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Expectations for Bitcoin Halving, Tether Expands Stablecoins on TON Blockchain, and More Crypto News

Fernanda T
Latest News
April 19 2024 1:26PM

Bitcoin gears up for halving: Subtle recovery and projections in the cryptoasset market

After hitting a low of $58,800 last week, Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) experienced a slight recovery, gaining 0.5% in the last 24 hours to reach $63,806, with the next halving scheduled to occur in less than 12 hours. Meanwhile, Ether (COIN:ETHUSD) is trading at $3,054. The halving, an event that halves the supply of new bitcoins, is scheduled for this Friday or Saturday. Expectations surrounding this event have generated a historic peak in online interest, according to data from the Santiment platform, which analyzes social volume and dominance on the topic. This year, interest fluctuated, with peaks in February and March, and continuous growth in April. Over the past few weeks, this interest has doubled, while the price of Bitcoin fluctuated between $70,000 and $58,800. Interactions on social platforms varied, with declines on Telegram and increases on Reddit, while Twitter and Bitcointalk presented their own dynamics. Google Trends suggests that the halving could break all previous search records. Fernando Pereira, an analyst at Bitget, suggests that, following historical trends, the halving could kick off a new bull market. “Usually, the quarter after the halving marks the resumption of an uptrend and the beginning of a bull market. If the pattern repeats itself, Bitcoin could reach $100,000 by the end of the year,” he says. A recent report from Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) indicates that, even with solid fundamentals, the post-halving cryptoasset market trajectory will be influenced by macroeconomic factors such as geopolitical tensions, high interest rates, and national debt growth. This reinforces Bitcoin’s position as a macro asset, increasingly seen as ‘digital gold’ by a segment of investors, while others still consider it speculative.

Indicators of changing trends in Bitcoin ETF fund flows

On April 18, Bitcoin ETFs saw a small outflow of $4.3 million, marking the fifth consecutive day of outflows, albeit the smallest in this period, suggesting a possible change in sentiment. Grayscale’s ETF (AMEX:GBTC) reported outflows of $90 million, bringing its total outflows to $16.684.7 billion, but its average daily outflow has decreased since April 8. On the other hand, other ETFs from BlackRock (NASDAQ:IBIT) and Fidelity (AMEX:FBTC) recorded inflows of $18.8 million and $37.4 million, respectively. Bitwise (AMEX:BITB), 21Shares (AMEX:ARKB), and VanEck (AMEX:HODL) ETFs also recorded inflows. Since launch, Bitcoin ETFs have accumulated $12,266.7 billion in net inflows.

Michael Saylor’s stock selling strategy yields $370 million

Last year, Michael Saylor, founder of MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR) and prominent bitcoin advocate, implemented a stock selling plan that allowed the sale of up to 400,000 shares in the first four months of 2024. This strategic agreement yielded approximately $370 million from this year’s stock sales, benefiting greatly from MicroStrategy’s significant appreciation, primarily a bitcoin holding company. Since 2020, the company has acquired over 214,000 bitcoins, representing about 1% of the total issued of this cryptocurrency, currently valued at approximately $13.6 billion. Despite a recent dip, MicroStrategy’s shares have risen 91% this year, after a 346% gain in 2023.

Tether expands USDT and XAUT stablecoins on TON blockchain to enhance global transactions

Tether (COIN:USDTUSD), the stablecoin issuer, announced the expansion of its USDT and XAUT stablecoins on The Open Network (TON) blockchain as revealed on April 19. The strategy aims to enhance the use of stablecoins in cross-border and peer-to-peer transactions for Telegram’s 900 million users. The integration is expected to boost activity and liquidity on TON, facilitating access to capital for developers and users. Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino highlighted that the initiative is in line with the goal of empowering financial infrastructure across the blockchain. Recently, Tether minted $11 billion in USDT since March, expanding its reserves to meet growing demand. During a lecture in Dubai, Telegram founder Pavel Durov predicted a promising future for blockchain advertising, with potential to generate billions in revenue, benefiting everyone from administrators of large groups to content creators. By adopting blockchain, Telegram could circumvent payment restrictions imposed by tech giants and advance in the tokenization of stickers and emojis. Additionally, the platform has already moved $350 million through the sale of tokenized namespaces.

