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News/Coin360 Daily Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | February 15, 2024

Coin360 Daily Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | February 15, 2024

Van Thanh Le

Feb 15 2024

5 months ago6 minutes read

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Crypto Market Update

Table of Contents

Market Updates

  • Bitcoin Soars Past $52,000: Key Metrics Highlighted
  • Ethereum Breaks $2,800 Amid ETF Buzz
  • NIST Investigates Binance Trust Wallet Vulnerability
  • Investors Favor Bitcoin ETFs Over Gold

Innovations and Collaborations

  • Citi Leads in Private Asset Tokenization
  • Stardust Partners with Sui for Gaming
  • Telefonica Enhances Security with Chainlink Partnership
  • Tron Unveils Bitcoin Layer 2 Solution for Enhanced Interoperability
  • CoW DAO Introduces AMM to Safeguard Liquidity Providers

Exchange and Platform News

  • JPMorgan Elevates Coinbase to Neutral
  • Bakkt to Sell $150 Million in Securities
  • Genesis Wins Approval for Grayscale Share Sale
  • ARK Invest Sells $34 Million in Coinbase Shares
  • Moonwell Launches 'USDC Anywhere' Feature

Security and Regulatory Concerns

  • New Scam Targets Ethereum Name Service Users
  • Crypto Exchanges Report Rise in Suspicious Transactions
  • Powell Calls for US Stablecoin Regulation

Market Trends and Analysis

  • 2023 Sees Decline in Crypto Money Laundering
  • Optimism Mainnet Encounters Outages
  • Stacks Hits 26-Month Price Peak
  • Cardano Reports Strong Q4 Growth
  • Romance Scams Steal $1.3 Billion in 2022

Crypto Adoption and Community Movements

  • Klaytn Merges with Finschia to Form Largest Web3 Ecosystem
  • Telegram Users Embrace NEAR Protocol's Wallet
  • ApeCoin Votes for ApeChain Development on Arbitrum
  • Superchief Opens Bitcoin Ordinals Art Gallery
  • Bits Gaming Project Announces Price Cut and Supply Reduction
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Bitcoin Soars Past $52,000: Key Metrics Highlighted

Bitcoin's rally past $52,000 is marked by significant metrics: a 17% weekly increase, $37 billion daily trading volume, and open interest in Bitcoin contracts nearing an all-time high of $24.27 billion. Bitcoin ETFs are absorbing 10 times the daily mined BTC, with expectations to double post-halving. 

Call options buying surged, with $10 million spent on $60,000 and $80,000 strikes. Short-term holders increased exchange deposits by 49,504 BTC daily, while long-term holders moved 2,023 BTC. Genesis's approval to sell 35 million GBTC shares and the U.S. government's plan to offload 2,875 BTC from Silk Road seizures pose sell-off threats. Despite this, the TD Sequential indicator signals a strong sell, suggesting a potential correction

This comes as the 2024 Bitcoin cohort, with an initial price of $43,780, briefly faced losses but quickly entered a profitable phase. All cohorts are now profitable due to Bitcoin surpassing $50,000, while the average exchange cost basis is around $12,800. Notably, all cohorts are experiencing an upward trend in their cost basis.

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Ethereum Breaks $2,800 Amid ETF Buzz

Ethereum's price surged past $2,800, fueled by U.S. spot ETF anticipation, with institutional applications from BlackRock, Fidelity, and others. Amid the rise, Jeffrey Wilcke, Ethereum co-founder, transferred $38.27 million in ETH to Kraken. Staked ETH reached over $85 billion, locking 25% of circulating supply. 

A massive Ethereum whale accumulated nearly $200 million in ETH in February, highlighting investor confidence. EigenLayer, a restaking protocol, became the fourth-largest with a TVL nearing $7 billion. Meanwhile, open interest in Ethereum futures rose to over $9 billion, with bullish bets accounting for 57% of futures positions, indicating strong market optimism.

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NIST Investigates Binance Trust Wallet Vulnerability

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is investigating the Binance Trust Wallet app for iOS due to a vulnerability linked to the misuse of the trezor-crypto library. The potential impact stems from the ability of attackers to generate mnemonics and steal funds from affected wallets, with ongoing analysis to assess the severity of the issue.  

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Investors Favor Bitcoin ETFs Over Gold

Investors are massively pivoting towards Bitcoin, with Bitcoin ETFs seeing a staggering $4.1 billion inflow as gold experiences a $3 billion outflow. Remarkably, about 75% of new Bitcoin investments are attributed to the 10 spot Bitcoin ETFs approved in the U.S., showcasing a significant shift in investment preferences. BlackRock and Fidelity are at the forefront, with BlackRock's Bitcoin ETF alone capturing $224 million in a single day, pushing its total holdings to $4.8 billion. 


Citi Leads in Private Asset Tokenization

Citi, in collaboration with Wellington Management and WisdomTree, piloted private asset tokenization using Avalanche infrastructure. The pilot focused on asset transfer, secondary trading, and digital asset collateral in lending. The initiative aims to improve efficiency, accessibility, and transparency in traditional markets worth over $10 trillion, potentially opening new opportunities for investors.  

