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News/Coin360 Weekly Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | December 23 - December 29, 2023

Coin360 Weekly Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | December 23 - December 29, 2023

Van Thanh Le

Dec 29 2023

7 months ago5 minutes read
Coin360 weekly crypto news, cryptocurrency updates, market movement

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Crypto Weekly Market Update

Table of Contents

Crypto Market Overview

  • Crypto Weekly Recap: Price Actions, Market Trends, and Key Developments

Market and Regulatory Updates

  • Bitcoin ETFs: Growth and Regulatory Challenges
  • Mt. Gox Saga: Repayments and Ongoing Impact
  • MicroStrategy's Bitcoin Acquisition and Market Influence
  • Ethereum's Rise Amid Altcoin Rally and Layer-2 Solutions

Country-Specific Developments

  • India Targets Crypto Exchanges for AML Non-Compliance

Crypto Exchanges and Platforms

  • FTX Debtors' Repayment Plan Sparks Discontent
  • Terraform Labs Faces SEC Over Unregistered Securities
  • Avalanche Foundation's Meme Coin Investment Strategy
  • Catalyx Exchange Halts Trading After Security Breach
  • Pink Drainer Group's $4.4 Million Chainlink Heist
  • Donald Trump's Ethereum Liquidation Amid Financial Strains
  • Yuga Labs Dominates NFT Market with Top Sales
  • Yuga Labs Leads in Digital Land NFT Sales
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Crypto Weekly Recap: Price Actions, Market Trends, and Key Developments

Bitcoin:

  • Weekly change: -2.47%
  • BTC's dominance fell to 51.24% as of Friday, a 3.58% weekly drop.
  • BTC briefly fell below $43,000 on Christmas, then rose to $43,900 amid SEC's ETF deadline and BlackRock's $10M Bitcoin ETF investment.
  • Crypto investment products attracted $103 million inflows before the Bitcoin ETF.
  • BTC hit a weekly low of $42,100 during a market selloff, influenced by Mt. Gox repayment reports.
  • Bitcoin dipped to $42,000 on Wednesday, rebounded near $43,000, with significant Coinbase transfers suggesting potential major holder liquidations.
  • The Smart Money Index soared to a record 13,711, reflecting bullish institutional sentiment before the SEC's Bitcoin ETF decision.
  • Over 90,000 addresses held more than $1 million in BTC.
  • Other institutions updated Bitcoin ETF info during the week, but it had minimal market impact.
  • MicroStrategy's substantial BTC purchase announcement on Wednesday night pushed BTC over $43,800.
  • Bitcoin's momentum stalled on Thursday; dominance hit a 2-month low of 51.43%, sparking altseason interest.
  • Short-term holders cashed out over $1.2 billion in Bitcoin profits.
  • Bitcoin became the 16th largest global currency by market cap.
  • Bitcoin's on-chain activity indicated a bullish trend, with a record 28,000 BTC outflow worth $1.19 billion, hinting at institutional interest.
  • Bitcoin miner reserves dropped to a May low of 1.832 million BTC, with 3,000 BTC sold in 24 hours.
  • Over 178,000 Bitcoin and 1.49 million Ethereum options contracts expired on Friday, worth $7.6 billion and $11 billion, respectively, signaling market anticipation.
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Ethereum:

  • Weekly change: +5.14%
  • ETH surpassed BTC last week, rising above $2,400.
  • Ether's climb to nearly $2,500 was fueled by excitement over an upcoming network upgrade, Vitalik Buterin's proposal to ease validator burden, and a spike in DApp usage. Ethereum's dominance in DApp deposits, transaction volume growth, and layer-2 solutions boosted its lead.
  • Before its rise, Ethereum dipped to a weekly low of $2,200 amid Mt.Gox news.
  • Ethereum began its ascent over $2,300 on Wednesday, coinciding with a decline in BTC dominance.
  • On Thursday, Ethereum's 8.9% jump to $2,448 outdid Bitcoin and Solana, spurred by a wider altcoin surge.
  • Ethereum's increase was eclipsed by scaling tokens: Optimism (OP), Arbitrum (ARB), and Polygon (MATIC).
  • Ethereum held steady above $2,300 on Friday as traders braced for the options expiry.
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Altcoins:


Bitcoin ETFs: Growth and Regulatory Challenges

The burgeoning world of Bitcoin ETFs, spotlighting their growth, regulatory challenges, and market impact has emerged. Key developments include the U.S. launch of leveraged bitcoin futures ETFs and ether futures funds. The anticipated approval of spot bitcoin ETFs is expected to significantly elevate Bitcoin's value, attracting substantial investor interest. 

