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News/Coin360 Daily Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | February 20, 2024

Coin360 Daily Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | February 20, 2024

Van Thanh Le

Feb 20 2024

3 months ago4 minutes read

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Crypto Market Update

Table of Contents

Crypto Market Dynamics

  • Bitcoin's Price Resistance at $53k
  • Ethereum Hits New Highs
  • Starknet's Token Launch Drama
  • CME to Launch Euro Crypto Futures

Platform and Protocol Developments

  • Ethena's High-Yield DeFi Platform Raises Concerns
  • Humanity Protocol Launch
  • MetaMask's Security Upgrade
  • Ethereum's Liquid Restaking Boom
  • Stellar Introduces Smart Contracts

Crypto Exchanges and Wallets

  • Binance Halts Monero Withdrawals

Legal and Regulatory Insights

  • Tyr Capital Faces Lawsuit
  • Deaton Challenges Senator Warren

Investment and Funding News

  • Hack VC's Funding Milestone
  • BlackRock Advertises Bitcoin ETF

Partnerships and Collaborations

  • Mastercard and Swoo Pay's Collaboration

Industry Trends and Strategic Moves

  • eBay Cuts Web3 Staff
  • Mumbai Goes Metaverse
  • Forbes Enters The Sandbox
  • SI Tickets Switches to Avalanche
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Bitcoin's Price Resistance at $53k

Bitcoin's recent price dynamics show a significant resistance at $53,000, challenging bulls in the market. Accumulation trends reveal a peak ahead of the anticipated halving, with nearly 450,000 BTC acquired by short-term holders since December. 

Despite this bullish sentiment, some investors are bracing for potential downturns, evidenced by a $20 million bet on options to hedge against a drop to $47,000. Meanwhile, Bitcoin whales have transferred $1 billion worth of assets from Coinbase, signaling possible strategic moves. Additionally, addresses holding $25 billion in BTC are facing losses, hinting at a major selloff on the horizon.

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Ethereum Hits New Highs

Ethereum's recent surge to $3,000, its highest since April 2022, before retracing, has sparked a flurry of activity and speculation. This milestone, driven by the anticipation of spot ETFs and the Dencun upgrade, has not only attracted institutional interest but also reactivated long-dormant whales. One such whale moved over $5 million worth of ETH to Kraken, while another amassed 64,346 ETH worth $178.9 million in just 11 days. 

Amidst this, Ethereum's bullish momentum is further bolstered by significant investments from figures like Justin Sun, suspected of buying $160.7 million in ETH. Analysts predict Ethereum could hit $3,300 in February, with potential targets reaching as high as $4,500, fueled by technological upgrades and ETF speculations. This rally has reignited hopes for an 'Altseason,' with Ethereum's performance possibly leading the charge.

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Starknet's Token Launch Drama

Starknet's STRK token faced a tumultuous launch, with its value plummeting by 49% as over 51,000 users claimed their tokens, pushing its market cap to approximately $2 billion. Despite the initial hype, the token's price fluctuated significantly, trading over $7 on Binance but later stabilizing between $3 and $4. Major market makers like Amber Group, Wintermute, and Flow Traders invested heavily, adding credibility and liquidity to the STRK market. 

However, Starknet's revised airdrop policy led to a significant user exodus, with over 50% of its users leaving after changes were announced just before the claim date. This dissatisfaction persisted despite efforts to address eligibility concerns, particularly among validators, leaving smaller community members feeling sidelined.

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CME to Launch Euro Crypto Futures

The CME plans to launch euro-denominated micro bitcoin and ether futures on March 18, pending regulatory approval. The move aims to meet global demand for precise risk management tools as interest in bitcoin and ether continues to grow. The company's open interest and trading volume saw significant increases, signaling strong market activity.   


Ethena's High-Yield DeFi Platform Raises Concerns

Ethena's DeFi platform, offering a 27% yield by shorting Ether, has drawn significant attention with over $287 million in USDe minted, leveraging ether futures and validator staking for yield generation. Despite concerns over sustainability and comparisons to past failures, the model's novelty and high yield have attracted both interest and skepticism. Critics highlight risks of yield inversion and the challenge of maintaining high yields in bear markets, while supporters argue for its potential to manage risks effectively. 


Humanity Protocol Launch

Polygon Labs, Animoca Brands, and The Human Institute launched Humanity Protocol, a palm-recognition blockchain for Proof of Humanity. It aims to create a decentralized human identity solution. Yat Siu of Animoca Brands emphasized its non-invasive approach to verification, hinting at future user rewards. The Human Institute seeks to empower humans through technology and capital.  

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MetaMask's Security Upgrade

MetaMask has integrated Blockaid's security alerts across various chains, bolstering security and thwarting asset theft. This positions MetaMask as a leading secure, self-custodial crypto wallet. The user base experienced substantial growth, with monthly active users surging by 55% to over 30 million. This is attributable to MetaMask's rising popularity and enhanced security, including the Blockaid integration, which prevented over 30,000 malicious transactions during its beta phase. 


