Registration Strip Icon for alerts Register for real-time alerts, custom portfolio, and market movers

Crypto: Ethereum’s Dencun Update Goes Live, Quantum Blockchain’s ‘Method C’ Revolutionizes Mining, and Latest News

Fernanda T
Latest News
March 14 2024 12:07PM

Ethereum launches Dencun upgrade to reduce layer 2 transaction costs

Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD) introduced the Dencun upgrade on Wednesday, which implements mechanisms to lower transaction costs on layer 2 solutions that bundle multiple transactions for the main network. This change has already shown results, with the average transaction cost on Optimism (COIN:OPUSD) dropping to about 4 cents, a significant decrease from previous amounts. The upgrade adds “blobs” for temporary data storage, enabling layer 2 solutions like Optimism, Arbitrum (COIN:ARBUSD), and zkSync to process transactions at a lower cost.

Bitcoin volatility spikes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays after ETF launches

Since the debut of Bitcoin ETFs on January 11, 2024, a distinct pattern of increased Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) price volatility, particularly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, has been observed, according to an analysis by CryptoSlate. Despite a price increase on Mondays, the sharp mid-week fluctuations suggest a significant influence of ETFs and possible leveraged position adjustments. This phenomenon introduces a new market dynamic, with weekends showing more stability.

Bitcoin ETFs maintain momentum with significant inflows

On March 13, Bitcoin ETFs saw a continuous increase, with net inflows of $683.7 million, following the previous day’s growth, as reported by Bitmex Research. Leading the movement, the iShares Bitcoin ETF by BlackRock (NASDAQ:IBIT) attracted $586.5 million, while the Fidelity ETF (AMEX:FBTC) saw inflows of $281.5 million. The Invesco Galaxy (AMEX:BTCO) managed to halt losses, recording no net movements after three consecutive days of significant withdrawals. Meanwhile, VanEck (AMEX:HODL) noted an increase in its contributions, accumulating an additional $16.5 million in investments after waiving fees, maintaining the trend of robust receipts from the previous two days. On the other hand, the Grayscale ETF (AMEX:GBTC) faced a setback with an increase in redemptions, resulting in $276.5 million leaving the fund. Other funds such as those from Bitwise (AMEX:BITB) and ARK Invest (AMEX:ARKB) also saw notable gains, with the sector showing clear signs of growing adoption and sustained interest in Bitcoin as an investment.

Bakkt faces NYSE delisting risk due to falling share price

Bakkt (NYSE:BKKT), a cryptocurrency company linked to the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), may be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, owned by ICE, due to a decline in its share value. According to a company statement, the NYSE warned Bakkt for not meeting the minimum price requirements, with its Class A shares averaging below $1 for 30 consecutive days until March 12, 2024. With shares recently closing at $0.5978, Bakkt’s market capitalization plummeted to $80 million, a steep decline from the peak of $40 per share in October 2021. Launched in 2019 to offer Bitcoin custody and trading services for institutions, Bakkt struggled to expand into the retail market, eventually abandoning this avenue last year.

Robinhood shares rise with increased February trading volume

Shares of Robinhood Markets (NASDAQ:HOOD) saw a pre-market jump on Thursday after the company announced significant trading volume growth in February compared to January. The online trading platform experienced an increase across all asset categories, with stock volume growing 36% to $80.9 billion, options rising 12% to $119.1 million, and crypto volumes climbing 10% to $6.5 billion, leading to a 16% advance in assets under custody, reaching $118.7 billion.

MicroStrategy announces new sale of $500 million in convertible senior notes

Amidst the crypto market euphoria, MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR) stands out with its bold strategy. The company announced its intention to raise $500 million through the sale of convertible senior notes, aiming to expand its Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) reserves as the cryptocurrency reaches new highs. This is the second similar announcement in a few weeks, reaffirming MicroStrategy’s commitment, led by Michael Saylor, to heavily invest in Bitcoin. The company expressed the possibility of using part of the funds to strengthen its operations and stated that the sale is subject to changes.

Benchmark initiates coverage of Bitdeer with strong growth outlook

On Thursday, the investment bank Benchmark recommended shares of Bitdeer Technologies (NASDAQ:BTDR) with a “Buy” rating, highlighting the potential for appreciation against its current valuation and growth expectations. The target price was set at $13, after the stock closed Wednesday with a gain of over 7%, at $6.74.

Bernstein forecast: Crypto market could triple by 2025

Analysts at Bernstein predict that the cryptocurrency market cap could reach $7.5 trillion by 2025, driven by unprecedented institutional adoption. The expected growth will be led by Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD), with a value of $3 trillion, followed by the Ethereum ecosystem (COIN:ETHUSD) and other major blockchains. They also see blockchain-based games as a crucial factor and project significant expansion for Bitcoin ETFs in the US.