Regulatory debates focus on the SEC's cash-only redemption policy, influencing industry strategies and global approaches, with contrasting views from U.S. and Hong Kong regulators. Industry leaders offer varied predictions on the ETFs' long-term effects, highlighting the dynamic and evolving nature of the cryptocurrency market.

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Mt. Gox Saga: Repayments and Ongoing Impact

Nearly a decade post-Mt. Gox's collapse, creditors are receiving initial repayments, with small Japanese Yen amounts appearing in PayPal accounts. Orchestrated by trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi, the complex repayment plan extends into 2024, involving various payment tranches. 

The process, marked by a recent error causing double payments to some creditors, has elicited mixed reactions, ranging from relief to skepticism. This development, amidst the ongoing legal intricacies, highlights the enduring impact of the Mt. Gox saga on the cryptocurrency landscape, serving as a reminder of the sector's risks and complexities.


MicroStrategy's Bitcoin Acquisition and Market Influence

MicroStrategy acquired 14,620 Bitcoin for $615.7 million between November and December 2023, raising their total to 189,150 BTC, worth approximately $5.9 billion. This purchase, averaging $31,168 per Bitcoin, signifies their aim to own about 1% of Bitcoin's market cap, currently at 0.9%. 

CEO Michael Saylor's bullish stance on Bitcoin contrasts with concerns about spot Bitcoin ETFs, which critics argue could lead to market distortions and undermine decentralized finance. This significant investment by MicroStrategy highlights the increasing influence of institutional players in the cryptocurrency market and their belief in Bitcoin's long-term value.


Ethereum's Rise Amid Altcoin Rally and Layer-2 Solutions

Ethereum surged 8.9% to $2,448 at one point on December 28, buoyed by the altcoin rally and Bitcoin's Q4 performance. Despite trailing Solana's 951% gain, Ethereum's layer-2 solutions like Arbitrum and Optimism enhance its scalability. Arbitrum, with $5.77 billion in assets, saw its token ARB jump over 20% in 24 hours. Vitalik Buterin proposes reducing Ethereum's validator signatures to streamline the network. 

Meanwhile, Donald Trump sold 1,075 ETH, roughly $2.4 million, but retains significant Ethereum holdings. These developments reflect Ethereum's growing strength and adaptability in the crypto landscape, underscored by layer-2 advancements and influential market activities.

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India Targets Crypto Exchanges for AML Non-Compliance

India's Financial Intelligence Unit is targeting nine major crypto exchanges: Binance, KuCoin, HuobiKrakenGate.ioBittrexBitstampMEXC Global and Bitfinex, for non-compliance with Anti-Money Laundering laws. These exchanges are accused of operating illegally in India without proper registration. The FIU has issued compliance notices and requested the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to block their URLs. 

This move is part of India's stringent efforts to regulate the virtual asset sector and enforce financial regulations. Currently, 31 virtual asset service providers are compliant with India's regulatory framework, highlighting the government's commitment to overseeing the digital asset market.


FTX Debtors' Repayment Plan Sparks Discontent

FTX debtors' proposed repayment plan values Bitcoin at $16,871, markedly below its current market rate, sparking customer discontent. This plan, based on values at FTX's bankruptcy, includes prices for various cryptocurrencies like Ether and Binance Coin. Customers, facing substantial value losses, have until January 11 to object, with a hearing set for January 25. 

The plan's acceptance could lead to significant losses for crypto holders, as it doesn't reflect recent market gains. This has led to widespread frustration among FTX customers, who stand to lose out on the recent surge in cryptocurrency prices.

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Terraform Labs Faces SEC Over Unregistered Securities

A U.S. federal judge ruled that Terraform Labs and CEO Do Kwon sold unregistered securities, including LUNAUST and MIR, siding with the SEC. The court, however, didn't classify Mirror Protocol's mAssets as security-based swaps. Applying the Howey test, it found LUNA and MIR tokens led investors to expect profits from Terraform's efforts. 

Terraform's motion to exclude SEC expert testimonies was denied, but the SEC's similar motion was also rejected. Fraud claims, involving a $40 billion market loss, will go to trial in January 2024. Terraform disagrees with the ruling, particularly on UST's classification, and plans a vigorous defense.

