SEC has until 13 October to appeal the Grayscale case decision.

The shining spots

Although leading crypto assets didn’t evoke much optimism, there were some oases of growth. Altcoins such as MakerDAO [ MKR] and Chainlink [LINK] were the top two best-performing cryptos over the last months, with impressive gains of 36% and 35% respectively.

While MKR benefitted from the real-world assets (RWA) narrative, Chainlink’s Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) expansion provided the boost to the native token.

TRB rises 270% as whales pile up: What’s going on?


Posted: September 30, 2023

  • Six whale wallets accumulated tokens worth more than $15 million at going market rates.
  • TRB pumped 47% over the last week.

Decentralized oracle protocol Tellor [TRB] defied bearish sentiments to emerge as one of the shining spots in the crypto landscape in the recent weeks. According to CoinMarketCap, the token exploded 270% over the past month, exchanging hands at $52.18 at the time of writing.

Source: CoinMarketCap

Realistic or not, here’s TRB’s market cap in BTC’s terms

Whales to decide the tide?

With an enormous rise in the midst of a bear market, speculators looking for a quick buck hurried to get their hands on the coin.

However, much like many other mid to small cap cryptos, the forthcoming movements in price could be dictated by a handful of powerful investors.

According to data from Lookonchain dated 28 September, six whale wallets amassed as many as 286,375 TRBs of late, amounting to more than $15 million at going market rates.

Source: Lookonchain

It was further revealed that all of these addresses were profitable, with a combined profit value topping $7 million. Lookonchain said that they could liquidate their holdings anytime.

Given that they control 11% of the supply, the sell-off might put significant downward pressure on the value of TRB.

While whale movements are often seen as a precursor of what to expect in the future, it’s always advisable to tread with caution and DYOR.

Social buzz shoots up

As per Santiment, the bulk of the profit-taking took place around 17 September. Evidently, this was the time when most of the TRB holders transferred their stashes to exchanges to dump them.

Since then, supply on and outside the exchanges has been flat. Despite this, price pumped by a staggering 47%.

Source: Santiment

TRB has greatly benefitted from the positive talk happening around the coin. As indicated, the amount of mentions in crypto-specific social media groups surged as the coin breached past the $50-level.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the TRB Profit Calculator

Cryptocurrencies in general ride high on word of mouth and hype. Therefore, the social buzz might continue to fuel the influx of more traders.

Source: Santiment

Additionally, weighted sentiment was in the positive territory, indicating that the amount of positive commentary around TRB eclipsed the negative publicity. This boded well for TRB in the short term.

As oracle networks cause rising concerns, what’s next?


Posted: September 29, 2023

  •  Oracle-related manipulations resulted in exploits of $892 million from 2020.
  • Oracle-less protocols aim to address the gaps, but they are not foolproof.

Blockchain oracles have played a key role in connecting the blockchain world with the real world, enabling decentralized apps (dApps) to react to data from traditional systems.

The most basic example of these services is the price information of different crypto assets, which are fed into the smart contracts of decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols.

Chainlink [LINK] was the popular oracle network at the time of writing, with its LINK token being the 19th-largest crypto by market cap, per CoinMarketCap.

However, concerns over reliability and manipulation have cast a serious doubt on the future of this blockchain middleware. According to a recent report by Binance Research, nearly $892 million worth of cryptos have been lost due to oracle-related manipulations over the last three years.

Source: Binance Research

The incidents of exploits have dramatically come down in 2023. Regardless, talks of an alternative to the existing oracle system have gained traction. That’s where oracle-less protocols come into the picture.

Go oracle-less

Oracle-less protocols eliminate the need for oracles entirely. This means that the projects won’t be dependent on external price feeds. Hence, malicious actors won’t be able to exploit them easily.

As per the research report, some ways by which oracle-less projects could be implemented in the realm of lending was through peer-to-pool and peer-to-peer models.

The peer-to-pool model involves the creation of a permissionless pool, wherein lenders and borrowers would decide on the asset price. Pool creators can independently set the initial interest rates for each specific token pair. Rates then fluctuate based on the utilization.

Ajna Finance was the prime example of a protocol employing this mechanism.

On the other hand, the peer-to-peer model would provide a platform where both parties could directly interact and agree on the price. PWN Finance uses this mechanism to match the lenders and the borrowers.

Source: Binance Research

Not everything was hunky-dory

While oracle-less protocols do eliminate the dangers and risks attached with oracles, they come up with certain trade-offs that should be factored in.

Oracle-less solutions are more complex in nature, which may require users to take on mundane responsibilities, such as tracking asset prices and dedicating more time for analyses.

Moreover, even if implemented, there would always be an element of doubt in the minds of users. Hence, they might end up cross-checking the data with external sources, which ironically, could come from an oracle.

Does Bitcoin really live up to its ‘hedge against inflation’ moniker?

  • Long-term holders controlled the major chunk of Bitcoin’s supply. 
  • Bitcoin’s supply cap and decentralized nature worked in its favor.

Bitcoin’s [BTC] relative stability and resilience in the face of several market challenges has led to a dramatic shift in sentiment surrounding the king of digital assets.

Read Bitcoin’s [BTC] Price Prediction 2023-24

Bitcoin: The store of value

No longer appealing to traders who used to flip the coin for quick profits, Bitcoin has become the new savings option for seasoned investors.

According to on-chain analytics firm Glassnode, Bitcoin’s reserves on centralized exchanges shrunk to depths not seen in the last five years. A major chunk of them were locked up in the self-custody of long-term holders (LTH), as evidenced by the steady increase in their stashes.

Source: Glassnode

Long-term holders typically possess high risk tolerance. This group takes advantage of the bear market to increase their holdings of fundamentally strong assets and sell them into bull market strength.

Therefore, the sustained increase in HODLing implied that these players were betting on Bitcoin as a store of value or a hedge against inflation. But is the confidence justified?

Bitcoin’s deflationary factor

A recent report by crypto asset manager CoinShares tried to find merit in the aforementioned argument. Undoubtedly, one major factor that could work in Bitcoin’s advantage was its scarcity.

As per economic principles, the scarcer an asset is, the more value it would acquire over time. Bitcoin’s supply has been hard-capped at 21 million, which means that once the limit is reached, no more coins will enter into the hands of the public.

The issue with traditional finance, as consistently flagged by Bitcoin proponents, was that a central authority controlled the issuance of the currency and hence the monetary supply. Global central banks manipulate borrowing rates to boost or restrict economic growth, depending on the state of the national economy.

For example, when the economy is sluggish, the central bank would cut the cost of borrowing. This incentivizes spending and discourages saving, as a person’s ability to avail credit is boosted significantly. As a result, domestic consumption spikes and more money flows into the economy.

But while moderate inflation is good, high levels create another set of problems for the economy. High inflation reduces the purchasing power of the common man. This meant that for the same amount of money, the number of goods and services available to them would be significantly reduced.

Moreover, during periods of high inflation, the national currency depreciates against currencies and the U.S. Dollar (USD).

However, in the case of Bitcoin, the hard cap of 21 million is encoded in the source code and enforced by nodes on the network. As a result, any arbitrary adjustments to its supply or tokenomics were deemed out.

