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News/Coin360 Daily Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | May 18, 2023

Coin360 Daily Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | May 18, 2023

May 18 2023

last year3 minutes read

Crypto Market Update

Written by Van

Table of Contents:

Crypto Exchanges and Platforms

  • Binance Australia Seeks New Provider Amid Payment Services Suspension
  • NFT Marketplace Blur Sees Strong Growth With Blend Lending Platform
  • Uniswap Explores Potential Deployment on Coinbase's Base Layer 2
  • DYDX Eyes More Decentralization with Additional SubDAOs
  • Coinbase Cloud to Become Chainlink Oracle Node Operator

Banking and Regulatory Updates

  • Greenland: Chinese State-Owned Developer Aims for HK Virtual Assets License
  • Circle Prepares for Possible US Debt Default; Adjusts USDC Reserves
  • Pakistan Firm on Crypto Trading Ban Due to FATF Requirements
  • Revolut Launches Multi-Currency Accounts in Australia, Eyes Banking License
  • Ripple Launches CBDC Platform for Central Banks and Financial Institutions

Country-Specific Developments

  • SK Lawmakers Push for Expedited Virtual Asset User Protection Bill
  • Conflux Network, China Telecom Unveil Blockchain-Based SIM Card

Crypto Investments and Market Updates

  • Institutional Investors Warming up to Crypto, Preferring Ether over Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Bear Market Possibly Over, Suggests Glassnode
  • Arbitrum Sees Network Activity Surge, Whale Investors Poised to Buy
  • Fahrenheit Consortium Leads in Celsius Asset Auction

Technology and Security

  • Curve's crvUSD Stablecoin Now Backed by User-Friendly Interface
  • LayerZero and Immunefi Offer $15M Bug Bounty in Partnership
  • Osmosis Proposes Mesh Security Model for Boosted Cosmos Ecosystem
  • SEC Asks Grayscale to Withdraw Application for Filecoin Trust
  • Gala Games Burns 21B Tokens Amid Dump-and-Exit Concerns

Company Crises and Solutions

  • FTX Sues Ex-Executives over Fraudulent Acquisition of Embed
  • Bankrupt Voyager Digital Returns $1.33B in Crypto to Customers
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Binance Australia Seeks New Provider Amid Payment Services Suspension

Binance Australia has suspended Australian dollar services after Zepto, its local payment services provider, reportedly stopped support for the exchange. Binance is now searching for an alternative provider to continue offering Australian dollar deposits and withdrawals, though the ability to buy and sell crypto using credit or debit cards is still available. 


NFT Marketplace Blur Sees Strong Growth With Blend Lending Platform

NFT marketplace Blur has experienced strong growth with its new lending platform, Blend. Blend has facilitated over 100,000 ETH ($181 million) in total volume just 17 days after its launch, with more than 3,000 loans from 900 unique lenders. The platform lets users take out Ethereum loans by putting their NFTs up as collateral. Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club collections were added to the four collections previously available, fuelling further enthusiasm. The success of Blend strengthens Blur's position as a major player in the NFT ecosystem. 


Uniswap Explores Potential Deployment on Coinbase's Base Layer 2

Uniswap contributors are exploring a potential deployment on Coinbase's Layer 2 blockchain Base. The integration would extend user access to Uniswap's decentralized exchange via Base's Layer 2 network, subject to approval through an on-chain governance vote. Uniswap v3 is one of the most widely used DeFi apps and has handled about half a billion dollars in trading volume within the last 24 hours. If approved, the proposal would be a boon for Coinbase's Base project aimed at offering developers a more accessible, cost-effective platform for building decentralized apps on-chain. 

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DYDX Eyes More Decentralization with Additional SubDAOs

Decentralized platform DYDX is considering creating more subDAOs to make its ecosystem more decentralized, according to Australian-based agency Fox Labs Digital. With the imminent launch of its fourth version (v4) on Cosmos blockchain, the company is aiming to become "a fully decentralized version of the protocol". The current two subDAOs will be expanded to include smaller decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), which will work on different areas of the DYDX protocol. 

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Coinbase Cloud to Become Chainlink Oracle Node Operator

Coinbase Cloud has announced that it will become a Chainlink oracle node operator to improve. This move is a to Coinbase Cloud's commitment the security and reliability of contracts, with the goal of creating a more decentralized and trustworthy future for blockchain. Coinbase Cloud already runs on networks such as Ethereum and Solana. The announcement has positively impacted Coinbase's stock, which has risen 5.46% at one point.


