Crypto Market Update: SEC Chair Faces Criticism from Republicans over Digital Asset Regulation Policies
Written by Van - Perfected by ChatGPT
The SEC Chair, Gary Gensler, faced criticism from congressional Republicans during a hearing on April 18, 2023, regarding the regulation of digital assets and the need for clear rules. Gensler emphasized the importance of compliance with securities laws and investor protection, highlighting the risks and potential conflicts of interest in the crypto market. Republicans expressed frustration with the SEC’s approach to digital asset regulation and its perceived lack of clarity and guidance for the crypto market. During the hearing, Gensler refused to say whether Ether was a security and faced questions about his agency’s proposed rules and public feedback.
Microsoft Partners With Space and Time To Provide Real-Time Blockchain Data Through Azure Marketplace
Microsoft has partnered with decentralized data platform Space and Time to provide access to real-time blockchain data for developers through the Azure Marketplace. Space and Time offers hybrid transactional and analytic databases pre-loaded with real-time blockchain data indexed from major blockchains combined with off-chain datasets provided by customers. The partnership provides one-click deployment for developers enabling them to access, manage, and perform analytics on blockchain data. The move will allow businesses to build on the blockchain without restructuring existing tech architecture.
Intel Discontinues Bitcoin Mining Chip Production After One Year for Lack of Interest
Intel has announced that it will end production of its bitcoin mining chip series, the Intel Blockscale 1000 Series ASIC, while continuing to support existing customers. No orders will be taken after October 20, and the last product will be shipped no later than April 20, 2024. Intel had announced its foray into bitcoin mining about a year ago, with its first customers being Argo Blockchain, Block, Griid Infrastructure, and Hive Blockchain. However, only Hive has confirmed the installation of mining rigs powered by Intel chips.
Apple Urgently Releases Updates to Address Critical Cryptocurrency Vulnerabilities in iOS and macOS Devices
Apple has released urgent updates to address vulnerabilities in iOS and macOS devices that could allow bad actors to conduct zero-click exploits and steal cryptocurrency from users’ wallets. Phishing attacks are becoming a favorite mode of cryptocurrency hackers who trick victims into connecting their wallets and then drain the assets, including crypto tokens and NFTs. Users are advised to take security measures such as diversifying funds, securely storing private keys, and thoroughly evaluating the authenticity of links before clicking on them.
MetaMask Denies Wallet Exploit As Source Of 5,000 ETH Loss
MetaMask denied that the recent wallet-draining operation, which resulted in the loss of over 5,000 ETH, was caused by an exploit of its wallet. The wallet provider clarified that the stolen funds were from various addresses across 11 blockchains, and the claim that the funds were hacked from MetaMask was incorrect. MetaMask’s security team is working with others across the Web3 wallet space to research the source of the exploit. Taylor Monahan, the founder of Ethereum wallet manager MyCrypto, explained that users of all wallets, even those created on a hardware wallet, have been impacted by the exploit.
Bitcoin Whales Accumulate Cryptocurrency as Market Experiences Sudden Drop
Bitcoin experienced a sudden drop on April 19th, losing \(1,000 in minutes and coinciding with over \)200 million in long liquidations, before crawling back up to around \(29,300. This was caused by a 16,000-[BTC](https://coin360.com/coin/bitcoin-btc) market sell on [Binance](https://coin360.com/exchange/binance), which was thought to be linked to a potential news event. Analysts reassured traders that important support levels were still present, and some, such as Trader Credible Crypto, considered the retracement to be normal and healthy, while others, like Caleb Franzen, senior market analyst, anticipated a potential support retest area at \)27,000.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin whales, defined as investors holding large amounts of BTC, have been accumulating the cryptocurrency in recent days, according to data from on-chain analytics firm Santiment. The trend indicates that the month-long dumping of BTC on the market may have ended, and the cryptocurrency’s price could be bullish in the long term. The whales, who hold around 20.07% of the entire circulating BTC supply, added around 20,000 BTC ($585.3 million) to their wallets in the past few days.
A survey conducted by Finder with 32 crypto industry specialists predicts that Bitcoin will reach a high of \(42,225, a low of \)17,026, and close the year at \(35,485 in 2023. The lack of confidence in the traditional banking system is seen as the biggest factor behind Bitcoin's surge in March. Most of the survey's respondents are bullish about the current trend in Bitcoin. Finder's survey predicts Bitcoin's price will reach \)99,781 by 2025 and $297,848 by 2030.
