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CRYPTO MARKET OUTLOOK – TRENDS OF EVENTS 12TH MARCH 2024

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Trends of events

Here is an account of a few events going on within the crypto community in the last 24 hours

Binance Executives Invited to Nigeria to Discuss Issues Get Detained

Nigeria detained Binance’s top crypto crime investigator and a regional manager after their arrival, as per Wired, citing their families.

Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla were held without disclosed charges in Abuja for two weeks after responding to Nigeria’s invitation. Their passports were taken, families report.

Gambaryan’s wife said, “There’s no definite answer for anything: how’s he’s doing, what’s going to happen to him, when he is coming back. And not knowing that is killing me.”

The detention allegedly occurred on Feb. 26, a day after their arrival to address disputes with Nigerian authorities. U.S. State Department and U.K. foreign office officials visited, but Nigerian guards limited privacy during meetings.

READ ALSO:CRYPTO OUTLOOK – TRENDS OF EVENTS 5TH MARCH 2024

Nigeria intensifies scrutiny on crypto platforms due to economic challenges. The government restricted crypto exchange access to Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken to curb currency depreciation.

Metamask Launches On-Chain Payment Card Using the Mastercard Network

MetaMask collaborates with Banx to develop a payment card using Mastercard’s extensive network. This initiative aims to introduce the market’s first fully decentralized web3 payment solution, as revealed by a CoinDesk report.

The envisioned MetaMask-Mastercard payment card lets users use their cryptocurrency for daily transactions at outlets accepting card payments. This aligns with Mastercard’s October announcement, expressing interest in partnering with self-custody wallet providers like MetaMask.

Mastercard emphasizes its commitment to the digital asset domain, mentioning innovative products like the Multi-Token Network, Crypto Credential, CBDC Partner Program, and new card programs linking web2 and web3 environments.

Previously, Mastercard introduced “Crypto Credential” to enhance blockchain security through collaborations with Aptos, Avalanche, Polygon, and Solana.

Visa, Mastercard’s competitor, enhances digital asset offerings through a partnership with Transak, enabling direct crypto withdrawals and payments to Visa debit cards.

MetaMask also partners with European neobank Revolut for the “Revolut Ramp” collaboration, streamlining cryptocurrency acquisition directly into MetaMask wallets for users in the U.K. and the European Economic Area. This allows the purchase of up to 20 cryptocurrencies and stablecoins directly into MetaMask wallets, according to a March 6 Consensys blog post.

U.S President introduces 30% crypto mining tax in a new budget proposal

U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis believes that a 30% tax on electricity used by crypto miners, proposed by President Joe Biden in the 2025 budget, would harm the industry’s presence in the country. The idea of taxing crypto miners’ electricity consumption has resurfaced in Biden’s latest budget proposal.

According to a U.S. Department of the Treasury document, the current laws do not adequately address digital assets, so the administration aims to impose a 30% excise tax on electricity used for crypto mining. If enacted, crypto mining companies would need to report their electricity usage and its value, whether self-generated or purchased externally.

The proposed tax would be introduced gradually, starting at 10% in the first year and increasing to 30% by the third year, effective for taxable years after Dec. 31, 2024. It would also apply to companies generating their electricity or obtaining it off-grid.

Senator Lummis opposes the tax proposal, arguing that while including crypto in the budget shows government interest, a 30% tax would harm the industry’s growth in the United States. This is not the first time Biden has proposed such a tax; a similar attempt was made in the 2024 budget proposal.

Us DOJ and FBI Recovers $1.4m in Stolen Funds With The Help Of Tether

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the recovery of $1.4 million in Tether (USDT) on March 12. This marks one of the first times the U.S. has recovered USDT from an unhosted virtual currency wallet.

The funds were suspected of being proceeds from fraud via a customer support scam, mostly targeting the elderly. Victims were tricked into transferring their bank funds to USDT under the guise of keeping it safe.

The recovery efforts were led by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with Tether’s assistance. Law enforcement agents were able to trace the funds to five distinct wallets, indicating a wire fraud scheme.

Tether stated their collaboration with the U.S. government in combating financial fraud within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. They emphasized their commitment to safeguarding users and eradicating illicit activities.

The investigation remains ongoing, and it’s unclear how the funds were recovered. An affidavit filed on Jan. 24 suggests that the funds were traced through intermediary addresses, likely to launder the proceeds.

