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News/Coin360 Daily Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | December 21, 2023

Coin360 Daily Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | December 21, 2023

Van Thanh Le

Dec 21 2023

6 months ago4 minutes read

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Crypto Market Update

Table of Contents

Crypto Market Updates

  • US GDP Growth Spurs Bitcoin Rally and ETF Hopes
  • Ethereum Struggles Amid High Fees and Competition
  • Vitalik Buterin Trades Meme Tokens Amid Market Volatility
  • Tether's Compliance Efforts Intensify with New Wallet Freezes

Leadership and Regulatory Actions

  • Leadership Shakeup and Financial Challenges at Qredo
  • Three Arrows Capital Faces Global Asset Freeze
  • Worldcoin's Iris Scanning Halted Amid Ethical Concerns
  • Circle Expands in France with Conditional DASP Registration

Stablecoins and Exchanges

  • Stablecoin Market Cap Hits New High; USDT Dominates
  • PancakeSwap's CAKE Token Rallies on Supply Cut Proposal
  • Solana's Smartphone Success Contrasts Ethereum's Struggles
  • Coinbase Secures VASP Approval for French Operations
  • SEC and Terraform Labs Settle on Confidentiality in Trial

NFT Market Trends

  • Bitcoin NFTs Outshine Ethereum in Recent Sales Surge
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US GDP Growth Spurs Bitcoin Rally and ETF Hopes

In Q3, the US GDP grew by 4.9%. Bitcoin briefly surpassing $44,200 amid the release, before slipping under $44,000 again. Bitcoin's daily trading volume at $22.52 billion dwarfed Apple's $10.14 billion. Anticipation of a Bitcoin ETF approval by January 10, 2024, could “propel Bitcoin to $48,000,” with Matrixport predicting a potential rise to $50,000 by February.

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Ethereum Struggles Amid High Fees and Competition

Ethereum's ETH/BTC ratio plummeted to a two-year low below 0.05 BTC amid high fees and competition from Solana. Its upcoming Dencun upgrade, set for January 2024, aims to reduce fees and enhance data storage. Despite increased network activity, Ethereum faces bearish trends with a significant price correction near $2,270.

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Vitalik Buterin Trades Meme Tokens Amid Market Volatility

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum's co-founder, traded trillions of meme tokens airdropped into his wallet for ETH, worth $22.9K and $6.8K. Airdrops aim to attract attention and legitimacy by leveraging influencers' endorsements. Buterin's decision to sell the tokens likely reflects a desire for liquidity and value, given the volatile nature of meme coins.  


Tether's Compliance Efforts Intensify with New Wallet Freezes

Tether froze six new Ethereum wallets, with links to the Finiko scam, following a previous freeze of over 150 wallets associated with US sanctions. This aligns with Tether's compliance efforts with US regulations, freezing addresses on the Specially Designated Nationals list. Regulators are pressuring crypto firms to strengthen compliance, particularly for stablecoins like USDT.  


Leadership Shakeup and Financial Challenges at Qredo

Qredo CEO Anthony Foy removed and replaced by CFO Duncan Payne-Shelley. COO also replaced and new board members appointed. Company secures debt financing led by 10T Holdings to sustain operations. Previous Series A funds usage questioned after aggressive expansion. 2024 strategy uncertain. Company aims to navigate challenges and decide on future direction.  

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Three Arrows Capital Faces Global Asset Freeze

Three Arrows Capital founders' assets worth $1.14 billion globally frozen following Teneo's claims of financial responsibility for 3AC's downfall. The hedge fund filed for bankruptcy in the British Virgin Islands after a market downturn. Founders Su Zhu and Kyle Davies face legal actions for non-cooperation, imprisonment, and bans by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.  


Worldcoin's Iris Scanning Halted Amid Ethical Concerns

Worldcoin halted offline iris scanning in India, Brazil, and France. The company rewarded operators for gathering private data. Critics raised ethical concerns. Regulators in Germany, UK, and Kenya have expressed skepticism, with Kenya outright banning Worldcoin. Additionally, a security vulnerability was reported in the Orb operator vetting processes in August.  

