Biweekly Headlines 2023 Nov W4 – Dec W1

“I think the next two years are going to be good. Strap yourselves in.”  – Caroline Bowler, BTC Markets chief

Biweekly News Roundup

1. Bitcoin Market Trends and Predictions

Bitcoin price hit a 19-month high of 39K on Dec. 1 as Fed Chair Jerome Powell stirred bets that Fed hikes are over. BTC experienced its first-ever halving 11 years ago on Nov. 28, and since then, it has soared from $12 to its current price of $38,247. Bernstein said in a research report on Nov. 20 that Bitcoin is expected to emerge as a global macropolitical asset with a more than $3 trillion market cap, quadrupling by mid-2025.  BTC’s fundamentals have never looked better, noting that 70% of the outstanding supply hasn’t been traded in the past year. “Strap yourselves in” — Bull market coming early 2024, says BTC Markets chief Caroline Bowler. The market has already entered the first phase of a major rally, with the number of people buying crypto trickling upward, which is expected to accelerate early next year, the heads of Australia’s largest crypto exchanges believe. Standard Chartered Bank maintains a bullish stance and predicts Bitcoin could reach $100K by 2024.

2. Digital Asset Investment Flows

Digital asset-focused investment vehicles saw net inflows of $346M in the week ended Nov. 24, the largest amount in what’s now been nine consecutive weeks of inflows. Bitcoin fund inflows surpassed $1.5B this year amid signs of short-seller capitulation. Smart-Contract Platform Index (SMT) jumped the most in 10 months a significant 19% increase in November. Ether and Solana led among altcoins fund inflows.

3. Cryptocurrency Market Anomalies and Incidents

USTC gained 300% in a week as plans of a bitcoin-backed revamp plan and a Binance perpetual contract listing unleashed a speculative frenzy. A suspicious “Munger” coin soared by more than 31,000% and then lost more than 98% of its value after billionaire Charlie Munger’s death on Nov. 28. The discount for GBTC reached the narrowest point since July 2021 on Nov. 24 on the optimism of bitcoin spot ETF getting approval in the U.S.

4. OpenAI’s ChatGPT Developments

Launched a year ago, on Nov. 30, 2022, and catapulted to 100M monthly users within its first three months, OpenAI’s ChatGPT was marked by existential fear, lawsuits and boardroom drama in its first year. OpenAI ousted Sam Altman from CEO and Board roles on Nov. 17; WLD dropped 12% in the immediate aftermath of the announcement. Hundreds of OpenAI employees threaten to follow Altman to Microsoft unless the board resigns. Microsoft hired both former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and President Greg Brockman after their departure from OpenAI. In the end, OpenAI rehired Sam Altman as CEO with new initial board members in less than a week after his surprise-ouster.

5. Regulatory and Legal Issues in Cryptocurrency

Changpeng Zhao on Nov. 21 pleaded guilty to violating U.S. Anti-Money Laundering requirements and stepped down as the CEO of Binance and Binance will pay over $7B in fines to the U.S. Treasury and Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Soccer great Cristiano Ronaldo faces a $1B class-action lawsuit that alleges Ronaldo “promoted, assisted in, and/or actively participated in the offer and sale of unregistered securities in coordination with Binance.” TORN fell 57% after Binance announced that it will stop accepting deposits of TORN on Dec. 8 and will no longer process withdrawals after March 7, 2024. The SEC sues Kraken, alleging that it operates as an unregistered exchange and mixes user funds. Brazil plans to impose 15% tax on crypto earnings held on offshore exchanges.

6. Cryptocurrency Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) and Institutional Involvement

ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) hit a high of $1.47 billion in AUM, surging past a record set in December 2021. Money management giant Fidelity is seeking to create an ETF that owns ETH, according to a Nov. 17 filing, joining rival BlackRock in strengthening its crypto embrace. Spot Bitcoin ETFs have almost $100M in AUM in Brazil, led by Hashdex offering. MicroStrategy bought $600M of BTC in November and increased holdings by 10%. Circle said it concluded an MOU with SBI Holdings on Nov. 27, which will underpin the strategic expansion of USDC into Japan.

7. Political Influence on Cryptocurrency Markets

Javier Milei won the Argentine presidency on Nov. 19 and Bitcoin gained nearly 3%. He’s referred to Bitcoin as a movement toward “the return of money to its original creator, the private sector.” Australian tax data shows that asset class allocations to Australians’ self-managed superannuation funds have increased by 400% in just four years, outpacing the growth of stocks and bonds.

Dec. 2, 2023

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