‘Anarchy’, but with a ‘contemporary twist’. Crypto is summed up in these two phrases. Each and every hour, day, and week brings with it fresh crypto news. To our delight! We have included everything in our news summary. Sit down, put down your drinks, and get ready, gentlemen.
We could possibly have a first ever negative halving for most Bitcoin miners, Plus, Ripple’s latest lawsuit victory, plus the company diving into tokenization of real estate One major banking institution also made an interesting call for BTC’s future, Coinbase benefiting the most from ETF fillings, Elon Musk’s new AI endeavor, and more!
Bitcoin Halving to Slice Miners’ Revenues?
A once-every-four-years event that rewrites the core code of the largest cryptocurrency in the world has crypto fans hoping for a continuation of the present market boom. But the event could be the final trump card for some Bitcoin miners.
Bitcoin’s price has traditionally risen exponentially after “the Halving”. According to Bloomberg data, the token rose about 8,450%, 290%, and 560% a year after the last three events in 2012, 2016, and 2020 respectively. Halvings, as the name suggests, is like slicing a cake in half, with the amount of Bitcoin miners can earn by confirming blockchain transactions with energy-intensive computers. The expected April 2024 halving will reduce miners’ rewards to 3.125 Bitcoin per block, or $94,438, from 6.25 or $188,876.
Miners have been pretty clever in dealing with the revenue loss when the rewards are cut. They’ve been riding the wave of Bitcoin’s price rallies after each halving, and they’ve also been upgrading their mining rigs to work smarter and faster. It’s like a double whammy of strategies keeping their profits up.
But uh-oh, it is not looking good for some as it seems like the mining economics for the upcoming halving are causing some concern. They’re looking even more troubling than in the past. According to Jaran Mellerud, a crypto-mining analyst at Hashrate Index, almost half of the miners are gonna be in a tough spot. Their mining operations are not as efficient and cost them more. Ouch! “If you count in everything, the total cost for certain miners is well above Bitcoin’s current price,” said Wolfie Zhao, head of research at TheMinerMag, a mining consultancy BlocksBridge research arm. “Many less efficient miners will lose money.”
In the meantime, the costs of production for miners have increased in parallel with the prices of power, and the debt burdens that many of them are carrying have grown unsustainable. According to TheMinerMag, 14 publicly-listed miners spent $7,200 to $18,900 to mine one BTC in Q1 2023. According to JPMorgan estimates, BTC halving will double mining costs to $40,000.
Ripple Part 1: Ripple Roars Through SEC Lawsuit
In a shocking turn of events, Ripple Labs just recently bagged a victory over the SEC, as the US Court deemed that the company didn’t break any securities laws when they sold their XRP token on public exchanges.
The three year long drama — seemingly longer than most telenovelas just concluded last Thursday, giving the crypto community something worth celebrating during a rather consolidated market. This gave crypto a much clearer path towards possibly gaining better and well-defined regulations enroute to mass adoption.
XRP surged in price with this massive news almost doubling in value in less than a day since the verdict was revealed. Additionally, major exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken had relisted the token following the positive outcome. Other altcoins like ETH, SOL, and ADA rose in value to as much as 50%.
The case has seen its fair share of dramatic intrigue over the past three years, including the revelation of the “Hinman Documents” and persistent resistance in the face of the SEC’s claims from Garlinghouse.
Ripple Part 2: Tokenized Real Estate — Ripple’s Next Frontier
Ripple Labs has made an announcement on a new endeavor to revolutionize the real estate industry through the use of tokenization. The increasing worldwide interest in CBDCs was recently noted in a tweet by Ripple’s CBDC advisor Anthony Welfare, who also stated that the Ripple team is concentrating on practical applications for CBDCs and stablecoins.
Welfare presented a significant use case including the integration of the electronic Hong Kong dollar (e-HKD), tokenized real estate, and finance lending protocols at a recent fintech conference in Romania. This cutting-edge pilot venture will employ Ripple’s CBDC platform to enable users to tokenize real estate as collateral for loans.
Tokenization has garnered widespread interest across industries. This unique method converts real estate, artwork, and intellectual property into blockchain-secured digital tokens. The acceptance and execution of tokenization, on the other hand, can be subject to regulatory issues and call for compliance with local legislation. As it develops, not only do regulatory concerns need to be addressed, but also worries over the safety of tokenized assets.
Bitcoin to $120k in 2 years?
Standard Chartered, a big bank from the UK, believes that the price of Bitcoin will go up significantly. The company now predicts that it will reach $120,000 by the end of 2024 possibly being a 300% increase from its current price. Sounds absurd, but hey, we all love some positive and rocket-like predictions, right?
According to a report by Geoff Kendrick, the global head of research and chief strategist, BTC/USD is expected to reach $50,000 by 2023, then $120,000 by the end of next year. Kendrick believes the reason is due to supply dynamics. As miners spend more resources to maintain the network, they are also selling less BTC creating an imbalance between supply and demand, which will benefit the bulls.
Bitcoin has increased by 82% so far this year. It went from $16,600 on January 1 to $30,500 at the time of writing. The recent increase in prices has been good for the industry’s revenue, which was going down in 2022. Arthur Hayes, the former CEO of BitMEX, believes that the continuous advancements in technology worldwide will cause the price of BTC to skyrocket. Additionally, Hayes believes that AI will choose Bitcoin as its currency because of its uniqueness and complexity.
