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News/Coin360 Daily Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | January 18, 2024

Coin360 Daily Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | January 18, 2024

Van Thanh Le

Jan 18 2024

6 months ago5 minutes read

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Crypto Market Update

Table of Contents

Crypto Market Trends

  • Bitcoin's Range-Bound Struggle Amid ETF Launch
  • Tether's Strategic Bitcoin Acquisitions
  • Ether's Resilience: Call Options and Staking Surges

Altcoins and Meme Coins

  • Dogwifhat's Stellar Rise Fueled by Binance and Meme Trends
  • Algorand's Performance Boost with Dynamic Lambda
  • Polygon's Puzzling Transfers and MATIC's Market Moves
  • Conflux Network Bridges Bitcoin and Ethereum Worlds

Trading Platforms and Market Makers

  • dYdX Triumphs Over Uniswap in Trading Volume
  • Flowdesk's $50M Boost for Crypto Market Making
  • Woo's Ambitious Plans with $9M Fund Injection
  • Gemini's Green Light in France for Digital Asset Services

Crypto Protocols and Technology

  • COTI Protocol's Leap to Ethereum Layer 2
  • Manta Network Weathers DDoS Amidst Token Surge
  • MetaMask Innovates with Transaction Routing Feature
  • Wormhole's Remarkable Recovery in TVL

National and Global Regulations

  • South Korea Contemplates Crypto Tax Reforms
  • Singapore's Conservative Stance on Bitcoin ETFs
  • Trump's Firm Stand Against CBDCs
  • Thailand Eases Limits on Digital Token Investments
  • SEC vs. Coinbase: A Clash Over Definitions

Partnership and Expansion

  • OKX and McLaren: Accelerating Crypto Branding
  • Frax Finance's Bold Layer 2 Blockchain Launch
  • Franklin Templeton's Crypto Confidence: Ethereum and Solana

Legal Battles and Frauds

  • Bithumb's Ex-Chair Acquitted in High-Stakes Fraud Case
  • Ronaldo's Legal Drama Over Binance NFT Promotion
  • Former OpenSea Manager Challenges Insider Trading Conviction
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Bitcoin's Range-Bound Struggle Amid ETF Launch

Bitcoin struggles to break above $43,000 and dropped under $42,000, with low volatility and high liquidity keeping it range-bound. Spot price hovers between $41,500 - $44,000 due to excessive liquidity, hindering significant price movements. The recent ETF launch failed to drive rapid gains, and metrics like the Value Days Destroyed Multiple suggest a need for a price cool-down. 

Bitcoin and Ethereum dipped post-U.S. jobless claims, which dropped by 16,000 to 187,000, surpassing market estimates of 207,000 in the week ending January 18. A dormant Satoshi-era Bitcoin whale moved $2 billion, the largest 2024 transaction. Bitcoin's hash rate fell 34% due to Texas' freeze, impacting mining. Despite this, Bitcoin's unrealized gains hit 55%, showing long-term holder confidence. However, Bitcoin miners sold over 10,000 BTC, hinting at market shifts.

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Tether's Strategic Bitcoin Acquisitions

Tether recently acquired 8,888 bitcoins, bringing its total holdings to 66,465 BTC valued at $2.8 billion. The company began purchasing bitcoin in September 2022, aiming to invest a portion of its profits quarterly. Tether also committed to investing in bitcoin mining and energy production, with a focus on its USDT stablecoin.  


Ether's Resilience: Call Options and Staking Surges

Ether call options are heavily concentrated at $2,550 on Deribit, despite a slight price dip. Ethereum's staking ratio post-Shapella surprisingly surged to 24%, with most stakes profitable. Santiment warns of high-risk profit levels for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP, suggesting potential corrections, yet increased exposure from ETF approvals could still propel their prices upward. 

Ethereum's demand reached a 13-month high after the approval of the first Bitcoin Spot ETF. Daily new addresses trading ETH surged to 636,480, the highest count since November 2022.

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Dogwifhat's Stellar Rise Fueled by Binance and Meme Trends

Dogwifhat (WIF), a Solana-based meme coin, has seen a meteoric rise, hitting nearly 50 cents at one point and spiking 257%, with its market cap reaching $500 million. This surge is attributed to Binance's listing of WIF and the growing popularity of Solana meme coins. 

Franklin Templeton's endorsement of Solana's ecosystem, including meme coins, has further boosted confidence. WIF's rise is also linked to mysterious buying activity ahead of its Binance listing, where an investor bought 17.22 million WIF with 86,738.1 SOL. Solana's price has benefited from this trend, reclaiming the $100 mark.

