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March 01,2024

Merrill Lynch And Wells Fargo Customers Will Be Given Access To BTC Spot ETF

Merrill Lynch of Bank of America Corp and Wells Fargo & Co are now offering spot ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) that invest directly in Bitcoin (BTC), the largest cryptocurrency globally, to some of their affluent clients.


Renewed Interest

This decision mirrors the increasing demand and mainstream acceptance of Bitcoin ETFs, especially as BTC reaches new highs, recently surpassing $60,000 according to the information provided by CoinGecko.

Moreover, the aforementioned banks will reportedly provide the approved Bitcoin ETFs to specific asset management clients through brokerage accounts that require such products, as per various undisclosed sources. Many other notable institutions, such as Grayscale and MicroStrategy, are already involved with crypto so this decision certainly makes sense.


The Future Is Bright

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved nearly a dozen Bitcoin ETFs in January, marking a significant development after years of industry speculation and rejections. ETFs enable investors to participate in the crypto market without directly holding the corresponding digital asset.

Generally speaking, Bitcoin ETFs are viewed as a means to attract both institutional and retail investors to the cryptocurrency market, while also enhancing liquidity and transparency. Nonetheless, they bring associated risks including volatility, security vulnerabilities, and regulatory uncertainties.


March 01,2024

Bitcoin Rally Could Not Prevent Dip In Mining Stocks

Bitcoin mining stocks have experienced a significant decline, up to 27%, over the past three trading days despite the recent surge experienced by Bitcoin (BTC). According to Mitchell Askew, the lead analyst at Blockware Solutions, there have been two instances of a similar divergence in 2023, offering a favorable chance to invest in mining stocks at reduced prices.


Caution Advised

One analyst suggests this downturn may be due to unwarranted caution regarding the upcoming halving, implying it could present another attractive opportunity to acquire mining stocks at lower costs. Since February 27th, the two largest Bitcoin miners, Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA) and Riot Platforms (RIOT), have declined by 18.5% and 21.9%, respectively, according to data by Google Finance.

CleanSpark (CLSK) saw a substantial decrease of 27.5%, while TeraWulf (WULF) also experienced a decline of 25.4%. Various notable figures in the industry, like gold advocate Peter Schiff, have observed this trend, speculating whether the drop in Bitcoin mining stocks signals potential trouble for the flagship crypto. One cryptocurrency trader mentioned a shift in sentiment towards mining stocks as Bitcoin approached the $65,000 mark, indicating a cautious approach amid rising prices.


Looking Ahead

Mitchell Askew suggested that investors might be wary of investing in Bitcoin miners due to the looming halving event, which would reduce miner rewards by half. He emphasized that there have been two significant instances in the past year where both Bitcoin and mining stocks plummeted, presenting favorable opportunities to invest at lower prices.

According to Askew, these pullbacks are normal given the volatility of these assets and should be seen as opportunities rather than causes for concern. Looking ahead, Jaran Mellerud, one of the founders and chief mining strategists at Hashlabs Mining, believes the three to four months following the Bitcoin halving could be crucial for publicly-listed miners in the United States, speculating that some high-cost miners may relocate offshore to maintain profitability.

However, Askew disagrees, stating that it would be foolish to believe that the halving would render them unprofitable, as they have some of the lowest energy costs and have been investing in the latest hardware to prepare for the reduced block subsidy.


February 29,2024

Bitcoin Smashes Through $60K As Crypto Community Celebrates

The ongoing upward trend exhibited by Bitcoin (BTC) may persist following a significant technical signal detected during the weekend, triggered by the flagship cryptocurrency experiencing a recent breakthrough of key resistance levels. As of the time of this writing, BTC is trading at just under $62,000.


No Signs Of Selling

Katie Stockton, the founder of Fairlead Strategies, communicated to clients that Bitcoin convincingly surpassed the $48,600 resistance level, signaling an intermediate-term bullish development in its chart. Having surged over 40% in the past month, Bitcoin reached its highest point since November 2021. Its year-to-date increase is 44%, with a remarkable 160% gain over the past year.

Stockton suggests that short-term technical indicators hint at an upcoming consolidation phase in the coming days before Bitcoin resumes its climb to test a final resistance at $64,900, as indicated by Markets Insider. In a previous analysis, Stockton emphasized this positive momentum, highlighting that several key indicators portray a favorable long-term momentum without signs of overbought conditions on the monthly chart, suggesting no immediate sell signals.


ETFs Triggered The Surge

Several factors, including the recent introduction of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), have contributed to this price surge, attracting significant investments. Bitcoin has sustained a winning streak for five consecutive days, aiming for its strongest monthly performance since October 2021, amidst the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. in early January.

