Hello everyone, it’s a fresh edition of our weekly newsletter.
This week, Bitcoin grabs most of the headlines, with a New Daily Transaction volume record, new tax policy by the US government to the gargantuan profits that Cashapp made from Bitcoin trading services to customers.
So, let’s dive into this week’s edition and explore what’s new in the world of crypto!
Top stories in the Crypto Roundup:
On Sunday, April 30, the Bitcoin network registered more than 568,300 transactions, a new daily record in its entire 14-year history. Bitcoin Ordinals, a novel feature introduced in January, played a pivotal role in this growth in transaction volumes.
According to data from Dune Analytics, over 307,000 of the 568,300 transactions recorded on Sunday were Ordinals, representing a 16% increase from the previous day’s record. This milestone means that Ordinals accounted for approximately 54% of Bitcoin’s daily transactions on the record day.
What are BTC Ordinals? Ordinals typically enable the inscription of various types of data, including audio, art, and video games, onto individual satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin. This process results in the creation of unique digital assets, akin to Ethereum-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
As of now, over 2.39 million Ordinals have been inscribed, according to Glassnode, which noted a “marked character shift” in Bitcoin mempools this year. Mempools store unconfirmed Bitcoin transactions, and it seems that text-based Ordinals inscriptions are on the rise.
The Bitcoin mempool is a term used to refer to the collection of unconfirmed transactions that have been broadcasted to the Bitcoin network and are waiting to be confirmed by the miners.
When a Bitcoin transaction is initiated, it is broadcasted to the Bitcoin network, where it is verified and added to the mempool of each node on the network. From there, miners select transactions from the mempool to include in the next block of transactions that they are trying to add to the blockchain.
Transactions that offer higher transaction fees are typically prioritized by miners, as they are incentivized to include transactions with higher fees due to the potential for greater rewards. This means that transactions with lower fees may have to wait longer before they are included in a block.
The size of the mempool varies depending on the number of unconfirmed transactions at any given time. During times of high transaction volume, the mempool can become congested, which can lead to longer wait times for transactions to be confirmed.
Bitcoin users can monitor the size of the mempool and estimated wait times for confirmation using various online tools and wallets. Some wallets also allow users to set custom transaction fees to help prioritize their transactions within the mempool.
Apart from Ordinals, Glassnode reported that the majority of Bitcoin transactions are monetary in nature, often facilitated by cryptocurrency exchanges.
“Importantly, Inscriptions represent approximately 30% to 40% of mined transactions — 10% to 20% of fees paid,” —Glassnode research
Bitcoin’s dominance, which measures the cryptocurrency’s share in the broader market, has experienced a sharp increase amid the ongoing instability in the U.S. banking sector. Since early March, the dominance rate has surged from 42% to nearly 49%, a 22-month high.
“Bitcoin dominance is the ratio between the market capitalization (market cap) of Bitcoin to the market cap of the entire cryptocurrency market. It’s also known as the Bitcoin dominance ratio and Bitcoin dominance index.” — Bybit Research.
Over the same period, the SPDR S&P regional banking exchange-traded fund (ETF), which aims to replicate the performance of an index derived from regional U.S. banks, has plummeted by 35%.
The banking crisis worsened in March as three U.S. banks – Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Signature Bank (SBNY), and Silvergate Bank (SI) – collapsed, raising fears of a systemic meltdown. First Republic Bank (FRCB) joined the list of failed banks, while PacWest Bancorp (PACW), a lender based in Los Angeles, saw its shares plunge by more than 60% on Wednesday.
Nevertheless, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has maintained that the banking sector is “sound and resilient.” The banking sector’s instability and banking stocks’ drop is driving Bitcoin’s market share higher, reflecting its growing appeal as a safeguard against the U.S. dollar’s erosion, comparable to gold and oil, Lewis Harland, portfolio manager at Decentral Park Capital, said.
With the dominance rate currently standing at 48.5%, having recently peaked at 48.9%, Harland believes that a breakout would signify continued BTC outperformance as BTC’s dominance is “looking to break its three-year oscillation pattern.”
Cash App strikes Gold with the Bitcoin Trading feature launched last year.
Fintech firm Block, headed by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has reported a $2.116 billion Bitcoin revenue from its flagship product, the Cash app, in the first quarter of the year. The firm’s BTC revenue was up 18% from $1.83 billion in Q4 2022.
Cash App’s total profits reached over $931 million in the first quarter of 2023, a 49% year-over-year increase. In comparison, Block’s gross profit amounted to $1.71 billion.
The shareholder letter attributes the multi-billion-dollar Bitcoin revenues to “an increase in the quantity of Bitcoin sold to customers,” which were “partially offset” by a decrease in the market price of Bitcoin compared to the same period in 2022.
The fintech firm reported earnings per share of 40 cents, surpassing analyst expectations of 35 cents per share by 14%, and a first-quarter revenue increase of 26% year-on-year.
Speaking to investors in the earnings conference call, Block CEO Jack Dorsey identified both artificial intelligence and “open protocols” as technologies that would aid the company in proactively responding to the “significant shifts” in the global financial system He cited continued United States bank failures and de-dollarization as the primary culprits.
The equities market took kindly to Block’s earnings filings. The fintech firm’s share price briefly surged 5% to $63.50 in after-hours trading, before settling down to a 2.5% gain at the time of publication.
