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News/Coin360 Daily Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | August 23, 2023

Coin360 Daily Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | August 23, 2023

Aug 23 2023

9 months ago4 minutes read

Crypto Market Update

Written by Van

Table of Contents

Market and Investment Trends

  • Bitcoin's Surge and Miners' Confidence Amid Market Anticipation
  • South Korean Youth's Preference for XRP Over Bitcoin and Ethereum
  • Avalanche Token Holders Face Record Losses Amid Decline
  • DeFi's Total Value Locked Hits Lowest Level Since February 2021

Regulatory and Legal Developments

  • Bitstamp Halts ETH Staking in the US Following SEC Rulings
  • Chinese Cross-Chain Protocol Multichain CEO Arrested; Assets Locked
  • FBI Warning: North Korean Hackers May Sell $40M in Bitcoin
  • Class-Action Suit Against Atomic Wallet Over $100M Hack
  • Israeli Police Recommend Charging Businessman in $290M Crypto Scam
  • Tornado Cash Co-Founder Added to US Sanctions List

Crypto Exchanges and Platforms

  • Solana Pay Integrates with Shopify for USDC Payments
  • USDC Stablecoin Expands to Six New Blockchains
  • Binance Labs Invests in DeFi Protocol Pendle Finance
  • Crypto Exchange Nexo Integrates Near Network; NEAR Climbs 10%
  • Aptos Blockchain Introduces Digital Asset Standard for Tokens, NFTs

Security and Technology

  • Quantstamp Launches Tool to Detect Flash Loan Vulnerabilities in DeFi

NFTs and Insider Trading

  • Former OpenSea Manager Sentenced for NFT Insider Trading
  • NFT Aggregator Rarible to Stop Aggregating Orders from Major Marketplaces
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Bitcoin's Surge and Miners' Confidence Amid Market Anticipation

Bitcoin's price rose alongside the stock market as investors anticipated positive Nvidia results and awaited Jerome Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium. Nvidia's shares also saw a 2.2% increase on Wednesday.

Powell's speech is expected to have a moderately dovish tone, but some experts predict he will be cautious to avoid triggering a rally in bonds and a sharp fall in yields.

Despite a 10% drop in crypto price a few days ago, on-chain data shows that Bitcoin miners are not struggling. Bitcoin mining difficulty has hit new all-time highs, indicating that miners are still profitable. Hash rate, a measure of network security, is also challenging existing all-time highs.

Investor confidence remains high in the security and reliability of Bitcoin and Ethereum networks, reflecting positively on the Ethereum market cap.

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South Korean Youth's Preference for XRP Over Bitcoin and Ethereum

According to a report by South Korean exchange Bithumb, XRP is more popular than Bitcoin and Ethereum among young investors in their 20s. The report showed that 20-year-olds in South Korea prefer XRP, with 20.7% of their portfolio allocated to the cryptocurrency, compared to 17.5% for Bitcoin and Ethereum combined.

Young investors in their 20s also showed a preference for altcoins with higher volatility. On the other hand, investors in their 30s preferred Bitcoin and Ethereum as their main investments.

The crypto coin prices of XRP have fully retraced from its July high of $0.93 to $0.422, a loss of 55%. This decline coincided with a wider market sell-off that saw a $200 billion decrease in total market cap.

The overall sentiment in the market has shifted towards fear, with the Fear & Greed Index at 34 out of 100. Despite positive news surrounding the Ripple vs SEC case and its selection by the Bank for International Settlements, XRP's price and social dominance have both decreased.

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Avalanche Token Holders Face Record Losses Amid Decline

The cryptocurrency charts reveal that the price of the Avalanche token (AVAX) has been in decline, leading to a record-low number of AVAX holders in profit. According to IntoTheBlock, about 99.5% of holders are currently at a loss.

The token has also lost 17% of its value in the past week and is set to experience further decline with an upcoming token unlock event. 

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DeFi's Total Value Locked Hits Lowest Level Since February 2021

The total value locked (TVL) in decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols has dropped to its lowest level since February 2021, falling to $37.5 billion, according to DefiLlama.

The decline in TVL is attributed to the recent slump in crypto prices, the US government's crackdown on crypto, and lower yields in DeFi compared to US Treasuries. Liquidity has also decreased, resulting in lower trading volumes and interest in the market.


Bitstamp Halts ETH Staking in the US Following SEC Rulings

Bitstamp discontinues ETH staking in the US from Sep. 25, following the suspension of trading for seven altcoins. US customers will earn staking rewards until 2023, and all staked assets will be unstaked.

The decision is likely linked to legal developments, as the seven tokens were deemed unregistered securities by the SEC. 

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Chinese Cross-Chain Protocol Multichain CEO Arrested; Assets Locked

Chinese cross-chain protocol Multichain has been at the center of controversy after its CEO, Zhaojun He, was arrested by Chinese authorities. The protocol's core team was also allegedly arrested. The protocol was shut down as a result, and around $1.5 billion in locked assets has become inaccessible.

Victims of the incident have formed a group seeking answers and assistance in recovering their funds. Other cryptocurrency projects in China, such as BKEX and Trust Reserve, have also faced similar issues, leading to concerns of corruption within the legal system.

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FBI Warning: North Korean Hackers May Sell $40M in Bitcoin

FBI warns that North Korean hackers Lazarus Group and APT38 may sell $40 million worth of Bitcoin. They recently moved 1,580 BTC to six wallets. The hackers have stolen over $200 million in cryptocurrency this year, accounting for 20% of total losses. Be vigilant against transactions involving these wallets.  