These ETFs have garnered substantial inflows, surpassing $6 billion in net inflows and continuing to drive demand for the leading cryptocurrency. Furthermore, the price surge anticipates its upcoming halving event, which will halve the coinbase reward miners receive per block found to 3.125 BTC, exerting additional pressure on the available supply.


February 29,2024

Serenity Shield Gets Hacked And Loses Over $5 Million

Yesterday, a security breach occurred within the MetaMask wallet of Serenity Shield, resulting in the unauthorized transfer of over 7 million SERSH tokens. This incident caused a significant drop in the value of the token, sparking concerns among holders regarding the future of the platform.


Damage Control

The compromised wallet, which held liquidity for the SERSH token, belonged to Serenity Shield, a platform specializing in data storage solutions. The breach was announced via X (formerly Twitter), with approximately $5.6 million worth of SERSH tokens being transferred to a third-party wallet.

Following the hack, the price of SERSH plummeted by more than 90%, initially trading around $0.8 before falling sharply to $0.0073. Although the price briefly recovered above the $0.2 support level, it continued to decline, eventually settling in the $0.016-$0.017 range within 24 hours, marking a decrease of over 70% according to CoinMarketCap data.

In response to the security breach, all SERSH trading on centralized exchanges was suspended, and users were advised to not make any transactions on the PancakeSwap exchange as a precautionary measure. To safeguard the community, Serenity Shield proposed relaunching the SERSH token through a secure smart contract. Holders who acquired the token before the incident would be eligible for a 1:1 token replacement, limited to transactions conducted on decentralized exchanges and excluding those made after a specified snapshot timeframe.


Hacks Still Commonplace

Regarding transactions on CEXs, the team stated that they would collaborate with the respective platforms to devise a replacement process. Notably, a similar incident led the crypto gaming platform PlayDapp to migrate to the new PDA token after suffering a security breach.

Addressing community speculation, Serenity Shield clarified via Telegram that while the project itself had not been hacked, one of its hot wallets containing SERSH tokens had been compromised. Further investigation revealed a connection between the addresses involved in the hack and a previous security breach at the crypto exchange OKX in December 2023.

This incident underscores the ongoing challenges faced by the crypto community in 2024, prompting experts to advise vigilance against suspicious activities and links as scammers target prominent figures and projects within the crypto sphere.


February 28,2024

Plutus V3 Finally Unveiled By Cardano

Cardano (ADA) has introduced the eagerly awaited Plutus V3 engine, aiming to transform smart contract functionalities and foster developer creativity. Simultaneously, Pullix, a novel DeFi protocol, is preparing to list the PLX token on two exchanges following the conclusion of its presale.

Charles Hoskinson has expressed optimism regarding the transformative impact of Plutus V3 on the protocol. With a focus on interoperability with other blockchains, Cardano anticipates increased adoption, governance support, and overall network scalability.


Plutus V3 Engine

The recently unveiled Plutus V3 engine by Cardano represents a significant upgrade intended to improve performance and functionality within its PoS network. This engine aims to enhance smart contract capabilities, generating interest among developers seeking advanced blockchain solutions.

The newly launched Plutus V3 engine incorporates enhanced cryptographic features, including optimized algorithm usage, Ethereum porting capabilities, and sidechain bridging. Notably, the introduction of Sum of Products (SOPs), an efficient data coding method, aims to reduce script size and enhance smart contract execution speed on Cardano.


ADA Reacts

The unveiling of Plutus V3 has not only excited developers but has also led to a surge in the price of ADA, the native cryptocurrency for Cardano. On February 25th, ADA experienced a significant 24% price increase, currently trading at $0.623 with a 4.88% rise in the last 24 hours. The broader enthusiasm surrounding Bitcoin ETFs and sentiments towards Cardano Plutus V3 have contributed to this positive movement.

As Cardano advances blockchain technology, Pullix emerges as a new DeFi protocol, introducing a hybrid exchange with a unique proposition, Trade-to-Earn. Pullix distinguishes itself when compared to traditional trading platforms by rewarding traders who hold $PLX tokens. A percentage of the daily revenues is used to purchase $PLX tokens via the open market and burn them, reducing the token supply and increasing demand. This mechanism incentivizes users to hold $PLX, providing them with passive income, trading discounts, and exclusive rewards.

Pullix also emphasizes security with a smart contract that has undergone a security audit by Interfi Network. The team plans to lock the liquidity pool for 24 months after launch, reducing the risk of a rug pull. The roadmap includes development plans such as presale launch, license acquisition, and PLX listing on various exchanges including Uniswap and BitMart.


