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Aptos Declines Ahead of Token Unlock, Hong Kong Nears Approval of Crypto ETFs, and More Updates

Fernanda T
Latest News
April 12 2024 2:14PM

Cryptocurrency Aptos’ performance declines ahead of major token release

The layer-1 blockchain cryptocurrency Aptos (COIN:APTUSD) underperformed the general cryptocurrency market this week, falling nearly 20% ahead of a significant token unlocking event. Scheduled for April 12, the event will release 24.84 million APT tokens that were previously locked, representing about 6% of the circulating supply and nearly double the daily trading volume. These tokens will be distributed among key contributors, investors, and community members.

Hong Kong set to approve Bitcoin and Ether ETFs

Hong Kong is reportedly close to authorizing exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that directly invest in Bitcoin and Ether, the leading cryptocurrencies in the market. According to sources, Harvest Fund Management Co. and the partnership between Bosera Asset Management and HashKey Capital are among the first likely to receive approval. Approvals could happen as soon as next Monday, although subject to possible last-minute changes. Both managers plan to launch their ETFs by the end of the month after finalizing procedures at the Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd.

Bitcoin hovers above $69,300 as ETFs show mixed flows

Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) records a loss of -0.94% at the time of writing just above $69,300, while bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) show mixed flows. The BlackRock iShares Bitcoin ETF (NASDAQ:IBIT) achieved notable $15 billion in total entries just three months after its launch, a growth that more than doubles any of its other 421 ETFs. According to Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas, IBIT saw an increase above 50% and dominated the entries of spot bitcoin ETFs in the US on Thursday, adding $192.1 million. Meanwhile, the Grayscale fund (AMEX:GBTC) registered outflows of $124.9 million yesterday. By the end of the week, the net outflow from bitcoin ETFs totaled $227.9 million. The ongoing withdrawals from GBTC are seen by some as a selling pressure on BTC, while others adopt a wait-and-see attitude, attributing the outflows to its higher fee structure.

Caution before the halving: Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash alert investors

The fourth halving of Bitcoin mining rewards, scheduled for eight days from now, promises a 50% reduction in the creation of new coins, an event that occurs every four years and often precedes major market rallies. However, Bitcoin Cash (COIN:BCHUSD), a derivative of Bitcoin, warns of the possibility that prices might not immediately rise post-halving. After the recent BCH halving, its price significantly dropped, with a 70% reduction in value locked in perpetual futures. This trend could signal similar selling pressure for Bitcoin after its own halving, as some predict intense selling by miners and a subsequent drop in Bitcoin’s value.

Anticipations and strategies for the next Bitcoin halving

Block Scholes, an institutional data provider on Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD), anticipates a significant impact of the upcoming halving on the Bitcoin network, estimating an initial 25% drop in hash rate. According to Eamonn Gashier, CEO of the company, this event will bring unique adjustments in mining difficulty, with the shortest wait for these adjustments ever recorded. Meanwhile, CleanSpark Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSK) has bolstered its mining infrastructure by acquiring 100,000 Bitmain S21 Pro miners, aiming for energy efficiency and strengthening its market position ahead of the halving.

Venture capital investment in cryptocurrencies remains timid, says JPMorgan

Despite the recent recovery in the cryptocurrency market, venture capital funding for the sector continues to lag expectations, according to analysts from JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM). Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou and his team note that the investment volume remains modest compared to previous years, with just $3.2 billion raised so far, versus $4 billion in the same period last year. This lukewarm recovery in investments is seen as a risk for the sustainability of the cryptocurrency market rally.

Australian court freezes $41 million in digital assets of a mining company

The Federal Court of Australia supported a move by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to freeze about $41 million in digital assets from over 450 investors, controlled by the NGS group. The assets will be managed by experts from McGrathNicol. The action follows ASIC’s accusations that NGS and its directors operated without proper financial licenses, using investments in blockchain mining schemes.

Akanda advances with blockchain and AI technology in the cannabis industry

Akanda Corp. (NASDAQ:AKAN), a leading international medical cannabis company, announced plans to incorporate blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) technology in the sector. Aiming to enhance transparency and effectiveness in the global supply chain of cannabis, the company intends to use blockchain to authenticate the genetics and origin of plants. Additionally, AI will be applied to improve accessibility and customization of medical cannabis products. Interim CEO, Katie Field, emphasized the importance of this technology in ensuring the authenticity of products from production to the end consumer.

