This week in Crypto: Week of March 31 

We cover weekly key developments in the world of crypto assets and blockchain that have influenced price action and general sentiment.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

this week in crypto

Illustration: MilicaM

Investment developments  

The recent Bitcoin (BTC) price surge was a golden opportunity for short-term holders to reap some profits, and CryptoQuant’s data suggests that many of them took advantage of this window and cashed out their positions at the high point. Despite this, BTC managed to stay above the once-critical $28,000 level, indicating that the move up could continue. 

CryptoQuant’s Spent Output Value Bands metric confirms a surge in whale Bitcoin spending. Currently, whales holding 1,000 to 10,000 BTCs have already spent over 220,000 BTCs – a figure that’s only been climbing higher since March. Clearly, these big players have been stepping up their investment activity, which is in line with the price increase we have seen over the week. 

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Spent Output Value Bands. Source: Twitter  

Meanwhile, as whales continue to spend their output, the number of Bitcoin addresses holding more than 10 BTC has risen sharply. Data from Santiment indicates that the figure has grown substantially since 2022, having jumped a remarkable 7.1%. Although the share of available BTC held by these wallets remains fairly consistent, the total amount is fast approaching its peak recorded in September 2019. 

Finally, according to data from CoinMarketCap, the global crypto market cap stands at $1.18 trillion, a 0.66% increase from March 29 to 30. Meanwhile, the total crypto market volume over the last 24 hours (March 30) is $48.80 billion, a 0.06% increase.  

The Crypto Fear and Greed Index, which uses six measurements to assess the current sentiment in the markets, still shows the emotion of greed with a value of 60. The index rates market emotions from 1, extreme fear, to 100, extreme greed.  

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Crypto Fear & Greed Index. Source: Alternative 

These recent readings suggest that risk appetites in crypto markets are strong. Similar to the previous week, greed seems to be running crypto markets, which is why we have seen an uptake in prices, not just for BTC, but other smaller tokens, most notably XRP. We would still warrant caution as markets are not out of the woods yet.  

Crypto Exchange developments 

Crypto exchange woes did not end last week. The Windy City’s Beaxy crypto exchange has been forced to suddenly halt its operations due to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing a slew of charges against the exchange and its creator, Artak Hamazaspyan. 

The SEC has accused Beaxy Exchange, along with its executives, of not registering as a national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency. Furthermore, the regulator has accused Beaxy Digital and its founder Artak Hamazaspyan of raising $8 million through the illegal sale of their BXY token, which the SEC deemed unregistered security. 

To ensure the security of all customer assets, the exchange clearly outlined that clients can withdraw their funds within 30 days once the firm verifies balances and cancels user orders. Act fast to guarantee the safety of your assets! 

While the SEC is shutting down exchanges left and right, Hong Kong is driving towards becoming a major financial technology (fintech) hub in the region with the launch of the ProDigital Future Fund, with the goal of hitting a staggering $100 million before the close of 2023. 

A multitude of investors in Hong Kong have been reportedly intrigued by participating in the digital economy, from Chinese family offices investing in Australia and Singapore, to those hoping to join the fray. Despite the U.S. regulatory clampdown after the unfortunate FTX collapse last year, Hong Kong has been largely supportive of crypto exchanges. Nevertheless, there remains a fear that one day it could take a U-turn. 

Web3 developments 

Sky Mavis, the studio behind the hugely popular Web3 game Axie Infinity, is broadening its horizons beyond its renowned title. The firm is extending the Ronin ecosystem, collaborating with four game studios:  Directive Games, Bali Games, Tribes Studio, and Bowled.io – all of whom are utilizing Axie’s Ronin network to create their own unique games. 

Many of Ronin’s new games, though impressive in their variety – from shooters to mobile games to strategy titles – won’t be linked to Axie. Still, Axie enthusiasts need not be discouraged; Bali Games, the makers of Anipang, plan to craft captivating puzzle games using Axie’s characters and backstory on the Ronin platform. 

This news could be huge for crypto gaming, as we now see the instigator of blockchain gaming take on a more prominent role in the space with the collaboration. If their previous success is anything to go by, we can expect fun new games that will again draw in masses into Web3 and blockchain gaming.  

In another potentially huge news, an email from an official Amazon account was delivered to Nikhilesh De, CoinDesk’s managing editor for global policy and regulation. This email was confirming the presence of digital tokens and a gallery on the world-famous e-commerce platform. 

There were whispers for weeks that Amazon has something exciting up its sleeve: a potential new NFT marketplace. But, until now, Amazon has remained silent on the matter. An email, however, has recently surfaced, offering an inside peek into their plans for Web3 expansion and even giving a subtle hint of where these new tools may be hosted on their platform. 

Amazon’s foray into the world of NFTs could be a groundbreaking moment for bringing Web3 to its millions of worldwide customers. Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon, has declared his openness to blockchain technology, expressing his belief to CNBC in April 2022 that NFTs are “sure to expand considerably” and that crypto integration may be “in the cards in the future.” 

DeFi developments 

Amid claims of a potential network vulnerability, THORChain took the precautionary step of suspending all trading activity until further verification. On March 28, THORChain tweeted the announcement of their temporary pause, citing a dependency on the THORChain network that could possibly be at risk. 

Soon after reports circulated on social media suggesting a potential vulnerability on THORChain, the Nine Realms liquidity platform and the THORSec security team received “credible reports.” In response, the THORChain network has been stopped across the globe. 

Eight hours after the announcement, THORChain took to Twitter to share a follow-up regarding the credibility of the disclosure. The update highlighted that the developers and security team had identified it as trustworthy, though a malicious node had been detected in the last churn. Despite this, the team declared that trading had resumed as they determined that the vulnerability could not be exploited. 

Tech developments 

As Bitcoin’s Lightning Network moves closer to mainstream adoption, Spiral (an open-source development entity funded by Jack Dorsey’s Block) is leading the charge with its flagship implementation, Lightning Development Kit (LDK). With tech improvements announced during a Twitter Spaces, the LDK team is embarking on an exciting roadmap to enhance user functionality and accessibility in the next year. 

Given its perceived potential to take Bitcoin mainstream, the Lightning Network is a majorly significant development, offering faster, cheaper, and more scalable payments. While the Network is functional, its use is still not always straightforward for beginners, with a few rough edges still needing to be smoothed out.