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Merlin Emerges as Largest Bitcoin Sidechain with Over $1 Billion in Total Value Locked

According to Blockworks, the Bitcoin blockchain ecosystem has seen a surge in speculative points farming, with Merlin leading the trend. Merlin, which was relatively unknown a month ago, has experienced a 2,000% growth in the past 30 days. It now has over $1 billion in total value locked (TVL), making it the largest Bitcoin sidechain, according to data from DeFiLlama. This puts Merlin ahead of established layer-1s like Avalanche and Polygon. More than half of Merlin’s $1 billion is held in Solv Finance, a protocol that allows users to deposit wrapped bitcoin and receive 'Solv Points' in return. Solv and Merlin are currently running a promotion encouraging users to farm for points and tokens. In the crypto world, points are valueless participation tallies that often determine allocations in future token airdrops. Following recent airdrops that converted points to large sums of tokens related to Solana and EigenLayer, points farming has found its place in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Merlin also airdropped its native MERL token to users last week. However, the token has seen a nearly 40% slump since being listed on CoinGecko. Merlin presents itself as a Bitcoin layer-2 solution, integrating zero-knowledge proofs with Bitcoin’s blockchain through Taproot. This integration enhances transaction privacy and efficiency significantly. Unlike Ethereum zk rollups where proofs are verified on-chain, Merlin’s proofs are verified off-chain by a decentralized network of oracle nodes before being batched and submitted to Bitcoin’s blockchain through Taproot. This off-chain handling of data and proofs ensures scalability and security without overloading the Bitcoin mainnet with excessive data. Merlin's growth indicates a broader trend of renewed interest in speculative uses for bitcoin beyond its price. Runes, an evolution of the Ordinal inscription concept, went live at the halving and have caused a spike in the network’s transaction fees. Venture capital, which had long been on the sidelines when it comes to Bitcoin, has started to flow into the ecosystem. There’s also a race alongside Merlin to draw liquidity to Bitcoin layer-2 solutions. A different Bitcoin layer-2, Stacks, just pulled off its Nakamoto upgrade in an attempt to make its product faster and more reliable.
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BNB Surpasses 610 USDT with a 0.43% Increase in 24 Hours

On Apr 24, 2024, 20:32 PM(UTC). According to Binance Market Data, BNB has crossed the 610 USDT benchmark and is now trading at 610.599976 USDT, with a 0.43% increase in 24 hours.
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Ethereum Faces Significant Resistance Zone, Could Impact Journey to $3,650

According to U.Today, Ethereum (ETH) is currently facing a significant resistance zone between $3,170 and $3,270 as it continues its journey past the $3,000 price point. This resistance zone is not just a simple price point, but represents a significant concentration of ETH held by 1.63 million addresses, totaling 4.45 million ETH. This accumulation of holdings could play a crucial role in determining whether Ethereum can break through and reach the much-anticipated $3,650 level. Crypto analyst Ali highlighted this formidable resistance zone for ETH, characterized by a concentration of Ethereum holdings among a large number of addresses. On-chain data reveals that approximately 1.63 million addresses collectively hold a significant 4.45 million ETH at these price levels. The large number of addresses holding onto their ETH within this range indicates a potential sell-off point, where many investors may decide to take profits, thereby increasing the selling pressure and making it harder for the price to push through. If a significant portion of these holders were to sell, it could lead to a price drop. However, if these holders remain confident and continue to hold, or if new buyers step in with enough volume, the price could break past the resistance and head toward the next target of $3,650. Ali indicated in his tweet that breaking past the barrier between $3,170 and $3,270 could propel ETH toward $3,650. At the time of writing, ETH was up 1.51% in the last 24 hours to $3,243. If the current bullish momentum sustains, Ethereum might aim for $3,302 ahead of the 50-day SMA at $3,488. This would aim for $3,650 and further the $3,729 barrier. Conversely, if the ETH price turns down from current levels, it could slip toward the $3,000 price point. This remains a critical support for the bulls to maintain because, if it fails, the next stop could be $2,850.
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Elon Musk and Dogecoin Featured in Animation Addressing Interoperability Concerns

