The collapse of Terra’s UST stablecoin and governance token LUNA Coin, emerged as one of the biggest upsets in the crypto market last week.
At press time, Terra LUNA Coin was ranked 211 on Coinmarketcap, trading at $0.0002353 with a 23.84% drop in the last day and a 100% decline in seven days.
Terra is an open-source blockchain protocol that creates stablecoins designed to consistently track the price of a fiat currency.
TerraUSD (UST) and LUNA Coin are both native tokens of the Terra network, a blockchain-based project developed by Terra Labs.
Terra’s native token, LUNA, is used to stabilise the price of the protocol’s stablecoins. LUNA holders are also able to submit and vote on governance proposals, giving it the functionality of a governance token.
The asset which was ranked among the 10 most valuable cryptocurrencies, has now collapsed by more than 99%, resulting in huge losses for investors.
The Luna crash was attributed to its link to terraUSD (UST), a stablecoin that was pegged at 1 US dollar. UST has recently dropped from its value of $1. Since both UST and LUNA are interlinked, the massive drop in UST value has resulted in LUNA’s overall drop.
The protocol behind the Luna cryptocurrency announced via Twitter on May 13 that it had temporarily halted its blockchain to stop transactions after the token’s price plummeted.
‘’A post-mortem on everything that transpired the past week is in progress. It will be published asap. These are tremendously difficult times for everyone affected. The feelings are still raw. Please be safe. The strength of the #LUNAtics has been amazing. More to come,’’ the company tweeted.
Meanwhile, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of crypto exchange Binance has advised against hard forking the Terra blockchain as a means to revive the Terra (LUNA) and TerraUSD (UST) ecosystems.
The crypto investor in a Tweet suggested that the Terra community should first burn the extra minted LUNA, and recover the UST peg to revive the token’s market value.
‘’I am very disappointed with how this UST/LUNA incident was handled (or not handled) by the Terra team. We requested their team to restore the network, burn the extra minted LUNA, and recover the UST peg. So far, we have not gotten any positive response, or much response at all,’’ he said.
On his part, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin backed a tweet proposing that Terra prioritise smaller investors who lost funds due to the crash.
‘’Strongly support this. Coordinated sympathy and relief for the average UST smallholder who got told something dumb about “20% interest rates on the US dollar” by an influencer, personal responsibility, and SFYL for the wealthy,’ Buterin stated.
Binance Reaffirms Commitment to Fraud-Free Trading Amid Nigeria’s Currency Concerns
In response to growing concerns about exchange rate manipulation in Nigeria, Binance, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency platforms, has issued a resolute statement reaffirming its commitment to maintaining a fraud-free trading environment.
The announcement comes amidst reports of heightened tensions regarding the devaluation of the Nigerian currency and suspicions of illicit activities on digital asset platforms.
Binance emphasized its dedication to providing users with a market-driven, transparent, and manipulation-free platform.
The company stressed its unwavering responsibility to safeguard users against fraudulent behavior and ensure the integrity of the trading ecosystem.
Binance asserted that any users found engaging in malicious or manipulative activities would face swift removal from the platform in line with its zero-tolerance policy for market manipulation.
The cryptocurrency exchange also highlighted its ongoing investment in enhancing processes and tools aimed at preventing fraudulent practices.
Measures include setting upper limits for advertisements, implementing rigorous ad screening procedures, and increasing deposit requirements for merchants posting ads.
As industry leaders, Binance reiterated its commitment to working closely with stakeholders to promote innovation while prioritizing user protection.
The platform assured users of its adherence to strict global security protocols across all products and services offered.
Binance’s statement underscores its proactive stance in addressing concerns related to market manipulation, emphasizing transparency, accountability, and the preservation of market integrity in Nigeria’s evolving cryptocurrency landscape.
Meanwhile, there were unconfirmed reports that the Nigerian government is considering blocking Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms amid concerns over alleged forex market manipulation and illicit financial activities.
Nigeria Mulls Blocking Binance, Crypto Platforms Over Forex Manipulation
Nigeria’s government is contemplating the drastic step of blocking Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms amid concerns over alleged forex market manipulation and illicit financial activities.
According to officials familiar with the matter, the move comes as the Nigerian currency experiences an unprecedented depreciation to an all-time low of N1,800 against the dollar in the parallel market.
Presidential and regulatory sources have cited reports indicating that currency speculators and money launderers are exploiting platforms like Binance to orchestrate criminal activities, which are believed to be contributing to the naira’s weakening.
Binance, a prominent digital assets platform, facilitates peer-to-peer transactions, allowing users to advertise their interest in buying or selling currencies.
Despite a warning issued by Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September 2023, cautioning against Binance’s operations as illegal, the platform continued to operate, drawing significant patronage, especially among urban youths and suspected speculators and money launderers.
Officials have raised concerns not only about economic sabotage but also about national security implications as these platforms are reportedly used by criminal groups for activities such as ransom payments.
Law enforcement sources have described the exploitation of digital asset platforms as a sophisticated scheme against the Nigerian economy, involving the manipulation of forex values through fake deals to influence market dynamics.
A senior executive at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) emphasized the troubling trend of the naira’s depreciation, attributing it to artificial devaluation caused by speculative sites like Binance.
The potential ban on Binance and other crypto firms could follow actions taken by other countries like Malaysia, France, and Malta, which have implemented restrictions on such platforms due to similar concerns.
Bitcoin Market Cap Tops $1 Trillion Amid Broad Cryptocurrency Rally
The cryptocurrency market reached a significant milestone as Bitcoin’s market capitalization surpassed $1 trillion amidst a broad rally across various digital assets.
The climb, reflective of Bitcoin’s 22% year-to-date gain, marked the first time the cryptocurrency reached such heights since December 2021, as reported by data from CoinGecko.
This monumental achievement underscores the resurgence of Bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem, signaling a renewed investor confidence in digital assets.
Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, joined in the rally, ascending back to levels unseen since the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin nearly two years ago.
Ether’s 5% rise, coupled with the rally of altcoins like Avalanche, Polkadot, and Polygon, further fueled the overall market optimism.
Despite a higher-than-expected US inflation report on Tuesday which typically impacts risk sentiment, the digital asset market remained steadfast in its recovery.
The recent approval of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has bolstered market sentiment, solidifying the narrative of cryptocurrencies as a legitimate investment avenue.
While Bitcoin’s resilience amidst market volatility is commendable, some analysts have cautioned about potential short-term corrections based on technical signals.
Nonetheless, the overall sentiment remains bullish, with investors eyeing the upcoming Bitcoin halving in April as a potential catalyst for further price appreciation.
The market’s response to the ETFs, coupled with anticipation surrounding the Bitcoin halving, underscores the growing mainstream acceptance and adoption of cryptocurrencies.
As Bitcoin continues its meteoric rise, traders and investors alike are poised for a potential continuation of the digital asset’s historic rally, with options markets signaling bullish sentiments towards surpassing previous price records.
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