Bitcoin Price Breaks Above $65,000, Here Are The Factors Behind It

Bitcoin has just broken above the $65,000 level. Here’s a possible reason that may be contributing to this fresh bullish momentum in the asset.

Bitcoin Has Edged Further Closer To A New High With Its Latest Break

After consolidating near the $62,000 mark for a few days, Bitcoin has finally witnessed some uptrend in the past day, as it has not only returned back to the earlier high of $64,000, but also smashed past it to claim the $65,000 level.

The chart below reveals how cryptocurrency has performed in the last few days:

Bitcoin Price Chart

With its returns of more than 5% inside the 24 hours, Bitcoin is among the best performers in the market, with only Cardano (ADA) and Dogecoin (DOGE) outperforming it inside the top 10 coins by market cap list.

Following this rally, BTC has now arrived back at the top observed in April 2021 and is now only a 6% rise away from hitting the $69,000 all-time high set in November 2021.

Now, one question that’s bound to be on the minds of investors would be: what’s driving this latest surge in the asset? Naturally, there are always several reasons factoring into a rally like this, but a major one would be institutional buying pressure.

BTC Coinbase Premium Gap Has Been Positive Recently

As explained by CryptoQuant Netherlands community manager Maartunn in a post on X, the BTC Coinbase Premium Gap remained positive through the weekend.

The “Coinbase Premium Gap” is an indicator that keeps track of the difference between the Bitcoin prices listed on Coinbase (USD pair) and Binance (USDT pair). This metric’s value can tell us about the difference between the buying (or selling) behaviors on the two platforms.

The below chart shows what the indicator looked like over the weekend:

Bitcoin Coinbase Premium Gap

From the graph, it’s apparent that the Bitcoin Coinbase Premium Gap had turned positive in the last few days of February and remained so in the starting days of this month. Positive values suggest that the BTC price listed on Coinbase has been higher than that on Binance.

The former exchange is known to be the preferred platform of the US-based institutional entities, while the latter hosts global traffic. This would mean that a positive premium can suggest a stronger buying pressure from the American whales.

It’s visible in the chart that the high Coinbase Premium coincided with BTC’s initial surge above $60,000 at the end of last month, implying that these institutional investors played a role.

This weekend also saw high values of the indicator, which may be the reason why Bitcoin has seen its latest rally. Given the pattern, the Coinbase Premium Gap could be to keep an eye on in the coming days, as the large American traders continuing to buy could be a sign that BTC is ready to go higher.


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Bitcoin Price Breaks Above ,000, Here Are The Factors Behind It

Bitgert Coin Soars by 50% in Just One Week: Is a Major Bull Run on the Horizon?

The recent increase in cryptocurrency prices saw major currencies like Bitcoin rise up to 20%, another increase was seen in the hidden gem cryptocurrency Bitgert which increased by 50% at the same time this huge increase has made everyone wonder if another great bull run is on it or a beautiful horizon.

Price of various coins this week

Bitcoin rose 20% last week opening at $51,470 on February 25, 2024 and closing at $62,321 on March 3, 2024. This increase was primarily due to recording a rise of $612 million by the Bitcoin ETF of Ethereum opened at $3,108 and closed at $3,446. One of the pumps among many other major cryptocurrencies was Solana which gained 25%.

What happened to Bitgert?

Bitgert shot up by an astounding 50%, in the same time frame shaking up the crypto market and making everyone know what is so special about this new kid on the block.

The answer is simply the pace of development. Bigert has been dubbed the “Solana Killer” because of its ability to launch new tools quickly and offer a high transaction speed along with near-zero gas fee transactions.

The Bitgert’s BRISE coin surged from $0.0000001421 to $0.0000002008 in 7 days giving investors a return of about 50% in the time frame. This surge has investors being bullish on the coin and speculating a larger surge in the coming weeks.

What’s next for Bitgert?

Coinmarketcap, a foremost crypto analysis authority, has given an aggressive forecast for Bitgert’s price in the future. These estimates indicate that there could be at least a 167% and as much as 169% increase from the current price which suggests massive gains for future investors. Furthermore, the Bitgert team launched various other products like BRISE Wallet, Bitgert Audits, Bitgert Swap, and BRISE Staking that could be good indicators of how fast the team is growing.

Conclusion

The recent surge in cryptocurrency prices has seen some coins blow up to their all-time high and give its investors returns of 20% in just a week. Bitgert on the other hand has been able to pump up to 50% of its value in the same time frame. The coin dubbed the “Solana Killer” offers near-zero gas fees with rapid development that make investors wonder if a major bull run is on the horizon.

To learn more about Bitgert, Visit bitgert.com

Disclaimer: This is a paid release. The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the content provider and do not necessarily represent those of Bitcoinist. Bitcoinist does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of information available in such content. Do your research and invest at your own risk.


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Bitgert Coin Soars by 50% in Just One Week: Is a Major Bull Run on the Horizon?

Ethereum Insider Teases ‘The Revelation Of A Lifetime’ – What’s Coming?

In a series of provocative posts on X (formerly Twitter), Ethereum co-founder Steven Nerayoff has teased what he describes as “the revelation of a lifetime,” hinting at seismic disclosures that could reshape the public’s understanding of ETH, its foundation, and the broader crypto landscape. Nerayoff’s statements, coupled with remarks from on-chain researcher TruthLabs (@BoringSleuth), suggest an impending release of information alleging widespread corruption linked to the Ethereum Foundation and its co-founders.

Ethereum Insider: “The Time Has Come”

Nerayoff, in a tantalizing announcement, promised a disclosure that would “change our lives” and “our perspective on the world,” implicating the Ethereum Foundation in what he suggests are significant and previously undisclosed illicit activities.

“READY FOR THE REVELATION OF A LIFETIME? The time has come! The truth has been revealed and it is not what we expected when we first embarked on this journey,” Nerayoff posted, elevating expectations and setting the stage for a major exposé. He hailed @BoringSleuth as a pivotal figure in uncovering what he describes as “massive corruption” tied to the Ethereum Foundation.

@BoringSleuth’s own comments added depth to the intrigue, stating, “I came across some information this week that was passed on to me, and I’ve now verified it. Within it, ties together so much of what is Broken in my Country, and most likely, the rest of the World.” This statement not only underscores the gravity of the findings but also hints at a systemic issue transcending national borders, rooted in blockchain’s transparency and immutable record-keeping capabilities.

Nerayoff further stirred the pot with allegations directly targeting the operations and ethical standing of the ETH Foundation. “The recent revelations surrounding the Ethereum Foundation and their alleged involvement in illicit activities are irrefutable and unbelievable,” he claimed, expressing frustration over the lack of wider media and governmental traction for these issues.

He drew parallels between the forthcoming disclosures and historical financial scandals, stating, “Just like SBF and Madoff, the truth will eventually come out, no matter how hard they try to hide it.” This comparison not only magnifies the anticipated impact of the revelations but also aligns them with some of the most consequential financial truth-tellings in recent history.

