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Crypto: ZCash Surges on Grayscale’s Strategy, Gauntlet Terminates Aave Partnership, and More

Fernanda T
Latest News
February 22 2024 8:51AM

Retail traders drive cryptocurrency surge, says JPMorgan

Analysts at JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) highlight that the recent surge in cryptocurrency values is primarily driven by retail traders acting on impulse, rather than institutional investors or market fundamentals. According to them, the cryptocurrency market recovery in February can be attributed to the increasing activity of these individual traders. The analysis includes observing bitcoin flows, distinguishing between different wallet sizes, and the necessary adjustment due to the migration of retail investors to new bitcoin ETFs. Fernando Pereira, an analyst at Bitget, complements this observation by warning that the increase in short-term traders’ activity, especially in Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD), is a cautionary sign. “Short-term investors, the famous traders, are entering BTC again with force. This is a sign to be wary of, as when the majority of the market is dominated by these players, BTC tends to fall, as these investors do not usually hold onto their coins in uncomfortable situations. Today the majority of players are still long-term, but every day more traders appear,” said Pereira.

Hedge strategies drive Ether prices above $3,000

The recent surpassing of $3,000 by Ether, the currency of Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD), was driven by hedge strategies of traders in the options market, similar to what happened with Bitcoin in late 2023. According to Griffin Ardern of BloFin, these hedge activities, especially around the $3,000 level, contributed to the price increase by forcing traders to buy Ether to balance their positions, generating a positive cycle of price hikes.

Vitalik Buterin sees AI potential in Ethereum code audits

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD), expressed enthusiasm for the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in code audits to enhance security, especially in bug detection, considered one of Ethereum’s main technical risks. With the recent increase in interest in AI, driven by innovations from OpenAI and Nvidia’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) growth, Buterin’s proposal to use AI to reinforce code audits gains prominence. This approach could overcome the limitations of traditional auditing tools, offering a more dynamic adaptation to new contexts and vulnerabilities, potentially reducing risks associated with hacks and scams in the Ethereum ecosystem.

Rise of Bitcoin ETFs in 2024 with IBIT and FBTC leading the way

Nate Geraci, of the ETF Store, highlights 2024 as a notable year for Bitcoin ETFs, particularly for BlackRock (NASDAQ:IBIT) and Fidelity (AMEX:FBTC), which stood out among the top 8 in terms of inflows. On February 21, IBIT saw inflows of $5.5 billion, and FBTC, $3.7 billion. The combined total of investments in Bitcoin ETFs in the US reached around $41 billion, reflecting confidence in Bitcoin and the future potential of these funds in the digital asset market. However, in the last two weeks, there has been a decrease in inflows, with the top 10 ETFs attracting only about 500 Bitcoins, a notable drop compared to previous weeks.

Valkyrie introduces leveraged Bitcoin ETF to double daily gains

Valkyrie debuted an innovative Bitcoin futures ETF, the (NASDAQ:BTFX), on Thursday, offering investors the potential to double the daily return of a Bitcoin futures index. This launch comes after the SEC’s approval of several companies’ spot bitcoin ETFs, including Valkyrie’s own. The BTFX, which seeks to replicate twice the daily performance of the CME Bitcoin futures index, is an addition to advanced financial products that allow investors to capitalize on Bitcoin market dynamics.

Coinbase supports Grayscale’s Ethereum Trust conversion to ETF

Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN), one of the leading US cryptocurrency exchanges, endorsed Grayscale’s initiative to convert its Ethereum Trust into a spot Ethereum ETF. With the Ethereum community optimistic, Coinbase’s General Counsel, Paul Grewal, published an extensive letter advocating for SEC approval, based on legal, technical, and economic arguments. Coinbase argues that Ethereum, backed by the CFTC as a commodity, and its proof-of-stake consensus system ensure the necessary security and transparency to justify an ETF.

ZCash appreciates with Grayscale’s privacy ETF plan

ZCash (COIN:ZECUSD), a privacy-focused cryptocurrency, saw a 15% increase in its value after news that Grayscale Investments submitted an application to the SEC for an ETF dedicated to privacy. This move propelled the price of ZEC to nearly $30, before stabilizing around $27.48. Grayscale, already known for its Bitcoin ETF, is now directing its attention to assets that promote privacy, despite the regulatory challenges faced by such coins.

ECB criticizes Bitcoin value after SEC ETF approval

The European Central Bank expressed strong skepticism about the value of Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD), reacting to the recent approval of Bitcoin ETFs by the SEC. In a blog post, Ulrich Bindseil and Jürgen Schaaf of the ECB argued that Bitcoin is inherently worthless, despite the recent wave of investor enthusiasm triggered by the SEC’s decision. They highlighted concerns about volatility, price manipulation, excessive energy consumption, and use in illicit activities, emphasizing the potential risks to investors and society.

Euler Finance launches advanced DeFi lending platform after recovery

After overcoming a cyberattack resulting in a loss of $200 million, Euler Finance revealed Euler v2, a flexible upgrade of its DeFi lending platform. The new version allows users to lend and borrow in a decentralized manner, with innovations such as the Euler Vault Kit and the Ethereum Vault Connector for creating custom lending vaults. Despite the setback suffered in 2023, Euler bets on enhanced security and expanded functionalities to redefine DeFi lending.

LastPass breach results in $6.2 million crypto asset theft

Hackers stole over $6.2 million in crypto assets from 22 LastPass users between February 19 and 20. The breach involved 41 wallets, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Researchers tracked the stolen funds and advised victims to report the incident and change their keys. This attack follows a breach in October, where over $4 million was stolen, highlighting the importance of digital security.

