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News/Coin360 Weekly Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | March 16 - March 22, 2024

Coin360 Weekly Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | March 16 - March 22, 2024

Van Thanh Le

Mar 22 2024

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

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Crypto Weekly Market Update

Table of Contents

Crypto Market Trends and Major Sales

  • Crypto Weekly Recap
  • Solana Surpasses Ethereum with DEX and DeFi TVL Boom
  • Bitcoin's Flash Crash on BitMEX Spurs Investigation
  • Ethereum Faces SEC Probe Over Proof-of-Stake Transition
  • Do Kwon's Legal Battles and Crypto Industry's FTX Fallout

Platform and Exchange News

  • Reddit's MOON Soars Ahead of IPO Amid FTC Probe
  • OKX Shifts Gears in Europe and India, Forges New Alliances

Regulatory and Legal Updates

  • EtherFi Airdrop Criticism Amid Market Turbulence

Innovations and Developments

  • Ethereum's Layer 2 Innovations Drive Market Growth
  • OpenSea Enhances NFT Marketplace with Seaport 1.6 Launch
  • Second Record CryptoPunk Sale 
  • Dogwifhat Meme-Inspired Auction Success
  • CARV Champions Data Sovereignty with New NFT Standard
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Crypto Weekly Recap

Bitcoin

  • Weekly change: -4.58%
  • BTC's price this week reflected traders' uncertainty, with the upcoming halving and ETF outflows & macro factors causing concerns. The price started above $68,600 on Monday but fell to $63,000 by Tuesday noon, influenced by the first net outflow from spot Bitcoin ETFs since March 4 and a sell-off triggered by a BitMEX whale, despite MicroStrategy's acquisition of 9,245 BTC.
  • The streak of net outflows continued until March 21, as CryptoQuant revealed a significant shift in the Bitcoin market landscape, where short-term holders accounted for nearly 48% of Bitcoin's realized value. This increase in short-term holder dominance suggested growing enthusiasm and bullish sentiment, yet it also brought about heightened volatility and potential selling pressure.
  • BTC dropped to its weekly low of $61,300, affected by nearly $500M net outflows from U.S. spot Bitcoin ETFs over two days amid cautious sentiment before the FOMC meeting and tax season.
  • It rebounded to over $68,000 on Wednesday when the Fed maintained the current interest rate, hinting at potential rate cuts later in the year. However, this recovery was brief, with a subsequent fall as Glassnode predicted a corrective phase following a 175% year-to-date increase, indicating long-term holders were taking profits. The price settled at $63,800.
  • The April 2024 Bitcoin halving is anticipated to trigger a parabolic bull run, bolstered by increased institutional adoption and successful Bitcoin ETFs, with Coinbase expecting strong performance to continue pre and post-halving.
  • Despite market volatility, institutions continue to accumulate Bitcoin. JPMorgan forecasted further declines ahead of the halving, pointing to an overbought market. Conversely, Bernstein increased its year-end Bitcoin forecast to $90,000, predicting a new bull cycle driven by ETF inflows, miner expansion, and rising revenues. The stablecoin market’s recent soar to $150 billion, increasing by $980 million in just five days, is also a noteworthy factor that indicates accumulation. 
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Ethereum

  • Weekly change: -14.26%
  • Ethereum experienced a week full of events, attributed to diminished expectations for spot Ethereum ETFs being factored in.
  • The week began with Ethereum over $3,600, declining steadily and underperforming compared to the rising Solana and its associated memecoins.
  • Despite the drop to $3,600 at that time, approximately 89% of ETH holders remained profitable, likely a result of the recent Dencun upgrade, according to IntoTheBlock data.
  • Efforts such as Fidelity's updated Ethereum ETF filing, BlackRock's new fund launch with Securitize, and Ethereum's updates did not stimulate a price rebound, hindered by the Ethereum Foundation's investigation by a state authority and SEC's hesitation on Ethereum ETFs.
  • Ethereum rebounded from a weekly low of $3,101 to $3,583 after the Federal Reserve's decision but regressed to $3,320.
  • Attention shifted to sectors like RWA, tokenization, AI, memecoin, the Ton ecosystem, Bitcoin layer 2, Ordinals, and Fantom, especially ahead of its Sonic upgrade.
  • Despite concerns over potential regulatory changes and slimmer chances for ETF approval, Ethereum's long-term investors are keeping their holdings, as noted by the Head of Research at IntoTheBlock.
  • Ethereum is eyed for a target price of $5,400 in 2024, based on the Mayer multiple oscillator and market participant predictions, as highlighted by a CryptoQuant analyst.
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Altcoins


Solana Surpasses Ethereum with DEX and DeFi TVL Boom

Solana experienced an unprecedented surge, with DEX volume reaching $3.802 billion and DeFi TVL hitting $4.034 billion, surpassing Ethereum. Memecoins like BOME drove this surge, garnering massive trading volumes and market cap peaks. Solana's price surged over 58%, boosting its market cap to surpass BNB as the fourth-largest cryptocurrency. Memecoin trading led to network congestion, with transaction delays and failures reported. 

