Coin360 Weekly Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | November 11 - November 17, 2023
Crypto Weekly Market Update
Table of Contents
Crypto Market Overview
- Crypto Weekly Recap: Price Actions, Market Trends, and Key Developments
Regulatory and ETF Developments
- SEC's ETF Decision Postponement
- XRP Rollercoaster and Misinformation
Blockchain Initiatives and Partnerships
- JPMorgan's Blockchain Initiative with Avalanche
Security Challenges and Incidents
- Binance-Linked Wallet Heist and Security Challenges
- Crypto Wallet Vulnerability and Phishing Scam
- Tether's Legal Developments and Minting Activity
- BlackRock's Spot Ether ETF and Revelations
- FTX-related Developments and Lawsuits
- Binance's Expansion in Thailand and Japan
Funding and Resilience
- Blockchain.com's Funding Round and Resilience
Crypto Market Updates
- Polygon's Gas Fee Surge and Ecosystem Expansion
- Solana's Market Surge and DeFi Developments
NFT Platform and Gaming Trends
- Disney Pinnacle: Disney's NFT Platform
- Crypto-Enabled Games' Popularity and Bot Concerns
- OpenSea's Phishing Campaign and Security Incidents
Crypto Weekly Recap: Price Actions, Market Trends, and Key Developments
- Weekly change: -0.63%
- BTC's weekly performance showed minimal change.
- The GBTC Premium hit a two-year high on Monday, raising expectations for a spot BTC ETF's approval.
- In 2023, digital asset investment products attracted over $1 billion in inflows, including $293 million in the last week, as reported by CoinShares.
- Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) products led these inflows, with Bitcoin ETPs securing $240 million.
- The number of Bitcoin Millionaire Club wallets, holding over $1 million, tripled in 2023 amid market enthusiasm for Bitcoin and Ether ETFs.
- Bitcoin experienced increased volatility starting Tuesday, following a $2.2 billion sell-off by Bitcoin Sharks and Whales.
- The Consumer Price Index (CPI) remained steady this month, surpassing economist predictions, with a core rate increase of just 0.2%.
- Following the inflation report, Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1.9% and S&P 500 futures 1.4%, while the 10-year Treasury yield fell 16 basis points to 4.476%.
- Bitcoin rebounded from a low of $36,200 post-release, underperforming compared to DeFi tokens like DYDX & MKR.
- Bitcoin tested the $35,000 support level at Tuesday's close, nearing $35,200 amidst heightened selling pressure.
- Bitcoin and altcoins recovered from a $300 million liquidation, with Bitcoin targeting $38K by Thursday.
- There's speculation that the spot ETF decision may already be reflected in the current price.
- Bitcoin dropped below $37,000 as the SEC postponed decisions on Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs, disappointing investors.
- Despite the decline, experts view this downturn as a normal correction after recent gains.
- Market analysts predict the next Bitcoin bull run to align with the 2024 BTC halving.
- Weekly change: -8.39%
- ETH experienced a sharp dip this week, dropping from over $2,100 due to ETF hype.
- Ethereum saw its highest fund inflows since August 2022, totaling $49 million last week.
- On Wednesday, it fell to $1,980 influenced by market sentiment, and profit booking by whale investors.
- On Thursday, ETH rebounded to $2,080 on news of BlackRock's Ethereum SEC S-1 filing.
- However, on Friday, it hit a weekly low of $1,920 as the SEC delayed decisions on Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs, disappointing investors.
- This week, Ethereum faced allegations from an insider revealing undisclosed flaws and processes in its development.
- THORChain became 3rd largest DEX by weekly volume, surpassing Curve Finance.
- Cardano's Q3 2023 highlights: 461% increase in stablecoin value, completed Project Catalyst Fund10, progressed in Voltaire governance phase, and launched Mithril.
- The Bitcoin Ordinals token ecosystem emerged as a recent crypto trend, driven by ORDI excitement.
- Bithumb aimed for Korea stock market listing with an IPO planned for late 2025.
- Opyn co-founders resigned following CFTC action.
- Crypto.com secured VASP license from Dubai's virtual asset regulator.
- Reddit admins planned a 30% MOON supply cut, sparking a 240% token surge.
- GROK's value dropped 50% amid connections to failed projects.
- dYdX Chain launched beta mainnet and partnered with Circle for USDC access, anticipating a $500M token unlock.
