Impact of the Bitcoin halving on market dynamics

On Monday, Bitcoin experienced a rise after conducting its fourth halving the previous Friday, an event that halves the rewards for miners. This adjustment, which occurs every four years, aims to limit the currency’s supply and liken it to scarce resources like gold, aiming to maintain its value. Despite low expectations for immediate price changes, Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) and Ether (COIN:ETHUSD) registered increases of 2.90% and 1.30%, priced at $66,725 and $3,209, respectively. Additionally, the stocks of major public miners experienced gains. These large operations had already been preparing, acquiring more efficient equipment and increasing their capacity. Meanwhile, smaller miners face the risk of discontinuing their operations, which could lead to market consolidation.

Fidelity and BlackRock lead entries into Bitcoin ETFs, Grayscale records outflows

On April 19, Fidelity’s ETF (AMEX:FBTC) captured $54.8 million, the largest entry since April 10, totaling $8.141 billion. BlackRock’s ETF (NASDAQ:IBIT) also saw significant fund attraction, with $29.3 million, the largest amount since April 15, reaching a total of $15.421 billion. IBIT has now seen entries for 69 consecutive trading days. Meanwhile, Grayscale’s ETF (AMEX:GBTC) experienced an outflow of $45.8 million, its lowest since the same day, and Van Eck’s ETF (AMEX:HODL) had a slight outflow of $1.8 million, the first since March 4.

Bitcoin mining revenues soar after halving, boosted by token activity

Since the Bitcoin halving, miners have been earning about 19 BTC per block, three times more than before, mainly due to an increase in network fees. The Runes protocol has boosted this activity, enabling the recording and minting of tokens on the chain. Although daily revenues exceed $100 million, analysts at Bernstein warn that speculation around Runes tokens may be fleeting. Yet, the potential for fee revenue for miners is promising. After the Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) halving, the ViaBTC mining pool saw a notable increase in transaction fees, totaling $2.4 million. This adds to the block subsidy, resulting in a total of $2.6 million. On April 20, fees surpassed the subsidy for 104 consecutive blocks, a record. However, the total daily fee value, excluding newly minted coins, reached $80.8 million.

Hut 8 innovates with diversified business model after merger with USBTC

After its merger with US Bitcoin Corporation in November, Hut 8 (NASDAQ:HUT) presents a diversified business model and multiple revenue sources, as highlighted by the brokerage Benchmark in a recent report. Benchmark initiated coverage of the Bitcoin miner with a buy rating and a target price of $12, while the company’s shares were trading at $9.06, up 12.55%, at the time of writing. Hut 8 is now one of the leaders in Bitcoin mining, with diversification in self-mining, managed services, hosting, and high-performance computing, including AI.

GatlingX launches GPU-EVM, a high-performance Ethereum virtual machine

The GatlingX project, led by Oxford alumni specialized in machine learning and reinforcement learning, introduced the GPU-EVM. This new Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is touted as the most efficient to date, according to internal benchmarks. The GPU-EVM leverages the parallel processing of GPUs for simultaneous operations, significantly increasing transaction capacity. This advancement allows training AI agents to identify security flaws in smart contracts, with speeds nearly 100 times faster than traditional EVMs.

Shiba Inu raises $12 million to develop proprietary blockchain

The Shiba Inu ecosystem (COIN:SHIBUSD), which operates on the Ethereum blockchain and is known for the SHIB token, raised $12 million in a token sale to develop its own privacy-focused blockchain. The funding round saw participation from investors such as Comma 3 Ventures and Big Brain Holdings, among others. The new network, powered by fully homomorphic encryption, aims to offer greater privacy to users. The fundraising was organized by Shiba Inu Mint SA, based in Panama.

Ankr launches public testnet of Neura blockchain focused on AI

The Ankr Network (COIN:ANKRUSD) launched the public testnet of its Layer 1 Neura blockchain, dedicated to integrating artificial intelligence (AI) with blockchain and cloud computing technologies. Initially made available in March, Neura is designed to assist AI startups with challenges such as funding, access to GPU resources, and efficient data storage. Additionally, Ankr promoted an “AI innovators competition,” encouraging the development of decentralized applications and AI models on the platform, with prizes totaling $100,000 in ANKR tokens. The ANKR token will serve as the native cryptocurrency of Neura, rewarding users before the official launch of the mainnet later this year.

Developers of Celo propose switch to Ethereum Layer-2 solution on OP Stack

cLabs, the main developer of the Celo blockchain (COIN:CELOUSD), plans to migrate to the Ethereum Layer-2 solution on the OP Stack, following community approval in a governance vote. After an eight-month evaluation, the team opted for the OP Stack of the Optimism ecosystem (COIN:OPUSD), aiming to increase efficiency and maintain distinctive features. The Celo Layer-2 testnet is expected to be deployed in the third quarter of 2024, promising significant performance improvements, including reduced block time and increased throughput.

Polkadot parachains experience disruption after runtime update

The Polkadot (COIN:DOTUSD) parachains faced a brief disruption in block production on April 21, shortly after a runtime update of the network. Moonbeam, an Ethereum-compatible parachain, confirmed the incident, which lasted about an hour. While Dustin Lee of the DeStore Network attributed the problems to the 1.2 update, Bill Laboon from the Web3 Foundation noted that the update affected some wallets and interfaces, but without impact on staking. Despite this, the price of the DOT token rose 5.55% in the last 24 hours.

