Coin360 Weekly Dispatch | Crypto Market Updates & Highlights | September 23 - September 29, 2023
Crypto Weekly Market Update
Table of Contents
Crypto Market Overview
- Crypto Weekly Recap: Price Actions, Market Trends, and Key Developments
Regulatory and Financial Landscape
- VanEck's Ethereum ETF Ambitions and SEC Delays
- Uncertainty Surrounds SEC's Bitcoin ETF Decisions
- Project Mariana Tests DeFi for Central Bank Digital Currencies
- HTX Exchange Cyber-Raid: A Lesson in Crypto Security
Crypto Exchanges and Platforms
- Coinbase's Multi-Front Strategy to Dominate Crypto Market
- WOO X and OpenTrade: Tokenizing U.S. Treasury Bills in Asia
- Gemini Exits Netherlands Due to Regulatory Constraints
- Ripple's Abandoned Acquisition of Fortress Trust
- Binance Faces Regulatory Headwinds and Market Share Decline
- MoneyGram's Leap into Crypto with Non-Custodial Digital Wallet
- UK Banks Clamp Down on Crypto Transactions
Market Trends and Investments
- MicroStrategy's Latest Bitcoin Investment: Bullish or Risky?
NFTs and Digital Assets
- Pudgy Penguins: From NFTs to Walmart Shelves
- PayPal Ventures into NFTs with New Patent Application
- The Rollercoaster Ride of NFT Market Valuations
Industry Challenges and Shifts
- Epic Games Cuts Staff Amid Metaverse Revenue Struggles
Crypto Weekly Recap: Price Actions, Market Trends, and Key Developments
- Weekly change: +1.05%
- Over the weekend, BTC shattered its low volatility, peaking at $26,738 on Sunday before plummeting to $26,150 early Monday.
- By mid-Monday, BTC dipped to nearly $26,000, marking its weekly low.
- Post-Microstrategy's $147M Bitcoin buy, BTC rebounded to the $26,100-$26,300 range. This coincided with the U.S. Dollar Index hitting a high of 106.1.
- Despite the SEC delaying Bitcoin ETFs, BTC surged to $26,800 on Wednesday. Market activity and short squeezes likely fueled the rise, noted by crypto analyst Skew (@52kskew on X). It then retreated to $26,100.
- Amid ETF turbulence on Thursday, BTC climbed to $27,200. The SEC deferred Spot Ether ETF decisions, while VanEck geared up for its Ether futures ETF.
- Friday's macro data showed Eurozone inflation at a two-year low: CPI at 4.3% YoY and core CPI at 4.5% YoY.
- The Fed's PCE inflation gauge outperformed expectations, with headline PCE at 0.4% and core PCE at 0.1%. A looming government shutdown added market uncertainty.
- BTC recently slipped under $27,000 and is now hovering around $26,900.
- Weekly change: +5.13%
- ETH had a much more defined uptrend than BTC.
- Over the weekend, ETH hit a weekly low of $1,567 but bounced back near $1,600.
- Glassnode Alerts revealed on Monday that Ethereum addresses in loss reached an all-time high on a 7-day MA.
- ETH climbed to $1,630, and since Shapella's April 2023 launch, 7.5 million ETH flowed into staking.
- It then surged to a weekly high of $1,684. The bullish spike in ETH was driven by VanEck's announcement of an Ethereum futures ETF, a 2% S&P 500 uptick, and around $80 million in 24-hour short liquidations.
- Weakness in the value of the dollar later in the week may have added to the bullish sentiments.
- CoinShares opened a U.S. hedge fund division for institutional clients.
- Amazon poured $4B into Anthropic AI.
- Taiwan set guidelines for regulating digital assets and crypto.
- Microsoft's leaked plans hinted at Xbox crypto wallets.
- Binance Japan and Mitsubishi partnered for stablecoin creation.
- Immunefi rolled out smart contract bug-bounty vaults.
- Uniswap Foundation sought $62.37M for ecosystem expansion.
- Gemini shifted $282M from Genesis to safeguard users.
- GMX awarded Collider's research arm a $1M bug bounty.
- Kraken mulled exploring stocks.
- PEPE surged 30% in a week due to crypto sector rebound and whale action.
- FTX founder's trial set for a 6-week span.
- Optimism's OP token dipped 10% before $30M token unlock.
- 81 Binance wallets moved $31M in LINK, Chainlink broadens to Coinbase.
- Base eclipsed Solana as total value locked neared $400M.
- Mixin Network suffered $200M loss; offered $20M bug bounty for fund return.
- Terra Classic voted to cease USTC token minting.
- Fake Aptos tokens caused Upbit to halt APT withdrawals.
- Hashkey HK launched AVAX trading with a $1M portfolio prerequisite.
- PayPal collaborated with Crypto.com to amplify PYUSD adoption.
- Six-week crypto outflow streak; XRP and SOL win investor trust.
- MakerDAO hit a 16-month high, surging 200% YTD due to rising revenue.
- IOTA Network introduced ShimmerEVM's smart contracts and tokens.
- Arbitrum shed $59M in unclaimed airdrop tokens.
