Weekly recap: Bitcoin, Binance, Ethereum, Solana... Crypto news not to be missed!

Mon 04 Mar 2024 ▪ 11 min of reading ▪ by Luc Jose A.
Getting informed Invest

The past week has been particularly eventful with major developments for the crypto industry. From Bitcoin’s imminent halving promising to reshape the mining landscape, to the announcement of the successful Dencun upgrade on Ethereum’s testnets, the asset recovery initiatives by Binance, and Ripple’s legal challenges, each event has the potential to redefine the future of the crypto market. This article provides an overview of the most significant news and offers an essential perspective for understanding the current dynamics and anticipating future movements in the crypto space.

Le halving du Bitcoin s'accélère

The Bitcoin Halving Countdown Accelerates!

In less than 8 weeks, the Bitcoin network will be at the heart of a major event: its fourth halving. Scheduled for April 15, 2024, this event will cut the reward given to miners for each validated block by half, from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC. This programmatically scheduled reduction every 210,000 blocks is a key mechanism of Bitcoin, designed to control inflation by limiting the supply of new bitcoins. Historically, halvings have played a significant role in the balance between Bitcoin’s supply and demand, enhancing its scarcity and potentially impacting its price. According to the Stock-to-Flow model, this scarcity could lead to a significant increase in the price of BTC, with optimistic forecasts seeing it reach up to $450,000 after this halving.

The 2024 halving presents a dual challenge for the Bitcoin mining ecosystem. On one hand, the reduction of mining rewards will put the profitability of many mining companies to the test, particularly those less efficient or without access to favorable energy costs. On the other hand, this context could mark the beginning of a new era for Bitcoin, especially with the emergence of Bitcoin Spot ETFs that facilitate access for institutional investors to the market. Combined with the growing adoption of cryptos by the general public and big investors, this period could have a significant impact on BTC’s price dynamics, provided the market reacts positively to this supply decrease.

Binance Recovers $4 Billion for Its Users

The crypto exchange Binance recently accomplished a remarkable feat by recovering over $4 billion in digital assets for its users, following deposit errors. Errors such as sending funds to incorrect addresses, using incompatible tokens, or not adhering to blockchain updates can lead to the loss or blocking of users’ assets. Thanks to a dedicated team, Binance successfully recovered and correctly credited $4.4 billion in digital assets for 381,616 users in 2022 and 2023. This initiative underscores not only Binance’s commitment to customer security and well-being but also marks a pivotal point in its journey, especially after agreeing to pay a record fine of $4.3 billion to US authorities to settle lawsuits related to money laundering accusations and sanctions violations.

In a context where the price of Bitcoin and interest in the crypto market are rising, Binance also warns against an increase in scams, such as “rug pulls,” where project developers disappear with investors’ funds. Although these incidents decreased during the bear market, they have picked up again. To counter these threats, Binance provides various educational resources, verification tools, and security tips, encouraging its users to exercise caution and due diligence before any investment.

Vitalik Buterin Alerts About the Threat of Memecoins on the Crypto Ecosystem

Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, expresses serious concerns about the impact of memecoins on the crypto ecosystem. With soaring values of cryptocurrencies like Shiba, Dogecoin, and Pepe, recording gains of over 60% in one week, Buterin fears that this enthusiasm for assets based on humor could divert investments from the foundational essentials of the ecosystem. He warns against a dangerous imbalance, where projects offering little real value capture attention and resources at the expense of critical crypto infrastructure. According to him, the industry should focus more on public-good projects rather than zero-sum games that aim only to capture network effect without making significant contributions.

Buterin doesn’t just criticize; he also proposes solutions to strengthen the crypto ecosystem. He highlights the importance of developing secure and user-friendly decentralized identity systems, as well as improving the scalability and security of decentralized applications (dApps) and their supply chains. Projects like Gitcoin Passport are mentioned as steps in the right direction, but much remains to be done to improve the user experience and build a trusted ecosystem. Buterin calls on the crypto community to refocus on solid foundations, emphasizing the need for a rebalancing of investments towards projects that truly support the vision and future of cryptos.

