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News/Coin360 Weekly Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | March 30 - April 5, 2024

Coin360 Weekly Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | March 30 - April 5, 2024

Van Thanh Le

Apr 5 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 and Platform Updates

  • Crypto Weekly Recap
  • Ethena Labs Amplifies Synthetic Dollar
  • Scammers Pounce on Wormhole Airdrop
  • Solana Battles Bot-Induced Failures
  • Ripple Launches New Stablecoin

Regulatory and Security Insights

  • Tether Bolsters Bitcoin Portfolio
  • Ethereum's EigenLayer: Innovation Meets Risk

Investments and Venture Capital

  • a16z's $75 Million Web3 Gaming Push

Blockchain Technology and Layer 3 Developments

  • Layer 3's Degen Chain: Controversy and Growth

NFTs and Digital Collectibles

  • OpenSea Champions NFT Royalties with ERC-721C
  • Doodles' Animated Leap with Star Power
  • Binance Withdraws from Bitcoin NFTs
  • Nuddies NFT Scandal: A CTO's Betrayal
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Crypto Weekly Recap

Bitcoin

  • Weekly change: +0.8%
  • BTC wrapped up March with a 16.81% gain and finished Q1 up by 68.68%, marking its seventh consecutive month of gains since last September.
  • However, April kicked off with a significant sell-off, dropping BTC from $71,500 to $67,700 on Monday, even as Bitcoin ETFs saw their trading volume triple in March compared to earlier months.
  • Further declines hit BTC on Tuesday, driven by a rise in the DXY above 105 (a peak since mid-November) and unexpected growth in U.S. factory activity in March, which weakened the case for Fed rate cuts. That day, it was reported the U.S. government moved 30,175 bitcoins, worth around $2 billion, to a wallet believed to be linked to Coinbase, presumably for selling.
  • This period also saw a sharp market drop amid significant long liquidations, despite historical tendencies for government sales to occur near market lows. Nonetheless, Santiment data indicated a surge in optimism, with positive sentiment doubling, suggesting many saw it as a buying opportunity.
  • Rising Treasury yields and the anticipated delay in Fed rate cuts dampened investor mood. Polymarket foresaw no rate cuts until fall, while the CME Fed Watch tool indicated a 97% likelihood of unchanged rates post-May meeting.
  • The downward trend extended, reaching as low as $64,867 by early Wednesday. This downturn coincided with notable stablecoin activity and deposits on exchanges, hinting at major players looking for market entry, leading to significant sell-offs.
  • By Thursday, BTC saw a temporary recovery, surpassing $69,000, only to fall again following comments from Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on the unlikely rate cuts in 2024.
  • Despite the U.S. economy adding 303,000 jobs in March, beating the 200,000 forecast and lowering the unemployment rate to 3.8%, BTC experienced a slight drop on Friday but settled near $68,000.
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Ethereum

  • Weekly change: -1.17%
  • ETH closed March up 9.33%, a dip from February's 46.28% rise.
  • Ethereum averaged a 67.19% gain in Q2 2024, though concerns about an Ethereum ETF rejection hint at possible market disruptions.
  • ETH fell from a peak of $3,660 to $3,443 on Monday and further to $3,226 by Tuesday amid selling pressure.
  • The future of an Ethereum ETF in the US is clouded by regulatory obstacles and subdued demand, with suggestions that a December decision could favor market acceptance. Ethereum's utility, staking mechanisms, and regulatory status are pivotal to the ETF's outcome, with decentralization trends possibly averting a security classification.
  • JP Morgan analysts believe Ethereum's increased decentralization could prevent it from being labeled a security, as the share of ETH staked through Lido has decreased, reducing concentration concerns. 
  • ETH's price remained over $3,310 recently, showing resilience.
  • Despite a recent 11.39% slump, the outlook for Ethereum's price is positive, especially post-Bitcoin halving. An ETF denial might not dent prices, whereas approval could trigger a bullish surge.
  • The Bitcoin-to-Ethereum ratio reached 20.76, its peak since April 2021. FOMO, or fear of missing out, may be turning into fear if Ethereum reflects sentiment toward smaller tokens or alternative cryptocurrencies (Bloomberg, citing QCP Capital analysts).
  • The crypto community is actively debating a proposal to alter Ethereum's issuance curve, following Vitalik's announcement of The Purge, aimed at simplifying the protocol and easing the load on node operators.
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Altcoins


Ethena Labs Amplifies Synthetic Dollar

Ethena Labs, by leveraging Bitcoin as collateral, aims to scale its synthetic dollar-pegged product, USDe, beyond its current $2 billion supply. This move, praised for its potential to enhance scalability and liquidity, also faces skepticism, drawing parallels to the LUNA collapse over contagion risks. Ethena's strategy involves shorting BTC and ETH futures to maintain USDe's $1 peg, generating a notable annual yield of 37%. 

