Coin360 Weekly Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | June 24 - June 29, 2023
Crypto Weekly Market Update
Written by Van
Table of Contents:
Crypto Investment & Exchange Updates
- Bitcoin Hits One-Year High Amid ETF Filings; Ethereum, Altcoins Follow Suit
- MicroStrategy Acquires Additional 12,000 Bitcoins Amid Rising Market
- Fidelity Aims for Bitcoin ETF Approval to Compete with BlackRock
- First Leveraged Bitcoin ETF in the US Sees High Trading Volume
- Japan Alters Corporate Tax Rules to Boost Crypto and Blockchain
- FTX Pursuing Revival Plan After $8.7 Billion Debt and Misuse Scandal
- Cboe Amends Filing for ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF to Deter Fraud
Banking Sector and Crypto
- HSBC Hong Kong Enables Bitcoin and Ethereum Futures ETFs Purchases
- Mastercard Initiates Multi-Token Network Exploration
Crypto Companies' Strategies and Partnerships
- Prime Trust Faces Liquidation as Regulators Block Assets Amid Bankruptcy Rumours
- Tether Partners with Georgia to Develop Bitcoin and P2P Infrastructure
NFT Market Updates
- Azukis NFTs Value Drops Following Disappointing 'Elementals' Sale
- Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs Witness Major Price Fluctuations
- Hermes Wins Injunction Against Rothschild's 'MetaBirkin' NFTs
- Mythical Games Secures $37m in Funding for New Initiatives
- Secret Service's DATA Squad Showcases NFT Collection on OpenSea
Bitcoin Hits One-Year High Amid ETF Filings; Ethereum, Altcoins Follow Suit
- On Saturday, BTC hit one-year high at $31,275 as three financial services giants - BlackRock, Invesco, and WisdomTree - filed applications for spot bitcoin ETFs. Glassnode data showed Bitcoin's SOPR rebounded into profit territory.
- It was back to the $30,500 zone as the market digested the news, while Fabio Panetta, an ECB official, criticized crypto as "deleterious" with no societal benefits, stating that it is suitable only for gambling.
- BTC price remained strong over the weekend amid attention on geopolitical events in Russia and neighboring states. On Sunday, it was close to $30,920. Bitcoin's Open Interest (OI) surpassed $14 billion.
- Bitcoin touched $30,900 on Tuesday following reports of Fidelity Investments preparing to launch a Bitcoin spot-based ETF.
- Bitcoin's Open Interest (OI) reached a YTD high of $14.72 billion on Wednesday.
- It came as MicroStrategy acquired an additional 12,333 Bitcoins worth $347 million, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell's comments on potential consecutive rate hikes.
- BTC once tumbled close to $30,000 amid the news, but quickly recovered to $30,600 at the time of writing.
- This week, Bitcoin trades flat amid mixed sentiment due to the Fed's restriction rhetoric, institutional ETF filings, and market volatility.
- Bitcoin's market dominance has risen to 58%, its highest since April 2021, as it pushes back against Ethereum and altcoins.
- Bitcoin's short-term holders have made a profit of 96.9%, according to Glassnode.
- Bitcoin miners have sent $1 billion to exchanges since BlackRock ETF filing.
- Bitcoin bulls are getting ready for a seasonal surge, according to Matrixport.
- MicroStrategy has acquired an additional 12,333 Bitcoins (BTC) at an average price of $28,136, amounting to an investment of $347 million.
- In June, digital asset investment products grew by 9.05% to $33.4 billion, with Bitcoin-focused products capturing a 73.1% market share.
- On Sunday, ETH price soared to its weekly highs of $1,926 amid BTC’s rise. The amount of ETH held by exchanges reached a record low of 12.6%, according to Glassnode.
- It followed a similar trend as BTC, which saw ETH wavering in the $1,850 - $1,900 range before reaching its weekly low of $1,828 on Wednesday.
- On Tuesday, Santiment reported that Ethereum's top 10 self-custodial wallets, representing influential whales, had reached a record high in holdings.
- The Ethscriptions protocol, inspired by Bitcoin Ordinals, has achieved over $1 million in trading volume since its mid-June launch, which may have contributed to the positive sentiment.
- Following the Shapella upgrade, over 23.3 million Ether (ETH) has been staked, representing almost 20% of the current supply.
- On Thursday, Ethereum experienced a potential sell-off by a 25,000 ETH ($47.24 million) on Binance. As per Lookonchain, the whale has already sold a portion of their ETH, but ETH bulls are still strong.
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and other Bitcoin forks, like Bitcoin SV (BSV), are benefiting from the rising crypto market due to multiple spot bitcoin ETF filings. Open interest in Bitcoin Cash reached a yearly high on Tuesday, indicating investor support.
- Stellar (XLM) has surged 18.74% in value, outperforming many other altcoins. Technological advancements and scalability upgrades have contributed to this growth.
- Compound (COMP): COMP has increased over 50% in four days. One wallet deposited $3.5 million worth of USDT to Binance before withdrawing 50,000 COMP tokens on Wednesday and an additional 120,000 tokens on Thursday.
