Also today, Bitcoin has bounced back hard over the past 24 hours — shrugging off recent developments in the crypto markets.
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Do Kwon? It's complicated 😬
Both the U.S. and South Korea are now requesting Do Kwon's extradition — but it might not happen anytime soon. Terra's co-founder is being held in Montenegro, where he's been accused of attempting to use falsified travel documents to fly to Dubai. That's an offense that can carry up to five years' imprisonment. And officials in the country have suggested that extradition would only be considered after a trial — and a sentence is served. Criminal charges have been brought following the $40 billion collapse of LUNA and UST last May — and while Kwon denies he was on the run, an Interpol red notice had been issued. Shortly after Kwon's arrest last week, prosecutors in New York charged him with conspiracy to defraud, two counts of commodities fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to defraud and engage in market manipulation.
Bitcoin back above $28,000 📈
Bitcoin has bounced back hard over the past 24 hours — shrugging off recent developments in the crypto markets. Despite the lingering threat of enforcement action and civil complaints by the SEC and the CFTC in the U.S., the world's biggest cryptocurrency has surged by over 5%. BTC hit highs of $28,619 on Wednesday — taking it close to 90-day highs of $28,803.34, CoinMarketCap data shows. Piercing this price point would propel Bitcoin to levels not seen since last June, and provide further confirmation that the bear market is over. There could be further fireworks in the coming days, as BTC battles to secure its best quarter in two years. At the time of writing, Bitcoin has appreciated by 71.43% since the year began — despite ongoing concerns about inflation, interest rates and the threat of a recession. BTC had suffered losses in every single quarter of 2022 — and hasn't performed this well since Q1 2021, when prices doubled.
ETH withdrawals are coming 🔥
Ethereum validators now know when they'll be able to withdraw their ETH. Two key upgrades — Shanghai and Capella — are going to be activated on April 12. This is a significant milestone. Back in December 2020, a deposit contract launched that allowed enthusiasts to lock up their Ether. The latest figures from Etherscan suggests more than 17.9 million ETH is currently stored in the deposit contract — and at the time of writing, that has a value of $32.4 billion. But stakers have been warned that the process of being reunited with their ETH could take weeks or months as a staggered approach is being adopted. And the "Shapella" upgrade doesn't necessarily mean we'll see a rush for the exits. The addition of withdrawals could entice other enthusiasts to start staking, safe in the knowledge that they'll be able to reclaim their ETH more easily if required.
Kraken sponsors F1 team 🏎
Kraken has inked a global partnership with a Formula 1 team — indicating that crypto firms are starting to return to sponsorship deals after a punishing crypto winter. The exchange's branding will appear on Williams Racing's cars for the rest of the 2023 season — kicking off with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. It's the first partnership of its kind for Kraken — and as part of the deal, the rear wing will show off NFTs from leading projects. At one point, 80% of F1 teams had at least one crypto sponsor. But a brutal bear market, coupled with a slew of bankruptcies, meant all of this started to change. Mercedes pulled the plug on its collaboration with FTX after the exchange was tipped into bankruptcy.