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Weekly Attestations
March 8, 2024

🔮BTC Back In The Green, Dencun and L2s, NYAG in the News, DEX volume

Dark Side of Meme Coins, Coinbase down (again), New mining chips, PostFinance Launches Crypto Trading

🔮BTC Back In The Green, Dencun and L2s, NYAG in the News, DEX volume

Token Specific News

Ethereum's Dencun Upgrade Aims for Layer-2 Scaling Support

Ethereum's upcoming Dencun upgrade, set for March 13, marks another milestone in the network's evolution toward scalability and cost efficiency. Comprising two simultaneous upgrades, Cancun and Deneb, Dencun introduces proto-danksharding, a form of sharding designed to significantly reduce transaction fees for layer-2 rollups. While full implementation may take years, Dencun is expected to immediately lower fees by a factor of ten and enhance network performance. This upgrade aims to solidify Ethereum's position as the leader in DeFi infrastructure amidst increasing competition from faster and cheaper alternatives like Solana. By focusing on security and decentralization while leaving scalability to layer-2 solutions, Ethereum seeks to support a growing ecosystem of decentralized applications and users, potentially handling over 100,000 transactions per second when fully implemented.

Cheap Gas Fuels Surge in Meme Coin Creation, Amplifying Industry Noise

The availability of cheap gas fees on networks like Solana has sparked a surge in meme coin creation, with over 72,000 coins launched in a two-week period in December. While lower fees have democratized access to creating coins, the influx of meme coins risks diluting attention from serious projects and fostering a perception of the crypto industry as speculative. Many meme coins end up being worthless, with developers engaging in pump-and-dump schemes. Despite the chaos, the phenomenon underscores the decentralized nature of crypto and its potential to disrupt traditional finance.

Coinbase Sees February Rebound Amid Crypto Market Surge

In February, Coinbase experienced a notable rebound in performance, with its stock price rising and its ranking in the App Store improving. Despite facing some difficulties, such as a glitch showing customers a $0 balance due to increased traffic, Coinbase's stock performed well amidst the crypto market upturn. The surge in interest in Coinbase's app reflects growing retail interest in crypto, particularly as bitcoin's price approaches its previous all-time high. Despite concerns about the impact of spot ETF approval, there remains strong demand for typical spot trading in the U.S., especially with other assets beyond bitcoin posting gains in the recent market upswing.

Source: The Block

Crypto Exchanges Hit Daily Records Amid February's Strong Finish

Several cryptocurrency exchanges achieved daily records as February drew to a close. Deribit, a crypto options and futures exchange, saw open interest reach an all-time high of $29 billion, with $12.4 billion in 24-hour trading volume and $4 billion in client assets, marking multiple milestones. Coinbase Institutional's U.S.-regulated futures exchange recorded its second-best day, with over 850 unique users and approximately $380 million in notional volume traded in bitcoin and ether contracts. Additionally, Greeks.live reported a record daily volume of $620 million in options volume. The surge in crypto market activity is attributed to increasing demand for newly launched bitcoin exchange-traded funds in the U.S. and diminishing bitcoin supply, potentially fueling further market growth. See more: Trading volume on Solana-based DEXs blew past an all-time record, with traders swapping over $11 billion worth of digital assets last week.

Source: Dune

Bitdeer Technologies Unveils New 4nm Bitcoin Mining Chip, SEAL01, for Enhanced Efficiency

Bitdeer Technologies, founded by Jihan Wu, has revealed its latest innovation, the SEAL01, a 4-nanometer bitcoin mining chip designed to boost mining efficiency and performance. With a power efficiency ratio of 18.1 J/TH, the chip aims to lower operating costs and environmental impact ahead of the upcoming bitcoin halving event in April. Bitdeer has not yet announced the launch timeline for the Sealminer A1, the mining machine incorporating the SEAL01 chip.

