Here’s what happened in crypto today

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Billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin (BTC) connected to the Silk Road marketplace were transferred to a new wallet address by U.S. authorities. BNB Chain is the latest to jump on the memecoin bandwagon, offering a reward to entice developers to its blockchain. Meanwhile, memecoins are making this bull market “weird,” crypto watchers say. 

DOJ’s seized Bitcoin moves to new wallet

Around $2 billion worth of Bitcoin seized by the Department of Justice in relation to the Silk Road marketplace has moved to a new address.

Blockchain data from April 2 revealed that a wallet associated with the DOJ made a 0.001 BTC transaction to a Coinbase Prime address, presumably as a test before transferring the rest of the funds. Shortly thereafter, the same wallet transferred 30,174 BTC.

On-chain analysts have connected those funds to James Zhong, who was convicted of charges connected to “unlawfully obtained” Bitcoin from the Silk Road marketplace. U.S. authorities raided his property and confiscated the stolen Bitcoin in 2021.

Less than two years later, in March 2023, government authorities confirmed they had sold roughly 9,861 BTC seized from Zhong.

The Silk Road marketplace was shut down more than a decade ago. Its creator, Ross Ulbricht, is currently serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

BNB Chain puts up $1 million reward to attract memecoin devs

Smart contract blockchain BNB Chain is attempting to attract memecoin developers amid the explosive growth of meme tokens within the crypto ecosystem. 

BNB Chain said it is allocating up to $1 million to reward eligible developers deploying their memecoin projects in the network.

Interested developers can apply to participate in the network’s “Meme Innovation Campaign” and deploy their tokens on the network during the campaign period, which will last from April 10 to May 9.

Apart from BNB Chain, other blockchain networks have also started to encourage the development of memecoins within their ecosystems.

On March 22, the Avalanche Foundation continued its memecoin push by offering a $1 million reward for memecoin liquidity providers. Those who provide liquidity to selected memecoins are eligible to get a chunk of the rewards.

Memecoins make for a “weird” bull market

A premature Bitcoin (BTC) all-time high and a massive rush to memecoins before the Bitcoin halving is making this bull market the “weirdest” on record, say crypto industry analysts.

“I think most people would agree this bull market has been weird,” Chainlink community liaison Zach Rynes said in an April 1 X post. He explained past cycles saw funds flow to Bitcoin, then Ether (ETH), then other high-cap coins before moving to speculative tokens.

But this time, the market “skipped a couple of steps that we have seen with previous cycles,” with flows going from BTC straight to memecoins — with their total capitalization surging to $70 billion — which is “a bit unusual,” Rynes said.

Ethereum educator Anthony Sassano said after around a decade in crypto: “I can say with full confidence that this is, by far, the weirdest bull market crypto has ever had.”

Sassano added that retail traders are not invested in crypto “in any meaningful way” right now and believed “these isolated sector-specific pumps” are crypto natives moving around a ”hot ball of money.”

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

Additional reporting by Geraint Price, Sam Bourgi and Felix Ng.