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Analysts Sound Alarm on Fourth BTC Halving, Kraken Wallet Launch, and More Crypto News

Fernanda T
Latest News
April 17 2024 1:45PM

Bitcoin approaches its fourth halving with market impact expectations

Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) is two days away from its fourth halving, an event that occurs every four years and will halve the block mining reward from 6.25 to 3.125 BTC. Historically, such events have been followed by significant increases in Bitcoin’s price. However, caution is advised this year. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) warns clients not to assume that past trends will automatically repeat, highlighting that current macroeconomic conditions—with high inflation and elevated interest rates—differ significantly from those during previous halvings.

Adding to the discussion, Fernando Pereira, an analyst at Bitget, commented on the current market behavior: “As Bitcoin’s price falls, more players are entering long positions in the futures market, the so-called ‘longs’. Currently, 70% of the futures market is in long. This value is considered extremely high and typically serves as fuel for the price to continue falling, providing liquidity for large players to execute sales. Even at $60k now, BTC could easily drop another 7 or 10 thousand dollars in the coming days.”

At the time of writing, Bitcoin has seen a 5.9% depreciation over the last 24 hours, trading at $60,090. Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD), the second most traded cryptocurrency globally, has fallen by 4.5%, priced at $2,945.

Kraken launches cryptocurrency wallet focusing on privacy

The US-based exchange Kraken has unveiled its “Kraken Wallet,” a digital wallet supporting eight blockchains, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. This self-custody product, launched on Wednesday, is accessible to both users and non-users of Kraken. Distinguished by its security and privacy features, the wallet is open-source, allowing contributions from developers and promoting a rewards system for identifying vulnerabilities.

Worldcoin launches its own blockchain with a focus on verified human identity

Worldcoin (COIN:WLDUSD), a cryptographic initiative by OpenAI founder Sam Altman, is developing its own blockchain, named World Chain. This Layer 2 network on Ethereum, scheduled for release this summer, will offer special benefits to users who participate in its retina scan-based identification system, providing a “World ID.” The network aims to be a solution for verifying humanity amid increasing bot activity, offering a more secure and reliable ecosystem for actual transactions. The shift to its own chain seeks to give developers more control and reduce costs for users.

Imminent launch of Bitcoin ETFs in Hong Kong promises significant investment influx

Hong Kong is about to launch its first spot Bitcoin ETFs by the end of April, following recent approval by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC). These ETFs, backed by the infrastructure of OSL for fund managers, could attract up to $25 billion from Chinese investors through the Southbound Stock Connect program. This launch not only solidifies Hong Kong as a financial hub for Bitcoin in Asia but also aligns with the upcoming Bitcoin halving, potentially boosting the asset’s value.

Outflows mark presence in US Bitcoin ETFs, with GBTC leading the reduction

On April 16, spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States recorded net outflows for the third consecutive day, with a withdrawal of more than $58 million, totaling approximately $12.43 billion in cumulative outflows. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (AMEX:GBTC) was the primary contributor, with outflows of nearly $79.4 million. Meanwhile, most other Bitcoin ETFs saw modest inflows, with the iShares Bitcoin Trust (NASDAQ:IBIT) standing out by attracting $25.78 million. Transaction volumes for the ETFs have stabilized in April after earlier reductions.

Record flow of ETH to EigenLayer as competition in Ethereum staking increases

The Ethereum-based EigenLayer protocol recorded a record inflow of about $157 million in ETH staking, coming from Lido in the last 24 hours. This was the largest influx of assets to the platform since February, coinciding with Lido’s market share in Ethereum staking dropping below 30%. Competition has increased with other staking protocols, fostering a more competitive and decentralized environment. EigenLayer also announced the removal of limits for all liquid staking tokens, allowing greater freedom and innovation in the ecosystem.

Core Chain introduces Bitcoin staking with a new consensus mechanism

The Core Chain blockchain, operating on Layer 1 and compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, now offers the possibility of Bitcoin staking (COIN:BTCUSD), a functionality previously unavailable due to Bitcoin’s proof-of-work nature. Core Chain’s new consensus mechanism, called Satoshi Plus, combines Delegated Proof of Work (DPoW) and Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS), allowing users to engage in Bitcoin staking in a novel and non-custodial manner. Additionally, DeFi Technologies Inc., through its subsidiary Valour, has launched an exchange-traded product (ETP) that provides yields based on the block rewards from Core Chain, enhancing investors’ interaction options with Bitcoin.

South Korean won surpasses US dollar in cryptocurrency trading volume for the first quarter of 2024

During the first quarter of 2024, the South Korean won exceeded the US dollar as the most traded currency on centralized cryptocurrency platforms, as reported by the research firm Kaiko. Transactions in won reached $456 billion, surpassing the $445 billion in the dollar. This phenomenon reflects the vibrant cryptocurrency market in South Korea, driven by five major local exchanges and the growing interest of major global players like Crypto.com and Binance.

PayPal ends protections for high-value NFT transactions

PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ:PYPL) has announced a significant change in its policy, removing buyer and seller protection for NFT transactions exceeding $10,000 starting May 20. This update to the terms of service reflects a more cautious approach by the company towards the digital asset market, especially in light of uncertainty and volatility. Transactions up to $10,000 may still receive some protection under specific circumstances, but the company is reducing its involvement in guarantees for the high-value NFT market due to the challenges in proving item delivery.

US Senators propose law to regulate stablecoins

US Senators Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand have introduced bipartisan legislation, the Lummis-Gillibrand Payments Stablecoin Act, aiming to establish clear regulation for stablecoins used in payments. The proposal seeks to protect consumers, encourage innovation, and strengthen the US dollar’s position, while preserving the dual banking system. The legislation imposes stringent reserve requirements for issuers and operational guidelines, banning algorithmic stablecoins and establishing a judicial settlement system with the FDIC to protect customer assets.