Regulation

PostFinance Launches Crypto Trading for Swiss Customers

PostFinance, one of Switzerland's major banks and a subsidiary of Swiss Post, has introduced direct crypto trading services for its customers, making it the first bank in the country to do so. With over 2.5 million customers and assets totaling 106 billion Swiss Francs, PostFinance aims to cater to both beginners and seasoned crypto enthusiasts. The service, available through its app or online platform, offers trading in eleven cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Customers can also set up crypto savings plans for regular contributions to their portfolios. This move follows PostFinance's previous collaborations with Swissquote and Sygnum Bank, reflecting the bank's commitment to embracing digital assets and providing innovative financial services in Switzerland's crypto-friendly environment.

Coinbase Faces Second Crash in Two Weeks Amid Cryptocurrency Market Frenzy

On Monday, Coinbase encountered another crash as the cryptocurrency market saw heightened activity, marking the second outage in two weeks for the U.S.-based exchange. Users reported zero balances in their wallets, prompting Coinbase to acknowledge degraded performance and assure users of the safety of their assets. The exchange later implemented a fix and stated that improvements were underway. While outages during market rallies are not uncommon, Coinbase has faced technical difficulties during both market upswings and slumps in the past, highlighting the challenges exchanges face during periods of high volatility.

U.S. State Attorneys General Challenge SEC Lawsuit Against Kraken

Eight state attorneys general, representing Montana, Arkansas, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas, filed a joint amicus brief opposing the Securities and Exchange Commission's lawsuit against crypto exchange Kraken. They argue that the SEC's regulation of crypto assets exceeds its delegated powers and puts state consumers at risk by preempting state statutes tailored to non-securities products. The brief follows Kraken's motion to dismiss the SEC's lawsuit, which was filed in November and charged the exchange with operating without registration, failing to prevent conflicts of interest, and commingling client funds. See more: SEC's Hester Peirce Says Regulator's Approach to Crypto Has Been ’Strange’ See similar: Bankrupt crypto firm Terraform Labs pushed back against the SEC's objection to a $166 million retainer paid to law firm Dentons, calling it a "troubling example of government overreach."

Digital Currency Group and CEO Barry Silbert Move to Dismiss Lawsuit by NY Attorney General

Digital Currency Group (DCG) and its CEO Barry Silbert have filed motions to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the New York Attorney General (NYAG), Letitia James, in October 2023. The lawsuit alleges that DCG and its subsidiary Genesis Global Capital defrauded investors out of $3 billion linked to Gemini's former Earn product. DCG has vehemently denied the allegations, describing them as "baseless innuendo" and "blatant mischaracterizations." The filings come after Genesis proposed a settlement deal with the NYAG, which DCG objected to. The legal battle underscores the contentious nature of regulatory scrutiny in the cryptocurrency industry.

SEC Delays Decision on Spot Ether ETFs Due to Concerns Over Proof of Stake

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed its decision on spot Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications from BlackRock and Fidelity for the second time. The delay comes as the SEC raises concerns about Ethereum's Proof of Stake mechanism, citing potential vulnerabilities to concentrated control and manipulation. The public now has 21 days to provide additional feedback on the applications, followed by 35 days for rebuttals.

Other Domestic Regulation Updates

Other International Regulation Updates

Pain & Gain

Pain

Gain


Important Legal Notices

This reflects the views MJL Capital LLC (“MJL”), but it should in no way be construed to represent financial or investment advice. Nothing in this correspondence is intended to constitute or form part of, and should not be construed as, an issue for sale or subscription of, or solicitation of any offer or invitation to subscribe for, underwrite, or otherwise acquire or dispose of any security, including any interest in any private investment fund managed by MJL. Any such offer may only be made pursuant to a formal confidential private placement memorandum of any such fund, which may be furnished to potential investors upon request and which will contain important information to be considered in connection with any such investment, including risk factors associated with making any investment in any such fund. Further, nothing in this correspondence is, or is intended to be treated as, investment or tax advice. Each recipient should consult their own legal, tax and other professional advisors in connection with investment decisions.

Domenic Salvo
Domenic Salvo

Domenic Salvo is a Managing Partner at MJL Capital, helping lead Portfolio Research and Investor Relations.

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