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Stardust Partners with Sui for Gaming

Stardust has partnered with Sui to streamline web3 game deployment. Sui's total value locked (TVL) surged 290% in two months, reaching $588M. Its price is up 190%, and GameFi tokens reached a $26.3B capitalization. Sui's growth positions it as the tenth-largest smart contract network, with substantial DeFi protocol expansion.   

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Telefonica Enhances Security with Chainlink Partnership

Telefonica partners with Chainlink to integrate real-world telecom capabilities into blockchain for enhanced security. The collaboration will focus on utilizing web3 technology, starting with the SIM SWAP API for fraud prevention. Chainlink's platform will enable smart contracts to request information from the API, adding an extra layer of security to blockchain transactions.  

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Tron Unveils Bitcoin Layer 2 Solution for Enhanced Interoperability

Tron's unveiling of a Bitcoin Layer 2 solution aims to enhance blockchain interoperability by merging its $55 billion market with Bitcoin, introducing new tools and wallets for a seamless integration. This strategic move includes partnerships with Bitcoin Layer 2 protocols to enrich both ecosystems, with a focus on cross-chain technology for fluid interaction of TRON's tokens within the Bitcoin network. 

Meanwhile, BitTorrent's BTT token surged 12% at one point following Tron's completion of another TRX burn, removing over 170 million TRX tokens from circulation, indicating a deflationary phase for TRX with an annualized decrease rate of 2.99%. This development reflects positively on BTT, showcasing its sensitivity to Tron's advancements, despite TRX's modest 1.6% rise in response to the news.

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CoW DAO Introduces AMM to Safeguard Liquidity Providers

CoW DAO launches an automated market maker (AMM) to safeguard liquidity providers from maximal extractable value (MEV) losses caused by arbitrage bots. The AMM aims to capture and redistribute MEV to protect liquidity providers, complementing CoW Swap, the project's decentralized exchange aggregator. This marks CoW DAO's first product focused on securing liquidity providers from MEV.  


JPMorgan Elevates Coinbase to Neutral, ARK Invest Sells $34 Million Shares

JPMorgan upgraded Coinbase to neutral, reflecting a surge in crypto prices after U.S. spot bitcoin ETF approvals, expecting improved earnings for Coinbase. Shares rose 6.5% to $170.80, with bitcoin trading around $52,400. Meanwhile, ARK Invest sold 214,068 Coinbase shares and 119,394 Robinhood shares, netting $34 million from Coinbase sales as its stock reached 2024 highs above $160. ARK's move comes amid growing Bitcoin ETF exposure, with ARK's Bitcoin ETF now holding 24,925 BTC, valued at $1.3 billion.


Bakkt to Sell $150 Million in Securities

Bakkt, a struggling crypto firm, secured approval for a $150 million securities sale after facing cash shortages. Despite net losses in 2023, the company aims to strengthen its financial position. Founded in 2018, Bakkt operates a digital asset trading platform for institutions and has partnerships with major companies. Its share price has drastically declined in 2024.   


Genesis Wins Approval for Grayscale Share Sale

Genesis received court approval to sell $1.6 billion in Grayscale Bitcoin (approximately 35 million shares) and Ethereum (over 11 million shares) as part of its bankruptcy recovery efforts. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane rejected Digital Currency Group's request to consult on the share sales, citing potential conflicts of interest. The move reflects strategic decisions amid market dynamics and regulatory changes.  


Moonwell Launches 'USDC Anywhere' Feature

Moonwell has unveiled "USDC Anywhere," leveraging Circle’s Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol and Socket technology to streamline cross-chain lending of the USD Coin stablecoin across Ethereum networks. This feature simplifies DeFi transactions and expands access to diverse platforms, enhancing security with CCTP's "burn and mint" mechanism. It furthers Moonwell's commitment to accessible financial tools. 


New Scam Targets Ethereum Name Service Users

Uniswap's Hayden Adams has spotlighted a new scam where fraudsters impersonate Ethereum Name Service (ENS) wallet addresses, misleading users into sending crypto to fake addresses. This scam involves manipulating wallet interfaces to display the fraudulent address as a top result, exploiting the trust in ENS domains. 

Meanwhile, a counterfeit Curve Finance app surfaced on Apple's App Store, falsely using the DeFi protocol's branding. This app, falsely listed by MK Technology Co. Ltd, could potentially siphon users' assets through its features. 


Crypto Exchanges Report Rise in Suspicious Transactions

In South Korea, crypto exchanges reported a 49% increase in suspicious transactions in 2023, totaling 16,076 instances, up from 10,797 the previous year. This surge aligns with the Financial Intelligence Unit's (FIU) efforts to combat money laundering and illegal foreign exchange outflows. Additionally, the FIU highlighted a 90% rise in suspected crypto crime notifications and is cracking down on 100 unregistered crypto loan businesses. 

Meanwhile, in Japan, the financial regulator FSA has advised banks to rigorously screen crypto transfers to prevent unlawful money transfers, marking a significant step in their crackdown on financial crimes involving cryptocurrencies.


