BlackRock has applied to the SEC to launch a Bitcoin trust

BlackRock Investment Company decided to create a spot exchange product based on cryptocurrency. And this despite numerous refusals by the regulator to register such funds

iShares, a division of BlackRock Investment Company, filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to register the iShares Bitcoin Trust. The trust’s units, if approved, will trade on NASDAQ.

BlackRock is one of the largest investment firms in the world and the largest in terms of assets. And it manages about 1,000 funds with assets totaling more than $9 trillion (as of the end of March). The company also manages about $24.7 billion in reserve funds for Circle, the issuer of the second most capitalized USD Coin Stablecoin (USDC).

Bitcoin Trust and Spot Bitcoin ETFs are products that track the real price of Bitcoin. Their point is to give investors access to BTC through a regulated and familiar product. And without actually owning Bitcoin.

Futures-based exchange-traded funds differ from spot funds in that they offer investors access to futures contracts rather than to an asset.

When you buy units of a spot fund, unlike futures products, there is an actual purchase of Bitcoin in the market. If big players show interest in such a product, it may have an impact on the price of the asset.

The assets of iShares Bitcoin Trust consist mainly of Bitcoins. And the custodian of which will be Coinbase, the company said in a statement. The Bank of New York Mellon will hold the trust’s cash.

The trust could be the first Bitcoin-based spot exchange product in the U.S. According to Bloomberg, this is at least the 33rd attempt by issuers to create a spot product based on VTCs. Previously, all applications were rejected by regulators. And which cited, among other things, the problems of the crypto market and the lack of investor protection.

In January, the SEC rejected cryptocurrency exchange traded fund issuer 21Shares and Katie Wood’s investment firm ARK Investment Management for the second time to create a spot bitcoin ETF. In March, regulators rejected VanEck’s application for a spot bitcoin-ETF for the third time.

At the same time, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on Bitcoin futures were getting SEC approval. The first was the Bitcoin Strategy ETF from ProShares. And its shares became available to investors on the New York Stock Exchange in October 2021.

Our experts note that back in 2022, SEC head Gary Gensler explained. That applications for spot funds do not meet the standards of the Securities Act, so they are rejected by the commission.

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Bitcoin Market Cap Dominance reached its highest since Oct. 2021

The dominance of Bitcoin has increased as investors avoid investing in altcoins due to pressure from U.S. regulators

The Bitcoin stake in the cryptocurrency market has reached its highest point since October 2021. According to CoinGecko, Bitcoin Market Cap Dominance increased to 46% for the first time in 20 months. This suggests investors are being more cautious about other cryptocurrencies.

In early June, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) named a number of cryptocurrencies as unregistered securities in lawsuits against crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase. The decision led to a sell-off of these assets by market participants.

The SEC named several cryptocurrencies as securities in its lawsuits.

In the first case they were Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), Polygon (MATIC), Filecoin (FIL), Cosmos (ATOM), Sandbox (SAND), Decentraland (MANA), Algorand (ALGO), Axie Infinity (AXS) and COTI (COTI).

In the second lawsuit Chiliz (CHZ), Flow (FLOW), Internet Computer (ICP), NEAR Protocol (NEAR), Voyager VGX (VGX), Dash (DASH) and NEXO (NEXO) were added to them.

BTC is treated as a commodity by U.S. regulators. And that has helped it not drop in value as much as the altcoins that have been labeled as securities have.

Our experts note that BTC rate fluctuates around the mark of $25,000+ , the first cryptocurrency lost 5.7% in price last week. Altcoins fell in price more: Solana fell in price by 22.9% in 7 days, Polygon – by 23.3%, Cardano – by 20.9%.

However, the price of Bitcoin a few days ago fell below $25,000

Bitcoin price on June 14 fell below $25 thousand and updated the minimum for 3 months. BTC within an hour fell by $1 thousand – from $25.87 thousand to $24.87 thousand. The last time the first cryptocurrency was traded at this level on March 16.

The Fear & Greed Index also fell from 46 to 41 out of 100, moving deeper into the fear zone. This index also updated to a three-month low. And the last time it was below 41 on March 12 (33 points).

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What will happen to Bitcoin in the coming days?

