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Crypto: Binance Executives Detained in Nigeria, Grayscale’s Bitcoin Mini Trust Proposal and Latest News

Fernanda T
Latest News
March 12 2024 10:49AM

Binance top executives detained by Nigeria in financial dispute

Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, senior officials of Binance, were detained by Nigeria, according to the Wall Street Journal and Wired, amid accusations against the cryptocurrency exchange. The detention followed the country’s demand for $10 billion from the company for untracked transactions. Arriving in Abuja on February 25 for negotiations, they were taken to a national security facility. Binance, stating cooperation with authorities, seeks a swift and secure resolution.

Grayscale proposes new mini version of its Bitcoin Trust

Grayscale has requested SEC registration for a downsized version of its renowned Bitcoin Trust, dubbed the Grayscale Bitcoin Mini Trust, with the symbol “BTC.” This new entity aims to operate independently, sharing bitcoins with the original GBTC and listing on the NYSE. Details of the share distribution for current GBTC shareholders are yet to be outlined, but the separation will not require any action on their part nor incur additional taxes.

Bitcoin ETFs see robust influx on March 11

On March 11, 2024, Bitcoin ETFs experienced a significant influx, totaling a net gain of $505.5 million, primarily driven by BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin ETF (NASDAQ:IBIT), which alone raised $562.9 million. Other notable contributions came from funds like Fidelity’s ETF (AMEX:FBTC) and VanEck’s ETF (NASDAQ:BRRR), the latter having its best day after the announcement of fee waivers until 2025. Despite continued outflows from Grayscale (AMEX: GBTC), with $494 million in outflows recorded on Monday, the volume of inflows into Bitcoin ETFs highlights growing investor interest in this digital asset.

Increase in US inflation drives slight rise in Bitcoin

Inflation in the US unexpectedly accelerated last month, with the annual rate reaching 3.2%, slightly above the forecasted 3.1%, while the core inflation hit 3.8%, surpassing the expectation of 3.7%. Monthly, the CPI advanced 0.4%, confirming estimates and surpassing the January increase. Following the announcement, Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) recorded a slight uptick to $72,270. Prospects of interest rate cuts were postponed due to persistent inflation, affecting monetary policy and keeping inflation above the Fed’s 2% target, reducing expectations of rate relief.

ChainGPT launches $1 million program for innovation in AI and Blockchain

ChainGPT, a platform combining artificial intelligence with blockchain technology, unveiled a $1 million grant fund to drive innovation in this field. Selected startups will have access to ChainGPT’s APIs and SDKs to develop and scale their solutions. The initiative aims to overcome the challenge of merging AI centralization with blockchain decentralization, aligning with the vision to integrate these technologies for innovative advancements in the Web3 space.

Tether announces USDT integration with Celo network

Tether (COIN:USDTUSD), a stablecoin issuer, announced the imminent introduction of USDT on the Celo network, a platform aligning with Ethereum Layer 2 and offering Ethereum Virtual Machine compatibility. This expansion does not yet have a set date but will occur soon, adding Celo to the list of blockchains already supporting USDT, such as Ethereum, Solana, and Polygon. Celo, focused on facilitating mobile payments with low fees, will see USDT enrich its financial functionalities and perhaps even serve as gas currency in dApps. This move comes as Tether’s circulating USDT supply surpasses 102 billion.

Hop DAO plans partial sale of stake in Arbitrum for operational funding

Hop DAO has approved a vote to sell 25% of its assets in Arbitrum (COIN:ARBUSD), totaling over 200,000 ARB, aiming to cover operational costs. The transaction, converted into nearly $440,000 in USD Coin, will be used to compensate moderators and support protocol development and research. The date for the sale of ARB has not yet been determined. The proposal garnered 85% of favorable votes in the concluded vote, indicating significant community support.

Solana sets new record for daily addresses, signaling sustained growth

The Solana blockchain witnessed a historic peak in new daily addresses, surpassing 691,000, indicating a significant increase in network adoption. Tristan Frizza of Zeta Markets sees this growth as evidence of genuine user engagement, distinguishing it from mere speculation. With Solana processing more daily transactions than several other blockchains combined, its position as one of the leading crypto platforms by market value seems more likely. Additionally, a recent surge in DEX transactions reinforces expectations of SOL price (COIN:SOLUSD) advances, despite still being below the 2021 peak.

