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News/Coin360 Weekly Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | February 17 - February 23, 2024

Coin360 Weekly Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | February 17 - February 23, 2024

Van Thanh Le

Feb 23 2024

2 months ago6 minutes read
Coin360 weekly crypto news, cryptocurrency updates, market movement

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Crypto Weekly Market Update

Table of Contents

Market and Token Updates

  • Crypto Weekly Recap
  • Reddit Embraces Bitcoin and Ethereum
  • Token Airdrop Sparks Debate
  • Technical Glitch Halts Avalanche
  • USDe Challenges Stablecoin Norms

Stablecoin and Blockchain Ecosystem

  • Compliance Leads to USDC Withdrawal

Security Incidents and Responses

  • Crypto Theft Hits Axie Co-Founder

Regulatory Actions and Legal Challenges

  • Kraken Fights SEC Overreach
  • Crypto Giants Sue SEC for Clarity

Governance and Community Initiatives

  • Uniswap Proposal Surges UNI Value

NFT and Metaverse Developments

  • Yuga Labs Acquires Moonbirds
  • Pudgy Penguins Embrace Web Domains
  • Solana NFTs Hit $5 Billion
  • Forbes Enters The Sandbox Metaverse
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Crypto Weekly Recap

Bitcoin

  • Weekly change: -1.3%
  • Bitcoin stabilized at $52,400 on Monday after dipping to $50,800 on Saturday, with ETFs witnessing a record $2.4B inflow, led by BlackRock's IBIT (CoinShares).
  • By Tuesday afternoon, Bitcoin peaked at $52,945 but settled at $52,285, amid strong demand and optimism, despite facing a $53,000 resistance and investor hedging against a possible downturn.
  • The profitable BTC supply expanded as trading volume approached $2 billion, signaling a surge in Spot Bitcoin ETF interest.
  • Bitcoin's value declined over the week, hitting a $50,900 low on Friday, influenced by resistance, high funding rates, and whale activities, albeit briefly rallying to near $52,000 post-Nvidia's earnings before dropping again.
  • CryptoQuant's CEO, Ki Young Ju, noted Bitcoin hasn't peaked this cycle, with 63% of its realized cap stagnant for over six months, a tripled hash rate since 2021, and 18,000 BTC recently moved to non-exchange addresses, suggesting growth potential.
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Ethereum

  • Weekly change: +4.51%
  • Ethereum fluctuated between $2,700 and $3,000, driven by anticipation of a Spot Ethereum ETF, the Dencun upgrade, a decrease in circulating supply, an increase in staked Ether, and accumulation of Ethereum.
  • ETH crossed the $3,000 threshold for the first time since April 2022 on a Tuesday, spurred by speculation regarding the potential U.S. approval of a spot ETH ETF, aiming to boost institutional interest.
  • On Wednesday, Ethereum exceeded $3,000 again, influenced by a whale accumulating over $178.9 million in ETH in under two weeks and a suspected Justin Sun wallet purchasing $259 million in Ethereum.
  • Ethereum broke the $3,000 mark three times within the week, fueled by optimism from Nvidia's earnings report, which also powered AI tokens’ impressive surge, and its fundamental hype.
  • Bernstein, an asset management firm, forecasted a near-certain SEC approval for a Spot Ether ETF by early 2025.
  • The ETH/BTC trading pair held steady at the 0.057 level, marking a 5.88% rise from the previous week.
chart (1).webp

Altcoins


Reddit Embraces Bitcoin and Ethereum

Reddit strategically invested cash into Bitcoin and Ethereum, aligning with tech giants. As of December 31, 2023, the company confirmed holdings, considering the amounts "immaterial." This move featured in its IPO filing, emphasizing belief in blockchain potential. 

Reddit's experimentation with Ether and Polygon indicated deeper blockchain exploration. The company engaged in a partnership with Google for AI model training and search capabilities, utilizing user-generated content. Despite a $90.8 million net loss, Reddit's revenue rose by 20.6% year-on-year, reflecting evolving business strategies ahead of a public offering.  