Class-Action Suit Against Atomic Wallet Over $100M Hack

Plaintiffs in a class-action suit against Atomic Wallet claim the company did not inform clients or report the $100m hack to the police.

A group of high-net worth investors from Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States are part of the lawsuit, which is being coordinated by German lawyer Max Gutbrod and Boris Feldman of Moscow legaltech firm Destra Legal.

The lawyers are representing around 50 clients who lost a total of $12m in the aftermath of the breach. The hack, which affected at least 5,500 crypto accounts, was initially blamed on Lazarus Group, but some now believe a Ukrainian group was responsible.


Israeli Police Recommend Charging Businessman in $290M Crypto Scam

Israeli police recommend charging businessman Moshe Hogeg for his alleged involvement in a $290 million crypto scam. Hogeg is accused of raising funds for crypto projects but instead pocketing the money. The police have conducted an extensive investigation, interviewing over 180 people and uncovering evidence of financial wrongdoing.

Hogeg has also been sued by Foxconn for unpaid manufacturing bills. He denies all accusations against him.


Tornado Cash Co-Founder Added to US Sanctions List

Roman Semenov, co-founder of Tornado Cash, has been added to the US Office of Foreign Assets Control's Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List. Tornado Cash has faced accusations of facilitating money laundering, and Semenov's addition to the list highlights the regulatory challenges posed by decentralized protocols. 

The move restricts Semenov's access to the US financial system. Critics raise concerns about privacy rights and the lack of clear regulatory frameworks. The blacklisting serves as a reminder of the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency regulations.

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Solana Pay Integrates with Shopify for USDC Payments

Solana Pay, a decentralized payment protocol, has integrated with e-commerce platform Shopify, allowing businesses to accept USDC payments. USDC, a stablecoin tied to the U.S. dollar, offers regulatory clarity and familiarity to consumers.

Shopify, which represents 10% of US e-commerce, is embracing the Solana ecosystem, known for its fast transactions and low costs. Other crypto-focused organizations have also expressed interest in the partnership.


USDC Stablecoin Expands to Six New Blockchains

The USDC stablecoin will launch on six new blockchains, including Polygon PoS, Base, PolkadotNEAROptimism, and Cosmos, in an effort to boost adoption. This comes after Coinbase acquired a stake in Circle to strengthen the stablecoin amid competition from Tether and PayPal. However, some analysts remain skeptical about the impact of adding more protocols.


Binance Labs Invests in DeFi Protocol Pendle Finance

Binance Labs has invested in Pendle Finance, a leading DeFi protocol focused on yield tokenization. This collaboration aims to optimize yield management for all users, with a focus on fixed yield.

Pendle will integrate its yield management features across diverse blockchain platforms, aligning with Binance Labs' vision for the future of DeFi. 

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Crypto Exchange Nexo Integrates Near Network; NEAR Climbs 10%

Crypto exchange Nexo has integrated the Near network, causing the native token NEAR to climb 10% in the last 24 hours. Tokenproof has also partnered with Near to integrate its platform into the Near Protocol Blockchain Operating System, allowing users to unlock online and in-person experiences.

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Aptos Blockchain Introduces Digital Asset Standard for Tokens, NFTs

Aptos blockchain has introduced its Digital Asset (DA) standard for tokens and NFTs, aiming to provide improved flexibility and scalability compared to existing models. The standard addresses limitations in previous frameworks like ERC-721 and SPL.

Analysts believe this could help boost the price of Aptos' APT token, which has declined significantly since its launch. The blockchain still faces competition in the smart contract space, but the DA standard is a step towards achieving Aptos' goals and unlocking its network's potential.

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Quantstamp Launches Tool to Detect Flash Loan Vulnerabilities in DeFi

Quantstamp has launched the Economic Exploit Analysis tool to detect flash loan vulnerabilities in decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols. Flash loan attacks have been responsible for an increasing proportion of stolen funds in the DeFi space.

The tool can scan for vulnerabilities in smart-contract code and is not limited to specific contracts or clients. However, manual intervention and protocol-specific adaptations are required, and it does not guarantee the detection of all vulnerabilities. The tool is currently available on Ethereum-compatible chains.


Top Altcoin Gainers and Losers

Gainers:

NEAR Protocol NEAR (+10.75%)

Synthetix SNX (+9.61%)

Internet Computer ICP (+8.27%)

Losers:

FLEX FLEX (-9.02%)

Monero XMR (-1.20%)


NFT Market Map

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Former OpenSea Manager Sentenced for NFT Insider Trading

Nathaniel Chastain, a former product manager at OpenSea, has been sentenced to three months in prison for insider trading involving non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Chastain used his position to gain information about upcoming NFT promotions and secretly purchased them for his own financial benefit. He made over $50,000 in illicit profit. 

This case marks the first-ever insider trading case involving digital assets. OpenSea has implemented new policies prohibiting employees from engaging in buying or selling during active promotions and using insider information for trading NFTs.


NFT Aggregator Rarible to Stop Aggregating Orders from Major Marketplaces

NFT aggregator Rarible will stop aggregating orders from NFT marketplaces OpenSea, LooksRare, and X2Y2 by September 30. Rarible cited its support for artist royalties as the reason for the decision, following similar moves by the other marketplaces. Rarible emphasized the importance of recognizing and rewarding creators and urged other platforms to do the same. 

The debate around NFT royalties has intensified, with OpenSea recently making royalties optional, leading to criticism from investors and project creators. The NFT market has also experienced a decline in trading volume and royalty volumes.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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