What “Went Wrong” With Ethereum

Nerayoff’s critique extends deeply into the operational shifts within Ethereum since its inception. In another post on X, he criticized the platform’s evolution away from its founding principles, as evidenced by a decade-old video of Vitalik Buterin, which he claims shows a stark contrast to current practices. “This 10-year-old video of Vitalik Buterin showcases a significant contrast between his early assertions about ETH and its current state,” Nerayoff remarked.

Firstly, Nerayoff addresses the contentious issue of on-chain data deletion. He asserts this practice is in direct contradiction to Ethereum’s decentralization ethos, suggesting it serves to obscure the ETH Foundation’s involvement in past controversies, including significant security breaches like the DAO and Gatecoin hacks.

Nerayoff also raises alarms over the increasing transaction fees on Ethereum, which cast doubt on the blockchain’s sustainability and accessibility. He suggests these rising costs disproportionately benefit a small group of individuals, undermining the egalitarian premise of the blockchain.

Furthermore, Nerayoff critiques the lack of transformative decentralized applications (DApps), which were anticipated to be life-changing. He implies that the initial vision for Ethereum’s utility and impact has been sidelined, with the platform’s development and evolution seemingly prioritizing interests that do not align with those of the broader Ethereum community.

Another significant point of contention is the pre-mine controversy. Nerayoff highlights discrepancies in the initially promised minimal pre-mine volume, asserting that a larger than disclosed amount was acquired by a select few, including entities associated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This, he argues, has led to trust issues within the Ethereum community and questions the platform’s commitment to decentralization.

Lastly, Nerayoff reiterates his stance on the fundamental nature of Ethereum as merely an open-source database, challenging the platform’s decentralized label. He points to the lack of response from Ethereum’s leadership to his criticisms as tacit acknowledgment of the issues he raises, particularly noting Vitalik Buterin’s choice of residence in a non-extradition country as indicative of the seriousness of these concerns.

Nerayoff’s bold claims culminate in a stark warning: “With all this evidence piling up and no answers in sight, it makes you think: At what point does this house of cards collapse? What does the future of Ethereum and crypto have in store for us?”

At press time, ETH traded at $3,471.

Ethereum ETH price
Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Ethereum Insider Teases ‘The Revelation Of A Lifetime’ – What’s Coming?

Bitcoin Earns High Praise: Scaramucci Labels It As 21st Century’s ‘Berkshire Hathaway’

Renowned investor and founder of SkyBridge, Anthony Scaramucci, has once again expressed his firm belief in the transformative power of Bitcoin.

In a recent statement, Scaramucci emphasized that Bitcoin should not be merely compared to gold, but rather likened to Berkshire Hathaway, highlighting the cryptocurrency’s status as a “compounding machine for investors.”

Berkshire Hathaway is a renowned American multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. Led by Warren Buffett, it owns a diverse range of businesses and significant minority interests in public companies like Apple.

Berkshire Hathaway’s market capitalization exceeds $700 billion, making it one of the largest companies globally.

Scaramucci’s unwavering support for the leading cryptocurrency comes as no surprise, as he has consistently advocated for the adoption of the flagship cryptocurrency over the years.

Bitcoin: Outperformance Of Gold Demonstrates Unmatched Potential

When analyzing Bitcoin’s performance metrics, it becomes evident why Scaramucci holds such a positive outlook on the cryptocurrency. Over the past decade, while gold has managed to record a modest 30% gain when adjusted for inflation, the digital asset has soared by a staggering 3,700% since its inception.

This remarkable growth translates to annual returns of no less than 45%. These numbers highlight BTC’s unmatched potential and its ability to outperform traditional investment assets like gold.

Qatar’s Potential BTC Reserves Trigger Excitement In The Crypto Market

Meanwhile, in a recent tweet, Scaramucci – the former White House Director of Communications – hinted at the possibility of Qatar adding the king coin to its reserves, potentially becoming the first Middle Eastern country to do so. While there is no official confirmation regarding Qatar’s Bitcoin investments, the news has caused a stir within the crypto market.

Speculations surrounding Qatar’s interest in the crypto began to circulate in September 2023, when the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Tamim Bin Hamad, engaged in discussions about Bitcoin adoption and other investment prospects during his visit to El Salvador. The potential inclusion of Bitcoin in Qatar’s reserves further solidifies its status as a legitimate asset class.

Bitcoin’s Market Performance And Resistance Levels

As of the latest data, Bitcoin is currently exchanging hands at $63,459, representing a notable 21% surge over the past week. With a circulating supply of 20 million BTC, the cryptocurrency commands a staggering market capitalization exceeding $1.2 trillion.

However, Bitcoin is currently facing resistance at its previous all-time high of $69,000, while $62,000 acts as its closest support level. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) on the weekly timeframe stands at an impressive 92.4, indicating robust momentum and potential for further price appreciation.

Scaramucci’s unwavering support for the alpha coin and his comparison of the cryptocurrency to Berkshire Hathaway underscore the transformative potential of digital assets. Bitcoin’s exceptional performance, as evidenced by its significant outperformance of gold, further solidifies its position as a viable investment option.

Featured image from Bloomberg via Getty Images, chart from TradingView


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Bitcoin Earns High Praise: Scaramucci Labels It As 21st Century’s ‘Berkshire Hathaway’

Crypto Scams Persist: Exit Scams, Hacks Cost Crypto Sector $160 Million In February

The crypto industry is perpetually vulnerable to malicious activities, with hackers seemingly relentless in their pursuits. It’s been only two months into 2024 and crypto scams are already making their appearance. According to blockchain auditor CertiK, crypto hacks and scams led to over $160 million in losses in February alone

Although this figure saw a reduction from January losses, crypto losses from hacks, scams, and exploits have racked up quickly and are now at $343.5 million year-to-date.

Crypto Sector Loses $160 Million To Malicious Players

According to the latest update by Certik, the cryptocurrency world has already been hit hard by a series of sophisticated scams in 2024. The majority of February’s losses, about $101 million, came from exploits of vulnerabilities of crypto projects. Notably, Certik’s social media page on X noted various instances of exploits throughout the month. 

For example, on February 28, Certik noted that omnichain CDP protocol Seneca USD was exploited and the perpetrators stole at least $3 million worth of assets. In total, Seneca USD lost $6.46 million in February. 

The largest exploit, however, happened on South Korean blockchain game development platform PlayDapp. An attacker took advantage of the platform’s smart contract vulnerability and stole $32.35 million worth of cryptocurrency. Other large exploits occurred on Fixed Float, Jihoz.Run, and DuelBits, which suffered losses of $26 million, $9.7 million, and $4.66 million respectively. 

Certik noted that investors also lost $58.2 million to exit scams in February. This is when the developers of a crypto project suddenly disappear with investors’ funds after attracting huge sums of money. 

Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange BitForex accounted for the majority of the exit scams in February. The exchange abruptly went offline following the mysterious withdrawal of $56.5 million from its hot wallets. RiskOnBlast, a gambling and exchange platform, also disappeared with $1.29 million worth of investor money. 

The industry also lost $138,000 to flash loans, a drastic reduction from the $15.3 million recorded in January. $6.4 million was returned, with the largest coming from the Seneca exploiter who returned 1,537 ETH worth $5.3 million to the project.

Can The Crypto Industry Be Truly Free From Scams?

