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Standard Chartered Launches Bitcoin and Ether Trading Desk; Marathon Digital Heats Finnish City

Fernanda T
Latest News
June 21 2024 2:36PM

Standard Chartered launches Bitcoin and Ether trading desk

Standard Chartered (LSE:STAN) is debuting a Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) and Ether (COIN:ETHUSD) trading desk in London, marking a significant milestone as one of the first major banks to offer these services directly. This initiative caters to growing institutional demand and reflects the bank’s positive outlook on cryptocurrencies. Complementing its crypto custody and investments in Zodia, this trading desk aims to strengthen its position in the emerging digital economy as Bitcoin ETFs gain global popularity. Richard Teng, CEO of Binance, praised Standard Chartered for its foray into the cryptocurrency market, positioning the bank as a direct competitor to Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume.

Marathon Digital Holdings heats Finnish town with Bitcoin mining

Marathon Digital Holdings (NASDAQ:MARA) announced on June 20 on the X platform that it is heating a community of 11,000 residents in Finland, located in the Satakunta region, with recycled heat from its bitcoin mining. The 2-megawatt pilot project utilizes excess heat to warm homes through a district heating system. This innovative method not only efficiently harnesses the heat generated by mining but also represents a new potential revenue source for Marathon in a post-Bitcoin halving environment.

Bitcoin market volatility influenced by government sales and automated trading

The price of Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) fell 1.7% in 24 hours, reaching around $63,735, approaching six-week lows. This drop coincides with the German government’s decision to liquidate part of a Bitcoin stockpile, valued at about $3 billion, seized in anti-piracy actions. This move may have contributed to recent market volatility.

Analysts such as Skew and Roman suggest that Bitcoin’s recovery depends on sustained buying rather than isolated spikes in buying activity. They emphasize that a steady flow of investments is essential to stabilize and potentially elevate Bitcoin’s price after its recent drop. However, they face the challenge of a market dominated by automated trading algorithms that quickly react to fluctuations and can exacerbate them.

In the past 24 hours, over $33.85 million in Bitcoin positions were liquidated, contributing to a total of $132 million in liquidations in the broader cryptocurrency market. So far, the cryptocurrency has recorded a 4.6% drop in the week and 6% in 30 days, struggling to find support even in the $64,000 range.

Bitcoin ETF outflows in the US hit worst mark since April

On June 20, Bitcoin ETFs in the US faced outflows of $140 million, marking the fifth consecutive day of outflows, totaling losses of over $900 million this week. The Grayscale ETF (AMEX:GBTC) led the outflows with $53 million, followed by Fidelity’s ETF (AMEX:FBTC) with $51 million. Only BlackRock’s ETF (NASDAQ:IBIT) saw net inflows of $1 million.

Fantom Foundation invests $120 million in launching Sonic Chain

The Fantom Foundation is committing up to 200 million FTM tokens (COIN:FTMUSD), worth approximately $120 million, to support the launch of Sonic Chain through the Sonic Labs Innovator Fund. This fund aims to attract developers and companies to migrate their projects to the new ultra-fast network. Under the treasury management of Andre Cronje, the funds will be used to subsidize existing applications in the Fantom ecosystem and expand development on Sonic, which integrates layer 1 and 2 technology connected to Ethereum.

Michael Dell shows interest in Bitcoin in interaction with Michael Saylor

Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL), expressed a mild interest in Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) by sharing a post from Bitcoin evangelist Michael Saylor on the X platform. Saylor responded to a comment from Dell about scarcity and value, linking these qualities to Bitcoin as “digital scarcity,” which Dell recirculated. This interaction suggests a tentative openness from Dell to the concept of cryptocurrencies, contrasting with his company’s more cautious approach to Bitcoin in its financial strategy. However, Bitcoin is not mentioned on Dell’s balance sheet.

Launch of ZRO token spikes Arbitrum fees to record $3.43 million

On June 20, the launch of the ZRO token by LayerZero on Arbitrum (COIN:ARBUSD) resulted in a dramatic increase (+16,680%) in fees, reaching a daily record of $3.43 million. The token required users to make a small donation in stable dollars or ETH to obtain ZRO, which increased average gas fees to 89 cents, far above the usual less than 1 cent. This event highlighted challenges around token distribution and associated operational costs, revealing controversies over the effectiveness of these methods to build community and fund projects in the DeFi ecosystem.

NBCUniversal and Aptos Labs strengthen partnership for Web3 experiences

Aptos Labs (COIN:APTUSD) and NBCUniversal, a unit of Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), have established a long-term agreement to develop Web3 fan experiences, loyalty programs, and games. Aptos, known for its projects with Universal films, will expand previous initiatives such as the “Free Renfield” game and augmented reality campaigns for films like “The Exorcist: Believer.” NBCUniversal is adopting Web3 to explore new frontiers in entertainment, collaborating with technologies like blockchain and Microsoft’s artificial intelligence.

