Market update

Cointree Crypto Market Update - May 15th 2024

Market report for traders

🔮 BTC and altcoins

Over the last 7 days, Bitcoin ends at AU$93,996, moving -4.47% at the time of writing. Meanwhile, Ethereum ends at AU$4,355 moving -7.36% week-on-week. On the Altcoin side, Solana -7.32%, Cardano -6.21%, and Pepe +30.91%.

🗞 What’s happening in the news?

Tornado Cash Developer Sentenced for Money Laundering

Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev has been sentenced to 64 months in prison by a Dutch court for facilitating money laundering activities through the crypto mixer. Tornado Cash, a decentralized protocol on the Ethereum blockchain, allows users to make anonymous transactions. However, it has been abused for illegal purposes, leading to Pertsev's conviction.

Between July 2019 and August 2022, the platform was used to launder approximately $1.2 billion. This case highlights the challenges and risks associated with privacy-focused blockchain tools. Pertsev's sentence underscores the legal perspective that such tools, while not inherently illegal, can be exploited for criminal activities. Additionally, Tornado Cash co-founder Roman Storm faces similar charges in the U.S., with his trial set for September.

Meme Coins Surge Amid GameStop Rally

The recent surge in meme coins can be attributed to a post by Keith Gill, a retail trader known for his role in the GameStop short squeeze of 2021. This retail euphoria has spread to the crypto markets, leading to significant gains for various meme coins. Tokens like Pepe (PEPE) and Floki (FLOKI) saw jumps of up to 30% in the past 24 hours, while a meme GME token surged by 500%.

This revival indicates a renewed risk appetite in the crypto markets after a period of relatively low trading activity. The influence of social media and retail trading on the crypto market continues to be a powerful force, driving significant price movements and creating new opportunities for investors.

Vitalik Buterin's Ethereum Wallet Proposal Gains Traction

In a swift response to community feedback, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin introduced a new proposal to improve Ethereum wallets, which he reportedly devised in just 22 minutes. This proposal, EIP-7702, is an alternative to the previously introduced EIP-3074 and aims to make Ethereum wallets more user-friendly by leveraging smart contracts.

The proposal has received positive reviews from the Ethereum community and stakeholders, indicating a high likelihood of replacing EIP-3074 in the upcoming Pectra hard fork. This episode showcases the dynamic and collaborative nature of Ethereum's decentralized governance, where community dialogue leads to innovative solutions and improved consensus.

North Korean Hackers Target South Korean Crypto Firms with 'Durian' Malware

Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has reported a new malware variant, dubbed "Durian," being used by the North Korean hacking group Kimsuky to target South Korean cryptocurrency firms. This sophisticated malware acts as an installer for a series of malicious tools, including a backdoor known as "AppleSeed" and a custom proxy tool called "LazyLoad."

The attacks are part of a persistent campaign exploiting legitimate security software used by crypto firms. This development is concerning, given the notorious track record of North Korean hacking groups like Lazarus, which have been responsible for billions in stolen crypto assets over the years. The increasing sophistication of these attacks underscores the importance of robust cybersecurity measures for crypto firms.

📖 What we’ve been reading

‘Open-source’ CBDCs Aren’t Going to Protect You From Government

“Opinion: From Brazil to Norway, there is plenty of evidence that governments are planning to use CBDCs to abuse their people.”  Read more

Coinbase Reports System Wide Outage

“The exchange said some users may still experience failures when sending crypto or withdrawing fiat.” Read more

Bitcoin miner Bitfarms CEO to Depart Immediately in Response to Lawsuit

“Nicolas Bonta, Bitfarms co-founder and chair, will take over as interim president and CEO after Geoffrey Morphy filed a lawsuit for $27 million in damages against the mining firm” Read more

Will Ethereum Be Declared a Security By the SEC Next Week?

“Even as a deadline looms for spot Ethereum ETF applications, a firm answer on its regulatory status seems “unlikely,” analysts say.” Read more

Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational purposes and does not constitute financial product advice. You should obtain independent advice from an Australian financial services licensee before making any financial decisions.

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