Cryptocurrencies provide full anonymity to their users, but hacks and thefts are some of the drawbacks that come from the wider advantages of this anonymity. Despite various security measures being employed, attackers have upped their game and expanded their operations over the years. 

Recent reports, however, reveal that scams and exploits have reduced drastically in the past year. Particularly, a report disclosed that losses from crypto scams dropped from $39.6 billion in 2022 to $24.2 billion in 2023. 

Featured image from Pexels, chart from TradingView


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Crypto Scams Persist: Exit Scams, Hacks Cost Crypto Sector 0 Million In February

Indonesia’s Crypto Evolution: Government Eyes Changes In Taxation Landscape

Indonesia’s crypto market faces a period of change and reassessment, as evidenced by falling tax revenue and planned regulatory shifts. While Bitcoin surged in value throughout 2023, the country’s crypto tax revenue plummeted by over 60% compared to the previous year, raising concerns about the effectiveness of the current tax regime.

Dual Taxation Burdening Crypto Activity

Implemented in May 2022, Indonesia’s dual tax system on crypto transactions has encountered criticism for potentially hindering market growth. This tax structure, initially established when digital currency was classified as a commodity, is now under review by the Ministry of Finance, led by Sri Mulyani.

Stakeholders, including the Commodity Futures Trading Supervisory Agency (Bappebti) and local exchanges, have urged the government to reconsider the existing tax framework. The Head of CoFTRA’s Market Development and Development Bureau, Tirta Karma Senjaya, emphasized the need for periodic tax reviews, highlighting the evolving nature of crypto and its potential for future revenue generation.

Local exchanges have expressed concerns that the current high tax rates discourage user activity and drive users towards unregulated platforms. They advocate for a simpler tax structure, potentially involving a single income tax, to foster a more stable and competitive environment for legal crypto businesses.

Regulatory Shift And The Future Of Taxation

The upcoming transfer of regulatory oversight from Bappebti to the Financial Services Authority (OJK) in January 2025 is expected to further influence the future of crypto taxation in Indonesia. This shift could potentially pave the way for a more comprehensive regulatory framework and potentially, an adjustment to the current tax structure.

The government acknowledges the potential of the sector but remains cautious about the potential risks. The recent discovery of over 300 illegal crypto exchanges operating within the country underscores the challenge of effectively regulating and taxing the digital currency market. These unregulated platforms pose a significant threat to the integrity of the tax system, as they operate beyond the purview of regulatory authorities.

Balancing Innovation With Stability

The Indonesian government appears committed to fostering responsible growth in the bitcoin sector while maintaining financial stability and protecting the integrity of its official currency, the Rupiah. The recent ban on crypto payments for tourists in Bali exemplifies this cautious approach.

While the exact details of the upcoming regulatory and tax changes remain unclear, it is evident that Indonesia is actively navigating the dynamic landscape surrounding cryptocurrencies. The coming months will likely witness further developments as the government strives to strike a balance between encouraging innovation and safeguarding its financial system.

Featured image from Pexels, chart from TradingView


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Indonesia’s Crypto Evolution: Government Eyes Changes In Taxation Landscape

US Drops Emergency Survey Of Bitcoin Mining Amid Legal Tussle – Details

The US Department of Energy (DOE) and Energy Information Administration (EIA) have scrapped their emergency survey of Bitcoin mining’s power usage following a lawsuit from industry groups, Reuters and other news outlets reported. This move comes amidst growing scrutiny over the energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining and its potential impact on the environment and power grid stability.

Industry Claims Foul, Cites Legal Concerns

Riot Platforms, a publicly traded Bitcoin mining company, and the Texas Blockchain Council filed the lawsuit, arguing that the survey bypassed legal requirements for public comment and data collection procedures outlined in the Paperwork Reduction Act. The plaintiffs claimed the EIA failed to demonstrate how bypassing these procedures was necessary to prevent “public harm,” a prerequisite for emergency data collection.

Kara Rollins, representing the plaintiffs, told Fortune:

“We were shocked to see how blatantly the law was ignored here… We don’t want politics infecting data.”

The EIA, however, had argued that the urgency of the matter justified bypassing standard procedures, claiming Bitcoin mining “potentially disrupted the electric power industry.”

Bitcoin Mining And The Energy Debate

Bitcoin mining, the process of verifying and adding transactions to the blockchain ledger, relies on complex computers solving complex mathematical problems. This process requires significant amounts of electricity, raising concerns about its environmental impact and potential strain on the power grid.

Initial estimates by the EIA suggest Bitcoin mining may account for between 0.6% and 2.3% of total annual US electricity use. While the industry argues this is comparable to individual states like Utah and Washington, environmental groups like Earthjustice counter that it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and raises electricity costs for consumers.

In Texas, a major hub for Bitcoin mining, Wood Mackenzie reports that the industry has already driven up electricity costs for non-mining residents by an estimated $1.8 billion annually. However, the industry argues that data centers can actually benefit grid stability by offering flexible demand, allowing them to quickly shut down operations during peak hours or emergencies.

Transparent Data Collection: A Path Forward

The DOE and EIA have agreed to destroy any data collected through the initial survey and will instead pursue a non-emergency version with a 60-day public comment period. This revised approach aligns with the Paperwork Reduction Act and allows for broader stakeholder engagement.

While the lawsuit successfully challenged the initial approach, the incident highlights the need for transparent data collection and open dialogue to address the environmental and economic implications of Bitcoin mining. Gathering accurate data through the revised survey will be crucial for developing informed policies and regulations in the future.

Featured image from Pexels, chart from TradingView


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: US Drops Emergency Survey Of Bitcoin Mining Amid Legal Tussle – Details

Terra Classic Poised To Reawaken As Binance Burns 2.2 Billion LUNC

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has executed a large-scale token burn, opting to incinerate over 2 billion LUNCs in a single day. 

Binance Initiates Massive LUNC Burns

A new report from a Terra Luna army member on X (formerly Twitter) has unveiled a massive 2.2 billion LUNC burn initiated by Binance. The cryptocurrency exchange incinerated approximately 2,243,572,668 LUNC tokens valued at around $321,301. 

Cumulatively, Binance has executed a total of 53.49 billion LUNC burns across 2,956 transactions, starting from May 2022. Earlier in February 2024, the crypto exchange kickstarted the month with over 2.09 billion LUNC burns. 

At the start of the year, on January 1, Binance also executed another massive burn of 5.57 billion LUNC tokens. The crypto exchange has been on a LUNC burning spree for years, displaying a tradition of burning a considerable amount of LUNC tokens on the first of every month.  

Presently the total amount of LUNC tokens burned since May 2022 is estimated at 102.14 billion. This includes both Binance’s large-scale burns and that of the Terra Classic community. 

Commemorating Binance’s commitment towards Terra Classic via its burn initiatives, the Terra Luna army expressed gratitude to Binance’s previous and current Chief Executive Officers (CEO), ChangPeng Zhao and Richard Teng respectively, for their continuous support. 

