Weekly recap: Bitcoin, Binance, Ethereum, Solana… the crypto news you shouldn’t miss!

Week after week, the world of cryptos continues to surprise and reshape the paradigms of digital finance and technology with ever-renewed audacity and innovation. In our weekly recap, we’ll explore the most exciting and significant events of the past week. From the enigmatic transfer of Bitcoin to Satoshi Nakamoto’s wallet, to Solana’s controversial strategy against layer 2 solutions, to the turbulence in the stablecoin market and the heated debates around the next Ethereum update.

$1.2 Million in Bitcoin transferred to Satoshi’s wallet!

A currently unknown individual recently sent $1.2 million in Bitcoin to Satoshi Nakamoto’s Genesis wallet, the very first wallet created on the Bitcoin network. Although Nakamoto has been missing for a long time and it is very unlikely that he will recover these funds, this mysterious transfer has captivated the attention of the crypto community. The Genesis wallet originally only had the 50 bitcoins mined when it was created, but over time more funds were sent to it, and its balance rose to 72 bitcoins by the end of 2023. With this latest transaction, the current balance is 99.67 bitcoins, or approximately $4.3 million.

The Genesis wallet is the very first wallet created on the Bitcoin network by Satoshi Nakamoto, and although it could theoretically still hold the private keys to access these wallets, it is very unlikely that it will do so, as no funds Wallets associated with Nakamoto, including those on the Genesis block, have not moved since his demise in December 2010. While some crypto enthusiasts see this transfer as a senseless waste of money, others see it as a fitting tribute to the anonymous genius behind the Bitcoin revolution.

Solana: A strategic refusal of layers 2!

Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana Labs, recently made a bold statement that shook the crypto ecosystem: Solana does not need layer 2 solutions. This statement goes against the current trend where many Blockchains adopt layer 2 solutions to improve scalability and performance. According to Yakovenko, Solana is focused on expanding its global atomic state machine, an approach that would make layer 2s redundant.

Solana is not just another blockchain, it aspires to be the architect of a parallel universe. By focusing on global atomic synchronization, Solana seeks to transcend the limitations of current blockchain technologies. Yakovenko envisions a world where Solana’s single virtual machine is self-sufficient, without the need for external solutions. With hardware upgrades on the horizon, the platform is preparing for that future where it could, perhaps, reign supreme. But the real question remains: will this isolated strategy bear fruit in the ever-evolving crypto ecosystem?

USDC: A not-so-stable stablecoin?

USDC, the stablecoin issued by Circle, recently lost its peg to the US dollar, sending the crypto community into a state of panic. Instead of maintaining its usual value of $1, USDC saw its value fall alarmingly and reach as low as $0.74 on the Binance exchange. This sudden drop has sparked concern and speculation among investors and market observers.

The USDC de-peg phenomenon is not isolated to the world of stablecoins. Previously, Tether’s USDT also experienced periods where it was unable to maintain its 1:1 parity with the US dollar and this led to massive liquidations on major crypto exchanges. Details of the USDC incident reveal that during a period of widespread market selling, spurred by questionable reports of the approval of a Bitcoin Spot ETF, USDC even lost its parity three times with the dollar.

USD soon backed by Bitcoin?

The financial world could be on the verge of a revolution with the idea that the United States dollar (USD) could soon be backed by Bitcoin. This bold proposal has sparked heated debate among economists and policymakers. Supporters of this project see Bitcoin as a credible alternative to gold, traditionally used to guarantee the value of currencies. They argue that Bitcoin, with its blockchain technology and decentralized network, offers increased security, limits falsification and thus reduces the risk of inflation. Additionally, a USD pegged to Bitcoin would benefit from a limited and pre-programmed supply of new bitcoins, unlike traditional currencies which depend on central bank decisions. This could strengthen the dollar’s status as a safe haven for investors.