Despite concerns over the sustainability of this model in bear markets, Ethena incorporates measures like an emergency insurance fund to mitigate risks. Critics argue these strategies might lead to significant market disruptions, emphasizing the precarious balance between innovation and stability in the crypto sector.

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Scammers Pounce on Wormhole Airdrop

The Wormhole airdrop, releasing over $800 million in W tokens, attracted scammers, leading to spoof tokens and a $3 billion valuation at launch. Scammers exploited Wormhole's visibility, with fake accounts and a hacked founder's account posting malicious links. The event also spotlighted a parody token, Warmhole, which soared in value. 

Separate reports highlighted a $320 million 2022 hack, noting hackers claimed $50,000 in W tokens due to oversight in excluding compromised wallets. Security concerns grew as the hacker behind the 2022 breach was temporarily eligible for the airdrop, underscoring vulnerabilities amidst the airdrop's fanfare and subsequent scam attempts.

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Solana Battles Bot-Induced Failures

The Solana network faced significant challenges with roughly 75% of non-vote transactions failing amid a surge in memecoin activity, attributed mainly to bot spam rather than genuine user transactions. Developers are exploring fixes, including an upcoming network upgrade, although some issues, like spam transactions, may persist. 

Separately, a bug in Lido's smart contract temporarily locked $24 million in staked SOL, causing frustration among users. The problem, stemming from a smart contract issue during the unstaking process, was later addressed, and a fix was provided, enabling users to withdraw their funds through an updated process. Despite these hurdles, Solana's infrastructure continues to evolve, with significant portions of its total supply staked through various protocols, reflecting ongoing interest and engagement in the ecosystem.

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Ripple Launches New Stablecoin

Ripple announces a US dollar-pegged stablecoin on XRP Ledger and Ethereum, fully backed by cash and short-term US treasuries, aiming to meet high demand in emerging markets for stablecoin payouts. The crypto community is divided, with skepticism over its necessity alongside XRP. Ripple's CEO criticizes CoinDesk for portraying the stablecoin launch as a desperate move, defending Ripple's strategy to bridge traditional finance and crypto. 

PayPal integrates its PYUSD stablecoin with Xoom for fee-free cross-border transfers, while Sony Bank explores stablecoin use in gaming and entertainment, leveraging Polygon blockchain. The stablecoin market surged to over $150 billion at the beginning of this week, led by USDT's growth and USDC's expansion, indicating rising crypto market optimism and liquidity.

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Tether Bolsters Bitcoin Portfolio

Tether added nearly 8,889 Bitcoin to its holdings in Q1, reaching a total of 75,354 Bitcoins valued at approximately $5.2 billion, with Tether's profits estimated at $3 billion. Concurrently, Tether completed a SOC 2 audit, illustrating high security compliance, and plans for annual audits to maintain its security standards. Aiming for SOC 2 Type II certification by 2025, Tether also intends to expand into Bitcoin mining, allocating $500 million for facilities in Uruguay, Paraguay, and El Salvador, aiming to achieve 1% of Bitcoin mining power by 2024.


Ethereum's EigenLayer: Innovation Meets Risk

Coinbase analysts identify security and financial risks in Ethereum's EigenLayer re-staking protocol, noting its potential for innovation and a meaningful source of rewards for validators. EigenLayer, with a $12 billion TVL, enables validators to earn through actively validated services (AVS), but compounds risks with increased earnings and a higher-risk profile for maximum yields. 

Concurrently, Fhenix partners with EigenLayer to develop fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) coprocessors for Ethereum smart contracts, enhancing privacy and efficiency by computing over encrypted data. These coprocessors, secured by Fhenix’s FHE rollup and EigenLayer’s staking, eliminate the need for fraud-proof periods, thereby speeding up confirmation times and unlocking new blockchain use cases.