Crypto.com’s entry into the South Korean market faces regulatory challenges

Crypto.com refuted a report suggesting issues in its expansion into the South Korean cryptocurrency market, attributed to a possible regulatory delay in approving changes in the leadership of its local entity. The global cryptocurrency exchange, which acquired OK-BIT in 2022, plans to launch a new trading platform in South Korea on April 29. The news came after reports that the South Korean Financial Intelligence Unit had postponed approval of the leadership transition from Rafael Melo to Eric Anziani. Crypto.com denied that this would affect its launch plans.

Changpeng Zhao’s situation at Binance in the US and changes in the company

Yi He, one of the founders of Binance, mentioned that former CEO Changpeng Zhao is in a calm phase in the United States as he awaits his sentencing on April 30. He shared during a Binance Chinese community meeting in Dubai that Zhao’s situation is generally calm despite regulatory pressures. Zhao pleaded guilty to financial violations in the US and agreed to pay fines. Binance has implemented compliance improvements after admitting guilt in similar cases. Richard Teng took over as CEO after Zhao’s resignation in November.

SEC strengthens case against Justin Sun and other defendants

The US SEC updated its complaint against Justin Sun and associates on April 18, arguing that their multiple visits to the US justify jurisdiction to prosecute them. It is alleged that Sun spent over 380 days in the country between 2017 and 2019, conducting business on behalf of the Tron Foundation (COIN:TRXUSD) and BitTorrent. The SEC seeks to use these trips as a basis for regulatory and legal proceedings in the US.

Kraken acquires TradeStation Crypto to expand regulatory presence in the US

Kraken, a cryptocurrency exchange, is acquiring TradeStation Crypto, a subsidiary of TradeStation Group. The purchase aims to strengthen regulatory presence in the US, expanding growth opportunities and products. Although TradeStation Crypto has licenses in several states, it faced regulatory issues, including a $1.5 million settlement with the SEC for failing to register a crypto lending product. Kraken is also involved in regulatory disputes but seeks to defend its position.

Dismantling of FTX and license suspension

Struggling FTX exchange moved its treasury assets to a new wallet on April 18. Arkham Intelligence records show that this change included 195.87 million FTT tokens (COIN:FTTUSD), 1,938 ETH, and 6.36 million JoeToken (COIN:JOEUSD). Now, the treasury wallet holds only about $205 in digital assets, a drastic drop from the previous balance of $612 million. FTT’s devaluation follows revelations about financial manipulation, while regulatory issues persist, with FTX Europe’s license suspended until September 2024.

Avraham Eisenberg convicted of $110 million cryptocurrency fraud at Mango Markets

28-year-old Avraham Eisenberg of San Juan was convicted of a cryptocurrency manipulation scheme, marking the Department of Justice’s first case in this market. He faces up to 20 years in prison for defrauding the Mango Markets exchange and clients, artificially inflating the price of futures contracts and the Mango cryptocurrency (COIN:MNGOUSD), then disappearing with borrowed funds. Sentencing is scheduled for July 29.

Avail announces upcoming token distribution

The Avail project, focused on blockchain Data Availability (DA), revealed plans for a future token distribution following leaked eligibility criteria. According to an official blog post, 354,605 wallet addresses qualify to receive 600 million tokens in the “unification drop.” The distribution targets developers, testnet contributors, rollup users, and stakers, with claim verification until May 4.

Japan contemplates legislation to stimulate DAO growth

In Japan, the government is considering the need to establish a clear legal framework for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) to drive the Web3 sector. While the legal status of DAOs remains uncertain in the US, states like Tennessee, Vermont, and Wyoming have advanced legislation to accommodate them under existing LLC regulations. Japan, looking to examples like Switzerland, seeks to attract international investments and channel resources into the local economy.