- Curve's founder put $35M in CRV to settle Aave debt.
- Celestia airdropped 60M tokens to grow its network.
- DFINITY rolled out a $20M ICP Asia Alliance Web3 incubator.
VanEck's Ethereum ETF Ambitions and SEC Delays
VanEck is prepping for a potential Ethereum futures ETF launch as early as October 2, a move that could significantly influence the Ethereum market cap, complete with TV ads. On the flip side, the SEC is delaying decisions on spot Ether ETFs from ARK 21Shares and VanEck until late December.
The crypto ETF landscape is buzzing with activity, yet regulatory approvals remain a hurdle. The market is a blend of anticipation and caution, as players await the SEC's next moves.
Uncertainty Surrounds SEC's Bitcoin ETF Decisions
The SEC has extended the approval deadline for ARK 21Shares' spot Bitcoin ETF and GlobalX's Bitcoin ETF proposal, creating uncertainty in the market. SEC Chair Gary Gensler has been ambiguous about future propositions on spot Bitcoin ETFs, while the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has criticized the SEC's rejection of Grayscale Investments' case.
Lawmakers are advocating for swift approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs, citing investor protection and market transparency. The SEC is also facing administrative challenges and the possibility of a government shutdown. Analysts predict further delays in Bitcoin ETF approvals and highlight the contrasting regulatory approaches of the US and EU.
Project Mariana Tests DeFi for Central Bank Digital Currencies
Project Mariana, led by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), explores the use of decentralized finance (DeFi) innovations to test wholesale central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The project leveraged automated market makers (AMMs) on the public Ethereum testnet to facilitate cross-border trading and settlement of hypothetical CBDCs.
The results suggest that AMMs can improve market efficiency and reduce settlement risk. However, the report emphasizes the need for further research and experimentation due to the nascent state of DeFi technology. Additionally, legislative hurdles and public concerns surrounding CBDCs pose challenges to their widespread implementation.
HTX Exchange Cyber-Raid: A Lesson in Crypto Security
Cryptocurrency exchange HTX suffered a cyber-raid on September 24, resulting in the loss of 5,000 Ether (ETH) worth approximately $8 million, and shaking up crypto coin prices. Justin Sun, creator of Tron and advisor to HTX, confirmed the hack and reassured investors. While the stolen sum was significant, it only represented a small fraction of HTX's $3 billion user asset pool. HTX promptly absorbed the losses and offered a 5% "white-hat bonus" to the hacker in an attempt to recover the stolen funds.
The market response to the breach was relatively modest, with a slight dip in HT token prices. Justin Sun also offered the hacker a job as a security advisor, with a deadline set for the return of the stolen assets. The incident highlights the importance of robust security infrastructure and transparent communication in the cryptocurrency industry.
Coinbase's Multi-Front Strategy to Dominate Crypto Market
Coinbase is making strategic moves on multiple fronts to solidify its position in the crypto market. The company considered acquiring FTX Europe to expand its crypto derivatives offerings, a sector that represents a significant portion of digital currency trading. Although the deal didn't materialize, Coinbase remains open to future acquisitions.
On another note, the company's Chief Legal Officer hinted at the possibility of issuing a Base token for its Ethereum layer 2 chain, marking a shift from their previous "no-token" stance. Base has been a standout, recording more daily transactions than Ethereum and locking in $370.3 million in deposits.
Lastly, Coinbase has successfully registered with Spain's central bank, aligning with the country's anti-money laundering standards and setting the stage for compliance with the EU's upcoming MiCA regulation in 2024.
WOO X and OpenTrade: Tokenizing U.S. Treasury Bills in Asia
Crypto exchange WOO X has partnered with OpenTrade to offer tokenized U.S. treasury bill products in Asia. This partnership enables WOO X users to earn yield through tokenized T-Bills and borrow USDC-secured loans against liquid assets.
WOO X emphasizes its focus on Asia as a growth market and aims to strengthen its position in the region. OpenTrade, founded this year, offers lending products for U.S. Treasury Bills, structured credit, and supply chain finance using the Perimeter Protocol developed by Circle Research.
Gemini Exits Netherlands Due to Regulatory Constraints
Gemini, a New York-based crypto exchange, has announced its plan to halt operations in the Netherlands by mid-November because it can't comply with the regulatory requirements set by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). The firm has asked Dutch customers to transfer their funds to Bitvavo, a local exchange.
Gemini said it hopes to return to the country after becoming compliant with the regulations. Gemini's decision came after Binance, another crypto exchange, exited the market in the summer due to regulatory challenges. There are currently 37 virtual asset providers registered with the DNB.
Ripple's Abandoned Acquisition of Fortress Trust
Ripple has decided to abandon its planned acquisition of Fortress Trust, a Nevada-based chartered trust company. However, Ripple will remain an investor in Fortress. The decision was made due to internal discord at Ripple, with some employees opposing the acquisition.
Ripple had originally intended to leverage Fortress Trust's license portfolio in the United States to strengthen its regulatory status. The acquisition was accelerated after Fortress Trust experienced a security incident involving a phishing attack. Ripple covered losses suffered by hacked customers as part of the deal.