- NFT altcoins Blur and Arbitrum had seen significant gains, with Blur rising 22% and Arbitrum surging 33.2% on Tuesday.
- Litecoin (LTC)'s mining difficulty keeps hitting new highs.
- Cardano (ADA): The Cardano community expressed concern as Robinhood and Celsius were reportedly preparing to sell millions of ADA.
- TrueUSD (TUSD) depegged on BinanceUS, dropping to $0.80 against Tether amid Prime Trust concerns. TrueUSD's trading volume is highlighted despite losing its peg to the dollar and $100 million being dumped by a single wallet.
- Grayscale-backed Horizen (ZEN) is changing its blockchain to drop the privacy coin label.
- Sui Foundation denied selling tokens or staking rewards on Binance, but the SUI price still fell sharply.
- Chinese Ethereum-like blockchain Conflux Network confirms $18 million investment from DWF Labs, while its CFX token fell 6% on Wednesday.
MicroStrategy Acquires Additional 12,000 Bitcoins Amid Rising Market
Business intelligence company MicroStrategy has acquired an additional 12,000 bitcoins, taking its total holdings to over 152,000 BTC, worth around $4.5bn. The company spent $347m on the purchase between April and June.
MicroStrategy's co-founder and executive chairman, Michael Saylor, has said that Bitcoin's growth and domination lie in its adoption infrastructure provided by a range of entities, from investment funds to charities. Saylor believes that financial giants and institutional investors play pivotal roles in fostering this infrastructure and in entrusting public money and funds from various institutions into Bitcoin. More details here.
Fidelity Aims for Bitcoin ETF Approval to Compete with BlackRock
Fidelity is reportedly preparing to file for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in a bid to compete with BlackRock for approval by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Approval of a Bitcoin ETF would allow investors to acquire exposure to Bitcoin without direct interaction with the cryptocurrency, potentially enhancing accessibility for a broader audience.
The move comes amid growing institutional investor interest in cryptocurrencies, with eight major financial institutions managing a combined $27tn in assets drawing up plans for digital asset integration. More details here.
First Leveraged Bitcoin ETF in the US Sees High Trading Volume
The first leveraged Bitcoin ETF in the US, BITX, has hit $4.2m in trading volume since its introduction, with a single share currently priced at around $15.48. The ETF gained approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June, marking a landmark decision for the regulator.
The launch of BITX has resulted in a wave of new investment flow, demonstrating the growing market appetite for cryptocurrency exposure. However, the SEC has been reluctant to approve spot products, with mainstream firms such as BlackRock struggling to launch spot Bitcoin ETFs. More details here.
Japan Alters Corporate Tax Rules to Boost Crypto and Blockchain
Japan's National Tax Agency has updated its corporate tax regulations, exempting unrealized gains from crypto assets issued by companies from the current 30% corporate tax. The move is expected to attract more innovation and investment in the blockchain and crypto sectors, making Japan an attractive prospect for crypto firms.
The tax relief can also attract talent and investment to the country, with Japan seeing an opportunity to become a hub for blockchain and crypto activity. Japan already has some of the strictest crypto regulations in the world, with over 20 registered cryptocurrency exchanges. More details here.
FTX Pursuing Revival Plan After $8.7 Billion Debt and Misuse Scandal
The failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX is revealed to owe $8.7 billion due to the misuse of customer deposits, while $7 billion in assets have been recovered so far. Senior executives, including former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, allegedly knew about the issue, leading to various charges.
FTX is currently undergoing bankruptcy proceedings and exploring restart plans, with potential new stakeholders possibly receiving stakes in the reorganized entity. The exchange's spending included $240 million in political donations and real estate purchases. The sale of FTX's stake in the AI company, Anthropic, has been paused, after previous CEO Bankman-Fried's hedge fund invested $500 million. FTX’s revival plans powered FTT’s surge this week.
Cboe Amends Filing for ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF to Deter Fraud
The Cboe BZX Exchange has amended its 19b-4 filing for the proposed ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF to include a surveillance sharing agreement to deter fraud and market manipulation. The exchange plans to enter into an agreement with a US-based spot trading platform for bitcoin, similar to BlackRock's planned spot bitcoin ETF.
The amended filing could put ARK in competition with BlackRock to gain the first approval of a spot bitcoin ETF. Cboe filings earlier this month for spot funds from WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust, VanEck Bitcoin Trust and Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF all make use of the surveillance sharing agreement feature.
HSBC Hong Kong Enables Bitcoin and Ethereum Futures ETFs Purchases
HSBC customers in Hong Kong can now buy Bitcoin and Ethereum futures ETFs, expanding local users’ exposure to cryptocurrencies. The bank has launched the HSBC Virtual Asset Investor Education Centre to educate customers about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies.
Hong Kong has positioned itself as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction, with initiatives including establishing an exchange licensing system, funding for web3 development, and regulatory calls for banks to treat crypto clients fairly. The city is committed to introducing stablecoin legislation by 2024.
Mastercard Initiates Multi-Token Network Exploration
Mastercard is launching a Multi-Token Network (MTN) to explore tokenized bank deposits, with plans to expand to central bank digital currencies and stablecoins. The MTN will be available in beta mode this summer in the UK, with banks and financial institutions invited to participate.