Greenland: Chinese State-Owned Developer Aims for HK Virtual Assets License

Greenland, a Chinese state-owned real estate developer, plans to apply for a virtual assets trading license in Hong Kong, marking the first state-owned entity to do so. The fintech unit of Greenland will apply for the license, with the CEO stating the move will expand their digital financial business in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Chinese authorities have been cracking down on the crypto market, with recent prosecutors targeting the NFT market. Hong Kong has taken a more positive approach to crypto regulation, with a licensing process due to come into effect from June 1. 


Circle Prepares for Possible US Debt Default; Adjusts USDC Reserves

Circle Internet Financial is adjusting the reserves backing the $30 billion USDC stablecoin in preparation for potential US government debt default. The firm has added $8.7 billion in overnight repo agreements to its Circle Reserve Fund, managed byRock. Circle has also dumped Treasuries that mature after May, rotating assets into cash or government repo transactions. 


Pakistan Firm on Crypto Trading Ban Due to FATF Requirements

Pakistan will ban all cryptocurrency services and never legalize crypto trading, according to Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha. The ban is a requirement set by the Financial Action Task Force, which removed Pakistan from its gray list in October. Crypto adoption has been high in the country, with citizens reportedly holding $20 billion worth of crypto in 2021. However, the government has been seeking a ban since at least January, and officials are drafting legislation for it. 


Revolut Launches Multi-Currency Accounts in Australia, Eyes Banking License

Revolut has launched multi-currency business accounts for clients in Australia, allowing users to conduct up to AUD75,000 ($49,950) worth of foreign currency exchange per month. The fintech firm is also reportedly working on securing a banking licence in the country. Revolut offers fiat and crypto payment services, and has partnered with crypto tax solution providers Koinly to simplify tax calculations for users. 


Ripple Launches CBDC Platform for Central Banks and Financial Institutions

Ripple has launched a private ledger that allows central banks and financial institutions to mint, distribute, redeem and destroy central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The platform also enables inter-institutional settlement and distribution functions. The company will demonstrate its CBDC Platform during the Hong Kong Monetary Authority's e-HKD pilot programme, where it will settle tokenised assets using a retail version of the central bank digital currency. 

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SK Lawmakers Push for Expedited Virtual Asset User Protection Bill

South Korean lawmakers are pushing for the country's first standalone crypto bill, the Virtual Asset User Protection Bill, to be expedited following a recent murder case over cryptocurrency-related losses. The bill would include 19 different crypto-related measures, such as penalties for insider trading and market manipulation, and require digital asset firms to take out insurance to protect themselves from hacks. The bill could be passed in a parliamentary vote later this month. 


Conflux Network, China Telecom Unveil Blockchain-Based SIM Card

Conflux Network has launched its first blockchain-based SIM card in collaboration with China Telecom. The BSIM card offers on-chain data storage, digital identity verification, and asset management, among other features, and is compatible with Android and iOS. The card will be piloted in Hong Kong and then made available in mainland China and overseas markets. Conflux CFX, the native token of Conflux Network, reached a ten-day high following the launch event. 

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Institutional Investors Warming up to Crypto, Preferring Ether over Bitcoin

Institutional investors are slowly starting to exit their bear market mentality and are showing more interest in allocating funds to cryptocurrency, with Ether (ETH) emerging as a preference over Bitcoin, according to Bitwise Chief Investment Officer Matt Hougan. He warned that investors need to allocate to crypto even when it hurts, especially as not doing so is becoming a business risk for financial advisors and institutional investors. However, concerns around regulation persist, so investors should look abroad to find regulatory progress and technological advancements in layer-2s and the Ethereum blockchain. 

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Bitcoin Bear Market Possibly Over, Suggests Glassnode

Glassnode's "Recovering from a Bitcoin Bear" signal, which combines eight metrics, suggests that the Bitcoin bear market could be over, with all of the metrics currently looking bullish for Bitcoin. The crypto analyst Negentropic notes that momentum is shifting towards layer-2 protocols and AI projects, which is a bullish sign for Bitcoin and crypto. Bitcoin is currently trading at around $27,000, up 0.48% in the past 24 hours and up by nearly 63% since the start of 2023. 

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Source: Glassnode

Arbitrum Sees Network Activity Surge, Whale Investors Poised to Buy

Arbitrum's network activity is growing, with a significant increase in daily active addresses, which could prompt whale investors to start buying again. These whales have been holding firm despite recent price fluctuations, and the Market Value to Realized Value ratio suggests a rally toward $1.50 is the most likely ARB price prediction. However, ARB may struggle to break above the resistance zone of $1.25. 

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Source: Santiment

Fahrenheit Consortium Leads in Celsius Asset Auction

Fahrenheit Consortium, comprising backers such as Arrington Capital, US Bitcoin Corp and investment firm Proof Group Capital Management, has emerged as the lead bidder in the Celsius asset auction. The assets being auctioned include the crypto lender's mining operations, direct staking, illiquid crypto and alternative holdings, and its retail and institutional loan portfolio. The value being discussed is in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars, higher than NovaWulf's initial bid of between $45 million to $55 million. 