Binance’s token-burning efforts not only emphasize the exchange’s dedication to promoting sustainable growth within the Terra ecosystem but also reflect its collaborative spirit with the Terra community to initiate a reawakening of the Terra Classic ecosystem

Terra Classic Potential Resurgence 

As the Terra Classic community remains appreciative of Binance’s proactive steps towards increasing the value of the token, anticipation has ignited the potential resurgence of the Terra Classic market. 

Typically, burning tokens is a common practice conducted to manage a cryptocurrency’s total supply, potentially influencing its market’s dynamics. Binance’s decision to execute its 2.2 billion LUNC burn has sparked optimism for a potential resurgence for Terra Classic.

Presently, LUNC’s total supply sits at approximately 5.78 trillion and Binance’s monthly burns have been steadily cutting down supply, aiming to increase scarcity and potentially triggering a price surge for the cryptocurrency. 

Furthermore, the Terra Classic community has disclosed that LUNC is currently showing great strength after breaking through key resistance levels. The cryptocurrency has experienced a significant upsurge of 49% in the past 30 days, highlighting its strength and potential in the market. 

The community has also unveiled the emergence of upcoming projects and new partnerships that could take the value of LUNC and the Terra Classic ecosystem to new heights. 

Featured image from Pexels, chart from TradingView


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Terra Classic Poised To Reawaken As Binance Burns 2.2 Billion LUNC

Whale Abandons Massive PEPE Position For Shiba Inu – How Much SHIB Did They Buy?

A crypto whale has made a significant bet, opting to relinquish a significant chunk of his PEPE investment for the Shiba Inu native token, SHIB

Whale Buys Billions Of SHIB

In a recent X (formerly Twitter) post, Lookonchain, a blockchain analytics platform has uncovered a strategic investment made by a crypto whale. According to the analytics platform’s findings, an anonymous crypto whale who previously invested heavily in the popular frog-themed PEPE token has abandoned its holdings to acquire SHIB.

Sharing a screenshot of a series of PEPE transactions on Etherscan, Lookonchain discovered that the whale deposited a staggering 1.97 trillion PEPE tokens worth over $6.07 million into Binance. Leveraging its strategic investment in this frog-themed cryptocurrency, the whale has amassed a substantial profit of $3.49 million, surpassing half of its initial $6 million investment. 

Following this massive PEPE deposit, the whale purchased approximately $75.9 billion SHIB valued at $893,000,000 from Binance into an unknown crypto wallet. The decision to abandon its considerable PEPE position in favor of SHIB underscores the whale’s sentiment towards the doggy-themed meme coin, suggesting a potential upside for the cryptocurrency.

Recently, more individuals have been showing major interest in the Shiba Inu token, opting to invest in the popular meme coin in the hopes of making significant returns. Earlier in January 2024, SHIB whale transactions saw a spike of over 1300%, highlighting the elevated demand for the doggy-themed token.

The underlying motivations behind these large-scale transactions remain undisclosed. However, it’s not uncommon for significant whale activities to trigger a price rally for a cryptocurrency. At the moment the broader crypto community is still closely watching the effects of these developments and their potential influence on the dynamics of the SHIB market. 

SHIB Price Soars

Lately, SHIB has been witnessing significant gains, propelling its price to unprecedented levels. According to data from CoinMarketCap, over the past 24 hours, SHIB has recorded an almost 60% increase in its price value. 

At the time of writing, the cryptocurrency is trading at $0.000020, reflecting a 59.81% surge in just a day and an impressive 113.83% rise in the last seven days. These price leaps have been attributed to the success of its ongoing SHIB burns and the rapid growth of its ecosystem and community.

Currently, SHIB boasts a market capitalization of over $11 billion and has experienced a 140.35% increase in its 24-hour trading volume, pushing it to over $4 billion. Furthermore, derivatives data unveiled by Coinglass has suggested a potential continued uptrend for SHIB, aligning with the pump experienced in the past few days. 

The data has revealed a 74.06% rise in Shiba Inu’s open interest and a 220.54% surge in volume. This indicates a significant upside for the cryptocurrency, underscoring the token’s strength and prevalence in the broader cryptocurrency market. 

Featured image from Pexels, chart from TradingView


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Whale Abandons Massive PEPE Position For Shiba Inu – How Much SHIB Did They Buy?

Crypto Hacks Total Value Stolen Increased 97.6% In February: Blockchain Investigator

The crypto community has seen a growing number of hacks in the first two months of 2024. Widely reported by Bitcoinist, hackers and scammers have targeted high-profile figures and projects within the industry.

According to PeckShield, a crypto investigator focused on security, February saw an over 97.6% Month-on-Month (MoM) rise in the total value of cryptocurrencies stolen from the attacks.

Over 21 Crypto Attacks Across February

On an X post, blockchain investigator PeckShield revealed a massive MoM increase in the total value of stolen funds. In February, hackers stole around $360.83 million during the crypto heists.

January saw the theft of $182.54 million, per PeckShield’s previous report. This means that, in comparison, last month saw a 96.7% increase in the total value stolen.

However, the 21 hacks represent a 30% drop in individual attacks compared to January. The first month of the year registered 30 different hacks, including that of Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen on the very last day of the month.

The exploit of Larsen’s addresses accounted for 70% of the total value stolen in January. Similarly, the PlayDapp hack that occurred at the beginning of February accounts for approximately 71% of the stolen funds during that month.

The report also reveals that only 1.8% of the stolen funds have been retrieved, with only $6.7 million out of the total $360 million being restored. Most of the recovered funds proceeded from the negotiation with the hacker involved in the Seneca attack, which ended in the return of $5.3 million.

Top Three Attacks Of The Month

These high-profile attacks seemingly targeted multiple figures and projects inside the crypto community. According to the report, the projects and individuals that suffered the biggest loss include PlayDapp, FixedFloat, and the Axie Infinity co-founder.

Undoubtedly, the biggest loser this past month was the popular web3 gaming platform PlayDapp, with the heist of 200 million PLA tokens initially.

Later, the project suffered the loss of another 1.4 billion tokens after failed attempts to negotiate with the criminal(s) involved. The hacker’s bonanza resulted in the loss of $290 million for the gaming platform, which ultimately decided to migrate to a new token to protect customers.

In the second place, the decentralized finance (DeFi) crypto exchange FlixedFloat suffered the theft of almost $26 million in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) midway through the month.

The hackers dispersed the funds to muddle the tracing of the tokens. The stolen Bitcoin was distributed between multiple addresses, while the ETH funds were sent to externally owned accounts and the centralized mixer eXch.

Lastly, with over $9.7 million worth of Ether stolen, Jeff ‘Jihoz’ Zirlin suffered the third-largest loss. The Axie Infinity co-founder fell victim to the hack of two of his addresses. Zirlin’s attack allegedly occurred due to “leaked keys,” which allowed the hacker to withdraw 3,248 ETH that were immediately ‘tornado cashed.’

These recent numbers suggest the increase of stolen funds at an alarming rate. A previous report from PeckShield revealed that the total value of stolen crypto funds in 2023 was around $342 million.

Last year’s value represented a 25% reduction from 2022. However, the high-profile hacks of the first two months of 2024 have already surpassed the total value of the year before.