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Algorand's Performance Boost with Dynamic Lambda

Algorand's Dynamic Lambda update reduced block creation times by 20% to an average of under 3 seconds. The ALGO token trades at $0.189, down 4.5% in 24 hours. Dynamic Lambda adjusts block finality based on network congestion. Algorand's roadmap includes Python support, non-archival relay nodes, consensus upgrades, and a transition to a peer-to-peer network.   

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Polygon's Puzzling Transfers and MATIC's Market Moves

ChainArgos flagged suspicious Polygon transfers, citing deviations from the token plan, with 470 million MATIC moving to various wallets, including exchanges. Concurrently, Celsius transferred 25.76 million MATIC to exchanges, correlating with a price drop. Despite this, Celsius retains 34.08 million MATIC. The market saw a significant increase in MATIC on exchanges, with analysts eyeing $0.55 as a potential buy zone.

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Conflux Network Bridges Bitcoin and Ethereum Worlds

Conflux Network is developing an "EVM-compatible" solution for interoperability with Bitcoin. This solution will enable the transfer of bitcoin and inscription-based tokens between Conflux and Bitcoin networks. The testnet is set to launch by March, with the mainnet targeted for May. It will integrate Bitcoin seamlessly, supporting PoS-based staking capabilities and Ethereum-based contracts.  

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dYdX Triumphs Over Uniswap in Trading Volume

DeFi protocol dYdX's Cosmos-based market outperformed Uniswap in 24-hour trading volume, hitting $757 million, surpassing Uniswap v3’s $608 million on Ethereum. dYdX's v3 market also showed strength with $567 million. 

Concurrently, Uniswap amassed $2.6 million in revenue over three months from a 0.15% swap fee, despite community debates over VC interests. This fee strategy, aimed at ecosystem growth, didn't deter Uniswap's dominance, maintaining over 35% of DeFi trading volume, proving its resilience and market leadership.

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Flowdesk's $50M Boost for Crypto Market Making

Flowdesk, a crypto market maker, secures $50M in Series B led by Cathay Innovation, with contributions from Ripple and others. The funds will fuel OTC growth, new hires, and regulatory expansion in Singapore and the U.S. Flowdesk provides liquidity for Grayscale's Bitcoin ETF and is a market maker for Societe Generale's EUR CoinVertible stablecoin. 


Woo's Ambitious Plans with $9M Fund Injection

Woo secures $9M funding to enhance liquidity on WOO X exchange. Notable market makers, including Wintermute and Amber, contribute. The funding aims to bolster liquidity in BTC and ETH perpetual futures markets and eventually expand to altcoin futures and spot markets. Woo plans to allocate funds for global expansion, product development, and regulatory compliance.  

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Gemini's Green Light in France for Digital Asset Services

Gemini has gained approval to operate in France as a digital asset services provider. The company will offer services to institutional and retail traders, including over-the-counter trading. This registration from France's AMF brings Gemini's total European operating jurisdictions to over a dozen. The company plans to launch its services in France in the coming weeks.


COTI Protocol's Leap to Ethereum Layer 2

COTI Protocol is transitioning to Ethereum Layer 2, incorporating Garbling Circuits tech for improved speed, security, and privacy solutions. The COTI Foundation allocates $25 million for privacy-focused initiatives, with Soda Labs as the initial recipient. This transition aims to enhance applications such as wallets, decentralized exchanges, AI training, and governance.  

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Manta Network Weathers DDoS Amidst Token Surge

Manta Network faced a DDoS attack with 135 million RPC requests amid a successful token listing on Binance, Bithumb, and KuCoin, resulting in a token value of $2.27 and a fully diluted market cap of $2.27 billion. P0xeidon Labs, Manta's developer, raised $25 million, launched Manta Pacific's mainnet, and introduced Manta Atlantic for NFTs.  


MetaMask Innovates with Transaction Routing Feature

MetaMask is testing a new "transaction routing" feature that allows users to lean on third parties to find the best path for their transactions. Powered by Special Mechanisms Group, it aims to improve transaction execution and user experience, offering an intent-centric approach with a focus on open participation and bid-based optimization methods.  


Wormhole's Remarkable Recovery in TVL

Wormhole's TVL has rebounded to $1.02 billion, with Ether, Fantom, and Solana leading. It marks a 300% increase from a low of $234 million. The protocol's $225-million capital infusion follows a $321-million hack in Feb. 2022, which was countered by Jump Crypto and Oasis.app. Wormhole has facilitated $38 billion in cross-chain transfers since Sept. 2021.  