Binance Faces Regulatory Headwinds and Market Share Decline
Binance, the crypto giant, is navigating choppy waters. CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao refutes owning CommEX, the new owner of Binance Russia, amid a U.S. DOJ investigation. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal's negative coverage of Binance has been met with swift counterclaims by CZ.
He contrasts WSJ's portrayal of him with its glorification of Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the now-defunct FTX. On the market front, Binance's non-USD market share has dwindled from 75% to just under 51%, facing regulatory hurdles globally. The decline benefits other exchanges like Huobi and Upbit, even as overall trading volumes slump.
MoneyGram's Leap into Crypto with Non-Custodial Digital Wallet
MoneyGram, the global money wire service, is launching a non-custodial digital wallet in the first quarter of 2024, a feature that could offer a fresh perspective on cryptocurrency charts. The wallet will allow customers to convert fiat currency to cryptocurrencies and vice versa, leveraging stablecoin technology.
MoneyGram's partnership with the Stellar Development Foundation enables blockchain access worldwide, making it the largest fiat on and off-ramp provider. The company previously had a partnership with Ripple, which ended in early 2021. The new wallet expands their services in the crypto and digital payments space.
UK Banks Clamp Down on Crypto Transactions
JPMorgan's Chase Bank is joining other UK banks in banning crypto payments. Starting from October 16, customers will be unable to use their Chase accounts to transfer money to crypto firms or trade crypto with Chase debit cards. This move comes amidst a wave of scams targeting UK consumers.
Other banks, including NatWest, HSBC, and Standard Chartered, have also distanced themselves from the crypto industry in response to the recent banking crisis. Such restrictions have caused frustration for UK crypto traders who faced difficulty accessing their profits and conducting business transactions.
MicroStrategy's Latest Bitcoin Investment: Bullish or Risky?
MicroStrategy, a business intelligence firm and major Bitcoin investor, has announced the acquisition of an additional 5,445 BTC for $147.3 million, a strategic move that could impact crypto price trends. This brings their total Bitcoin holdings to approximately 158,245 BTC, acquired at an average purchase price of $29,582 per coin.
The recent purchase demonstrates MicroStrategy's continued bullish stance on Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency is currently trading at $26,081 and has experienced slight declines in the past few weeks. MicroStrategy reported profitability in Q1 and Q2 of 2023.
Top Weekly Altcoin Gainers and Losers
Compound COMP (+22.07%)
WEMIX WEMIX (+18.10%)
Curve DAO Token CRV (+17.38%)
Chainlink LINK (+16.67%)
Maker MKR (+12.42%)
Immutable X IMX (-15.79%)
XDC Network XDC (-6.48%)
Toncoin TON (-6.01%)
Render Token RNDR (-4.65%)
Casper CSPR (-4.30%)
NFT Market Map
Pudgy Penguins: From NFTs to Walmart Shelves
Pudgy Penguins, a popular NFT collection, is expanding into the physical world by launching its Pudgy Toys collection in 2,000 Walmart stores in the U.S. Each toy comes with a unique birth certificate that allows users to claim traits for their digital character in Pudgy World, a virtual environment built on the zkSync Era blockchain.
Pudgy Penguins has achieved $400 million in sales since its launch and has successfully utilized social media and experiential marketing to engage audiences. Walmart's inclusion of Pudgy Toys demonstrates the evolving consumer engagement with brands in the digital era.
PayPal Ventures into NFTs with New Patent Application
PayPal has applied for a patent for a non-fungible token (NFT) purchase and transfer system. The proposed system would allow users to buy and sell NFTs on- and off-chain through a third-party service provider. The system could support fractionalized purchases, decentralized autonomous organizations, and royalties.
Users could have their own digital wallets or use a third-party broker for storage and checkout services. The transactions could be processed off-chain, reducing the need for blockchain registration and associated fees. PayPal's stablecoin, PYUSD, built on Ethereum, could be used as a currency in the system.
The Rollercoaster Ride of NFT Market Valuations
The NFT market has experienced cycles of value fluctuation, with approximately 95% of NFTs becoming worthless during downtimes. However, it is important to consider the overall value and potential of the NFT ecosystem.
The Forkast 500 NFT Index, which represents a majority of the market's value, shows a decline of nearly 94% since its peak in 2022. Despite this, unique buyers, sales, and total transactions have seen significant growth in 2023. NFTs remain a transformative technology with promising future prospects.
Epic Games Cuts Staff Amid Metaverse Revenue Struggles
Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, has laid off around 830 staff, citing unrealistic revenue expectations from the metaverse. CEO Tim Sweeney acknowledged that the company had been spending more than it was earning and the layoffs were necessary to stabilize finances. The shift towards the Fortnite Creator program, which allows players to create and sell their own content, resulted in lower margins.
The layoffs also include the sale of Bandcamp and the spinoff of SuperAwesome. Employees will receive six months of pay and healthcare benefits. Fortnite has 400 million registered users and Epic Games also operates the Unreal Engine.
This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.