Token Airdrop Sparks Debate

Starknet's 728M token airdrop generated excitement but faced backlash due to eligibility criteria and the token unlock schedule. The community response led to user exodus, despite efforts to address concerns. StarkWare revised the STRK token lockup schedule following community feedback, reducing the initial release and committing to a more gradual unlock rate. 

Despite the turbulence, Starknet's TVL remained resilient, and its market cap grew to $1.4 billion. The saga serves as a case study for decentralized governance and equitable distribution in the DeFi ecosystem, showcasing StarkWare's adaptability and commitment to fostering a sustainable network.  

chart (3).webp

Technical Glitch Halts Avalanche

Avalanche faced a block production halt due to a newly launched inscription wave, disrupting network functionality on February 23. The issue lasted over an hour, attributed to an "esoteric bug" related to mempool handling and excessive gossip among validator nodes. Co-founder Kevin Sekniqi anticipated a swift resolution. A software patch was deployed to address the bug and restore block finalization. 

Despite initial suspicions, inscriptions were not the primary cause. The native token, AVAX, experienced a 3% drop, slightly underperforming the market. This incident sheds light on the technical challenges and swift response within the Avalanche network.  

chart (2).webp

USDe Challenges Stablecoin Norms

Ethena Labs recently launched its USDe stablecoin, boasting a 27.6% annualized yield through a delta-neutral strategy. With over $343 million in minted USDe since its debut, the platform's Shard Campaign incentivizes user engagement, further propelled by a $50 million deposit opportunity and a $14 million funding round. Despite skeptics citing yield inversion risks and liquidity concerns, Ethena's risk management playbook, emphasizing historical testing and insurance funds, reassures investors. 

The company's cautious scaling approach involves expanding collateral to include Bitcoin. Ethena's high-yield alternative aims to challenge stablecoin market norms, albeit amidst concerns about long-term sustainability and aggressive leveraging strategies in DeFi.  


Compliance Leads to USDC Withdrawal

Circle, a leading stablecoin issuer, ceased USDC support on the Tron blockchain due to compliance reasons. Tron's founder, Justin Sun, responded optimistically, emphasizing the network's decentralization vision. Sun likened Tron to Bitcoin and Ethereum, stressing community support. Circle advised Tron USDC users to switch to other chains or redeem their tokens. 

The decision aligns with Circle's commitment to transparency and safety. Tron USDC transfers will be supported until February 2025. Despite the snub, Sun remains focused on Tron's goal of becoming a major decentralized financial protocol.  

chart (4).webp

Crypto Theft Hits Axie Co-Founder

Axie Infinity co-founder Jeff “Jihoz” Zirlin had two personal crypto wallets compromised, resulting in a theft of $9.7 million worth of Ether (3,248 ETH) transferred to Tornado Cash. While no specific details were shared about the hack, it's suspected that Zirlin's private keys were leaked. The stolen funds were split and moved to different wallets before being transferred to Tornado Cash for anonymity. 

Binance froze $4.2 million worth of stolen XRP from a separate hack involving Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen. Unlike the Axie Infinity hack, Binance was able to track down and block some of the funds from the hacker's access.  

chart (5).webp

Kraken Fights SEC Overreach

Kraken filed to dismiss the SEC lawsuit, arguing it sets a "dangerous precedent" for overreach. The SEC accused Kraken of unlawfully profiting from "crypto asset securities," lacking proper registrations, and commingling assets. Kraken contests the SEC's claims, stating there was no investment contract and customers had no common enterprise with issuers. They fear the SEC's definition of a security could extend to ordinary assets. 

Kraken cites the major questions doctrine and Congress' debate on crypto regulation. In May, Kraken recommended a framework to limit the SEC’s authority. Shortly after, the SEC announced its lawsuit. Other crypto firms have also cited the doctrine in their attempts to dismiss SEC lawsuits.  


Crypto Giants Sue SEC for Clarity

A consortium led by the Crypto Freedom Alliance of Texas, including Coinbase and Andreessen Horowitz's a16z Crypto, is suing the SEC in Texas, seeking clarity on the agency's regulatory authority over digital asset transactions. 

