Welcome to the AsicZ Weekly Wednesday Roundup for June 21st, 2023. In this edition, we highlight the latest developments in the cryptoverse, including Bitcoin’s new high for June, the potential impact of China’s economic stimulus on digital assets, the launch of a new exchange backed by major financial institutions, the increasing concerns over theft and hacking, and the imprisonment of Do Kwon. We also discuss Bitcoin’s market dominance reaching 50% for the first time in two years and the warning issued by the Canadian Securities Administrators regarding “fictitious” regulatory stamps used by some firms. Stay informed with our roundup of the most significant news in the cryptoverse.
The price of Bitcoin reached a new high for June, surging over 5% to $28,002.18, its highest level since early May. This increase came as more financial incumbents signaled their commitment to cryptocurrencies. The positive sentiment in the market began with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, filing an application for the first-ever spot Bitcoin ETF in the US. Additionally, a new crypto exchange backed by Charles Schwab, Fidelity Digital Assets, and Citadel Securities announced its live trading for Bitcoin and Ethereum. With major players like BlackRock and Fidelity displaying their commitments, investors are optimistic that the reputational risk associated with crypto businesses could diminish. Despite facing a narrow trading range, Bitcoin has gained 69% this year and continues to show resilience.
The price of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other top digital assets has been volatile amidst rumors of a secret U.S. alliance to destroy crypto. While Bitcoin has experienced a rally this year, its momentum has recently stalled, leading to a Coinbase warning. As the U.S. Federal Reserve signals more interest rate hikes and a $1.1 trillion economic shock, expectations are rising that China’s economic stimulus package could inflate various assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB, XRP, Cardano, Dogecoin, Tron, Solana, and Polygon’s Matic. China’s potential quantitative easing measures and their critical role in the global economy could have significant effects on the market.
EDX Markets, a crypto exchange backed by major financial institutions including Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and Citadel Securities, has launched trading for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Positioned as a “non-custodial” exchange, EDX aims to cater to institutional investors seeking crypto exposure while addressing concerns about centralized service providers. By using third-party custodians, EDX ensures customer assets are held securely, mitigating risks of hacking or fund misappropriation. EDX plans to launch a clearinghouse later this year to facilitate trade settlements. The launch of EDX follows BlackRock’s filing for a spot Bitcoin ETF, signaling continued institutional interest in the crypto market. Additionally, EDX has attracted new investors in its second funding round, including Miami International Holdings and affiliates of DV Trading, GTS, GSR, and Hudson River Trading.
The rapid increase in theft has raised concerns among U.S. authorities, prompting intensified efforts to combat hackers and illicit crypto schemes. In 2022 alone, approximately $3.7 billion in digital assets was stolen, with North Korean state-sponsored cyber actors being the primary culprits in many cases. While there has been a slight decline in hacks this year compared to 2022, around $400 million of virtual currency was still stolen in the first quarter of 2023. The North Korean cyber actors have aggressively targeted the sector, taking advantage of its lack of understanding and regulation. Stolen funds have become a significant revenue source for North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program, posing a serious national security threat. The United States has taken enforcement actions, including imposing sanctions and seizing stolen assets, to counter North Korea’s cyber threats. Russia is also involved in crypto hacking to evade economic sanctions and finance projects deemed important for its national security. Efforts to combat hacks include imposing sanctions, indicting individuals, seizing domains, and cracking down on illicit crypto mixers. While cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated, law enforcement and tracing tools are also improving to track and block their activities.
Do Kwon, a co-founder of Terraform Labs, has been imprisoned in Montenegro for falsifying documents. Kwon’s attempt to create a stablecoin tied to the value of the US dollar resulted in a $40 billion loss for investors in May 2022. After evading responsibility and attempting to escape authorities, he was eventually found in Montenegro, where he had a close association with a local politician. Kwon’s detention was prompted by suspicious passports and a lack of entry records. He has been sentenced to four months in jail, which includes time already spent in custody. Authorities worldwide are interested in his case, as he faces lawsuits, arrest warrants, and fraud charges in various countries.
Bitcoin’s market dominance has surpassed 50% for the first time in two years, with its share of the total market cap reaching the milestone. The surge in dominance is attributed to Blackrock’s filing for a Bitcoin spot ETF and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s crackdown on the crypto industry, which has driven investors towards Bitcoin as a safe haven. Currently, Bitcoin’s market capitalization stands at $519 billion, accounting for half of the $1.1 trillion total market cap. Ethereum, on the other hand, has maintained a market dominance of around 20%. Bitcoin advocate Michael Saylor predicts that Bitcoin’s dominance will exceed 80% in the future, leading to the rationalization of the industry.
The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) has issued a warning about crypto trading service providers that are using “fictitious” regulatory stamps and dispute resolution entities to appear legitimate. The CSA cautions Canadian citizens to double-check the credibility of these platforms, as some claim to be approved by regulatory authorities or dispute resolution organizations. The websites may initially seem credible, but closer inspection reveals awkward language, spelling, and grammar errors, indicating potential fraud. The CSA specifically mentioned entities such as the Financial Standard Commission FSC Canada, Financial Commission/Finacom PLC Ltd., and Blockchain Association as examples of “fictitious” regulatory bodies. The CSA advises individuals to independently verify the existence of referenced organizations and check the firms against those registered with the CSA before investing in crypto.
Those are the headlines for this week, visit the AsicZ blog for daily articles that keep you up to date with the latest information in the cryptoverse. In addition to being a trusted source for information and analysis, AsicZ is a leading provider of mining hardware and Mining as a Service (MaaS) solutions. They offer a wide array of equipment to meet the diverse needs of miners, whether they are individuals or large-scale operations. With their industry expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction, AsicZ ensures that miners have access to a smooth, transparent and reliable experience. Whether you’re a seasoned miner or just starting your journey, AsicZ.com is your one-stop destination for everything ASIC from A-Z.