MicroStrategy Continues to Accumulate Bitcoins

MicroStrategy, under the leadership of Michael Saylor, continues to affirm its unwavering faith in Bitcoin by adding another 3,000 BTC to its treasury. With this recent purchase, the company’s reserve now totals a staggering 193,000 bitcoins, solidifying its position as one of the largest institutional holders of Bitcoin. This acquisition, made between February 15 and 25 at an average cost of $51,813 per BTC, represents a $155 million investment. In total, MicroStrategy has spent approximately $6.09 billion to accumulate its BTC reserve, with an average purchase cost of $31,544 per bitcoin. Visionary CEO Michael Saylor shares his strategy on X (formerly Twitter), stating that Bitcoin represents the ultimate store of value, a very long-term vision that surpasses traditional assets.

In addition to its appetite for accruing bitcoins, MicroStrategy is taking diligent steps to secure its vast portfolio. Nearly 98% of its bitcoins are held in custody with Fidelity, known for its stringent security protocols, and the remainder is managed by Coinbase Prime for a diversified conservation strategy. Today, the company’s bitcoin reserves represent nearly 2% of the total circulating supply, a stake that not only highlights MicroStrategy’s significant influence in the Bitcoin ecosystem but also testifies to a bold gamble that seems to be paying off, as seen by the more than 300% increase in MSTR stock since the beginning of 2023, buoyed by the surge in bitcoin prices.

Ethereum Dencun: A New Era Is Activated on the Testnets!

The Ethereum Foundation has officially announced the successful launch of the Dencun upgrade on all blockchain testnets, marking a critical preparatory step before its activation on the main network scheduled for March 13, 2024. This technical advancement, warmly received by the Ethereum community, represents significant progress towards increased scalability and reduced transaction costs. With the introduction of “proto-danksharding” through EIP-4844, this upgrade will empower layer 2 scaling solutions to integrate ephemeral data “blobs,” aiming to relieve the burden on the main network and enable wider and more efficient use of Ethereum.

This milestone on the testnets is a testimony to the ongoing commitment of Ethereum developers to enhance the blockchain’s robustness and efficiency, even in the face of a difficult macroeconomic environment. With the successful deployment of Dencun, the foundation is laying the groundwork for a smooth transition on the mainnet, requiring node operators and validators to update their client software to ensure compatibility. This upgrade, the result of exemplary coordination among different development teams, solidifies Ethereum’s standing against its competitors and also paves the way towards the achievement of Ethereum 2.0, an ambitious project aimed at transforming the blockchain into a more scalable, efficient, and future-ready proof-of-stake infrastructure.

Ripple Faces a New Legal Challenge for Illegal Sale of XRP

Ripple finds itself once again in the legal spotlight, but this time for a class action filed in California by individuals and businesses accusing the company of selling XRP to them “illegally”. This class action focuses on allegations of violating securities laws through unregistered sales of XRP, Ripple’s native cryptocurrency. Two distinct groups, the Federal Securities Claims and the California State Securities Claims Class, representing XRP purchasers between July 3, 2017, and June 30, 2023, are leading this litigation. They are targeting not only Ripple but also Bradley Garlinghouse, its CEO, and XRP II, LLC, a subsidiary, for proceeding with XRP sales without the necessary registrations, thus breaching federal and Californian securities regulations.

This new legal battle comes in an already complex context for Ripple, which has been in a dispute with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) since 2020. The core issue in these legal cases is whether XRP should be classified as a security, a claim Ripple disputes, arguing that XRP is rather a digital currency used for international transactions. This distinction is critical for Ripple as being classified as a security would subject XRP to much stricter regulations. While investors and stakeholders have until April 5 to decide whether to opt out of the class action and potentially pursue their legal action against Ripple, the outcome of this case could have significant implications for the future of the company and its cryptocurrency.

Solana: Withdrawals Raise Concerns!

Despite SOL’s rally, the Solana network is going through a tumultuous period, marked by a 5-hour outage on February 6, 2024, due to a bug that caused an infinite loop in transactions. This incident has severely shaken investor confidence, as evidenced by the significant fund outflows recently reported. According to CoinShares, Solana was the only altcoin to experience net withdrawals, with outflows totaling $3 million over a week, almost double compared to the previous week.

Despite these challenges, Solana is showing signs of resilience and growth potential. Its cryptocurrency, currently valued at $129.85, benefits from its hybrid Proof-of-History (PoH) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) technology and offers exceptional scalability and fast processing times. Having overcome the resistance at $108, Solana is now aiming for the $144 threshold, with optimistic experts predicting a potential value of $250 for the ongoing year.

Maximize your Cointribune experience with our 'Read to Earn' program! Earn points for each article you read and gain access to exclusive rewards. Sign up now and start accruing benefits.

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.