- Animoca joined Chiliz Chain as a validator, targeting the SportFi ecosystem.
- Uniswap released an Android wallet app featuring a swap function.
- Circle Ventures invested in Sei to grow the USDC ecosystem.
- Vitalik Buterin's endorsement led to a 10% rally in OMG Network.
- LayerZero Labs introduced Colortrace, an onchain attribution solution.
- Microsoft and Tencent joined the Decentralized Infura Network.
- Poloniex resumed services post-$100M hack, with users awaiting reimbursement details.
- Aave Companies became Avara and acquired Ethereum's 'Family Wallet.'
- Singapore's Monetary Authority collaborated with global banks on a tokenization initiative.
- PancakeSwap debuted a gaming marketplace.
- Celestia's TIA Token climbed 200% in two weeks despite low on-chain activity.
- Boyaa Interactive sought approval for a $100M crypto investment to boost its Web3 strategy.
- Binance Labs invested in Arkham's ARKM token.
- South Korea's pension fund acquired 280K Coinbase shares.
- Montenegro High Court rejected Do Kwon's appeal in a fake passport case.
- Coinshares acquired rights to Valkyrie's ETF division, eyeing U.S. expansion.
SEC's ETF Decision Postponement
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed its decision on the approval of Bitcoin and Ethereum Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) to 2024, stirring uncertainty in the crypto market. This affects Grayscale’s Ethereum Futures ETF and HashDex’s Bitcoin Futures ETF. Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart anticipates a 90% chance of Spot Bitcoin ETF approval by January 10, 2024.
WisdomTree has filed an amended Form S-1 spot Bitcoin ETF prospectus, indicating their determination to enter the ETF space, with Coinbase Custody Trust as the custodian. BlackRock has also filed for a spot Ether ETF, marking a significant shift in their stance on crypto.
The crypto market has shown resilience despite these regulatory uncertainties, with Bitcoin and Ethereum prices fluctuating. The SEC's decisions in the coming months are crucial and could significantly influence market dynamics and investor sentiment.
XRP Rollercoaster and Misinformation
XRP experienced a market rollercoaster, surging 15.76% to $0.75, then falling 12% due to a debunked rumor about a BlackRock XRP-based ETF. Originating from a dubious business registration, this false claim highlights the crypto market's susceptibility to misinformation.
BlackRock denied involvement, though interested in other cryptocurrencies. Ripple Labs was linked to a significant 24 million XRP transaction amidst these fluctuations. Ripple's server software update, version 2.0.0, promises enhanced XRP Ledger performance.
The Delaware Department of Justice is investigating the fraudulent filing, emphasizing the need for vigilance and thorough fact-checking in the crypto community.
JPMorgan's Blockchain Initiative with Avalanche
JPMorgan's Onyx partners with Avalanche, pioneering blockchain in asset management. This initiative, part of Singapore's Project Guardian, focuses on tokenization to transform financial strategies. JPMorgan explores blockchain for various applications, including tokenized forex trades and digital identity wallets.
Avalanche's AVAX surged 14% in 24 hours after the news, reflecting positive market response. Republic Crypto's R/Note, a tokenized security on Avalanche, offers stablecoin dividends, showcasing new investment models.
These developments signify blockchain's growing role in finance, suggesting a future where it's central to asset management and investment, enhancing efficiency, transparency, and accessibility in financial operations.
Binance-Linked Wallet Heist and Security Challenges
A Binance-linked wallet was compromised, resulting in the theft of $27 million, predominantly in Tether (USDT). The heist was executed by converting the stolen USDT into Ethereum (ETH), then into Bitcoin via various platforms and THORChain.
This wallet had received $27 million from Binance just a week before the incident and was linked to a Binance smart contract deployer address. The breach highlights the increasing security challenges in the Web3 space, with the Q3 2023 report from Certik noting 184 security incidents and losses exceeding $699 million.
The Lazarus Group, known for its sophisticated social engineering attacks, has accumulated $291 million in thefts.
Crypto Wallet Vulnerability and Phishing Scam
A cybersecurity team, Unciphered, has identified a vulnerability named "Randstorm" in crypto wallets generated using web browsers from 2011 to 2015. This issue, potentially impacting Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Zcash wallets, could affect millions of wallets and around $2.1 billion in crypto assets.
