The recent market rally has shown positive signals for many cryptocurrencies and has filled investors with optimistic expectations for the near future. Ignited by the ongoing Bitcoin Exchange-traded Fund (ETF) frenzy, whale accumulation, and meaningful updates from different projects, the market has shown significant growth during the first two months of 2024. Related Reading: Shiba Inu: Shibarium Transaction Activity Spike Amid Market Growth Memecoins Face Pullback Despite Growing Market In the last week, Bitcoin and Ether, the two largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, have met important milestones that have set the tone for the general market. BTC surpassed the $50,000 resistance zone 9 days ago and has shown strong support above this level ever since. Similarly, this Tuesday, Ether momentarily surpassed the $3,000 support zone for the first time in almost two years. Both milestones have fueled investor’s excitement for the crypto market. Nonetheless, the market showed signals of a momentary slowdown this Wednesday after many cryptocurrencies started seeing a red light decelerating their numbers. According to CoinGecko data, meme coins are not an exception. The sector’s market capitalization has declined 7.0% in the last 24 hours, currently at $21.9 billion and a total daily trading volume of $1.35 billion. Top 10 memecoins by market capitalization. Source: CoinGecko Top Memecoins Among The Biggest Losers As the chart above illustrates, eight of the top ten memecoins face a price downtrend in the 1-hour, one-day, and seven-day timeframes. Pepe (PEPE), dogwifhat (WIF), and FLOKI were among the biggest losers since yesterday. However, CorgiAI (CORGIAI) and PepeFork (PORK) prices show green numbers simultaneously. The top 3 memecoins by market capitalization follow the same trend as the memecoin market. At the time of writing, the prices of Dogecoin (DOGE), Shiba Inu (SHIB), and Bonk (BONK) are displaying negative numbers. Bonk BONK is leading the red path as the biggest loser in the memecoin top 10. Recently, the cryptocurrency saw a revival by its meteoric 25% on-day rally that propelled it back to the top 100 cryptocurrencies. The memecoin sits at the 114th spot of all cryptocurrencies, with a market capitalization of $692.3 million, representing a 5.8% decrease in the last 24 hours. BONK is trading at $0,00001148, indicating a 9.3% and 17.6% price drop in the last 24-hour and seven-day timeframes, respectively. However, the token’s daily trading volume shows a 10,9% increase compared to yesterday, signaling a recent rise in market activity. Dogecoin As previously reported, DOGE has shown signs of embarking on a bullish recovery after whale activity fueled the rise in trading volume. The ecosystem’s activity increased in the last month, with more than 1 million transactions being processed daily since January 30. DOGE’s trading activity on the last day revealed a 39.3% decline in market activity for the token, with $597.9 million worth of trading volume. According to CoinGecko, its market capitalization sits at $11.88 billion. This indicates a 25% one-day decrease in performance that leaves the token out of the top 10 cryptocurrencies by this metric. Likewise, DOGE’s price shows a 3.5% pullback during the last day, currently trading at $0.083. Shiba Inu SHIB, like DOGE and BONK, has seen a considerable price reduction since yesterday and is currently trading at $0,09399, a 3.8% decrease in this time frame. While its market capitalization has also reduced in the last day (a 2.71% decrease), the daily trading volume for the 19th largest cryptocurrency has increased 15% in the previous 24 hours, at $300.8 million. Despite the recent data signaling a momentary loss of momentum for the memecoin market, it’s worth noting that the top 3 memecoins by market capitalization saw positive performance in the 14-day time frame. In the last two weeks, BONK has seen a 12.7% price upsurge, while DOGE and SHIB have increased a notable 5.6% and 5.9%, respectively. Related Reading: Crypto Riches: Altcoin Holders Swim In Profits, But There’s A Potential risk Altcoins market capitalization at $226.114 billion in the 1-day chart. Source: TradingView.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com and Coingecko.com
On Tuesday, Ether (ETH), the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, touched its highest level since April of 2022. Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency momentarily surpassed the $3,000 before quickly facing a price pullback. Related Reading: Ethereum Receives Nod Of Approval From Berstein: ETH Price Will Reach $10,000 Ether Briefly Touches The Sky The whole crypto market has been buzzing with a bullish sentiment in recent weeks after the massive inflows coming into the recently launched Spot Bitcoin ETFs (exchange-traded funds). Since the approval of Bitcoin ETFs by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), eyes have moved to the possibility of other spot crypto-based ETFs in other cryptocurrencies like ETH and XRP. $ETH vs $3,000 ( •_•) (•_• ) ( ง )ง ୧( ୧ ) /︶ /︶ — Binance (@binance) February 20, 2024 The speculation surrounding the approval of Ether ETFs in May has been one of several actors fueling the recent price surge. The expectation for the approval and launch of the Bitcoin-based investment products filled the crypto market with positive sentiment on the BTC’s price uptrend. As previously reported, Options traders expect the cryptocurrency’s price to reach $4,000 in the upcoming months. This predicted price range would come closer to the token’s all-time high (ATH) of $4,800, seen during the previous market bull run in November 2021. However, the first test in a journey to $4,000 presents as the $3,000 resistance level. Analysts have evaluated Ether’s movements as its momentum reignited and considered the $3,000 a possible milestone after the digital asset showed a strong resistance in the $2,800 support zone. Today, the second-largest cryptocurrency surpassed this key resistance zone momentarily, an achievement not seen since the end of April 2022. However, Ethereum’s native token could not maintain momentum for long and faced a price pullback to the $2,900 level. JUST IN: Ethereum surpasses $3,000 — Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) February 20, 2024 Whales Are pulling In Both Directions Recent developments in Ether’s price have had many investors express a positive outlook for the second-largest cryptocurrency. Some analysts even made a bullish prediction on the Altcoin market in general. Whales have also reacted to ETH’s recent uptrend. According to an X post by Spot on Chain, a whale allegedly bought 54,721 ETH at $2,845 24 hours before the post. These transactions accounted for approximately $155.7 million and signaled a positive sentiment toward the asset by the large players in the market. However, a dormant whale who participated in Ethereum’s ICO woke up after 8 years, according to the blockchain analyst platform Lookonchain. After the price of $ETH surpassed $3,000, an #Ethereum ICO participant woke up after 8.6 years of dormancy and deposited 1,732 $ETH($5.15M) to #Kraken. He received 3,465 $ETH($10.3M) at #Ethereum Genesis, the ETH ICO price is ~$0.31.https://t.co/K6xOHILdne pic.twitter.com/o50JKxXxzP — Lookonchain (@lookonchain) February 20, 2024 The whale seemingly deposited about half of its ETH holdings into Kraken after ETH’s price surpassed $3,000. The transaction saw the transfer of 1,732 ETH worth approximately $5.15 million to the crypto exchange. This transaction has raised a slight concern over the possibility of a massive sell-off that could affect ETH’s uptrend. Crypto investors now stay alert of large holders trying to offload their assets to profit from the market upsurge. ETH Price Performance At the time of writing, ETH is trading at $2,923.50, representing a 1.6% decrease in the last hour. Despite this, the price has increased 11.2% in the last week. More notably, Ether’s daily trading volume has shown a 47.10% increase, at $20.6 billion in the last 24 hours, suggesting a rise in market activity. Similarly, ETH comfortably maintains its spot as the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, with a 0.82% increase in the last day, totaling $351.29 billion. Related Reading: Ethereum Price Grinds Higher, Will ETH Bulls Be Able to Hit $3K Milestone? ETH is trading at $2,920.46 in the hourly chart. Source: BTCUSDT on TradingView.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com
Recently, renowned crypto analyst Altcoin Sherpa gave his positive outlook on Solana (SOL) in an X (former Twitter) post. The analyst reviewed the token’s recent behavior and shared his predictions for SOL’s performance. Related Reading: SOL Price Surges To $115 – Why Solana Could Rally Another 10% Wait For The 20% Dip Or Buy Now? In the X post, the pseudonym analyst suggested that the fifth cryptocurrency by market capitalization may see a bright 2024, surpassing the heights reached at the end of last year. The chart displays SOL’s recent behavior, starting in late December 2023 when the cryptocurrency reached its highest price since early 2022. Based on the recent performance shown in the chart, the analyst expects SOL’s price to break above the key resistance levels. However, he predicts a price pullback and market selling during the highs of the price. As the prediction shows, SOL’s price would surpass the $120 price range before facing a pullback. Then, the pattern would repeat itself, and the cryptocurrency’s price would reach the price level established in December. Following this uprise, the token’s price would face a small price correction before breaking above the $126 price range. $SOL: It’s a bizarre chart seeing this grind up slowly. I expect some sort of selling to happen around the highs given the length of time spent in between each peak but the entire market is still up only right now. I think that expecting any huge correction for #Solana is meh… pic.twitter.com/8VnHcJ4bNX — Altcoin Sherpa (@AltcoinSherpa) February 18, 2024 Despite the small corrections seen in the prediction, the pseudonym analyst doesn’t forecast a huge correction happening soon and considers that expecting one is “meh for now.” Further expressing his view on the possibility of a big price correction, the analyst agreed with a member of the crypto community. The X user highlighted that Solana “just came off a 35% drawdown from 125 to 80” and suggested that “by the time the next big correction comes, [the price] will be much higher than it is now.” To the analyst, it seems more appropriate to buy SOL now and sit on it for the coming months instead of trying to wait for a 20% correction before buying: Bullish on this one bigly going into 2024 and I think most would make more $ just buying here and sitting on this thing for months instead of trying to wait for the 20% correction. Solana (SOL) Sees Green The month of February has been filled with ups and downs for Solana. At the beginning of the month, Solana’s DeFi ecosystem reached an important milestone after the Solana-based decentralized exchanges (DEXs) surpassed Ethereum’s daily trading volume for the second time. However, the blockchain saw its 11th outage in 2 years just a week after its DeFi ecosystem’s achievement, with the chain being down for almost five hours. Despite crypto investors’ concerns about the outage, Solana’s price rapidly recovered from the price drop. SOL recently became the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after surpassing BNB on February 14; since then, Solana has gone back to the fifth spot, with its market capitalization sitting at $49.7 billion, an impressive 19.34% increase in the last month. Solana’s trading volume in the last day has decreased by 9.20%. According to CoinGecko data, it sits at $1.5 billion, suggesting a recent fall in market activity. At writing time, the crypto market is seeing green, and Solana’s cryptocurrency is not the exception. SOL is trading at $112.4, accounting for a 1.0% price surge in the last 24 hours and a notable 7.8% increase in the past week. Related Reading: Solana Surges: Open Interest Hits $1.75 Billion, Price Up 8% Today SOL is trading at $112.90 in the hourly chart. Source: SOLUSDT on TradingView.com Featured Image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com
