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Block Innovates Bitcoin Mining, DOJ Proposes 3-Year Prison for Changpeng Zhao, and More Crypto News

Fernanda T
Latest News
April 24 2024 1:50PM

Possible effects on Bitcoin price with US dollar depreciation and Mt. Gox refund

Cryptocurrency traders anticipate a potential depreciation of the US dollar, which could favor Bitcoin’s recovery (COIN:BTCUSD). Conversely, some banks still see a strengthening dollar on the horizon. At the time of writing, Bitcoin was down by -2.5%, trading at $64,771.50. Since March, Bitcoin has remained between $60,000 and $70,000. The appreciation of the US Dollar Index (DXY), which has reached recent highs, has limited Bitcoin’s advance. Expectations of higher interest rates could strengthen the dollar, while a decline is seen as positive for the cryptocurrency market.

Additionally, K33 Research experts warned that the imminent return of over $9 billion in Bitcoin from Mt. Gox could negatively affect the cryptocurrency’s value. Recent data on the amount of cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies owed to creditors, along with repayment dates, suggest that refunds may begin soon. With a significant amount of BTC and Bitcoin Cash (COIN:BCHUSD) involved, the release of these coins could cause market turbulence. Fernando Pereira of Bitget highlights that the refund will not occur all at once and is not imminent. Pereira suggests that market declines are more likely to result from profit-taking. “The return of BTC to customers could indeed bring selling pressure to the market, especially as we are in a very attractive selling area, but this return is unlikely to happen anytime soon and not all at once. More market declines are indeed likely to occur soon, but due to natural profit-taking situations, such as long-term investors exiting the market at the current price range, and not necessarily due to potential sales from Mt.Gox customers,” commented Pereira.

Recent movements in the Bitcoin ETF market

On April 23, bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US recorded the third consecutive day of net inflows, totaling $31.64 million. While the Grayscale ETF (AMEX:GBTC) saw outflows of $66.88 million, the BlackRock bitcoin spot ETF (NASDAQ:IBIT) received $37.92 million in inflows, the largest of the day. Since January, US bitcoin ETFs have accumulated a total net flow of $12.42 billion.

Hong Kong sets launch date for Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs amid potential fee war

In a significant development for the crypto asset market, Hong Kong has approved the launch of Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with trading set to begin on April 30. According to Bloomberg, this news could trigger a fee war among issuers, similar to what is happening in the US market. Some funds started with competitive fees, with Harvest initiating management without costs, increasing to 0.3% after six months, while ChinaAMC and Bosera established fees of 0.99% and 0.60%, respectively.

Grayscale and BlackRock update Ethereum ETF filings despite regulatory uncertainties

Grayscale Investments and BlackRock are advancing with updates to their Ethereum spot ETF filings, while the SEC delays decisions. Grayscale submitted an S-3 and an S-1 filing for a mini Ethereum ETF, while BlackRock proposes changes to include cash creation and redemption. The SEC is expected to decide in May, with approval expectations low.

Block advances in Bitcoin mining technology development

Block (NYSE:SQ), led by Jack Dorsey, is enhancing its presence in the cryptocurrency sector by developing its own bitcoin mining system. The company, formerly called Square, announced that it has finalized a three-nanometer mining chip and is collaborating with a world-renowned semiconductor foundry to produce it. After consulting with the mining community, Block decided to create a complete mining system. This includes both the chip and the system design, aiming to decentralize and innovate in a market currently dominated by a few large players, such as Bitmain, which controls about 60% of the market.

DMG Blockchain Solutions collaborates with PayPal and Energy Web to decarbonize Bitcoin

DMG Blockchain Solutions (TSXV:DMGI), an integrated blockchain technology and data center company, announced a strategic partnership with PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) and Energy Web to develop carbon-neutral Bitcoin transaction methods. The companies are joining forces to research and advance the use of Bitcoin as an environmentally sustainable payment method, demonstrating commitment to reducing the carbon footprint in the cryptocurrency industry.

Tesla maintains Bitcoin investment strategy

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), under the leadership of Elon Musk, continued to hold its considerable Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) reserves during the first quarter of 2024, marking the seventh consecutive quarter without selling its cryptocurrency. This decision reflects a long-term investment strategy and a belief in blockchain technology, despite market fluctuations. In the recent earnings report, Tesla confirmed that it retained its stock of 9,720 BTC, valued at over $711 million.

DOJ proposes 36-month prison sentence for former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao

The US Department of Justice recommended a 36-month prison sentence and a $50 million fine for Changpeng Zhao, former CEO of Binance. Arguing the severity of regulatory violations, including failures in anti-money laundering policies, the DOJ seeks a severe penalty to deter similar practices. In contrast, Zhao’s defense suggests probation, highlighting his cooperation and lack of precedents for incarceration in similar cases. The sentence will be decided on April 30. Before his sentencing for sanctions violations and anti-money laundering, Changpeng Zhao apologized to Judge Richard A. Jones for his failures in leading the exchange. In the letter, Zhao admitted to not implementing adequate compliance controls from the start, taking full responsibility for his actions. He also mentioned future initiatives, including funding educational and research projects.

US regulators seek billion-dollar fine against Terraform Labs and co-founder

Federal regulators are seeking a $5.3 billion fine against Terraform Labs and Do Kwon for investor fraud. The SEC seeks restitution and pre-judgment interest of $4.7 billion, along with civil penalties of $420 million and $100 million. The company and Kwon contest the fines, arguing for lower amounts. The case arises from allegations of deception regarding the safety of investments in the Terra USD stablecoin and its blockchain.