The scarcity feature thus puts Bitcoin in the league of time-tested inflation hedges like Gold. Like Bitcoin, the precious metal is a limited resource and has acted as a safe haven during periods of economic stagnation.

Source: CoinShares

Bitcoin ticks these boxes as well

The other factor giving Bitcoin the upper hand in “digital gold” narrative is its durability. In its fourteen years of existence, the proof-of-stake blockchain has experienced an uptime of a staggering 99.98%.

In fact, the last time the network went down was about ten years ago. Hence, the network stability boded well for Bitcoin’s mainstream adoption.

Furthermore, Bitcoin is portable, in the sense that it’s stored in a digital wallet and can be used anywhere. The ease of transporting and the convenience made the king coin an attractive savings option.

Delays on spot ETFs annoy participants

Bitcoin climbed above $27,000 for the first time in a week, settling at $27,051 at the time of writing. The crypto’s 2.32% rise in the 24-hour period came alongside a slight jump in the U.S. stock market.

Other crypto-specific elements that could be contributing to the growth were unclear as of press time.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the BTC Profit Calculator

Meanwhile, the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) delayed its decision on spot Bitcoin ETFs yet again. Recall that TradFi giants like BlackRock and Invesco submitted applications for Bitcoin ETFs in June.

However, the regulator postponed a decision in late August when the first deadline approached. The SEC has a maximum of 240 days to approve or deny an ETF from the date of the filing.

A look at what prompted high activity on Ethereum scaling solutions


Posted: September 29, 2023

  • The exponential growth in L2’s on-chain activity came during the bear market.
  •  Optimistic roll-ups maintained an average daily transaction share of 67% in September.

The Ethereum [ETH] layer-2 (L2) landscape has expanded by leaps and bounds in 2023. The blockspace demand for scaling solutions has hit the roof with users onboarding to capitalize on its relative advantages.

L2s see sharp rise in transaction fees

Erik Smith, Chief Investment Officer at 401 Financial, and a keen observer of the blockchain industry, took to social platform X to highlight the rapid strides taken by this emerging sector.

Citing data from on-chain analytics firm Token Terminal, Smith stated that network fees collected by L2 networks ballooned from 0 to $15 million in a span of just two years.

It was astonishing to observe that exponential growth came during the bear market. Notably, this was the phase where on-chain activity across major L1s stagnated.

L2s unburden Ethereum

Over the years, Ethereum has been severely bogged down due to rapidly growing user traffic. This led critics to question its scalability in the long run.

L2 solutions, built atop the base layer Ethereum, were found to be the answer to the scalability question. It was planned that over time, these L2s would handle the majority of low-value transactions, with the base layer taking care of security and decentralization.

While it started on a slow note, the vision seemed to be coming to fruition. According to Lucas Outumoro of IntoTheBlock, optimistic roll-ups maintained an average daily transaction share of 67% in September, from just 16% a year ago.

As is well-known, optimistic rollups included some of the top L2s like Optimism [OP] and Arbitrum [ARB] and the recently-launched Base. In fact, on the majority of days since its launch, Base has outperformed Ethereum in terms of daily transactions.

According to L2Beat, aggregated transaction throughput on L2s has grown metaphorically in 2023. On 27 September, the average transactions per second (TPS) was 60, nearly 5x higher than that of Ethereum.

Source: L2Beat

Onwards and upwards for Ethereum scaling?

It appeared more likely that most on-chain activity will switch to L2s in the coming days. The upcoming Ethereum Cancun upgrade, or EIP-4844, could accelerate the rate. This upgrade was set to significantly reduce Ethereum’s gas fees and increase transaction throughput, allowing roll-ups to scale.

Why Bitcoin is not threatened by a rising dollar


Posted: September 29, 2023

  • The U.S. dollar index reached its highest level since November 2022.
  • BTC’s correlation with DXY was just around 0.11 at the time of publication.

The U.S. dollar index (DXY) has risen a few notches higher, boosted by the Federal Reserve’s signals that one more interest rate hike was imminent before 2023-end.

How much are 1,10,100 BTCs worth today?

In fact, according to a TradingView chart, the rally has been going on for the past two months. The index, which measures USD’s strength against a basket of six foreign currencies, hit its highest level in the last ten months at the time of writing.

Source: Trading View/U.S. Dollar Index

Bitcoin immune to USD’s rise

Historically, the USD, considered a safe haven, has had an inverse correlation with supposedly risky assets like stocks and cryptocurrencies. However, recent developments appeared to contradict this pattern. At least, partially.

According to on-chain analytics platform Santiment, while the USD has shot up, Bitcoin [BTC] has held steady in the recent weeks. The king coin has wiggled in and around the $26,000-level for most parts, as shown below.

Source: Santiment

To the contrary, major stock indices like the S&P 500 experienced a significant drop, thereby staying true to the historical tendencies.

Spotting Bitcoin’s resilience in a worsening macroeconomic environment, Santiment heightened the possibility of BTC breaking out of ongoing tight trading ranges once DXY’s rally fades.

Decoupling from TradFi markets

As per another popular on-chain research firm IntoTheBlock, Bitcoin’s relation with traditional finance indicators flipped drastically in recent weeks

BTC’s correlation with DXY was just around 0.11 at the time of publication. In fact, a week ago, it was zero. Needless to say, the decoupling played a part in insulating BTC from DXY’s rally.

Source: IntoTheBlock

Moreover, BTC’s relation with bellwethers of the U.S. financial market—Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500—turned negative. This implied that if the price of one asset rallies, the other one falls and vice versa.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the BTC Profit Calculator

Now, for most parts of its existence, BTC has been labeled as a “risky asset” and clubbed with the stock market. However, the negative correlation could effectively project it as a safe haven, akin to Gold.

At the time of writing, BTC exchanged hands at $26,411, per Santiment. Given its stability in the face of a rising dollar, investors’ sentiment swung from negative to positive for the king coin.

Source: Santiment

Digital asset products find September unfavorable – Why?

  • The AUM dropped for the second straight month in September.
  • Bitcoin, Ethereum-based asset products registered significant decline.

Delays in making a decision on the numerous applications for a spot Bitcoin [BTC] exchange-traded fund (ETF) continued to keep the digital asset market on the tenterhooks in September.

Read Bitcoin’s [BTC] Price Prediction 2023-24

According to digital assets data provider CCData, the average daily volume of digital asset investment products plunged to $175 million in September, the lowest level recorded in 2023.

In fact, the monthly decline of 37.6%, was the worst since December 2023, arguably the zenith of the bear market.

Source: CCData

Apart from this, the total assets under management (AUM) dropped for the second straight month in September, with a decline of 5.86% to $29.8 billion.

Source: CCData

Low volatility proving to be a pain point

The AUM is a measure of the flow of investor money in and out of a fund and the price performance of the underlying asset. The size of the AUM gives investors an idea about the investment company’s operations.

Most investors are drawn to funds with big AUM simply because they have sufficient liquidity to meet any redemption pressures.