According to the blockchain analytics platform Lookonchain, a crypto trader suffered a phishing attack that swooped over 180 million BEAM tokens on Wednesday and affected the token’s price. Related Reading: Coinbase Suspends PlayDapp Trading After Hack, PLA Price Reacts 180 Million BEAM Tokens Stolen In an X (former Twitter) post, Lookonchain exposed a new crypto scam that had occurred on February 15. As the analytics platform detailed, the address 0x83664B8a83b9845Ac7b177DF86d0F5BF3b7739AD, under the name ‘Kirilm.eth’, suffered a phishing attack that led to the theft of millions of BEAM tokens. kirilm.eth was phishing attacked and lost 180.25M $BEAM($5.14M) 13 hours ago. The scammer quickly sold the 180.25M $BEAM for 1,629 $ETH($4.6M), which caused the price of $BEAM to drop by ~7%.https://t.co/x8epiNx4Qa pic.twitter.com/ytcfYib2Kg — Lookonchain (@lookonchain) February 16, 2024 Users seemingly identified the victim as a crypto trader named Kirill Marinov. According to the information provided, the victim lost 180.25 million BEAM tokens, worth approximately $5.14 million, to an account labeled as ‘Fake_Phishing291038.’ Shortly after the theft, the scammer’s address liquidated the total amount of stolen BEAM tokens, exchanging them for 1,629 ETH worth approximately $4.6 million. According to Web3 anti-scam platform Scam Sniffer, the victim signed an ‘increase allowance’ transaction that gave the scammer access to the tokens. Additionally, the. X post detailed that the token spender is a Safe Wallet address. However, this writing has not revealed further details about the victim, the exact tactics used by the scammer, and their identity. Phishing scams are among the most popular tactics for crypto-related crimes. Scammers exploit inexperienced investors’ naivety and oversights from more experienced traders to gain access to the funds. The scamming tactics involve a variety of ways to trick the victims into revealing their private keys or login information to grant access to the victim’s wallets. Due to this, experts urge all crypto investors to stay alert and take the necessary measures to keep their assets safe. BEAM Price Reacts To The Crypto Heist The BEAM token serves as the native crypto asset for the Beam network. After the heist and subsequent exchange to ETH, the token’s price dropped, falling from the $0.030 price level to the $0.028 range. Beam Network is a gaming network powered by the Merit Circle DAO. The ecosystem brings developers and gamers together to develop the gaming industry further. According to the Beam team, “At its core, Beam aspires to create harmony between gamers and developers. It’s not just about gaming; it’s about ownership, empowerment, and a global community. Every feature and tool is a step towards this visionary future.” At writing time, the token trades at $0.027, representing a 2.4% drop in the last hour and a 9.3% decrease from its trading price in the previous 24 hours. According to CoinMarketCap data, the token’s daily trading volume saw a 25.7% decrease in the last 24 hours, sitting at the #104 spot on this metric with $61.4 million. Despite the negative price reaction following the scam, the BEAM price still registered a 32.9% increase in the last 7 days. Similarly, BEAM’s trust score in the spot markets remains untouched, per CoinGecko Data. Related Reading: Monero Plummets Following Major Crypto Exchange Delisting, Are More Losses Imminent? BEAM price is trading at $0.0276 in the hourly chart. Source: BEAMUSDT on Tradingview.com Featured Image from Unsplash.com, Chart from Tradingview.com
Bitcoin’s bullish momentum has fueled the crypto market to an upward trend. As the flagship cryptocurrency rises to the $52,000 level, several other cryptocurrencies follow its steps closely and exhibit signals of a possible bull run. Accordingly, a renowned crypto analyst has predicted a potential bull run for VeChain (VET) that could lead the token to a new all-time high (ATH). Related Reading: Bitcoin Price Rally To $75,000 Imminent Due To Massive Cup And Handle Pattern Will VeChain Repeat History? Crypto analyst Ali Martinez has shared his prediction for VET this week. The analyst believes history could repeat itself, and the cryptocurrency may see its biggest week in years. According to Martinez, VET seems to be repeating historical patterns that preceded the 2021 bull run and saw the token’s price rise to its all-time high price. In the X (former Twitter) post, the crypto analyst predicted that VET could surge to the $0.054 price range, a level it has not reached since April 2022. The chart below shows the 595-day consolidation period that preceded the 2021 bull run. The cryptocurrency moved sideways during this period before eventually breaking out and reaching its ATH of $0.281. It feels like it will be a big week for #VeChain! If history repeats itself, $VET could be looking at a move to $0.054 this week, a brief correction until June, and then a bull run to $0.70 by November! pic.twitter.com/wTdPW34NNH — Ali (@ali_charts) February 14, 2024 Similarly, the chart indicates the current 644-day consolidation period in 2022. If history repeats this week, Martinez believes VET’s pattern could follow the 2021 trend and drive the token’s price upwards to $0.054. The analyst also predicted a potential price correction that would last until June. After the correction, Martinez predicts a bull run that would skyrocket the cryptocurrency price to $0.70 by November of this year. This long-term prediction would triple VET’s previously established ATH. VET Price Action As previously reported, VET’s price broke above a significant resistance level in December 2023 before suffering a pullback. In January 2024, the cryptocurrency faced another rejection following an attempt to break out of the same $0.03 price resistance. Following the recent Bitcoin rally, VET has been tracking its movements, mirroring a trend similar to that of the flagship cryptocurrency, as the chart below shows. VET’s price movement follows a similar trend to BTC during the last 7 days. Source: CoinGecko At writing time, VET is trading at $0.04625, a 5.1% surge in the last hour and a 32.3% surge in the previous 24 hours. According to CoinGecko data, cryptocurrency takes the 34th spot in market capitalization. VeChain has a daily trading volume of $195 million, representing a 68.5% increase in one day. These metrics suggest a rise in market activity for the cryptocurrency and hint at a positive sentiment among investors. However, despite Martinez’s prediction, VET’s price has a long road ahead as it is still 85.33% lower than the all-time high price achieved three years ago. Related Reading: Ethereum Bulls Keep Pushing, Why ETH Could Soon Test $3K VET price action in the 1-day chat. Source: VETUSDT on TradingView.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, Chart from Tradingview.com
Coinbase has temporarily suspended the gaming platform PlayDapp’s token trading and transfer activities after the recent hack that resulted in the theft of 200 million PLA tokens. Recent updates from the Web3 platform have shared some insight into the investigation process. Related Reading: XRP Price Poised For Liftoff? Whale Holdings Soar Despite Ripple Hack Suspension Of Trading Activity On Coinbase On Thursday, the news of the hack was first informed by the security platform Cyvers Alerts on X (formerly Twitter). PlayDapp’s team later confirmed the security breach and immediately contacted partnered exchanges to take measures to protect the holder’s assets. The gaming platform contacted major centralized exchanges (CEXs) to request deposit and withdrawal suspensions due to the hacking incident and promptly reported to the authorities about the case. On Monday, the team shared an urgent notice post detailing the state of the investigation and the temporary measures it would take to minimize the hack’s impact on PLA holders. Following this request, Coinbase announced the suspension of PLA’s trading and transfers across their website, Coinbase Prime, Advanced Trade, and Coinbase Exchange. The exchange expressed its intention to continue monitoring the developments from PlayDapp before giving new updates to customers. We will continue to monitor developments related to PLA from the issuer and update our customers as more information becomes available. Learn more: https://t.co/PoDxz71eAp — Coinbase Assets 🛡️📞 (@CoinbaseAssets) February 14, 2024 In the notice post, the team informed of its current collaboration with exchanges, blockchain intelligence, security firms, and law enforcement agencies to investigate and resolve the issue further. It has now extended its petition to temporarily pause all liquidity and pool activities related to PLA to decentralized exchanges (DEXs). According to the circular, decentralized exchanges (DEXs) have hindered the hacker’s attempts at dispersing the stolen tokens. Migration Process And Price Reaction PlayDapp tried to negotiate with the hacker to retrieve the stolen funds. However, the attempts failed as the hacker “showed no willingness to help recover holders’ losses,” which resulted in an additional attack that led to the issuance of an additional 1.59 billion PLA tokens. Subsequently, the team continues investigating the hacker’s intrusion methods to prevent further attacks, and they’re currently tracking the minted and swapped tokens by the hacker. Due to this, PLA Holder’s assistance has been requested, asking users for “the halt of transactions because we will conduct a migration based on the snapshot shortly.” The platform has been discussing with exchanges to assess the best migration solution. The most recent update further details the attack’s damages and the coming migration process: We are estimating the scale of damage for the initially minted 200 million tokens, while it’s confirmed that there is minimal damage from the secondary minting of 1.59 billion tokens. Currently, the transactions associated with the hacker are being tracked by security firms, so most of the invalidly minted tokens will be filtered out during the migration process. Loss of ownership over the token smart contract opens the possibility for further attacks on PLA tokens. As the update explains, PDA is an upgraded version of the new token. It introduces multi-signature implementation, snapshot, pause, and burn authority separation for management while removing minting authority for stability. PDA will also introduce a DAO voting system, and it can only be swapped at a 1:1 ratio using wallets not associated with the hacker. PlayDapp will coordinate with CEXes to reimburse PDA to PLA-holding users during the migration. Affected users will be reimbursed using the “current user balance holdings as per the snapshot timing” and receive the full token holdings at a 1:1 ratio. The team will announce the snapshot time in a future update. According to CoinMarketCap data, the PLA price dropped from $0.1823 to $0.1498 after the attack. Since then, the token price has hovered around $0.14-$0.16. The price dropped to $0.1383 after the Coinbase announcement, a 13.35% drop in the last seven days. PLA’s daily trading volume at writing time is $5,786,268, representing a 23.4% decrease in the previous 24 hours. However, after the most recent migration plan update, PLA’s price surged 1.2% in the last hour and 3.7% in the previous 24 hours, as the token trades at $0.1524, perhaps signaling a change in holder sentiment after the recent development. Related Reading: Bitcoin SV (BSV) Price Dips Following Coinbase Delisting PLA is trading at $0.15 in the hourly chart. Source: PLAUSDT on TradingView.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, Chart from Tradingview.com