Central Bank of Nigeria denies directive against cryptocurrency exchanges

The Central Bank of Nigeria denied instructing financial institutions in the country to identify users of cryptocurrency platforms Bybit, KuCoin, OKX, and Binance, contradicting a CoinDesk report. The bank’s denial emerged in a context of tensions between Binance and the Nigerian government, involving accusations of manipulation of the local currency, the naira. The bank’s denial was briefly withdrawn but later reaffirmed.

Jane Street Capital increases stake in Coinbase

Jane Street Capital increased its stake in Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN), holding 5.3% of the shares in February, valued at $1.4 billion. The investment has grown since December, when they held 1.92%. Other major investors include the Vanguard Group and BlackRock (NYSE:BLK).

Strike expands operations in Europe with expanded Bitcoin services

Strike, the financial services platform, expanded its presence in Europe, offering bitcoin transactions (COIN:BTCUSD) to millions across the continent. European users can now perform operations such as buying, selling, and transferring bitcoins directly through the app, using unlimited and cost-free SEPA deposits. Additionally, they have features such as recurring purchases and P2P transfers via the Lightning Network.

Record growth and expansion of the stablecoin market

Stablecoins are experiencing unprecedented growth, with the number of holder addresses increasing by 15% this year, reaching a record of over 93.6 million. Tethered to fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, or algorithms, stablecoins, such as Tether (COIN:USDTUSD) and USD Coin (COIN:USDCUSD), now have a combined market capitalization of $157 billion. Despite a bearish market, demand for digital dollar equivalents is growing, driven by high interest rates and increasing adoption in transactions and value reserves, especially in economies with high inflation.

Tether freezes wallets used in Venezuelan oil exports

Tether (COIN:USDTUSD) announced that it will block wallets using USDT to evade sanctions on Venezuelan oil exports. The move follows Reuters’ report on increased tether usage by PDVSA after the reimposition of US sanctions. The company has already frozen 41 wallets linked to the US Treasury’s OFAC SDN list in December.

Misunderstanding about BlackRock’s fund tokenization causes fluctuations in HBAR price

The tokenization of BlackRock’s US Treasury ICS money market fund on the Hedera blockchain, carried out by Archax and not by BlackRock, caused confusion in the market. Despite Hedera supporters on social media erroneously concluding that BlackRock had chosen Hedera for tokenization, the clarification of this distinction resulted in a 107% increase followed by a 25% drop in the value of the HBAR token (COIN:HBARUSD). The correction of information highlighted the importance of accuracy in corporate communication.

World Assets announces planned sale of WLD tokens to sustain global demand

World Assets, part of the Worldcoin Foundation (COIN:WLDUSD), revealed plans to sell WLD tokens from its treasury over the next six months. The sale aims to meet the growing demand for verified World IDs and support the expansion of the Worldcoin network. The company intends to sell between 0.5 million and 1.5 million WLD tokens weekly, representing less than 0.4% of the token’s weekly trading volume. Restrictions will be imposed on the resale of tokens in the United States. Additionally, Sam Altman and Alex Blania, proponents of Worldcoin, seek to improve relations with Malaysian leaders while facing regulatory scrutiny. Recent discussions with authorities reflect a commitment to user privacy. After temporary bans in Spain and Portugal, measures were taken, including the new “Personal Custody” initiative and the deletion of biometric data. Approximately five million digital identities have been assigned by the project.

Solana announces crucial update to address network congestion

Solana (COIN:SOLUSD) plans to release a major update, version 1.18, on May 27 for its main beta network, aiming to address persistent congestion issues. This increase in transaction failures was recently exacerbated by a high volume of transactions generated by bots with meme coins. Version 1.18 aims to strengthen Solana’s infrastructure to improve network stability and performance.

Figment records explosive growth with launch of Ethereum and Solana ETPs

In the first quarter of 2024, Figment, an institutional staking infrastructure provider, achieved record growth, quintupling its results compared to the same period in 2023. The company now manages over $15 billion in assets, with over 500 institutional clients. This increase was driven by the successful launch of Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD) and Solana (COIN:SOLUSD) staking ETPs in collaboration with the Apex Group on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

Fireblocks enhances DeFi security with new detection and simulation tools

Fireblocks, specializing in cryptocurrency custody, has launched advanced tools to help institutions safely navigate the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector. The new solutions, dApp Protection and Transaction Simulation, now available after beta testing with Galaxy and Flowdesk, enable the evaluation of smart contracts and the detection of threats across more than 40 blockchains. These tools aim to prevent interactions with malicious entities and protect against attacks on popular DeFi platforms.

Bitget lists RTF tokens to boost SocialFi innovation in boxing

Bitget has added RTF tokens from the Web3-based Ready to Fight app to its Innovation Zone. The app offers a blockchain ecosystem for boxers and boxing fans, with RTF trading and deposits now available, including Candybomb giveaways worth over $40,000. The platform aims to revolutionize the boxing industry, offering everything from professional management to fan engagement, and RTF’s inclusion on Bitget boosts accessibility to emerging DeFi ecosystems.

Coinbase launches $15 million TV advertising campaign with pizza theme

Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN) is launching a $15 million TV campaign, airing three commercials during NBA playoffs. The ads, focusing on cryptocurrency potential and drawbacks of traditional payment methods, use the example of buying pizza to highlight hidden fees and complexities of conventional systems. The initiative aims to promote crypto understanding among sports fans.