News Headlines (26th MAR 2024)

Crypto traders are seeking profit opportunities on the Base blockchain amid a meme coin-led frenzy for tokens issued on the network, several metrics show.

Base, built by crypto exchange Coinbase on OP Stack, went live for developers in August and initially saw muted growth. However, that has changed in the past few weeks, with funds locked on the network rising to nearly $1 billion on Tuesday from $450 million at the start of this month.

Blockchain scanners show that transactional activity is up threefold to over 1.5 million a day from an average of under 500,000 a day in the past few months. The number of unique addresses has doubled to 65,000 wallets.

As Bitcoin soars back above $70,000 per coin, another crypto investment is roaring alongside it: Coinbase stock. The publicly-traded exchange’s shares (COIN:NASDAQ) are trading at $279.65 a pop—the highest since November 2021, when the last crypto bull run was at its peak.

Over the past month, the company’s stock price has jumped by 44%, Nasdaq data shows. Zooming out further, the results are even more impressive: COIN is up 346% over the past year.

San Francisco-based Coinbase went public in April 2021. Its stock debuted at $381 but has mostly traded below $200 per share since 2022, thanks to the crypto bear market.

Lawyers for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) presented the image of Terraform Labs as a fraudulent empire in which “investors lost nearly everything” on the opening day of its civil trial.

According to a March 25 Reuters report, SEC attorney Devon Staren said in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that Terra was a “house of cards” that collapsed for investors in 2022. The civil trial kicked off more than a year after SEC officials filed a lawsuit against the blockchain firm in February 2023, alleging that Terra and its co-founder Do Kwon “orchestrat[ed] a multi-billion dollar crypto asset securities fraud.”

According to CryptoPotato, the cryptocurrency market is experiencing significant growth, with Bitcoin surpassing $71,000 and Ethereum rising above $3,600. Meme coins, particularly Shiba Inu (SHIB), are also performing well, with SHIB’s price increasing by 7% in 24 hours and 20% in a week.

Shibarium, Shiba Inu’s layer-2 scaling solution, has seen its daily transactions soar beyond 400,000, a 500% increase compared to the previous day. Launched in August last year, Shibarium aims to elevate Shiba Inu above its competitors by enhancing speed and reducing transaction fees. The platform has achieved several milestones, including surpassing 400 million total transactions.

Iceland’s allegiance with bitcoin miners might be about to change. Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland, has criticized the power used by bitcoin mining operations, vowing to divert part of this energy to strengthen the country’s food sovereignty.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Jakobsdóttir explained that the country was on a mission to achieve carbon neutrality and that renewable energy should be reallocated to power the 375,000 citizens of Iceland.

Jakobsdóttir explained that bitcoin and cryptocurrency, which use “a lot of energy,” were “not part of that mission.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has asked a New York judge to impose a nearly $2 billion fine against Ripple Labs, according to court filings.

On Monday, Stuart Alderoty, Ripple Labs’ chief legal officer, posted on social media that the SEC was asking for such a fine and that redacted versions of the court documents would be made public by March 26.

The SEC’s proposal asks the court to order Ripple Labs to pay $876 million in disgorgement, $198 million in prejudgment interest, and $876 million civil penalty, amounting to a total of $1.95 billion.

Despite a public invitation to return to the Bitcoin community, early Bitcoin investor Roger Ver is sticking with Bitcoin Cash (BCH)—and says layer-2 blockchains are off the mark.

Blockstream CEO and early Bitcoin developer Adam Back extended an olive branch to Ver after the latter’s book was published. In “Hijacking Bitcoin: The Hidden History of BTC,” Ver asserts that the original vision of Bitcoin has been corrupted. Ver spoke with Decrypt about the current state of Bitcoin Cash and his response to Back—and he’s not going back.

“The software development has been captured by a small group of insiders who completely inverted the original design,” he told Decrypt.

ARK Invest, the investment management firm founded by veteran investor Cathie Wood, started dumping large amounts of stock of the cryptocurrency-friendly broker-dealer Robinhood (HOOD).

On March 25, ARK dumped 1.6 million Robinhood shares from its three funds, according to a trade notification seen by Cointelegraph.

The amount is worth $31.5 million, based on HOOD’s closing price of $19.08 on Monday, according to data from TradingView.

The most significant portion — or 1,247,181 shares — was offloaded from the ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK), worth about $24 million. ARK also offloaded 275,933 and 128,137 HOOD shares from the ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW) and ARK Fintech Innovation ETF (ARKF), respectively.

According to BlockBeats, The Cook Capital announced on social media on March 26 that this Friday marks the largest quarterly options expiry in history, with 41% of BTC options and 46% of ETH options set to expire. The total value of the expiring options exceeds $15 billion, making it the largest quarterly settlement in both proportion and value.

The massive scale of this settlement will result in the release of a significant amount of margin, which could impact the current market structure. This event highlights the growing importance of options in the cryptocurrency market and may lead to increased volatility in the short term.

  1. Bitcoin Climbs Above $70,000, Marking a Stellar Recovery

For the first time since March 14, 2024, bitcoin (BTC) has risen above the $70,000 benchmark, marking 11 consecutive days of this achievement. Its price has climbed more than 7% in the past day and has seen a 4.2% increase over the past week. With its current value, bitcoin’s market cap has hit $1.38 trillion, accounting for 52% of the entire $2.64 trillion cryptocurrency market economy.

Currently, BTC is a mere 4.8% shy of breaking its all-time high of $73,794 set on March 14, 2024. Today’s peak price of $70,645 per unit represents a significant recovery from its low of $64,568 per BTC during the day’s trade. Bitcoin dominates $42 billion of the day’s $120 billion in global trade volume.