Get the top stories, funding deals, technical analysis, cryptocurrency jobs and much more delivered to your inbox, every Monday morning.

April 29,2024

Ethereum ETF Gets Listed On DTCC By Franklin Templeton

Asset management firm Franklin Templeton has listed its Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the ticker EZET on the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) website. The ETF, named the Franklin Templeton Ethereum TR Ethereum ETF, appears in the create or redeem section on the DTCC website. However, approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is still pending.


Franklin Templeton Awaits Approval

On February 12th, Franklin Templeton became the latest asset manager to submit a spot Ethereum ETF application to the SEC, joining a list of others such as BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale, VanEck, Invesco, Galaxy, Ark Invests, and 21Shares.

Last week, the SEC announced a postponement in its decision regarding Franklin Templeton's proposed spot Ethereum ETF, extending the deadline to June 11th. This news, disclosed through a public filing, leaves the fate of this financial product uncertain for now.

The proposed ETF aims to mirror the price of ether and would employ Coinbase Custody Trust Company and the Bank of New York Mellon as custodians. In March, the SEC deferred a decision to endorse the BlackRock spot Ethereum ETF. The SEC now has until May 23rd to approve or reject the VanEck ETF application for an Ethereum ETF tracking the world's second-largest cryptocurrency.


Doubts Linger

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Seyffart has voiced doubts, suggesting that the current round of Ether ETF applications might ultimately face rejection. Tron CEO and founder Justin Sun also expressed skepticism, stating that it is improbable for an Ethereum ETF to be approved in May, emphasizing the need for long-term education with regulators regarding the cryptocurrency.

In any case, the classification of Ethereum remains uncertain. Presently, ETH is not labeled as a security by the SEC, but this could change rapidly. Reports suggest that several U.S.-based companies have been served subpoenas attempting to categorize ETH as a security.

Ethereum is perceived as a decentralized cryptocurrency, not a security. Nonetheless, regulatory bodies like the SEC continue to monitor the cryptocurrency realm and may issue further guidance or sudden alterations in the future. It's crucial to stay informed about regulatory developments.


April 29,2024

BTC Miners Enjoy Increased Revenue Via Transaction Fee Surge

Bitcoin (BTC) miners are seeing a significant boost in revenue due to the uptick in transaction fees originating via Bitcoin Runes, a fresh protocol for issuing fungible tokens on the Bitcoin network, as indicated by TeraWulf co-founder and CEO, Nazar Khan.


Heightened Transaction Fees

Khan stressed the impact on transaction fees, highlighting that Runes notably raised transaction fees, leading to a hike in hash price within the initial 24-30 hours post-halving. Since then, there has been a noticeable decline in transaction fees, but they still stand considerably higher compared to 2023 averages.

As Khan elucidated, with the remainder of the Bitcoin block reward set as a fixed issuance, transaction fees become the variable factor for Bitcoin miners. This surge in transaction fees offers vital financial support for miners post-Bitcoin halving, which reduced block rewards to 3.125 BTC. Even though total BTC transaction fees dropped to 105 BTC on April 25, they remained notably elevated compared to most of 2023, as per CryptoQuant data.


Estimating Production Costs

On average, post-halving transaction fees constituted around 30% of Bitcoin block rewards, providing miners with nearly an additional Bitcoin atop existing block rewards, Khan disclosed. In contrast, transaction fees accounted for only 10% of Bitcoin block rewards in 2023.

TeraWulf estimated a post-halving Bitcoin production cost of $37,000 per BTC, assuming a 10% average transaction fee. However, with the current higher average transaction fees, TeraWulf anticipates a further reduction in Bitcoin production cost, thereby bolstering profitability, Khan suggested. Despite the halving of block rewards, TeraWulf remains poised for expansion as the eighth-largest Bitcoin mining firm, with a market capitalization surpassing $750 million, according to Companies Market Cap.


April 29,2024

Web3 Fundraising Deals - April 23rd To April 29th, 2024

Games for a Living (GFAL) kicks off with a bang, securing $3.2M in seed funding by industry titan Supercell. GFAL is driving mass adoption of blockchain gaming through both an infrastructure that developers can use at no added cost and via the creation of games which showcase said infrastructure.


Optix Protocol (OPTIX) sees success in its private token sale, raising $1.78M with backing by Morningstar Ventures. Optix is a decentralized option protocol where users can buy options on top crypto assets with up to 10x leverage and earn sustainable yield selling options.