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Avalanche Foundation's Meme Coin Investment Strategy

The Avalanche Foundation plans to buy meme coins using its $100 million NFT fund, aiming to diversify and embrace the crypto culture. This initiative, part of their Culture Catalyst program, will focus on Avalanche-based meme coins, selected based on holders, liquidity, and social sentiment. 

Meme coins like COQ, HUSKY, and SHIBX on Avalanche have already seen price surges. Despite some skepticism, the foundation views these coins as more than just assets, but as symbols of the crypto community's spirit. This move reflects a broader market trend, acknowledging the significant role of meme coins in the crypto ecosystem.

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Catalyx Exchange Halts Trading After Security Breach

The Canadian crypto exchange Catalyx has suspended all trading and withdrawals following a security breach, suspected to involve an internal employee. The breach, which led to undisclosed losses of client crypto assets, prompted a cease trade order from the Alberta Securities Commission on December 21. 

Catalyx, founded in 2018 and registered with FINTRAC, has engaged Deloitte for forensic and investigative services. The exact amount of lost assets remains undisclosed. Amidst a bull market in May 2021, Catalyx reported a significant increase in monthly trading volume. The ongoing investigation seeks to uncover the full extent and details of the breach.


Pink Drainer Group's $4.4 Million Chainlink Heist

The "Pink Drainer" group stole $4.4 million in Chainlink (LINK) by deceiving a victim into authorizing a transaction. They swiftly transferred 275,700 LINK in two moves, with one wallet receiving 68,925 LINK. Scam Sniffer linked this to Pink Drainer, noting their involvement in numerous Discord and Twitter hacks. 

Their illegal gains jumped from $3 million to $18.7 million since June, affecting 9,068 victims. The group converted the stolen LINK to Ether (ETH), laundering it through an exchange named eXch. This highlights the persistent cybercrime threat in the crypto world, emphasizing the need for robust security measures.

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Top Weekly Altcoin Gainers and Losers

Gainers:

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Bitcoin SV BSV (+110.12%)

Mina MINA (+56.21%)

Sei SEI (+55.16%)

Ordinals ORDI (+50.73%)

Optimism OP (+43.54%)

Losers:

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Bonk BONK (-23.92%)

WEMIX WEMIX (-16.38%)

FTX Token FTT (-13.85%)

Helium HNT (-13.26%)

Bitget Token BGB (-12.77%)

NFT Market Map

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Donald Trump's Ethereum Liquidation Amid Financial Strains

Donald Trump has liquidated a substantial portion of his Ethereum holdings, selling 1,075 ETH for $2.4 million in the past three weeks. This move follows his unsuccessful attempt to rejuvenate his NFT business. Despite these sales, Trump retains a diverse crypto portfolio, including $1.4 million in ETH and other cryptocurrencies like WETH and MAGA coin. 

His peak crypto balance was $4 million. This divestment coincides with a decline in interest in his NFT collections and significant legal financial obligations, as he faces over $100 million in legal fees.


Yuga Labs Dominates NFT Market with Top Sales

In 2023, the NFT market saw Yuga Labs' projects, including CryptoPunksBored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), leading the most expensive sales. Despite a general downturn in NFT sales and floor prices, these collections remained dominant. The top 10 sales featured four Bored Apes, four CryptoPunks, one Mutant Ape, and one Fidenza NFT. 

Highlights include BAYC #5116 selling for 440 ETH with its rare trippy fur, CryptoPunk #3307, unique for having no attributes, fetching 500 ETH, and Mutant Ape #30002, the only one with a "mega zombie" trait, also selling for 500 ETH. Notably, BAYC #4980, with solid gold fur and other rare traits, went for 530 ETH. The list also includes a rare Fidenza #545, which sold for 625 ETH, and the top sale was CryptoPunk #5066, a zombie punk with unique attributes, fetching 857 ETH.


Yuga Labs Leads in Digital Land NFT Sales

In 2023, Yuga Labs's metaverse projects, Otherdeed for Otherside and Otherdeed Expanded, dominated the top 10 digital land NFT sales, with prices between $276,000 and $514,350. These NFTs, known for their unique traits and resources, were mostly acquired by collector n0b0dy.eth, with two later burned. 

The highest sale was Otherdeed Expanded #5227 at $514,350, notable for its rare pandora’s box artifact. This trend highlights Yuga Labs's significant influence in the metaverse land market, reflecting the growing interest and value in virtual real estate within the blockchain and NFT space.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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