John Deaton represents Coinbase clients in legal dispute with the SEC

John Deaton, a lawyer and U.S. Senate candidate known for his defense of cryptocurrency, requested intervention in the case of Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN) against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as amicus curiae, representing “4,701 Coinbase clients.” The amicus curiae document, which supports the court with relevant information, was submitted last Friday. Deaton has previously contested SEC allegations in cases, including an action against Ripple in 2021. He is currently running for Senate, possibly facing Senator Elizabeth Warren, and has criticized SEC chairman Gary Gensler for his treatment of the cryptocurrency industry. Meanwhile, the legal battle between Coinbase and the SEC continues, with both sides recently submitting a case management plan approved by the judge.

Sam Bankman-Fried reaches agreement to end class action and focus on celebrities

Sam Bankman-Fried reached an agreement with a group of FTX clients who decided to withdraw a class action against him in exchange for his cooperation to prosecute celebrities who promoted the failed exchange. The agreement, submitted to a Miami court last Friday, awaits judicial approval. If accepted, it will exempt Bankman-Fried from present and future civil liabilities related to the collapse of FTX. In addition, Bankman-Fried committed to providing information and documents to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, aiding them in recovering losses and litigating against famous promoters and venture capital firms that supported FTX. This agreement comes shortly after Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison for fraud, a conviction from which he has appealed.

Solana token auction for FTX creditors

FTX creditors are encouraged to participate in an auction to sell remaining stakes in Solana tokens (COIN:SOLUSD). Unlike previous sales to institutional investors, Figure CEO Mike Cagney announced that the sale would take place via auction. Sunil Kavuri encouraged affected retail investors to enter the auction with a minimum of $5,000. Figure Markets will create a special investment vehicle to participate in the auction, accessible to accredited investors with a requirement to undergo an identity verification process (KYC). This vehicle will allow contributions in U.S. dollars, USD Coin, Bitcoin, and Ethereum, and will operate with a community consensus to set bids and manage the investment.

Mt. Gox administrator updates on Bitcoin and fiat refunds

Creditors of Mt. Gox received updates in their claim accounts, including details on refunds in bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and fiat currency, as reported by users on the Mt. Gox insolvency subreddit. The accounts now show the exact amounts and anticipated dates for the refunds. In addition, some creditors have confirmed receiving fiat refunds directly into their bank accounts, indicating progress in the long process of liquidating the exchange that suffered a major security breach in 2014.

Controversial launch of ZKasino: investors unhappy with fund transfer to Lido

The cryptocurrency casino ZKasino went live over the weekend, causing discontent among investors. They criticized the company for sending $33 million in user deposits to the Lido staking platform. ZKasino, which raised $26.2 million in March, promises fair gaming using technologies like zkSync and EigenDA, but its decision to convert deposited funds in Ether (COIN:ETHUSD) to its native token, ZKAS, sparked controversy.

Magic Eden launches beta platform for Bitcoin Runes

Magic Eden debuted a new beta platform for Bitcoin Runes on Monday, allowing exchanges for BTC and purchases of Runes and Ordinals directly with the Magic Eden wallet. The new feature, Swaps View, enables users to set a specific BTC amount to acquire Runes. Initially scheduled for April 23, the launch was moved up.

Binance executive captured in Kenya, awaits extradition to Nigeria

Kenyan authorities captured Nadeem Anjarwalla, a Binance executive sought by Nigeria. After a joint agency operation, he is expected to be extradited to face tax evasion charges. Anjarwalla, regional manager of Binance Africa, had previously fled legal custody using a Kenyan passport. The incident deepens the conflict between Binance and Nigerian authorities, who also detained another executive, Tigran Gambrayan, for alleged tax evasion.

U.S. Presidential candidate proposes placing national budget on public blockchain

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a candidate for the presidency of the United States, suggested during a rally in Michigan integrating the country’s budget into a public blockchain. He emphasized that this would increase transparency, allowing Americans to track every expenditure. While the proposal was well received by part of the cryptocurrency community, some critics claim it aims to promote his agenda of central bank digital currency (CBDC). Kennedy, known for supporting Bitcoin, has previously expressed concerns about CBDCs, describing them as a threat to civil rights.

Bitcoin advocates in Switzerland seek inclusion of cryptocurrency in National Bank reserves

The nonprofit organization 2B4CH is leading a campaign to pressure the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to adopt Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) in its reserves. Led by Yves Bennaïm, they seek a national referendum to amend the Swiss constitution. While they face challenges in collecting signatures, support comes from Luzius Meisser of Bitcoin Suisse and politicians like Joana Cotar, while SNB president Thomas Jordan remains skeptical about Bitcoin.

Thailand blocks unauthorized cryptocurrency platforms to strengthen law enforcement

In an effort to combat online crime, Thai authorities decided to block access to unauthorized cryptocurrency platforms. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand (SEC) will provide information to the Ministry of Economy and Society Digital to block access to these platforms. Users will be notified and have time to withdraw their assets before the blockade takes effect, following similar decisions adopted by other countries such as India and the Philippines.

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