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    Crypto Market Struggles with Regulatory Developments and Economic News

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    The crypto market is facing a challenging environment as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has cracked down on crypto services. Last week, the SEC fined Kraken exchange US$30 million and ordered it to stop its crypto staking services. Additionally, the New York State Department of Financial Services ordered stablecoin issuer Paxos to stop minting the BUSD stablecoin.[0] As a result, bitcoin shifted from flying high above $25,000 to sinking to $23.6k over the course of Thursday.[1]

    Kraken, a regulated exchange, has been ordered to pay a $30 million penalty and discontinue its U.S. service without delay. The process of staking involves the locking of tokens over a specified period of time to help maintain the functioning of a blockchain.[2] With liquid staking, users can benefit from decentralized finance (DeFi) services, such as lending and borrowing, by obtaining a derivative token that represents the amount of tokens they have locked.[2] The SEC's statement highlights a lack of transparency from Kraken.[3] The SEC seems to be concerned about fund flow: Is ether deposited into Kraken intended for staking really going to staking?[3] Is it being lent out?[3]

    The global cryptocurrency market capitalization decreased sharply, reaching a low of $1.09 trillion, with a decline of 3% over the last 24 hours.[0] Total trading volumes rose by 13%, reaching $81.11 billion.[1] Due to rising Bitcoin and Ether prices, many crypto projects are delaying their token launch plans due to an ‘Alameda gap', which is caused by a lack of liquidity.[1]

    Research conducted by Binance has revealed that a considerable percentage of ETH holders who participated in staking on Ethereum's Beacon Chain in the last three years are making a profit, while the rest are in the red.[1] Despite the possibility that Bitcoin may dip to $20,000 or lower, there is still a positive outlook on the leading cryptocurrency.[2] As Asia started the working week, the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX) fell to $21,750 and ether is down 1.8% to $1,514.[2]

    The crypto market is digesting regulatory developments as well as upcoming economic news.[2] Japan's Gross Domestic Product (QoQ) and United Kingdom Claimant Count Change (Jan) and ILO Unemployment Rate (Dec) will be released at 10:50 p.m.[2]

    0. “Markets: Bitcoin slips back below US$24,000; equities slide” Forkast News, 17 Feb. 2023, https://forkast.news/headlines/bitcoin-below-us24000-inflation-equities/

    1. “Crypto Price Today: Bitcoin below $24,000; Shiba Inu, Avalanche, Solana drop 5% each” Business Today, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.businesstoday.in/crypto/story/crypto-price-today-bitcoin-below-24000-shiba-inu-avalanche-solana-drop-5-each-370563-2023-02-17

    2. “First Mover Asia: Bitcoin might test $20k as it looks for support” FXStreet, 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.fxstreet.com/cryptocurrencies/news/first-mover-asia-bitcoin-might-test-20k-as-it-looks-for-support-202302130119

    3. “First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Might Test $20K as It Looks for Support” Yahoo Life, 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/first-mover-asia-bitcoin-might-005850418.html

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