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High Transaction Volumes are Boosting Ethereum’s Price Rally

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Ethereum (ETH) continues to scale heights not seen in its six-year journey. The second-largest cryptocurrency recently breached the psychological price of $3,000, and its rally upwards has seen it hit a new all-time high (ATH) above $3,200. 

ETH is up by 30.49% in the last seven days to trade at $3,250 at the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap.

Glassnode has revealed that high transaction volumes in the Ethereum network are boosting its upward momentum. The on-chain metrics provider explained:

“As ETH price reaches over $3,000 setting a new ATH, the NVT Ratio is driven back down towards this cycle’s lows. Low NVT Ratios indicate transaction volumes are high and growing faster than the network market cap.”

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In the first quarter of 2021, Ethereum settled transactions worth $1.5 trillion compared to $1.3 trillion in 2020. This, therefore, shows the considerable transaction volume ETH has been enjoying, which has aided its price rally.

This uptrend in transactions is based on the fact that more participants are joining the Ethereum bandwagon. For instance, WeWork, an American commercial real estate company that provides flexible shared workplaces, has partnered with Coinbase and Bitpay to accept crypto payments in the form of Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD Coin, and Paxos. 

Ethereum flips Bank of America’s market capitalization

With a market capitalization of $373.77 billion, Ethereum has exceeded Bank of America’s valuation of $347.31 billion. ETH is also more valuable than Home Depot, Walt Disney, Procter and Gamble, and Nestle, who have a market cap of $348.1B, $337.67B, 307.99B, and $337.38B, respectively.

This price rally has also enabled ETH addresses in profit to hit an ATH of 58 million, as acknowledged by Glassnode. 

According to data analytics firm Skew, CME Ethereum futures saw record volumes recently as open interest surged past $360 million, whereas daily volume breached the $300 million mark. 

Image source: Shutterstock Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/high-transaction-volumes-are-boosting-ethereum-price-rally

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Ethereum Gas Fees Surge to a Monthly High, Supply on Exchanges Continues to Decline

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After hitting highs of $4,350 recently, Ethereum (ETH) retraced to $3,871 at the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap

The crypto market experienced shock waves after Tesla, the American electric car manufacturer, decided not to accept BTC payments, citing concerns of negative environmental impact. 

The Ethereum network has enjoyed notable milestones ever since the second-largest cryptocurrency breached the previous record of $1,400 set in 2018. 

For instance, the total fees paid hit a monthly high of 746.026 ETH, as acknowledged by on-chain metrics provider Glassnode. Moreover, ETH’s dominance reached a record high of 19.13%. 

Ethereum’s supply on exchanges continue to be depleted

According to market analyst Joseph Young:

“The supply on exchanges continues to nosedive. Feels very different from the last bull cycle.”

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Glassnode had previously reported that ETH on exchanges dropped to 12% of circulating supply, as Ether in smart contracts rose to 22.8%. 

CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju attributes this trend to Ethereum’s usability and ecosystem, which has made ETH holdings decrease both in derivative and spot exchanges. As a result, the sell-side liquidity crunch has been intensified. 

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Crypto addresses with at least 10,000 ETH hit ATH

Lex Moskvoski, the CIO at Moskvoski Capital, noted that crypto addresses with more than 10,000 ETH broke the record in the last 30 days. He explained:

“Number of Ethereum addresses with more than 10k ETH are repeatedly hitting ATH in the last 30 days. Looks like the beginning of massive accumulation. Smart contracts are excluded in this chart.”

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Furthermore, decentralized finance (DeFi) projects on the Ethereum network has expanded at an incredible rate, absorbing more than $100 billion in liquidity in less than a year. Ethereum smart contracts are one of the most sought after features in DeFi.

Time will tell whether ETH will hit the psychological price of $5,000 this year, given that Ether has enjoyed a remarkable bull run in just the first quarter of 2021. Many are inclined to think that Ether will eventually reach $5,000 in value. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban seems to think that Ethereum will dwarf Bitcoin in the future, given the reliance of other blockchain projects on its network.

Image source: Shutterstock Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/ethereum-gas-fees-surge-monthly-highsupply-exchanges-continues-decline

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Samsung Facilitates Blockchain Use on Galaxy Devices

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Samsung issued an official announcement to inform users that they will now be able to manage and trade cryptocurrencies from third-party wallets directly on Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

This update will provide blockchain users with a more convenient and faster way to process transactions between digital assets, by transferring funds from cold storage wallets to the Samsung blockchain.

Samsung’s Galaxy series smartphones currently also support hardware wallets including Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X.

Since the Samsung Blockchain KeyStore first launched in 2019, there have been four cryptocurrencies supported by the wallet: Klaytn (KLAY), Ethereum (ETH), ERC-20 tokens, Bitcoin (BTC), and TRON (TRX).

It also expanded its encryption products to decentralized applications (DApps). There are now more than 40 Dapps integrated on Samsung’s blockchain platform, and developers can build their own applications on this basis for applications in finance, social media, and even the video games industry.

For the management of virtual currency, the security of the device is of utmost importance. The private keys used for cryptocurrency and DApps are encrypted and stored in an area isolated from the main operating system.