February 28,2024

Ethereum Enters Next Stage As Dencun Upgrade Gets Activated

The Ethereum Foundation has announced the upcoming launch of the Dencun network upgrade on the Ethereum mainnet, following its successful activation on all testnets. Scheduled for March 13th, 2024, this upgrade mandates node operators and stakers to update their software.

Building on the Shapella upgrade, it introduces significant changes such as ephemeral data blobs with EIP-4844, aimed at reducing L2 transaction fees. A community livestream will be accessible for those interested in monitoring the event. This upgrade encompasses modifications to both the consensus and execution layers of Ethereum, as elaborated in EIP-7569.


Noteworthy Adjustments

Notable protocol adjustments include EIP-1153 (Transient storage opcodes), EIP-4788 (Beacon block root in the EVM), EIP-4844 (Shard Blob Transactions), EIP-5656 (MCOPY &ndash Memory copying instruction), EIP-6780 (SELFDESTRUCT only in the same transaction), EIP-7044 (Perpetually Valid Signed Voluntary Exits), EIP-7045 (Increase Max Attestation Inclusion Slot), EIP-7514 (Add Max Epoch Churn Limit), and EIP-7516 (BLOBBASEFEE opcode).

Details regarding consensus layer alterations can be found in the Deneb directory while execution layer adjustments are outlined in the linked EIPs, with an ongoing Python specification in the ethereum/execution-specs repository. Additionally, Dencun requires updates to the Engine API for communication between consensus and execution layer nodes.


Understanding The Requirements

Client releases supporting Dencun on the Ethereum mainnet have been enumerated, including versions for Lighthouse, Lodestar, Nimbus, Prysm, Teku (consensus layer), and Besu, Erigon, go-ethereum, Nethermind, Reth (execution layer). The Ethereum Foundation advises validators on the risks of running a majority client and provides resources for client distribution and switching guides.

For Ethereum users or ETH holders, no action is necessary unless instructed by their exchange or wallet provider. Node operators must update their clients to the specified versions for compatibility with the Dencun upgrade. Stakers are also encouraged to update both their beacon node and validator client. Failure to participate in the upgrade will lead to synchronization with the pre-fork blockchain, resulting in incompatibility with the post-Dencun Ethereum network. Application and tooling developers are urged to review the EIPs included in Dencun for potential impacts on their projects, particularly noting EIPs with backward compatibility implications.


February 27,2024

MicroStrategy Buys An Additional 3K BTC To Expand Its Treasury

Despite reports indicating a breach of security on the X (formerly Twitter) account of MicroStrategy, the renowned enterprise software company based in Tysons Corner, Virginia, has once more bolstered its Bitcoin (BTC) reserves by acquiring an additional 3,000 BTC this month.

According to Bloomberg, this recent acquisition amounts to $155.4 million, significantly adding to the already impressive amount of Bitcoin assets held by MicroStrategy. As of now, the amount has reached approximately $9.88 billion based on current market values.


MicroStrategy Continues Bitcoin Acquisition

As per a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday, the transactions occurred between February 15th and February 25th. Consequently, MicroStrategy saw its total Bitcoin holdings increase to around 193,000 tokens.

Co-founder Michael Saylor initiated the Bitcoin acquisition strategy in 2020 to hedge against inflation and diversify its cash reserves. During a recent interview, Saylor reiterated his conviction in holding onto the cryptocurrency, stating that there is no reason to sell the winner. Since MicroStrategy began acquiring Bitcoin, its value has surged by a whopping 460%.


No Plan To Sell

The average price for the latest 3,000 BTC purchase by MicroStrategy was $51,813, contributing to an average price of $31,544 for the entire Bitcoin holdings, as disclosed in the filing. On Monday, Bitcoin saw its price remain relatively stable around $51,100 in early trading hours. However, the largest cryptocurrency in the market is displaying signs of renewed bullish momentum, currently trading at $52,800, representing a 2.5% increase over the past 24 hours.

As the value of BTC continues to rise, the substantial Bitcoin holdings of MicroStrategy serve as evidence of the forward-thinking approach that the company has adopted in addition to renewed confidence in cryptocurrency as a viable investment.

Still, how MicroStrategy intends to manage its Bitcoin holdings in the future remains uncertain. Nevertheless, the remarks made by Saylor suggest a long-term perspective, indicating that the company has no immediate plans to divest its Bitcoin assets.


