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 9:30 AM Singapore Time, November 3, 2023)
The week’s winner was undoubtedly SOL, which rose over the past seven days to hit a 14-month high, going above US$46. The token gained 50% in October and added US$6 billion in market cap for the month, outperforming other top cryptocurrencies. Notably, at the end of October, SOL was up 250% year-to-date. The last time for SOL to be on such a bullish tear was 2021, when it reached its all-time high at US$260 in November that year.
Since its climb to US$46, SOL’s price has retreated back to US$38.66 by time of writing, approximately 9.21% below its position 24 hours earlier. Despite this, Solana still remains well above its 20-day average of US$29.18.
Overall, there have been positive strides in the crypto space. Inflows for crypto products spiked, with US$326 million heading into digital asset investment products in late October, the highest figure since July 2022. In that amount, 90% went into bitcoin products.
ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) traded US$1.7 billion last week, the second highest since its debut week. Meanwhile, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) did US$800 million in volume. These instruments are less desirable than a spot ETF, so it’s clear that there is still a massive appetite for crypto exposure in traditional finance.
For more insights about market movements, be sure to check out the routine updates on BTSE’s blog.
- Stablecoin issuer Circle will no longer support USDC minting for consumer accounts on November 30. This will not impact business or institutional users who have accounts with the company’s Circle Mint platform. Individuals who want to mint US dollar-backed USDC or euro-backed EURC stablecoins will have to use an intermediary. Meanwhile, Tether still supports accounts owned by individual users as long as they maintain a balance of US$100,000 or more. At present, Tether is the largest stablecoin issuer, with USDT maintaining US$91 billion in total supply. Circle’s USDC follows with US$27 billion supply.
- Ethereum’s scaling solution, Arbitrum Orbit, is set to launch on the mainnet, as announced by its developer, Offchain Labs. The launch will allow developers to establish custom chains that settle onto Arbitrum’s layer-2 networks like Arbitrum One and Arbitrum Nova, effectively creating Ethereum layer-3 networks. With Arbitrum hosting about 470 apps and boasting a total value locked (TVL) of US$2.73 billion, the Orbit system provides developers the flexibility to modify privacy, permissions, and fees on these chains. They can also integrate with various data providers while utilizing Arbitrum’s array of tools.
- Bitcoin’s on-chain activity has shown a significant surge in “whale” transactions, with those exceeding US$100,000 hitting a year-to-date high of 23,400 last week, a trend supported by data from blockchain analytics firm IntoTheBlock. This surge coincides with bitcoin’s price surpassing the US$35,000 mark for the first time since May 2022, an ascent partially attributed to anticipation around spot ETFs and increased demand as a safe haven. With spot-based ETFs likely to receive the nod from the US SEC next year, experts predict this will further propel bitcoin’s value. Meanwhile, data also indicates a rise in retail investor activity in the cryptocurrency space.
- MetaMask, in collaboration with Israeli security startup Blockaid, is introducing a new feature to bolster security against potential crypto threats. The feature, known as the Privacy Preserving Offline Module (PPOM), operates offline to simulate and verify transactions before they are signed, ensuring no data is sent to external servers. This aims to proactively identify and alert users about suspicious wallet activities. Initially available for desktop users under MetaMask’s experimental settings, the tool will expand to its mobile app later in November. The move follows increasing concerns about malicious decentralized applications (dApps) and aims to restore user confidence in the crypto ecosystem.
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- Google Cloud has integrated Solana into its BigQuery data analytics suite, the 20th blockchain that is supported by the service. This will make it easier to access and make sense of data stored on the Solana network. BigQuery has built-in machine learning and artificial intelligence that helps users generate insights from large databases. In Solana’s case, this includes data about transactions, NFT minting, and wallet activity. This integration and other cases like it may encourage Web2 companies and platforms to understand blockchain technology and adopt it to optimize their business operations. In particular, users will be able to compare data across networks for useful comparisons. The other networks supported by Google Cloud’s BigQuery are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Dogecoin, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Zcash, Avalanche, Arbitrum, Cronos, Fantom, NEAR, Optimism, Polkadot, Polygon, TRON, and the test networks Polygon Mumbai and Ethereum Goerli.
- The aftermath of the 2022 LastPass breach continues with a recent hack leading to the loss of US$4.4 million in cryptocurrency from 80 wallets, impacting 25 individuals who stored their crypto keys/seeds in LastPass. Stemming from the August 2022 security breach, the culprits gained access to a LastPass employee’s credentials in December and decrypted customer data. Previously, in September, it was reported that around 150 users lost an estimated US$35 million in crypto due to the compromise of LastPass customer vaults. Users are now being urgently advised to move their assets if they have ever stored their wallet seeds or keys in LastPass.
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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.