Pantera Capital invests heavily in TON token with new fund

Pantera Capital, a notable cryptocurrency venture capital firm, is raising funds for a new project called the “Pantera TON Investment Opportunity.” The goal is to acquire more tokens from The Open Network (COIN:TONCOINUSD). Pantera recently made its largest investment in the token at a significant discount and now invites investors to participate with a minimum investment of $250,000. This initiative follows the accelerated growth of the TON blockchain, including the rapid adoption of the USDT stablecoin and an increase in the number of users.

Binance integrates Tether’s USDT on The Open Network

Binance has successfully integrated Tether (COIN:USDTUSD) on The Open Network (COIN:TONCOINUSD), allowing users to deposit and withdraw USDT directly on the TON blockchain. This move promises to improve speed and reduce transaction fees, offering an economical option for moving stablecoin liquidity. With imminent regulation in the European Economic Area (EEA), Binance advises users to stay informed to ensure compliance. Pavel Durov, founder of Telegram, also announced plans to integrate USDT on TON, highlighting his commitment to privacy and freedom on the blockchain.

Winklevoss twins donate millions in Bitcoin to Trump in support of crypto freedom

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, co-founders of the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, donated $1 million in bitcoins each to former President Donald Trump. They criticize the Biden administration for alleged hostility towards the cryptocurrency industry, accusing it of “weaponizing” agencies to destroy the sector. Trump, on the other hand, calls himself the “crypto president,” promising to end the adversities faced by the sector under the current government.

Nigerian SEC updates crypto rules to improve compliance; US lawmakers visit Binance executive

The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a revision of its regulations on the issuance, offering, exchange, and custody of digital assets. This update includes the launch of the Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Programme (ARIP), aimed at helping virtual asset service providers (VASPs) align with the new regulatory standards. The integration process must be completed within 30 days, under risk of facing regulatory actions for non-compliance. Additionally, US lawmakers French Hill and Chrissy Houlahan visited Tigran Gambaryan in Kuje Prison, Nigeria, describing his conditions as “horrific.” Gambaryan, detained on charges of money laundering and tax evasion, faces malaria and double pneumonia without adequate access to medical care. Hill pressed for his immediate humanitarian release, highlighting the irony of the situation. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission continues its case against Gambaryan and Binance. Gambaryan’s wife, Yuki, appealed to the US to intensify diplomatic efforts for her husband’s release.

PancakeSwap launches AI tool for DeFi portfolio management

PancakeSwap (COIN:CAKEUSD) is introducing CupcakeHop, an innovative AI-powered portfolio management tool created in partnership with Bril Finance. CupcakeHop aims to facilitate access to and management of DeFi investments, catering to investors of different experience levels. The tool automates investment strategies, adjusting them according to market conditions and user goals. Additionally, it incorporates a risk control mechanism that allows users to set their risk exposure level, promoting a balance between return and safety.

Pyth Network strengthens DeFi with strategic partnerships

Pyth Network has partnered with Morpho and Gauntlet to optimize decentralized lending and finance protocols on Ethereum and Base. This collaboration aims to integrate low-latency market data from Pyth, promoting efficiency and security in DeFi lending. Michael Cahill, CEO of Douro Labs, highlighted that Pyth’s accurate data reduces the risk of incorrect executions. Morpho will introduce custom lending vaults, while Gauntlet enhances data accuracy with Pyth’s price oracles, boosting high-yield and stability DeFi applications.

Osmosis DAO votes for fee-free Bitcoin bridge increasing integration in Cosmos

Osmosis DAO, the community of the Osmosis DEX and appchain, is evaluating a proposal to implement a “fee-free” bitcoin bridge through the Nomic protocol, aiming to facilitate bitcoin movement in the Cosmos ecosystem (COIN:ATOMUSD) for DeFi. Currently, 91.7% of votes support the measure, which would eliminate bridge fees for bitcoin transactions on Osmosis but maintain a fixed miner fee on withdrawals. The proposal also introduces a revenue-sharing model with Nomic, incentivizing bitcoin liquidity and usage on the platform.

Ripple faces trial over alleged misleading statements by CEO

Ripple (COIN:XRPUSD) is preparing for a new legal challenge after a California judge approved a lawsuit against the company for alleged misleading statements made by CEO Brad Garlinghouse. In a 2017 interview, Garlinghouse strongly promoted XRP, potentially influencing investors. Judge Phyllis Hamilton rejected Ripple’s argument that XRP is not a security, suggesting it could be considered as such for non-institutional investors due to profit expectations influenced by the company’s actions.