April 24, 2024

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Block Develops Advanced 3nm Bitcoin Mining Chip to Decentralize and Enhance Mining Efficiency

Block, the digital payments company co-founded by Jack Dorsey, has completed the development of a pioneering three-nanometer Bitcoin mining chip, advancing towards its goal of decentralizing Bitcoin mining. Currently collaborating with a leading semiconductor foundry to finalize the chip's design, Block aims to support diverse mining operations by providing standalone chips and a comprehensive mining system. This development follows the fourth Bitcoin halving on April 19, which reduced the mining reward to 3.125 BTC, emphasizing the need for more efficient mining technology. Block’s initiative is unique among major hardware vendors, potentially catalyzing innovation and the development of new mining systems. Dorsey’s vision for Block, formerly Square, includes broadening access to economic tools, reflected in their recent earnings with a substantial increase in Bitcoin sales through their Cash App platform.

SEC Opens Public Comment on BlackRock's Amended Ethereum ETF Proposal Featuring Cash Redemptions

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeking public input on recent amendments to BlackRock's application for a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF), named the iShares Ethereum Trust. Originally filed in November 2023, the proposal was delayed by the SEC in January, with an amendment submitted by Nasdaq on April 19 outlining a cash redemption model for the ETF, contrasting with the initial proposal involving Ether. This change aligns with the scrutiny cash versus in-kind redemption models faced during discussions on spot Bitcoin ETFs, which eventually received SEC approval. The amendment does not address staking, unlike revisions from other firms such as Fidelity and Grayscale, which included staking provisions and proposed cash for creation and redemption processes. With the SEC postponing decisions on similar proposals until June, and analyst optimism for approval declining, the regulatory future of spot Ethereum ETFs remains uncertain. Public comments on BlackRock’s amended proposal are due within 21 days.

ViaBTC Auctions Rare 'Epic Sat' Following Bitcoin's Fourth Halving, Highlighting Collectible Potential with Ordinals Protocol

Bitcoin mining pool ViaBTC is auctioning a unique "epic sat" after successfully mining Bitcoin's fourth halving block, setting aside 40.75 BTC worth $2.6 million. This satoshi, dubbed "epic" due to its rarity and collectible potential under the Ordinals protocol, is being auctioned in partnership with CoinEx Global, starting at 1 BTC with the highest bid currently at 1.6 BTC. The auction showcases a novel use of the Ordinals protocol, which allows the inscription of NFTs and tokens directly onto the Bitcoin blockchain, enhancing each satoshi's uniqueness and transferability. This event, marking a significant milestone, coincides with the halving that reduced the mining block reward and spiked the block's transaction fee rewards, making it historically valuable. Critics, however, question the concept of "epic sats" given bitcoin's inherent fungibility, where all satoshis are supposed to have equal value.

Trading Desk Insights

Bitcoin approached the 50-day moving average, hitting around $67,000, before experiencing a slight pullback. This movement occurs amidst persistent strength in the US Dollar Index and the 10-year Treasury yield, suggesting that caution remains advisable when dealing with risk assets. For Bitcoin to attract further bullish momentum, it needs to decisively breach the $67,500 level.

In ETF news, the market has absorbed a third consecutive day of inflows totaling $31.6 million, whereas Grayscale reported outflows of $66.9 million.

Meme cryptocurrencies have regained strength after a significant drop earlier in the month. Leading the resurgence, BONK has doubled in value with a 100% increase, followed by PEPE, which rose by 55%.

In blockchain developments, Hedera HBAR reported that BlackRock's U.S. Treasury money market fund had been tokenized on its platform, initially causing a price surge of 100%. However, a subsequent 30% decline followed revelations that BlackRock was not directly involved in the initiative. Despite this, the narrative around real-world asset (RWA) tokenization continues to gain traction, driven by increasing institutional interest in blockchain applications.

The ETHBTC pair shows signs of upward movement, potentially indicating a growing risk appetite among investors.

Legal issues are also in the spotlight as the U.S. Department of Justice has recommended a three-year prison sentence for Binance founder Changpeng Zhao, citing violations of federal sanctions and money laundering regulations.

In stock market news, S&P 500 futures remained stable as investors evaluated new corporate financial data. Tesla shares rose over 12% in pre-market trading following announcements of new, more affordable electric vehicle initiatives, despite a 9% revenue drop in the first quarter, marking its most significant year-over-year decline since 2012.

Elsewhere, Jack Dorsey's company, Block (formerly Square), is expanding its Bitcoin mining operations from chip design to the development of a comprehensive mining system.

Lastly, the Federal Trade Commission has voted in favor of a nationwide ban on noncompete agreements, a move that could affect approximately 30 million U.S. workers, or 18% of the workforce. The rule will come into effect 120 days after publication in the Federal Register. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced its intention to challenge this decision legally shortly after the vote.

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