BTC, BTCUSDT, Crypto


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Crypto Hacks Total Value Stolen Increased 97.6% In February: Blockchain Investigator

If Bonk Is The Dogecoin Of This Cycle, Is WIF The Next Shiba Inu?

The performances of Dogecoin and Shiba Inu in the last bull cycle have led to the hunt for their replacements in this cycle, and the likes of BONK and WIF continue to make a play for the positions. BONK rallied more than 1,000% in 2023 to reach a market cap of over $1 billion, reminiscent of Dogecoin’s 2020 rally. As BONK swims to the fore as a possible replacement for DOGE, another Solana-based meme coin, dogwifhat (WIF) is putting on a performance that could qualify it as the next Shiba Inu.

WIF Scores Robinhood Listing

WIF seems to be following the same path as Shiba Inu, although on a more accelerated timeline. WIF, which had lagged for a few weeks after its launch on the Solana blockchain, began a monster run that took its market cap from just a couple of hundred thousand dollars to over $1 billion at the time of this writing.

The WIF community continues to push the meme coin in a similar fashion to SHIB, hammering on the ‘dog wearing a hat’ meme. This has pushed its price further as support climbs, and the most recent development has given the meme coin even more clout in the space.

Robinhood, a trading platform infamous for listing meme coins Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, recently announced that it is listing the WIF token. The announcement triggered a price surge that sent WIF to new all-time highs after crossing the $1 mark.

WIF price chart from Tradingview.com (Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, BONK)

BONK Gunning For Dogeocin

The BONK meme coin has grown from obscurity to becoming one of the largest meme coins in the space. After rising more than 100% in the last week, its market cap has successfully crossed $1.5 billion, making it the third-largest meme coin in the crypto market ahead of PEPE.

As BONK’s popularity continues to grow, expectations for a Dogecoin-like run are mounting. Its price is already up more than 1,000% in the last year, and this is with the bull not being in full swing. Given that Dogecoin’s market cap went to $80 billion at the top in 2021, BONK, going on a similar run, could see its market cap hit $50 billion, which would be a more than 30x increase from here.

Another meme coin that has been doing well so far is PEPE, which is also up over 100% in one week. FLOKI is seeing gains of 78.1% in the last week, while MAGA, the meme coin modeled after US presidential candidate Donald Trump, is up 86.6% to cross $300 million market cap.


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: If Bonk Is The Dogecoin Of This Cycle, Is WIF The Next Shiba Inu?

Sam Bankman-Fried Cites Autism Disorder As Reason To Avoid 100 Years In Prison

In a high-profile case that has garnered considerable attention, Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced CEO of the now-bankrupt FTX crypto exchange, is seeking a lighter sentence, citing his autism spectrum disorder.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers argue that his condition makes him “uniquely vulnerable” in a prison environment and should result in a reduced sentence of five to six years instead of the maximum 110-year term recommended by sentencing guidelines

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Argue For Reduced Sentence

According to a Fortune Magazine report, in a sentencing memo filed by Bankman-Fried’s legal team, they contend that his autism spectrum disorder puts him at a “higher risk of violence” and extortion from other inmates due to his behavior. 

Sam Bankman-Fried’s attorneys also note that he may have difficulty responding to social “cues and unwritten rules” in the prison environment, which could lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. The memo also mentions Bankman-Fried’s struggle with anhedonic depression, for which he has been taking medication since his college years.

Bankman-Fried was found guilty of seven counts related to fraud, including misappropriation of customer funds. The allegations involve the misuse of funds for personal gains, leaving customers, some of whom lost their life savings, in financial distress. 

Prosecutors have yet to file their sentencing recommendations. However, the sentencing guidelines suggest a staggering prison term of 110 years, reflecting the severity of the charges.

Letters Of Support

Sam Bankman-Fried’s family, friends, and some individuals who know him well have reportedly submitted letters of support to the judge, highlighting his positive attributes and social behavior. Some supporters argue that his autism and social deficits make him more vulnerable to abuse and harassment within the prison system. 

Others, however, believe that the seriousness of the crimes committed and the impact on the victims should outweigh considerations of leniency, the report notes. 

Advocates further contend that neurodivergent individuals may require accommodations and support to ensure fair and just treatment. They emphasize the need for sensitivity training among prison staff and the development of appropriate frameworks to address the unique challenges faced by individuals with autism. 

On the other hand, critics contend that the severity of the crimes committed should be the primary factor in determining the appropriate sentence.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s hearing is scheduled for March 28, where the judge will consider the arguments presented by both the defense and the prosecution.

As the sentencing date approaches, the court’s decision will have an impact not only on Sam Bankman-Fried but also on the broader discussion surrounding fraud cases within the crypto industry ecosystem, as well as the potential for increased regulatory crackdowns to prevent similar cases.

Sam Bankman-Fried

As of now, FTX’s native token FTT is currently trading at $1.815, recording a sideways price movement over the past 24 hours. However, the token has gained 5% over the past seven days.

Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com 


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Sam Bankman-Fried Cites Autism Disorder As Reason To Avoid 100 Years In Prison

Bitcoin Shake-Up: Galaxy CEO Novogratz Warns Of $55,000 BTC Drop – Here’s Why

With its recent surge above the $64,000 mark, Bitcoin has again proven its attractiveness to a broad spectrum of investors. Amid this bullish momentum, Michael Novogratz, the CEO of Galaxy Digital Holdings, has shared his insights, suggesting a possible short-term correction that could see Bitcoin’s value adjust to the mid-$50,000 range.

This forecast comes when Bitcoin has experienced a significant rally, surging from below $45,000  as of early January and recently touching highs above $64,000.

Bitcoin Poised For Drop To $55,000

Novogratz’s prediction was shared during a Bloomberg TV interview, where he detailed his perspective on the current state of the cryptocurrency market.

The Galaxy Digital Holdings CEO described the market’s recent behavior as a phase of “price discovery,” driven in part by the inception of Bitcoin spot ETFs, which have ushered in a new wave of investment into the sector.

Despite the positive trend, Novogratz highlighted concerns over the market’s leverage, particularly among younger investors whom he called “millennials and Gen Z” drawn to the allure of quick gains. The Galaxy CEO noted:

You’ve got a lot of millennials and Gen Z YOLOing it, and they all will get some of that money and a lot of ’em will get wiped out.

He noted that this demographic’s aggressive trading behavior could lead to significant market corrections, underscoring the inherent risks of high-leverage investment strategies.

So far, the recent retracement from Bitcoin’s peak of $64,000 has led to nearly $300 million in total liquidations within 24 hours, catching almost 100,000 traders of a wave of losses, as per data from Coinglass.

This situation exemplifies the high stakes in cryptocurrency trading, where significant price movements can result in substantial financial impacts for investors.

Novogratz pointed out a shift in leverage usage between the 2021 bull run and the current market conditions, noting that while institutional players have moderated their leverage, retail traders, particularly through offshore platforms, continue to embrace high-risk, high-leverage trading.

Bitcoin (BTC) price chart on TradingView

The Future Trajectory Of Bitcoin

Despite potential short-term volatility, Novogratz remains optimistic about BTC’s long-term trajectory. He emphasized the market’s cyclical nature, suggesting that while “boom-bust” cycles may occur in the short run, the overall trend for Bitcoin is positive.

