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Bitcoin, Binance, Ethereum, Solana and Ripple: The biggest crypto news from last week

Mon 22 Apr 2024 ▪ 9 min of reading ▪ by Luc Jose A.
Getting informed Invest

From groundbreaking announcements, technological advancements, and regulatory upheavals, the crypto ecosystem continues to prove that it is a territory of limitless innovation and a battlefield of regulatory and economic struggles. Here is a summary of the most significant news from the past week regarding Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance, Solana, and more.

Hong Kong Opens the Way for Crypto ETFs

On April 15, 2024, Hong Kong marked a major advancement in the digital asset industry by approving the first Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) for Bitcoin and Ethereum. This approval, granted by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), constitutes a significant milestone for positioning the region as an indispensable financial center for cryptocurrencies in Asia. Entities such as China Asset Management, Bosera Asset Management, and HashKey were the first beneficiaries of this new regulation, allowing them to offer regulated and secure crypto investments without investors needing to physically hold the assets.

The SFC has imposed strict compliance and surveillance conditions for these ETFs, in order to maintain safety and integrity standards equivalent to those of traditional financial instruments. This initiative illustrates Hong Kong’s commitment to innovation in the financial sector while providing a regulated environment that attracts both institutional and individual investors. A move that should not only protect investors but also reinforce Hong Kong’s position as a global hub in the financial and technological realm.

Ethereum Propels DeFi to New Heights

During the first quarter of 2024, the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector recorded an impressive resurgence, with a total value locked (TVL) exceeding 100 billion dollars, mainly driven by initiatives around Ethereum. This rebound follows a downturn characterized by declining crypto prices until the end of 2023, but the situation began to improve significantly with the increase in the price of Ethereum and the introduction of liquidity buyback strategies by key market players.

Staking methods, particularly liquid staking offered by protocols such as Lido, have played a crucial role in this recovery. These practices allow users to earn interest on their assets while retaining their liquidity. In addition, innovations like EigenLayer, which enable Ethereum multi-staking, have increased potential yields and attracted substantial investments, propelling the TVL of this protocol to 12 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2024, thus reflecting the DeFi sector’s regained resilience and vibrancy.

Binance Dominates the Expanding Crypto Market

In the first quarter of 2024, the cryptocurrency market reached a record market capitalization of 2.9 trillion dollars, marking a 64.5% increase from the previous quarter. This explosive growth is mainly due to the approval of Bitcoin Spot ETFs in the United States, which drove the price of Bitcoin to a new all-time high of 73,098 dollars. Concurrently, Ethereum experienced a significant increase in restaking activity, especially through the EigenLayer protocol, contributing to a significant TVL in the DeFi sector.

Binance solidified its dominant position in the centralized exchange market, controlling 50% of the market share at the end of March 2024. The continuous influx of new sign-ups and project launches on its platform has propelled the total spot transaction volume to unprecedented levels. Moreover, assets such as Solana’s memecoins experienced meteoric growth, increasing market capitalization and revitalizing the NFT sector, where platforms like Magic Eden have gained the upper hand over historical players.

Solana Deploys a Crucial Update Against Congestion

Solana has recently launched a significant update to its mainnet, version 1.17.31, aimed at effectively combating persistent network congestion issues. This update introduces the Stake-Weighted Quality of Service (SWQOS) feature, which prioritizes transactions from staked validators, allocating 80% of the processing capacity to this prioritization. This innovation promises to significantly improve network performance by reserving the remaining 20% for general transactions, thus allowing more efficient and equitable operation handling.

This update is expected not only to improve transaction reliability and smoothness for all users but also to strengthen stability for developers on the Solana blockchain. Anza, a company from Solana Labs, strongly encourages validators to adopt this update to fully benefit from the improvements, with plans already in preparation for subsequent versions like 1.18, which will continue to optimize network performance management. This series of updates could well be a turning point for Solana.

Bitcoin Halving 2024: It’s Done!

The highly anticipated Bitcoin halving took place on April 20, 2024, a major event in the world of cryptocurrencies that saw miners’ rewards for each mined block cut in half, from 6.25 to 3.125 BTC. This event significantly decreases the number of new bitcoins generated each day, from 900 to 450 bitcoins. Historically, halvings tend to lead to significant price increases due to the reduced supply against sustained demand. This phenomenon is anticipated by many experts who envision a new bullish cycle for bitcoin. Some of them even predict that the price could reach 122,000 dollars by the end of 2024, partly due to the influence of institutional capital and the recent success of Bitcoin ETFs.

In addition to the immediate implications for prices, the halving symbolizes four years of remarkable progress for Bitcoin since its last halving in 2020. Bitcoin adoption has exploded, as evidenced by a 40% increase in daily trading volumes and a multiplication of bitcoin holder addresses. These developments highlight not only the growing interest in Bitcoin but also its consolidation as a credible and increasingly mainstream investment asset.

Runes Shakes the Bitcoin Network after the Halving

The launch of the Runes protocol has caused significant congestion on the Bitcoin network, particularly noticeable immediately after the halving on April 20, 2024. Indeed, the Halving coincided with the adoption of the Runes protocol, which dramatically increased transaction fees to a peak of 18.62 BTC. This situation is simply the result of intense competition between users and mining pools to record rare assets on the first block mined after the new protocol launch, block 840,000, which cost 37.7 BTC in transaction fees, a historic record.

The economic impact of Runes on the network has engendered a new dynamic which, according to some users, could offset the reduction in mining rewards due to the halving.

XRP: A Staggering Ascent of 1,500%

XRP has seen a spectacular increase of 1,500% over its seven years of existence, according to David Schwartz of Ripple, who is delighted with the recent performance of this crypto. Since its inception in 2012, XRP has navigated the highs and lows of the market, including a historic peak of 3.84 dollars in January 2018, followed by a significant drop due to the bursting of the speculative bubble. Despite these fluctuations and legal challenges, notably a lawsuit by the SEC in 2020, XRP has maintained its position among the top ten cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization.

Recently, XRP has shown signs of recovery, with a 3.12% increase in 24 hours. This resilience may signal rebound potential, supported by the optimism of figures like David Schwartz, who remains confident in the future of XRP despite regulatory hurdles. Meanwhile, bold predictions, such as Javon Marks of CryptoGains’, suggest that XRP could reach up to 288 dollars, although these projections remain speculative in an often unpredictable and volatile market.

That’s the essential news to remember for this week. See you next week for another recap!

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Luc Jose A. avatar
Luc Jose A.

Diplômé de Sciences Po Toulouse et titulaire d'une certification consultant blockchain délivrée par Alyra, j'ai rejoint l'aventure Cointribune en 2019. Convaincu du potentiel de la blockchain pour transformer de nombreux secteurs de l'économie, j'ai pris l'engagement de sensibiliser et d'informer le grand public sur cet écosystème en constante évolution. Mon objectif est de permettre à chacun de mieux comprendre la blockchain et de saisir les opportunités qu'elle offre. Je m'efforce chaque jour de fournir une analyse objective de l'actualité, de décrypter les tendances du marché, de relayer les dernières innovations technologiques et de mettre en perspective les enjeux économiques et sociétaux de cette révolution en marche.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.