Crypto Market Update: Russian Bitcoin Mining Surpasses Kazakhstan, Positioning It as Second Largest Globally
Written by Van - Perfected by ChatGPT
Russia has become the second largest Bitcoin miner globally, overtaking Kazakhstan and behind only the United States. This comes as the US moves towards taxing and regulating crypto mining, making it a less welcoming environment for the industry. According to a report by Kommersant, between January and March 2022, Russia had a mining capacity of 1 GW, with the US leading with 3-4 GW. Other countries in the top 10 include the Persian Gulf, Canada, and Malaysia.
IMF Demands Anti-Cryptocurrency Stance as Argentina Receives $45 Billion Bailout
Argentina will receive a $45 billion bailout from the IMF but must adopt an anti-cryptocurrency stance. This condition reflects the IMF’s concerns over the adverse effects of digital assets on financial stability and economic recovery. Argentina is expected to limit the use of cryptocurrencies and related activities as part of the agreement. This reflects the ongoing debate over the role of digital assets in the global financial system, with some seeing them as promoting economic progress, while others view them as potential risks to financial stability.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to Introduce Gold-Backed Digital Currency as Legal Tender
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe plans to introduce a gold-backed digital currency as legal tender to stabilize the country’s currency, which has continued to depreciate against the US dollar. The move is intended to allow more Zimbabweans to hedge against currency volatility. The current exchange rate in the parallel market is expected to stabilize after tobacco farmers receive US dollar payments in the coming weeks. The country has been struggling with currency volatility and inflation for over ten years, and crypto adoption has grown in many African countries as a result of economic challenges.
IRS Deploys Cyber Agents to Four Countries to Investigate Crypto-Related Tax Crimes
The IRS is deploying cyber agents to Australia, Colombia, Singapore, and Germany to investigate cryptocurrency-related tax crimes. The agents will participate in a 120-day pilot program, and if successful, will continue to assist ongoing investigations. The IRS uses AnChain.ai technology to scrutinize crypto tax disclosures and will receive $80 billion for enforcement actions, including crypto tax evasion. The Infrastructure Bill will require crypto brokers to disclose clients’ identity and transaction activity from 2024. The IRS also issued new guidance on taxing NFTs last month.
Tech Investor Tiger Global Reports 20% Loss on $12.7B Venture Fund Due to Crypto Startups
Tiger Global Management, a tech investor, has reported a 20% paper loss on its \(12.7bn venture fund, launched in 2021, due to several major crypto startups contributing to the loss. The losses include a fully wiped out investment in [FTX](https://coin360.com/coin/ftx-token-ftt) and markdowns in NFT marketplace OpenSea, Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs, payments firm MoonPay, decentralized wireless network startup [Helium](https://coin360.com/coin/helium-hnt), and Worldcoin. Tiger had invested \)126.8 million in OpenSea, a now diminished value of $30.2 million. The venture fund has backed around 250 startups, with more than 170 being worth less than the firm’s original investment.
Crusoe Energy Systems’ Environmentally-Friendly Bitcoin Mining Solution Praised by Industry Leaders
The World Economic Forum shared a video about Crusoe Energy Systems, a cryptocurrency mining firm that uses waste energy sources to power their modular data centers. The video showcases their efforts to reduce flaring and highlights the environmental benefits of Bitcoin mining. While the video features mining facilities, it doesn’t directly explain what they do. The video was shared by industry figures, including Michael Saylor, who praised the environmental benefits.
Bybit to Require KYC Verification for Users Starting May 8, OKX Clarifies Stance on Shell Tokens
Bybit, a cryptocurrency exchange, will require users to complete their KYC verification starting May 8. Non-KYC users can only close open positions, withdraw, or return loans. Those who completed KYC can have a withdrawal limit of up to 12 million USDT. Bybit cites security, compliance, and convenience as reasons for the new measures. Meanwhile, OKX clarifies it does not support shell tokens and will delist projects with malicious developers. Buying shell tokens can lead to market manipulation.