Traders saw significant gains, with one turning a $72,000 investment into $30 million within three days. Despite the excitement, concerns of insider trading emerged, prompting investigations. Solana's memecoin frenzy drew both enthusiasm and caution due to the high risks involved.  

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Bitcoin's Flash Crash on BitMEX Spurs Investigation

BitMEX recently suffered a flash crash caused by a mysterious entity selling over 400 BTC, causing Bitcoin's price to plunge to $8,900 on its spot market while trading well above $60,000 on other exchanges. BitMEX promptly launched an internal investigation and disabled withdrawals for certain accounts involved. 

While assuring their platform's normal operation and secure funds, the incident raised concerns about potential market manipulation, impacting investor confidence. Despite BitMEX's dismissal of the flash crash's impact, users and the crypto community express skepticism. 


Ethereum Faces SEC Probe Over Proof-of-Stake Transition

The Ethereum ecosystem grapples with an existential crisis amid an investigation into Ether's security status. Ethereum's shift to proof-of-stake triggers regulatory scrutiny, potentially influencing its classification as a security. BlackRock and Fidelity's interest in Ether ETFs faces uncertainty due to the SEC's probe. Industry figures like Brian Quintenz criticize the SEC's actions, questioning its regulatory consistency. 

Stakeholders express concern over the impact on decentralized finance and the broader crypto market. Regulatory delays impact ETF approvals, while Fidelity amends its application to boost chances. Grayscale and BlackRock introduce initiatives, while Ethereum developers propose gas limit adjustments for lower fees and Vitalik Buterin unveils quantum defense plans.  


Do Kwon's Legal Battles and Crypto Industry's FTX Fallout

The legal turmoil surrounding Do Kwon intensifies as the Montenegro Supreme Court delays his extradition to South Korea amidst jurisdictional disputes. His company, Terraform Labs, faces SEC charges in the U.S. Over at Silvergate Bank, a class-action lawsuit moves forward alleging complicity in FTX fraud, impacting its relationships and financials significantly. 

Judge Montenegro denied Silvergate's dismissal bid due to its alleged role in FTX customer fund transfers to Alameda Research. The saga continues with CEO disputes and bankruptcy fallout, emphasizing the lasting repercussions of the FTX collapse on both individuals and institutions in the crypto industry.  

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Reddit's MOON Soars Ahead of IPO Amid FTC Probe

Reddit's MOON token hit a record 84 cents earlier this week ahead of Celer's bridge launch, enhancing token liquidity between Arbitrum Nova and One. Reddit's IPO, aiming for a $6.5 billion valuation, is oversubscribed, reflecting strong investor interest. This valuation is a reduction from a $10 billion target in 2021, with shares priced between $31 and $34. 

Reddit disclosed cryptocurrency holdings and plans to raise $748 million through its IPO. Concurrently, an FTC investigation into Reddit's AI data licensing with Google for $60 million raises concerns over data privacy and impacts on its IPO. The probe highlights the regulatory challenges in the tech landscape, especially for companies at the AI and cryptocurrency intersection.

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OKX Shifts Gears in Europe and India, Forges New Alliances

OKX is removing USDT pairs in Europe in anticipation of new stablecoin regulations under the EU's MiCA rules, indicating a proactive response to the evolving regulatory landscape. Concurrently, OKX has ceased operations in India, citing regulatory hurdles, after being blocked by local regulators along with other foreign crypto exchanges. Users in India were advised to withdraw their funds by the end of April, highlighting the challenges faced by crypto exchanges due to regulatory uncertainties and stringent tax regulations in the country. 

Furthermore, OKX and Immutable have formed a strategic partnership to launch a GameFi NFT launchpad, integrating Immutable's gaming-focused zkEVM chain into the OKX Marketplace and Wallet. This partnership aims to revolutionize access to NFTs and digital assets for over 50 million users, signaling a significant move towards mainstream adoption of Web3 gaming. The collaboration also underscores the rapid growth of the Web3 gaming industry, with Immutable reporting a 900% increase in signed games year-over-year and signing over 75 games in the past three months alone.