Popular cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has announced the launch of a new assistant using artificial intelligence. Dubbed “Amy,” the exchange’s AI companion was created to inform users about the industry, including real-time token prices, projects, and historical events.
According to the exchange, Amy uses OpenAI’s ChatGPT as its base, and is currently in a pilot phase to “gather learnings” before expanding further.
“As with other businesses and sectors, we see incredible potential and opportunity in the convergence of AI with the crypto industry and our platform specifically.
We are excited to be testing this emerging technology through our Amy pilot project. We are bullish on the innovation of AI in crypto, and we look forward to continuing to enhance the utility of Amy and deploy additional AI-powered capabilities. —Abhi Bisarya, EVP, Product at Crypto.com.
However, Amy will not provide financial or investment advice, and as this is a pilot in its Beta phase, the technology is still continuously learning. Learnings from this pilot will be applied to Amy’s continued rollout, as well as future AI-powered projects from Crypto.com.
Building the ecosystem has been a priority focus for Crypto.com from the start. We double downed on our commitments to building and responsible innovation, and Amy is the latest example of our incredible momentum.” —Kris Marszalek, Chief Executive Officer of Crypto.com.
The move sees Crypto.com join other cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets that have been integrating AI into their platforms. OKX has, for example, recently launched an AI algorithm to capture crypto market volatility, while Binance has launched a ChatGPT-based assistant for general crypto knowledge.
The launch of Amy follows a number of significant and exciting product launches from Crypto.com in recent months, including UpDown Options from Crypto.com | Derivatives North America (a CFTC-regulated exchange) for US users, its first on-chain staking solution for the Crypto.com Exchange for users in certain jurisdictions, and the GEN 3.0 Crypto.com Exchange.
Bitdeer Technologies Group, a prominent cryptocurrency mining technology company, and Druk Holding & Investments (DHI), the commercial arm of the Royal Government of Bhutan, have formed a strategic partnership to develop eco-friendly, carbon-free digital asset mining operations in Bhutan.
The two companies plan to establish a closed-end fund, estimated at up to $500 million, to raise capital for greenfield operations in Bhutan, with fundraising set to commence at the end of May.
The funds will be allocated to constructing data centers, acquiring cutting-edge technology, and investing in strategic areas such as renewable energy assets, green ammonia, hydrogen fuel economy, and emerging technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning systems.
The carbon-free digital asset mining operations are a significant expansion for Bitdeer in Asia, supplementing the company’s existing data centers in Northern Europe and North America, and align with the kingdom of Bhutan’s ambitious plans to expedite its digital transformation.
In a bid to address the societal and environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining, President Joe Biden’s administration is proposing a targeted tax on the industry, according to a post on the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) blog.
The suggested tax, dubbed the Digital Asset Mining Energy tax, would be equivalent to 30% of a mining company’s energy costs, potentially cutting into the profitability of such businesses. The CEA post argues that cryptocurrency mining operations do not currently bear the full cost of their impact on the environment and local communities.
This impact, it argues, includes pollution, higher energy prices, and increased greenhouse gas emissions. The CEA argues other energy-intensive industries wouldn’t be hit with the new tax, as it contends that crypto mining “does not generate the local and national economic benefits typically associated with businesses using similar amounts of electricity.”
If implemented, the tax is expected to generate up to $3.5 billion in revenue over the next decade. Major U.S. mining companies that would be affected by the tax include Riot Platforms (RIOT), Marathon Digital (MARA), Cipher Mining (CIFR), Greenidge Generation (GREE), BitDeer (BTDR), and CleanSpark (CLSK).
In March, the administration’s Council of Economic Advisers also published a report highlighting broader concerns with the cryptocurrency mining industry.
The proposed tax is likely to face opposition in the Republican-controlled House, as Congressional Republicans have in the past resisted attempts to impose penalties on the crypto sector.
UK-based fintech firm Revolut has announced a strategic alliance with web-based cryptocurrency tracking and tax reporting software provider Koinly, which allows users to calculate their capital gains and losses for tax reporting purposes.
This partnership allows Revolut’s 28 million users to take advantage of Koinly’s expertise in reporting transactions across more than 1,700 tokens, 170 supported blockchains, and 100 wallets in 34 markets.
Revolut users can access Koinly’s services through the app’s Crypto section, with potential discounts of up to 60% available based on the number of crypto transactions they have made.
The agreement has been in the works since the beginning of 2023, according to Jane McEvoy, global head of partnerships at Koinly. More than 50 global partners are integrated into the service, allowing the business to meet the needs of customers in a variety of jurisdictions with varying cryptocurrency tax regulations.
Danny Talwar, head of tax at Koinly, noted that as tax authorities across the globe focus on the industry, more and more people are turning to crypto tax software.
Previously, Talwar emphasized the value of crypto tax services for enabling Americans to engage in “tax loss harvesting.” Ahead of the April 2023 U.S. tax deadline, Talwar advised taxpayers to take advantage of the current bear market in cryptocurrencies.
|Name (Ticker)||Price ($)||7-day Growth (%)||Market Cap|
|RSK Infrastructure Framework (RIF)||$0.16||+28.92%||$152.09M|
|MX Token (MX)||$2.93||+26.38%||$293.6M|
|Name (Ticker)||Price ($)||7-day Drop (-%)||Market Cap|
Here’s where we’ll leave it for this week. Catch up with us again next week.
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