BNB Chain launches rollup-as-a-service for L2 expansion on BSC

BNB Chain (COIN:BNBUSD) introduced its rollup service (RaaS) to foster the development of second-layer blockchain solutions on the BNB Smart Chain. This service allows decentralized applications and companies to create their own L2 solutions, with support from collaborators like AltLayer, NodeReal, and Movement Labs. The initiative aims to make BNB Chain a central hub for Web3 development, promoting integration and widespread adoption. With OpBNB Connect, BNB Chain seeks to unite all L2s created on the platform, forming a cohesive network that favors innovation and the sharing of benefits among the various L2 solutions. This launch is part of BNB Chain’s strategic planning for 2024, announced in January.

Meme coin market shines with a 9% increase

The market value of meme coins grew 9% in the last 24 hours, standing out in a cryptocurrency market that saw a slight 0.2% decline in the same period. The top five meme coins contribute 35% to the total segment’s market cap, now above $66 billion. Popular coins like Dogecoin (COIN:DOGEUSD), Pepe (COIN:PEPEUSD), Dogwifhat, and Floki (COIN:FLOKIUST) also saw significant gains. This surge comes at a time of renewed attention to the sector, driven by Elon Musk’s comments on Dogecoin and successful promotional campaigns.

Quantum Blockchain announces ‘Method C’ for AI-driven Bitcoin mining

Francesco Gardin, leader of Quantum Blockchain Technologies (LSE:QBT), unveiled ‘Method C’, an innovation in bitcoin mining that combines AI and machine learning to predict data processes, aiming for up to a 30% reduction in necessary calculations. This technique, which improves efficiency and reduces energy consumption, is in the transition phase from concept to product, facing integration challenges with existing hardware. With plans for patent protection and tests on GPUs and ASICs, Quantum seeks to demonstrate this efficiency to potential partners, promising significant updates on the performance and practical application of Method C compared to traditional methods.

Fireblocks and Zodia Markets join forces to boost cross-border payments

Fireblocks, a digital asset management platform, formed a partnership with UK-based exchange Zodia Markets to optimize corporate cross-border payments. The collaboration aims to accelerate fund transfers using stablecoins, promising greater efficiency compared to conventional fiat currency methods. Utilizing Zodia’s digital asset and Fireblocks’ peer-to-peer transaction technology, the initiative marks a significant advancement in adopting stablecoins for fast and cost-effective transfers.

mmERCH secures $6.4 million to revolutionize fashion with Web3

mmERCH, an innovative blockchain-based fashion startup, secured funding of $6.4 million, reaching a valuation of $25.7 million. The funding round was led by Liberty City Ventures and included investments from entities like 6529 Holdings, Christie’s Ventures, and Flamingo DAO. Colby Mugrabi, founder of mmERCH, highlights that the company is set to launch a pioneering collection, targeting the intersection of art, fashion, and technology with unique “neo-couture” pieces. This move attracted investors from various sectors, promising to redefine fashion with a blend of creativity, individuality, and community.

US Treasury tracks $165 million in suspicious crypto transactions linked to Hamas

The US Treasury Department, tasked with combating terrorism financing, identified $165 million in potentially Hamas-associated cryptocurrency transactions. Analyzing suspicious activity reports from January 2020 to October 2023, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network noted that part of this amount might be linked to the group, which the US recognizes as a terrorist organization. The investigation is ongoing, with over 200 cryptocurrency addresses under scrutiny.

Hong Kong flags Bybit as suspect and begins new CBDC test phase

The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) flagged exchange Bybit as suspect, warning about its unlicensed products and the risk of losses for investors. This step aligns with the mission to protect investors as the city aspires to be a global crypto hub. Bybit responded, emphasizing dialogue with regulators and compliance with local laws, though not providing specific details. Additionally, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced the progression to the second phase of testing for the central bank digital currency, e-HKD. Following the completion of the first phase, which focused on retail payments, offline payments, and tokenized asset settlement, this new stage will explore innovative applications of the digital Hong Kong dollar, including programmability and tokenization. The project also opens up for new interested participants until May 17. fined $3.1 million by De Nederlandsche Bank

The De Nederlandsche Bank imposed a fine of approximately $3.1 million (€2.85 million) on for operating without proper registration in the country for two years. The penalty was applied to Forix DAX Mt, the Dutch subsidiary of the platform, for not adhering to local anti-money laundering and terrorism financing legislation. Despite the fine imposed in October 2023, contested the decision and has since officially registered with the Central Bank in July, joining other licensed crypto entities in the Netherlands.

UK court denies Craig Wright’s claim as Bitcoin creator

The UK Supreme Court concluded that Australian computer scientist Craig Wright is not the author of the Bitcoin white paper nor Satoshi Nakamoto, its pseudonymous creator. The decision came after a legal dispute with COPA, refuting Wright’s claims of being the mastermind behind Bitcoin between 2008 and 2011. The verdict, highlighting inconsistencies in Wright’s evidence, reinforces his non-association with the cryptocurrency’s creation.