February 27,2024

Bitcoin Skyrockets But Liquidation Concerns Continue

Bitcoin (BTC) moved closer to $55,000 on Monday, breaking through the $53,000 mark and rallying to $54,900 within the day, according to TradingView data. At press time, BTC was trading at around $54,700, about 21% lower than its all-time high of $69,000 in November 2021. As bulls take control, the cryptocurrency market capitalization reaches $2.09 trillion, up nearly 4.5% in the last 24 hours.


Caution Advised

As Bitcoin surged against short positions, analysts speculated about the key resistance levels ahead. Within a 24-hour period, the cryptocurrency market witnessed $158 million in Bitcoin short positions and $44 million in Ethereum short positions being wiped out. Binance recorded the largest single liquidation order, involving an ETH-USDT position valued at $10.38 million. In total, over $270 million worth of cryptocurrency shorts were liquidated.

The CoinGlass data cited by Crypto Rover, a cryptocurrency analyst, cautions that Bitcoin short positions totaling over a billion dollars could face liquidation if Bitcoin reaches $52,200. Ethereum also saw a surge, reaching a price of $3,273, a peak not seen since April of the previous year, which starkly contrasts with its record high in November 2021.


Uncertainty Looms

At the onset of the week, substantial liquidations hit investors in the cryptocurrency market who had placed bets against its upward trajectory. According to Coinglass, an on-chain data analysis tool, traders encountered $364 million in liquidations across platforms like Binance, Bybit, OKX, and Huobi. A significant portion of these liquidations were a direct result of Bitcoin short sellers.

The Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index, a gauge of market sentiment for cryptocurrencies, soared to a one-year high of 79 on the scale, a level not observed since Bitcoin experienced its all-time high price near $69,000 all the way back in November 2021.


February 26,2024

Riot Believes Climate Change And Chip Shortage Pose Significant Risks

Riot Platforms recently stated its anticipation of sustained elevated costs for ASIC miners until the resolution of the chip crisis. The statement was made via the annual report where, as a prominent Bitcoin miner, Riot acknowledged in its latest annual report potential risks to its profit, citing the ongoing chip shortage, the necessity to increase hash rate, and the intensifying pro-climate agenda in the United States.

Among the risks highlighted by Riot was the global chip crisis, attributed to the scarcity of semiconductor manufacturers capable of producing the specialized ASIC chips vital for its operations.

Furthermore, Riot noted its expectation to continue incurring above-average expenses in procuring and installing mining equipment until the chip shortage is resolved.


More Complications

Despite access to ASIC miners, Riot acknowledged the potential for encountering design flaws and complications related to software and firmware when adapting miners to operate in specific environments. Riot also highlighted the competitive nature of the industry, necessitating continuous expansion of hash rate to maintain market share in the face of a growing global hash rate.

The firm also pointed out potential scaling challenges for Bitcoin that could hinder its widespread adoption as a payment method, which could, in turn, impact its price and consequently weaken the financial position of Riot.


Climate Change Is A Key Challenge

Riot identified the increasing pro-climate change agenda in government bodies as a potential challenge, citing the possibility of significant costs imposed by new legislation and regulations. The company emphasized the risk of losing a competitive edge if subjected to stricter regulations compared to peers in other regions.

Riot recently achieved a favorable ruling in a lawsuit against US energy officials, alleging invasive data collection by cryptocurrency miners. Meanwhile, Riot reported a 19% increase in Bitcoin production in 2023, mining a total of 6,626 BTC, with a decreased average cost of mining per Bitcoin by 33% compared to the previous year.


February 26,2024

Cryptocurrencies May Be Recognized As Property By UK Law Commission

The United Kingdom is proposing a legal framework to grant cryptocurrencies a defined status within its legal system, aiming to provide clearer safeguards. The UK Law Commission has recommended treating cryptocurrencies as property, intending to enhance legal clarity and protection for digital assets.

By categorizing cryptocurrencies as a distinct form of personal property, the proposal seeks to bolster enforcement of property rights in cases involving digital currencies. This step is crucial for resolving legal uncertainties surrounding digital assets, offering improved protection for individuals and businesses involved in cryptocurrency transactions.


Guidance Needed

The proposed legal framework acknowledges the unique characteristics of digital assets like crypto-tokens and introduces a new property category within the common law of England and Wales. It underscores the necessity for the legal system to adapt to technological advancements.

To address the complex technical nature of cryptocurrencies, the Law Commission suggests courts seek guidance by an industry panel and establish a multi-disciplinary team to aid market participants in safeguarding their assets. This underscores the importance of expert advice in understanding and managing emerging technologies.