The decline observed in AUM and trading volumes was tightly tied to the range bound price action of market bellwethers like Bitcoin. Barring bouts of volatility, the king coin was largely stuck in compact trading ranges of $25,800-$27,000 over the last month, data from CoinMarketCap revealed.

Indeed, the report revealed that the fluctuations in AUM followed a similar pattern when it came to BTC liquidity on centralized trading platforms.

Leading investment products see decline

Bitcoin-based investment products witnessed an AUM decline of 5.21% to $21.2 billion. Interestingly, despite the marked decrease, BTC products retained their dominance in the market. The market shares marginally increased from 71.2% in August to 71.7% in September.

Ethereum [ETH]-based crypto products registered a steeper AUM drop of 7.65% during the month. Moreover, unlike Bitcoin, ETH products lost their market share to an extent, coming down from 22.3% to 21.9%.

Source: CCData

While the leading products faltered, some with significantly lower market values rose to the occasion. As can be seen above, investment products related to Chainlink [LINK], Aave [AAVE], and Tron [TRX] recorded a noticeable increase in market share.

Positive improvements in their particular ecosystems, which resulted in price gains, aided in increasing the market worth of their investments. According to CoinMarketCap, most of these assets were among the top gainers in the market over the last month.

While LINK jumped by a whopping 28.84%, TRX rose by more than 10%.

North American market faces headwinds

The United States retained its dominant position in the digital asset space, commanding a robust 78% share of the market. Although, it witnessed a notable decrease in the AUM, by 5.81%, in September.

The country was home to the largest and most influential crypto asset manager in the world – Grayscale Investments.

Source: CCData

The worst decline in AUM was observed in Canada, another major player in the field of institutional crypto products. The North American nation saw the market value of its investments plummeting 14.8% to $1.69 billion.

The report highlighted “cautious investor sentiment” in both the U.S. and Canada as the main factor behind the decline in AUM.

Where does Grayscale stand?

As mentioned earlier, Grayscale was the dominant firm in terms of AUM. While the asset manager witnessed a 5.56% decline in AUM in September, it continued to account for the lion’s share of the market, at more than 73%.

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), the world’s largest Bitcoin fund, contributed to the decline. The AUM for GBTC dropped 4.6% to $16.6 billion in September.

Moreover, the second-largest traded crypto trust product, Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE), fell by an even steeper 8.55% during the month.

Source: CCData

Overall, trust products recorded a decrease of 5.56% in AUM in September. However, they increased their market share marginally to 74%.

ETF products, which have recently grown popular, saw their assets under management fall by 12%. The market pie narrowed to 11.7% from 12.6% last month.

Is your portfolio green? Check the BTC Profit Calculator

Unlike trust products, which occasionally deviate from the value of their underlying assets, a spot ETF maintains the fund’s value in line with the asset value.

Grayscale has attempted to convert its trust into a spot Bitcoin ETF, but has been rejected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, a recent court verdict directed the SEC to review its decision, spurring hopes of an approval in the near future.

Why Bitcoin’s network expansion is not reflecting in BTC’s price


Posted: September 24, 2023

  • Bitcoin’s network hashrate has more than doubled since its 2021 highs.
  • Retail and whale investors rose in recent years.

Bitcoin [BTC] has seen a sharp drawdown from its 2021 peaks in the ongoing bear market. Indeed, the world’s largest crypto asset was 60% below its all-time high (ATH) of $69,900 at the time of writing, per CoinMarketCap data.

How much are 1,10,100 BTCs worth today?

Steady hashrate increase

But despite the drawdown in its valuation, the blockchain has continued to thrive. According to on-chain analyst Joe Burnett, Bitcoin network hashrate has climbed from 165 ExaHashes per second (EH/s) on the day it scaled its peak, to 400 EH/s at the time of the post.

This reflected a staggering 142% increase.

A rising hashrate, or the computational power required to solve complex cryptographic puzzles, was an indication that more miners were involved in validating transactions and securing the Bitcoin network.

This could be the logical result of growing on-chain activity and Bitcoin adoption.

High network demand for Bitcoin

According to Glassnode, transactions on the network have indeed shot up in recent years, with 2023 witnessing unprecedented demand for the block space. A closer inspection revealed that the network’s ATH of over 703,504 was only achieved last week.

Source: Glassnode

Investors accumulate Bitcoin

Users have been drawn to Bitcoin in the last few years as its narrative of a safe-haven asset has acquired mainstream awareness. Bitcoin has remained largely insulated from implosions like that of FTX and TerraUSD [UST], and regulatory hurdles which have become a big thorn in the flesh for other altcoins.

The resilience led many users, including retail investors, to add Bitcoin to their portfolios. A recent update shared on social platform evidenced the growing ownership.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the BTC Profit Calculator

To top it all off, whale investors have been constantly adding BTCs to their holdings. As per Santiment, the number of wallets containing 10,000-100,000 coins has been increasing since the pinnacle of the 2021 market.

Source: Santiment

Bitcoin’s network utilization clearly surpassed its market cap, effectively pricing it at a discount. This pattern may bode good for Bitcoin’s value in the long run.

Ethereum, Solana reap TVL gains, but there’s more to the story


Posted: September 24, 2023

  • Lending protocol Aave and RWA project Ondo Finance boosted Ethereum’s TVL.
  • Solana made decent gains, while layer-2 chain Base struggled.

The past week proved to be a fruitful month for Web3 liquidity as the total value locked (TVL) across major networks and projects witnessed a considerable increase, according to a report by blockchain analytics protocol 0xScope.

How much are 1,10,100 ETHs worth today?

DeFi bolsters Ethereum

Ethereum [ETH], the largest chain for smart contracts, led the charge, adding $2.46 billion in capital to its holdings over the week, marking a 5.25% increase. The growth was fueled by Ethereum-based decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols like Aave [AAVE] and Convex Finance.

Lending protocol Aave, in fact, witnessed capital addition of nearly $63 million into its V3 protocol, with a growth rate of 3.5%. In fact, a longer timeline graph from DeFiLlama revealed that TVL on Aave’s third version was up 13% from the previous month.

Source: DeFiLlama

For the uninitiated, Aave launched its third iteration V3 earlier this year, with features like improved capital efficiency and gas optimization. 0xScope stated that Aave’s dominance in TVL rankings was possibly due to migration of liquidity from the previous two versions to the newest one.

Apart from Aave, emerging real-world assets (RWA) protocol Ondo Finance also rose up the ranks. The platform accumulated $33.4 million in TVL over the past week, reinforcing the bullish sentiment around RWAs.

Solana gets pumped by liquid staking

While Ethereum topped the charts, another popular chain for DeFi operations, Solana [SOL], also registered considerable gains over the week. Solana-based liquid staking protocol was the biggest gainer, with more than $7 million worth of SOL coins getting locked on the platform.

Source: DeFiLlama

The project has been making parabolic moves over the last three months in terms of deposits and stakers. In fact, liquid staking seemed to be powering Solana’s DeFi. The king of them all, Lido Finance [LDO], saw inflows of around $3.3 million on Solana.