A partnership between privacy-focused projects Nym and Zcash was recently announced. The partnership aims to address some persisting issues in the sector to enhance user protection and data privacy in the Zcash ecosystem. Related Reading: New Milestone For Google And MultiversX, Partners Launch New Data Integration Data Leakage, A Challenging Issue Electric Coin Company (ECC), the Zcash development organization, is collaborating with Nym, a privacy blockchain project focused on enhancing data confidentiality. The collaboration is possible through a Zcash Community Grants (ZCG) grant, as the project’s team announced on its X (former Twitter) account. The partnership aims to address challenging user protection issues by integrating Nym’s mixnet into the Zcash ecosystem. Integrating with the Zcash light client libraries would allow the wallet developers to implement Nym mixnet’s privacy protection at their discretion. The goal, as the announcement explains, is for the integration process of Nym and Zcash to fill the gap in the network layer. This gap allows the metadata of user’s transactions to be traceable and leaves the data vulnerable, which then presents a privacy problem for users, as the post explains: Powerful adversaries can analyze traffic patterns such as the stream of TCP/IP packets used to submit transactions, which can then be used to de-anonymize users. ISPs can snoop on traffic patterns to passively record Zcash activity. And the growing crypto surveillance industry can passively spy on peer-to-peer traffic, as well as conduct active attacks. Nym will work with Zcash’s already existing privacy-preserving infrastructure to “help provide an end-to-end protected solution for users’ privacy. Zcash uses zero-knowledge proofs to secure transaction privacy, but “even advanced privacy protections like Zcash’s auto-shielding feature are vulnerable at the network later.” The Nym mixnet is a technology that prevents government, corporate, and criminal surveillance adversaries from tracing metadata by encrypting user data into sphinx packets and dispersing them across global ‘mix nodes’, making metadata patterns untraceable and ensuring online privacy: The mixnet achieves this by splitting data into identically sized encrypted Sphinx packets and dispersing these in three hops to ‘mix nodes’ worldwide at randomized intervals. Next, the mixnet shuffles in dummy ‘cover’ traffic, further complicating tracing. Together these features make tracking metadata patterns impossible even for powerful adversaries with a global view of the network. A Shared Vision: Privacy For Everyone Nym and Zcash are privacy-focused projects that protect users’ rights to their personal information and transaction data. “It is an alienable right to a dignified life free from gross intrusion and interference,” said Harry Halpin, cofounder and CEO at Nym Technologies. Halpin also commented on the state of the digital realm regarding privacy matters. The CEO believes that although intrusion and interference are the “normal state of affairs,” a change is needed. “With this groundbreaking integration, Nym and Zcash are working to make real privacy online a reality,” he concluded. Josh Swihart, CEO of ECC, expressed his positive outlook on the partnership, reaffirming that network-level privacy has been a “missing piece since Zcash’s inception.” He believes that privacy ecosystems coming together will only “deepen protections from everyday users to protect their financial privacy.” Global regulators have scrutinized privacy-focused projects and accused them of enabling criminal activity. Last year, Zcash (ZEC), alongside other privacy coins like Monero (XMR), was announced to be delisted from Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, in four European countries. Similarly, Binance recently announced its plan to delist Moreno in the US amid regulatory pressure. Related Reading: What Is Monero (XMR) Network? ZEC is trading at $20.71 in the hourly chart. Source: ZECUSDT on tradingview.com Feature image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com
Charles Hoskinson, co-founder of Cardano, joined Discovery Crypto to discuss his thoughts about the state of the crypto space, what current developments in the industry suggest, and the network’s future as the “Taylor Swift of Blockchains.” Related Reading: Top-Trader Picks Cardano As Bull Market Leader: Here’s Why Cardano’s Big Reputation The recent interview sparked a discussion about Cardano’s relationship with crypto exchanges like Gemini and other figures in the crypto industry, as the interviewers suggested there appears to be a “coordinated effort to minimize Cardano’s impact.” During this discussion, Charles Hoskinson noted that most players in the crypto space seem to “fear” Cardano for “doing everything right” since the beginning. Hoskinson listed factors like liquid staking and its growth without Venture Capital (VC) funding as crucial elements that make Cardano “pretty scary.” When asked why stablecoins like USDC are not on the Cardano blockchain, it was highlighted that the reason is neither economical nor technical. Instead, the conversation indicates a seeming “lack of a strong desire to engage” with the blockchain and its projects. Following the discussion, Hoskinson expressed his thoughts and concerns on asset-backed stablecoins, affirming that he doesn’t like them and they “are not crypto” despite 80-90% of the real money velocity and value transactions that happen on-chain being done through them. The Cardano founder considers the highly centralized state of asset-backed stablecoins as a concerning matter, as they grant control over the crypto space to a few entities: At the end of the day, they’re controlled by centralized entities, and the problem when you look at asset-backed stablecoins connect them to CEXs, centralized exchanges, they have gargantuan and enormous control and now we have a new actor, ETFs, and a huge amount of control over crypto. So, 10 companies now basically control the cryptocurrency space. Hoskinson’s View Of The Crypto Industry’s Future The current developments of the crypto space are also a matter of concern for Cardano’s founder, with the recent tendencies and developments leaning towards a “road opposite of the original mission for cryptocurrencies: financial freedom. To Hoskinson, the crypto market is handing “soft power” to a handful of regulated entities that control the value and volume of the crypto industry instead of aiming to take down “banks and legacy financial systems.” Cardano’s founder considers asset-backed stablecoins inevitable and highlighted that Cardano “is not looped into that, but eventually it will happen.” However, he believed addressing his concerns was necessary as they weren’t “compatible with the long-term cryptocurrencies being decentralized” and would generally affect the industry. To address this concern, Cardano’s team has extensively researched algorithmic stablecoins, as Hoskinson considers them a potential solution more suitable for the crypto industry. Lastly, Cardano’s founder closed the interview by comparing American Singer Taylor Swift and the crypto industry, jokingly suggesting that compared to the 14th Grammy winner, nobody knows who Charles Hoskinson is. However, the interviewer pointed out that, like Swift, Cardano could follow a similar trajectory and grow from a smaller and niche artist to a globally recognized and mainstream figure with a significant impact on the world. Hoskinson replied that he “would love to be the Taylor Swift of Blockchain.” Related Reading: Cardano Bulls Come Out To Play: Buy Orders Dominate As ADA Price Soars ADA is trading at $0.5419 in the hourly chart. Source: ADAUSDT on Tradingview.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, Chart from Tradingview.com
Crypto exchange Kraken started notifying affected XRP holders about the potential monetary benefits they could receive from the class action lawsuit against Ripple. The exchange recently emerged victorious in the Zakinov v. Ripple Case. The exchange successfully intervened to protect its customers’ data from being shared without their consent. Related Reading: Ripple Initiates Large XRP Transactions Post Legal Setback Kraken Begins The Notification Process Kraken, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, intervened in the Zakinov v. Ripple lawsuit, seeking to protect its customer’s privacy and data. The court ruling allowed Kraken to inform the affected users about the class action against Ripple, ultimately giving the customers the option to decide whether to participate in the lawsuit. Kraken has now begun to notify eligible customers about the potential monetary benefits from the Zakinov v. Ripple lawsuit. The notification is aimed at Kraken users who purchased XRP during the previously established period, as the email stated: Our records indicate that you have purchased XRP on Kraken between July 2, 2017 and June 30, 2023, which means that it might be within your rights to receive money or benefits that come from the lawsuit, depending on the outcome. Yassin Mobarak, Dizer Capital Founder, was among the recipients, and he shared part of the email on X (formerly known as Twitter), expressing his surprise about the notification and the possibility of earning a profit from his XRP holdings through the class action lawsuit. I always thought I would make money from my $XRP holdings, but not like this 😂 PS. First I thought this was a scam email, but now I think it’s real. pic.twitter.com/4jhLuUSqEt — Yassin Mobarak 🪝 (@Dizer_YM) February 9, 2024 Mobarak expressed his initial disbelief in the email’s legitimacy, as recent phishing attacks exploited official email accounts of actors in the Web3 industry and exposed users to a massive and sophisticated phishing campaign. The legitimacy of the emails was doubted by several Kraken customers who sought confirmation from the exchange’s official X account. Kraken’s support team confirmed the email as safe and authorized by the exchange. Next Steps For XRP Holders Following the notification, Kraken has updated its support page to provide customers with further details about the class action lawsuit. The exchange addressed doubts such as who the affected parties are, clarifying that it “only applies to class members who purchased XRP within the United States during the relevant class period” and offering further information about the lawsuit: The lawsuit also claims that persons or entities who purchased XRP during the class period (July 3, 2017, to June 30, 2023) have the right to recover (a) the consideration paid for the XRP, with interest, if they retained the XRP, less the current price of the XRP or upon tendering the XRP, or (b) damages if they sold the XRP at a loss. Lastly, the exchange presented two options for the affected customers: do nothing or ask for an exclusion from the lawsuit. As mentioned in the email you received, you have the option to either do nothing or exclude yourself. For more details, please visit the support article linked below. 👉 https://t.co/qGViqcahTw Best,Kraken Support 🐙 — Kraken Support (@krakensupport) February 8, 2024 If the customer decides to do nothing, they will keep the possibility of getting the money or benefits from the lawsuit’s resolution. However, they automatically give up on any rights to sue Ripple separately in the future. If they decide to be excluded from the class action and the potential benefits, XRP holders maintain the right to sue the defendant and must send a signed “Exclusion Request” statement by April 5, 2024. Related Reading: Exploit Causes XRP Price Crash: Ripple Co-founder Discloses Losses Of $113 Million XRP is trading at $0.52325 in the hourly chart. Source: XRPUSDT on TradingView.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com
Solana-based decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator Jupiter recently announced the possible launch of three new tokens through its launchpad. The announcement follows the launch of its JUP native token via the LFG launchpad last week. Related Reading: Solana DEXs Outperform Ethereum In Key Metric, Here’s What This Means Solana’s Community Holds The Power? After the scheduled closing of the JUP launch pool, Jupiter Exchange and its founder took X (formerly known as Twitter) to reveal the next steps for the Solana-based project. Jupiter: Let’s Go! Hello space catdets! Over the last few months, we built a robust community of catdets with a common vision, scaled up our infrastructure to handle many levels of volume, tested a lot of things together, and overcame a hell lot of adversity together. And now,… — meow 🥧 (@weremeow) February 7, 2024 As the pseudonym founder Meow stated, the LFG launchpad is Jupiter’s “initiative to grow the pie by helping great projects get the awareness, community, and users to thrive in the long term.” As a result, the founder presented three “OG” Solana projects to the community that could be part of the next launchpad. The first candidate is Sanctum, a liquid staking service with “experience building the first SPL program used by stake pools, and liquidity sources like unstake.it.” The next project, Sharky, is an expanding NFT collateralization platform on Solana that allows “NFT holders to borrow and lend against NFTS to acquire leverage or earn yields.” Closing the list, the cross-chain infrastructure provider deBridge is presented as a project that allows users to trade assets across chains in seconds without the need for wrapped assets or liquidity pools. Jupiter’s founder highlighted that the community would have the final say in any project’s participation on the launchpad. Since LFG is a community initiative where Jupiter’s team “should play no role,” it’s up to the Solana users to discuss and decide if any projects are suitable for launch in the LFG platform. Additionally, the post announced that the introduction process of the projects to the community would take part over the next two weeks through different channels, including special ones for each project and a summary on X. For the future, Jupiter’s team will provide application channels for other projects interested in participating. Next Steps For The Project On February 7, the project confirmed in an update that the launch pool was closing after seven days, as previously scheduled. In the process, 90 million JUP tokens were withdrawn and moved to a cold multi-sig wallet, effectively taking them out of circulation. The project also announced that the launch pool was left with 65.5 million USDC, which would serve as a liquidity backstop for JUP. However, the USDC will be removed over the next couple of months in $10 million batches to allow the JUP token to regain price discovery while simultaneously “assuring all participants that the team is committed to a long-term gradual withdrawal of USDC liquidity.” While all the JUP has been removed, we are leaving ~63.5M of USDC in the launchpool to serve as liquidity backstop for JUP. The USDC will be removed over the next 2-3 months. pic.twitter.com/2AQ7zIKwJO — Jupiter 🪐 (@JupiterExchange) February 8, 2024 The founder’s post shared Jupiter’s intention to initiate a decentralized anonymous organization (DAO) this month and “incrementally evolve it into the most dynamic, most productive and proactive DAO in space.” Initially, the JUP DAO would focus on evaluating and approving launchpad projects, ratifying budgets for working groups, approving grants, and releasing budgets for ongoing community and ecosystem initiatives. The team’s update specified the steps to encourage the community’s participation and to fund it with the capital to pursue important initiatives. The steps include distributing 75% of future LFG launchpad fees to the governance participants, “100M in JUP earned from the LFG launchpad for voting incentives, and 6.15M in operational funds from JUP Launch.” Related Reading: Solana: Jupiter (JUP) Price Tumbles Amid Controversy – Buy Now? Jupiter is trading at $0.5276 in the daily chart. Source: JUPUSDT on Tradingview.com Feature Image from Unsplash.com, Chart from Tradingview.com