 Banks Around the World Take Part in A Massive Blockchain Pilot Test

Since its inception, the Canton Network has had 155 participants from 45 major organizations settle real-world assets across 22 blockchains.

Major financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon, and Cboe Global Markets conducted a large-scale pilot test using blockchain technology.

According to a March 12 Bloomberg report, institutional investors executed over 350 simulated transactions via distributed ledger technology on the Canton network. The pilot test included 15 asset managers, 13 banks, four custodians, three exchanges, and the stablecoin issuer Paxos Trust.

The Canton Network announced on the same day that 155 participants from 45 major organizations demonstrated settlement across 22 permissioned blockchains connected to its ledger. They tried 22 decentralized applications (dApps) over four days.

The Canton Network is a privacy-enabled interoperable blockchain network for institutional investors, allowing them to move regulated assets, data, and cash in real-time.

Current participants include Deloitte, Deutsche Börse, Microsoft, Moody’s, and S&P Global.

Tokenization has gained significant interest from institutional investors and celebrities. The Hong Kong subsidiary of UBS tokenized an options call warrant of Xiaomi’s stock on Ethereum with local crypto exchange OSL. Argentine soccer legend Lionel Messi announced the release of a tokenized product in partnership with Join the Planet.

Valkyrie’s ETF Business Was Acquired by Coinshares

CoinShares, a European digital asset investment firm, has acquired Valkyrie Funds, including the sponsor rights to the firm’s spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

In addition, CoinShares has obtained Valkyrie Investments, the firm’s investment advisory business, and the sponsor rights for its physically-backed Bitcoin BTCUSD ETF, the Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund, as announced on March 12.

The acquisition price will be determined at the end of a three-year earnout period based on Valkyrie’s financial results. CoinShares will also manage Valkyrie’s other ETFs, such as the Valkyrie Bitcoin and Ether Strategy ETF, the Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF, and the Valkyrie Bitcoin Futures Leveraged Strategy ETF.

According to Jean-Marie Mognetti, CoinShares CEO, the United States is a critical market for global asset managers. Mognetti stated, “The Valkyrie acquisition is yet another step in our growth strategy with a special focus this time in the U.S.” The acquisition brings an additional $530 million AUM to CoinShares and broadens its product offerings, innovation capacity, and total addressable market.

CoinShares will begin rebranding Valkyrie and its products under its ecosystem following the acquisition. The acquisition, which CoinShares had the option to make since November 2023, is part of its plans to expand its asset management platform in the United States.

U.S CPI Reach an Unexpected Rise to 3.2% Annual Pace In February

V Last month, the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose faster than expected, reaching 3.2% year-over-year, higher than estimates of 3.1% and January’s 3.1%. The core rate, which excludes food and energy costs, slightly dipped to 3.8%, disappointing expectations of 3.7% and January’s 3.9%.

In February, the CPI increased by 0.4%, matching estimates and up from January’s 0.3%. The core CPI also rose by 0.4%, exceeding expectations of 0.3% and remaining unchanged from January’s 0.4%.

Following this data, the price of bitcoin (BTC) rose slightly to $72,000.

At the beginning of the year, markets anticipated around five or six rate cuts in 2024, starting as early as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s March meeting. However, strong economic growth and inflation figures above the Fed’s 2% target have led to a reduction in rate cut expectations. The first-rate cut is now expected to occur in the summer, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.

Despite the hawkish change in monetary policy outlook, bitcoin has continued to perform well, rallying 70% year-to-date to a new record high above $70,000, driven by high demand from spot ETFs.

Following the faster-than-expected CPI numbers, traditional markets experienced modest selloffs in U.S. stock index futures and bonds, along with a slight rally in the dollar. The price of gold decreased by 0.3% but remained near a record high at $2,180 per ounce.

Crypto Market Outlook

The global crypto market cap is $2.7 trillion, down by 0.05% in the last day.

The total crypto market volume in the past 24 hours is $147.01 billion, marking a 4.89% decrease. The volume in DeFi stands at $13.06 billion, accounting for 8.89% of the total crypto market volume. Stablecoins contribute $133.49 billion, comprising 90.81% of the total crypto market volume.

Bitcoin’s dominance is at 52.12%, down by 0.26% in the last day.

 

 

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