Base remains stagnant

Indeed, the established networks in terms of DeFi TVL showed their prowess yet again. However, the recently-launched layer-2 chain Base didn’t have too much to boast about.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the ETH Profit Calculator

The Coinbase-backed project saw a meager TVL growth of just 0.04% over the past week. Recall that Base lost $27 million in liquidity last week.

0xScope said that Base entered a “bottleneck” period following the growth wave it witnessed in August.

Bitcoin holds on strong despite declining TradFi entities

  • Bitcoin showed less correlation with stocks and dollar indices.
  • Long-term holders’ conviction kept BTC steady.

Over the last few months, Bitcoin [BTC] has wiggled in narrow trading ranges, with only substantial crypto-specific developments culminating in breakouts. Since the start of September, the king coin has oscillated between the highs of $25,000 and lows of $27,000, data from CoinMarketCap showed.

How much are 1,10,100 BTCs worth today?

Unlike in the past, the outcome of key macroeconomic catalysts like the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision does not appear to have a significant impact on BTC.

Bitcoin decouples

The U.S. Central bank left the interest rate unchanged in the recent FOMC meeting, but signaled one more rate hike by the end of the year. While this development rattled the equity indices, the largest crypto asset fought back with tenacity.

According to on-chain research firm IntoTheBlock, the bellwethers of the U.S. financial market Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 fell 3.3% and 2.7% respectively, over the past week.

But despite the turbulence in traditional finance, Bitcoin stuck to its $26,500-level, achieving marginal weekly gains of 0.02% at press time. Moreover, the king coin’s monthly performance evidently outperformed that of TradFi assets.

Source: IntoTheBlock

Therefore, it begs the question – What is keeping Bitcoin intact in a deteriorating macroeconomic environment?

As per IntoTheBlock, Bitcoin’s correlation with the U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) hit zero recently. This played a part in shielding it from the ongoing rally of the index, which measures USD’s strength against a basket of six foreign currencies.

Source: IntoTheBlock

Interest rate hikes by the Fed applies significant upward pressure to DXY, as the policy results in increased demand for dollars from foreign investors. This typically leads to a capital flight to safe havens like the USD from riskier assets like stocks and crypto.

However, the weakening correlation meant that issues pertinent to U.S. dollar movement would have little significance for BTC. These events underlined that Bitcoin was increasingly getting decoupled from TradFi entities and more sensitive to happening restricted to the crypto space.

Crypto-related triggers move BTC

Most of the significant rallies in recent times came in response to news around Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications. This included Grayscale’s big victory against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and delays on decision on more than half-a-dozen filings.

As a result, Bitcoin holders resisted temptations and waited for outcomes around these ETF applications to offload their bags.

These factors also keeping BTC steady

Another key development that reduced BTC’s sell pressure was the decision by the defunct crypto exchange Mt. Gox to extend the repayment deadline to October 2024. The Bitcoin exchange went bankrupt after a massive theft of nearly 850,000 BTCs came to light.

The market was on the edge considering the size of the repayments. However, the delay managed to calm the sentiments.

Bitcoin’s steadfastness could also be attributed to its growing dominance in the crypto landscape. In recent weeks, the king coin’s market share surged to 50%, the second time such a feat was recorded in 2023.

The gulf between Bitcoin and the second-largest crypto, Ethereum [ETH], widened. As per IntoTheBlock, the ratio of Bitcoin’s market cap to Ether’s market cap hit a yearly peak over the past week.

Typically, large-cap cryptos are likely to be less volatile than other assets with a lower market cap.

Source: IntoTheBlock

Long-term holders continue to accumulate

Last but not the least, the remarkable conviction shown by long-term holders (LTH) of Bitcoin remains a key reason behind Bitcoin’s steady levels. These seasoned investors have utilized the suppressed prices in the bear market to add to their stocks.

As per Glassnode, BTC’s dormant supply has charged to new highs in 2023, with most key age bands exhibiting strong HODLing behavior.

Source: Glassnode

Is your portfolio green? Check out the BTC Profit Calculator

In fact, the total supply controlled by these diamond hands accounted for 75% of the total BTC’s in circulation at the time of writing.

Source: Glassnode

It seemed like the LTH’s resilience may help BTC sail these testing periods of the bear market. But, with the halving event due next year, as well as anticipation about spot ETF approvals, make no mistake: this cohort wouldn’t be shy about taking profits during a bull market.

Whale acquires Ethereum in bulk: What’s going on?


Posted: September 22, 2023

  • The whale’s latest move involved a withdrawal of 5,040 coins from Binance. 
  • On-chain data didn’t show a significant increase in whale holdings.

Whale activity has been a subject of great interest in the crypto space, with analysts and traders keeping a close eye to gain actionable insights. One such interesting move was recently brought to attention thanks to on-chain data.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the ETH Profit Calculator

Whales hoarding on ETH?

According to a post by Lookonchain dated 21 September, a smart money investor pulled out a massive quantity of 5,040 Ethereum [ETH] tokens from crypto exchange Binance [BNB]. But that’s not all.

The seasoned investor has been on an accumulation spree since the beginning of September, increasing his ETH portfolio by a whopping 24,500 tokens. At going market price, this equated to more than $39 million.

The above findings were backed by another set of data from popular blockchain analytics firm CryptoQuant. ETH outflows from Binance have surged on a month-to-date (MTD) basis. Notably, ETH’s value fell during the same time period.

Source: CryptoQuant

Whales, or smart money investors, are well recognized for strategically entering into accumulation mode when prices fall. They use the “Buy the Dip” strategy, which involves adding to an existing long position of a fundamentally strong asset.

The above findings reaffirmed seasoned investors’ confidence in Ethereum’s long-term potential.

Contradicting data emerges

However, this argument was not supported by all corners of the crypto industry. Prominent on-chain sleuth Ali Martinez took to X (formerly Twitter) to claim that there was no concrete evidence to suggest that whales were mass-purchasing ETH coins.

Source: @alicharts/Glassnode

His findings were based on data from Glassnode, which didn’t show a notable increase in the holdings of whales in September.

Read Ethereum’s [ETH] Price Prediction 2023-24

ETH trading in the red

ETH, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, dipped below $1,600 over the last few days, per CoinMarketCap. Atulya Bhat, CMO of Indian cryptocurrency exchange BuyUcoin attributed this to concerns over the Federal Reserve’s tight monetary policy.

The U.S. Central bank left the interest rate unchanged in the recent FOMC meeting but signaled one more rate hike by the end of the year.

Changing stablecoin dynamics pique investor interest


Posted: September 22, 2023

  • Stablecoin market cap fell to $124 billion as of 18 September, the lowest since August 2021.
  • While BUSD was in its final phase, the market braced for the rise of FDUSD. 

Stablecoins have received a lot of attention in recent years because of their unique combination of crypto-like decentralization and national currency-like stability. Many people in high-inflation regions around the world have attempted to use stablecoins to protect their investments.

Behind the cheerful exteriors, however, everything was not well with these crypto derivatives of fiat currencies, most notably the U.S. Dollar (USD).

Losing streak continues

According to the latest report by digital assets market data provider CCData, the total stablecoin marketcap recorded its 18th straight month of downfall in the month of September. The market cap fell to $124 billion as of 18 September, the lowest since August 2021.

