Coin360 Daily Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | September 20, 2023
Crypto Market Update
Written by Van
Table of Contents
Crypto Security and Regulatory Updates
- Balancer's Second Hack Shakes DeFi Security
- Stanford Returns FTX's Controversial Gifts
- CoinEx Resumes Operations with Enhanced Security
- MKR Token Nears Highs Amid Market Optimism
- SEC Steps Up Actions Against Rogue Crypto Platforms
- Coinbase Takes Precautions Amid Zcash Hash Rate Concerns
- Ex-Deutsche Bank Exec Admits to Crypto Fraud
Market Trends and Price Analysis
- Bitcoin Holds Steady Amid Federal Reserve Watch
- ETH/BTC Ratio Hits Low as Whales Move to Exchanges
- Toncoin's Meteoric Rise to Top 10 Cryptos
- Q4 Could Be Bitcoin's Strongest, Says Matrixport
Crypto Exchanges and Platforms
- PayPal's PYUSD Struggles in Stablecoin Arena
- Binance CEO Refutes $250M Loan Allegations
- Nexo Earns Top Security Certification from CSA
- None Trading Bot Shuts Down After Critical Exploit
- Coinbase Introduces Pessimism for Layer 2 Security
- Polygon zkEVM Completes Major Dragon Fruit Upgrade
- South Korea Tightens Grip on Overseas Crypto Assets
Community and Social Impact
- Friend.Tech's Fee Model Raises Sustainability Questions
Gaming and NFTs
- Ledger Warns of New NFT Scam Targeting Users
- Epic Games Offers Fortnite Refunds in FTC Settlement
Balancer's Second Hack Shakes DeFi Security
Balancer Protocol, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform, has suffered its second hack in a month. Cybercriminals hijacked the platform's website to trick users into approving malicious contracts and stole approximately $238,000 worth of cryptocurrency. This incident highlights the need for improved security practices in the DeFi sector, which has lost nearly half a billion dollars in the first half of 2023.
Stanford Returns FTX's Controversial Gifts
Stanford University will return over $5.5 million in "gifts" from FTX after the cryptocurrency exchange collapsed. The move follows a lawsuit filed against the parents of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who are accused of using their influence to channel millions of dollars to the university and other entities.
CoinEx Resumes Operations with Enhanced Security
Cryptocurrency exchange CoinEx has announced that it will resume deposits and withdrawals for users on September 21st. The exchange will upgrade deposit addresses for various cryptocurrencies and has advised users to avoid using old addresses.
CoinEx was recently hacked for $70 million, with the Lazarus Group from North Korea suspected to be behind the attack. The exchange has implemented a 100% asset reserve policy to protect users from future security threats.
MKR Token Nears Highs Amid Market Optimism
Maker (MKR), the governance token of MakerDAO, is nearing a 16-month high as whales accumulate. MKR has outperformed the broader crypto market with a 152% return this year. MakerDAO's protocol profits have increased, driven by investments in U.S. Treasuries. Crypto hedge fund Ouroboros Capital predicts a price target of $1,600 for MKR.
SEC Steps Up Actions Against Rogue Crypto Platforms
The head of the SEC's Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, David Hirsch, has announced further enforcement actions against non-compliant crypto platforms, including those in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector. Hirsch confirmed that the agency will continue to pursue legal action against platforms that do not meet regulatory requirements, despite uncertainties surrounding success rates.
The SEC acknowledges its current capacity limitations in going after every platform but believes that enforcing regulation on platforms facilitating trading in cryptocurrencies could neutralize many low-value tokens.
Coinbase Takes Precautions Amid Zcash Hash Rate Concerns
Crypto mining pool ViaBTC controls over half of Zcash's hash rate, prompting Coinbase to implement precautionary measures. The exchange will require 110 block confirmations before it confirms a deposit of ZEC and has moved its Zcash trading pairs into "limit only" mode. Coinbase has also reached out to Electric Coin Company, the creator of Zcash, and ViaBTC with concerns over mining centralisation and the risk of a 51% attack.
Ex-Deutsche Bank Exec Admits to Crypto Fraud
Former Deutsche Bank exec Rashawn Russell has pleaded guilty to investment fraud in relation to a fraudulent cryptocurrency trading scheme. He defrauded 29 investors out of $1.5 million by promising guaranteed returns on crypto investments. Russell also participated in an identity theft scheme. He could face up to 30 years in prison and is required to pay restitution.
Bitcoin Holds Steady Amid Federal Reserve Watch
Bitcoin attempted a rally but was quickly suppressed, although it managed to maintain the $27,000 level and was trading at $27,188. The US Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expected to hold its benchmark rate steady, but market participants will be focused on economic projections and Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference for hints about future monetary policy.
The Bitcoin exchange supply has dropped to its lowest point of the year, with only 11.8% of the total supply sitting in centralized exchanges. This trend suggests that investors are moving their coins to self-custodial addresses, which could have long-term bullish implications for the price and decentralization of Bitcoin.
ETH/BTC Ratio Hits Low as Whales Move to Exchanges
As per cryptocurrency charts, the ETH/BTC ratio has reached a 14-month low as large token holders, including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, moved coins to exchanges, which potentially impacted Ethereum market cap. This trend confirms bearish forecasts for Ethereum, with analysts predicting BTC to outperform the wider crypto market. Furthermore, recent deposits of $60 million ETH by whales have raised concerns about further price declines.