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EtherFi Airdrop Criticism Amid Market Turbulence

EtherFi's airdrop and ETHFi token faced criticism and significant market movement. Controversy arose when Justin Sun received a substantial part of the airdrop, leading to claims of unfairness and potential exploitation by whales, with 85% of the airdrop allocated to the top 500 wallets. Despite the initial price of $4.13, ETHFi saw a more than 20% decline after trading began on exchanges, with its fully diluted value reaching $3.6 billion. The governance token further plummeted nearly 30% post-debut. 

Concerns were also raised about a potential Sybil attack by Arrington XRP Capital, which allegedly used multiple wallets to amass and sell a significant amount of ETHFi tokens, exacerbating the token's price drop. EtherFi defended the actions, stating that Arrington's strategy did not contravene the airdrop's rules, despite community skepticism and the ongoing debate over distribution fairness and market impact.

chart (4).webp

Ethereum's Layer 2 Innovations Drive Market Growth

The Layer 2 sector within Ethereum is experiencing significant growth, with major players like StarknetOptimism, and Polygon gearing up for substantial upgrades. Starknet is focused on enhancing throughput and performance, introducing transaction parallelization and a Cairo-native sequencer. 

Polygon is preparing to incorporate EIP-4844 with its Feijoa upgrade, anticipating up to 65% fee savings. Optimism deployed fault proofs on its testnet, enabling permissionless validation across various chains. Additionally, Espresso Systems closed a $28 million Series B round, advancing the development of its marketplace for shared sequencers, bringing a decentralized approach to Layer 2 scaling solutions.  

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Top Weekly Altcoin Gainers and Losers

Gainers:

Coin360 (2).png

Ondo ONDO (+32.57%

Stacks STX (+15.83%

Aptos APT (+14.47%

Conflux CFX (+11.53%

Maker MKR (+9.24%

Losers:

Coin360 (1).png

Bonk BONK (-36.65%

dogwifhat WIF (-29.29%

NEAR Protocol NEAR (-27.58%

Injective INJ (-26.56%

Pepe PEPE (-26.16%

NFT Market Map

nft.webp

OpenSea Enhances NFT Marketplace with Seaport 1.6 Launch

OpenSea has launched the advanced NFT marketplace protocol, Seaport 1.6, enhancing the liquidity and functionality of NFTs. With Seaport hooks, developers gain the flexibility to create applications that elevate NFT usefulness and liquidity. This new feature enables real-time responsive NFT sales and paves the way for innovative experiences in the NFT space. 

OpenSea's commitment to growth is evident through the introduction of OpenSea 2.0, inclusive support for NFTs from various blockchains, and the simplification of Web3 wallet creation. As leaders in the NFT space, OpenSea's dedication to democratizing access to NFTs and fostering a vibrant ecosystem positions them at the forefront of this rapidly evolving industry.  


Second Record CryptoPunk Sale 

In March 2024, CryptoPunk #7804 sold for 4,850 ETH, equivalent to about $16.4 million, marking the second-largest CryptoPunk NFT sale. This rare alien NFT is one of only nine in existence, contributing to its exceptional value. 

The seller, Peruggia, acquired the CryptoPunk in March 2021 for 4,200 ETH, yet held onto it for over three years, despite an $18 million offer in 2022. The community lauded the sale, propelling CryptoPunks' weekly sales volume to surpass other prominent NFT collections. Concurrently, NFTs across various blockchains saw a remarkable spike of $1.5 billion in sales volume over the last 30 days.  


Dogwifhat Meme-Inspired Auction Success

In a recent auction on the crypto platform Foundation, influential trader GiganticRebirth, known as GCR, acquired the original picture of Achi, the dog sporting a pink beanie hat, for $4 million worth of ether (ETH). This image inspired the meme coin Dogwifhat (WIF), which experienced a 10% surge in price following GCR's acquisition. 

GCR's involvement in the auction and reputation for market insights and accurate predictions have significantly impacted the crypto community. Additionally, the surge in WIF prices is attributed to the trader's connection with the meme.  


CARV Champions Data Sovereignty with New NFT Standard

CARV recently secured approval for the new ERC-7231 NFT standard, emphasizing data self-sovereignty and aggregating multiple digital identities into one NFT. This standard enables users to own their online history, facilitates self-authentication, and generates commercial value from aggregated user data. 

With over 800,000 users globally and approximately 500,000 daily active users, CARV's integration of the standard has seen significant success, offering greater control over data usage. In contrast to the experimental ERC-404, ERC-7231 is a finalized standard, uniting various identities and paving the way for personalized experiences and value creation within gaming and AI realms.  

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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