According to U.Today, a new animation featuring Elon Musk and Dogecoin (DOGE) is creating a stir in the cryptocurrency world. The one minute, 24 seconds long clip addresses the ongoing issues of interoperability in the Web3 ecosystem. The animation, shared by Sir Doge of the Coin, uses Michael Jackson’s classic song, 'Man in the Mirror,' as its soundtrack, delivering a potent message to the cryptocurrency community. The animation highlights the frustrations experienced by users of one platform who are unable to transact on another due to interoperability issues. In the clip, Musk observes a young girl being denied the ability to pay for a cookie using her X wallet by a DOGE seller. This incident troubles Musk, leading to a bout of insomnia. In response, he takes action based on the lyrics of the theme song, 'Man in the Mirror.' The animation concludes with a solution where DOGE and X collaborate, allowing the girl to pay for her cookies using the X wallet. This collaboration between DOGE and X hints at Musk’s plan to launch a peer-to-peer payment platform and transform X into a comprehensive app for global users. While the plan for integrating payment solutions into X remains unclear, there is speculation that Dogecoin could be one of the first supported currencies. In March, U.Today reported that Musk had made significant strides towards crypto payments by obtaining licenses in three new states – Illinois, New Mexico, and Oregon. This move is seen as a significant step towards Musk’s vision of expanding X beyond its initial scope as a social media platform. Analysts suggest that the animation could indicate a potential collaboration, given speculations that Musk, a tech billionaire and meme enthusiast with significant influence in the crypto space, could be the whale who holds over 36 billion coins.
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Bitcoin Hasn't Reached New High In Three Years, Claims Veteran Trader Peter Brandt

According to U.Today, renowned trader Peter Brandt has sparked a debate with his recent assertion that Bitcoin has not reached a new all-time high (ATH) in the past three years. This statement may seem counterintuitive to many, given that Bitcoin reached its highest price level of $73,750.07 on March 14. However, Brandt argues that when adjusted for inflation, Bitcoin's price has not achieved a new high in three years. Brandt's argument is based on the metric of U.S. consumer purchasing power. Despite the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF and the recent Bitcoin halving event, Brandt believes that the cryptocurrency's price remains low when considering this factor. According to a chart he shared, Bitcoin last hit a high price in relation to consumers' buying power in the second half of 2021. Brandt, who has over 50 years of trading experience, expressed interest in hearing the perspectives of Bitcoin bears on the cryptocurrency's potential. He has been consistently vocal about his confidence in Bitcoin as an asset class, a stance that contrasts with his views on Ethereum (ETH). In addition to Brandt, several other market investors and analysts have issued high price targets for Bitcoin. They anticipate that the spot Bitcoin ETF will trigger increased demand in the future, a trend that will be complemented by the reduced supply resulting from the halving. One such prediction came from 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' author Robert Kiyosaki, who forecasted that Bitcoin's price would exceed $100,000 by the end of this year.
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Bitcoin's Average Dormancy Hits 13-Year High, Signaling Ownership Shift

