Biweekly Headlines 2023 Oct W4 – Nov W1

“When it comes to illicit finance, crypto is not the enemy – bad actors are.” 

Cynthia Lummis, U.S. senator

Biweekly News Roundup

The claims against FTX surged by 57% after the jury unanimously convicted the defendant on all seven counts in the FTX fraud trial. A preliminary sentencing date has been scheduled for March 28, 2024. SBF faces the possibility of serving time in prison spanning decades, potentially amounting to a maximum of 115 years.  Bitcoin white paper turns 15 on Oct. 31 as Satoshi Nakamoto’s legacy lives on. Bitcoin futures open interest at the CME hit an all-time high of $3.65B on Nov. 1. BTC is on track to complete its first golden cross since early February after a 30% price surge hitting 17-month highs above $35,000 in 2 weeks. Crypto funds see the largest inflow in 15 months, with BTC and SOL leading rally. SOL was a notable outperformer with over 80% monthly return amid increasing network activity and subsiding concerns about FTX dumping tokens in a fire-sale. The number of transactions processed on the Bitcoin blockchain involving a movement of at least $100,000 worth of BTC rose to a year-to-date high of 23,400 last week. Bitcoin boasts a 107% year-to-date gain, with its crypto market share surging to 54.4%, the highest since April 2021. Google searches for “buy Bitcoin” have surged worldwide amid a major crypto rally, with searches in the UK growing 826% in the last week.

The impending golden cross may live up to its reputation, given the optimism about a potential launch of a U.S.-based spot ETF, macroeconomic uncertainty and bitcoin’s growing appeal as a haven asset and next year’s mining reward halving. A golden cross indicates that short-term price momentum is outperforming the long-term, potentially evolving into a bull run. DeFi market recovers from 30-month low as volume hits the highest point since March. Magnificent seven tech stocks tumble a whopping $280B as crypto surges. The so-called “magnificent seven” refers to the top seven blue-chip tech firms — Apple, Microsoft, Meta, Amazon, Alphabet, Nvidia and Tesla — which combine to make up a quarter of the value of the S&P 500 index. Alphabet was the worst performer on the day, falling 9.5% in a massive $180-billion wipeout. Bitcoin’s 14% weekly gain signals “end of an era” as big tech dumps, analyst says.

Although the U.K. has expressed a desire to become a global hub for crypto and has passed some legislation to legitimize crypto in the country, it has also been clamping down on crypto crime and scams. A bill that will help law enforcement agencies seize and freeze crypto used for crime became law on Oct. 26. The UK’s global summit on artificial intelligence safety, the AI Safety Summit, began on Nov. 1 and will carry on through Nov. 2, with government officials and leading AI companies from around the world in attendance. During the summit, Britain published the “Bletchley Declaration,” which serves as an agreement to boost global efforts of cooperation in AI safety. Twenty-eight countries signed onto the declaration, including the U.S. and China, along with the European Union. Swiss Bank SGKB partners with SEBA Bank to bring Bitcoin and Ethereum trading to clients. Circle launches “points-to-crypto” program with Taiwan’s second-largest convenience store chain, FamilyMart. The partnership will allow customers to exchange their loyalty points for the Circle-issued USDC. Partnering with BlackRock and the Bank of New York Mellon), Circle has grown to a globally recognized stablecoin issuer with different products. Circle announces closure of individual consumer accounts on November 30.

Bitcoin and Ether options activity soar to historic highs of $20B amid ETF hype. Bitcoin network sets new mining hashrate record at 543 EH/s and the price of PEPE has doubled in a week to a $500 million market cap in view of upcoming halving and spot ETF approval. Bitmain starts shipping new Bitcoin Antminer T21 in January 2024, featuring a computing power of 190 TH/s and an energy efficiency ratio of 19 J/TH. GBTC shares have surged 220% this year, outshining Nvidia 198%. BTC has doubled this year while traditional fixed-income instruments like government bonds have crashed. Regulators in Singapore, Japan, the U.K. and Switzerland are planning asset tokenization tests for fixed-income, foreign exchange and asset management products. Tokenization, which digitizes real-world assets using the blockchain, is all the buzz among banking giants and institutions worldwide with major economies testing bond issuance and fund tokenization to potentially improve the efficiency of global financial markets. Ryan Rasmussen, analyst at asset manager Bitwise, said, “A spot bitcoin ETF could bring in as much as $50 billion to $100 billion in inflows over the next five years” and “could have an outsize impact on the price of bitcoin.”

Nov. 4, 2023

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