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Circle Expands in France with Conditional DASP Registration

Stablecoin issuer Circle has obtained conditional registration as a digital asset service provider (DASP) in France, aiming to operate in the country. To fully commence operations, it needs an electronic money institution license. France seeks to attract crypto companies due to regulatory clarity. Circle's USD-pegged USDC is the second-largest stablecoin globally.  


Stablecoin Market Cap Hits New High; USDT Dominates

In December, the stablecoin market cap reached $129 billion, the highest in over seven months, with a 0.9% increase. USDT's market cap soared past $90 billion, setting a new all-time high and dominating over 70% of the market. Despite this, stablecoin market share fell to 8.32% in December from 8.92% in November. Trading volumes on exchanges surged, with $557 billion in stablecoins traded by mid-December. 

USDC's market cap stagnated at just above $20 billion, reflecting a 45% year-to-date loss. The emergence of First Digital USD (FDUSD) was notable, tripling its market cap in three months, overtaking BUSD, which faced a decline due to regulatory concerns. The overall value of stablecoins, however, hasn't increased significantly compared to December 2022's $139 billion.

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Source: CCData

PancakeSwap's CAKE Token Rallies on Supply Cut Proposal

PancakeSwap's CAKE token surged over 20% at one point after a proposal to reduce its maximum supply by 300 million, from 750 million to 450 million. The token was trading at $2.52, up 13.1% over 24 hours. The proposal aims to sustain deflation and pursue growth across all deployments, reflecting a pivot to a more efficient emission model.  

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Solana's Smartphone Success Contrasts Ethereum's Struggles

The Solana Saga smartphone, despite being labeled the "failure of 2023" by YouTuber Marques Brownlee, saw a surge in demand and sold out. It's notable for integrating blockchain technology, offering rewards like 30 million BONK tokens, and other benefits. Resale prices have skyrocketed, with some units fetching up to $10,000 on eBay. 

High transaction fees on Ethereum are driving users to alternatives like Solana, which boasts significantly lower fees. Lastly, a significant movement of Solana (SOL) tokens has been observed, with 582,198 SOL transferred between unknown wallets, hinting at a potential sell-off. This movement coincides with Solana's price reaching a yearly high and surpassing XRP in market capitalization, also outpacing Ethereum in DeFi volume surge.

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Coinbase Secures VASP Approval for French Operations

Coinbase receives VASP approval from a French financial regulator, allowing it to offer digital asset services including custody, buying and selling, and trading. This follows its recent international expansion efforts for both institutional and retail clients. Meanwhile, in the U.S., Coinbase is engaged in a dispute with the SEC, prompting calls for clearer regulatory guidelines.  


SEC and Terraform Labs Settle on Confidentiality in Trial

The SEC and Terraform Labs agreed to a protective order for confidential filings ahead of their civil trial. The case involves allegations of a multi-billion dollar crypto asset securities fraud. The judge approved the agreement, with materials marked as confidential to be sealed. The outcome could impact legal issues for companies in the crypto space.  

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Top Altcoin Gainers and Losers

Gainers:

Axelar AXL (+15.85%)

NEAR Protocol NEAR (+13.08%)

PancakeSwap CAKE (+11.48%)

Losers:

Helium HNT (-14.00%)

Beam BEAMX (-6.87%)

Render Token RNDR (-6.56%)

NFT Market Map

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Bitcoin NFTs Outshine Ethereum in Recent Sales Surge

Bitcoin-based NFTs have surged in sales, surpassing Ethereum in November and December. OKX dominates the market with an 85% share. Magic Eden's Bitcoin Frogs collection garnered $14.35 million in sales. Although not equivalent to Ethereum's top collections, Bitcoin NFTs are rivaling Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club in valuation, showcasing rapid growth.  

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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