This viewpoint is supported by the growing interest from individual and institutional investors in allocating a portion of their portfolios to BTC’, recognizing its value as a digital asset.

Moreover, on-chain data reveals an interesting trend among “newbie whales,” or Bitcoin holders who have acquired their coins within the past 155 days. According to CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju, this group of investors currently holds an all-time high amount of unrealized profit following the latest rally.

Featured image from Unsplash, Chart from TradingView


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Bitcoin Shake-Up: Galaxy CEO Novogratz Warns Of ,000 BTC Drop – Here’s Why

Crypto Regulation Stuck In “Enforcement-Only Mode,” Says SEC Commissioner Peirce

In a thought-provoking address at the ETHDenver Web3 hackathon, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce expressed her concerns over the regulatory body’s handling of the cryptocurrency industry. 

Known for her pro-crypto stance and support for blockchain technology, Peirce lamented the lack of clear rules and the SEC’s tendency to pass judgment on cryptocurrencies as an asset class.

Peirce Urges Clearer Regulations To Foster Crypto Industry Growth

Peirce highlighted the negative impact of regulatory uncertainty on innovation, noting that developers and entrepreneurs are forced to spend “precious brainpower” trying to avoid potential legal repercussions. At the same time, the SEC has gone into “enforcement only mode” rather than focusing on building transformative solutions.

Once again, the Commissioner called for clearer regulations to allow the industry to thrive, emphasized her frustration with the SEC’s tendency to stifle innovation by treating crypto with undue skepticism, and echoed the vast industry’s calls for an improved and updated regulatory framework.

In her speech, Peirce also emphasized decentralization’s inherent strength and resilience to the financial system. At the same time, the SEC extends its oversight to decentralized finance (DeFi) solutions with new rules. 

The new rules, Exchange Act Rules 3a5-4 and 3a44-2, refine the definition of “in the regular course of business” in Sections 3(a)(5) and 3(a)(44) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and are designed to identify specific activities that would classify persons engaged in them as “dealers” or “government securities dealers.” 

As a result, those who fall into these categories must register with the SEC, become members of a self-regulatory organization (SRO), and comply with federal securities laws and regulatory obligations.

Peirce acknowledged the challenges the Securities and Exchange Commission faced, led by Gary Gensler, in grappling with decentralized networks and interactions governed by code rather than traditional entities. Peirce further stated:

When you have people working together and someone interacting with code instead of with a person or entity, it’s a real challenge for the SEC to figure out what to do with that.

Focused Application Of Securities Laws

Peirce suggested that the SEC’s role should primarily be to ensure securities laws are appropriately applied rather than attempting to understand and regulate the entire crypto space.

Peirce further expressed her desire for the SEC to adopt a more supportive approach, allowing projects to grow and achieve decentralization without the constant threat of legal action. 

The Commissioner stressed the importance of providing a regulatory environment that encourages innovation and empowers individuals to make informed decisions. Peirce also cautioned against targeting those seeking clear guidelines for operating within the crypto industry, emphasizing the need for collaboration and a forward-thinking mindset.

As the SEC remains primarily focused on enforcement, Peirce’s remarks shed light on the necessity for the regulatory body to establish provisions that enable projects to flourish and evolve into decentralized entities. 

By providing clarity, embracing decentralization, and fostering an environment that encourages growth, the SEC has the opportunity to support the development of a vibrant and innovative crypto ecosystem. However, all indications are that the SEC is unlikely to change its crypto crackdown in the coming months unless there is a change in administration following the presidential election in the US scheduled for 2024.

Crypto

Currently, the valuation of the crypto market stands at $2.25 trillion, continuing its uptrend with gains of over 2% in the past 24 hours. 

Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Crypto Regulation Stuck In “Enforcement-Only Mode,” Says SEC Commissioner Peirce

Solana Price Surges To 2-Year High After Recommendation From FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried

Solana (SOL) is currently riding a wave of its own, rallying significantly in the last 24 hours to a 22-month high. Interestingly, there is reason to believe that FTX’s former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), might have contributed to this bullish momentum. 

Solana Rises To As High As $136

Data from CoinMarketCap shows that SOL rose to as high as $136 and almost hit $137 in its latest move to the upside. This rally from the crypto token comes following a New York Times report that Bankman-Fried was offering investment advice to the prison guards and explicitly asked them to invest in SOL

SBF is known to have a long history with the crypto token, so it isn’t surprising that the FTX founder is shilling SOL to them. The convicted crypto founder has been vocal about SOL even when it was trading under $3 back in 2021. Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research also happened to be one of the principal backers of Solana. 

The defunct crypto exchange FTX also has SOL as one of its largest crypto holdings. Therefore, Bankman-Fried contributing to Solana’s price surge from prison doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Moreover, some will argue that it’s the least the former executive could do, considering that his company’s collapse significantly contributed to SOL dropping below $10 back in 2022. 

Solana’s Comeback Story 

Solana’s comeback story has been nothing short of impressive. The SOL ecosystem had to rebuild somewhat following Alameda Research and FTX’s collapse. Back then, SOL tumbled to below $10 following revelations regarding both companies and their eventual filing for bankruptcy in 2022.

SOL made a comeback last year, seeing over a 1000% gain in 2023. However, these gains didn’t come easy, as the ecosystem had to detach itself from links with Bankman-Fried and his companies. For context, SOL only saw over 100% year-to-date from January 2023 until October 2023. 

It wasn’t until after the Bankman-Fried trial that SOL made its real intentions known, rising above the $100 mark in the process. Interestingly, there is reason to believe that this run from the crypto token is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are more exponential gains ahead. Crypto analyst Hansolar recently predicted that the crypto token could rise to as high as $600 in this bull market cycle. 

Crypto YouTuber gave a more bullish price prediction, stating that SOL would rise to as high as $750 by 2025. Whatever the case may be, SOL is all but set to hit and surpass its all-time high (ATH) of $260. 

At the time of writing, SOL is trading at around $134, up almost 8% in the last 24 hours, according to data from CoinMarketCap. 

Solana price chart from Tradingview.com


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Solana Price Surges To 2-Year High After Recommendation From FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried

Hong Kong Trails Singapore In Crypto Licensing: Only 24 Applicants After Deadline

According to a Bloomberg report, Hong Kong has received applications from 24 companies seeking licenses to operate crypto exchanges in the city as it strives to establish itself as a regulated hub for the cryptocurrency industry. 

Notable players such as Bybit, OKX, and Crypto.com are among the applicants, while Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken are absent. However, the city’s virtual asset rulebook, which prioritizes investor protection, comes with compliance costs that could be challenging for some companies.

Binance, Coinbase Omit Hong Kong’s Crypto License Race

Per the report, the list of applicants includes well-known players in the digital asset space, such as Gate.io, HTX, and Bullish, which have demonstrated notable trading volumes. Nonetheless, the absence of major exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken raises questions about their strategic decisions regarding Hong Kong. 

The list of applicants serves as a gauge of industry sentiment, indicating the confidence level in Hong Kong’s regulatory framework. Angela Ang, senior policy advisor at blockchain intelligence firm TRM Labs, sees the presence of recognized players as a positive sign. 

