Biweekly Headlines 2024 Feb W1 – W2

“As blockchain technology advances, there is a decentralized alternative for every centralized option.”  Nick Johnson, founder and lead developer of Ethereum Name Service

Biweekly News Roundup

1. Bitcoin Market Movements

● Bitcoin’s recovery from a breakdown below $42,000: Starting its first full week of February, BTC rebounded from below $42K, surpassing $44,000 on February 7 for the first time since January 12, which was just after the debut of spot ETFs. Subsequently, BTC soared past $47K, marking one of the best days for spot Bitcoin ETFs.

● Historical performance around the Chinese New Year: BTC rallied every time in the last 9 years by 11% on average around the Chinese New Year festivity, says 10X’s Markus Thielen.

● Predictions by Markus Thielen for Bitcoin’s 2024 price target: Unveiling his 2024 price target, Thielen expects bitcoin to rally about 65% from current levels to hit $70K by the end of the year.

2. Ethereum and Other Cryptocurrencies

● Ethereum surpassing $2,400: Ethereum’s gain took it above $2,400 for the first time in two weeks.

● Overall increase in crypto trading pace: Crypto trading hits the busiest pace since June 2022.

● Accumulation of Bitcoin by crypto whales: Crypto whales, or large investors, have accumulated $3B worth of BTC this month. The amount of bitcoin held in wallets owning over 1,000 BTC has increased by roughly 76,000 BTC to nearly 7.8M BTC.

3. Macroeconomic Influences and Predictions

● Impact of the macro environment and monetary tailwinds: The macro environment, monetary tailwinds, U.S. election cycle and increasing TradFi demand all point to higher prices.

● Historical gains of Bitcoin in election years: Specifically, bitcoin gained 152% in 2012, 121% in 2016 and 302% in 2020, or an average of 192%.

4. U.S. Stock Market and Economic Outlook

● Advances in U.S. stock markets: Continuing advances for U.S. stock markets also likely supported risk assets like crypto, with S&P 500 closing at a record high, the Dows was just a few ticks from it all-time high, and Nasdaq continued to close in on its record.

● Federal Reserve Chair’s warning on U.S. fiscal sustainability: Fed Chair Jerome Powell is warning the United States is on an unsustainable fiscal path, with debt currently outpacing growth in the broader economy.

5. Bitcoin ETFs and Institutional Investments

● Funds amassed by Bitcoin ETFs since their debut: Bitcoin ETFs have amassed $7.7B in funds since debut.

● Performance of specific Bitcoin ETFs like IBTC and FBTC: BlackRock-managed IBTC and Fidelity Investments’ FBTC emerging as two prominent leaders among the newly issued spot Bitcoin ETFs.

● Significant trading volumes in Bitcoin ETFs: BlackRock’s IBIT fund is leading the spot Bitcoin ETF pack as Feb. 7 tops a billion dollars in trading volume.

6. Global Regulatory Developments and Crypto Investments

● Hong Kong’s first spot Bitcoin ETF application: Hong Kong SFC received the application for the first spot Bitcoin ETF which is expected to launch after Feb. 10.

● Thailand’s SEC introducing crypto-friendly rules: Thailand’s SEC, breaking new ground in 2024, introduces crypto-friendly rules that allow retail investors to invest without limits in digital tokens backed by real estate or infrastructure.

● Spain’s trial of Euro-backed stablecoins: Euro-backed stablecoin trials begin in Spain. Every EURM is backed on 1:1 par by euro and stored at Spanish banks.

7. Long-Term Price Predictions and Comparisons

● Anthony Scaramucci’s prediction for Bitcoin: Skybridge Capital founder and managing partner Anthony Scaramucci predicts Bitcoin to hit at least $170K after the halving in April.

● Comparisons to the market capitalization of gold: As for his long-term price target, Anthony Scaramucci sees BTC could easily reach half of the market capitalization of gold, which would bring the price of one coin up to roughly $400,000.

● Standard Chartered’s expectations for Ethereum: The British bank Standard Chartered expects that Ether could hit $4,000 with likely Spot ETH ETF approval in May.

8. Crypto Integration in Traditional Finance and Payment Systems

● Visa’s initiatives in cryptocurrency: Enabling crypto withdrawals on debit cards in 145 countries, Visa has been actively exploring the use cases of cryptocurrency in recent years.

● Partnership with Circle for USDC support: In 2020, Visa made a major move into crypto, by partnering with Circle to support the USDC.

● Expansion of USDC payments on the Solana blockchain: In September 2023, Visa rolled out support for USDC payments settled on the Solana blockchain as it continued to expand the support of the stablecoin.

9. Corporate Crypto Strategies and Investments

● FTX’s decision to sell a stake in Anthropic: FTX seeks to sell an 8% stake in Anthropic for the sake of its shareholders.

● El Salvador’s ongoing commitment to Bitcoin under President Nayib Bukele: El Salvador’s Bitcoin-friendly president Nayib Bukele is on his way to another five-year term.

Feb. 10, 2024

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