Crypto Upvotes experts told about what will affect the price of Bitcoin. And to what levels its price may rise or fall

On June 13, Bitcoin price is fluctuating around the mark of $25.8 thousand. On the weekend of June 10-11, the price of the asset fell to $25.5 thousand. As well as many altcoins from the top 100 cryptocurrencies lost 20-25% in price. At the beginning of the week, rates rose slightly and BTC recovered to around $26k.

After it became known today that the growth of inflation in the US slowed down from 4.9% to 4% year-on-year in May (better than the forecast of 4.1%). Then immediately the rate of Bitcoin rose to $26.35 thousand, but then fell back to $26 thousand.

Recovery from collapse

Bitcoin hit the $26.2K mark, even though it was trading at $25,500 on the weekend. Last week, its price was down 7.5%. This was affected by the fall of BTC/USDT pair on June 5 (down to $25,700 from intraday low of $25,300) and charges of illegal operation, filed against Binance by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The lawsuit against Coinbase for allegedly violating securities trading rules did not add to the positivity either. We see a targeted campaign by the U.S. administration against crypto-exchanges. And recently, similar accusations were made against Bittrex and Kraken exchanges.

That said, the U.S.-based Bittrex began bankruptcy proceedings on May 8 following an April 17 SEC lawsuit. Kraken, meanwhile, continues to operate. But in February it agreed to pay $30 million in fines and refused to provide stacking services.

The tokens that fell the hardest over the weekend were the tokens that the regulator recognized as securities – BNB (BNB), Cardano (ADA) and Solana (SOL). Bitcoin was also affected. Its high last week was $27,39 thousand, which was followed by a decrease in price.

While investors continue to “speculate” on new crypto industry news. The major cryptocurrency is starting to recover. Our experts believe that already tomorrow we will see a rate of $26.4 thousand, and by the end of the week it will approach $27.2 thousand.

Support and resistance levels of BTC

The first target this week is to get back to the closing level of Friday, June 9, on the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group). It was $26.47 th.

Then, up to $27K, there is dense, saturated resistance. It will be very difficult to overcome this level.

Support lines of BTC at the moment are at the levels of $25.2 ths and $24.4 ths.

This week the market is expecting more volatility on June 14. On that day, the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will meet and the U.S. interest rate decision will be released.

Negative and positive scenarios

SEC lawsuits and the recognition of a number of altcoins as securities may cause crypto investors to choose to withdraw assets from altcoins and move them into Bitcoin. But for now, the overall situation is in the hands of the bears. And Bitcoin is unlikely to rise in the coming week.

It is unlikely that the price of BTC will fall below $24k, but it won’t be able to grow above $28k either. In other words, in the next 7 days the price of the asset will fluctuate in this range.

The negative scenario is that a criminal prosecution of Binance, which was warned about by former SEC lawyer John Reed Stark, could be launched. That would bring Bitcoin down to $20,000 – the level of the regional average cost of mining it.

The positive scenario is that the situation will quiet down for a few months. And there will be no criminal prosecution in the coming weeks. In that case, Bitcoin will be able to strengthen its position and return to the $28,000 mark. And maybe even test $30k. But so far, such a possibility is seen at best in the perspective of three to four weeks.

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Tether has participated in a $1bn fundraiser to create the largest crypto farm

Tether has invested in building a Bitcoin mining platform in El Salvador

Tether has participated in the first round of $1 billion in financing to build a Bitcoin farm in El Salvador. The company announced that it would provide capital and “bring its expertise in energy, equipment and communications”. Especially for the construction of Volcano Energy, a 241MW renewable energy generation park, the world’s largest site.

The site selected for construction will house photovoltaic cells to generate 169MW of solar power. And wind power generation equipment for 72 MW. This will enable the placement of mining equipment with computing power in excess of 1.3 EH/s, it said.

The total global hash rate on the bitcoin network on June 5 hovered around 361 EH/s, according to Minerstat.

The Tether says that by investing in green energy around the world. With this, it aims to become one of the leading providers and investors in the global renewable energy and mining infrastructure.

Our experts note that the company previously reported net income of $1.5 billion for the first quarter of the year, and announced its decision to spend up to 15% of realized operating profits on Bitcoin purchases.

At the end of May, Tether also announced that it was investing in renewable energy generation and the launch of bitcoin mining in Uruguay using that energy.