Notably, Hong Kong’s 24 applicants for exchange licenses lag significantly behind Singapore, where some 70 companies have officially applied for a license by the end of 2021, three times the number of applicants in Hong Kong so far.

However, the true measure of Hong Kong’s success will depend on the investments these companies make in the local market. Compliance costs associated with operating a regulated business in the digital asset industry are inevitable and must be factored into long-term strategies.

OTC Trading Dominates Crypto Inflows In Hong Kong

The report notes that Hong Kong has shifted its focus to becoming a cryptocurrency hub in late 2022, aiming to showcase its technological capabilities and secure its future. Currently, HashKey Exchange and OSL Group are the city’s only authorized digital asset exchanges. 

However, most digital flows into Hong Kong have occurred over-the-counter (OTC) trading rather than digital asset exchanges. Chainalysis data shows that around $64 billion of crypto entered Hong Kong through OTC channels last year. 

The government reportedly wants to regulate OTC outlets that facilitate cash-to-crypto transactions with minimal oversight. In addition, Hong Kong is exploring regulations for stablecoins and considering introducing exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that invest directly in selected cryptocurrencies.

Overall, the ongoing development of Hong Kong’s digital asset exchange sector and the influx of applications for operating licenses reflect the city’s ambition to become a regulated hub for the cryptocurrency industry.

However, the compliance costs associated with operating a regulated business pose challenges that companies must consider. 

In light of this latest development, Bitcoinist previously reported that HTX  has withdrawn from its efforts to secure a cryptocurrency exchange license in Hong Kong. According to the report, three other cryptocurrency exchange operators have also withdrawn their applications.

Crypto

Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com 


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Hong Kong Trails Singapore In Crypto Licensing: Only 24 Applicants After Deadline

JP Morgan Says Bitcoin Price Will Correct After Halving, Here’s The Target

Analysts from JP Morgan, an American multinational financial corporation, have disclosed the potential for a significant price correction in Bitcoin, predicting that the cryptocurrency could see its price drop to $42,000 after the Bitcoin halving event.  

Bitcoin Price Prediction Post Halving

While many crypto analysts foresee Bitcoin’s dramatic rise to new all-time following the highly anticipated Bitcoin halving event, JP Morgan analysts have remained bearish. According to the analysts, a rise in production costs and mining difficulties could push the price of BTC down to $42,000 after the BTC halving event concludes.

The Bitcoin halving, which is a pre-programmed event that occurs every four years aims to lower inflation by reducing the amount of new BTC created. The “halving” refers to the 50% reduction in the rewards paid to BTC miners, resulting in less Bitcoin being mined, and a subsequent decrease in the supply of the cryptocurrency. 

Since BTC’s inception in 2009, there have been a total of three halving events, with the first occurring in November 2012, the second in July 2016, and the third in May 2020. The next Bitcoin halving event is scheduled for April 2024, and various projections indicate a continuation of historical trends, foreseeing sustained price surges in BTC during this period. 

Across the last three halving cycles, BTC has witnessed exponential gains, rising to new all-time highs as decreased supply elevated the cryptocurrency’s value. Despite this reoccurring historical technical pattern, JP Morgan analysts have foreseen a bearish outlook for BTC, underscoring the pronounced impact a reduction in mining profitability will have on the cryptocurrency’s price. 

“This $42,000 estimate is the level we envisage BTC prices drifting towards once Bitcoin-halving-induced euphoria subsides after April,” JP Morgan analysts stated. 

At the time of writing, BTC is trading at a record high of $61,565, reflecting a 20% price surge over the past seven days, according to CoinMarketCap. 

Tough Road Ahead For BTC Miners

JP Morgan analysts have disclosed that the halving event could greatly impact Bitcoin miners leading the mining sector to become grossly concentrated. 

In their report, the analysts revealed BTC production costs as a lower bound for prices, highlighting that post-halving production costs could potentially surge to $53,000 and lead to a 20% decline in Bitcoin’s network hash rate. This development could result in fewer miners competing to produce BTC and subsequently affect its price. 

Additionally, the JP Morgan analysts have revealed the potential for small mining businesses to go out of business, highlighting that following the event, Bitcoin mining rewards would reduce from 6.25 to 3.125 BTC. This reduction in mining profitability, added to the increase in mining difficulties, could negatively affect how lucrative the mining business is, potentially resulting in numerous private miners dropping out since costs would be significantly higher than profitability. 

Bitcoin price chart from Tradingview.com


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: JP Morgan Says Bitcoin Price Will Correct After Halving, Here’s The Target

Major Banks Embrace Crypto: Bank Of America, Wells Fargo Now Offer Spot Bitcoin ETFs

As more and more of the biggest investing organizations begin to provide the funds to their clients, crypto ETFs are becoming more and more popular.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission just approved bitcoin exchange-traded funds, and Bank of America’s Merrill and Wells Fargo are beginning to provide some of their wealth management clients access to them, according to people familiar with the subject who spoke with Bloomberg.

Bitcoin ETFs: Big Players Enter Crypto Arena

Several of the biggest asset managers in the US, including Fidelity and BlackRock, are among the issuers of Spot Bitcoin ETFs. But at first, wirehouses and conventional banks declined to provide the product to clients. Vanguard, Citi Bank, and UBS shunned the Bitcoin-backed investment vehicle at launch, previous reports disclose.

The fact that mainstream brokerage platforms have accepted bitcoin ETFs shows how big businesses are beginning to view cryptocurrencies as accessible, respectable investment options as opposed to purely speculative holdings.

Retail investors can gain exposure to the fluctuations in the price of bitcoin through exchange-traded funds (ETFs) instead of having to purchase the cryptocurrency directly from a less regulated exchange.

The price of bitcoin has recently increased; on Thursday, it briefly reached $64,000, barely below its all-time high of about $69,000 in 2021.

In an emailed statement on Thursday, Wells Fargo said spot bitcoin ETFs are available for “unsolicited purchases” through an advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors or “through our online WellsTrade platform.”

Because of rising Bitcoin prices, spot Bitcoin ETF providers have accumulated over $20 billion in assets under management (AUM). As the ETF wrapper accepts money from regular investors, hedge funds, and other capital controllers, the token has increased in value by about 50% so far this year.

Additionally, the investment vehicles experienced record-high trading volumes in the weeks following the approval of 11 spot bitcoin ETFs by US regulators in January. According to Bloomberg’s James Seyffart on X, trading activity for 10 ETFs surpassed $7.7 billion this week.

Morgan Stanley Eyes BTC ETF

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley, a prominent institution on Wall Street, is apparently considering allowing its clients to engage in spot BTC ETF trading. According to Bitwise’s chief investment officer, Matt Hougan, it is probable that additional trading giants will join the market, resulting in the influx of billions of dollars in untapped capital into Bitcoin through ETFs.

Gautam Chhugani, a Bernstein analyst, stated earlier this week that they remain persuaded that bitcoin is on “an 18-month road to $150,000” powered by unprecedented institutional adoption.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at $61,170, up 1.5% and 19.2% in the daily and weekly timeframes, data from Coingecko shows.