Notably, the losing streak began with the sensational collapse of TerraUSD [UST] in 2022. As the bear market has dragged on, sentiment around stablecoins hasn’t been the same again.

Source: CCData

Moreover, trading activity on centralized exchanges remained muted. Tight trading ranges of top assets like Bitcoin [BTC] and Ethereum [ETH] drove traders away, impacting on-ramping and off-ramping services.

Just about $174 billion in stablecoins were traded as of 18 September, with forecast of considerably lower figures than August’s tally of $462 billion.

Hits and misses

Tether [USDT], world’s largest stablecoin by market cap, turned it around in September after improving its market cap by 0.23% to $83 billion. Recall that USDT recorded its first decline in market cap in nine months in August.

Source: CCData

On the other hand, Binance USD [BUSD], which was probably in the last chapter of its existence, saw its market cap plunge by a whopping 19% to $2.49 billion. This was the tenth consecutive month of decline for the  Binance [BNB]-branded stablecoin. Binance stated that it would end support for BUSD by February 2024.

Source: CCData

But while BUSD makes the exit, the focus shifted to other Binance-backed stablecoins. First Digital USD [FDUSD], which made its debut on Binance in July, was the third-largest stablecoin on the exchange by volume in September.

Furthermore, its market cap rose 21.5% to $394 million in the month.

Binance has gone all guns in promoting FDUSD, part of which included the popular zero fee trading program covering all the spot pairs.

However, not-so-good news came from payments giant PayPal’s PayPal USD [PYUSD], which was launched with much expectation last month. The stablecoin has clearly underperformed and could only secure a market cap of $8.46 million as of 18 September.

That being said, it could still be early to pass judgements, as the report mentioned that PYUSD volumes and market cap could increase as more trading pairs start getting listed across different platforms.

Source: CCData

Has Solana’s liquid staking received a power pill?


Posted: September 22, 2023

  • Weekly deposits comprehensively outweighed withdrawals on Jito.
  • Solana’s low liquid staking market cap provided huge opportunities for growth.

Solana’s [SOL] largely untapped liquid staking market started to look promising, driven by efforts of emerging liquid staking protocol Jito.

How much are 1,10,100 SOLs worth today?

Jito makes SOL liquid

According to pseudonymous on-chain researcher Emperor Osmo, staking deposits on Jito went parabolic, with a sharp increase observed in Q3 2023. As of data at the time of publication, more than two million SOLs were staked on the platform, additional data from a Dune dashboard revealed.

Source: Dune

Moreover, a steady rise in the weekly count of stakers was also observed over the last three months. The fact that weekly deposits comprehensively outweighed withdrawals demonstrated users’ trust in the staking process.

Source: Dune

Will Solana exploit the untapped potential?

As is well known, liquid staking allows users to directly participate in staking while also maintaining the ability to use them elsewhere in decentralized finance (DeFi) for higher yield opportunities.

Lido Finance [LDO] for instance, arose to fill shortcomings in the conventional Ethereum [ETH] staking mechanism.

While Solana boasted of one of the largest staking market caps, just about 5% of the supply was available through liquid staking tokens (LST). Contrast this with Ethereum, which had a liquid staking share of 37% at the time of writing.

And therein lies the big opportunity to unlock Solana’s remaining stake for liquid staking. If such a vision were to come to fruition, it would significantly boost Solana’s DeFi potential.

The Jito Stake Pool enables users to stake their Solana tokens in exchange for an LST called JitoSOL. As like other protocols, the token accrues value through staking rewards over time.

A glance at Solana’s staking numbers

According to The Staking Explorer, Solana’s staking market cap was $7.77 billion, with an annualized average reward rate of 6.97% at the time of publication.

Realistic or not, here’s SOL’s market cap in BTC terms

While staking momentum has clearly picked up over the last few months, the staking yields have dipped. The proof-of-stake (PoS) concept is to be blamed, according to which the more stakers there are, the more thinly the yield gets spread out.

Source: The Staking Explorer

At the time of publication, SOL exchanged hands at $19.58, down 2.6% in the last 24 hours. SOL battled bearish market sentiments, which caused the coin to lose 19.58% of its value over the past month, data from CoinMarketCap showed.

Brad Garlinghouse: SEC Chair ‘pursuing politics,’ not ‘policy’


Posted: September 21, 2023

  • Ripple looked at offshore destinations like the UAE, UK, and Singapore for hiring.
  • Despite SEC’s appeal of the verdict, XRP looked safe until at least 2025. 

Ripple Labs [XRP] CEO Brad Garlinghouse has been one of the most vocal critics of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ever since the payments-focused company was sued by the regulator nearly three years ago.

Read Ripple’s [XRP] Price Prediction 2023-24

Garlinghouse has minced no words in denouncing the SEC, more specifically current chairperson Gary Gensler, in public forums.

SEC Chair called a “bully”

Staying true to his tirade, Ripple’s CEO called the SEC Chair a “bully” during a chat at the ongoing Messari Mainnet 2023 event. Garlinghouse’s comments were reported by Fortune Magazine’s senior journalist, Jeff Roberts.

The overall mood in the XRP circles has been upbeat ever since the partial win in the hotly contested legal battle against the SEC. The judgement ruled that the sale of XRP to the public was not to be considered as a security.

However, the sale of XRP to institutional investors constituted a security.

Ripple looks outside the U.S.

Despite the relief, Garlinghouse hasn’t been optimistic about the future of cryptos in the U.S. Quoting him, pro-Ripple attorney John E Deaton said on X (formerly Twitter) that the company looked at offshore destinations like the UAE, UK, and Singapore for hiring.

Given what has happened in recent weeks, this should come as no surprise. In a recent interview to Bloomberg, Brad Garlinghouse had stated that Ripple would source more than 80% of its human talent from outside the U.S., a telling reminder of the sentiment carried by crypto behemoths for the American market.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the XRP Profit Calculator

XRP is safe… for now

At the time of publication, XRP exchanged hands at $0.5084, according to CoinMarketCap. The coin has effectively reversed all the gains made after the SEC verdict due to factors other than regulatory pressure.

However, what keeps XRP investors hopeful is that the judgement would be legally binding on all stakeholders for at least two years. This could give ample time for XRP to consolidate and prepare for the potential bull market of 2024.

How Bitcoin debunks energy concerns while sustaining growth

  •  Sustainable energy sources now account for more than 50% of Bitcoin mining.
  • Emissions relative to Bitcoin’s market value plunged by 75% over the last four years.

Over the years, Bitcoin’s [BTC] stupendous network growth has come hand-in-hand with the criticism around its significantly increased power consumption and greenhouse emissions. This very issue has snowballed into a major sticking point between climate activists and Bitcoin maximalists, with the former raising the question – Will Bitcoin production be environmentally sustainable in the long run?

Read BTC’s Price Prediction 2023-24

Unique correlation comes to light

According to Bloomberg crypto market analyst Jamie Coutts, a symbiotic relationship was shaping up between Bitcoin network’s expansion and the green energy transition.

As evident from the stats below, while the network has grown in practically all key performance indicators (KPIs) of on-chain activity, carbon footprints have continued to decline, much to the delight of Bitcoin supporters.