The farm in El Salvador, Tether claims, will be the largest in the world. In early May, one of the largest US miners, Marathon Digital, and developer Zero Two announced the creation of two Bitcoin mining platforms in Abu Dhabi, UAE, under equipment with a total capacity of 250 MW

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Major events in the cryptocurrency world in June

Several events are taking place this month that could affect both the value of individual cryptocurrencies and the cryptocurrency market as a whole

 

Optimism Main Network Update

Optimism (OP) – Main Network Update

The Optimism main network, called Bedrock, is scheduled to be updated on 6 June 2023. During the update, the blockchain will be suspended for approximately 2-4 hours. During this time, users will not be able to make transactions and other interactions with the blockchain.

Also operators of validation nodes need to update their software to the current version to work with Bedrock. This Bedrock update aims to improve network security and resilience. And it is also expected to reduce commission costs by 47% after the Bedrock update.

IDO of Neon Protocol project on Coinlist

IDO of Neon Protocol project on Coinlist

The IDO of the Neon Protocol project will take place on 8 June on the Coinlist platform. Neon Protocol is Ethereum’s first virtual machine (EVM) on the Solana blockchain. This protocol will allow developers to create decentralised applications (dApps) that are compatible with the Ethereum network. And in doing so, gain access to fast and low-cost transactions on the Solana network.

Also here, a total of 50 million NEON tokens (5% of the total supply) will be offered for sale at $0.10 per token. Both the minimum and maximum redemption amounts are $100 and $500, respectively. Additionally, users are scheduled to receive 100% of the NEON tokens purchased during the IDO on July 17 this year. Registration for this event closed on 5 June.

Vega Protocol (VEGA) - Reducing the reward for staking

Vega Protocol (VEGA) – Reducing the reward for staking

The developers of the Vega Protocol project have announced that starting on 12 June, the fees for staking VEGA tokens are to be reduced. This will reduce inflation by reducing token issuance.

Also Vega Protocol is a decentralised blockchain-based trading platform. It allows users to create their own assets and act as both market maker and trader. The project’s IDO took place on Coinlist in early June 2021.

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One of this month’s big events is IDO of Archway project on the Coinlists

IDO Archway will take place on 15 June. The Archway project is a Tier 1 blockchain. It uses the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm and is powered by the Cosmos SDK. It also aims to provide developers with a user-friendly platform. Which rewards them for creating decentralized universal (cross-chain) decentralized applications (dApps).

And a total of 30 million ARCH tokens (3% of the total offer) will be offered for sale at $0.20 per token. Also the minimum and maximum amounts for redemption are $100 and $1000 respectively. It is planned that users will receive 25% of the redeemed tokens after 40 days of locked up. And the remaining tokens will be distributed evenly over the next 8 months. Registration for IDO Archway will close on 12 June. In our opinion, this is one of the important events of this month

Unlocking Blur tokens (BLUR)

Unlocking Blur tokens (BLUR)

NFT-marketplace Blur will unlock 195.99 of its own $101.8m worth of BLUR control tokens on 15 June. Therefore, more than 6.5 % of the total supply of tokens will additionally enter the market.

Recognition of Bitcoin as official payment instrument in Brazil

One of the most awaited events: Recognition of Bitcoin as official payment instrument in Brazil

On 21 December 2022, President Jair Bolsonaro signed a law into law. And in which it enshrines BTC as a means of payment and an investment asset. This law will enter into force 180 days after the signing, on 16 June 2023.

Also, the Bank of Brazil will be responsible for and oversee the use of Bitcoin as a means of payment. And the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will be responsible for overseeing the use as an investment asset.

 

Optimism (OP) tokens unlocked

Optimism (OP) tokens unlocked

Our experts note that the Optimism project will unlock 195.99 of OP own management tokens worth about $35 million. Also, this would amount to 0.56% of the existing tokens. And some of it will go to developers and some to investors.

 

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Cryptocurrencies closed in the negative in May. What awaits cryptocurrencies in early summer

Our Crypto Upvotes experts summed up results of May on the crypto market. And gave their forecasts for leading cryptocurrencies for the nearest future

May was the first month this year that Bitcoin closed with a loss in price. On January 1, BTC was trading around $16.5 thousand, on February 1 – $23.13 thousand, on March 1 – $23.15 thousand, on April 1 Bitcoin rate reached $28.5 thousand, and on May 1 – $29.3 thousand. By the last day of spring the price of BTC went down to $27.7 thousand.

