⬆️Markets Rally As Ether ETF Applications Pile Up

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Digital asset prices are up, with Bitcoin tagging prices last witnessed during 2021 and Ether at its highest level since early 2022. The move coincides with action institutional markets, with Franklin Templeton filing for a spot Ether ETH while the popularity of Bitcoin ETFs has propelled institutional crypto holdings to a two-year high.

In other news, Optimism launched its security council, Ethiopia is embracing Chinese Bitcoin miners, and developers are innovating on the new ERC-404 token standard.

Plus, we explore what you need to know when reporting crypto holdings this U.S. tax season.

✍️ In today’s newsletter:

  • Digital assets rally to multi-year highs
  • Franklin Templeton's Ether ETF bid
  • Institutional accumulate $59B worth of crypto
  • Optimism launches security council
  • Ethiopia embraces Bitcoin mining
  • DN-404 NFT token standard
  • U.S. crypto tax season looms

🎙️The Defiant Podcast & Interviews:

📈 Markets in last 24 hrs:

BTC$50,006 3.77%
ETH$2,660 6.18%
S&P 500$5,022 -0.09%
GOLD$2,018 -0.25%
Arch WEB31.42pts +3.94%
FINANCE1.23pts 4.41%
INFRA1.77pts 2.97%
CONSUMER1.49pts 5.41%
Arch WEB3

Learn more about Arch Indices here.


Check out our discussion with Tina and Teddy to learn more about EigenLayer, the pioneering Ethereum restaking protocol. Also watch our podcast with Worldcoin co-founder, Alex Blania, to get a detailed understanding of the controversial digital identity network.


| Newsletter continues below |

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Markets Surge as Bitcoin Flirts With $50,000

TLDR Digital asset markets are trading at multi-year highs, with BTC briefly rallying above $50,000 for the first time since 2021. BTC is among the 25-strongest performing cryptocurrencies among the top 100 over seven days, with just four of the top 100 assets posting a weekly loss.

SO WHAT BTC was buoyed by spot Bitcoin ETF momentum, with three funds now managing more than $1B worth of BTC after sizable inflows late last week.

READ MORE: Markets Surge as Bitcoin Flirts With $50,000


Franklin Templeton Files For Ethereum ETF

TLDR Franklin Templeton became the eighth institutional asset manager to file for a spot Ether ETF. The news helped to drive early-week gains for ETH, which traded above $2,600 for the first time since May 2022.

SO WHAT The news follows the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission delaying its verdict on rival spot Ether ETF applications. ETF analysts from Bloomberg tip that the regulator could be lining the funds for approval in May, coinciding with the final deadline for VanEck's application.

READ MORE: Franklin Templeton Files For Ethereum ETF


Institutional Crypto Holdings Hit Two-Year High: CoinShares

TLDR Data from CoinShares shows institutional digital asset holdings surging to the highest level since February 2022 following the recent inflows to spot Bitcoin ETFs and BTC price gains. CoinShares' Digital Asset Fund Flows report estimates institutions have accumulated $59B worth crypto.

SO WHAT The data evidences the success of the newly-launched spot Bitcoin ETFs, with more than $1B flowing into the sector last week. Hype surrounding the then-prospective funds also drove sharp gains for Bitcoin and digital assets last year, with BTC up 125% in 365 days.

READ MORE: Institutional Crypto Holdings Hit Two-Year High: CoinShares


Liquidation in DeFi can be a huge setback to users. They greatly reduce your exposure while making you pay a noticeable penalty, but there are a number of ways to keep your positions in lending protocols safe.

Luckily, there are a number of tools out there today to help you avoid liquidation. From alerts about your positions health rates, to automated protection options, this article will give you four methods that you can use to keep your positions protected and out of the hands of pesky liquidators.

As a bonus, we also touch on what kind of network conditions you can expect during major market crashes, to help you be best prepared for a potentially wild ride.

READ MORE: Four ways to prevent liquidations in DeFi (and one extra tip)

Layer 2

Optimism Moves Towards Progressive Decentralization With Security Council Launch

TLDR Optimism is moving to embrace progressive decentralization with the launch of its Security Council. OP Mainnet protocol upgrades must now be approved by a two-of-two multisig account, with the Security Council and Optimism Foundation both needed to greenlight upgrades moving forward.

SO WHAT Optimism said it plans to make the security council the sole entity responsible for activating upgrades approved by governance. Optimism's OP token is rallying, with the asset up 40.5% in three weeks.

READ MORE: Optimism Moves Towards Progressive Decentralization With Security Council Launch


Chinese Bitcoin Miners Increasingly Set Up Shop In Ethiopia

TLDR Ethiopia is seeking to position itself as a major hub for Bitcoin mining, with the East African nation's state-owned power monopoly reportedly inking deals with 21 mining firms, including 19 from China. The news follows the completion of Africa's largest dam in 2020.

SO WHAT Chinese miners have struggled to establish consistent operations since being expelled from China in 2021. The influx of mining firms setting up in Ethiopia also comes as historic trends suggest many miners may be forced offline after the upcoming quadrennial Bitcoin halving event in April.

READ MORE: Chinese Bitcoin Miners Increasingly Set Up Shop In Ethiopia


DN-404 Token Standard Launches To Improve On ERC-404

TLDR Developers have quickly moved to improve the recently bubbling ERC-404 token standard for divisible NFTs. The standard combines both a "base" ERC-20 token and "mirror ERC-721 token to enable NFT fractionalization.

SO WHAT The new standard follows PANDORA putting ERC-404s on the map after rallying 10,000% last week, just a few days after its launch. However, the developers behind DN-404 warned the new standard has not been formally audited.

READ MORE: DN-404 Token Standard Launches To Improve On ERC-404


Are You Ready For Crypto Tax Season?

TLDR With tax season looming in the United States, we discuss the core consideration for investors reporting crypto asset holdings.

SO WHAT The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has been increasingly seeking to crack down on crypto tax dodgers since 2019. “The IRS is taking crypto tax very seriously,” said Shehan Chandrasekera, a tax analyst for Forbes.

READ MORE: Are You Ready For Crypto Tax Season?



  • Binance founder Changpeng Zhao’s sentencing postponed to April (The Block)
  • Bitcoin Traders Scoop Up Options Bets at $65K and Higher (CoinDesk)
  • MicroStrategy pivots to Bitcoin development, flaunts $3.5 billion in unrealized profit (CryptoSlate)