On Tuesday, the Solana blockchain experienced a major outage that stopped the network’s mainnet operations for approximately 5 hours. The outage raised concerns about the blockchain’s stability and security as the incident became the 11th of the kind in the last 2 years. Related Reading: Forget Bitcoin, This Billionaire Is Betting Big On Solana For 2024 Kicking Solana When It’s Down? On February 6, the Solana blockchain network suffered a significant outage that lasted 4 and 46 minutes and disrupted the network’s operations, raising doubts about the blockchain and exposing the project to fierce criticism. The crypto community took no time to share their thoughts about the situation, with many crypto investors referring to memes and jokes to express their concerns about the history of Solana’s outages. Among the online voices, Cardano’s Founder, Charles Hoskinson, took the opportunity to poke fun at the situation by referencing his previous jokes about the network. Hoskinson replied to the Solana team’s announcement simply stating, “This always works,” and attaching a gif of a man blowing a malfunctioning video game’s cartridge before inserting it back into the console. This always works https://t.co/5kVRVGFM4l pic.twitter.com/X9yJXcETQn — Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) February 6, 2024 Members of the crypto community found the remark amusing. One user brought forward previous sarcastic comments that the Cardano founder made during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session two years ago. Hoskinson trolled the AMA viewers by claiming collaboration between the two networks was possible. He started saying, “You know, collaboration with Solana would make a lot of sense…” before recalling a story of his brother owning a successful Nintendo repair shop and comparing the blockchain to a broken gaming console. So I was thinking since you know Solana comes from that world, that maybe there’s some legacy there, you know, we can figure out how to turn it on and off, taking it out on the cartridge, these types of things. I don’t know, it might be possible. Hoskinson finished the statement by mockingly suggesting that the collaboration wouldn’t happen, he said “But my brother doesn’t do Nintendo stuff anymore. He’s a doctor.” “Collaboration with Solana would actually make a lot of sense.” @IOHK_Charles Perhaps #Solana can become a partner chain? #Cardano pic.twitter.com/8Vp0NMNl7a — St₳kΣ with Pride 🌈 (@StakeWithPride) February 6, 2024 Besides Cardano’s founder, Wall Street veteran and journalist Max Keiser also criticized the Solana team’s announcement in reply. Keiser called SOL, Solana’s native token, “centralized garbage” and took the opportunity to also shoot at coins like ETH, ADA, and BNB. Solana Swiftly Recovers Recently, Solana’s DeFi ecosystem made the headlines after the Solana-based decentralized exchanges (DEXs) daily trading volume surpassed Ethereum’s for the second time, according to data from DefiLlama, hinting at healthy growth and development in the Solana ecosystem. Despite the doubts and concerns of crypto investors during the outage, SOL’s price recovered from the initial drop and has recovered 1.8% in the last 24 hours, according to data from CoinGecko. At the time of writing, SOL is trading at $97. Related Reading: Bitcoin, Solana Take Center Stage In $721 Million In Institutional Inflows SOL is trading at $97.2 in the 1-day chart. Source: SOLUSDT on TradingView.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com
On February 6, Monero (XMR), a privacy and security-focused token, saw its price drop after Binance, one of the largest crypto exchanges, announced its delisting in the following weeks alongside another three tokens.
Monero (XMR) To Be Delisted This Month
Binance recently announced the delisting and cease of all trading activity of Aragon (ANT), Multichain (MULTI), Vai (VAI), and Monero (XMR) starting on February 20, 2024, at 03:00 (UTC). The decision came after Binance’s most recent review, which determined that the platform could no longer support the tokens.
Following the review of digital assets in the exchange, Binance revealed its resolution to delist these tokens, affirming that they no longer met the exchange’s standards. Some of the factors the decision was based on include “evidence of unethical or fraudulent conduct or negligence” and “contribution to a healthy and sustainable crypto ecosystem.”
Binance has announced the removal of Monero’s trading pairs, including XMR/BNB, XMR/BTC, XMR/ETH, and XMR/USDT, from the platform. All trade orders will be automatically removed once the trading ceases.
Additionally, any XMR deposit done after February 21, 2024, at 03:00 (UTC), won’t be credited to the user’s accounts, and withdrawals of XMR will be supported until May 20, 2024. Binance also informed that XMR tokens may be converted into stablecoins on behalf of users after the withdrawal deadline, although it “is not guaranteed.”
Binance Faces Criticism Upon Delisting News
A plunge in Monero’s price immediately followed the announcement. According to data from CoinGecko, XMR went from trading at $165 before the announcement to $148 in the following 30 minutes. Since then, the token has continued to dive lower, trading at $111,85 at writing time, accounting for a 32.7% drop in the last 24 hours.
The crypto community received the news with concerns. Several users questioned the reasons for Monero’s delisting and expressed disappointment in the exchange’s decision.
The team behind Monero shared on its X account (formerly known as Twitter) that the delisting comes after Binance’s new requirement. The crypto exchange stated that deposits must come from a “publicly transparent address, which Monero doesn’t allow.”
The delisting is happening because Binance is now requiring that deposits come from a publicly transparent address. Monero has used stealth addresses for ALL addresses since it’s launch in April 2014
Monero allows selective disclosure with view keys but not a transparent address
— Monero (XMR) (@monero) February 6, 2024
Crypto Trader John Brown shared his thoughts on XMR’s delisting from the exchange on his X account, saying that, although it’s a negative situation for Monero, this is mostly a “negative sign for Binance” due to his belief that the exchange is “so compliant” that they no longer can choose the assets to support.
Monero dropped strongly on the delisting news from Binance.
While bad for Monero, I mainly see this delisting as a sign of the slow demise of Binance. They are now “so compliant” that they cannot choose anymore which assets to support.
— John Brown (@john_j_brown) February 6, 2024
Last year, Binance and its former CEO Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, faced regulatory scrutiny after pleading guilty in the United States to the charges of Anti-Money Laundering, Unlicensed Money Transmitting, and Sanctions Violations.
After the approval and launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), ETF issuers have extensively promoted their products on different media platforms to attract retail investors. Related Reading: Why Is Bitcoin Price Not Going Up Despite The ETFs? Expert Explains Bitcoin ETF Issuers Looking To Attract Retail Investors At the end of January, giant technology company Google changed its advertisement policy to allow crypto fund managers to advertise crypto products in the search engine. Beginning on January 29, the company would “update the Cryptocurrencies and related products policy to clarify the scope and requirements for the advertisement of Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts.” This decision followed the approval of 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs on January 10 by the US SEC, a significant decision that marked a milestone for the crypto industry and investors, as the approval by the US regulator provided more legitimacy to digital assets and the flagship cryptocurrency in the eyes of traditional investor. As several members of the community reported, the asset managers that have issued ETFs launched their ads on Google following the policy change. @BlackRock, @Fidelity, @Grayscale and @vaneck_us are all using google ads to promote their ETFs. The #Bitcoin Spot ETF approval is bigger than you think, we have just got started pic.twitter.com/9WpBenXYwo — Alessandro Ottaviani (@AlexOttaBTC) February 1, 2024 BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale, VanEck, Invesco, and Bitwise are among the ETF issuers that have taken the biggest search platform in the world to advertise their exchange-traded products. The news seems to have fueled a bullish sentiment for crypto investors due to the exponential increase of exposure that Bitcoin ETFs and the cryptocurrency sector will receive from the tech giant’s platform. Although most issuers have taken an interest in advertising their products on Google after the policy change, it’s worth mentioning that Valkyrie Digital Assets hasn’t taken the same route as its counterparts, and it’s not using Google ads to advertise its ETF. A Financial Times report highlights Invesco’s positive reception to Google’s ads update. A spokesperson told the news media outlet: We believe Google — among other search engines — is an important piece of our larger marketing strategy. Will Facebook And Instagram Follow Google’s Steps? The advertisement battle between the ETF issuers has also taken advantage of traditional media. Bitwise has its “The Most Interesting Man in the World” ad campaign on mainstream TV, and Blackrock projects its Ads on different buildings across the US, including buildings near Wall Street in New York. #BitcoinETF Being Advertised On Mainstream TV 👀 Is the #bullrun officially BACK??🚨📈 pic.twitter.com/dlBw5cjCuz — Satoshi’s Sip (@SatoshisSip) February 4, 2024 Now, the ads war has broadened as social media platforms have started to show interest in advertising the newly approved crypto-based investment products. Nate Geraci, President of the ETF Store Inc., shared on his X account a fragment of a Wall Street Journal report explaining that Facebook and Instagram may soon allow spot Bitcoin ETF ads. The report highlighted the comments from a spokesman for Alphabet, Google’s parent company, which began approving ads in the US for Bitcoin ETFs on its platforms, including Google Search and YouTube. Similarly, Facebook and Instagram are likely to follow Google’s steps soon. Per the report, a spokesperson for the Parent Company Meta Platforms said that the company is updating its US advertisement policies after the US SEC’s decision. Geraci considers that there’s “no bigger boomer honeypot than Facebook.” Notably, the social media platform could help broaden the reach of Bitcoin ETFs as it holds a large pool of older users. The potential interest of older users in expanding their investment portfolios and being exposed to digital assets like Bitcoin, without the need to self-custody their keys, has been a significant advertisement component of the ad campaigns from the ETF issuers. Related Reading: Analyst Predicts Shocking Bitcoin Price By Year-End Based On ETF Inflows Bitcoin is trading at $42,788.4 in the hourly chart. Source: BTCUSDT on TradingView.com Feature image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com