Sandwich Bots Prey on Ethereum Users
Since the Shapella upgrade on Ethereum, deposits have started to outpace withdrawals, resulting in a positive net staking balance of roughly 92,069 ETH in the past 24 hours. However, the overall net staking balance is still largely negative, with 999,206 ETH (worth over \(1.9 billion) queued up for withdrawal. The burn rate of ether has also increased significantly since Shapella, with Ethereum burning roughly 11,600 [ETH](https://coin360.com/coin/ethereum-eth) in the last seven days, worth roughly \)23 million at current prices. The price of ETH has fallen below $2,000, in line with the broader crypto market.
Sandwich bots are manipulating transactions on the Ethereum network by frontrunning and skimming value from users who trade meme coins such as PEPE and CHAD. This behavior drives up gas fees and is seen as predatory. One wallet, Jaredfromsubway.eth, has spent over \(2 million in fees to sandwich low-cap token traders, becoming the top spender on the network. Jaredfromsubway.eth's gains are estimated to exceed costs by over \)1.4 million since Tuesday, eating into the gains made by meme coins like PEPE and CHAD.
Dogecoin Gains Despite SpaceX Starship Launch Delay: Market Optimism Prevails
Dogecoin enthusiasts are excited about the launch of SpaceX Starship which has captured the attention of space enthusiasts worldwide. Even though the launch was delayed, Dogecoin managed to post gains in the market as the current DOGE price is also seeing a smaller loss compared to other altcoins in the top 10: -2.9%.
Optimism’s OP Token Value Sees Increase Following A16z Crypto Engineering Tweet
The native token of the Optimism blockchain, OP, saw a 3% increase in value before falling to 0.72% due to the recent market crash. It came after an engineer at a16z crypto tweeted an orange circle with the words “coming soon.” Traders speculated that a16z may have plans to launch its own layer 2 blockchain. However, the CTO of a16z crypto subsequently tweeted that it was “not an L2,” denying the possibility. Instead, a16z said it’s working on an Optimism-based rollup called Magi.
TON Foundation Launches Unlimited Bridge for ERC-20 Tokens Transfer to Jettons
The TON Foundation has launched a two-way bridge to facilitate the transfer of ERC-20 tokens from Ethereum to natively wrapped fungible tokens (Jettons) on TON, marking a significant milestone in the evolution of the TON ecosystem. The first unlimited bridge will help users to bridge WBTC, USDT, USDC, and DAI. Audits were conducted on the bridge by prominent blockchain security firms, and the announcement welcomed white hat hackers to test the security integrity of the bridge through a hackathon in 2022. This development comes less than a month after Telegram added a new feature enabling users to send Tether on the [Tron](https://coin360.com/coin/tron-trx’) blockchain. TON price dropped by -1.3% over the day.
Lido Finance’s TVL Surpasses 6 Million ETH, DAO Considers Accepting ARB For Liquidity Incentives
The total value locked in liquid staking protocol Lido Finance has surpassed 6 million ETH, equivalent to over \(12 billion. Lido holds approximately 30% of the market share in the liquid staking derivative market. Lido DAO is considering accepting [Arbitrum](https://coin360.com/coin/arbitrum-arb)'s [airdrop](https://coin360.com/glossary/airdrop) of its governance token, [ARB](https://coin360.com/coin/arbitrum-arb), and using it to incentivize users to provide liquidity for wrapped staked ether pools on Arbitrum. The proposal submitted by Lido also suggests using the claimed ARB tokens as emission rewards. The proposal could go to a vote later this week. Lido is eligible to claim over \)1.2 million worth of ARB, which has seen a -10.06% drop in the past 24 hours.
PancakeSwap Proposes Lowering Token Inflation in Move Towards Deflationary Model
Decentralized exchange PancakeSwap is proposing to lower its token inflation from over 20% to between 3% and 5% per annum, aiming towards a deflationary model based on real yield and CAKE burn. The DEX currently operates a high-token-emission model to incentivize high yields for protocol features, but believes it is time to transition to a staking model with lower inflation. In the proposal, token holders can vote on the appropriate changes and provide feedback. CAKE is marking a -3.66% decline over the past 24 hours.
Merit Circle DAO Launches Gaming Subnet “Beam” on Avalanche Blockchain
Merit Circle DAO has launched Beam, a gaming subnet on the Avalanche blockchain. The Beam network is designed to cater to gamers and game developers, with the MC token expected to be used for gas fees and network validation. The Beam network allows gaming developers to focus on building better on-chain games by providing a seamless smart contract onboarding process. AVAX has slid by -6.89%, similar to MC’s loss of -6.87%.