Toncoin's Meteoric Rise to Top 10 Cryptos
Toncoin has surged by 30% in one week, propelling it to the 9th largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Telegram's endorsement of the Toncoin project and plans for integration into its app have fueled the rally. In the past 24 hours, crypto coin prices reveal that Toncoin remained at $2.43, marking a nearly 5% drop.
Q4 Could Be Bitcoin's Strongest, Says Matrixport
The final quarter of the year is historically Bitcoin's strongest in terms of performance, with an average return of over 35% over the past nine years, according to a report by Matrixport. The report suggests that bitcoin could reach $37,000 by the end of the year based on historical data. October is particularly strong for bitcoin, with positive returns in seven out of the last nine years.
Matrixport's technical analysis also indicates a potential price increase for bitcoin. Another potential catalyst for October is the second deadline for bitcoin ETF filings with the SEC. At the time of publication, crypto price data showed Bitcoin trading around $27,188.
PayPal's PYUSD Struggles in Stablecoin Arena
Despite its initial launch generating significant attention and credibility for the stablecoin industry, PayPal's PYUSD stablecoin has seen sluggish real-world adoption. It faces competition from established stablecoins that benefit from strong brands, deep liquidity, and widespread exchange listings.
PayPal's recent transparency report revealed PYUSD reserves of $45.3 million, compared to Tether's $83.1 billion. While PYUSD has maintained its peg to the dollar and boasts regulatory approval, it has failed to gain significant traction thus far.
Binance CEO Refutes $250M Loan Allegations
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao refutes a report claiming that he took a $250 million loan from BAM Management, stating that he actually lent $250 million to BAM Management. The report was based on court documents related to the ongoing lawsuit between Binance and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Nexo Earns Top Security Certification from CSA
Nexo has obtained the Security, Trust & Assurance Registry (STAR) Level 1 Certification from the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), enhancing the security of its cloud infrastructure. This follows its successful completion of the SOC 2 Type 2 audit and the standardization of ISO 27 001 in 2019.
Nexo's security procedures were found to be in compliance with the highest CSA criteria. The company aims to demonstrate its commitment to security, compliance, and transparency.
None Trading Bot Shuts Down After Critical Exploit
Discord crypto trading bot, None Trading, shuts down due to a "critical exploit." The project had a market cap of $16.5 million and its token, NONE, dropped by 80% after the announcement. Users had the option to use the bot for free or pay a fee for premium trading.
Coinbase Introduces Pessimism for Layer 2 Security
Coinbase's Base Layer 2 has introduced Pessimism, a security monitoring system for the Optimism ecosystem. Pessimism aims to detect security threats and vulnerabilities in OP Stack-based networks and includes subsystems for parsing, analyzing, and flagging potential concerns.
Coinbase plans to expand Pessimism's capabilities and has invited users and developers to provide feedback. Base has become the third-largest Layer 2 ecosystem on Ethereum, with over $400 million locked in value.
Polygon zkEVM Completes Major Dragon Fruit Upgrade
Polygon zkEVM, a scaling solution for the Ethereum Virtual Machine, has completed its first major upgrade, known as the Dragon Fruit upgrade. The upgrade includes improvements to the network and adds support for the latest Ethereum opcode, PUSH0. Polygon zkEVM has also joined the list of EVM networks that support the PUSH0 opcode.
This upgrade brings Polygon zkEVM up to date with the latest version of Solidity, maintaining its equivalence with the EVM. Additionally, Polygon has released the first set of Polygon Improvement Proposals for Polygon 2.0 implementation.
South Korea Tightens Grip on Overseas Crypto Assets
South Koreans hold approximately $99 billion in overseas crypto assets, accounting for 70% of total offshore assets reported in the country. Regulators are increasing scrutiny on over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency transactions to address concerns of potential misuse and illicit activities.
Friend.Tech's Fee Model Raises Sustainability Questions
Social networking app Friend.Tech has generated $12 million in fees from its users, who pay a 5% tax on key purchases and sales. While popular influencers have profited from the fees, the sustainability of the system is uncertain, particularly given the potential drawbacks and costs for users.
The success of the app will depend on how it structures the tokenomics of a potential airdrop and token. The app has experienced three waves of activity, with transaction volumes and fees dropping significantly between each wave.
Top Altcoin Gainers and Losers
Maker MKR (+4.46%)
Aave AAVE (+3.53%)
Nexo NEXO (+2.86%)
Rollbit Coin RLB (-6.33%)
THORChain RUNE (-5.90%)
Toncoin TON (-5.61%)
NFT Market Map
Ledger Warns of New NFT Scam Targeting Users
Crypto hardware wallet provider Ledger has warned of a new NFT scam targeting Ethereum, Polygon, and BSC users. Scammers airdrop voucher NFTs and redirect victims to malicious websites, aiming to steal wallet recovery phrases. Users of chains with NFT support are at risk. Stay safe by avoiding interaction with suspicious links, not transferring the NFT, double-checking URLs, and never sharing recovery phrases. Act quickly if you suspect malicious transactions.
Epic Games Offers Fortnite Refunds in FTC Settlement
Epic Games has launched a settlement page for Fortnite players to register for a refund as part of a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) relating to privacy issues and alleged deceptive design tricks.
The refunds are part of a $245m settlement package and eligible players can register until 17 January 2024. The final refund amount is yet to be determined. Eligible players include those charged for unwanted in-game items and those who had their Fortnite accounts locked for disputing charges.
This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.