US Crypto Stocks Surge On First Trading Day After Bitcoin Halving

Here are some of the major developments from the world of crypto over the past few days.
some of the major developments from the world of crypto
some of the major developments from the world of crypto

United States crypto-related stocks posted gains on Monday alongside a broader market upturn just days after the Bitcoin BTC $66,030 halving with some notching double-digit percentage gains. The country's five largest public-traded Bitcoin miners by market capitalization, Marathon Digital (MARA), CleanSpark (CLSK), Riot Platforms (RIOT) Cipher Mining (CIFR), and Hut 8 (HUT) all gained over the April 22 trading day and have continued to gain in after-hours trading.

The Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF (WGMI) which holds mining stocks and some chipmakers including Nvidia (NVDA) posted an 11% gain and a 3% rise after hours to $16.69. The crypto stock price jumps come despite their Bitcoin mining rewards being halved to 3.125 BTC per block after the halving on Saturday, April 20 just after midnight UTC April 19 at 8:09 pm in New York.

CIBC Private Wealth investment chief David Donabedian, in a conversation with Barron’s on April 22, attributed the market's downturn to high inflation rates, rising bond yields, and speculation on the Federal Reserve's anticipated rate cuts. Since the halving, Bitcoin's price has increased by 4.5% to $66,810. Additionally, crypto exchange Coinbase experienced a 7% increase to $225.86, with a slight 0.8% increase after-hours. Similarly, the Bitcoin-buying software firm MicroStrategy (MSTR) recorded a 12.7% daily gain, extending to 2.5% after-hours, reaching $1,357, as reported by Cointelegraph.

SEC Requests $5.3 Billion Judgment Against Terraform Labs and Co-founder Do Kwon

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a motion seeking billions of dollars in disgorgement and civil penalties against Terraform Labs and its co-founder, Do Kwon, following a decision in its civil case. In an April 19 filing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the SEC requested that Kwon and Terraform pay approximately $4.7 billion in disgorgement and prejudgment interest after the civil case ruling, as well as a combined $520 million in civil penalties ($420 million from Terraform and $100 million from Kwon).

"The defendants have not expressed remorse for their conduct, nor can there be any doubt that they are in a position where additional violations are not only possible but likely are already occurring," said the SEC filing. On April 5, a jury found Terraform and Kwon liable for defrauding investors regarding statements about the offer and sale of TerraUSD (UST), Luna (LUNA), and wLUNA.

The SEC trial proceeded without the presence of Kwon, who is currently involved in court proceedings in Montenegro. The Terraform co-founder was arrested in March 2023 for using falsified travel documents while attempting to leave the country. Although later released and allowed to travel within Montenegro, the question of Kwon’s extradition to either the U.S. or South Korea remained unanswered at the time of publication.

Arkham Reports DeFi Whales Have Forgotten Millions in Bridge Contracts

Blockchain intelligence firm Arkham has revealed that several crypto addresses, including those linked to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Coinbase, and various DeFi whales, have millions of dollars stuck or forgotten in bridge contracts. For instance, one wallet has $1.05 million trapped in the Optimism bridge, which received 50 Ether from Buterin.

Additionally, a wallet associated with Bofur Capital has $1.8 million in wrapped Bitcoin stuck in the Arbitrum bridge, and Thomasg.eth, the pseudonymous founder of Arrow, has $800,000 in Ether trapped in the same bridge. These findings underscore the significance of cross-chain bridges in modular blockchain networks like Ethereum, which prioritize data security and offload transaction responsibilities to layer 2s.

Despite their importance, bridges have become appealing targets for hackers due to vulnerabilities in smart contracts or centralized validator sets. The $650 million Ronin bridge hack in March 2022, orchestrated by North Korea's Lazarus Group, highlights the pressing need for improved security measures in the crypto space.

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