Slow But Steady

This initiative aligns with the broader strategy of the UK to strengthen its position as a leading global financial center for digital assets. By advancing cryptocurrency regulations, the country aims to attract tech development and position England and Wales as an appealing destination for cryptocurrency firms.

The enactment of the Financial Services and Markets Bill last year laid the groundwork for more comprehensive regulatory measures. With numerous crypto firms establishing themselves in the UK, this proposal could further cement the country as a global hub for digital asset innovation and security.

February 26,2024

Funding Deals 20th To 26th February 2024

We're thrilled to share some remarkable developments in the global tech landscape! Check out the latest funding rounds that have been making waves:

Helius (Canada) secured $9.5M in Series A funding led by Foundation Capital, reinforcing their commitment to innovation. Congratulations on this milestone, Helius team!

Eigen Labs (United States) raised a staggering $100M in Series B funding with a16z crypto at the helm. This substantial investment further solidifies their position as a key player. Kudos, EigenLayer!

Januar (Denmark) successfully closed a $2.19M Seed round, marking a promising start for their journey. Keep up the great work, Januar team!

Citrea, introduced by Chainway Labs, captured $2.7M in Seed funding led by Galaxy Digital, paving the way for exciting advancements going forward. Fantastic progress!

Bitcoin Dogs soared with a $3.1M Initial Coin Offering, indicating strong investor interest and confidence. An impressive feat, Bitcoin Dogs!

Degen (United States) secured $1.4M in Seed funding with 1confirmation, highlighting their potential. Keep pushing boundaries, Degen team!

OUINEX CRYPTO-EXCHANGE (France) raised $4M in Seed funding, demonstrating the global appeal of their vision. Well done, Ouinex!

Exohood Labs (United Kingdom) attracted $112M in Seed funding, signaling strong investor confidence in their innovative solutions. Impressive achievement, Exohood Labs!

Meso (United States) secured $9.5M in Seed funding led by Ribbit Capital, empowering them to drive impactful change. Awesome, Meso team!

Loong City closed a $2M Seed round, showcasing their potential in addition to amazing, larger than life visuals and gameplay elements. Keep up the momentum, LoongCity!

Congratulations to all the teams involved in these groundbreaking funding rounds! Your dedication and vision continue to inspire innovation worldwide. Let's keep pushing boundaries and shaping the future together! 


February 25,2024

Inflation Concerns Continue As BTC Stalls And UNI Skyrockets

The UNI token by Uniswap garnered significant attention over a 24 hour period, skyrocketing by close to 80% following a proposal aimed at rewarding UNI holders with a share of the fees generated by the DEX. This proposal has been the focal point of the recent surge exhibited by Uniswap, marking a substantial development for the cryptocurrency.

In contrast, the price of Bitcoin has remained relatively stagnant, hovering around the $51,000 mark as market dynamics between bulls and bears persist. Despite attempts by bears to drive the price below $51K, buyers intervened, preventing a significant downturn.


BTC Declines As Altcoins Go Up

The dominance shown by Bitcoin in the market has slightly declined to 48.6%, indicative of a strengthening performance by several altcoins such as Ethereum and Cardano. The overall sentiment in the cryptocurrency market, as indicated by the fear and greed index, remains in the Greed territory, although it has slightly decreased compared to the previous day.

Among altcoins, the UNI token stands out with its remarkable surge, influencing other DEX-related tokens like dYdX and Quickswap to also experience notable gains. The proposal to alter the Uniswap protocol, transforming UNI into a token that generates yield for holders, has catalyzed this surge. In any case, it will be intriguing to observe how these trends unfold in the near future, especially amid broader economic considerations such as potential inflationary pressures.


Other Markets

Meanwhile, indications suggest that underlying US inflation likely experienced its most significant increase in a year in January, as indicated by the Federal Reserve. This underscores the arduous and erratic journey toward curbing inflationary pressures.

Specifically, the core personal consumption expenditures price index, excluding food and energy expenses, is anticipated to rise by 0.4% compared to the previous month. This would mark the second consecutive monthly acceleration in a metric that has largely trended downward over the past couple of years.

Elsewhere, longstanding concerns within the oil tanker industry regarding insufficient new ship constructions are resurfacing as a result of recent Houthi attacks on commercial shipping, causing widespread diversions in global petroleum trade routes. Only two new supertankers are scheduled to join the fleet in 2024, representing the lowest addition rate in nearly four decades and approximately 90% below the average annual rate for this millennium. However, as ship owners increasingly avoid the southern Red Sea, the lack of new capacity is beginning to have consequences: freight rates are experiencing sharp increases, and voyage durations are extending.