Recent data shows that Solana-based decentralized exchanges (DEXs) have taken Ethereum’s spot in a key metric, creating expectations and positive sentiment for the Solana (SOL) ecosystem. Related Reading: SOL Price Faces Big Move – Can Bulls Send Solana To $120? Solana DEXs Outperform Ethereum According to data from DeFiLlama, Solana-based decentralized exchanges (DEXs) have flipped Ethereum in daily trading volume. Over the last 24 hours, Solana’s $1.14 billion trading volume surpasses Ethereum DEX’s $1.133 billion trading volume. This accomplishment occurred for the first time in December of 2023 when Solana’s daily DEX volume reached $1.475 billion, surpassing Ethereum’s $1.164 billion, and hit a growing interest by traders in the SOL ecosystem. Solana surpasses Ethereum in the DEX 24-hour volume. Source: DeFiLlama Solana also saw a weekly change of +37.67% in its trading volume. However, the data shows that Ethereum is still above Solana in the 7-day volume metric, with $7.852 billion and $ 6.113 billion, respectively. Additionally, data from CoinGecko shows that Solana-based DEXs Jupiter and Orca are among the 3 largest decentralized exchanges by volume in the last 24 hours. As the chart below displays, Jupiter has a daily volume of $ 614 million, while Orca shows a volume of $380 million, occupying the second and third spots, respectively. Ethereum’s Uniswap V3 topped the chart with a daily volume of $636 million. The data also shows Raydium among the top 10 DEXs by volume in the last 24 hours. Jupiter and Orca are among the top 3 decentralized exchanges in the 24H trading volume. Sorce: CoinGecko Research platform SoSo Value pointed out on X (formerly known as Twitter) the recent Jupiter’s rise in popularity and monthly users’ increase as a key contributor to the Solana ecosystem’s boost in activity, bringing considerable attention and trading activity into the ecosystem. These recent achievements hint at a healthy growth and development of Solana’s DeFi ecosystem. Solana’s Price Action The surge in interest in Solana has been driven by its meme coin sector, the airdrops, and fast transactions offered to its users. As a result, its native token managed to reclaim previously lost territory. However, while Solana surpassed Ethereum’s DEX on low timeframes, the second crypto by market cap remains king of the DeFi sector. The chart above shows that the Ethereum-based DEX holds over $6 billion in Total Value Locked (TVL). This piece of data indicates the resilience of the ETH ecosystem in maintaining its position as king of DeFi but holds promise for Solana. The fast-growing blockchain could attract further attention and interest if the daily trend extends. Despite some fluctuation in the last few weeks, Solana’s price has surfaced in the $90-$100 price range in the last month. According to CoinGecko data, SOL’s price has surged 1.9% in the last 24 hours and 6.3% in the previous 7 days. Related Reading: Forget Bitcoin, This Billionaire Is Betting Big On Solana For 2024 SOL is trading at $100.23 in the hourly chart. Source: BTCUSDT on Tradingview.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, Chart from Tradingview.com
Over the last few years, El Salvador has been making considerable efforts to become Latin America’s crypto hub. Today, two and a half years after adopting Bitcoin as a legal currency in the country, Bitfinex Securities announced the launch of Bitfinex Securities El Salvador S.A., the first platform to offer tokenized securities. Related Reading: Bitcoin Long Positions Surge On Bitfinex: Whales Add 4,230 BTC, Signaling Potential Price Reversal Launching The First Licensed Digital Asset Platform In El Salvador On January 31, 2024, Bitfinex Securities officially became the first registered and licensed digital assets service provider to launch in El Salvador, and it’s now accepting customer applications. Last year, El Salvador approved the Digital Asset Securities Law, allowing Bitfinex Securities to apply for and receive approval for the first digital assets license under this regulatory framework. This new law, as Juan Carlos Reyes, President of the National Commission of Digital Assets (NCDA), explained: (…) carved out digital assets regulation from the traditional financial regulator and created the national commission of digital assets, that oversees the supervision and regulation of the ecosystem. Additionally, the NCDA Chair recalled the positive experience with the firm and praised it for its ‘regulatory high standards’ and ‘world-class’ knowledge of compliance. In the announcement, Bitfinex Securities highlighted the “substantial leap for financial innovation in Latin America” that the development of the tokenized securities industry in El Salvador suggests. The firm also announced it has established a pipeline of potential issuances that it expects to come to the market throughout the year. Bitcoin ETF Approval Provides An Optimistic Outlook “We are delighted to be able to announce the launch of Bitfinex Securities in El Salvador,” said Paolo Ardoino, Chief Technology Officer of Bitfinex Securities. He expressed his excitement to take part in the “forefront of this financial revolution,” stating: This is not only an important market for Bitfinex given its adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender and the fostering of a Bitcoin-based economy, but it also gives El Salvador the opportunity to attract global investment flows, as issuers put out competitively priced securities offerings. The launch of the Bitfinex Securities El Salvador platform follows the approval of the spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on January 10. The successful launch of Bitcoin-based ETFs in the US makes the firm expect a significant demand for exposure to other regulated digital asset services. Jesse Knutson, Bitfinex Securities Head of Operation, highlighted in his statement the progress that El Salvador has made since 2021: Following up on El Salvador’s groundbreaking policy work and legislative frameworks over the past two and a half years, the official launch of Bitfinex Securities El Salvador is another important step in the evolution of capital markets and an important global proof of concept. Knutson also expressed optimism over the “recent surge of institutional investor interest in Bitcoin-focused financial products.” Related Reading: Bitcoin ETFs Experience Day 12 Reversal, GBTC Selling Slows, Fidelity And Blackrock Garner $400 Million Bitcoin is trading at $43,343.6 in the hourly chart. Source: BTCUSDT on TradingView.com Featured image from www.slon.pics on Freepik, Chart from Tradingview.com
On January 29, Mark Cuban, the businessman and television personality, took to the X platform (formerly known as Twitter) to have a conversation with his audience and the crypto community online. Related Reading: Dogecoin Price Prediction – DOGE Bulls Aim For Fresh Rally To $0.095 What Projects Does Mark Cuban Invest in? The Ask Me Anything (AMA) session asked about Cuban’s thoughts on various crypto-related topics. Notably, his replies to the community suggested the importance of a project’s utility for the Shark Tank investor. When asked about his thoughts on crypto, Cuban stated “I hate the speculation but love when there is utility,” similarly replying to a different question about on-chain finance “needs new ideas with more utility.” Additionally, he explained that Bitcoin’s Layer 2 solution aimed at scaling “doesn’t matter at all,” and emphasized his belief that “It’s applications with unique utility that matter.” Cuban believes blockchain technology is here to stay but identifies two issues. The first concerns the existence of “too many blockchains,” and the second is the lack of an application that makes the technology “indispensable” for all generations. For these reasons, the businessman thinks blockchain technology’s future is in the air but reaffirms that “it will always have a place.” However, he doesn’t consider blockchain security one of the biggest problems. During the AMA session, the Shark Tank investor listed Polygon (MATIC), and Injective (INJ) as two projects he’s interested in outside the flagship cryptocurrency and the largest altcoin. When asked about his concerns on the project and growth of injective, Cuban said he didn’t have any, but he hopes “they do well” as he is an investor. The Doge community took part in the questions, and Cuban admitted that he enjoys being part of the community. He also confirmed that The Dallas Mavericks continue to accept DOGE as a payment method. I don’t think about it — Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 29, 2024 What Emerging Technology Will Thrive in The Next Decade? Regarding non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the investor explained “They are a collectible in most cases but can be used for other things,” and suggested that people should buy them to collect and not to speculate. Similarly, he expresses the challenges of selling these assets as he hasn’t found “a compelling aspect yet.” Similarly, Cuban indicated that he is “not a fan” of tokenizing assets, such as sports teams and real estate, as he doesn’t think it “adds enough value.” Entrepreneurs — Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 29, 2024 Cuban shared his views on the future of emerging technologies, affirming that he only sees Artificial Intelligence (AI) significantly impacting entrepreneurship in the next decade. Saying, “There will be two types of companies in the USA. Those who are great at AI and everyone else.” Lastly, he was constantly asked about his thoughts on X owner and Tesla founder Elon Musk. He addressed their relationship by simply replying: “I don’t not get along with him. I don’t know him. He likes to talk shit on here and so do I.” Related Reading: Dogecoin Founder Fires Back At Ripple CEO: “DOGE Is Essentially The Same Thing As BTC” DOGE is trading at $0.08139 in the hourly chart. Source: DOGEUSDT on Tradingview.com Feature image from Unsplash.com, Chart from Tradingview.com
Following the recent approval of spot Bitcoin ETF (Exchange-Traded Funds) in the US and guidelines from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) published in December of 2023, there has been increasing speculation about the launch of a spot Bitcoin ETF in Hong Kong this year. In a recent development, the first spot Bitcoin ETF application has been filed to the SFC for approval. Related Reading: BlackRock’s IBIT Maintains Lead In Bitcoin ETF Market, Crosses $2 Billion In Inflows Chinese Financial Giant Takes The Lead Earlier this month, Venture Smart Financial Holdings Ltd. (VSFG) expressed its plans to apply for a spot Bitcoin ETF with the SFC to be launched this quarter. Similarly, asset management firms like Samsung Asset Management have shown their interest in exploring the possibility in the future. A report from Tencent News revealed that Harvest Fund Management sent the first-ever spot Bitcoin ETF application in Hong Kong to the SFC on January 26, with the possibility of approval coming after the Lunar New Year at the earliest. According to the news site, Hong Kong’s SFC wants to accelerate the approval of the first ETF after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) authorized the listing of the spot crypto products this month. The regulator’s plan includes listing the first ETF on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after the Spring Festival. Additionally, the report highlights the possibility of the SFC taking the same route as the US SEC and approving all applications simultaneously. How Will Hong Kong’s Spot ETFs Compare To The US? Regarding the performance of the investment products after the approval, a Hong Kong fund professional told Tencent News that “judging from the performance of the U.S. Bitcoin spot ETF, even if the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission approves multiple institutions at once, it may end up performing about the same as the U.S. market.” However, some family office investor managers in Hong Kong suggested to the news site that “there may be some gap between the scale of Hong Kong spot ETF subscriptions and the United States.” The investor managers added that there’s real interest in subscribing to spot ETFs in Hong Kong, opposite to the “complexity of investment categories and operations” that stopped them from investing in the Bitcoin market before. Moreover, the news sites reported that “compared with spot ETFs in the United States, in addition to accepting legal currency subscriptions, Hong Kong’s spot ETFs may also increase the possibility of direct Bitcoin subscriptions.” Despite the interest and plans previously suggested by other investment and asset management firms, no organization has applied for a Spot Bitcoin ETF yet. Harvest Fund Management and the SFC haven’t issued further comment. Related Reading: XRP ETF Key Requirements For Spot XRP ETF Approval Revealed Amidst 4500% Price Surge Target Bitcoin is trading at $43,006.2 in the hourly chart. Source: BTCUSDT on TradingView.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, Chart from Tradingview.com