But despite the BTC price decrease by 5.5% in May, it has grown by 67% since the beginning of the year. The total market capitalization of the cryptocurrency decreased by 3.3% in May, but has increased by 41% since the beginning of the year.

Last month on the cryptocurrency market went mainly in the decline in the prices of leading assets

The growth was observed only in certain projects, such as Ripple. And it was primarily due to internal fundamental reasons.

Otherwise, the correction in the cryptocurrency market within the uptrend of the beginning of the year continues. And to say that the market has found the bottom and will go into active growth, it is not necessary yet, says our expert.

May has not been very good for BTC so far this year, with almost 6% fall of the exchange rate. Despite this, we have not seen a strong collapse. For example, as it was in May of the previous few years. Over the past month, BTC and other major cryptocurrencies by market capitalization were in consolidation phase.

On May 25 the price of Bitcoin updated minimum of two months, sinking to the point of $25.8 thousand. But by the end of May BTC got out of this pit, and steadily crossed the point of $27 thousand.

This decline can be attributed to market instability caused by problems in the U.S. banking sector, says our expert. Recession inevitably leads to higher borrowing costs for individuals and companies. And investments are losing yields. So investors tend to invest in conservative instruments. Cryptocurrency traditionally fades into the background at this time.

The U.S. Treasury Department is actively working to reduce inflation. And if it succeeds, then the cryptocurrency segment of the market will go back to growth

Our experts say that even with the current Fed rate, Bitcoin will be able to stop the decline. And even begin to rise in price, albeit slowly. The same will happen to Ethereum and other popular cryptocurrencies.

The most important key events for the crypto market in June. These are reports on the U.S. business activity, inflation and unemployment index, which are published at the beginning of the month. Then after these reports, on June 14, there will be a Fed meeting on the interest rate. And the change of which could very strongly influence the rate of BTC and altcoins.

In case of good economic reports we may expect that the current price level will be kept. In this case, it will be a positive signal for the crypto market. And that will push the BTC price up, to the current resistance level of $31,000, and possibly higher.

Historically, June is considered a low month for Bitcoin. And for the past three years, its exchange rate has fallen in June, our experts remind us.

In May, Bitcoin was supposed to show BTC down to the $25k level. However, it fell slightly short of that target. At the same time, as in the case with Bitcoin, our experts also expect other assets to decline in prices in June.

For example, the correction target for Ethereum is at $1.6k. And other assets with high market capitalization, such as BNB, XRP, ADA, MATIC may also decrease by 5-15% in the first month of summer, our expert thinks.

As for the fundamental aspects, the attention of market participants remains focused on macroeconomics in the USA. Because the pause in rate hike at the June FED meeting is already built into the current prices. But in case of divergence with market expectations, cryptocurrency may decline synchronously with stock assets.

Important events in June among other top 30 cryptocurrencies

Among all cryptocurrency assets from the top 30, Litecoin (LTC) may be stronger than the market. That’s because the LTC network will be halving in August. It is historically bullish on the cryptocurrency exchange price. Also LTC can become one of the leaders of the subsequent market growth. And even if it won’t show good growth in June.

Our experts Crypto Upvotes note that in June several major unlocks of cryptocurrencies are expected. For example such as 1inch Network (1INCH) here will be released 16.6% of the total supply. And Blur here will unlock 6.62% of the total supply. Our expert warned that after unlocks there is usually a fall in asset prices.

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How the Lightning Network project solves the main problem of Bitcoin

Lightning Network protocol allows cryptocurrency payments almost instantly and without fees. Our experts tell us how the solution works, who supports it. And why it is not yet popular in the crypto market

When the Bitcoin blockchain was flooded with memcoins in BRC-20 token format in early May. The cryptocurrency faced congestion and prohibitively high fees. The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, was forced to shut down the ability to withdraw Bitcoins twice a day. Until an acceptable level of load on the network returns. Representatives of the exchange announced that its development team is working on integrating transfers through a solution called Lightning Network. Which, in their words, “helps well in such situations.”

The Lightning Network (LN) protocol is Bitcoin’s scaling system, acting as one solution to the problem of its limited bandwidth. With its help it is possible to carry out almost instant transfers of coins with minimal commissions.

