Crypto news during the third week of April did not do much to impact cryptocurrencies positively. Most digital assets brought double percentage losses to holders but the market is still in the green when year-to-date (YTD) returns are factored into account.
Over the period, Bitcoin (BTC) mining difficulty reached a new peak, and this is extremely vital in helping preserve the blockchain’s status as a secured network.
It was widely reported that after completing the Merge (the transition from a Proof-of-Work to a Proof-of-Stake network), Ethereum’s mission of becoming a deflationary coin has finally taken shape.
Moreover, a new non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace feature was launched by Mattel, a toy maker while stablecoin issuer Tether Limited’s United States Dollar Tether (USDT) increased its Ethereum USDT supply. Without mining, the use of Proof-of-Work (POW) coins would be impossible. Intel is one of the companies that provide infrastructure for mining to take place but unfortunately, it announced that it was ending its BTC mining chip series.
JPEX takes an in-depth look into the week’s trending news.
Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Rose to Record Highs
In crypto circles, the difficulty in mining digital assets measures how hard is it for miners to find a valid hash for a block of transactions. Mining difficulty reached an all-time high (ATH) of 48.71T on Thursday, April 20. This is a 43% increase in difficulty from January 3’s 34.09T.
With a significant rise in mining difficulty, it will be extremely hard for a hacker or any other cybercriminal to conduct a malicious attack on the Bitcoin network.
With the soar in difficulty, trillions of guesses are made by application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) before correct hashes can be found for a block and then transaction verification and validation can take place. After surpassing $30,000 last week, BTC shed 10% of its price after losing more than $3,000 of its value from $30,490.75 on April 15 to $27,271.21 on April 22.
Ethereum has finally become a deflationary coin
The supply of Ether (ETH), the native asset of Ethereum has reduced by 100,000 since the successful implementation of the Merge. The Merge took place in September and it transitioned Vitalik Buterin’s innovation from relying on the process of mining (POW) to using staking (POS), the locking of coins by holders to validate transactions. POS did not only make Ethereum a scalable blockchain. In addition to this feature, its cryptocurrency ETH has become deflationary.
In crypto, inflationary coins increase in number. A great example of an inflationary coin is Dogecoin (DOGE). With a basic understanding of inflationary in mind, deflationary is the complete opposite, and means a reduction in the number of crypto coins in the market.
While inflation reduces the value of a cryptocurrency, deflation increases the value of a coin due to scarcity.
Many analysts believe that ETH could shoot up substantially if more coins are taken off its circulation supply and this could see the digital asset finally surpass the $5,000 mark.
Toy Maker Mattel to Introduce a P2P Feature to its NFT Marketplace
Mattel is a toy manufacturer in the United States and it branched into the NFT market in November 2022 when it launched its marketplace. In keeping with the times and demands of the market, the toy maker announced that a peer-to-peer (P2P) feature will be included in this marketplace, and it go live on April 27.
P2P has become a necessary feature in the blockchain-powered economy since millions of blockchain enthusiasts are interested in cutting out middlemen and dealing directly with buyers and sellers.
The P2P marketplace aims at enhancing the toy maker’s NFT offerings and was developed in collaboration with Flow (blockchain that houses NBA Top Shot and NFL ALL DAY), Magic, a wallet-as-a-service provider, and Rarible, an NFT company with a digital collectibles marketplace of its own.
Tether expanded its stablecoin growth with one billion new mints on Ethereum
One (1) billion USDT tokens were minted on Ethereum’s network on Friday, April 21. USDTs on Ethereum are known as USDT ERC20 and are pegged 1:1 to the United States Dollar.
While USDT remains the largest stablecoin by market capitalization, the latest addition has led to a spike in the project’s market value.
As of 09:00 UTC on Saturday, April 22, USDT had a market capitalization of around $81 billion and a fully diluted market capitalization of approximately $85 billion.
USDT has extended its lead over closest rival USDC with Binance USD (BUSD), DAI, UDSP, and others are languishing far behind the popular stablecoin.
Intel Ended its Bitcoin Mining Chip Series
Crypto mining would not be possible without companies such as Intel. On Tuesday, April 18, Intel shared a document with CoinDesk, a crypto news portal, and disclosed that it will be ending the production of its Blockscale 1000 Series ASIC.
According to a news report by CoinDesk, Intel would not take orders after October 20, and no one will receive a shipment after April 20, 2024. Despite a decrease in mining revenue, miners continue to see above-average revenues from BTC. Mining revenue for the first three (3) weeks of April stood at $574 million, as of writing.
The market continues to experience ups and downs but only time will tell if a global comprehensive regulatory framework could come into force and bring more certainty to the industry.