On Thursday night, Algorand CEO Staci Warden’s X Account (formerly known as Twitter) was compromised. Since then, the crypto community and the hacker have been having a back-and-forth conversation. Related Reading: ALGO Blows Up To 42-Week High, Delighting Algorand Fans Justin Sun Will Boost Algorand To “New Heights” Algorand Foundation’s X account was the first to inform about the hack and advised users to be careful when interacting with the compromised account or any link promoted by it. The hacker then took Staci Warden’s compromised account to start a series of controversial posts and replies. The hacker called Algorand’s community “poor” in the initial post, later suggesting it would be better for the community if they “sold ALGO and instead bought Ether.” Both posts have amassed a combined total of 150,000 views and, as it’s worth noting, contain racial slurs. Additionally, the hacker offered a fake airdrop giveaway, claiming they would send “1 $ETH for every % $ALGO drops this week.” While following some users’ petitions, the hacker shared music and changed the account’s bio, claiming that Warden had exited Algorand Foundation and had become a “semi-professional pole dancer.” Staci Warden’s X Account biography was changed by the hacker. Source: X Most notably, a fake story was shared in the account narrating a call with Tron founder Justin Sun, referred to as “his excellency” by the hacker. In the fake story, Sun promised to take Algorand to “new heights” under the condition that Algorand’s CEO gave total control over the network and allowed Sun to mint any token to back TRUE USD (TUSD). A sarcastic comment insinuating that Sun’s projects will be the reason behind “the next major financial collapse in crypto” closed the story. Algorand CEO Criticized By The Community The original announcement about the hack and the different posts shared on the compromised account ignited comments from the crypto community. Most users took the incident with humor, while others have taken the opportunity to express their discontent with the CEO. One user claimed that Algorand CEO “qualifies to be an intern” at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), clearly referencing the recent hack to the SEC’s X account suffered and resulted in a false report about the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs. Similarly, known crypto sleuth ZachXBT shared his thoughts about the hack, “Unpopular opinion: Staci hacker would make a better CEO for Algorand Foundation.” To which the hacker jokingly replied, “Hey bro, I just send you $10,000. Keep up the good work for this industry, buy your mom some flowers, and take your father out for a nice dinner,” referencing a previous X post informing the crypto detective of a donation made about a week ago. No further posts have been shared in the last hours, but the account appears to still be under the hacker’s control, as none of the posts have been taken down, and there’s no official statement about the account’s recovery. As reported by NewsBTC, ALGO outperformed the general crypto market growth in Q4 2023, experiencing an increase in market capitalization, transaction volume, revenue, and user adoption. ALGO’s prince trades at $0.1652, a 3.18% surge in the last 24 hours. Related Reading: Exploit On Polygon Contracts Extract $15M, Here Are The Details ALGO is trading at $0.1652 in the hourly chart. Source: ALGOUSDT on TradingView.com Featured image from Unsplash.com. Chart from TradingView.com
On January 25, the Bank of England (BoE) and HM Treasury published a response to the Consultation Paper regarding a ‘digital pound’ issued in February of 2023. The consultation paper sought the public’s feedback on introducing a UK central bank digital currency (CDBC). Related Reading: Quant Soars 20% After Partnership With Bank Of England, BIS For CBDC Project Is The UK Ready To Introduce Their CBDC? The BoE and HM Treasury consider that introducing a CBDC could provide people with an “additional choice of safe payment that is fit for the future,” unlock development opportunities for businesses, and make day-to-day payments more “convenient” while reducing costs for those who accept them. The consultation response highlighted that the consultation marked the beginning of the design phase of the digital pound project and, according to the BoE and HM Treasury, the developing process of a CBDC and its platform will present lasting benefits for the digital economy of the country, regardless of the decision that is ultimately taken. The consultation collected over 50,000 responses from the public, including individuals, businesses, and academia. The feedback illustrated some general concerns the respondents had regarding the digital pound. Due to these concerns, the response by the BoE and UK Treasury determined that “it is too early” to decide whether to introduce a digital pound, as the feedback makes clear “that legislation introduced by the Government for a digital pound would need to provide protections to guarantee users’ privacy and control of their money.” Respondents Concern Over A Digital Pound The feedback received from the respondents brought forward two key concerns: privacy and the possibility of cash being replaced. The response clarified that a digital pound would not replace cash, any existing form of money, or payment like debit and credit cards. However, it would complement physical money and other payment methods “as a new form of digital money for use by households and businesses for their everyday payment needs.” To guarantee this, the response explained that “the Government has legislated to safeguard access to cash, ensuring that it would remain available even if a digital pound were launched.” Regarding user privacy, the response acknowledged the importance of ensuring trust in a CBDC issued by the central bank is essential. Therefore, to guarantee that privacy is a core design feature of a digital pound, the following measures were made: the BoE and HM Treasury won’t have access to users’ data. The BoE committed to exploring technological options to prevent the bank from accessing users’ data through its core infrastructure, and the BoE and UK Treasury would not program the digital pound. The BoE and HM Treasury assured their commitment “to maintaining an open and collaborative approach throughout this design phase” by increasing both organization’s engagement with experts from the industry, civil society, academics, and technical specialists. Lastly, the response confirms that experiments will be undertaken with companies “to test how a digital pound could work in the real world.” The launch of the CBDC will be decided after the design phase culminates around 2025. If the decision to build a digital pound is taken, its introduction will come only after both Houses of Parliament have passed the relevant legislation. Related Reading: How To Accept Crypto Payments And Who Accepts Bitcoins? Bitcoin is trading at $39,781.43 in the daily chart. Source: BTCUSDT on TradingView.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com
On January 23, Wallet Connect and other web3 companies informed their users about a phishing scam using official web3 companies’ email addresses to steal funds from thousands of crypto wallets. Related Reading: By The Numbers: Crypto Users Lose $300 Million To Phishing Scams In 2023 A Massive Phishing Campaign Wallet Connect took X to notify its community about an authorized email sent from a Wallet Connect-linked email address. This email prompted the receivers to open a link to claim an airdrop, however, the link led to a malicious site and, as Wallet Connect confirmed, it was not issued directly by the team or anyone affiliated. Wallet Connect contacted web3 security and privacy firm Blockaid to investigate the phishing scam further. In the following hours, crypto sleuth posted a community alert to inform unaware users that CoinTelegraph, Token Terminal, and De.Fi team emails were also compromised, signaling that a massive and more sophisticated phishing campaign was happening. At the time of the post, around $580K had been stolen. After investigating, Blockaid later revealed that the attacker “was able to leverage a vulnerability in email service provider MailerLite to impersonate web3 companies.” Email phishing scams are common among cyber scammers, making users wary of most suspicious links or emails. At the same time, companies and entities advise against opening links that do not come from their official channels. In this case, the attacker was able to trick a vast number of users from these companies as the malicious links came from their official email addresses. The compromise allowed the attacker to send convincing emails with malicious links attached that led to wallet drainer websites. Specifically, the links led to several malicious dApps that utilize the Angel Drainer Group infrastructure. The attackers, as Bloackaid explained, took advantage of the data previously provided to Mailer Lite, as it had been given access by these companies to send emails on behalf of these sites’ domains before, specifically using pre-existing DNS records, as detailed in the thread: Specifically, they used “dangling dns” records which were created and associated with Mailer Lite (previously used by these companies). After closing their accounts these DNS records remain active, giving attackers the opportunity to claim and impersonate these accounts. pic.twitter.com/cbTpc5MXu1 — Blockaid (@blockaid_) January 23, 2024 MailerLite Explains Security Breach The explanation later came Via an email, where MailerLite explained that the investigation showed that a member of their customer support team inadvertently became the initial point of the compromise. As the email explains: The team member, responding to a customer inquiry via our support portal, clicked on an image that was deceptively linked to a fraudulent Google sign-in page. Mistakenly entering their credentials there, the perpetrator(s) gained access to their account. The intrusion was inadvertently authenticated by the team member through a mobile phone confirmation, believing it to be a legitimate access attempt. This breach enabled the perpetrators) to penetrate our internal admin panel. MailerLite further adds that the attacker reset the password for a specific user on the admin panel to consolidate the unauthorized control further. This control gave them access to 117 accounts, of which they only focused on cryptocurrency-related accounts for the phishing campaign attack. An anonymous Reddit user posted an analysis of the situation and gave a closer look at the attacker’s transactions. The user revealed: One victim wallet appears to have lost 2.64M worth of XB Tokens. I’m showing about 2.7M sitting in the phishing wallet of 0xe7D13137923142A0424771E1778865b88752B3c7, while 518.75K went to 0xef3d9A1a4Bf6E042F5aaebe620B5cF327ea05d4D. The user stated that most stolen funds were in the first phishing address. At the same time, approximately $520,000 worth of ETH were sent to privacy protocol Railgun, and he believes that they will soon be moved through another mixer or exchange. Related Reading: 4 Ways Crypto Investors Can Avoid Phishing Scams ETH is trading at $2,232.92 in the hourly chart. Source: ETHUSDT on TradingView.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com
The play-and-own mobile gaming platform GAMEE suffered an exploit of its GMEE token contracts on Polygon that led to the theft of 600 million GMEE tokens and left the crypto community pondering questions. Related Reading: Solana-Based Aurory Suffers Devastating Exploit: 80% Of Liquidity Gone GAMEE Confirms $15M Exploit On Polygon On January 22, GAMEE Token’s official X (formerly Twitter) account advised its users to refrain from engaging with the digital asset while their team investigated the GMEE token-related security comprise it had just suffered. The GMEE token is an ERC-20 utility token “designed to be the currency of access, action, and governance within the GAMEE ecosystem,” as their website states. 