The protocol concept was first introduced in a technical paper titled Lightning Network for Bitcoin: The Bitcoin Lightning Network: Scalable Off-Chain Instant Payments in 2015. It was authored by developers Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Drija. Since Lightning Network’s inception, the developer community has been working collectively to improve both the protocol itself. And on applications and tools that support LN transactions.

How it works

If we think of Bitcoin as a huge highway. And where countless vehicles (transactions) compete for limited space. The Lightning Network protocol acts as a dedicated lane. And which allows you to bypass a congested main road. This is achieved by creating special payment channels. In which transactions can take place instantly, with minimal fees and without the need to write each of them to the Bitcoin blockchain.

To open such a channel, participants in a coin transfer create a common address and fund it with a certain amount in Bitcoins. They can then transfer funds to each other. And the balance data on their addresses will be updated within the channel. When they close the channel, the final balance will already be written to the Bitcoin blockchain as a separate transaction.

Payment channels can be created using wallets or other Lightning Network enabled software. You can use someone else’s channel as an intermediary for transfers. And in this case, the one who opened it will receive a small commission. Since the transactions take place outside the blockchain. It is impossible to identify a separate identifier for a particular transfer. Or see its data in the blockchain browser.

What prevents this project from distributing

Despite the existing way of solving one of Bitcoin’s major problems. The Lightning Network protocol is still a long way from mass adoption. Both for private users and for businesses. The technical complexities involved in creating and managing the channels act as a significant barrier for ordinary users. LN-enabled cryptocurrencies. These tend to be non-commercial developments that suffer greatly in interface design and user experience (UX).

In addition, the lack of standards for protocols hinders the interoperability of LN-enabled software developed by different teams. This makes it difficult to connect new users. And integrating the protocol into large platforms, whose owners are obviously interested in cheaper and faster coin transfers. Another problem is the limitation of liquidity in channels. Participants are forced to block a certain amount of Bitcoin in the channel. And that in itself limits the amount of funds available for transfer and reduces the usefulness of the protocol as a whole.

The relative newness and limited acceptance of the Lightning Network creates a certain paradox. The fact is that few people trust the protocol without its widespread adoption. And its diffusion, in turn, is constrained by the relatively small number of stakeholders willing to use it.

This is largely due to the fact that the Lightning Network is itself a non-profit project. And its infrastructure development is done by volunteers. The opposite is the case with Ethereum. For example, network scaling projects like Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism, zkSync. And others have already formed an entire industry and are worth billions of dollars.

Projects and investments

However, investors are supporting projects that integrate Lightning Network into their payment solutions. In August 2022, Lightning Labs raised $80 million in funding to develop the Taro. Which allows transactions with stablecoins using the Lightning Network. Investors in the project include former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Robinhood payment company CEO Vlad Tenyev.

Also in the same period, the investment round was held by Strike. It managed to attract $80 million, which it will use to establish partnerships with major retailers to connect its own wallet. As well as acquiring for retail outlets on the basis of LN. Investors have cumulatively invested about $10 million in Amboss and Mash platforms. And both are also building LN-based payment solutions.

Bitcoin’s scaling is one of the cryptocurrency’s biggest challenges. As fees and network load increase, solutions to optimize transfers will become more and more relevant. The Lightning Network protocol is quite well-known in the community. But there are still a lot of things hindering its diffusion.

Simplifying user interfaces. And promoting interoperability and improving the overall user experience. These are also important steps toward making Lightning Network technology more accessible. Improving liquidity management and security measures. Just as important to instill confidence in users of this protocol.

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Miner earned $170,000 at the only chance of 489,000

A solo-mode miner was able to mine a block of Bitcoin on equipment with a processing power of 750 TH/s

On May 23, a single miner with a processing power of 750 TH/s. He successfully mined a block of Bitcoin numbered 790,958. This was reported by the administrator of Skrool pool Kon Kolivas.

The miner received a reward for the found block in the amount of 6.25 BTC (about $170,000 at the rate of $27,300).

Total hashing speed in the Bitcoin network on May 23 was 367.07 EH/s. 1 EH/s equals 1 million TH/s. Having a processing power of only 750 TH/s. This lucky miner had only 1 chance out of 489 thousand to successfully find a block.