Source: Bloomberg Intelligence

This negative correlation was a result of miners’ preference for cheaper and cleaner sources of energy to drive their mining rigs, as per Jamie Coutts. He said,

“With energy constituting well over 50% of mining’s op cost, the incentive to acquire the cheapest energy sources is contributing to the network’s rising hash rate while simultaneously reducing the industry’s emissions or carbon intensity.”

Demand for renewables shoots up

Over the years, the share of renewable sources like hydropower solar and wind have gone up considerably. Coutts emphasized how these sustainable sources now account for more than 50% of Bitcoin mining consumption, citing data from climate-tech venture capitalist Daniel Batten.

Source: Bloomberg Intelligence

This remarkable transition could be linked to a geographic shift in mining activities. Countries like China used to be the epicenter of BTC mining at one point in time. However, it ceded its position to the U.S. after a blanket ban on cryptocurrency mining in May 2021.

China, along with other Asian countries like Kazakhstan, are regions where fossil fuels are heavily subsidized. This incentivized miners to exploit these resources, resulting in higher carbon footprints.

But as the mining activity has moved to the U.S., things have changed. The south-central state of Texas has dished out favorable policies and tax incentives to attract miners to its wind and solar power.

Furthermore, the economic benefits of renewables couldn’t be stressed enough. According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), cost of electricity generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources fell sharply in 2022.

For comparison, the new-age solar photovoltaics (PV) were found to be 29% less expensive than the cheapest fossil fuel-fired solution in 2022.

Greenhouse emissions drop despite network growth

Another way to analyze the inverse relation between emissions and network growth was through the emission per market cap metric. As indicated clearly, emissions relative to Bitcoin’s market value plunged significantly by 75%.

Source: Bloomberg Intelligence

The counter-argument that could be made here is that Bitcoin’s value has also seen a sharp drawdown from its 2021 peaks. Indeed, BTC was 60% below its all-time high (ATH) at the time of writing, per CoinMarketCap data.

However, the fall in market cap didn’t impede Bitcoin’s network growth. In fact, a recent update from the on-chain analytics firm Glassnode revealed that ownership continued to rise to new highs on a daily basis.

As the network has grown in size, so has the need for more miners to keep the system secure and decentralized. As per the data cited, Bitcoin’s global hash rate has nearly tripled over the last four years.

However, we have yet to see a proportional increase in the carbon footprints.

Source: Bloomberg Intelligence

Is your portfolio green? Check out the BTC Profit Calculator

Researchers studying Bitcoin’s emissions and power consumption have made substantial adjustments to their data modelling methodologies over the years.

Recently, the popular portal Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) revised BTC’s power consumption for 2021 and 2022. This resulted in a significant reduction in annual estimates.

How does Arbitrum [ARB] typically react after an unlock?


Posted: September 19, 2023

  • ARB appreciated by 3% on the first day of the unlock, followed by a long downtrend
  • The upcoming cliff unlock next year could be a big challenge for ARB

Ever since its launch in March earlier this year, Arbitrum’s [ARB] tokenomics have been a source of significant interest in the crypto-space.

Realistic or not, here’s ARB’s market cap in BTC terms

The most notable has been the token unlock feature, which involves a staggered release of a fixed number of tokens at predetermined time intervals. Thanks to the fact that these events add inflationary pressure and act as bearish catalysts for ARB, experts and traders actively monitor their schedule.

ARB fluctuates after unlocks

Token analytics firm Token Unlocks took to social platform X to sketch a price impact analysis of ARB in the aftermath of an unlock.

It was observed that ARB appreciated by 3% on the first day of the unlocks, as shown below. Then, a long three-week downtrend ensued, one which caused the price to dip by 21%.

Source: Token Unlocks

However, 25 days after the unlock, the prices started to recover dramatically, rising by nearly 19% from the unlock day. A roller coaster, ain’t it?

Recall that about 1.275 billion ARB tokens, out of the maximum supply of 1o billion, were released as part of the March Airdrop into public hands. The rest were set aside for investors and core contributors.

Overall, 49% of the maximum supply has been locked while 5.07 billion, or 51%, still remains unlocked, as per Token Unlocks’ dashboard.

Source: Token Unlocks

Big challenge lies ahead

Arbitrum DAO is gearing up for a cliff unlock on 16 March 2024. This would populate the market with a whopping 1.11 billion ARB tokens, worth $907 million at current market prices. Moreover, the amount to be unlocked would be 87% of ARB’s circulating supply.

Additionally, this event would trigger an unlock schedule with sixteen-day intervals over the next four years. No prizes for guessing how 2024 and beyond is going to test the conviction of ARB holders.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the ARB Profit Calculator

At the time of publication, ARB was exchanging hands at $0.8253, up 4.3% in the last seven days, as per data from CoinMarketCap.

Although the token does not gain value via Arbitrum’s network activity, it allows holders to vote on important decisions and suggest network changes. In fact, Arbitrum became a full-fledged decentralized autonomous organisation (DAO) with the launch of ARB.

How is Solana’s value affected by social media-induced FUD, commentary


Posted: September 18, 2023

  • SOL plunged by nearly 10% when social mentions of the asset skyrocketed on FTX’s liquidation plan
  • SOL regained some sense of steadiness at press time

Despite their evolving technology and growing utility, crypto-assets are still heavily influenced by speculation and social media-induced FUD. The quintessential illustration of this theory could be Solana [SOL], the tenth-largest digital asset by market cap.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the SOL Profit Calculator

Solana highly sensitive to FUD

An on-chain analyst who goes by the pseudonym Emperor Osmo took to social platform X to draw attention to the strong correlation between negative social commentary on SOL and the subsequent impact on its price.

The most recent example that comes to mind is the FUD surrounding FTX’s upcoming liquidation plan. The bankrupt exchange got court approval to sell its assets, a vast majority of which is held in SOL.

Holders are concerned that the market might be flooded with SOL coins in the near future, resulting in a strong downward pressure on its value.

The attached graph highlights how SOL plunged by nearly 10% as social mentions of the asset skyrocketed. This, despite the plan having adequate safeguards in place, such as placing a cap on the weekly liquidation value.

Blast from the past

The association with FTX brought misery to SOL in the past as well. The stunning collapse of the exchange in the fall of 2022 brought down the market with it.

SOL, on the other hand, sustained significantly more damage as a result of FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s backing and investments in several of Solana’s projects.

Source: LunarCrush

In this case too, SOL’s social mentions surged to new heights with prices following in the opposite direction, as indicated by LunarCrush’s data.

Solana’s history is also marred by periodic network disruptions. These have eroded its relative advantages in speed and efficiency. Earlier in February, Solana suffered a major outage which lasted nearly 20 hours.

The glitch birthed another series of negative commentary around SOL. Words like ‘concern’ and ‘outage’ were frequently used in tandem with SOL in that phase.

Realistic or not, here’s SOL’s market cap in BTC’s terms

Will SOL ride out the storm?

It was therefore expected and evident that a surge in social activity was invariably followed by a drop in SOL’s value. However, as far as the most recent case is concerned, the FUD appeared to be subsiding at press time.

