Market Overview Market Overview by Josh Burke, DeFi Trader
Crypto Round up
In recent news, the mining difficulty of the Bitcoin network was reduced by 1.45% over the week ending May 4th, after increasing for five weeks in a row. Additionally, daily transactions for Bitcoin hit a record high of 682,000, as BRC-20 fungible tokens gain popularity.
Ethereum's gas fee has surged to a 12-month high due to the meme-coin frenzy in the market. However, Ethereum developers have outlined their plans for the Dencun network upgrade, with the core feature being EIP-4844 or Proto-Danksharding. This upgrade aims to make Layer 2 transactions significantly cheaper.
The total AUM for digital asset investment products rose to $35.6B in April, marking the 5th consecutive month of growth.
DEUS Finance recently lost $6M following a stablecoin hack, while Lido surpassed 6M ETH deposits due to the Shanghai upgrade that spurred a net inflow of 105,644 ETH. Additionally, the trading volume of Bitcoin Ordinals exceeded $9.2M, a record high.
PEPE's spot trading volume in the past 24 hours exceeded $2.7B, second only to USDT, BTC, ETH, and USDC. Several New York lawmakers have thrown their weight behind New York's Crypto Regulation, Protection, Transparency, and Oversight (CRPTO) Act since New York Attorney General Letitia James proposed the bill on May 5th.
SushiSwap has rolled out the V3 liquidity pool on 13 chains, while Uniswap's active users hit a high since May 2021, with Uniswap-related contracts burning more than 15,000 ETH in the past seven days (taken from May 8th).
It seems that cosmos hub staking may soon be revamped following the latest proposal to remove the 21-day unbonding period for liquid-staked tokens.
Binance has paused Bitcoin withdrawals for the second time in 24 hours on May 7, citing network congestion. The number of ordinal inscriptions surpassed 3M as of May 3rd, but currently stands at 4.3M, producing daily fees north of $2.7M, with total fees to date coming in at around $14M.
The White House has outlined its focus on digital identity infrastructure and distributed ledger technologies in new tech standards. On the other hand, US regulatory guidance for stablecoins isn't likely to be forthcoming in the absence of action by Congress, according to a Treasury official.
Finally, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has stated that there are "simply no good options" for solving the debt limit stalemate in Washington other than Congress lifting the cap. She also cautioned that resorting to the 14th Amendment would provoke a constitutional crisis.
Graph of the Week: ETH Gas Fees on Fire
The Ethereum network is no stranger to high gas fees, but such instances have become increasingly rare since the shift from the proof-of-work (PoW) protocol to the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. According to available blockchain data, Ethereum’s average transaction fee was around $1.9 at the beginning of the year, and steadily rose to $4 by February. At the time of writing, the average transaction fee is roughly $19. The resurgence of high gas fees may be attributed to a surge in meme coin hype, which sparked intense network activity and clogged the system over the weekend.
NFT Markets NFT Markets by Matthew Linares, Senior Analyst
Alibaba Enter Web3
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced its entry into the Web3 space by unveiling its new Web3-compatible platform, Open Sesame. The platform will serve as a hub for decentralized applications (dApps), NFTs,Defi services, helping users navigate and interact with the decentralized internet. Open Sesame aims to democratize access to Web3 services and enhance user experience by integrating blockchain technology with Alibaba's currently existing infrastructure.
Alibaba's venture into the Web3 ecosystem has been met with great enthusiasm from crypto and blockchain enthusiasts, as it represents a significant step forward for the mainstream adoption of decentralized technologies. This announcement comes just a few months after Alibaba’s biggest competitor Amazon, announced they will be expanding their marketplace into Web3 as well. Open Sesame will allow Alibaba's extensive user base to explore new opportunities within the Web3 sphere, including digital asset ownership, decentralized trading, and peer-to-peer lending.
In our opinion, the launch of Open Sesame demonstrates Alibaba's commitment to embracing the future of the internet and adapting its business model to remain at the forefront of technological innovation. As more major corporations recognize the potential of Web3, decentralized technologies seem poised to become increasingly integrated into everyday life, paving the way for a more secure, transparent, and user-controlled internet experience.
Latest News: Curated by Sam Eisner, Associate
Sports Illustrated Tickets (SI Tickets) announced Box Office, a new NFT ticketing platform built on Polygon, an Ethereum scaling network. The move marks the sports media brand's entry into primary ticket sales alongside its SI Tickets secondary marketplace that launched in 2021.
The German arm of Deloitte Consulting announced a deal with decentralized identity (DiD) firm BOTLabs, the developer of the KILT Protocol, a public blockchain for verifiable credentials. Deloitte has integrated KILT’s blockchain technology into its know-your-customer (KYC) and know-your-business (KYB) processes. The reusable credentials are for various compliance applications, including banking, decentralized finance (DeFi) and age verification, such as for purchasing alcohol.
Digital bank Revolut, which already offers crypto investments across Europe, is now open for business in Brazil. Revolut is making its first foray into Latin America, attempting to tap into Brazil's growing demand for crypto assets.
Deloitte integrates blockchain for digital credentials: Deloitte has integrated blockchain-based KILT Protocol technology to streamline its typically inefficient verification processes, allowing customers to store their verification credentials in a digital wallet. The move aims to enhance the efficiency of KYC and KYB processes, safeguard consumer data privacy, and facilitate various use cases such as regulatory compliance and age verification, with Deloitte retaining the ability to modify credentials if required.
The U.K. government's tax branch, His Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), announced it will be consulting crypto stakeholders for the next eight weeks on its plan. The new framework proposes that capital gains tax charges for DeFi lending or staking be triggered only with some activities – and not for all transactions.
The U.S. SEC has been ordered by a U.S. court to respond to cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase's complaint over how it applies securities laws to digital assets. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals said in a recent filing that the SEC must file its response within 10 days. Coinbase may then file a response seven days thereafter. Coinbase last week argued that the SEC is providing insufficient regulatory guidance for U.S. companies operating in the crypto sector, saying that the commission must "at a minimum must set forth how those inapt and inappropriate requirements are to be adapted to digital assets."
Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council adopted a National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria. A strategy document outlines a key driver being a desire to diversify the economy to reduce its dependence on the oil and gas sector. However, much of the focus is on the adoption of DLT by the public sector.
The U.S. SEC has deleted its once-proposed definition of "digital assets" from its final hedge fund reporting rules. "We proposed adding 'digital assets' as a new term to the Form PF Glossary of Terms. The Commission and staff are continuing to consider this term and are not adopting 'digital assets' as part of this rule at this time," the SEC said last week in its final Form PF rules document.
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