Crypto Weekly Recap: Stellar, Circle, Binance, Trump and More (Feb. 18-24, 2024)

By MelegaSwap | melegaswap | 25 Feb 2024

The cryptocurrency market has maintained its bullish momentum this week, as Bitcoin's market capitalization remained above $1 trillion. Bitcoin (BTC) reached a new high for 2024, hitting $53,019 on Feb. 20, only to dip to $50,000 on some exchanges shortly after. Traders attribute this price fluctuation to ongoing inflows into spot BTC ETFs and the anticipation surrounding the upcoming supply halving event.

Aside from the Bitcoin surge, the crypto space is buzzing with exciting news. Stellar successfully overcame bug challenges to introduce Smart Contracts, Circle made a significant move by pausing USDC minting on the Tron Network due to trust concerns, former US President Donald Trump has shown a newfound support for Bitcoin, and there are reports of prosecutors seeking travel restrictions for the former CEO of Binance ahead of sentencing, among other noteworthy events.

Join us as we delve into these developments in our latest weekly recap.

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  • Stellar Overcomes Bug Hurdles to Launch Smart Contracts
  • Circle Halts USDC Minting on Tron Network, Citing Trust Concerns
  • Binance Exchange Ceases Support for Leveraged Tokens, Urges User Action
  • Donald Trump's Shifting Stance: Former US President Embraces Bitcoin
  • Former FTX Exec Ryan Salame Faces Sentencing for Fraud Involvement
  • Prosecutors Seek Travel Restrictions for Former Binance CEO Ahead of Sentencing

Stellar Overcomes Bug Hurdles to Launch Smart Contracts

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) has successfully deployed smart contracts on the Stellar network after resolving a 16-month-long delay. With the introduction of Protocol 20 upgrade, the foundation initiates the phased rollout of its smart contract platform, Soroban.

This launch marks a significant milestone for Stellar, enabling the development of decentralized applications (DApps) and novel protocols on the network. Despite earlier setbacks due to a bug in Stellar Core, the foundation's persistent efforts have culminated in the realization of smart contract functionality, promising a new era for Stellar's technology stack.

Circle Halts USDC Minting on Tron Network, Citing Trust Concerns

Circle, the issuer of USD Coin (USDC), abruptly announced the cessation of USDC minting on the Tron network, emphasizing the move to safeguard trust in the stablecoin. Effective immediately, Circle will no longer support USDC minting on Tron, gradually phasing out network support.

Despite continuing support for Circle Mint business customers’ transfers until February 2025, retail users and non-Circle customers are urged to transition their Tron-based USDC to compatible blockchain networks. Circle did not disclose specific reasons but cited ongoing risk assessments for blockchain suitability.

Binance Exchange Ceases Support for Leveraged Tokens, Urges User Action

Binance, a major crypto exchange, announced the discontinuation of leveraged tokens tied to Bitcoin, Ether, and BNB, effective April 3. The move follows a decision to end support for tokens paired with Tether on Feb. 19.

Trading and subscription services for affected tokens will halt on Feb. 28, with gradual delisting and redemption suspensions from April 1 to 3. Users failing to redeem tokens by the deadline risk automatic conversion to USDT. The world’s leading exchange highlighted the risks of leveraged token trading, emphasizing price volatility and funding rates.

Donald Trump's Shifting Stance: Former US President Embraces Bitcoin

Former US President Donald Trump has reversed his stance on Bitcoin ($BTC), now expressing acceptance of the cryptocurrency's prominence. Previously labeling Bitcoin a scam during his presidency, Trump now acknowledges its growing popularity. While emphasizing his preference for the US dollar, Trump concedes to Bitcoin's increasing adoption, stating, "I can live with it one way or the other."

Analysts speculate that Donald Trump's newfound support for Bitcoin aligns with his political ambitions, potentially aiming to court favor with the crypto community ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Former FTX Exec Ryan Salame Faces Sentencing for Fraud Involvement

Ryan Salame, former FTX Digital Markets co-CEO, awaits sentencing on May 1 in connection to FTX fraud. He admitted guilt to unlawful political contributions and conspiracy charges. Salame, not testifying in Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial, faces potential imprisonment but may receive probation.

His plea deal involves hefty penalties and asset forfeiture, including $6 million to the government, $5 million to FTX debtors, and property surrender. Despite guilty pleas from others, Salame stands as the sole non-testifying party. His sentencing highlights ongoing repercussions from the FTX collapse.

Prosecutors Seek Travel Restrictions for Former Binance CEO Ahead of Sentencing

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has requested stricter travel restrictions for former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, asking him to surrender his Canadian passport and all other travel documents. This move comes ahead of his sentencing hearing on April 30, following his guilty plea to failing to maintain an effective Anti-Money laundering program.

Despite objections from Zhao's legal team, the government aims to limit his travel to the continental U.S. until his sentencing. The request follows Zhao's resignation amidst a $4.3 billion settlement with U.S. authorities, with the Binance exchange still facing a civil case with the American SEC.


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