Featured image from Pexels, chart from TradingView


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: Major Banks Embrace Crypto: Bank Of America, Wells Fargo Now Offer Spot Bitcoin ETFs

US Congress Advances Key Crypto Legislation For Institutional Adoption

The House Financial Services Committee (HSFC) pushed forward a resolution that could change the landscape for institutional adoption of Bitcoin and crypto. On February 29, a markup hearing saw bipartisan support for a resolution aimed at overturning a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) guideline—Staff Accounting Bulletin 121 (SAB 121)—which has been a barrier for banks interested in crypto custody services. The vote resulted in 31 members in favor and 20 against.

When Will US Banks Be Able To Custody Crypto?

The resolution, propelled by US Republicans Wiley Nickel and Mike Flood, seeks to leverage the Congressional Review Act to revoke what they deem an “unlawful rule.” The HSFC articulated their stance, stating, “The SEC’s Staff Accounting Bulletin 121 leaves consumers unprotected by deterring regulated banks from being digital asset custodians. US Republican Wiley Nickel and US Republican Mike Flood’s bipartisan resolution reverses this unlawful rule using the Congressional Review Act.”

US Republican Mike Flood voiced a critical perspective on the SEC’s current stance, asserting, “SEC has virtually locked out the most regulated institutions from serving as custodians for digital assets. It’s time to roll back SAB 121 and to stop Gary Gensler’s overreach.”

Echoing the committee’s sentiments, the Chamber of Digital Commerce announced, “BIG NEWS! The bipartisan push from US Republican Wiley Nickel, US Republican Mike Flood, and Senator Lummis to nullify SEC’s SAB 121 has successfully passed markup and is on its way to the House floor.”

This development is seen as a pivotal moment for digital asset regulation, aiming to rectify the overreach of SAB 121, which has been criticized for its detrimental impact on consumer protection and the digital asset custody market.

Perianne Boring, the founder of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, highlighted the significance of this legislative progress, stating, “PROGRESS: SAB 121 passed out of Committee today with bipartisan support! It’s headed to the House floor.”

This sentiment is shared by Jake Chervinsky, CLO at Variant, who criticized SAB 121 for being “an unlawful rule adopted in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act and the Congressional Review Act that unfairly punishes crypto without any coherent justification.” However, the renowned crypto lawyer also warned that this is “likely the end of the story in Congress. Getting repeal done is nearly impossible. Lawsuit or bust.”

Why Repealing SAB 121 Matters For Spot Bitcoin ETFs

The effort to repeal SAB 121 is further justified by concerns over the concentration risk in the custody of bitcoin for ETFs. An op-ed by Wiley and Nickel in Newsweek emphasized the importance of involving banks in the custody of digital assets, citing the approval of 11 spot bitcoin ETFs as a step forward but not the end of the regulatory journey.

Most notably, they highlighted that the approved ETFs rely on just four custodians, with a significant concentration in a single entity [Coinbase]. Moreover, Nickel and Flood pointed out the absence of banks as custodians for these ETFs, emphasizing that banks’ expertise and regulated framework make them ideal for such a role, particularly given the nature of bitcoin as a bearer instrument.

They argue, “This concern is amplified by the fact that none of the custodians are banks […] The SEC could have chosen to protect investors by simply rescinding SAB 121. Unfortunately, to this point, SEC chair Gary Gensler has not indicated interest in doing so.”

The op-ed identified SAB 121 as the primary barrier preventing banks from serving as custodians, as it requires digital assets to be included on banks’ balance sheets, diverging from the treatment of traditional securities and imposing undue capital and liquidity burdens on these institutions.

At press time, BTC traded at $61,286.

Bitcoin price
Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: US Congress Advances Key Crypto Legislation For Institutional Adoption

New Report Reveals Over Half Of Illegal Crypto Transactions Are Linked To Terrorist Groups And Sanctioned Entities

So far, concerns have escalated over the use of cryptocurrency by sanctioned groups and terrorist organizations, as revealed in the latest “2024 Crypto Crime Report” by leading blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.

The report unveiled that over $24.2 billion of unlawful crypto transactions occurred in 2023, with a significant portion linked to entities subject to “sanctions or involved in terrorist activities.”

The Role Of Sanctioned Entities And Terrorist Organizations

According to the report, despite a decrease in overall illicit transaction volume compared to previous years, there has been a substantial increase in the proportion of funds attributed to sanctioned or terrorist-linked recipients.

Approximately 61.5% of total illicit transaction volume in 2023 was associated with these entities, underscoring the concerning trend.

The report disclosed that sanctioned entities, including North Korean hacking groups and US-designated terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, continue to leverage digital currency for fundraising purposes. Andrew Fierman, head of sanctions strategy at Chainalysis added:

Actors subject to sanctions are often cut off from international traditional financial systems, and crypto can become an attempted alternative mechanism to store, send, and receive funds.

Organizations like the crypto “mixer” Tornado Cash and Garantex emerged as significant recipients of illicit funds throughout 2023, despite facing sanctions from regulatory bodies.

Meanwhile, according to the report, sanctions have demonstrated efficacy in curtailing the flow of digital currency funds, with notable reductions observed following their imposition.

Concerning the challenges posed by illicit digital currency activity, the report disclosed that efforts to trace and seize these funds have become increasingly “sophisticated.”

Fierman noted:

The transparent nature of cryptocurrency combined with blockchain analytics provides an invaluable forensic tool that empowers governments to identify, trace, and disrupt the flow of funds – something that isn’t possible with other forms of value transfer, especially cash.

Regardless, terrorist organizations persist in their attempts to exploit digital currency for fundraising, deploying intricate networks of exchanges and service providers to obscure their activities.

A Recap Of 2023’s Crypto Security Challenges

According to a recent report from De.FI, a Web3 security firm overseeing the REKT database, 2023 proved to be a pivotal year in the cryptocurrency realm, with hackers orchestrating heists totaling approximately $2 billion.

This sum of losses, accrued across various incidents, underscores persistent vulnerabilities within the decentralized finance (DeFi) landscape. Supporting this assessment, TRM Labs reported that by mid-December 2023, digital currency thefts had amounted to $1.7 billion, marking a decrease from the previous year.

Noteworthy breaches targeted platforms such as Atomic Wallet, BonqDAO, Multichain, and Poloniex, exacerbating the challenges confronting the industry.

Beyond these individual incidents, Chainalysis also underscored the broader susceptibility of the cryptocurrency sector to cyberattacks, shedding light on the “overarching” security concerns within the industry.

Meanwhile, apart from cyberattacks, digital currency have also been implicated in other illicit activities such as the sale of illegal products. In a separate incident, the office of the US Attorney, led by Philip R. Sellinger, pursued a “civil forfeiture action” aimed at reclaiming $54 million in cryptocurrency.

This substantial amount is directly associated with an illicit narcotics distribution network operating on the darknet, primarily based in New Jersey.

The global crypto market cap value on TradingView

Featured image from Unsplash, Chart from TradingView


Source: Bitcoinist.com
Original Post: New Report Reveals Over Half Of Illegal Crypto Transactions Are Linked To Terrorist Groups And Sanctioned Entities