In fact, SOL was up by 4.26% on the 7-day chart, with the 24-hour price action noting some appreciation too.

Here’s what Bitcoin’s diamond hands are up to in the short-term


Posted: September 18, 2023

  • There are still no signs of long-term holders’ capitulation on the NUPL chart
  • LTH supply and STH supply sharply diverged in 2023

Bitcoin [BTC] has received unflinching support from long-term holders (LTH) in 2023. Despite the prices staying muted for most parts of the year, these diamond hands have refused to let go off their stashes.

How much are 1,10,100 BTCs worth today?

Seasoned investors in consolidation mode

On-chain data seemed to be echoing these observations, at press time. In fact, according to prominent blockchain analyst Ali Martinez, the Long-Term Holder Net Unrealized Profit/Loss (LTH-NUPL) indicator has been trending in the Hope-Greed region. This implies that the market has been in a consolidating state without much profit-taking.


For the uninitiated, NUPL assesses profit and loss for investors who have held their assets for at least 155 days. Values above zero suggest LTH are in a state of net profit and vice versa. Typically, the more NUPL deviates from zero, the closer the market trends towards tops and bottoms.

Even though the NUPL was over 1, the evident message from the aforementioned situation is that HODLing sentiment is greater, with a general sense of anxiety about the future.

Historically, LTH’s capitulation on the NUPL chart has been an additional confirmation of a bottom for BTC’s price. Hence, it can be safely assumed that the range-bound price may persist with no imminent end to the bear market in sight.

Age bands see rise in HODLing activity

LTH’s conviction was also reflected in the steadily rising BTC’s dormant supply. Coins held for a minimum of one year, two years, and three years continued to hike to new highs, as per data from Glassnode.

Source: Glassnode

Overall, the lion’s share of Bitcoin supply was in the hand of diamond investors. About 14.78 million or 75% of the total BTCs were locked away in LTHs’ self-custodial wallets.

Simply put, the widening divergence between LTH supply and short-term holder (STH) supply in 2023 is glaring to the eye.

Source: Glassnode

Is your portfolio green? Check out the BTC Profit Calculator

BTC remained calm over the weekend

In the meantime, BTC’s price stayed muted over the weekend barring minor fluctuations. At the time of writing, the king coin was exchanging hands at $26,658.51, as per CoinMarketCap.

The market is waiting for triggers like possible decisions on the multiple spot ETF applications by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in October. Until then, the market’s sideways movement is expected to continue.

How Justin Sun helped Tron achieve a significant feat in DeFi TVL


Posted: September 18, 2023

  • Tron’s market share was 10.21% as the blockchain held on to its second spot below Ethereum.
  • Justin Sun’s transfers into lending platform JustLend were cited as the key factor behind the increase.

Layer-1 blockchain Tron [TRX] has taken giant strides in the crypto space in 2023, and the network added another feather to its cap.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the TRX Profit Calculator

Tron increases DeFi market share

According to popular on-chain sleuth Patrick Scott, Tron’s pie of the total value locked (TVL) on all blockchains went into double digits for the first time in history. At the time of writing, Tron’s market share was 10.21%.

In fact, if liquid staking were to be removed, Tron would account for more than 16% of the TVL.

Tracing Tron’s trajectory since the beginning of 2023 revealed some intriguing findings. In January, Tron’s share was a little over 7% with BNB Chain occupying the second spot with a 10% market share.

However, confronted with regulatory challenges and safety concerns, BNB Chain lost its credibility in subsequent months. Consequently, Tron rose to the second spot after scooping a significant portion of BNB Chain’s share.

Was this the primary reason?

Patrick Scott said that the recent spike in Tron’s TVL was driven by the lending platform JustLend. Data from DeFiLlama highlighted a 22% jump in the USD value of assets deposited on the platform on 16 September.

Source: DeFiLlama

A separate post by popular journalist Colin Wu pointed out that Tron founder Justin Sun’s transfers involving $815 million in stablecoin TrueUSD [TUSD] led to the spike in JustLend’s TVL.

How much are 1,10,100 TRXs worth today

TRX riding on the bulls

At the time of writing, native token TRX was valued at $0.083, representing a weekly growth rate of 6.5%, per CoinMarketCap. When compared with the last month, the coin was up by 11.8%.

Meanwhile TRX coins continued to exit circulation in order to exert deflationary pressure. About 11.93 million TRX tokens were moved out of circulation on 10 September. Adjusted against newly minted tokens, there was a net decrease in the circulating supply of TRX by 6.86 million.

The story of how Bitcoin surpassed payments giant Visa


Posted: September 18, 2023

  • Bitcoin recorded parabolic shifts in on-chain transactions in 2023. 
  • Bitcoin awaited a decision on the several spot ETF applications submitted to the SEC

Battling skeptical views since its inception, the Bitcoin [BTC] blockchain was steadily emerging as a popular medium for transaction settlement.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the BTC Profit Calculator

Bitcoin beats Visa

Popular on-chain analyst and co-founder of Reflexivity Research, Will Clemente, took to social platform X to highlight the remarkable growth trajectory of the network.

It was revealed that Bitcoin’s annual transaction volume surpassed that of Visa, one of the world’s largest payment networks.

Source: Reflexivity Research

On-chain transactions jump in 2023

A closer look at the graph showed two key phases which caused an eruption in Bitcoin’s network traffic. The first was the bull market of 2017, and secondly the historic phase of 2021 during which the king coin exploded to its all-time highs (ATH).

However, the biggest spike in transactions came in 2023, driven by the popularity of BRC-20 tokens and Ordinals. As evident, early May saw an unprecedented rise in network traffic. While the subsequent low volatility period produced a fall, there has been a robust comeback over the last month.

In fact, the past week was a record-breaker, with transactions exceeding 700,000 for the first time ever on 15 September.

Source: Glassnode

Healthy retail demand

Bitcoin has navigated the ebbs and flows of the crypto market with remarkable resilience. It was predicted that the crypto winter of 2022 would be its biggest challenge in terms of user retention and network growth.

However, demand for first-generation blockchain has remained unaffected. According to a recent update by Glassnode, the number of BTC wallets holding a minimum of 0.01 coins hit a fresh ATH.

This also indicated Bitcoin’s robust retail demand. If the network were to compete with payment giants from traditional finance, acceptance by the general public was critical.

Read Bitcoin’s [BTC] Price Prediction 2023-24

The largest digital asset by market cap mopped decent gains of 2.75% over the past week, settling at $26,554 at the time of writing, per Santiment data, per data from CoinMarketCap.

The coin and the broader market were eagerly awaiting a decision on the multiple spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delayed decisions on the same until October.

Powered by, Base gets off to a solid start


Posted: September 17, 2023

  • Base’s on-chain activity exploded over the past week, outpacing even OP mainnet and Arbitrum.
  • The impetus was provided by which saw a rapid surge in user activity.

The Ethereum [ETH] layer-2 (L2) landscape has been buzzing with activity in 2023. The rapid expansion of the existing projects and the launch of several new ones has garnered a lot of interest from the broader crypto industry.