Powell Calls for US Stablecoin Regulation

Fed Chair Jerome Powell emphasized the need for a U.S. stablecoin bill, highlighting ongoing negotiations and the necessity of Congressional approval for any central bank digital currency (CBDC). 

Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury reported minimal cryptocurrency use in financing operations of militant groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, correcting earlier claims of significant terrorism funding. This clarification comes amid debates over crypto regulation, with the Treasury advocating for tools to combat digital asset misuse while emphasizing that terrorist groups largely prefer traditional financial services.


2023 Sees Decline in Crypto Money Laundering

In 2023, crypto money laundering decreased, with illicit addresses sending $22.2 billion, down from $31.5 billion in 2022, as per Chainalysis. This reflects a 30% reduction, surpassing the decline in overall transaction volumes. Laundering shifted towards blockchain bridges and gambling services, while centralized exchanges and illicit services decreased. The Lazarus Group adapted to sanctions by switching to the YoMix mixer.  


Optimism Mainnet Encounters Outages

On February 15, 2024, the Optimism Mainnet experienced outages and instability, initially due to a sequencer issue. After a temporary fix, further instability led to a centralization concern. The incident was unrelated to scheduled maintenance. Similar to a prior Arbitrum outage, blockchain reorganizations occurred, prompting a node restart. The planned maintenance aimed to test incident response capabilities. 

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Stacks Hits 26-Month Price Peak

Stacks (STX) hit a 26-month high at $2.8. Its market cap exceeded $3.8 billion, ranking it as the 29th-largest cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, several major Bitcoin forks, including BCHBSV, and XEC, have experienced significant depreciation against BTC since November 2021. The forks saw some positive performance in 2022 but declined as Bitcoin recovered in 2023. Factors such as institutional interest and controversies surrounding figures like Craig Wright may have contributed to this trend.  

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Cardano Reports Strong Q4 Growth

In Q4 2023, Cardano (ADA) reported notable growth with a 66.7% increase in revenue, a 127.2% surge in price, and a 166% rise in Total Value Locked (TVL). The platform experienced a significant increase in stablecoin TVL, while NFT activity declined. ADA's current trading price is $0.5724, marking substantial gains.  

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Romance Scams Steal $1.3 Billion in 2022

Romance scams are a growing concern, with $1.3 billion stolen in 2022 alone. The rise of online dating contributes to this, with an estimated 440 million users by 2027. Cryptocurrency payments account for 34% of scam losses, with an average loss of $14,000 per victim. Pig-butchering and DeFi are emerging trends in online fraud.   


Klaytn Merges with Finschia to Form Largest Web3 Ecosystem

The merger between Klaytn and Finschia, both backed by Asian internet conglomerates, creates Asia's largest Web3 ecosystem. The merger will establish a new native token and unified foundation in Abu Dhabi. It aims to encompass governance with 45 companies, 420 dApps and services, and over 250 million Asian wallet users, along with introducing a native stablecoin and scaling DeFi.  

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Telegram Users Embrace NEAR Protocol's Wallet

Over 1 million Telegram users have adopted the NEAR Protocol's self-custodial wallet, HERE, in just 10 days, marking rapid growth in Web3 adoption. This trend aligns with the development of Superapps and Everything Apps, with Telegram integrating crypto wallets to cater to its 800 million user base. Concurrently, Kraken's UK users are required to verify self-custodial wallets due to regulatory compliance. Meanwhile, Google Trends indicates increasing interest in crypto wallets. 

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ApeCoin Votes for ApeChain Development on Arbitrum

ApeCoin's community voted for ApeChain development on Arbitrum, with 25 million APE tokens (50.35%) in favor. AIP-378 by Horizen Labs commits to holding APE. ApeChain's potential annual revenue of $7 million is contingent on a million daily transactions at $0.02 each. Other supporters include Magic Eden and Darewise Entertainment. Arbitrum Foundation grants cover security council expenses for three years. APE currently trades at $1.65.  

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Top Altcoin Gainers and Losers

Gainers:

VeChain VET (+27.71%

Bitget Token BGB (+27.71%

Terra Classic LUNC (+17.74%

Losers:

Pyth Network PYTH (-4.83%

Klaytn KLAY (-3.67%

Injective INJ (-3.64%

NFT Market Map

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Superchief Opens Bitcoin Ordinals Art Gallery

Superchief Gallery has launched the world's first Bitcoin Ordinals art gallery in San Francisco, collaborating with Cypherpunk Lab, Nuro Realm, and Deezy Labs. The grand opening includes a special podcast recording and an art showcase featuring various artists. Superchief has a history of NFT involvement and aims to showcase and promote Ordinals artwork globally.  


Bits Gaming Project Announces Price Cut and Supply Reduction

The Bitcoin Ordinals gaming project Bits, incubated by DFZ Labs, faced a lukewarm launch. It announced a price reduction and a total supply cut after initially misjudging the market. The cost of minting a Bits inscription was reduced to 0.002 BTC, down from 0.006 BTC, with the supply cut to 3,000 inscriptions from the original 10,000.  

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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