Hinkal Protocol enters the strategic funding arena, securing $1.4M with support by The SALT Fund. Hinkal is a ZK-based solution that provides a private smart contract wallet experience, allowing users to participate in their favorite dApps directly without needing to withdraw assets for obfuscation.


L3E7 secures an impressive $10M in undisclosed funding, backed by The Spartan Group, highlighting growing interest in the GameFi sector. L3E7 is an open-world RPG game powered by location-based services (LBS), offering immersive 3D metaverse experiences.


OpenDelta (USDO) secures $2.15M in pre-seed funding, paving the way for stablecoin innovation with support by 6th Man Ventures. OpenDelta introduces a delta-neutral, yield-bearing synthetic dollar, USDO, powered by Bitcoin derivatives. USDO maintains its dollar value by hedging Bitcoin (BTC) collateral deposited by users.


PenPad strategically aligns with Animoca Brands, marking a significant move in blockchain service advancements. PenPad is reshaping Layer-2 with zero-knowledge tech, emphasizing scalable, private dApp development and fair-launch principles.


NATIX Network (NTXT) secures $4.6M in strategic funding, backed by Borderless Capital, driving forward blockchain service solutions. Natix is a blockchain-based and crowdsourced camera network creating a real-time map of the world. This DePIN of cameras uses Natix to map the world whilst simultaneously ensuring that no private data is collected.


Movement Labs secures a staggering $38M in Series A funding led by Polychain Capital, illustrating a strong market appetite for blockchain infrastructure. Movement Labs prioritizes community involvement, characterized by its transparent tokenomics, minimal staking requirements aimed at promoting decentralization, and a protocol architecture that facilitates community-driven expansion. 


Engines of Fury (FURY) partners with Animoca Brands, tapping into the GameFi market with innovative offerings. This is a free-to-play post-apocalyptic top-down extraction shooter, powered by a single deflationary token and NFTs.

April 28,2024

Bitcoin Floats Around $64K As Altcoins See Red

Despite its best efforts, any attempts Bitcoin (BTC) has made recently to try and recover its price have been unsuccessful, with the asset dropping to $62,400 before bouncing back to around $63,000. Meanwhile, SOL, DOGE, ADA, HBAR, and RNDR are among the weakest performers within a 24 hour period. Infact, most of the market is seeing a downturn currently, and the total crypto market cap has also decreased by $150 billion over the past two days.


BTC Falls To $63K

The price movements for the flagship crypto both before and after the fourth halving, completed last Friday, have been relatively lackluster. Despite a slight recovery after the Iran-Israel tensions, during which it stood above $65,000 following the reduction in block rewards, it struggled to maintain momentum, even testing $67,000 a few times. However, it faced challenges amid increasing ETF outflows.

Conversely, BTC has been rapidly losing value in recent days. Although it has regained some ground, Bitcoin is still struggling to reach the $70,000 once more. Elsewhere, ETH, BNB, XRP, and TON are also experiencing declines, albeit less severe. TRX is among the few alts showing gains today. However, many other lower- and mid-cap alts have recorded notable losses over the past day as well. Consequently, the total crypto market cap has fallen by $50 billion overnight and $150 billion since Thursday, dropping to under $2.450 trillion on CoinGecko.


Other Markets

Amidst a surge in US stocks, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) witnessed a notable rise, resulting in the best week for stocks in 2024 thus far. However, Wall Street faced unexpected challenges as markets displayed swift reversals, confounding industry professionals. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Powell re-emphasised a prolonged period of elevated inflation.

In other market developments, the next US LNG export plant is gearing up to commence production by mid-2024, while the Fed is shaping a new equities playbook in Asia. On the energy front, Ukraine endured a missile barrage and retaliated with strikes on a Russian refinery, underscoring the ongoing tensions. Lastly, Zimbabwe introduced a new currency called ZiG, receiving praise by many for its potential economic benefits.


April 27,2024

Eminem Gets Involved With Crypto Through New Ad

Immensely popular American rapper Marshall Mathers, also known as Eminem and Slim Shady, recently teamed up with for their latest advertising campaign. The ad features Eminem strolling through a gym, blending the concept of industry peak with crypto-related phrases like PoW Proof-of-Work.


Sparking Conversations

While initial buzz has subsided, it sparked sketches and discussions designed to captivate and engage audiences while promoting the brand. Despite the attention garnered by the ad, the price of the token, Cronos (CRO), hovered around $0.13 on average.

The notorious volatility of the cryptocurrency market underscores the central theme, which is the uncertainty surrounding the value of the endorsed cryptocurrency and its impact on the market. Moreover, celebrity involvement in crypto advertising often presents a controversial angle. Matt Damon, for instance, clarified that his participation was tied to his charity,, rather than a direct endorsement of the cryptocurrency industry.