The lawsuit argues against the SEC's broad interpretation of "investment contracts" and its enforcement actions. Additionally, legal experts are divided on the likelihood of success for Coinbase and CFAT, with widespread criticism of the SEC's treatment of the crypto industry. The SEC's legal cases against Ripple and Grayscale collapsed, fueling optimism for Coinbase's case. Furthermore, a top SEC crypto unit lawyer resigned, joining the private sector to support the crypto industry.  


Uniswap Proposal Surges UNI Value

UNI token surged 60% following a proposal to revamp Uniswap's governance. The plan, authored by Uniswap Foundation's Erin Koen, aims to enhance governance and reward UNI holders who stake and delegate their tokens. 

If approved, it will permit the collection of protocol fees and their proportional distribution to staked UNI token holders. Despite recent flat Bitcoin and CoinDesk 20 Index prices, UNI hit $12, up nearly 60% in 24 hours, its highest since April 2022. This proposal marks a notable departure from a previous initiative and could rejuvenate decision-making for the largest decentralized exchange by trading volume.  

chart (6).webp

Top Weekly Altcoin Gainers and Losers

Gainers:

SingularityNET AGIX (+151.84%

Worldcoin WLD (+141.33%

Siacoin SC (+80.16%

Fetch.AI FET (+64.94%

The Graph GRT (+48.57%

Losers:

Starknet Token STRK (-61.71%

Dymension DYM (-16.87%

Helium HNT (-16.54%

Sei SEI (-14.28%

Sui SUI (-13.71%

NFT Market Map

nft.webp

Yuga Labs Acquires Moonbirds

Yuga Labs, the powerhouse behind Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), has expanded its NFT empire by acquiring Proof, the creator of the Moonbirds collection. This strategic move aims to integrate Moonbirds into Yuga's gamified metaverse, Otherside, leveraging the collection's potential and aligning it with Yuga's vision of fostering art, culture, and community on the blockchain. 

Despite not disclosing the acquisition's financial details, Yuga Labs' acquisition marks a significant expansion, given Moonbirds' nearly $500 million trading volume peak in April 2022. Meanwhile, BAYC has seen a resurgence, overtaking Pudgy Penguins in floor price, attributed to Greg Solano's return as CEO of Yuga Labs. This leadership change sparked a 27% increase in BAYC's trading volume, highlighting the collection's enduring appeal and market dynamics favoring Yuga Labs' offerings.


Pudgy Penguins Embrace Web Domains

Pudgy Penguins partners with Unstoppable Domains to launch .pudgy top level domain, with plans to integrate digital wallets. The brand's shift from NFTs to intellectual property includes expanding toy sales in Walmart to 3,100 stores, each carrying toys with QR codes for the upcoming Pudgy World game. 

President Melendez emphasizes the broader brand vision. Pudgy NFTs are gaining significant value, approaching Bored Ape collection prices. The .pudgy domains partnership is Unstoppable Domains' tenth, demonstrating their growing presence in blockchain-based domain names.  


Solana NFTs Hit $5 Billion

Solana NFTs achieved a $5 billion all-time sales volume, with a notable increase in trading activity over the previous four months. The blockchain boasted over 2.2 million buyers, 1.6 million sellers, and nearly 43 million transactions. Monthly sales peaked at $365 million in December, marking the second-highest volume after October 2021. 

The surge in NFT sales coincided with SOL token's bullish price action, as it reached $121.45 with a $5.7 billion trading volume. Overall, the recent months showed an upward trend, with over $1 billion in sales volume in the last nine months.  


Forbes Enters The Sandbox Metaverse

Forbes has recently made a significant entry into The Sandbox metaverse by acquiring a permanent piece of virtual land, reinforcing its commitment to embracing technological innovation. The move aims to establish a vibrant community hub within the metaverse, offering an array of interactive experiences, workshops, and events. 

Despite the prevailing market trends indicating a decline in average land prices within The Sandbox and Decentraland, Forbes remains resolute, seeking to redefine the metaverse experience. This expansion aligns with Forbes' broader efforts to cultivate a web3 community, potentially positioning the company ahead of a new crypto rally.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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