Users with wallets from this period are advised to transfer their assets to newer wallets. Meanwhile, a phishing scam in China targets crypto users with a fake Skype app. This app, exploiting China's ban on international applications, contains malware that monitors and alters crypto wallet addresses in real-time, particularly targeting Tron (TRX) and Ether (ETH) addresses.
The scam has already resulted in significant financial losses, with one Tron chain address receiving about 192,856 USDT and an ETH chain address receiving approximately 7,800 USDT through fraudulent transactions.
Tether's Legal Developments and Minting Activity
Tether and Bitfinex have successfully avoided an appeal in a class-action lawsuit alleging false claims about USDT's dollar backing, with the U.S. Southern District Court of New York dismissing the case. Tether reported that 85.7% of its total reserves are in cash and cash equivalents, predominantly U.S. T-Bills.
Meanwhile, Tether is expanding into Bitcoin mining, planning to invest $500 million in South American facilities to achieve 1% of BTC mining computing power. Paolo Ardoino, Tether's CTO and incoming CEO, aims for a 450 MW mining capacity by 2025.
Additionally, Tether has issued 4 billion USDT in the past month, significantly contributing to the 22.75 billion USDT minted in 2023. This aggressive minting has sparked discussions in the crypto community, especially considering the impact on Bitcoin's price.
On-chain data indicates a surge in Tether's trading volume and whale transactions, suggesting increased investor activity and potential bullish implications for Bitcoin, reminiscent of a pattern that preceded a 50% Bitcoin rally.
BlackRock's Spot Ether ETF and Revelations
BlackRock has applied to the U.S. SEC for an iShares Ethereum Trust, a spot ether ETF, following a recent corporate registration and Nasdaq's filing. Ether's price briefly surged but stabilized later. The crypto market is keenly responsive to ETF-related developments.
Meanwhile, Steven Nerayoff released a three-hour recording with Ethereum's Vitalik Buterin, revealing discussions about Ethereum's early developmental challenges and operational issues. Nerayoff's released recording seems to fail to substantiate the fraud accusations made by the former Ethereum advisor against Buterin and Lubin.
Charles Hoskinson, Ethereum co-founder and Cardano founder, responded to these revelations, defending his contributions to Ethereum and advising caution in interpreting these disclosures, emphasizing reconciliation and progress in the crypto community.
FTX-related Developments and Lawsuits
Former FTX executives, including a key witness against Sam Bankman-Fried, are launching Backpack Exchange in Dubai, aiming to enhance trust in crypto exchanges post-FTX collapse. Concurrently, FTX's bankruptcy team is suing Bybit Fintech and Mirana Corp to recover about $953 million, alleging preferential withdrawals.
Meanwhile, an FTX Foundation employee is contesting for a $275,000 unpaid bonus, amidst FTX's bankruptcy turmoil. In another development, a U.S. judge has permitted FTX to initiate mediation and file counterclaims in BlockFi's bankruptcy case, marking a significant step in untangling the financial aftermath of FTX's downfall and its ripple effects in the crypto world.
Binance's Expansion in Thailand and Japan
Binance is expanding its global presence with significant developments in Thailand and Japan. In Thailand, Binance, in a joint venture with Gulf Energy Development, is launching Gulf Binance, a crypto exchange initially available on an invitation-only basis, with a public rollout expected in early 2024. This venture, approved by the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission, leverages Gulf Energy's local influence and aims to showcase blockchain technology's potential to Thai users.
Gulf Energy, a major natural gas distributor in Thailand, has also invested in Binance's US arm. In a separate move, Binance Japan is set to list 13 new tokens, including Near, Optimism, and Arbitrum, increasing its total offerings to 47, the highest in Japan.
This expansion follows Binance's acquisition of Sakura Exchange BitCoin, marking its re-entry into the Japanese market. These tokens are already listed on other registered exchanges in Japan and meet the simplified assessment criteria of the Japan Virtual and Crypto Assets Exchange Association. This move aligns with Binance's goal to offer 100 tokens in Japan, despite recent market exits by rivals Coinbase and Kraken.
Blockchain.com's Funding Round and Resilience
Blockchain.com, a key player in the cryptocurrency exchange and wallet sector, has successfully completed a $110 million Series E funding round. This round, led by UK-based Kingsway Capital with participation from Lakestar, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Coinbase Ventures, marks a significant shift in the company's valuation.
Previously valued at $14 billion, the company's worth has now decreased to less than half of this figure. Despite this reduction, Blockchain.com's ability to attract substantial investment underscores ongoing investor interest in the crypto sector, even amidst market volatility.