Coinbase Shares Surges on ETF Boost
Coinbase’s stock price has risen at above 50% in the past month despite the company being in the middle of a contentious court dispute. The SEC filed a lawsuit against Coinbase in early June. The crypto giant is being sued for allegedly conducting business as an unregistered national securities exchange and dealer since at least 2019.
TradingView data shows that in slightly over a month, Coinbase shares had risen by 51%. The price of the stock rose from around $52 on June 6 to $78.7 on July 7. This massive stock price increase reflects the market’s confidence in Coinbase’s ability to weather the SEC litigation and keep its dominant position in the cryptocurrency space.
Of course, this surge also saw stakeholders selling their shares including Coinbase high ranking employees with CEO Brian Armstrong, selling 88,058 shares on July 6 for a total of roughly $6.9 million. SEC records show that Coinbase board member Gokul Rajaram sold 4,580 shares, chief legal officer Paul Grewal sold 1,818, and chief accounting officer Jennifer Jones sold 7,335. Jones had already made $5.2 million on the sale of 74,375 Coinbase shares on June 29.
Ready, Set, Google for Blockchain Games
It seems like Google had given developers and NFT enthusiasts the green light. Last Wednesday, Google’s group product manager Joseph Mills stated that the company had amended its mobile software marketplace policy letting developers include virtual goods like NFTs in their games distributed through the Google Play Store.
This shift is in reaction to the increasing demand for NFTs and other tokenized digital assets, which provide users with unique and interesting services. Google gave hints of this happening earlier this year, and it’s finally happening: the search giant is collaborating with Web3 game developers like Mythical Games.
Developers must be forthright with users about tokenized digital assets, according to the new policy, as stated by Mills. They are obligated to make it transparent whether their app or game offers tokenized digital assets for sale or allows users to earn such assets. Furthermore, creators are not permitted to advertise or otherwise highlight the possibility of financial gain through gaming or trade. Perhaps, developers and creators have to downplay the play-to-earn tag for these games.
Although Google Play has modified its constraints, Apple’s App Store is largely unaltered. Most NFT developers would not agree with Apple’s cautious position on the digital asset ecosystem, which includes imposing additional fees on NFT sales.
Musk Unmasks xAI
After months of teasing, Elon Musk finally announced the launch of xAI, an artificial intelligence chatbot with the stated mission of “understanding the true nature of the universe.”
Members of the xAI team have previously worked on projects such as DeepMind’s AlphaCode and OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 chatbots. They have also previously worked at Google Research, Microsoft Research, Twitter, and Tesla. Musk appears to be setting up xAI as direct competition for established players in the chatbot market, such as OpenAI, Google, and Anthropic.
According to the Financial Times, Musk was talking to Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. investors about funding an AI firm in April. The tycoon bought thousands of Nvidia Corp. processors for the project, as per the report. Musk was among a group of scholars and tech industry heavyweights that advocated for developers to pause the developments of these powerful AI models earlier this year. Maybe this is his way of catching up, right? Hmm.
Celsius Ex-CEO detained at last
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reported Thursday that Alex Mashinsky, co-founder and former CEO of failed crypto lender Celsius, was detained in New York.
Coincidentally, almost one year to the day after Celsius declared bankruptcy with a $1.19 billion deficit, the 57-year-old was detained on Thursday and accused with six charges, including wire fraud. Federal agencies including the SEC, CFTC, and FTC all sued Mashinsky and the corporation for various violations.
Celsius collapsed last year along with other prominent crypto businesses. The company became popular by offering high interest rates on digital-asset deposits. However, after the TerraUSD stablecoin collapsed and digital-asset markets plummeted, the firm was unable to handle consumer withdrawals.
Former Celsius chief revenue officer Roni Cohen-Pavon was also indicted on four counts, including fraud. The Manhattan indictment filed Thursday alleges that Mashinsky “orchestrated a scheme to defraud customers of Celsius Network LLC and its related entities” from 2018 through June 2022.
SEC acknowledges ETF Applications
Big news! The SEC has given the green light to BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF application. This means we’re one step closer to having the first-ever Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. This could indicate that the regulator is taking it seriously by adding it to their list of proposed rulemaking filings for the Nasdaq stock market.
BlackRock’s powerful presence in the asset management world makes this signal a big deal! It could be a hint that more big players will start embracing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Just one day after the BlackRock decision, the SEC was like, “Hold up, we’ve got more Bitcoin ETF applications to add to our collection!” WisdomTree, VanEck, Fidelity, and Invesco Galaxy all made the cut.
Europe’s inaugural Bitcoin ETF, proposed by Jacobi Asset Management, is set to debut this month. The Financial Times reports a 12-month delay from the original planned date.
Over the past several days, we’ve witnessed major news and events that could shape and affect crypto’s future. While there was news that we may deem as troublesome including next year’s bitcoin halving being unprofitable, we also saw other major wins for our community with Ripple winning its case against the SEC, plus the firm aiming to tokenize houses. We’ve also seen Google opening their arms to blockchain gaming, as well as seeing a new major AI player in town courtesy of Elon Musk.
Ripple’s recent victory and the SEC acknowledging ETF applications hint at an upcoming bull market bound to happen at any given moment. Institutional adoption seems likely, adding to the indicators for the next bull run.
What has happened thus far may only be a taste of what is to come in the crypto industry. Don’t forget to follow us so we can keep you updated with news like this!
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