🚨 $GMEE | URGENT There has been a security incident involving the GMEE token. As a precautionary measure, we advise all users to refrain from engaging with $GMEE until further notice. Our team is actively investigating the situation, and updates will be provided soon. — GMEE Token (@GAMEEToken) January 22, 2024 Before the official announcement, crypto users quickly noticed the token’s sudden price crash and the transactions behind it. This left GAMEE users and the general crypto community wondering if an exploit had occurred. In the early hours of January 23, GAMEE’s team returned to the X platform to explain what happened and the steps to come. The thread explains that their preliminary investigation indicated that the GMEE token contracts on Polygon had been compromised via unauthorized GitLab access. This compromise resulted in the theft of 600 million GMEE tokens worth approximately $15.28 million at the time of the exploit. The compromised tokens were immediately converted to ETH and MATIC and exchanged via various decentralized exchanges (DEXs) in the following hours, drastically impacting the GMEE token price. The team behind GAMEE explained that after noticing the Polygon GMEE deployer address was compromised, they secured the token contract ownership and all associated contracts by transferring ownership to a “new secure address.” The team also clarified that only proprietary team token reserves were affected, and the exploit did not affect assets owned by the community, as “GAMEE does not custody or manage any community-owned assets.” GAMEE expressed its understanding of how the impact of the unauthorized transactions could have affected the GAMEE community, as it led to price volatility and limited use of the GMEE token while investigations were taking place. The next steps for GAMEE will consist of an impacted user identification process to evaluate the best way to support the affected part of the community. Additionally, they plan to provide a real-time update on the details that further investigations will provide as an effort to keep trust and transparency. Lastly, the user was advised to exercise caution “given the volatile market conditions and potential liquidity impacts driven by CEX measures.” GMEE’s Violent Price Drop Around the time of the exploit, the GMEE token had been trading at $0.02554112, according to CoinGecko’s data, and it had been previously sitting at the $0.027-$0.026 range throughout the weekend. Shortly after the exploit, the prince crashed to $0.01155577, reaching its lowest point of $0.00897251 in the early hours of today. It’s worth noting that many saw the price crash as a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to profit. Various users shared that they had bought the dip and even advised others to do it. One X user said, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” At writing time, the GMEE token trades at $0.016999, a 31.5% decline in the last 24 hours. Related Reading: Avalanche-Based Stars Arena Falls Victim To A $3 Million Exploit, TVL Tanks By 100% GAMEE is currently trading at $0.016999 in the hourly chat. Source: GMEEUSDT on TradingView.com Featured Image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com
Dogecoin (DOGE) has recently received support from the crypto community and some negative comments from recognized crypto actors. A discussion sparked on the X platform (Formerly known as Twitter) after Dogecoin’s Founder Billy Markus, also known as Shibetoshi Nakamoto, responded to a clip of the comments made by Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse about the memecoin. Related Reading: Dogecoin Price Will ‘Moon’ If This Happens: Crypto Analyst Brad Garlinghouse “Doesn’t Get” Dogecoin Last week, an X user uploaded a clip from the “Clear-Eyed About Crypto” panel at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland. In the clip, the CEO explained that he believes “we will start seeing a clearer separation between useful and not-so-useful crypto assets.” While discussing the appeal of memecoins, Garlinghouse expressed that he “doesn’t get it,” referring to Dogecoin. He added that, besides Elon Musk’s involvement with the memecoin, he doesn’t see the use case or the purpose of DOGE. The CEO stated: And I think what we haven’t seen yet that I still think we will eventually see is a separation of wheat and chaff of when are the assets… how are these technologies being used to solve real problems that have real demand versus ones, you know, I’ll pick on dogecoin: I don’t get it. Other than Elon Musk as the central actor, I don’t see the use case and the purpose. The Dogecoin founder challenged Ripple’s CEO comment, stating on the X platform that “dogecoin is essentially the same thing as Bitcoin with mildly different parameters and a dog mascot,” adding that comments such as Garlinghouse’s come from “just little brains pretending to be smart.” An Intense Discussion Between Users And The DOGE Founder Markus’ response sparked positive and negative answers from the online crypto community. One user harshly told the Dogecoin founder to “stop deceiving” himself and questioned his statement that Bitcoin and Dogecoin are the same by asking, “Why then do the Bitcoin worth so much more than the dogecoin?” Markus quickly dismissed it by labeling the question “such a low iq take.” Regarding the Ripple CEO, another user claimed that Garlinghouse “doesn’t understand the world application” of memecoins, to which Markus replied, “he’s a crypto bro arguing that some cryptos (that he has a bag of) are better than other cryptos like every other boring low iq dillweed in this space.” Lastly, when asked about his assessment of XRP, the Dogecoin founder refused to answer, simply stating, “i don’t care cuz i don’t have any.” Dogecoin’s price has seen a 3.3% uprise in the last 7 days, according to data from CoinGecko. This could be linked to the discourse around Dogecoin’s possible integration as a payment method into the X platform, amplifying the community’s interest and optimism. During the weekend, the cryptocurrency’s price stayed in the $0.08 price region and is trading at $0.08361 at writing time, reflecting a 3.2% decline in the last 24 hours. Related Reading: Dogecoin (DOGE) Up By 11% As X Launches Dedicated Payment Account DOGE is trading at $0.08361 on the hourly chart. Source: DOGEUSDT on Tradingview.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, chart from TradingView.com
Franklin Templeton President and CEO Jenny Johnson joined CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ to discuss the firm’s spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) offering in the US. In this interview, Johnson shared the reasons for investing in Bitcoin. Related Reading: Trillion-Dollar Franklin Templeton Shares High Praise For Solana, Is A SOL ETF Coming? What Made Franklin Templeton CEO A Bitcoin Believer As she states in the interview, the CEO is known for saying that “Bitcoin is the greatest distraction from one of the greatest disruptions in financial services,” which has led many people to believe that she doesn’t support or believe in the crypto asset. Contrary to this belief, she points out that the Franklin Bitcoin ETF (EZBC) launch shows the asset manager company’s belief in BTC and blockchain technology. Johnson cites the security that Bitcoin provides as one of the reasons that made her a “believer.” Holding and managing your private keys, which she states doing at one point, gives the asset what she labels an “insurance or safety component.” This component makes crypto investors trust Bitcoin more since there’s a “fear component” linked to traditional assets, as she explains: One of the things that made me a believer is: as I went around the world talking to people who would tell you ‘I keep 50% of my savings in Bitcoin because if I save the wrong thing in my country, I could have my assets confiscated.’ I remember talking to somebody in Israel who said, ‘My parents and their parents had all of their assets confiscated’ and they keep a portion in Bitcoin. So, there’s a fear component to it that it’s considered almost an insurance or safety component. The CEO also listed the importance of Bitcoin in “fueling what is the next real opportunity in this blockchain world,” another reason for her to believe in the asset. Trust In Blockchain Technology Regarding the reason behind the market’s demand that led to the spot Bitcoin ETF’s approval by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the CEO thinks that there are various reasons for it, including Bitcoin’s crucial role, “from a blockchain standpoint,” in the ability to pay. Johnson further explained that blockchain technology will “open a lot of really interesting tech investment opportunities,” as Bitcoin is “one of the suitable opportunities here.” Furthermore, the CEO recalled the asset manager’s previous use and trust in blockchain technology: We actually launched and tokenized money market fund. We’re the first mutual fund or the first traditional asset manager to actually launch a 40-act fund on a public blockchain, on the stellar blockchain. Lastly, when asked what can allure a traditional investor to invest in an ETF, she explains there’s a market and use case for both. But while holding your keys can be ideal for many, it may also be complicated to figure out. ETFs can better fit some investors who want to diversify their portfolio while “being able to open it up, have access through an ETF, and simply through your account.” Related Reading: Bitcoin ETF Makes Waves: Volumes Surge $10 Billion 3 Days Bitcoin is trading at $40,990.5 on the hourly chart. Source: BTCUSDT on TradingView.com Feature image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com
2023 started with a challenging overall landscape for the crypto market that continued throughout the rest of the year. However, the market saw a recovery with a spike in bullish sentiment and ended the year on a positive note. Additionally, 2023 saw a decline in crypto scamming and crypto-related illicit activity compared to the previous year, as new data shows. Related Reading: By The Numbers: Crypto Users Lose $300 Million To Phishing Scams In 2023 Illicit Activity Market Revenue Decline In 2023 American blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis released its 2024 Crypto Crime Report detailing the trends and figures that crypto-related illicit activities saw in 2023. The firm’s data shows a significant drop in value received in cryptocurrency addresses used for illicit activities, totaling $24.2 billion. This is a considerable reduction compared to the 2022 updated estimate of $39.6 billion. In addition, the share of all crypto transaction volume associated with illicit activity reduced from 0.42% in 2022 to 0.34% in 2023. According to the report, there seems to be a shift in the type of assets involved in crypto-related crime activities over the last two years, with Bitcoin no longer being the most used asset for most illicit transactions. Alternately, stablecoins have become a more popular choice for crypto assets involved in illicit activities, as the report states. This increase could be attributed to the recent general growth of stablecoins’ share of all crypto activity overall. The shift to stablecoins is not seen in every related crime, with activities, such as darknet market sales and ransomware extortion, still taking place predominately in Bitcoin. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that their issuers can trace stablecoins, and funds can be frozen when addresses are linked to illicit activities, as Tether did back in 2023. Illicit transaction volume by asset type, 2018-2023. Source: Chainalysis Trends That Defined Crypto-Related Crime In 2023 Chainalysis on-chain metrics suggest that scamming revenues have been trending globally since 2021. Although these crimes are still underreported, “overall, scamming is down, given broader market dynamics.” Romance scams, such as ‘pig butchering,’ are among the most popular crypto scamming tactics used by scammers and are one of the biggest forms of related crime by transaction volume. Regarding crypto hacking, the firm believes that “the decline in stolen funds is driven largely by a sharp dropoff in DeFi hacking,” it could represent “the reversal of a disturbing, long-term trend.” In 2023, crypto scamming and hacking revenue fell significantly, with the total revenue decreasing 29.2% and 54.3%, respectively. In contrast to the overall trends, ransomware and darknet markets, two of the most prominent forms of related crime, saw revenues rise in 2023. Similarly, 2023’s growth in darknet market revenue comes after a 2022 decline in revenue. The report shows that transactions with sanctioned-related entities and jurisdictions drive most of the illicit activity as entities and jurisdictions move towards using stablecoins and other crypto assets to bypass restrictions. They accounted for a combined $14.9 billion transaction volume in 2023, representing 61.5% of all illicit transactions over the year. Chainalysis explains that: Most of this total is driven by cryptocurrency services that were sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), or are located in sanctioned jurisdictions, and can continue to operate because they’re in jurisdictions where U.S. sanctions are not enforced. Ultimately, the report addresses that not all sanction-related transactions are due to the illicit use of digital assets, as some of that $14.9 billion volume is related to the average users who reside in the sanctioned jurisdictions. Related Reading: NFT Scams: Types And How To Avoid Them Bitcoin trading at $41,906.6 on the hourly chart. Source BTCUSDT on TradingView.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com