South Korea Contemplates Crypto Tax Reforms

South Korea is considering abolishing income tax for financial investments, including crypto assets. The proposed tax regime, set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2025, imposes a 22% levy on crypto gains over 2.5 million Korean won. The government aims to submit an amendment to the income tax law in late January or early February, with limited time for legislative processing before the upcoming national election.  


Singapore's Conservative Stance on Bitcoin ETFs

Singapore restricts spot Bitcoin ETFs, citing cryptocurrency's lack of qualification as ETF assets due to high volatility. MAS won't permit domestic listing but allows trading through local brokerages. Retail investors cautioned about risks. U.S. approved Bitcoin ETFs, accumulating $10 billion in trading volume, a significant contrast to the 500 ETFs' $450 million total volume in 2023.  


Trump's Firm Stand Against CBDCs

Former U.S. President Donald Trump, seeking the Republican presidential nomination, pledged to "never allow" a central bank digital currency, emphasizing concerns about government control over money. The Federal Reserve has not yet decided on a CBDC issuance, requiring an authorizing law. Globally, 130 countries, representing 98% of the world's GDP, are exploring CBDCs.  


Thailand Eases Limits on Digital Token Investments

Thailand's SEC lifts the $8,500 limit on retail investment in real estate and infrastructure-backed digital tokens, fostering investor freedom. The move follows KBank's acquisition of Satang, reflecting increasing crypto acceptance. Regulatory changes also permit local custodial wallets and new DASPs, coinciding with the real estate tycoon Srettha Thavisin's role as prime minister.  


SEC vs. Coinbase: A Clash Over Definitions

In the legal battle between the SEC and Coinbase, Judge Failla criticized the SEC's vague definitions of "securities" and "staking" during a recent hearing. The SEC accused Coinbase of manipulating the Howey Test, which the company denied. Attorney Bill Morgan views this as a positive sign for U.S. cryptocurrencies potentially being classified as non-securities. Both parties have conflicting interpretations of statutory language and the Howey Test.  


OKX and McLaren: Accelerating Crypto Branding

OKX expands partnership with McLaren F1 team for the 2024 season, prominently featuring its branding on race cars. The side pod placement aims to maximize visibility. The partnership has increased OKX's brand recognition, engaging McLaren's fan base and yielding over 3,000 new Web3 wallets. The exchange aims for a long-term, generational partnership.   


Frax Finance's Bold Layer 2 Blockchain Launch

Frax Finance plans to launch its layer 2 blockchain, Fraxtal, in February. The CEO expects several hundred million dollars' worth of crypto assets to be attracted in the first month. Fraxtal will use rollups technology and Frax's frxETH token as gas. The blockspace incentives feature, Flox, sets it apart.  

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Franklin Templeton's Crypto Confidence: Ethereum and Solana

Franklin Templeton expressed bullish sentiment towards Ethereum and Solana in a recent Twitter thread. The firm emphasized their potential for growth and highlighted specific projects and features within each ecosystem. The investment giant also acknowledged the potential of other layer-one blockchains and confirmed its ongoing support for them, hinting at potential future fund offerings.  


Bithumb's Ex-Chair Acquitted in High-Stakes Fraud Case

Former Bithumb chair Lee Jeong-hoon acquitted for the second time in an $82 million fraud case. Prosecutors alleged he defrauded cosmetic surgeon Kim Byung-Gun during acquisition negotiations. Lee requested a 100-billion won upfront "contract fee" promising to list BXA token on Bithumb. Court cited insufficient evidence and found Lee not guilty. 

Top Altcoin Gainers and Losers

Gainers:

Conflux CFX (+8.11%)

Maker MKR (+2.39%)

Bitget Token BGB (+2.35%)

Losers:

THORChain RUNE (-13.11%)

Bittensor TAO (-11.48%)

Sei SEI (-9.71%)

NFT Market Map

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Ronaldo's Legal Drama Over Binance NFT Promotion

Plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against Cristiano Ronaldo seek to serve court papers online as his residence in Saudi Arabia is unknown. They accuse him of promoting unregistered securities related to Binance's NFT collection. Legal experts suggest the case may proceed to trial given the potential damages and complexities involved.  


Former OpenSea Manager Challenges Insider Trading Conviction

Former OpenSea manager Nathaniel Chastain appeals wire fraud and money laundering conviction, claiming NFT information isn't "property." His legal team argues the information used for insider trading lacked commercial value to OpenSea. Chastain's purchase and resale of 45 featured NFTs resulted in conviction, with a three-month prison sentence and $50,000 fine.  

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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