Bitcoin Could Reach $100,000 by 2024, Says Standard Chartered
The Bitcoin and crypto market is experiencing a correction with potential trend changes depending on breaching specific price points. US consumer confidence and GDP figures, as well as a potential anti-crypto law, could also impact the market. Bitcoin has faced selling pressure due to rising bond yields and a decline in US dollar liquidity. The market is divided on whether Bitcoin will experience further downside or retest multi-month highs.
Glassnode data suggests panic among less experienced traders, while popular Bitcoin analysts believe smart money has already bought the dip. Traders are indecisive about selling into strength, and the market appears less decisive than in Q1.
A silver lining: Bitcoin could reach \(100,000 by the end of 2024, according to Standard Chartered, based on recent banking sector turmoil, stabilizing risk assets, and improved crypto mining profitability. The digital currency has already surpassed \)30,000 in 2021, and Standard Chartered believes the potential pathway to $100,000 is becoming clearer.
Digital Asset Investment Funds Experience Net Outflows of $30 Million
Digital asset investment funds experienced net outflows totaling \(30 million last week, breaking a six-week streak of inflows. Outflows coincided with bitcoin reaching \)30,000, indicating profit-taking. Bitcoin outflows were at \(53 million, while Ether had inflows of \)17 million following the Shanghai network upgrade. Overall outflows last week were \(30 million, and [Polygon](https://coin360.com/coin/polygon-matic) saw inflows of \)1 million. The previous four weeks had seen inflows of $310 million for bitcoin.
In the meantime, Binance is introducing a new liquid staking token called Wrapped Beacon ETH (WBETH) that enables users to participate in decentralized finance outside of the exchange while still earning Ethereum staking rewards. WBETH can be wrapped and unwrapped on Binance’s Ethereum staking page with zero fees. Liquid staking allows users to stake ether and receive a derivative token that can be used across various crypto markets.
KuCoin Twitter Hack Leads to Cryptocurrency Losses for Users
The official Twitter account of crypto exchange KuCoin was hacked, leading to users losing their funds to a fake giveaway event. The exchange confirmed that its Twitter was compromised for almost an hour on April 24 and has identified 22 transactions that were involved. KuCoin has pledged to reimburse the victims and is collaborating with Twitter in conducting further investigations. This attack method has also been used against other exchanges and NFT projects, highlighting the need for better security measures in the space.
Litecoin Halving Expected to Occur in August 2023
The Litecoin halving event is predicted to occur on August 3, 2023, according to blockchain explorer OKlink, and will reduce the block reward from 12.5 LTC to 6.25 LTC. In the past, Litecoin has surged before Bitcoin in response to its halving. This could mean that LTC may see large gains in the coming months despite the current market correction, which could bring LTC back above three figures. Currently, LTC is down 78.5% from its peak.
Investigation Reveals Possible Manipulation of Pepe Meme Token by Developer Addresses
Pepe’s sharp drop happened shortly after an investor turned a \(250 initial investment into an on-paper profit of over \)1 million, making the meme token go viral all over social media platforms. However, an investigation into PEPE has revealed that five addresses related to the token’s creator made a return of 3,200 times the initial investment, raising concerns about the legitimacy of the token’s rise. These addresses purchased 8.87 trillion PEPE tokens at a low price and sold them on decentralized exchanges for a combined total of $1.23 million. The potential manipulation of the token’s supply and the ability of the developer to blacklist wallets have raised red flags about the safety of holding PEPE.
Crypto-Friendly Banks on the Rise as Andre Cronje and Justin Sun Work on Projects
Andre Cronje, developer of the Fantom Network, revealed that he is working on a payment infrastructure project that includes a crypto-friendly bank with standard banking licenses. He offered to add Curve Finance developer Michael Egorov to the closed beta if he needed a payment infrastructure. However, the bank may not be available in the U.S. due to the country’s stance on cryptocurrencies. Justin Sun, founder of the Tron Network, is also working on a similar project to establish a crypto-friendly bank. The crypto industry still faces challenges in finding new banking partners following the banking crisis in the United States.