VCs’ Million Web3 Gaming Push

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has committed $75 million to Web3 gaming startups through its SPEEDRUN fund, offering $750,000 to each selected project, along with access to a vast network of industry experts and mentorship opportunities. The program aims to bolster the competitive edge of startups in the Web3 gaming industry, highlighting a broader industry consensus on the strategic importance of blockchain technologies. 

Meanwhile, Bitkraft Ventures launched a $275 million investment round, its largest to date, pushing its total managed assets to $1 billion. Focused on early-stage gaming projects, this fund marks a substantial recovery in Web3 gaming, attributed to the positive momentum in the sector and the recent Bitcoin bounce. 


Layer 3's Degen Chain: Controversy and Growth

Degen Chain, a Layer 3 blockchain on the Base network, witnessed $100 million in transactions within 24 hours, with over 272,000 unique transactions since its inception four days ago. Critics caution many tokens are linked to scams. Polygon's CEO, Marc Boiron, sparked a debate by arguing L3s divert value from Ethereum, while others highlight L3 benefits like low-cost bridging and custom gas tokens.

Vitalik Buterin suggests L3s offer cost savings but emphasizes lighter alternatives exist for achieving similar outcomes. Despite the contention, L3 networks like Orbs and zkSync Hyperchains, alongside Degen Chain, continue to gain traction, underscoring ongoing discussions about Ethereum's scalability and value distribution within its ecosystem.

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Top Weekly Altcoin Gainers and Losers

Gainers:

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Core DAO CORE (+146.45%

Bitget Token BGB (+19.63%

Bitcoin Cash BCH (+18.12%

Mantle MNT (+11.13%

Bittensor TAO (+10.52%

Losers:

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Conflux CFX (-24.73%

Aptos APT (-23.52%)

Synthetix SNX (-21.07%)

Bonk BONK (-20.98%)  

THORChain RUNE (-20.00%

NFT Market Map

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OpenSea Champions NFT Royalties with ERC-721C

OpenSea has introduced support for the ERC-721C token standard to address royalties for NFT creators, combating wash trading. This standard enables programmable earnings ranging from 2.5% to 10% per sale, with top collections earning $345 million in royalties. Developed by Limit Break, ERC-721C standardizes enforceable token transfer conditions like royalties across all channels, aiming to prevent traders from avoiding payments. 

Backward-compatible with ERC-721, it ensures creators' earnings are respected on platforms like OpenSea. Additionally, creators using OpenSea Studio can easily set earnings preferences, while custom contract users need to upgrade for ERC-721C compatibility and configure settings for enforcement.  


Doodles' Animated Leap with Star Power

Doodles, an Ethereum NFT-driven property, is set to release the animated film Dullsville and the Doodleverse, featuring music from Pharrell Williams, Lil Wayne, and Coi Leray. The production, led by Golden Wolf and directed by Doodles co-founder Scott Martin, will showcase a soundtrack via Doodles Records in partnership with Columbia Records, including music videos and voice characters portrayed by Lil Wayne and Leray. 

The film is scheduled to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, following Doodles' Project Gray campaign. This venture follows Doodles' strategic shift to acquire and internally develop projects, maintaining creative control since its 2021 launch, which has since generated approximately $650 million in trading volume and expanded to the Flow blockchain with Doodles 2.  


Binance Withdraws from Bitcoin NFTs

Binance NFT announced that it will cease support for Bitcoin-based Ordinal NFT collectibles on its platform, urging users to withdraw their assets by May 18, 2024. This decision is part of Binance's strategy to streamline its product offerings. Despite being the second top platform for NFT sales, Binance's BTC-based collectibles lag behind competitors like Okx and Magic Eden. Sales figures reveal $64,929,967 in Bitcoin NFT sales, slightly below Ethereum's $68,056,679. Notably, the Bitcoin blockchain currently hosts 67.26 million Ordinal inscriptions, with total BTC NFT sales amounting to $3.05 billion.  


Nuddies NFT Scandal: A CTO's Betrayal

Nuddies NFT, a project embroiled in alleged mismanagement, saw its CTO Kyle accused of orchestrating a fake hack to misappropriate funds. Crypto detective ZachXBT uncovered discrepancies in Kyle’s claims, revealing the transfer of 94 SOL, valued at $12,000, to an exchange deposit for personal gain. Despite initial assurances of refilling the wallet, Kyle vanished after passing project keys to community members. Nuddies NFT's future hangs in uncertainty as the website goes offline, leaving artist Juiceddd in charge of the project and contemplating the repercussions of such a breach on the artist in similar scenarios.  

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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