Weekly Insights 29/1/2024

January 29, 2024

SEC Accuses HyperFund Founders of $1.7 Billion Fraud
The SEC has levelled fraud charges against Xue Lee and Brenda Chunga for orchestrating a $1.7 billion HyperFund scheme, misleading investors worldwide through a purportedly profitable mining operation that turned out to be a pyramid.

Tether Achieves $2.9 Billion Q4 Profit and Bolsters Reserves to $5.4 Billion
Tether’s latest attestation reveals a substantial $2.9 billion profit in Q4 2023, alongside an impressive increase in excess reserves to $5.4 billion. This financial milestone underscores the stablecoin issuer’s robust performance and strategic investments.

Federal Reserve Rate Hold Leads to Bitcoin Price Decline

The Federal Reserve’s decision to hold interest rates at 5.25%-5.50% triggered a drop in Bitcoin’s price, illustrating the cryptocurrency’s immediate response to the central bank’s first rate pause in 2024. 

Bitcoin On-Chain Volume in January Hits Peak Since September 2022
Bitcoin’s on-chain transaction volume for January 2024 soared to $1.21 trillion, marking the highest monthly volume since September 2022. This resurgence in transaction activity, following a year of comparatively lower volumes, highlights a renewed market dynamism, potentially spurred by the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs and a consistent uptick in trading interest.

FTX to Fully Repay Customers Despite Halting Restart Plans
FTX, the bankrupt crypto exchange, has confirmed it will fully reimburse former customers, sidelining earlier considerations for a platform relaunch. This decision comes as a relief to stakeholders, indicating a focus on resolving creditor claims while acknowledging the complexities of asset valuation and investor interest in the exchange’s future.

Celsius Network Initiates $3 Billion Payout Post-Bankruptcy with New Mining Venture
Following its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Celsius Network commences a $3 billion distribution to creditors, blending cryptocurrency, fiat, and equity in Ionic Digital, a nascent bitcoin mining entity. 

Harvest Fund Eyes First Hong Kong Spot Bitcoin ETF
Harvest Fund Management has applied for a spot bitcoin ETF in Hong Kong, aiming to pioneer the city’s cryptocurrency ETF offerings. The move, part of broader efforts to embrace digital assets, includes talks on stablecoin trials with Hong Kong’s monetary authorities.

Bitcoin Mining Firm GRIID Debuts on Nasdaq
GRIID, a prominent bitcoin mining company, commenced trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker “GRDI” following its merger with Adit EdTech Acquisition Corp. This strategic move into the U.S. market aims to enhance GRIID’s visibility and expand its investor base.

Uncorrelated Ventures Launches $315M Fund for Crypto and Software Startups
Uncorrelated Ventures secures $315 million for a new fund dedicated to nurturing software and cryptocurrency startups, underscoring a confident investment stride despite the recent downturn in venture capital activity within the crypto sector. 

Solana Sets January Records in New Addresses and Transaction Volume
In January, Solana’s network experienced a surge, hitting a record with almost 12 million new addresses and reaching a multi-year high in transaction volume. This boost, fueled by active economic transactions, led to a significant price increase of its token, SOL, marking a 30% jump from December.

Vitalik Buterin Eyes Crypto-AI Synergies, Backs New Generation Leadership
Vitalik Buterin explores the crossroads of cryptocurrency and AI, highlighting their growing significance and innovation potential. He advises a careful approach to manage risks, finding a balance between technological progress and safety. Additionally, Buterin advocates for new leaders to guide the crypto realm’s future, emphasising the value of fresh perspectives in driving innovation and growth.

Ethereum’s Dencun Upgrade Successful on Sepolia Testnet, Eyes Mainnet Launch
Ethereum’s Dencun upgrade, a key step towards implementing proto-danksharding, has been successfully deployed on the Sepolia testnet, marking significant progress towards enhancing the network’s scalability and reducing transaction fees. This move brings Ethereum closer to a major scalability milestone, with the community eagerly anticipating its effects on the mainnet.

Polygon Labs Reduces Workforce by 19% Amidst Organisational Refocus
Polygon Labs announces a 19% reduction in its workforce, as CEO Marc Boiron emphasises the need to realign with the company’s mission following rapid expansion during the crypto bull market. 
XRP Suffers Price Dip Amid $113 Million Exploit of Ripple Co-founder’s Accounts
Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen’s disclosure of unauthorised access to his personal XRP accounts, involving a $113 million exploit, triggered a 4% dip in XRP’s price. This event not only affected Larsen’s holdings but also led to significant market repercussions, including the liquidation of over $4 million in leveraged XRP positions.

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