Lucky miner – a member of the pool for solo-mining Skrool. And he will pay 2% commission (0.125 BTC, or about $3.4k). But in addition to the fee for mining the block, he receives a fee for the transaction. Which in this block was 0.249 BTC ($6.7 thousand).

With the current difficulty of mining with that kind of processing power, a miner can mine a block once every nine years on average. Meanwhile, the difficulty of mining the first cryptocurrency is growing. Since the beginning of the year, it has increased by 40%, and on May 18, the figure renewed its historical high.

Our experts note that in January 2022, a single miner with computing power of 126 TH/s mined a block of Bitcoin and received a reward of 6.25 BTC. And that was approximately $270,000 at the rate of $42,800. His odds were equal to one in 1.36 million

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Marathon Digital announces fundraiser of up to $1 million for Bitcoin developers

Mining company Marathon Digital itself has pledged up to $500,000 to develop the Bitcoin Core group by the end of 2023

Marathon Digital Holdings announced a partnership with Brink to raise up to $1 million to support Bitcoin developers Bitcoin Core. Marathon has promised to contribute up to $500,000 by the end of 2023.

Bitcoin Core is a client (software) for the Bitcoin network operated by an independent group of developers. They maintain the blockchain. And also write updates and make decisions on improvements to the first cryptocurrency network. They also maintain the main repository of the protocol on GitHub.

Brink, a non-profit company, is dedicated to supporting the Bitcoin developer community through scholarship and grant programs. The firm was founded in 2020 with funding from John Pfeffer and Vences Casares. The company’s website states that it is 100% funded by donations from individuals. As well as organizations that want to support the Bitcoin network and protocol.

Marathon and Brink have set a goal of raising up to $1 million for Bitcoin Core developers. They announced the fundraiser at the Bitcoin 2023 conference, taking place May 18-21 in Miami, USA. Marathon has pledged to double all contributions from other participants up to $500k by the end of the year, so if the amount of donations from third parties reaches $500k. Then Marathon Digital will also contribute $500k and the $1 million plan will be met.

Our experts note that Marathon Digital is one of the largest Bitcoin miners. The public U.S. company has tens of thousands of cryptocurrency mining devices in data centers in North Dakota, Ohio and Texas. At the end of the first quarter of 2023, Marathon had $1.3 billion in assets, and about $715 million of that was in hardware and $189 million in digital assets.

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Bitcoin with memes formed a multimillion dollar market

Our experts tell us how BRC-20 tokens emerged on top of Bitcoin. And why trading in new memcoins led to a record increase in commissions

A new kind of token has appeared in the Bitcoin blockchain, around which there has been a serious speculative frenzy. Most of these tokens are so-called memcoins. Which are named after famous memes and carry no utility or functionality. In spite of this, they have cumulatively risen by tens of thousands of percent in a few weeks. And provoked a record increase in commissions for transfers within the BTC network.

A new mania around memcoins began with the PEPE coin. Anonymous developers launched it in April, and speculators inflated its capitalization to a billion dollars in just three weeks of its existence.

The interest in memcoins created in the Bitcoin blockchain comes from more familiar token-creating networks such as Ethereum or Solana. The excitement swelled to the point that the volume of trading in Bitcoin Frogs collection tokens (the equivalent of Bitcoin token format NFTs) from May 17 to 18 exceeded that of the NFT market’s main “blue chip” – the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection.

New BRC-20 standard

Tokens of the standard named BRC-20 (similar to ERC-20 in Ethereum). They are digital assets that can be created and transferred on the Bitcoin blockchain using the Ordinals protocol. This standard allows data to be written into satoshi and turned into tokens.

The Ordinals protocol has enabled the growth of memcoins placed on the Bitcoin blockchain. But they have no utility whatsoever. Instead, traders are buying them solely for speculative purposes. Tens of thousands of BRC-20 tokens have been issued since the protocol went live in March. And their combined market capitalization has exceeded $1 billion. The ORDI memcoin, which refers to the name of the Ordinal protocol. But probably not related to its developers, is the largest at the time of publication with a capitalization of about $300 million.

Amid high demand, cryptocurrency exchange OKX announced the launch of its own marketplace for trading BRC-20 tokens. And Binance previously announced plans to add support for them on its NFT platform.