CoinGecko’s 2023 Annual Crypto Industry Report has been released. It covers crypto exchanges and their current state, Bitcoin’s +155.2% and Ethereum’s +90.5% growth, analyzing NFT trading volume throughout the year, and more. Related Reading: HODLing Rewards: Average Bitcoin Long-Term Holder Now Carries 55% Profit Among the report’s highlights is the comprehensive review of the crypto trading volume in 2023 through the performance of centralized crypto exchanges (CEX) and decentralized exchanges (DEX). Centralized Crypto Exchanges Dominated Crypto saw a $36.6 trillion trading volume in 2023, with a volume increase of +53.1% from Q3 ($6.7 trillion) to Q4 ($10.3 T). The Q4 increase marked the first quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth of 2023 and could be attributed to the “growing bullish sentiment” in the crypto market due to the anticipation of spot Bitcoin ETFs’ approval by the SEC. Despite the market’s challenges, such as the aftermath of FTX’s collapse, the worldwide banking crisis, or Binance’s regulatory difficulties in 2023, the data presented in the report shows an overall market recovery. In December 2023, the trading volume increased sharply to $4.3 trillion, a volume not seen since March 2023. Overall 2023, centralized exchanges dominated the year despite the challenges, especially when compared to decentralized exchanges (DEX). The report details: CEXto DEX spot trading volume ratio hovered around 91.5% in Q4. CEX to DEX derivatives trading volume ratio dropped to 97.3% from 98.5%. CEX to DEX spot ratio stood at 91.4% in 2023. CEX to DEX derivatives ratio was 98.1% in 2023. Binance, Upbit, OKX, Bybit, and Coinbase are among the Top 10 centralized exchanges by trading volume. Binance managed to dominate the list despite dropping to a yearly low market share of 41% in November, following a continued loss throughout 2023. There was a +98.1% increase QoQ, after the top 10 CEXes recorded $2.20 trillion in spot trading volume in 2023 Q4. Previously, the trading volume had failed to reach above $2 trillion for two consecutive quarters. Altogether, the top 10 CEXes recorded $7.2 trillion in spot trading volume in 2023 compared to $9.4 trillion in 2022, representing a -23.4% year-on-year (YoY) decline. Monthly Top Cryptocurrencies Exchanges Trading Volumen, 2023. Source: CoingGecko.com Deep Dive Into The Spot Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) Trading Volume In 2023 The Top 10 DEXes recorded $205.3 billion in spot trading volume in 2023 Q4, indicating a +87.1% Total Trading Volume Increase QoQ. Uniswap, Pancakeswap, Orca, Curve, and THORSwap dominate the DEXes in 2023’s Top 10 spot DEX trading volume. Notably, the report names Orca and THORSwap as the biggest gainers amongst the DEXes in 2023 Q4, with Orca increasing 1,079% ($12.2 billion), while THORSwap saw a surge of 422.4% ($10.1 billion) When breaking down the 2023 spot DEX trading volume breakdown by chain, the report details that Ethereum had $99.3 billion of DEX trading volume in 2023 Q4, displaying an increase of +38.3% from 2023 Q3. However, it ended with a low 41% dominance, dropping below 50% for the first time in 2023 in November and December. Related Reading: QCP Capital Forecasts ETH’s Dominance Over Bitcoin To Persist, Ethereum ETFs In Focus It’s worth noting that Solana was the biggest gainer, with a 985.5% increase in QoQ, while THORChain took second place with a 422.4% trading volume increase in Q4. The data shows that the two chains ranked #3 and #5 in December 2023. Bitcoin is trading at $42,423.7 in the hourly chart. Source: TradingView.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com
On December 18, 2023, US Senator Elizabeth Warren sent three letters to the Coin Center Director Jerry Brito, Blockchain Association CEO Kristin Smith, and crypto exchange Coinbase. The senator set January 14, 2024, as the deadline for a response to her inquiries. Related Reading: Crypto-Terrorism Concerns? Senator Warren And 100 Lawmakers Push Biden For Swift Response In the letter addressed to Brito, Senator Warren voiced her concern over reports that his organization and “other crypto interests” were “flexing a not-so-secret weapon” by amassing what she considers a “small army” of former ex-government officials. A “Patriotic” Response To “Unconstitutional” Demands, Crypto Think Tank Firesback Coin Center, a non-profit think tank focusing on the policy issues faced by the crypto industry, sent the US Senator a response letter on January 15. The organization stated: With respect, we have no obligation to answer these questions beyond the public disclosures we make under the law. Coin Center affirms that it takes constitutional rights seriously and considers that “free speech and petitioning the government are fundamental rights protected by our constitution,” Warren’s letter “discourages participation in important public policy debates and chills these rights.” Regarding its opposition to legislative proposals, such as the CANSEE Act and the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, the letter cited Coin Center’s belief that they are “unfair, unworkable, and most importantly, unconstitutional” efforts, as well as a “waste” of time and energy that could be spent on reinforcing existing laws. The organization believes that its “proper” and “patriotic” opposition to these legislative efforts for “unconstitutional and draconian” surveillance is being mistaken as “political bias” by the US Senator. Coin Center: “The Abuse Of The Revolving Door” Warren’s letter highlighted the “gaps” that allow former government officials to leave their positions and “cash in and go to work as lobbyists or advisers for private-sector industries with a keen interest in federal policy.” The Senator inquired Coin Center’s Head about this gap, asking Brito to provide a list of former government officials employed by the crypto think tank and details about their responsibilities, economic compensation, and whether they had been contacted about employment before leaving their former position. Per the list and details of former government officials currently employed by Coin Center, the organization “politely declines” to offer further answers but is open to a conversation with Senator Warren. We welcome honest, respectful policy discussions and are happy to meet with you or your staff to discuss further. Coin Center criticizes the senator for the existence of said gap, noting that “if a gap exists, it is in enforcement”, and calls out the lack of effort on “securing more funding for FinCEN, the FBI and DOJ’s crypto enforcement units, and the like.” The organization affirms that its efforts to find solutions and support sound regulation for cryptocurrency businesses will continue, including Congress’ effort to address the role that cryptocurrencies play in financing terrorist organizations, as Coin Center believes that sound policymaking is only possible when “diverse voices and perspectives are welcome and engaged.” The Coin Center Executive Director concluded: As for bipartisanship, we are proud of the work we have done to find solutions that advance sound regulation for cryptocurrency businesses while preserving the freedom to innovate. Related Reading: Arkansas Senator Calls For Reversal Of Controversial New Crypto Mining Law Bitcoin is trading at $ on the daily chart. Source: BTCUSDT on TradingView.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com
CoinGecko’s most recent report details the failure rate of cryptocurrencies in the last 10 years. Exhibiting the increasing number of “dead” altcoins over the years as projects deactivate, rebrand, lose trading activity, or are revealed to be scams. Related Reading: These Altcoins Are Showing Most Bullish & Bearish Divergences: Santiment An 11.01% Failure Rate For The Altcoin Sector The first half of the ten-year period that CoinGecko studied showed 1,546 dead cryptocurrencies, 11.01%% of the total amount. 2014 saw the death of 37 cryptocurrencies, 2015 had a lower number with only 27, and 2016 closed this period with 32 dead coins. The 2014-2016 period saw the death of 96 cryptocurrencies in three years, accounting for less than 1% of the total of altcoins that have died over the last decade, as seen in the chart below. During the 2017-2018 Bull run, Almost 1,500 of the launched projects have since shut down, as CoinGecko explained: In comparison, 1,450 projects launched during the 2017 – 2018 bull run have since shut down. This is on the back of over 3,000 cryptocurrencies listed, resulting in a similar failure rate of ~70%. An Increase In Failed Projects Over The Last Five Years The report shows that over 88% of the failed cryptocurrencies come from the second half of the period analyzed. Just 2019 increased 2018 year’s number by 50, reaching 1,150 failed cryptocurrencies and closely matching the total number of dead coins of the previous half. However, most dead cryptocurrencies came from the 2020-2021 bull run. “Over 11,000 cryptocurrencies were listed on CoinGecko during the previous bull run, with ~70% having shut down since,” they detailed. 7,530 cryptocurrencies from launched projects during 2020-2021 have failed, accounting for 53,6% of all dead coins alone. 2021 is when cryptocurrencies suffered the most, with 5,724 dead coins—resulting in the worst year for projects launched, with over 70% of the cryptocurrencies listed having died as of January 2024. The report attributes the high number of failures over 2020-2021 to the “ease of deploying tokens and the rise in popularity of meme coins.” They noted that many memecoin projects launch without a product, and most are “abandoned over a short period of time.” In 2022, the number of failed projects declined from the previous year, with 3,520 dying. A 60% rate out of the total listed cryptocurrencies. Related Reading: Renowned Crypto Analyst Predicts The Top 5 Altcoins For 2024 Ultimately, the number of failed projects declined further in 2023, as only 289 cryptocurrencies, out of the over 4,000 listed on CoinGecko, died. This represents a failure rate of <10%. However, although the number of dead cryptocurrencies declined in the last two years, perhaps suggesting a more positive trend, the precise percentage of failed projects launched in 2023 stood at 289. It remains to be seen if the trend will be sustained over the coming months or if the rise of a new bull phase will push the nascent sector back into a spike in altcoin failures. ETH is trading at $2,546.22 in the daily chart. Source: ETHUSDT on tradingview.com Featured image from Unsplash.com, chart from TradingView.com
On January 11, crypto exchange Coinbase unveiled its partnership with Yellow Card, the largest and first licensed Stablecoin on/off ramp on the African continent, to expand the access of their products to emerging economies across the African continent.
Expansion To Emerging Economies
Coinbase will expand access to its products through this new partnership with Yellow Card, starting with 20 African countries. They will provide millions of African users access to USD Coin (USDC) on the Coinbase Wallet and the Yellow Card app.
Both partners expect to “increase economic freedom” in many of these countries, whose economies have suffered from high inflation and remittance dependency and the lack of a modern financial system vastly sought by the younger generations. As they state in their press release:
Young people are more likely to recognize the benefits of crypto: more than seven in 10 crypto owners globally (72%) are under age 34.
Their Plan To Make The Global Financial System “More Accesible”
To achieve opening access to a more modern and global financial system, they will facilitate access to USDC on Base for cheaper fees and faster transactions than traditional transfers starting in February 2024.
In the Coinbase Wallet, users will be able to purchase USDC directly from their Wallet app, as well as sending USDC without any fee to messaging and social media apps, as they noted:
Coinbase Wallet users will be able to easily send USDC without fees on any platform where they can share a link — including messaging apps like WhatsApp, iMessage and Telegram, and through popular social media apps and email.
Users of the Yellow Card’s platform can purchase USDC on Base and transfer through the L2 blockchain, benefiting from cheaper fees and easy access to the stablecoin, too.
Chris Maurice, Co-Founder and CEO of Yellow Card, expressed his excitement in an X (formerly known as Twitter) post. Maurice is optimistic about the future of the partnership and the solutions it might bring to African people and businesses.
Beyond excited to bring @coinbase to Africa!
Stablecoins like USDC solve real problems for real people & businesses on the continent.
— Chris Maurice (@chrismaurice) January 11, 2024
The partnership aims to protect users’ savings across the African continent from “unstable currencies” and economic volatility due to the high inflation rates of up to 18.5%.
They will offer lower remittance fees, with the maximum fee being 2%. As well as offering access to the global financial system to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by allowing merchants to set up a Wallet in less than a minute and broadening their growth.
In summary, the Coinbase and Yellow Card partnership will expand solutions for people and businesses in 20 African countries by making the global financial system more accessible.