According to U.Today, Bitcoin's average dormancy has reached a 13-year high, as per recent data shared by Ki Young Ju, the CEO of CryptoQuant. This increase in dormancy indicates a significant transfer of older Bitcoins to new holders, which could potentially reshape the cryptocurrency's ownership landscape. On March 23, Bitcoin's Average Dormancy reached a level of 227.684. Average Dormancy is a metric that represents the average number of 'destroyed days' of moved coins, calculated by dividing Coin Days Destroyed (CDD) by the total movement of coins. A higher Average Dormancy value typically suggests that long-term holders are moving or possibly selling their coins, which could indicate a potential price drop. The Average Dormancy of Bitcoin hitting a 13-year peak is significant for several reasons. Firstly, the increase implies that older, long-term holders of Bitcoin are either transferring their holdings or selling them to new investors. This shift could potentially alter the ownership distribution of Bitcoin, with new participants gaining a larger share of the market. Secondly, historically, spikes in Average Dormancy have often been followed by increased price volatility. If long-term holders are indeed selling or transferring their coins, it may lead to a greater supply of Bitcoin on the market, potentially putting downward pressure on prices. Lastly, the rising Average Dormancy could also reflect changing market sentiment among Bitcoin holders. Long-term investors may be responding to macroeconomic factors, regulatory changes, or other market dynamics that influence their decision to hold or sell their assets. Ki Young Ju's observation about the shifting cap table for Bitcoin underscores the evolving nature of the market. As older Bitcoins are transferred or sold to new holders, the ownership dynamics of Bitcoin are undergoing a significant transformation. Market participants should closely monitor these developments, as they could have far-reaching implications for market sentiment in the coming months.
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Solana Recovers, Breaches $150 Resistance Point Amid Network Improvements

According to U.Today, Solana (SOL) is showing signs of recovery as it breaches the $150 resistance point. The latest data from CoinMarketCap reveals that Solana has increased by 1.81% in the past 24 hours, with its current trading price at $157.08. This recovery comes after a period of network congestion that had been hindering the cryptocurrency's growth. Solana's network has been in a state of uncertainty due to this congestion. However, recent updates suggest that Solana's block production has returned to normal, with an average block time of two seconds. According to SolanaFloor, all 409 transactions were confirmed on the Solana network, indicating a restoration of network health. This rebound could potentially lead to an increase in demand for SOL. The network congestion had forced several projects that had planned their launches on Solana to reconsider. Some projects even halted their debuts until the network issues were resolved. With the latest block production update, it appears that Solana is ready for a resurgence. Solana was created with the aim of enhancing both enterprise adoption and retail embrace. When the congestion issues threatened to derail its growth, co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko and other innovators within the ecosystem proposed solutions to fix the problem. A significant breakthrough was achieved earlier this month when a major fix was deployed on the testnet by the core Solana team. Other validator clients, such as Anza, also created patches that contributed to the overall improvement of the Solana blockchain. The ecosystem is now looking towards a promising future, as indicated by the more than 24.5% increase in trading volume to $3,142,785,397.
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Ripple CTO Discusses XRP Liquidity and IPO Plans Amid Community Discussions

According to U.Today, Ripple's Chief Technology Officer, David Schwartz, recently engaged in a discussion with the XRP community, shedding light on the relationship between Ripple shares and XRP. This comes as the cryptocurrency company is considering plans for an initial public offering (IPO). Schwartz's comments came in response to community members seeking clarity on his views about Ripple shares versus XRP. He emphasized the superior liquidity of XRP compared to privately-held company stocks, highlighting the liquidity disparity between the two. The conversation also touched on the complexities of stock ownership, with community members speculating on Schwartz's potential motives and considerations. Some speculated about the nature of Schwartz's holdings and the implications of a potential IPO, while others shared their personal experiences with stock vesting periods and tax implications. Schwartz himself expressed discomfort with the level of risk associated with his current stock holdings and hinted at potential future actions to manage this risk. He mentioned the possibility of selling Ripple stock to buy more, due to expiring options and significant tax considerations. Meanwhile, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse's previous statements about exploring IPO options outside the U.S. remain relevant. Plans for an IPO are currently on hold pending the resolution of the ongoing legal battle with the SEC. Garlinghouse expressed optimism about the appointment of a new regulator's chief and the potential for improved regulatory clarity, signaling hopes for a future IPO in the U.S. With Ripple's valuation at a staggering $11 billion and ongoing discussions with investors, anticipation is building regarding the company's future trajectory.
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Cardano's Large Transactions Surge, Impacting ADA's Future