Celebrities Navigating Crypto Endorsements

Celebrity appearances in crypto-related ads have become commonplace over the years. An intriguing facet of past campaigns was their online presence, set against a digital backdrop featuring historical figures, symbolizing the adventurous nature of the virtual currency realm.

This era also witnessed the renaming of the iconic Los Angeles Staples Center to the newly named Arena, serving as the backdrop for Eminem for most of his crypto-oriented work. Celebrity involvement in cryptocurrency ads has yielded mixed results, fostering technological awareness while igniting debates, especially following the 2022 collapse of FTX.

As the landscape of big-name celebrities in crypto advertising evolves, it prompts discussions about the industry itself. While immediate price movements may be subtle, the long-term impact of these endorsements on public perception and regulations warrants increased attention going forward.


April 26,2024

ConsenSys Fights Back Against The SEC And Initiates Legal Action

ConsenSys has initiated legal action against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), asserting that the SEC attempting to assert control over Ethereum (ETH) constitutes an unlawful seizure of authority. The core issue here is the classification of Ethereum as a security, which ConsenSys vehemently opposes.


Defending The Community

Operating via Fort Worth, Texas, ConsenSys is not only defending its own interests but also advocating for the broader Ethereum community. They have taken the matter to federal court to seek clarity on Ethereum and its current status, emphasizing that ETH is not a security. They argue that treating it as such would infringe on Fifth Amendment rights and violate the Administrative Procedures Act.

ConsenSys warns that if Ethereum is classified as a security, it could severely impede innovation and usage of Ethereum in the U.S., potentially causing significant losses for Ether holders and hindering the broader blockchain ecosystem.

ConsenSys Head Joe Lubin, who is also a key figure within the Ethereum ecosystem, stressed the importance of this legal battle in preserving opportunities for developers and market participants involved in Ethereum. He asserts that Ether has historically been treated as a commodity, not a security, and challenges any jurisdiction that the SEC claims to have  over it.


Stopping The SEC

Unsurprisingly, ConsenSys aims to prevent the SEC when it comes to regulating Ether, Ethereum-based interfaces, or the blockchain itself, arguing that they do not meet the criteria for securities. They emphasize the role of Ethereum as a commodity and its significance in various non-financial applications across sectors like healthcare and energy.

The fight extends beyond Ethereum, as ConsenSys is also defending the future of blockchain innovation in the U.S. Lubin warns that subjecting Ethereum to outdated securities laws would hinder U.S. progress in the blockchain space and allow other countries to take the lead.


The MetaMask Issue

ConsenSys is adamant that its MetaMask wallet does not function as a broker, and its staking services do not violate securities laws. They are urging the SEC to not investigate the swap or staking functionalities of MetaMask. In any case, the lawsuit underscores the serious ramifications of SEC intervention.

Moreover, ConsenSys emphasizes that the MetaMask wallet is designed to empower users to participate in Web3 industries, facilitating tasks such as managing digital identities and conducting crypto transactions. They reject the notion of labeling developers of such tools as securities brokers, which they believe would impede progress in the Web3 domain.


April 26,2024

Popular Crypto Influencer Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison

Jay Mazini, also known as Jabara Igbara, who claimed to be a crypto millionaire on Instagram, has been sentenced to seven years in prison by U.S. District Judge Frederic Block for wire fraud and money laundering. He must also forfeit $10 million.

Labelled a crypto con man by the Office of the United States Attorney, Igbara, 28, admitted to carrying out multiple fraud schemes, scamming investors of at least $8 million. He pleaded guilty in November 2022.


Caught Red Handed

According to United States Attorney Breon Peace, the prosecution of Igbara revealed him as a fraudster who exploited his social media popularity to deceive investors, particularly through his religious community, and spend their money recklessly. Peace hopes the sentence will deter fraudsters like Igbara when it comes to exploiting investors for personal gain.

Thomas Fattorusso, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, described Igbara as a con man who duped the New York Muslim community out of millions and squandered the funds on personal expenses and gambling. Fattorusso emphasized that Igbara will face consequences for his crimes.


Exploiting The Community

Between 2019 to 2021, Igbara, under the alias Jay Mazini, amassed nearly one million followers on Instagram, portraying himself as a successful investor and devout Muslim. He flaunted his supposed wealth by giving away large sums of cash in videos posted on Instagram.