Paris Blockchain Week concludes with emphasis on innovation and global participation

The 5th edition of Paris Blockchain Week concluded successfully, standing out as the largest blockchain and Web3 event in Europe, with records of more than 9,000 participants and 500 speakers, including industry leaders like Richard Teng and Denelle Dixon. The event emphasized progress in Open Finance and other Web3 areas, receiving praise for promoting a welcoming environment for technological innovations.

Heavy rains cause disruptions at cryptocurrency events in Dubai

Dubai is experiencing a wave of severe weather conditions, with record rainfall impacting the city and significant cryptocurrency events like Blockchain Life and Token2049. The conferences had to adjust their schedules after the rain caused significant disruptions in traffic and at the conferences themselves on April 16. Despite the challenges, Token2049 confirmed it would proceed as planned, while Emirates and Fly Dubai adjusted their services due to the conditions. The government issued a red alert, advising additional precautions.

Zignaly launches ZIGChain blockchain and $100 million fund for DeFi development

The social investment platform Zignaly announced the launch of its own blockchain, ZIGChain, based on Cosmos (COIN:ATOMUSD), along with a $100 million ecosystem development fund. Revealed during the Token2049 event in Dubai, the fund aims to facilitate the creation of user-friendly financial infrastructure. Zignaly, which operates as a crypto fund manager allowing users to replicate experienced traders’ strategies, recently obtained a license to offer financial services in South Africa.

EY launches blockchain solution for contract management on Ethereum

EY, formerly known as Ernst & Young, has introduced a new blockchain solution, EY OpsChain Contract Manager (OCM), based on Ethereum. Unveiled at the EY Global Blockchain Summit, the OCM is designed to simplify the execution of complex agreements between businesses, reducing costs and increasing security. This release highlights EY’s expansion into using blockchain technology for more efficient and transparent business operations.

Ore mining project on Solana suspends operations for enhancements

The Ore project, based on the Solana blockchain and operating with a proof of work (PoW) mechanism, announced the immediate suspension of its mining activities. The decision, disclosed by pseudonymous founder Hardhat Chad, was driven by congestion and instability issues on the network. Ore is working on Version 2 (v2) of the contract, which promises to address inefficiencies and optimize the system for future operations.

FLock.io and IO.Net partner to advance decentralized AI

FLock.io, an innovative platform for on-chain AI model development, has partnered with IO.Net to enhance its services with decentralized computing resources. This strategic collaboration aims to improve the effectiveness and security of AI training platforms, using decentralized computing technology to address challenges such as data monopolization and privacy breaches. By utilizing federated learning, FLock.io enables the training of AI models directly on users’ devices, protecting privacy and using data more effectively.

BytePlus announces partnership with Mysten Labs to explore Web3

BytePlus, the enterprise technology division of ByteDance, parent company of TikTok, is moving towards Web3 through a strategic partnership with Mysten Labs, creators of the Layer 1 blockchain Sui. Announced on April 17, the partnership outlines BytePlus’s plan to apply its AI and data storage expertise to strengthen the Sui ecosystem, focusing on Web3 gaming and SocialFi projects. This collaboration will allow BytePlus to integrate its ByteHouse technology, a native cloud data warehouse, with Sui’s full-node data, promising to transform data analysis and improve user experiences on these platforms. Following the partnership, the price of Sui Network’s token (COIN:SUIUSD) increased by 4.10% over the last 24 hours, bucking the trend of the declining crypto market.

Ronin announces partnership with Web3 game “Ragnarok: Monster World”

The EVM-based sidechain Ronin (COIN:RONNNUST), developed by Sky Mavis, creators of Axie Infinity, has entered into a partnership with the new Web3 strategy game “Ragnarok: Monster World.” This game, the first Web2 title to join the Ronin network, famous for supporting play-to-earn games, will allow players to collect and train creatures called “Ragmons” for PvP battles. The game, set to be released in the third quarter of this year, will also incorporate a tokenized economy with the ZENY token, strengthening Ronin’s position as a gaming blockchain platform.

Andreessen Horowitz raises $7.2 billion for various investment strategies

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has announced the raising of $7.2 billion distributed across five different investment strategies, as revealed by Ben Horowitz on his blog. The sectors benefited include American Dynamism and Games, each receiving $600 million, as well as Apps, Infrastructure, and a highlight on the Growth strategy with $3.75 billion. The firm has shown a particular interest in Web3 gaming innovations and remains committed to advancements in the crypto industry.

Ord.io raises $2 million to expand its Bitcoin interaction

The Ordinals platform Ord.io, specializing in interactions with inscriptions on the Bitcoin blockchain, announced a $2 million pre-seed funding round. Led by the Bitcoin Frontier Fund and Sora Ventures, with participation from various other funds and angel investors, the investment aims to expand support for the Runes protocol, a new standard for fungible tokens on Bitcoin. The startup plans to increase its developer team and enhance functionalities, focusing on providing a seamless and integrated user experience for managing digital assets.

Usual Labs raises $7 million for the launch of stablecoin USD0

Usual Labs, the developer of the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Usual, has raised $7 million and secured $75 million in total value locked (TVL) for the launch of its stablecoin, USD0. The funding round was led by IOSG Ventures and Kraken Ventures, with participation from several other companies. The funds will be used to prepare for the mainnet launch of USD0 on the Ethereum network in the second quarter, including testing, partnerships, and security audits. USD0 is a permissionless stablecoin backed by real assets and will offer returns to its holders.