According to U.Today, Cardano (ADA) has seen a significant increase in large transactions, with a remarkable 25 billion ADA transferred within a 24-hour period. This surge in on-chain activity aligns with ADA's price movements, necessitating a closer examination of the on-chain metrics and their potential implications for the asset's future. The on-chain data reveals a significant increase in the number of large transactions, often indicative of substantial wallet movements by whales or institutional players. These movements could suggest preparation for market developments, either bullish or bearish. The large transaction volume, which recently peaked at 27.67 billion ADA, underscores the intensity of this activity. ADA's price chart tells a story of tension. After a period of decline, ADA is showing signs of recovery, hovering around the 50-day EMA, currently at approximately $0.5, but has yet to make a clear breakthrough. With ADA trading just below this critical EMA level, the focus is on whether it can gather the necessary momentum to surpass it. If ADA succeeds, it could face the next resistance at approximately $0.55, a rise that would align with the increased on-chain activity. On the other hand, failure to move past the 50 EMA could see ADA retest the support near $0.49, a recent low that could serve as a launching pad for another upward attempt. The future of ADA hinges on the on-chain activity and the surge of buying activity in the market. However, the market is currently pausing before potentially moving upwards again. The decrease in liquidity and volatility in the market as the weekend approaches could potentially lead to a significant price drop.
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SkyBridge Capital Founder Emphasizes Importance of Bitcoin Ownership

According to U.Today, Anthony Scaramucci, the founder of SkyBridge Capital, recently emphasized the importance of owning Bitcoin in a post on his Twitter account. He highlighted that owning Bitcoin is no longer a matter of courage, but rather a 'question of brains'. Scaramucci's comments come in the wake of significant developments in the Bitcoin market, including the creation of spot ETFs and the recent halving event. Scaramucci's tweet sparked a lively discussion among his followers, with many expressing their satisfaction with holding Bitcoin. However, one user questioned Scaramucci's investment in the FTC exchange, asking whether it was 'guts or brains' that motivated his decision. In related news, Samson Mow, former Blockstream CSO and current CEO at Jan3, recently spoke to Forbes about the impact of the Bitcoin halving and his expectations for 'Omega candles'. Mow explained that halvings, which occur every four years, make Bitcoin more deflationary compared to fiat currencies and extend the issuance of BTC on the market. Before the halving, ETFs were purchasing between 5x and 15x the amount of Bitcoin produced by miners per day, creating a 'demand shock' for Bitcoin. Mow now anticipates the emergence of Omega candles, which are major trading candles that signify high volatility and significant shifts in the Bitcoin price. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading at $66,392, marking a nearly 9% increase since the halving day.
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Bitcoin's Potential to Surpass Gold's Market Capitalization Explored by Analyst

According to U.Today, Bitcoin analyst Willy Woo has sparked a discussion within the cryptocurrency community about the possibility of Bitcoin exceeding gold's market capitalization of $17.7 trillion. Woo's analysis focuses on the stock-to-flow (S2F) ratio, Bitcoin's inflationary path, and the growing trend of institutional adoption. Central to Woo's argument is the S2F model, a measure that assesses an asset's scarcity by comparing its current supply to its annual production. With Bitcoin's inflation rate now lower than gold's, Woo suggests that the cryptocurrency is well-positioned to challenge the supremacy of the precious metal as a store-of-value asset. However, Woo also cautioned that it could take 5 to 10 years for Bitcoin's market capitalization to match its S2F valuation. He attributed this delay to several factors, including the slow integration of Bitcoin into institutional portfolios, the creation of regulatory frameworks, and the establishment of custody solutions. Despite this cautious outlook, Woo highlighted the potential for retail investors who can self-custody their Bitcoin holdings to benefit from the S2F model sooner. He suggested a divergence between institutional and retail adoption timelines, implying that the latter might adopt Bitcoin's value proposition more quickly. As the possibility of Bitcoin's market cap reaching $17 trillion is considered, questions remain about the potential effects on the cryptocurrency's price dynamics in the meantime. Could the perceived delay between Bitcoin's intrinsic value and its market capitalization lead to increased volatility or speculative trading patterns? And how might external factors such as regulatory developments and macroeconomic trends influence its trajectory relative to gold?
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