🔥 HOT: Spot ETFs are thriving!

The long-awaited bullrun is here!

GM, you absolute mad lads and lasses! 🫡 

We're back again with another weekly newsletter, and this time we have a lot of good news to cover 📰 

But before we begin, there is still time to join DeFi Bull Camp, stake on Lido, and win a share of $1K prize pool in DAI or WALLET tokens.

Learn more about liquid staking benefits and how to participate with Ambire Wallet, there’s still time until Sunday!

Today we’re discussing:

  • 📈 Spot ETFs are thriving!

  • 🪙 What are the new "404" tokens?

  • ⛓️ Investor interest in ETH staking is peaking

  • 🥷 PlayDapp hacked for $290m


Spot ETFs are thriving!

The long-awaited bull run is here!
  • It's been a month since SEC approved the first spot Bitcoin ETF and it has already managed to attract a significant amount of inflows.

  • According to various data, the ten approved spot Bitcoin ETFs have amassed an aggregate of $3.89 billion in inflows since the beginning of 2024.

Interestingly enough..

Gold ETFs have faced significant outflows this year, with the leading 14 funds experiencing losses of $2.4 billion as of February 14th, meaning investors are pulling out their money from gold ETFs and investing it crypto 💎 

This divergence in investor sentiment shows the growing preference for Bitcoin over gold as an investment vehicle.

You load 16 tons coins, what do you get? ⛏️ 

The fresh ETFs have reportedly managed to accumulate ten times more BTC than what miners have been able to produce since the year has started, and that's in just one day.

For example, Bitcoin miners only produced about 1,059 BTC, which is valued at around $51 million on February 12th, while spot ETFs captured about 10,280 BTC, worth an astonishing $493.4 million.

This trend is not surprising as BTC pumped by 23.5% since the beginning of the year, reaching a two-year high of $52,483 on February 14th.

In contrast, gold prices have experienced a 3.4% loss during the same period, hitting a two-month low of $1,993 per ounce on February 14th.

👉️ The markets are shifting, and one thing is clear for sure - the bull run is upon us.

But this time you came prepared.. R-right, anon?

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What are the new "404" tokens?

Recently, a new Ethereum "standard" (if you can call it that) has emerged, dubbed ERC-404 by its founders/devs.

This standard combines the functionality of traditional crypto coins and NFTs.

The first token under this standard, named Pandora, saw an insane 12,000% increase pump within just days of its launch, and thus the new narrative has emerged 🧙 

But what's an ERC404? 🪙 

  • ERC-404 is essentially a mix of two well-known Ethereum standards: ERC-20 (the "go-to" standard for creating coins on Ethereum) and the ERC-721 standard, which is used for NFTs.

  • It works is by allowing developers to create NFT collections where the underlying asset can be fractionalized into smaller pieces.

  • These fractionalized tokens can then be traded on DEX and other platforms, so essentially it allows users to speculate on the value of a small portion of an NFT instead of having to purchase the entire thing.

👉️ Not long afterwards, Trader Joe introduced their own version of the 404 token standard, but for AVAX.

It's called DN-404, and the first token based on this standard is called SHOE.

  • This token has a limited supply of 19,404 tokens and was distributed among active users of the Joepegs marketplace and holders of NFT projects by Joe Studios accelerator.

  • Interestingly enough, Trader Joe has stated that they do not plan to support this asset on their exchange and it allegedly does not have any inherent value.

According to the platform's website, though, the minimum cost for one SHOE is currently 1.14 AVAX (or around $50) and its trading volume has reached around $40,000. This means that despite Trader Joe's reluctance to support it, SHOE is still being actively traded on other platforms 💰️ 

In DeFi, where narratives are constantly evolving, it's no surprise that stuff like this would definitely grab the attention of countless individuals in the crypto community 😵‍💫 

It'll be interesting to see how widely it gets adopted, but we can expect more tokens based on DN-404 and ERC-404 standards to emerge soon.

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Investor interest in ETH staking is peaking

Signals in crypto are something that can turn on a dime. Currently, data from ValidatorQueue shows that the validator entry queue has increased to enormous levels 💹 

  • The Ethereum Validator Queue is a place for entities that stake 32 ETH (the minimum requirement to participate in the network) to enter and be put on hold until it is their turn.

  • This queue is currently sitting at 7,045 validators and is expected to clear in about two days. That represents an impressive 225,000 ETH or around $562 million is ready to be staked.

  • This is the longest queue since October 6, 2023.

Why is this happening?

When it comes to the ETH network, there are limits 👉️ on how many new validators can join at any given time. This results in a backlog and these numbers show that people desperately want in.

The fresh interest in staking also shows that investors are keen on getting in on the action even if the annual yield has not seen crazy improvements over the past few months 🧠 

It's an indication of a healthier, more robust network that is able to draw in participation from its community 👇️ 

It's also a sign that investors are confident in the long-term potential of Ethereum, despite the market conditions or price.

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PlayDapp hacked for $290m

PlayDapp, a crypto gaming platform has recently been hacked for a staggering $290 million worth of tokens in two separate exploits 🥷 

This loss was reported by Elliptic, a blockchain analytics firm which specializes in tracking fraudulent activity on the blockchain 👇️ 

  • PlayDapp provided various services to its users, including a gaming/SDK platform and an NFT marketplace. The PLA token was the main currency used on these platforms.

  • According to Elliptic's report, an unauthorized wallet gained access to PlayDapp's private key and minted 200 million PLA tokens, at the time valued at $36.5 million, on February 9th.

  • This was followed by a second exploit where the hacker minted an additional 1.59 billion PLA tokens, worth $253.9 million, on February 12th.

In response to these incidents, PlayDapp offered a $1 million white hat reward for the return of the stolen funds and threatened to issue a bounty for the hacker if they did not comply. 

But their attempts to negotiate were unsuccessful and instead, the hacker began laundering the stolen funds through various crypto exchanges 🎩 

💰️ Elliptic noted that before the hacks, there were only 577 million circulating PLA tokens 🪙, making it difficult for the hacker to sell the newly-minted tokens at their market value.

Despite this, the loss is still significant and potentially the last nail in the coffin for PlayDapp's platform.

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Other worthy reads

Narratives of the week by VIKTOR:

US government tightens its DeFi net with raft of rule proposals by DLNews:

Understanding how crypto and AI intersect by Lucas Tcheyan:

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That's all for now, frens.

We'll meet in a week! And remember, the market conditions are temporary, but our commitment to building a better DeFi is here to stay. Thanks for joining us, and we look forward to seeing you back next week. Cheers!

Yours, The 🔥 Team

Brought to you by Ambire: The Only Web3 Wallet That You’ll Need!