The entire current capitalization of new tokens in the Bitcoin network is essentially taken up by memcoins alone. And the Ordinals protocol itself has severely limited functionality compared to Ethereum’s ERC-20 capabilities.

But BRC-20 could be a long-shot story. If the teams that focus on building infrastructure solutions on Bitcoin (wallets, bridges, credit protocols, etc.) now have money flowing in from major venture capital funds. Also, don’t forget that it adds to the attractiveness of Bitcoin itself, says our expert.

High commissions in BTC network

High commissions

High commissions

The result of the growing demand for memcoins was a surge in Bitcoin transaction fees. And a queue of unconfirmed transactions formed. Transactions related to BRC-20 filled the network. And led to a high load on it, causing the commissions paid to miners to reach the highest level since April 2021. Since the beginning of May, the average fees have risen about 1,500%, to $31 per simple coin transfer.

When Bitcoin’s transaction blocks are full, the transactions with the highest fees are confirmed first. The pending transactions are in a so-called mempool, waiting for confirmation. If under an adequate load on the network, transfers are confirmed in no more than 10 minutes on average. In this abnormal scenario it is possible to wait up to several hours for transfer confirmation. If not to send it with overestimated commission.

Bitcoin’s pool of unconfirmed transactions has skyrocketed from about 10,000 transactions to more than 350,000 transactions. And that triggered an increase in fees globally. But it turned out to be a lucky scenario for miners, whose income increased visibly.

In total, there were more than 4 million BRC-20 transactions in May. And that represents 60% of all Bitcoin transactions. For the first time in many years, a block of BTC transactions exceeded the fixed fee of the miner (6.25 BTC) who mined that block. This was due to the high demand for space in the blockchain, which was triggered by transactions involving the transfer or issuance of BRC-20 tokens.

Such a situation is abnormal according to our experts. Some Bitcoin developers have expressed dissatisfaction with high commissions. And declared about the fight against such tokens. Miners, on the contrary, benefit from the development of this standard. Which brings them more income from commissions. But on the other hand, blockchain congestion will reduce the popularity of Bitcoin. We need to look for a solution that will satisfy investors and miners, says our expert.

Effects and solutions to problems with high commissions

Bitcoin with memes formed a multimillion dollar market

BRC-20 tokens reflect the process of possible future experimentation in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Even if memcoins end up being a passing fad of the cryptocurrency community. They are already having a tangible effect. It may turn out that memcoins will spur developers to further experiment at the base level of Bitcoin. And that will lead to new scenarios for its use. And new sources of demand for space within transaction blocks. This, in turn, could lead to more sustainable commission growth.

The commission market is critical to the existence and security of the Bitcoin network. Because in the future they will have to compensate miners for the diminishing reward per block during subsequent halving cycles.

Rising transaction fees could also force leading cryptoservices to use “second-tier” technology to cut costs. When a sharp rise in fees forced the Binance exchange to temporarily suspend Bitcoin withdrawals. And its head Changpeng Zhao wrote on social media that he was considering adding Lightning Network support to the exchange. This is a fairly well-known, but not yet widespread second-tier payment protocol. Which is built on top of Bitcoin and designed for much faster and cheaper transfers.

Estimates of the implications of the popularity of BRC-20 tokens vary depending on who is making them. Miners, for example, are happy, of course, as their profitability has increased because of the load on the network. But ordinary users are definitely not used to paying a commission and still getting in a huge queue. That is why major market players are thinking about integrating Lighting Network, but it also takes time.

BRC-20 standard cannot compete with ERC-20

Importantly, BRC-20 tokens prevent Bitcoin from competing with Ethereum as a platform for smart contracts, especially at the basic level. A dynamic ecosystem of decentralized applications is deployed on the Ethereum blockchain. This includes credit protocols, NFT, games, social networks and other Web3 applications. Developers can create them using the Solidity programming language. Which allows a wide range of functions and program logic to be implemented. Bitcoin’s base code doesn’t come close to having those capabilities.

Some traders have managed to make high profits by trading memcoins. However, average market participants should be cautious. Historically, memcoins exhibit high volatility and low liquidity. And their prices often only show a decline after a collapse from their peak values during hype.

Perhaps in the future Bitcoin blockchain infrastructure projects will open up investment opportunities. But high fees will certainly remain a stumbling block, especially when the crypto market is bullish.

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