Curve's crvUSD Stablecoin Now Backed by User-Friendly Interface

Curve's crvUSD stablecoin smart contracts are now accompanied by its CrvUSD user interface. The crvUSD will maintain its peg to the US dollar through the Lending-Liquidating Automated Market Maker Algorithm (LLAMMA), which combines traditional AMM with a lending market. The user interface currently supports the minting of crvUSD using sfrxETH as collateral. 

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LayerZero and Immunefi Offer $15M Bug Bounty in Partnership

LayerZero has partnered with Immunefi to establish a bug bounty program with a maximum reward of $15 million, surpassing MakerDAO's maximum bounty of $10 million. LayerZero will reserve the maximum reward for finding vulnerabilities at the "highest severity level," and payouts will be made for each new bug found. Smaller payouts are available for lower-threat bugs. The program requires know-your-customer compliance, and LayerZero secured $120 million in funding in April to expand into the Asia-Pacific region's gaming sector.


Osmosis Proposes Mesh Security Model for Boosted Cosmos Ecosystem

Osmosis is developing a mesh security model to consolidate token security and boost the economic security of the Cosmos ecosystem. The model will combine staked assets from two or more blockchains, with validators of a particular blockchain having the option to re-stake their bonded tokens to validators of their choice on a partnering chain. The initiative, funded by Osmosis and collaborators like Axelar and Akash, is projected to complete in three phases and launch in Q1 2024. 

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SEC Asks Grayscale to Withdraw Application for Filecoin Trust

The SEC has asked Grayscale Investments to withdraw its application for a Filecoin Trust after warning that FIL could be seen as a security. Grayscale believes that Filecoin is not a security and will send an explanation to the SEC, but it can't predict whether the regulator will accept its reasoning. The SEC has been cracking down on crypto products and recently fined Kraken and issued a legal notice to Coinbase for potential securities law violations. 

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Gala Games Burns 21B Tokens Amid Dump-and-Exit Concerns

Gala Games burned almost 21 billion GALA tokens worth over $637 million in an effort to reduce concerns surrounding a possible "dump and exit" scenario. The largest burn of 15 billion tokens represents Gala's response to community concerns. Gala's own treasury is now almost completely eliminated, leading to rewards for Founders Node operators going up roughly 4x. Almost 160,000 different wallets received upgraded tokens as the firm finalizes the contract upgrade and deprecates its old token.

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FTX Sues Ex-Executives over Fraudulent Acquisition of Embed

FTX's current leadership is suing former executives, including Sam Bankman-Fried, over an overpriced acquisition of Embed. Alameda Research and company paid $250 million for the stock clearing platform, which FTX now claims was near-worthless and that Bankman-Fried and others knowingly used fraudulent funds taken from FTX customers for Alameda's acquisition of the company. Separate suits also seek to claw back funds from Embed's founder, former CEO, and early investors who sold their stakes to Bankman-Fried and company.  

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Bankrupt Voyager Digital Returns $1.33B in Crypto to Customers

Bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital will return $1.33 billion in crypto assets to its customers, equivalent to 35% of their deposits. The company has been trying to get support from big names in crypto since it filed for bankruptcy in July 2022, but multiple buyouts failed. The US Bankruptcy Judge approved the liquidation plan on Wednesday, putting an end to Voyager's efforts to reorganize under Chapter 11. The firm's Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors said they were working with the company to go effective under the plan as soon as possible. 

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Top Altcoin Gainers and Losers

Gainers:

Render Token RNDR (+14.82%)

Synthetix SNX (+8.08%)

Kava KAVA (+7.13%)

Losers:

Toncoin TON (-3.20%)

Radix XRD (-2.53%)

Axie Infinity AXS (-1.95%)


NFT Market Map

The NFT market has seen a decrease in trading volume for May 2021, with $333 million in sales so far, but the number of weekly active wallets is up and the number of sales is on track to match or surpass April figures. Ethereum remains the leading blockchain for trading volume, but other blockchains such as Polygon and Solana are seeing a higher number of NFT sales. Trading volume is still an important metric, but context is key in understanding the behavior of NFT traders. 

Bitcoin Frogs, an NFT collection featuring 10,000 unique frog collectibles, has become the most-traded collection in the past 24 hours with a trading volume of over $2.2 million, surpassing even prominent collections such as Bored Apes. Each NFT is selling for 0.12 bitcoin ($3,200) with trading fees ranging from $50 to over $1,200, spread across 627 individual transactions. 

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This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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