However, this idea is not without pitfalls. Bitcoin’s volatility is a major concern, as pegging the world’s primary reserve currency to such an unstable asset could destabilize the U.S. economy and the international monetary balance. Additionally, China’s dominance in Bitcoin mining poses a risk to American sovereignty and a systemic risk in the event of conflict between the two powers.

Binance tightens its policy on Monero and Zcash!

Binance recently announced a tightening of its trading rules for ten cryptos, including Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC), which will now be placed under “enhanced surveillance” due to the increased risks they present. This decision follows Binance’s recent regulatory woes, facing allegations of money laundering and violations of KYC rules issued by the US SEC. Monero and Zcash, known for their anonymization properties, have often attracted the attention of authorities for their potential to facilitate large-scale money laundering. Binance will also monitor other tokens more closely, while relaxing rules for some like GMX and SushiSwap.

To trade these high-risk cryptos, Binance users will now have to take a quiz every 90 days and agree to reinforced terms of use, aimed at raising awareness of the dangers involved. Tokens stamped with Binance’s “Seed Tag” are considered promising projects, but highly volatile, and warning banners will be visible on their trading pages. Binance will conduct periodic reviews of crypto projects, taking into account various factors to add or remove tokens from watchlists. By toughening its compliance policy, Binance hopes to regain the confidence of the authorities shaken in 2023, reflecting the difficult exercise of consolidation undertaken by the crypto giant.

UNHCR adopts Blockchain with Cardano for humanitarian aid

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has adopted blockchain as a powerful tool for helping refugees. With Cardano at its side, UNHCR is ushering in a new era of digital solidarity. Blockchain brings transparency and efficiency to the distribution of aid, and thanks to Cardano, the organization simplifies the management of donations, guaranteeing rapid and direct aid to refugees while securing their personal data. UNHCR is also innovating with digital crypto wallets that make it easier to donate and receive aid, even remotely, while training refugees in digital literacy.

Cardano and UNHCR have launched a unique staking pool, “Blockchain for Refugees,” where every ADA crypto contribution directly supports UNHCR operations. This revolutionary crowdfunding model will allow donors to maintain control of their assets while contributing to a noble cause. Cardano, with its engaged community and unique staking system, attracted the UNHCR, and their collaboration has already borne fruit with several innovative projects underway. Cardano’s use of zero-knowledge proofs strengthens the security of refugee data.

Pectra Update Causes Division Among Ethereum Developers

The Ethereum community is actively preparing for Pectra, the network’s next upgrade due in 2024, but significant disagreement remains among developers over how best to integrate Verkle, a promising proof-of-sound technology. The deployment of the Pectra upgrade will begin in 2024 with a series of tests on the Ethereum development networks, allowing the code to be validated in various environments and to uncover possible bugs or performance issues.

Regarding Verkle, there are two opposing approaches among Ethereum developers. Pro-Mandatory Verkle advocates for full and immediate adoption, considering that its performance and scalability benefits are too great to leave a choice. On the other hand, the anti-mandatory Verkle are more cautious, fearing that security or stability problems will appear if Verkle is deployed too quickly. They propose that Verkle be offered first as an option, alongside the current validation mechanism. Ethereum’s upcoming Pectra upgrade promises to be pivotal for the network’s future, but Verkle’s integration divides developers on the best strategy to adopt.

Bitcoin in 2023: A $6 trillion whirlwind

In 2023, the Bitcoin market saw frenzied activity, with over $6 trillion traded, although this represented a 38% decline from the previous year. This colossal sum is equivalent to more than 2.3 times the value of French GDP and highlights the massive scale of transactions carried out with the flagship crypto.

The year was also marked by relative stability in the average Bitcoin price, with a slight increase compared to 2022. The number of active addresses remained stable, while Bitcoin dominance increased to 50%. More than 75% of Bitcoin holders are now considered long-term investors, an all-time high that reflects increasing market maturity. At the same time, the amount of Bitcoin in circulation increased by 1.75%, continuing its long-term downward trend.

This is the main thing to remember for this week. But if you want a more detailed recap and in-depth analysis straight to your inbox, feel free to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

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