Did the oil market crash influence the crypto market?
Crude oil contracts for May delivery plunged into negative territory of -$37 per barrel. How can an asset, especially a valuable scarce resource such as oil, have a negative price? In simple terms, oil storage facilities worldwide are full due to the economic turmoil triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, and since oil storage is a costly business, people were willing to pay to get rid of it.
The unprecedented oil crash hasn’t caused a serious immediate impact on crypto market. Major cryptos such as Bitcoin and Ethereum slipped around 4-6%, which is within the normal daily volatility range.
While economists around the world are anticipating long-lasting repercussions of such a dramatic oil crash, traders are betting on which safe-haven assets society will be most confident in during the impending recession. Some crypto influencers argue that legacy markets are flawed, because even the news of a record 3.3 million U.S. jobless claims was followed by an immediate rally in the stock market.
According to a recent report by Binance research, cryptos performed better than many other assets during the first quarter of 2020.
Financial watchdog recommends to regulate or ban stablecoins
The G20’s Financial Stability Board (FSB), an international body which monitors the global financial system, released a consultative document with ten recommendations on how to regulate stablecoins. According to the FSB, the wide adoption of crypto stablecoins could introduce significant risks to financial stability unless governments introduce strict regulations.
Stablecoins are fiat-pegged cryptocurrencies that usually fall into two categories: centralized or decentralized. The FSB suggested to regulate centralized stablecoins and completely ban fully decentralized stablecoins, since they cannot be easily regulated. The recommendations propose strong cross-border cooperation to make sure companies that issue stablecoins cannot avoid the regulations by hiding in certain jurisdictions.
Even though the document is only consultative in nature, many experts see it as a coordinated move against stablecoins of all varieties: from well-established Ethereum-based stablecoins such as USDT, USDC, and DAI, to the stablecoins that are still in development like Facebook’s Libra project. This month, Tether minted $600 million USDT tokens for an “Inventory Replenishment”, reaching a new $7 billion market cap.
In other news
According to analytics company Messari, the total value of assets transferred daily on the Ethereum blockchain recently reached roughly $1.5 billion and matched the Bitcoin network’s performance. The aggregate value transfer of ETH has been declining since 2018, but the value transfer of Ethereum-based stablecoins has significantly increased in the last months.
The decentralized lending app LendF.me, developed by a China-based startup dForce, has been hacked, allowing an unidentified hacker to steal roughly $25 million. The attacker was able to drain over 99.9% of the assets deposited in the DeFi app. However, after the hacker reportedly revealed his IP address by accident, they quickly returned the stolen funds, seemingly fearing legal repercussions.
Google deleted 49 Chrome browser extensions that were hijacking crypto wallets, targeting users of Ledger, Trezor, Jaxx, MEW, MetaMask, and others. Some of the malicious extensions came with fake five-star reviews, and were phishing for mnemonic phrases, private keys, and keystore files.
Google searches for upcoming Bitcoin’s halving event are accelerating. Interestingly, previous search volume of Bitcoin’s halving in 2016 peaked higher on daily charts, but the current search volume is more constant over longer timeframes.
The Chinese company MicroBT has launched three new Bitcoin miners: WhatsMiner M30S+, M30S++, and M31S+, ahead of the upcoming Bitcoin halving. MicroBT is a main rival of Bitmain, and its sales figures in 2019 accounted for 35% of Bitcoin’s network total hashrate, according to the company’s COO.
An American venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is planning to raise $450 million for a second crypto-dedicated fund. A16z is a major investor in crypto companies and has previously backed Coinbase, Libra, Polychain, Maker, Compound, dYdX, and other blockchain startups.
The r/CryptoCurrency subreddit has reached 1 million subscribers. By comparison, r/Bitcoin has 1.4 million subscribers, r/Ethereum has 450K subscribers, and the Bitcoin Cash themed subreddit r/btc has 300K subscribers.