Crypto Trader Turns $3,000 into $46 Million as PEPE Surges + More

Over 600 Firms Invest Billions in Bitcoin ETFs

by Faruk Imamovic
Crypto Trader Turns $3,000 into $46 Million as PEPE Surges + More
© Getty Images/Jack Taylor

In an extraordinary turn of events, a crypto trader turned an initial investment of $3,000 into a staggering $46 million. This remarkable 15,718-fold return was achieved through the purchase of 4.9 trillion PEPE tokens on April 15, which have since skyrocketed in value.

On May 15, Lookonchain reported that the trader sold 1.41 trillion PEPE for $7.4 million, leaving him with 3.5 trillion PEPE worth $38.9 million. This achievement not only showcases the potential for enormous gains in the volatile world of cryptocurrency but also highlights PEPE's meteoric rise, placing it as the third-largest memecoin with a market capitalization of $4.5 billion.

Vitalik Buterin's Proposal for Ethereum's Gas Model Overhaul

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has introduced Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP-7706), suggesting a new gas model for transaction call data. This proposed fee system would operate separately from the existing gas fees associated with transaction execution and data storage. The primary goal is to reduce costs for transactions that are data-heavy but not computationally intensive.

Under EIP-7706, distinct charges would apply to call data, separate from costs related to executing contract code or storing data in "blobs." Should this proposal be accepted, the Ethereum network would independently set the costs for call data, potentially making the platform more efficient and cost-effective for developers and users alike.

Tornado Cash Developer Found Guilty of Money Laundering

Alexey Pertsev, the developer behind the cryptocurrency mixing protocol Tornado Cash, has been convicted of money laundering. This conviction, resulting in a sentence of five years and four months in prison, stems from allegations of laundering $1.2 billion worth of illicit assets through the platform.

Despite Tornado Cash being a noncustodial protocol, meaning it never held or controlled the funds passing through it, Pertsev's conviction raises significant concerns for developers of open-source code. The case underscores the complex legal landscape surrounding cryptocurrency and the potential risks for those involved in creating and maintaining these platforms.

Crypto © Getty Images/Jack Taylor

Significant Investments in Bitcoin ETFs Revealed by Over 600 Firms

Recent 13F filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have unveiled substantial investments in spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by more than 600 professional investment firms. The combined value of these investments amounts to $3.5 billion.

Among the notable investors are major financial institutions such as Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, UBS, BNP Paribas, and the Royal Bank of Canada. Hedge funds like Millennium Management and Schonfeld Strategic Advisors have also made significant investments, with the latter holding $1.9 billion in Bitcoin ETFs. This broad-based investment highlights the growing institutional interest and confidence in Bitcoin as a financial asset.

Market Trends: Weekly Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is valued at $66,662, Ether (ETH) at $3,081, and XRP at $0.52. The total cryptocurrency market capitalization stands at $2.41 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the top 100 cryptocurrencies, the biggest gainers are FLOKI (FLOKI) at 24.25%, Pepe (PEPE) at 23.52%, and Chainlink (LINK) at 15.95%. Conversely, the top losers are Ethena (ENA) at -14.47%, Worldcoin (WLD) at -11.28%, and Render (RNDR) at -9.40%. These fluctuations reflect the dynamic nature of the cryptocurrency market, where fortunes can rapidly change.

Bitcoin's Future: A Consolidation Phase

Charles Edwards, founder of Capriole Investments, predicts that Bitcoin (BTC) may consolidate for four to five months. He notes that Bitcoin's price continues to oscillate within the $58,000-$65,000 range, with weekly closes above $58,000 supporting a long-term bullish trend.

Edwards draws a parallel between Bitcoin's current price action and gold's historical "cup and handle" pattern, suggesting Bitcoin could spend up to nine months forming a similar pattern before a significant price increase. He emphasizes that maintaining the $58,000 level is crucial for this bullish outlook. 

“The technical picture remains bullish, provided the price holds above $58K. The longer we spend in the range highs, the more likely this structure will merge into a classic ‘cup and handle’ pattern, which would typically see strong price appreciation following.”

SEC's Stance on Spot Ether ETFs

A recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suggests that the regulator might consider classifying Ether as a security. Analysts discovered a March filing by BlackRock concerning its application to list a spot Ether ETF on Nasdaq. This filing extended the SEC's decision deadline to June and requested public input on whether the ETF should be classified as a commodity.

If the SEC decides to classify Ether as a security, it could reject the ETF application, significantly impacting the market and regulatory landscape for Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase Suffers Major System-Wide Outage

Crypto exchange Coinbase experienced a major system-wide outage, rendering its services inaccessible for several hours. The outage began at 4:15 am UTC on May 14, with users encountering a "503 Service Temporarily Unavailable" error message when trying to access the website.

Coinbase acknowledged the issue on its official status page and worked to resolve the problem, restoring service after nearly three hours. This incident underscores the challenges and vulnerabilities faced by major cryptocurrency exchanges.