Ordinals to bolster lowered post-halving BTC miner revenue: Grayscale

Bitcoin (BTC) Ordinals inscriptions could provide a much-needed revenue boost for Bitcoin (BTC) mining firms after April’s slated halving event takes place, says digital asset management firm Grayscale.

“Since the advent of Ordinals, there have been multiple times when miners have derived over 20% of their transaction fees from inscription fees themselves,” Grayscale researcher Michael Zhao said in a Feb. 9 report.

Miners have pocketed $200 million from approximately 59 million nonfungible token-like collectibles on Bitcoin since the Ordinals protocol launched in January 2023, Zhao noted.

“This trend is expected to persist, bolstered by renewed developer interest and ongoing innovations on the Bitcoin blockchain.”

The halving event — slated for sometime between April 18 and 20 — will slash miner rewards in half from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC at block 840,000, meaning miners will need to rely on a BTC price increase and boosted transaction fees to make up for the reduced rewards.

“A combination of declining revenue and increasing costs could put many miners in a tense position in the near term,” Zhao said. He added there’s evidence miners have long been preparing for the financial repercussions of the halving.

“There was a noticeable trend of miners selling their Bitcoin holdings on-chain in Q4 2023, presumably building liquidity ahead of the reduction in block rewards.”

A January report from Cantor Fitzgerald found that 11 Bitcoin miners may not mine profitably post-halving, though hedging strategies could mitigate this risk.

ETH gas fees cause Yuga Labs NFT mint blunder

Yuga Labs says it will reimburse gas fees for those who lost out trying to nab “Loot,” a nonfungible token (NFT) for those who completed a mission in its “Legends of The Mara game” on its Otherside metaverse, after it first tried to offer up a different NFT.

Many who tried to mint the Loot NFT cited Ethereum gas fees to claim the token was more than the NFT’s worth.

Yuga first decided to give out a different on-chain reward, with the firm’s chief gaming officer Spencer Tucker in a Feb. 8 X post offering a “Catalyst” NFT while admitting it “got it wrong” on the Loot mint.

Tucker’s post caused further pushback as the Yuga community said giving out Catalysts was the wrong approach as it would cause their value to drop, with one calling Yuga’s handling of the situation “a train wreck.”

Yuga co-founder Greg Solano then stepped in and said it “makes way more sense” to compensate players by covering gas fees instead of offering up another NFT.

“Thanks for calling us on our shit and bearing with us,” Solano added.

Google search interest in Bitcoin approaches 40-month low despite rising prices

Internet searches for “Bitcoin” remain relatively low despite its recent price surge and the launch of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds in the United States last month.

Google Trends data shows that Bitcoin search interest decreased from 21 at the start of 2023 to 18 at the time of publication — despite BTC increasing nearly 210% from $15,600 to $48,200 during that stretch.

Bitcoin search volumes around the world since 2004. Source: Google

It could be a sign that retail investors haven’t given Bitcoin another look, according to crypto hedge fund investor Fred Krueger in a Feb. 12 X post.

Zooming in on interest in the United States over the last three months, Krueger observed that Bitcoin search interest peaked at 100 on Jan. 11 — when spot Bitcoin ETFs launched — but volumes plummeted to around 30 three days later.

“Clear retail conclusion: ‘ETF Failed,’” Krueger said.

“We notice Bitcoin or the Stock Market when it’s up 300%. Then we lose interest and it’s back to a new set of random inputs,” he wrote in a follow-up post.

“They only get interested when they think they can make a lot of money quickly,” he added.

PlayDapp exploited for $31M in suspected private key leak

PlayDapp, a blockchain-based gaming platform and NFT marketplace, has been hacked for $31 million.

Blockchain security firm PeckShield was one of the early observers of the exploit, stating in a Feb. 9 X post that the exploiter managed to mint 200 million PlayDapp (PLA) tokens worth $31 million and was seemingly caused by a “private key leak.”

“It seems that deployer’s address has been compromised and attacker’s address is added as a minter,” fellow blockchain security firm Cyver Alerts added on Feb. 9.

PlayDapp confirmed the hack shortly after but didn’t reveal how the exploit occurred.

Related: Spot Bitcoin ETF: Should retail investors be concerned?

“We are writing to inform you of a critical security incident involving the PLA token contract,” PlayDapp wrote in a Feb. 9 X post. “We understand the gravity of this situation and assure you that we are taking immediate action.”

PlayDapp said it had notified crypto exchanges of the incident and is collaborating with them to suspend trading of the PLA token. It also attempted to contact the hacker via an on-chain message, offering a bounty if they returned the pilfered funds.

The hack caused PLA to plummet 17% from $0.182 to $0.15 at the time of publication, according to CoinGecko.

Other news

The spot Bitcoin ETFs have hit the $10 billion milestone for assets within the first 20 trading days, according to BitMEX Research. A majority share has come from BlackRock and Fidelity’s ETFs, which have claimed $4 billion and $3.4 billion, respectively.

FTX has filed to sell Digital Custody to CoinList for a significant markdown of $500,000, with financing provided by DC’s original CEO and seller, Terence Culver. FTX initially purchased Digital Custody for $10 million.

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