The company, established in 2011, boasts a strong user base with 37 million verified users and has facilitated over $1 trillion in transactions. This resilience and reach in the crypto market highlight Blockchain.com's enduring significance in the industry.
Polygon's Gas Fee Surge and Ecosystem Expansion
Polygon's network faced a surge in gas fees due to PRC-20 activity, with fees increasing 1,000% before stabilizing. A Nansen report highlighted Polygon's resilience, noting stable user addresses and fluctuating gas fees. MATIC's value rose by 20%, fueled by positive market sentiment.
OKX launched a zkEVM layer-2 network using Polygon's technology, indicating a trend towards efficient transaction solutions. Animoca Brands, AWS, and Polygon Labs partnered to create the MoonRealm Express Accelerator, supporting Web3 development with a focus on decentralized identity and emerging Web3 areas, showcasing Polygon's expanding role in blockchain innovation and ecosystem development.
Solana's Market Surge and DeFi Developments
Solana's recent 40% surge to a new 2023 peak of $58 underscores its growing prominence in the crypto market. This uptick is part of a larger trend, with over $1 billion flowing into digital asset investment products this year, led by Bitcoin, Ether, and notably, Solana, which alone attracted $12.4 million.
Despite rumors, a BlackRock Spot Solana ETF remains unlikely due to regulatory complexities. Solana Labs has also dismissed CertiK's security concerns about its Saga phone as baseless. In the DeFi realm, the Pyth network plans to airdrop 255 million tokens to 90,000 wallets, signaling its ambition in the price oracle sector.
Additionally, Jupiter, Solana's leading DEX aggregator, is set to distribute 40% of its 10 billion tokens to early users, a move that highlights its commitment to community engagement and growth within the Solana ecosystem.
NFT Market Map
Disney Pinnacle: Disney's NFT Platform
Disney is teaming up with Dapper Labs, known for NBA Top Shot, to launch Disney Pinnacle, an NFT collectibles platform. This platform, inspired by Disney's physical pins, will feature digital pins minted as NFTs on the Flow blockchain, encompassing characters and properties from Disney, Pixar, and Star Wars. Notably, Marvel characters are not included at launch.
Disney Pinnacle is mobile-first, differing from Top Shot's initial web launch. It aims to balance accessibility for casual fans and exclusivity for serious collectors, offering a unified Disney universe experience. The platform is currently accepting waitlist sign-ups, with a gradual beta user onboarding planned before a full public rollout.
Dapper Labs, also behind CryptoKitties, developed the Flow blockchain for large-scale consumer applications. This collaboration was facilitated by Ridhima Kahn of Dapper Labs, who initially connected the firms while at Andreessen Horowitz.
Crypto-Enabled Games' Popularity and Bot Concerns
Crypto-enabled games are experiencing a surge in popularity, with daily unique active wallets (DUAWs) exceeding one million on several days in October, a slight increase from September. This growth, highlighted in DappRadar's report, is notable despite challenges like bot infiltration.
Games such as Splinterlands, Alien Worlds, and Axie Infinity have previously seen similar user spikes, but the authenticity of these numbers is questioned due to bot activities. For instance, Alien Worlds reported 1.6 million bot accounts.
Top games like Alien Worlds, Sweat Economy, and Pixels are leading in daily wallet activity, with Pixels recently migrating to Axie Infinity's Ethereum sidechain, Ronin, and witnessing a significant rise in users.
However, the reliability of these figures is debated, as bots may inflate them. The gaming sector now represents 33% of decentralized app activity, but distinguishing between human users and bots remains a challenge.
OpenSea's Phishing Campaign and Security Incidents
OpenSea, a major nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace, has been hit by a widespread email phishing campaign. Users and developers reported receiving emails with malicious links, posing as OpenSea, including fake developer account risk alerts and NFT offers.
One developer highlighted a phishing attempt targeted at an email linked exclusively to their OpenSea API key, suggesting a focused attack on developer contacts. This follows a security breach at one of OpenSea's third-party vendors in late September 2023, which may have leaked user emails and API keys.
Previously, in February 2022, OpenSea confirmed a phishing attack external to its website. The recent layoffs at OpenSea, where 50% of the staff was cut, coincided with these phishing incidents. Users are advised to verify the authenticity of emails and avoid sharing personal data like wallet addresses or private keys.
This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.