ETF chances for Ethereum diminish despite price rise

The likelihood of an Ethereum ETF approval by the SEC has dropped to 36%, tempering crypto community optimism following Bitcoin ETF acceptances in January. Even with Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD) surpassing $4,000, driven by anticipation of its upgrade and ETF possibility, reality sets in with Polymarket indicating reduced odds. Political influences and SEC decision delays add uncertainty, while the community closely watches the May 23 deadline.

Ether options traders’ sentiment is cautious. Ether options traders are positioning for potential short-term depreciation. The one-month Ether options skew, indicating market preference, has turned negative, revealing higher demand for put options, used as protection against downturns. Despite long-term positive outlooks, the preference for put options in the short and medium term signals a cautious market sentiment.

Joe Biden’s 2025 budget plan focuses on crypto-assets to enhance tax fairness

The Biden administration’s 2025 budget proposal, presented on March 11, aims to raise nearly $10 billion in additional revenue through digital asset regulation. The measures seek to close loopholes benefiting wealthy cryptocurrency investors, promoting equity among all investors. They include stricter standards on crypto asset transactions, enhanced transparency of financial institutions, and expanded tax obligations on foreign digital assets. These changes aim to adapt the US tax code to the new realities of the market and technology.

Trump embraces Bitcoin in exclusive sneaker sale

Donald Trump, previously critical of Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD), surprisingly accepted the cryptocurrency as payment for his limited line of 1,000 sneakers during Sneaker Con in Philadelphia, selling each pair for $399. Changing his stance, Trump now acknowledges Bitcoin as a viable currency. Despite his previous reservations, he has engaged in crypto projects, including an NFT one, indicating growing interest in the technology. However, Trump emphasizes the primacy of the dollar, signaling a balanced approach to cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase challenges SEC over lack of clarity in crypto asset regulation

Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN) contests the SEC, claiming the regulatory agency has inconsistently exercised authority over crypto assets without establishing clear rules. The SEC rejected Coinbase’s request for new guidelines without thoroughly explaining its position. Coinbase’s legal challenge seeks a formal definition of regulatory obligations in the crypto space, arguing that the SEC’s current enforcement-based approach is inadequate and leaves the industry in regulatory limbo.

Thailand paves the way for institutional investments in Bitcoin ETFs

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand updated its guidelines, enabling asset management entities to offer funds investing in US Bitcoin ETFs to qualified investors. This development, reported by the Bangkok Post, follows the country’s easing of tax regulations on cryptocurrencies, including the elimination of a 7% tax on profits from crypto. The initiative reflects a careful balance between meeting demand for crypto asset investments and mitigating associated risks, in line with the cautious approach expressed by Pornanong Budsaratragoon, secretary-general of the Thai SEC. Meanwhile, Thailand continues to be an attractive hub for major cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance.

President Bukele details various sources of Bitcoin revenue for El Salvador

Nayyib Bukele, the president of El Salvador, shared that besides the country’s Bitcoin reserves, there are several other sources generating income in BTC, including passport revenues, mining, BTC-USD conversions for local businesses, and unspecified government services. El Salvador, which adopted Bitcoin as legal tender, is seeing positive returns on its investment, with the BTC portfolio now valued at about $207 million, reflecting an unrealized profit of $85 million. The country is committed to keeping Bitcoin as a long-term reserve, reinforcing its position as a pioneer in cryptocurrency adoption.

HKMA launches regulatory sandbox for stablecoin innovation

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority introduced a regulated experimental space to enable potential issuers of stablecoins to explore and test their operations safely and without risk of penalties. This sandbox environment aims to facilitate the development of fiat-backed stablecoins, following Hong Kong’s efforts to establish a regulatory framework for these cryptocurrencies. Sandbox participants will be required to have a solid business plan and conduct operations within controllable limits, aiming for future market performance in Hong Kong.