Operating through Halal Capital LLC, Igbara orchestrated an investment fraud scheme targeting Muslim-Americans in New York, soliciting funds for fake investments in various ventures. In reality, he ran a Ponzi scheme, using the funds for personal expenses and gambling.

To sustain the illusion of profitability and retain investors, Igbara initiated a second fraudulent scheme, offering above-market prices for cryptocurrencies on social media. After receiving crypto through his victims, he fabricated wire transfer confirmations to deceive them into believing they had been paid, while pocketing the crypto himself.


April 25,2024

Solana Community Looks Forward To Much Needed Update

Scheduled for May 27th, 2024, Solana (SOL) is poised to unveil the mainnet beta along with a crucial patch aimed at addressing various persistent bugs within the network. The forthcoming beta iteration, labeled v1.18, focuses on resolving congestion issues that have recently brought the network to a standstill.


Addressing Key Concerns

Solana is currently evaluating new solutions to alleviate network congestion. The surge in traffic, particularly because of high-volume meme coin-related bot transactions, has significantly strained capacity, leading to a decline in network speed and an increase in transaction failures within the cryptocurrency sphere. In response, the Solana development team, in collaboration with Anza, introduced devnet version 1.18.11 on April 13th. Presently, this version is undergoing validation by the necessary validators in preparation for the beta launch of the mainnet, scheduled for late May.

In addition to regular testing, version 1.17.31 was deployed on April 15th to address network congestion issues. These adjustments were swiftly recommended for implementation by validators. The strategizer release represents one of several efforts made to stabilize the network amidst significant fluctuations in transaction volume.


Still A Ways To Go

While Solana has made strides in technological enhancements, it continues to grapple with market volatility. In early April, the cryptocurrency experienced a substantial price drop of over 22%, plummeting to $116. However, it has since shown signs of recovery, with its price now hovering around $154.86. These fluctuations underscore the challenges and uncertainties inherent in the digital currency market.

The latest update by Solana aims to bolster network capacity to meet increasing demands and enhance system security. With the impending release of Millennium v1.18, the community is closer than ever to achieving its primary objectives. Continuous scrutiny of these developments by the community and stakeholders ensures the creation of a functional, accessible, and replicable network.

As technical updates coincide with market recovery, Solana remains committed to safeguarding network infrastructure and navigating market dynamics remains pivotal to its growth and stability.


April 25,2024

Bitcoin Makes History By Becoming The Scarcest Asset In The World

After the latest halving, the inflation rate of Bitcoin (BTC) has now dropped to 0.83%, lower than that of gold, making BTC the scarcest asset in history. The block rewards for miners have been permanently reduced by half, marking the fourth halving. This adjustment brings the block rewards down to 3.125 BTC compared to the previous amount of 6.25 BTC.


The Importance Of The Halving

The block rewards, the only way new cryptocurrency is minted, are distributed to miners at a near-constant rate, irrespective of mining conditions, thanks to the coded Difficulty concept in the network. When miners increase computing power, the network adjusts the Difficulty to maintain the desired pace of block rewards distribution.

As a result, the Bitcoin supply grows almost continuously between halving events. Consequently, the Issuance, or the amount of cryptocurrency miners produce daily, remains relatively constant. Therefore, the inflation rate of Bitcoin also remains stable within these Halving periods, halving alongside the Issuance during halving events.


Scarcity Matters

Bitcoin is scarce because of its fixed supply limit of 21 million coins, enforced by its protocol. This scarcity is further emphasized by the periodic halving events, which reduce the rate of new coin creation, making a whole Bitcoin increasingly difficult to obtain over time.

With the latest halving, the aforementioned inflation rate has once again decreased. In the last epoch, the annualized inflation rate was about 1.7%, which has now dropped to 0.85% in the new epoch. This achievement places Bitcoin ahead of gold, as its steady-state issuance rate is now lower than the precious metal, marking a historic moment in the comparison of the scarcest assets.


April 24,2024

HBAR Skyrockets After BlackRock Successfully Tokenizes MMF On Hedera

Archax, Ownera, and The HBAR Foundation recently facilitated the initial tokenization of the BlackRock Money Market Fund (MMF) on the Hedera blockchain, marking a significant milestone in the real-world assets (RWAs) domain.


The Importance Of MMFs

In a historic moment for the RWAs industry, Archax, a digital asset exchange based in London, successfully digitized the BlackRock ICS US Treasury MMF on the Hedera (HBAR) blockchain. Collaborating with the HBAR Foundation and the institutional-grade digital assets platform Ownera, Archax brought the MMF onto the Hedera network.