Blur’s Native Token BLUR Suffers 87.75% Loss in Value Over the Past 90 Days
Blur, a unique NFT aggregator, has been facing a lack of demand and liquidity input in its bid pool, leading to a decline in its Total Value Locked (TVL) and overall health. The interest in trading its native token BLUR has also decreased, with minimal active deposits on exchanges and a low number of active addresses. Despite this, Blur remains dominant in the NFT marketplace, with a high volume of NFT trades within its creator system. However, the token’s performance has failed to meet expectations with an 87.75% decrease in value over the last 90 days.
Crypto Heavyweights Back Bidding for Celsius Network’s Assets at New York Auction
Two consortiums, Fahrenheit and Blockchain Recovery Investment Committee, are bidding for bankrupt Celsius Network’s assets in a New York auction on April 25. Fahrenheit LLC, led by Coinbase, and a group backed by Gemini Trust Company are expected to have a better chance of winning due to their backing by crypto heavyweights. Celsius may pay up to $20 million to its initial buyer, NovaWulf Digital Management, if any of the new investors win the auction. Fahrenheit plans to keep Celsius operational and form a new company owning bitcoin mining assets, institutional loans, venture capital portfolio, and other crypto assets.
Dismissal of SEC Charges Sought by Terraform Labs Founder Do Kwon on Jurisdiction Grounds
The founder of Terraform Labs, Do Kwon, has requested the dismissal of charges brought against him by the SEC for lack of jurisdiction. Kwon’s representatives argue that the products referenced by the SEC were not directed at U.S. persons, and the stablecoin UST is a currency, not a security. Meanwhile, a court in Korea ruled that the Terra Classic token is not a security, overturning a request to seize assets belonging to co-founder Shin Hyun-Seung in relation to the collapse of Terra. The ruling is in contrast to the SEC, which has described LUNC as a “crypto asset security”. Kwon still faces criminal fraud charges in the U.S. and charges of capital markets violations in South Korea.
First U.S.-Registered Mutual Fund Uses Blockchain Technology
Franklin Templeton’s OnChain U.S. Government Money Fund is now available on the Stellar network, making it the first U.S.-registered mutual fund to use public blockchain technology for transactions and share ownership. The fund’s transfer agent maintains the official record of share ownership via a proprietary blockchain-integrated system that utilizes the Stellar blockchain network for transaction activity, reflecting greater interoperability between blockchain technology and traditional financial institutions. The fund has surpassed $270 million in assets under management (AUM).
Summary of Market Events and Price Action
As a summary of today’s events and price action in the market, it is crucial to note the following key points:
- Russian Bitcoin mining now second globally after surpassing Kazakhstan.
- IMF urges anti-crypto stance for Argentina’s $45B bailout.
- Zimbabwe to introduce gold-backed digital currency as legal tender.
- IRS sends cyber agents to investigate crypto tax crimes globally.
- Crusoe Energy’s eco-friendly Bitcoin mining praised by industry.
- Tiger Global reports 20% loss due to crypto startups.
- Standard Chartered predicts Bitcoin to reach $100K by 2024.
- Digital asset funds see $30M net outflows.
- KuCoin hack leads to cryptocurrency losses for users.
- Litecoin halving expected in August 2023.
- Developer addresses possibly manipulate Pepe Meme Token.
- Crypto-friendly banks rise with Andre Cronje and Justin Sun.
- Blur’s native token suffers 87.75% loss in 90 days.
- Crypto heavyweights bid for Celsius Network’s assets.
- Terraform Labs founder seeks dismissal of SEC charges.
- Franklin Templeton’s OnChain fund uses blockchain for U.S. government money.
Top Altcoin Gainers and Losers
Kaspa KAS (+4.13%)
Frax Share FXS (+1.41%)
PAX Gold PAXG (+1.12%)
PancakeSwap CAKE (-15.19%)
Injective INJ (-10.36%)
Radix XRD (-10.31%)
NFT Market Map
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