Ethereum's Liquid Restaking Boom

Liquid restaking protocols for Ethereum have surpassed $3.5 billion in total value locked, driven by EigenLayer's role in enabling users to stake tokens and earn rewards. Protocols like Etherfi, Renzo, Kelp, Puffer, and Bedrock have seen significant growth. EigenLayer has a total value locked exceeding $7 billion, with users eyeing rewards and airdrops.  


Stellar Introduces Smart Contracts

Stellar initiates phased rollout of 'Soroban' smart contracts after a three-week delay due to a bug. The upgrade adds Ethereum-style smart contract support to the payments-focused blockchain. The network plans to gradually increase limits for Soroban transactions, with potential speculations on the impact on XLM tokens. The upgrade was overseen by Stellar Development Foundation's Tomer Weller.  

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Binance Halts Monero Withdrawals

On February 19, Binance suspended Monero (XMR) withdrawals due to "low hot wallet balance" the day before delisting the privacy coin. Privacy advocate Untraceable criticized the move, questioning Binance's motives. Customers can withdraw XMR until May 20, 2024, as part of the delisting process announced by the exchange.  

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Tyr Capital Faces Lawsuit

Geneva-based Tyr Capital Partners is embroiled in a $22 million lawsuit due to its FTX exposure, accused of neglecting risk management and investor warnings, leading to significant losses. Meanwhile, crypto YouTuber Tiffany Fong confirms the legitimacy of an image showing a bearded and thinner Sam Bankman-Fried in jail, following his fraud conviction. The photo, taken from prison, highlights the personal toll of the FTX collapse on its founder, amidst ongoing legal and financial ramifications for those involved in the crypto exchange's downfall.

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Deaton Challenges Senator Warren

John Deaton, a lawyer advocating for the crypto industry, launched his campaign to unseat Senator Elizabeth Warren. Despite his advocacy for digital assets, his campaign focused on domestic issues, with no explicit mention of crypto. Warren, a vocal opponent of digital assets, called for donations by referencing Deaton and claimed the "crypto lobby" targeted her. She had raised $16 million for her 2024 reelection campaign. 


Hack VC's Funding Milestone

Hack VC closed its Venture Fund 1 at $150 million, raising total assets to $425 million. The firm focuses on early-stage web3 startups in security, capital-efficient DeFi, and web3-AI convergence. It has backed AltLayer, ImgnAI, and Affine Protocol, among others, and supports the upcoming web3 conference Hack.Summit in Hong Kong.  


BlackRock Advertises Bitcoin ETF

BlackRock has launched a modest ad campaign for its iShares Bitcoin ETF (IBIT), emphasizing progress over flashiness. With $5.3B in inflows, IBIT outperforms competitors like Fidelity's FBTC. The ad coincides with Google's allowance of crypto ads and a surge in ETF marketing. The industry is also witnessing heightened competition and growing interest in spot Bitcoin ETFs. 


Mastercard and Swoo Pay's Collaboration

Mastercard collaborates with Swoo Pay to offer crypto loyalty rewards in emerging markets, aiming to address Google Pay limitations and enable Huawei smartphone users to access tokenized payments. The pilot program attracted 17,000 participants, providing a 5% crypto cashback scheme. Swoo's partnership with Mastercard targets regions like Africa and Southeast Asia.  

Top Altcoin Gainers and Losers

Gainers:

Monero XMR (+7.32%

Chiliz CHZ (+6.53%

Siacoin SC (+6.30%

Losers:

Starknet Token STRK (-28.69%

SATS 1000SATS (-12.71%

Worldcoin WLD (-12.01%

NFT Market Map

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eBay Cuts Web3 Staff

eBay reportedly reduced its Web3NFT team by 30%, following the acquisition of KnownOrigins. The layoffs affected co-founder David Moore and Chief Business Officer Stefanie Jay. Industry experts suggest the move aligns with broader tech industry trends involving cost-cutting measures for improved growth and profitability. eBay's robust NFT business strategy integrates e-commerce expertise for secure and authentic trading.  


Mumbai Goes Metaverse

Mumbai launches the Mumbai Metropolis Metaverse for 3D and virtual reality experiences of infrastructure projects. Spearheaded by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the initiative aims to improve transport efficiency, highlighting 12 key projects including the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Corridor and Mumbai Metro. India's private sector also embraces the metaverse trend.  


Forbes Enters The Sandbox

Forbes has acquired virtual land in The Sandbox metaverse, aiming to establish a vibrant community hub with interactive experiences. Despite a declining market trend, Forbes is committed to its web3 strategy, emphasizing its faith in the metaverse's potential. The move aligns with Forbes' larger efforts to engage with web3 technologies and cultivate a community in anticipation of a potential crypto rally.  

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SI Tickets Switches to Avalanche

Sports Illustrated's ticketing arm, SI Tickets, has shifted its NFT ticketing platform "Box Office" from Polygon to Avalanche. The move will enable SI Tickets to mint NFT tickets on the Avalanche blockchain, providing dynamic content and engagement opportunities for event attendees. CEO David Lane emphasized the potential for NFT tickets to transform the event experience and create new revenue streams.  

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This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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