Gauntlet terminates partnership with Aave due to operational challenges

Gauntlet, a company focused on risk management for decentralized finance (DeFi), announced the termination of its collaboration with the lending platform Aave. John Morrow, co-founder of Gauntlet, expressed on the Aave forum that the organization faced difficulties with the variable and informal expectations of key stakeholders, making the project’s continuity unsustainable. Gauntlet, which played a crucial role in Aave’s security since 2020, is now seeking to facilitate the transition and identify a new risk manager for the platform.

Ondo Finance expands USDY token reach with Aptos integration

Ondo Finance expanded the accessibility of its USDY token, backed by US Treasury assets, by integrating it into the Layer-1 Aptos blockchain. This collaboration with Aptos, created by former Meta employees, brings USDY, available on other networks like Ethereum and Solana, to a new audience. The partnership aims to combine digital and traditional asset yields on Aptos, promising innovations in staking and capital efficiency for tokenized assets.

PSG innovates by becoming blockchain network validator for its fan tokens

Paris Saint-Germain, a powerhouse in French football, announced its entry into the blockchain world as a validator on the Chiliz Chain, where its fan tokens reside. The club will use profits to repurchase these tokens, a novel strategy among sports clubs that typically launch tokens to offer memorabilia and unique experiences to fans. This initiative not only reinforces PSG’s role in the digital economy of fan tokens, valued at $28 million, but also promises to strengthen the Chiliz network, generating more value and revenue for all involved.

Arbitrum supports groundbreaking film on digital art and NFTs

The Arbitrum Foundation (COIN:ARBUSD), which promotes the Ethereum Layer 2 Arbitrum network, will finance “New Here,” an innovative cinematic project by Dpop Studios aiming to explore the universe of digital art through the experience of a newcomer entering the intriguing world of NFTs and blockchain. The film, featuring the production of Oscar-winning Shane Boris, seeks not only to highlight the work of NFT artists but also to incorporate new forms of creation and audience engagement through emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence.

Oasys joins forces with Kakao’s Metabora SG for growth in Japan

The blockchain platform for games Oasys, based in Japan, has partnered with Metabora SG, the Web3 games division of South Korea’s giant Kakao, to boost the game publisher’s presence in the Japanese market. The collaboration aims to combine Metabora SG’s expertise in creating engaging games with Oasys’ sustainable technology, aiming to capture the interest of Japanese gamers. This initiative is part of Oasys’ “Dragon Update,” a key strategy for 2024, focused on expanding interoperability and connections in the blockchain gaming ecosystem.

Ping Exchange revolutionizes security in crypto asset trading

Ping Exchange is introducing a new era in crypto asset trading security, offering a hybrid platform that combines advanced security protocols with user-focused asset control. Standing out for its hybrid cold storage and the use of the innovative CorePass ID app for authentication, Ping Exchange ensures secure and decentralized transactions, putting power directly in the hands of users. This pioneering approach promises a significant change in how crypto exchanges protect assets and user identity, challenging conventions and establishing new standards of security and access control in the cryptocurrency space.

FalconX advances in Hong Kong in response to growing institutional demand

FalconX, a prominent broker in the digital asset sector, announces its expansion into Hong Kong, aiming to meet the increasing institutional interest in cryptocurrencies in the region. The company intends to provide advanced brokerage services, including over-the-counter trading and derivatives, to a professional investor audience. This move highlights Hong Kong as an innovative hub in virtual assets and Web 3.0, differentiating itself by its progressive regulatory approach compared to the restrictive policies of mainland China.

Sam Bankman-Fried changes legal team ahead of sentencing

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the defunct FTX exchange, replaced his legal defense team in preparation for the final phase of his trial. The change occurred during a court hearing on February 21, indicating a new strategy as his sentencing approaches in March for multiple charges of fraud and conspiracy. Observers noted a drastic change in Bankman-Fried’s presentation, who swapped his casual attire for a prison uniform, reflecting the seriousness of his current situation.

DMG Blockchain Solutions announces growth in first quarter of fiscal 2024

DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc. (TSXV:DMGI), a leading blockchain technology and data center company, released its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2024, highlighting revenue of $9.7 million and a net profit of $7.0 million. The company, which significantly expanded its mining operations, mined 196 bitcoins, marking a 35% increase from the previous quarter. With the acquisition of 4,550 bitcoin miners, DMG is preparing to double its hash capacity. CEO Sheldon Bennett emphasized continued investments in infrastructure and software, aiming to further strengthen the company’s position in the cryptocurrency market.

Eigen Labs raises $100 million from a16z to innovate on Ethereum

Eigen Labs, creator of the innovative EigenLayer project promising to revolutionize the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector by enabling the reuse of Ethereum tokens, raised $100 million from venture capital firm a16z crypto. Still in pre-operational phase, EigenLayer is already generating great anticipation, with its total value locked (TVL) reaching nearly $8 billion, highlighting the growing interest in restake solutions on the blockchain.

Helius raises $9.5 million to advance in the Solana ecosystem

Helius, a development platform focused on Solana, secured a $9.5 million Series A funding, led by Foundation Capital, with participation from notable investors, including Solana co-founders. With a focus on enhancing tools for developers, such as web hooks and remote procedure controls (RPCs), Helius plans to expand its team and technology to integrate more developers and institutions into Solana.