The initiative aligns with Mastercard Crypto Credentials and aims to ensure transactions are compliant with anti-money laundering regulations. An MTN Innovation Sprint will take place in London this summer to develop promising use cases powered by tokenized deposits and digital assets.
Prime Trust Faces Liquidation as Regulators Block Assets Amid Bankruptcy Rumours
BitGo CEO Mike Belshe revealed plans for future acquisitions and industry consolidation, after the termination of its proposed acquisition of Prime Trust amid the latter's bankruptcy rumours. Prime Trust is facing allegations of misuse of customer funds, putting it in an unsafe financial condition with debts of nearly $86 million. It also reportedly owes customers around $70 million in cryptocurrency, but has reserves worth just $69 million.
Subsequently, the Nevada Financial Institutions Division (FID) has requested to impound Prime Trust’s assets and prevent executives from accessing accounts, indicating that it may face liquidation or return to private management. Regulators blocked Prime Trust's legacy wallet, the team is unable to access $45 million in assets.
Tether Partners with Georgia to Develop Bitcoin and P2P Infrastructure
Tether has signed an MoU with the Georgian government to develop Bitcoin and P2P infrastructure in the country, with a focus on building key infrastructure for a thriving startup ecosystem. The partnership aims to attract international attention and investment towards the nascent decentralized space, foster the growth of P2P technology, and build financial tools around it.
Georgia will create a special fund for local startups to help develop blockchain technologies and position Georgia as a country with an attractive ecosystem for tech startups.
Top Weekly Altcoin Gainers and Losers
Bitcoin Cash BCH (+77.85%)
FTX Token FTT (+76.04%)
Compound COMP (+57.25%)
Bitcoin SV BSV (+34.10%)
Stellar Lumens XLM (+18.33%)
Sui SUI (-17.56%)
Conflux CFX (-14.58%)
Stacks STX (-13.72%)
Optimism OP (-13.16%)
Render Token RNDR (-12.52%)
NFT Market Map
Azukis NFTs Value Drops Following Disappointing 'Elementals' Sale
Chiru Labs, the company behind Azukis NFTs, released a new collection called "Elementals" which sold out in 15 minutes on June 28, resulting in approximately $38 million in revenue. However, some community members expressed dissatisfaction, claiming that the new collection was too similar to the original Azuki collection released in January 2022.
This led to a decrease in the value of Azuki NFTs, which plummeted over 30% in the last 24 hours. Azuki acknowledged their mistake on Twitter, admitting that they missed the mark with the Elementals sale and promising to make amends to regain trust from their community.
Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs Witness Major Price Fluctuations
The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs have experienced significant price fluctuations due to Jeffrey Huang's sales and purchases. Huang sold over 50 Bored Apes, including 19 in a single transaction worth over $1 million, leading to the lowest floor price since November 2021. However, prices rebounded when Huang bought 14 Bored Apes. The decline in BAYC's value can be attributed to market sentiment, decreased utility, whale sell-offs, reduced media coverage, and the impact of the Blur ecosystem.
Lior Messika, the operator of crypto venture firm Eden Block and a supporter of Yuga Labs, believes rampant speculation is the primary cause. The investor argues that the current NFT market rewards traders and speculators rather than those utilizing the underlying intellectual property creatively.
Hermes Wins Injunction Against Rothschild's 'MetaBirkin' NFTs
Hermès has been granted a permanent injunction against artist Mason Rothschild's "MetaBirkin" non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by a US judge. Rothschild was accused of improperly using the luxury fashion house's Birkin trademark, leading customers to believe the brand was endorsing the project.
The MetaBirkin collection consists of 100 NFT artworks depicting furry Birkin style handbags, with Rothschild reportedly generating over $1m worth of sales from the project. Rothschild had argued that his project was an artistic expression protected by the First Amendment, but the judge and jury refuted this.
Mythical Games Secures $37m in Funding for New Initiatives
Mythical Games has raised $37m in Series C1 funding to launch a new marketplace and other revenue-generating initiatives. The funds will be primarily used to achieve profitability by the end of the year. The round was led by Scytale Digital, with participation from ARK Invest, Animoca Brands, MoonPay, Proof VC, and Stanford Athletics.
Mythical also plans to launch Nitro National World Tour in a few months, with presales of non-fungible tokens ongoing since February. The company expects to raise an additional $20m-$30m in the coming months. Mythical recently migrated the Mythical Chain from Ethereum to Polkadot.
Secret Service's DATA Squad Showcases NFT Collection on OpenSea
The US Secret Service's San Francisco field office, known as the "Digital Asset Technology Alliance" (DATA) Squad, shed light on its non-fungible token (NFT) collection that is sitting on OpenSea. The agents said the collection was created to better understand how NFTs work and to show the agency's interest in the broader crypto ecosystem.
Each agent has their own NFT, personalised to their field, and the collection was not created to be sold. The team said they take a positive approach to crypto, with many owning crypto and NFTs in a personal capacity.
This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.