MMFs play a pivotal role in boosting the RWAs sector, offering attractive investment options characterized by institutional stability and yield. Tokenized MMFs allow for share trading on exchanges like Archax, offering additional benefits such as instant transfer and collateral deployment, beyond traditional subscriptions and redemptions.


HBAR Surges

Shayne Higdon, CEO of The HBAR Foundation, expressed confidence in Hedera and its innovative as well as reliable infrastructure, emphasizing its unmatched speed, security, and cost-effectiveness for institutional-grade tokenization, enabled by Archax.

Following the announcement, the price of HBAR surged to a four-week high, increasing by over 46% to reach $0.1314 on Tuesday. Preceding the news, the token traded around $0.087 and has now reached its highest level since March 27th. CoinGecko data indicates a more than 600% spike in the 24-hour trading volume of HBAR, surpassing $346 million.

April 24,2024

Jack Dorsey Will Tap Into Africa For New Bitcoin Mining Initiative

Jack Dorsey unveiled that Block (formerly Square) is broadening its Bitcoin (BTC) mining endeavors, as the company will no longer simply design chips as they will also be developing an entire BTC mining system going forward. The new mining system will reportedly tap into solar, hydro, and geothermal energy to run Bitcoin mines across Africa.


Improving Accessibility

The global tech company recently announced the completion of its proprietary three-nanometer Bitcoin mining chip and its ongoing collaboration with a leading global semiconductor foundry for the design of said chip. Additionally, Block revealed intentions to expand the scope of its mining project to encompass system design, aiming to address challenges identified through discussions with various bitcoin miners. Their objective is to foster mining decentralization by offering both standalone mining chips and complete mining systems.

The overall mission statement emphasizes democratizing access to Bitcoin mining, making the process of creating new BTC more accessible to a wider audience. Dorsey initially expressed this sentiment when Block ventured into mining hardware in 2021, highlighting the complexity and lack of incentive for individuals to engage in mining.


Addressing Key Concerns

Concerns within the crypto community regarding hardware vulnerabilities and the concentration of ASIC chip manufacturing in China have also influenced this new initiative. By decentralizing the supply of mining hardware and the distribution of hashrate, Block aims to enhance industry competition and mitigate network stability risks.

To address barriers to entry such as cost and availability of mining rigs, Block aims to improve reliability and user experience by focusing on issues like heat dissipation and noise reduction. The recent announcement coincides with the most recent Bitcoin halving, a significant event that occurs approximately every four years, reducing the issuance of new BTC.

Dorsey views the accessibility of the mining process as essential for a fully decentralized and permissionless future, emphasizing the importance of decentralization for network resilience. Block has also previously supported Gridless, a company operating Bitcoin mines powered by renewable energy sources in Africa.


April 23,2024

12 Solana Meme Coin Projects Listed As Scams By ZachXBT

Scammers tend to exploit the frenzy around meme coins by capitalizing on increased risk tolerance driven by FOMO. ZachXBT acknowledged this and recently claimed that 12 Solana presale meme coin projects have been completely abandoned in the last month, collectively raising $26.7 million via investors.


Meme Coins Continue To Nosedive

In a post on X dated April 21st, ZachXBT singled out the aforementioned projects and cautioned investors against engaging with any future projects by the listed founders. These projects faced a downturn shortly after launch, with some failing to release an actual token.

The LIKE project, led by pseudonymous founder pokeee.eth, raised 52,220 Solana (SOL), equivalent to $7.7 million. However, its value plummeted by over 90% within the first eight hours of trading, now suffering a 99.2% decline compared to its launch price.

Elsewhere, the meme coin MOONKE, initiated by another anonymous figure, RockyXBT, faced a similar fate, witnessing a drop of over 99% in value shortly after its $500 million initial valuation. Finally, another project by founder Jared_eth, raising 4,567 SOL worth approximately $812,000, failed to launch a token.


Scammers On The Rise

A study by cybersecurity firm Blockaid found that 50% of presale tokens on the Solana blockchain between November 2023 and February 2024 were malicious, attributing the rise in scammer activity to increased presale token adoption during February and March, driven by the massive popularity of meme coins as well as FOMO in general.

Individuals like Jared_eth and Bluekirbyftm, mentioned by ZachXBT, were identified as scammers. In March, a notable incident involved a Solana presale token when the developer of meme coin Slerf claimed to have mistakenly burned the entire presale allocation due to a fat finger burn error. Market enthusiasm for meme coins has declined in recent weeks, with several Solana-based tokens experiencing slides of over 40%, such as WIF.