Base’s remarkable growth

A major boost to the already crowded space was received with the launch of Base, the scaling solution launched by crypto behemoth Coinbase. The vision was to create a platform that would host millions of cutting-edge decentralized apps (dApps) and take Web3 adoption to the next level.

More than a month since the mainnet launch, Base has done full justice to the hype and one could safely say that it has exceeded expectations.

According to the popular on-chain analytics firm IntoTheBlock, Base’s on-chain activity has exploded, outpacing even the established names like OP Mainnet [OP] and Arbitrum [ARB].

Base races past competition

Over the past week, Base has been steadily recording more transactions than any other L2 in operation. In fact, a closer look revealed that Base’s tally was significantly higher than the top two rollups in the space. On 14 September, Base recorded 1.88 million successful transfers, more than the combined tally of OP mainnet and Arbitrum.

Base also clocked its highest transaction throughput on 14 September with an average transactions per second (TPS) of 21.29, as per L2Beat. While efficiency has fallen somewhat since the peak, Base still retained its position as the fastest L2.

For perspective, Base’s TPS increased by 227% in the last week. In contrast, most of the other top L2s saw weekly declines in throughput.

Source: L2Beat

Base’s dominance among the optimistic category of rollups was also noteworthy. As per IntoTheBlock, Base averaged approximately 888k daily active addresses over the last month, accounting for a whopping 60% of all addresses that used optimistic rollups in the same timeframe.

Base’s obvious advantages in transaction settlement attracted a lot of projects into its fold. In little more than a month, the total value locked (TVL) on the L2 has risen to $386 million as of this writing.

Source: L2Beat

The friendly push

The primary driver behind Base’s growing on-chain traffic was the decentralized social app, The disruptive protocol has taken the online world by storm since its launch in early August.

For the uninitiated, allows users to make money from the popularity, credibility, and social value of creators and influencers. Users buy and sell shares or keys of their friend’s X profiles. The shares then rise and fall depending on the popular sentiment. Additionally, when a person’s shares are bought and sold, they earn 50% of the trading fees. Cool, ain’t it?

The unique model has also attracted people in droves. According to DeFiLlama, liquidity worth $32.89 million was locked on the protocol at the time of writing, representing a 6x jump month-to-date (MTD).

Source: DeFiLlama

Nearly 23,000 users utilized the platform on 16 September to buy and sell shares. In the process, trading fees worth a million dollars were collected by the Web3 social app.

Interestingly, the dramatic surge in usage was partly driven by the need to secure points that may subsequently be utilized for an AirDrop. An AMB Crypto article recently highlighted the phenomenon of flipping which was boosting’s activity.

What to expect next?

2023 has proved to be the moving year for L2 scaling solutions. Base’s launch was an iconic development in the sphere as it was arguably the first time that a publicly-listed company made significant investments into blockchain technologies. The proponents of Base would hope that success doesn’t end up being a fad.

The space had a lot to look forward to, with the EIP-4844 upgrade being the first in queue. The scalability improvement, intended to achieve 10-100x cost savings from Ethereum, could usher in a new era of growth for L2s.

Hong Kong’s central bank warns against these crypto firms


Posted: September 17, 2023

  • Hong Kong’s financial regulator earlier called out JPEX for operating in the region without approval.
  • The central bank, HKMA, alerted that such businesses didn’t come under its purview. 

Hong Kong’s central bank Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) warned the public to be wary of crypto businesses marketing themselves as “banks” and urged them to conduct due diligence before engaging with such entities.

In a press release shared on 16 September, the financial regulator said that there have been incidents of crypto companies labeling themselves as crypto bank, digital asset bank, or digital trading bank.

In other cases, firms were found to be using “deposits” for the funds entrusted in them by clients. The HKMA categorically stated that all of these constituted a gross violation of the region’s banking laws.

“Under the Banking Ordinance, only licensed banks, restricted license banks and deposit-taking companies (collectively known as “authorized institutions”), which have been granted a license by the HKMA can carry out banking or deposit-taking business in Hong Kong.”

The central bank cautioned the public that money placed in such entities was not protected by the Hong Kong Deposit Protection Scheme. To avoid getting deceived, people were asked to refer to the list of authorized institutions from HKMA’s official website.

As market opens, so do risks

The advisory came amidst the rush of crypto companies to get licensed in the special administrative region. The local government liberalized its digital asset regulatory framework earlier this year.

Previously restricted to institutional investors, the new guidelines allowed trading platforms to serve the public as well. However, with the easing of restrictions, the region’s financial watchdogs had the added responsibility of ensuring compliance with the newly-rolled out guidelines.

Earlier this week, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) warned people about crypto exchange JPEX. The trading platform was reportedly operating without a license. The SFC also highlighted a list of “suspicious” features associated with the operations of JPEX.

In contrast to mainland China’s hostile policies, Hong Kong has been vying to become the global crypto hub. The regime has been aggressively pursuing methods to capitalize on Web3’s growth potential. In addition, a task force has been formed to support Web3 development in the region.

Bitcoin: Network activity surges, miners rake in the moolah


Posted: September 17, 2023

  • Bitcoin’s daily transaction count hit an all-time high on 15 September.
  • Despite the jump in fees, miners didn’t rush to liquidate their holdings.

Bitcoin [BTC] sprung into activity over the past week as more people utilized the network to make transactions.

Is your portfolio green? Check out the BTC Profit Calculator

Daily transaction count hits ATH

According to on-chain analytics firm IntoTheBlock, the blockchain recorded cumulative fees of $6.3 million from the start of the week up to 15 September. This represented an impressive 40% growth from the previous week. Moreover, when compared to the same period last year, the fees, which are a vital component of the miners’ revenue, doubled.

A peek at transactions’ data revealed a sharp increase in the daily count over the week. In fact, the daily confirmed transfers hit an all-time high of 703, 504 on 15 September, as per Glassnode.

Source: Glassnode

As transactions peaked, the network got jammed. According to Mempool data, the number of unconfirmed transactions in the queue shot up to 527,710 at the time of writing, prompting users to bid up fees to jump the queue.

How did the miners react?

While the surge in fees affected users who wanted low-value transactions to be processed, BTC miners laughed all the way to the bank. As seen from the graph below from CryptoQuant, the number of coins held in miners’ wallets surged to highs not seen since 1 June.

Source: Glassnode

Miners rely on incentives such as block rewards and transaction fees to offset their high electricity and hardware costs. Hence, they liquidate their assets quite frequently. But was it the case this time around as well?

Interestingly, despite the jump in fees, the flow of BTC coins from miners to exchanges has dropped over the week. This implied that miners were hopeful of a further rise in network fees and thus prepared to stockpile for a few more days.

Source: CryptoQuant

Read Bitcoin’s [BTC] Price Prediction 2023-24

Miner returns extra fees

Apart from the usual fluctuations in the aforementioned metrics, a bizarre incident came to light. A Bitcoin miner who accidentally received around 19.8 BTC, or $525,610 at current market prices, from blockchain technology startup Paxos, returned the funds.

The concerned miner was in two minds regarding the decision and took to X (formerly Twitter), asking for advice from his followers. Interestingly, most of them voted to distribute the funds to other Bitcoin miners.