VC Firm Tribe Capital Considers Leading $250M Fundraising Round for FTX
Tribe Capital, a VC firm and existing investor in FTX, is reportedly considering leading a $250 million fundraising round for the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange to catalyze its restart efforts. This comes after FTX’s new management has hinted at the possibility of restarting the exchange. Tribe’s proposal reportedly included nearly 9 million customer accounts, excluding some crypto assets and a venture capital portfolio, among other things. FTX’s native token, FTT, gained as much as 22.5% following the news before dumping to record a -9.22% loss. There’s no official timeline for restarting the exchange at this point.
Cryptocurrency Exchange Zipmex Requests Extension on Debt Moratorium
Zipmex, a cryptocurrency exchange, has requested an extension on its existing moratorium in Singapore to allow for a longer debt postponement. The exchange cited liquidity issues and said it was negotiating with investors to maximize customer returns. Zipmex had initially filed for a moratorium in July 2020 but has continued to request extensions. Its latest request to extend the moratorium period by two months has likely pushed its restructuring plan deadline to June. It remains unclear which investor Zipmex was referring to in its announcement. ZMT saw a -8.47% drop today.
Helium Migrates to Solana Blockchain in Ambitious Network Upgrade Attempt
Wireless infrastructure project Helium is migrating from its own blockchain to Solana in a bid to improve its network. The 24-hour migration will see Helium’s smart contracts made unusable while developers recreate their key metrics on Solana. Tokens will migrate and hotspots will switch from issuing HNT to IOT. After the migration, Helium will benefit from a wider audience as well as more reliable and stable infrastructure. However, the HNT token has seen a -7.75% decrease throughout the day.
AI-Powered Trading Agents Launched by Fetch.ai for Enhanced Decentralized Exchanges
Fetch.ai is launching enhanced trading products for decentralized exchanges (DEX) that allow for peer-to-peer transactions between DeFi users using AI-powered “agents” to execute trades. These agents employ their smart contracts to carry out users’ instructions, reducing the risk of central smart contract exploitation in a rug pull. The absence of a liquidity pool also means there is no trove of coins for hackers to target. Despite the news, FET, along with the broader market, recorded a drop of -8.64%.
Hacker Returns Majority of $9M Safemoon Crypto Hack in Agreement with Protocol Team
A hacker who stole \(9 million worth of [SFM](https://coin360.com/coin/safemoon-v2-sfm) tokens from Safemoon's [decentralized finance](https://coin360.com/glossary/decentralised-finance) protocol has agreed to return 80% of the stolen funds worth \)7.1 million. The two parties agreed on a 20% bug bounty to be awarded to the hacker, and no charges will be filed against them. Safemoon’s SFM token has declined by -5.36% in the last 24 hours.
Summary of Market Events and Price Action
As a summary of today’s events and price action in the market, it is crucial to note the following key points:
- SEC’s Gary grilled
- Apple releases urgent updates to fix critical vulnerabilities
- MetaMask Refutes Claims of Wallet Exploit as Cause of 5,000 ETH Loss
- BTC drops to $29,300 following a market sell order of 16,000 coins
- ETH keeps wavering under $2,000 while fees soaring amid the meme coin wave
- DOGE & OP rise despite market headwinds
- TON, CAKE, MC, AVAX, ZMT, FET, SFM all drop following news releases
- Lido Finance’s Total Value Locked Exceeds 6 Million ETH, DAO Contemplates Accepting ARB for Liquidity Incentives
- VC Firm Tribe Capital Mulls Leading $250M Fundraising Round for FTX
Top Altcoin Gainers and Losers
Synthetix SNX (+3.16%)
Chiliz CHZ (+1.23%)
Optimism OP (+0.72%)
Conflux CFX (-11.25%)
Arbitrum ARB (-10.06%)
FTX Token FTT (-9.22%)
NFT Market Map
DeGods saw a 393.35% increase in daily trading volume as its founder, Frank DeGods, took to Twitter to say that “DeGods & y00ts will be the #1 & #2 NFT projects in the world in 2023,” stating sentiment was low. So far, it has been the project with the most impressive growth in volume among the top 10.
Starbucks’ NFT marketplace is selling coffee cup pictures for around \(1,000, which were originally given away for free as a marketing strategy. The Holiday Cheer Edition 1 Stamp, with only 5,000 copies, is currently selling for \)1,000 on the secondary market. The demand for these NFTs is unclear but may be due to Starbucks enthusiasts or investors.
Former US President Donald Trump has advertised the second round of Trump NFT Trading Cards on Instagram, which sold out quickly like the previous collection. The website specifies that each Series 2 Trump Digital Trading Card has a unique pre-assigned rarity, with no card containing more than ten copies. The price floor for Trump Digital Trading Cards has decreased by 60.37% in the past 24 hours, and the trading volume touched 176.62 ETH with 1,180 sales. Trump made approximately $4.6 million from the sale of his digital trading cards.