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Bitcoin began the Tuesday business day in Asia past the $31,000 mark at $31,153 as the world’s largest digital asset rallied following the refiling of several prospective bitcoin ETF applications. The refiling of these applications has spurred enthusiasm in the market, leading to a significant rise in the value of Bitcoin, which currently makes up nearly half of the industry's $1.2 trillion market cap. In contrast, prices of NFTs are becoming disconnected from the price of ether as trading volume decreases, with the Bored Ape Yacht Club's NFT collection hitting a new low since October 2021. Despite the rough year for crypto in 2022, data from Messari shows that 2023 has been much more successful. During the first half of this year, major crypto assets were up an average of 34% compared to a decline of 56% for the same period last year. Bitcoin is up 84.6% compared to a nearly 60% fall for the first half of 2022. Stand-out performers include Bitcoin Cash, up 203%, and Solana, up 93%.
The recent trend in the cryptocurrency market involves betting on microcap tokens, which claim to be the successors of popular meme coins. New tokens such as pepe 2.0, floki 2.0, and bobo 2.0, imitating the well-known pepe, floki, and bobo tokens, have seen their trading volumes skyrocket into the millions of dollars, generating considerable liquidity and transforming minor investments into six-figure fortunes almost instantaneously. However, these tokens typically fade away within a few weeks. Despite this, anyone can issue tokens on blockchain platforms like Ethereum for a small cost, and they can be supplied with liquidity and traded almost immediately on decentralized exchanges. As of a recent Tuesday, pepe 2.0, the most popular of these knockoff tokens, had nearly $7 million traded in the past 24 hours and boasted a market capitalization of $18 million. Notably, one investor transformed a $900 investment in pepe 2.0 into over $176,000 in less than a day. Meanwhile, the original pepecoin (PEPE) continues to attract investors, extending gains of an approximately 80% rally over the past two weeks.
The UK's Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, designed to aid law enforcement agencies in seizing and freezing cryptocurrency involved in criminal activity, has been passed by the House of Lords. The legislation underwent amendments to include terrorism cases and measures enabling authorities to seize property that could help identify crime-related crypto. The bill also allows courts to order the seizure and freezing of crypto used for illicit purposes. This development is part of the government's three-year economic crime agenda launched in March, which includes the introduction of crypto tactical advisors to police departments across the nation. Once the bill is ratified by the House of Commons, it will need royal assent to become law. The bill is a response to the growing misuse of cryptocurrencies and UK company structures for money laundering and other criminal activities. The move is welcomed by the National Crime Agency, viewing it as a significant step towards combating such abuses.
Cameron Winklevoss, Gemini crypto exchange co-founder, has made a "final offer" in debt-restructuring discussions involving bankrupt digital asset firm Genesis, proposing a plan for $1.5 billion in forbearance payments and fresh loans. This marks the climax of prolonged negotiations. Winklevoss' open letter to Barry Silbert, founder of Digital Currency Group (DCG) which owns Genesis and Grayscale, criticizes DCG's delay in devising a satisfactory repayment plan for Genesis creditors, including Gemini's Earn program users. DCG has reportedly defaulted on a $630 million payment to Genesis. Winklevoss' proposal, involving payments and loans in dollars, bitcoin, and ether totaling $1.465 billion, has a deadline set for 4 p.m. on July 6. Winklevoss accuses DCG of exacerbating resolution delays, inflating professional fees to over $100 million, all paid to lawyers and advisors at the expense of creditors and Earn users. According to Winklevoss, about $1.2 billion is owed to Earn users. Failure to accept this deal could result in lawsuits against DCG and Silbert, and possibly push DCG into default with a "non-consensual" debt-repayment plan.
In June, the supply of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) on exchanges decreased due to intensified regulations and security concerns, causing holders to favor self-custody, according to a report from Goldman Sachs. The supply of BTC fell by 4%, reaching its lowest level since December 2022, while the supply of ETH dropped by 5.8% to levels unseen since May 2018. Regulatory pressures, cyber attacks, and the rise of staked Ether withdrawals were cited as key reasons for this shift. Meanwhile, June marked a record month for Bitcoin miners' inventory sales, with total BTC inflows from miners to exchanges nearly doubling from May to $99 million as miners capitalized on the cryptocurrency's robust performance. Transaction fees normalized in June after network congestion in May, leading to a rebound in monthly address activity for both Bitcoin and Ether. The report also highlighted an increase in new on-chain activity, with the daily average new address count for Bitcoin and Ether rising by 9.8% and 48.2% respectively compared to the previous month.