Samsung Electronics wrote:

“This information is further protected by a secure processor and can only be accessed by providing the asset owner’s PIN or fingerprint.”

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Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/samsung-facilitates-blockchain-use-galaxy-devices

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Binance Reportedly Faces Investigations from Top US Federal Agencies

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The Internal Revenue Services and The Department of Justice are reportedly investigating Binance crypto exchange.

The IRS and the DOJ have requested information from individuals who are knowledgeable about Binance’s business. Bloomberg media report shows that officials involved with Binance’s business are being investigated for information associated with money laundering and tax offences.   

The investigation details have remained confidential. Officials from the DOJ and the IRS have not responded to Bloomberg’s request for information. Binance has also stated denied requests for comment.

According to Bloomberg, Jessica Jung, a PR officer at Binance, said that the exchange takes its “legal obligations very seriously and engages with regulators and law enforcement in a collaborative fashion.” She further stated that Binance has “worked hard to build a robust compliance program that incorporates anti-money laundering principles and has tools used by financial institutions to detect and address suspicious activity.”

Jung stated via email that the firm does not comment on specific inquiries or matters.

The report mentioned that the exchange operates in various jurisdictions like Singapore, the Cayman Islands, to name a few places, and this implies that it has been able to avoid most government oversight.

Closing Crypto Gaps

Without any further details of the investigation, it is difficult to say or predict the outcome of the Binance probe.

In the past, Binance has faced investigations from various agencies. In January, Chainalysis blockchain analysis firm released a report regarding cryptocurrency crime in 2020. The report mentioned that Binance was used for money laundering activities more than any other crypto exchanges.

It is worth noting that Chainalysis works in collaboration with other agencies like the IRS and DOJ. Therefore, such a report might have prompted other agencies to conduct further investigations. However, the federal agencies have not accused Binance of wrongdoing. This may mean that the investigations could be targeting Binance exchange customers and not the firm itself.

In March 2021, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) put Binance under investigation to determine if US citizens traded digital derivative products on the exchange in violation of US regulations.

Last month, Germany’s financial regulator, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), warned investors that Binance may have violated European securities laws with the launch of its stock tokens. The watchdog warned that the exchange risked being fined up to €5 million for offering security/tracking tokens without compliance with local regulations.

So far, Binance has not been accused of any wrongdoing and these agencies have not brought any enforcement actions against the exchange.

It is important to note that Binance is not the only crypto exchange that has faced an investigation. In December 2017, the IRS probed thousands of Coinbase customers for failure to report Bitcoin transactions. In October 2020, the CFTC investigated and charged BitMEX executives for failure to prevent money laundering activities on the exchange. 

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Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/binance-reportedly-faces-investigations-top-us-federal-agencies

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SEC and Ripple’s Next Meeting for XRP Case Set for May 21

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The next hearing between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ripple will be held on May 21.

The virtual conference will be overseen by Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.

During the hearing, the SEC will likely look to gain access to certain legal documents in Ripple’s possession that details the legal advice the fintech firm received in the past for XRP. Through the document, the SEC will be able to delve into past conversations Ripple has had with legal authorities regarding how XRP should be regulated. The securities regulator is also currently looking to fight Ripple’s fair notice defense, which claims that the SEC did not provide a clear warning beforehand that XRP was in violation of investment policies

The lawsuit against Ripple continues to stretch on. The last hearing between the SEC and Ripple took place on April 30. The outcome was bullish for Ripple, as the maximum amount of listeners allowed for the virtual hearing was reached, at 4K. Judge Netburn acknowledged the “high interest” the case has received.

Despite the negative impact of the lawsuit, through which the SEC alleges Ripple raised $1.3 billion in unregistered digital asset securities through XRP, the cryptocurrency has remained bullish, breaking the $1.00 psychological level. This is a far cry from when XRP plunged to $0.20 when the SEC first handed Ripple a lawsuit.

Many in the crypto community have kept a bullish perspective on XRP, as they are expecting Ripple to beat the lawsuit.

XRP investors angered by the lawsuit

This comes at a time when the SEC has denied holding any documents related to bitcoin and Ethereum, which the crypto community has taken as an indication that the financial regulator may be hiding something.

Investors remain bullish on XRP. On behalf of over 10,000 XRP holders, attorney John Deaton has filed a motion to intervene as a third-party defendant in the XRP case, under the pretext that the lawsuit brought upon by the SEC has harmed XRP investors.

The outcome of this case will be major for the crypto community, as it may determine how other digital assets are regulated in the United States in the future.

Amid the frenzy caused by the lawsuit, Ripple has reported a remarkable 87% increase in XRP sales in the first quarter of 2021. Despite the lawsuit, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has asserted that the fintech firm will thrive, as many of its partnerships are with firms outside of the US, namely located in the Asia Pacific region.

Recently, SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture between Ripple and SBI Holdings, announced the introduction of a new remittance corridor in Cambodia, the first of its kind. Through this venture, money transfers between Cambodia and Vietnam will be made cheaper and settled in real-time through RippleNet, Ripple’s distributed ledger-based payments network.

Image source: Shutterstock Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/sec-ripples-next-meeting-xrp-case-set-may-21

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