Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter, where we cover the highlights of the past week in the rapidly evolving world of blockchain and decentralized technologies.
(as of 10:30 AM Singapore Time, November 10, 2023)
Ay, Caramba! The Simpsons’ Halloween special folded crypto culture into its storyline, transforming Bart, Marge, and Homer into NFTs in the episode. It was meant to be satire, sure, but CryptoKitties, Doodles, and CryptoPunks made it onto a primetime series and a staple of pop culture.
The overall crypto market had another green week. Top cryptocurrencies all trended upward, with TON (+13%), ADA (+16%), and XRP (+11%) moving up the most over the past seven days. It’s no secret that the sector was tainted by the downfall of a few major platforms, with bearish sentiment that lingered for many months. But the conviction of FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried — and a prison sentence that could last for more than a century — may close that chapter so the market can move on.
In broader industry news, USDC stablecoin issuer Circle is weighing the prospects of an initial public offering in 2024, according to a report by Bloomberg. It tried to list by merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in 2022, but the plan fell through. USDC currently has a market cap of over US$24 billion, and is the second-biggest stablecoin, although that is still far from its peak market cap of nearly US$56 billion.
For more insights about market movements, be sure to check out the routine updates on BTSE’s blog.
- The amount of Bitcoin in the wallets of long-term holders is at an all-time high, according to data compiled by Glassnode. Investors who have acquired bitcoin are less likely to sell the cryptocurrency, and there is further accumulation taking place. More than 68% of bitcoin that has been mined has remained dormant for more than one year, and 30% of the circulating supply has remained in storage for more than five years. Meanwhile, short-term holder supply is at an all-time low.
- In a significant security breach, Monero’s community crowdfunding wallet was emptied of 2,675.73 XMR, equating to nearly US$460,000. The attack occurred on September 1 but only came to light recently when disclosed by Monero developer Luigi. The exact cause of the attack remains unknown, though speculation points to compromised keys on an Ubuntu server. Monero has faced similar attacks since April, and the loss impacts funding for community development proposals. The team is now considering using the General Fund to meet current obligations.
- South Korean mobile carrier SK Telecom is working with Aptos and Atomrigs Lab to develop T wallet, its first non-EVM Web3 project. T wallet is specifically designed to be used on phones, and incorporates blockchain data and analytics platform CryptoQuant to give users the information they need to make decisions about market activities. SK Telecom had previously linked up with Polygon Labs to build its Web3 services and identify projects to back for further development.
- Aave supporters are voting on a plan to remedy the DeFi lending protocol’s security vulnerabilities and restart markets paused last week. The weakness was originally reported by a whitehat hacker, leading to Aave pausing its v2 Ethereum market and some assets on its Avalanche v2 deployment. The protocol’s developers also froze assets in its Polygon, Arbitrum, and Optimism v3 deployments. There were further suspensions of its Polygon, Optimism, and Arbitrum v3 markets for USDC, USDT, DAI, and EURS. Users could not deposit or borrow tokens. With those quick actions, no user funds on Aave were exploited. The proposal to resume service will close on Saturday, November 11.
Stories You May Have Missed
- The Bank of England published a paper outlining a framework for stablecoins to be part of the country’s economy. This involves providers of self-custodial wallets to adhere to regulatory requirements in order to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. These rules would demand those providers meet some of the same conditions as traditional payment systems, including operational reliability and consumer protection standards. A “travel rule” may also require virtual asset service providers and financial institutions to share information about the sender and recipient when facilitating transactions. These ideas are part of the Bank of England’s preliminary examination of a stablecoin framework, and the institution will conduct a consultation process before making a final proposal.
- While it isn’t clear when (or if) spot crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs) will launch in the United States, regulators in Hong Kong are considering making the instruments available to retail investors in the city. The chief executive officer of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Julia Leung, told Bloomberg that the regulator is “happy to give it a try as long as new risks are addressed.” Rules that govern retail exposure to on-chain assets have changed throughout 2023, most recently relaxing restrictions to allow any investor who passes a knowledge test and satisfies net worth requirements of roughly US$500,000 to direct their money into spot crypto ETFs.
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Note: BTSE Blog contents are intended solely to provide varying insights and perspectives. Unless otherwise noted, they do not represent the views of BTSE and should in no way be treated as investment advice. Markets are volatile, and trading brings rewards and risks. Trade with caution.