World App reaches 10 million users in less than a year

The World App, the native wallet of Worldcoin (COIN:WLDUSD) and the first to be compatible with World ID, has reached 10 million users in less than 12 months since its launch. Launched in May 2023, the app now records an average of 7.1 transactions per second and is a global leader in self-custody wallets. Daily, 2 million people use the app, which has facilitated more than 70 million transactions across over 160 countries. Tiago Sada, Head of Product at TFH, highlighted that the World App makes Ethereum technologies accessible and easy to use, reinforcing Worldcoin’s vision of decentralization and accessibility.

Strategic partnership between TON and HashKey aims to expand crypto services in Asia-Pacific

The managers of the TON blockchain have joined forces with HashKey Group, a licensed cryptocurrency exchange in Hong Kong, to facilitate transactions between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies in the Telegram messaging app for users in the Asia-Pacific region. Initially focused on Hong Kong, the collaboration could extend to other markets in the region if successful. The TON project (COIN:TONCOINUSD), which started on Telegram in 2018, was resumed by the TON Foundation after being discontinued due to legal issues with the SEC.

Ondo Finance token undergoes USDC stablecoin conversion test

Ondo Finance platform conducted a test conversion between the Circle’s stablecoin USDC and the new BlackRock token BUIDL. An Ondo wallet on Ethereum carried out a redemption of $250,000 in BUIDL tokens in exchange for USDC, according to Etherscan data. CEO Nathan Allman revealed that the new functionality aims to facilitate instant redemptions of the OUSG token in USDC, available 24/7.

Configuration error in DeFi Pac Finance protocol results in $26 million losses

Pac Finance, a DeFi lending protocol on the Ethereum layer 2 network, faced a significant issue when its liquidation limit was changed without warning, causing $26 million in losses to users. This incident highlights ongoing challenges in the DeFi sector, especially following a similar attack that affected the web3 game Munchables on the same network. The unannounced change of the liquidation parameter resulted in several instant liquidations, with one user losing nearly $24 million. The Pac Finance team is now communicating with those affected to develop a solution and prevent future issues, emphasizing the importance of prior notice in critical parameter changes.

Uniswap investigation by the SEC stirs DeFi market

Uniswap (COIN:UNIUSD), one of the leading decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, is under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which issued a notice to CEO Hayden Adams. This move is seen as a sign of impending regulatory storms for the DeFi sector. The SEC’s accusation that Uniswap operated as an unregistered broker and exchange increases uncertainty about the future of DeFi. Moreover, the classification of its native token, UNI, as a potential security adds complexity to the case. Analysts predict that this case will set critical precedents for the enforcement of financial regulations on DeFi platforms in the United States.

Craig Wright withdraws appeal in legal battle against Hodlonaut in Norway

Craig Wright has withdrawn his appeal against Norwegian bitcoiner Hodlonaut, ending a legal dispute that lasted nearly five years. The controversy began with Hodlonaut’s Twitter posts calling Wright a “fraudster” for claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. A Norwegian judge had previously ruled in favor of Hodlonaut in 2022, and now Wright has given up the appeal shortly after losing another significant case in the United Kingdom related to his claims about the authorship of Bitcoin.

Sam Bankman-Fried appeals conviction for fraud and conspiracy

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, has appealed his conviction and sentence for fraud and conspiracy, submitting the request hours before the deadline. Convicted in November after a month-long trial, he faced charges linked to frauds against FTX clients and investors of Alameda Research. Recently, he received a 25-year federal prison sentence. Judge Lewis Kaplan highlighted Bankman-Fried’s lack of remorse and the need to prevent future crimes.

Montenegro court re-approves extradition of Do Kwon

A court in Montenegro has approved the extradition of Do Kwon, co-founder of Terraform Labs, to South Korea or the United States, as determined by the Superior Court of Podgorica. This decision comes after a reevaluation ordered by the Supreme Court due to previous procedural flaws. The Minister of Justice of Montenegro, Andrei Milovic, who prefers to extradite him to the US, will now decide Kwon’s final destination. Kwon became an international fugitive following the collapse of the stablecoin UST, which led to a loss of more than $40 billion in the market.

Bitkub plans IPO with valuation up to $3 billion

Jirayut Srupsrisopa, CEO of Bitkub Capital Group, announced that the Thai cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub Online, which he leads, could reach a valuation of up to $3 billion in its planned IPO next year. The company, which dominates the crypto market in Thailand, is already in the process of hiring financial consultants for the IPO, as revealed in a recent update to shareholders and in an interview with Bloomberg.