Reduction in contracts boosts Bitcoin price

The recent rise in Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) above US$43,000 may be related to the decrease in open interest in bitcoin options, especially at US$40,000, according to analyst Gordon Grant. After the options expired at the end of January, there was a notable decrease in these contracts, potentially freeing the Bitcoin price to rise. Now, attention turns to US$50,000 call options, indicating traders’ optimism about Bitcoin’s future value.

Bitcoin whale accumulation strategy anticipates 2024 halving

In the current scenario, where Bitcoin ETFs are capturing market attention, Bitcoin whales (COIN:BTCUSD), with portfolios of 1,000 BTC or more, have taken a contrary direction, accumulating about US$3 billion in Bitcoin this month, raising their holdings to an impressive total of 76,000 BTC. This strategic move occurred mainly through purchases on Bitfinex, where Bitcoin was being traded at lower values, providing an opportunity to buy at advantageous prices compared to platforms like Binance and Coinbase. This accumulation trend seems to be deliberate preparation for the upcoming Bitcoin halving in 2024, an event that has historically been a significant catalyst for Bitcoin price increases. Such behavior suggests a long-term view and raises concerns about the influence of whales on market stability.

Google paves the way for ETFs, Schwab considers entry, and capital flows change in the market

Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is about to review its cryptocurrency advertising policy, which could open doors for the promotion of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds. The update, expected today, will include ads for “Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts,” fueling speculation about the inclusion of newly approved Bitcoin ETFs. This change could offer a significant platform for ETF issuers to reach new investors.

Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW), maintaining a balanced position in the crypto market, allows the purchase of Bitcoin ETFs, without yet offering its own version. Experts predict a potential future offering from Schwab, speculating competitive advantages such as lower fees. The company has already shown interest in the sector, supporting the EDX Markets exchange and offering an ETF focused on crypto companies, indicating a possible expansion into digital assets.

In the last week, major managers like BlackRock (NASDAQ:IBIT) and Fidelity (AMEX:FBTC) saw net outflows of US$500 million from their crypto funds, notably the Grayscale ETF (AMEX:GBTC) with US$2.2 billion. The contrast came from new Bitcoin ETFs, which attracted US$1.8 billion, indicating a migration of capital. With the American market leading the outflows, Brazil stood out with net inflows, reflecting a geographical redistribution of crypto investments.

Regulatory paths and challenges in the US for the approval of Ethereum and Ripple ETFs

According to investment bank TD Cowen, a spot Ethereum ETF in the US is expected by the end of 2025 or early 2026, after the 2024 elections. The decision, considered political by TD Cowen, is not expected to occur earlier, aiming to avoid conflicts with progressives and waiting for the experience with newly approved Bitcoin ETFs. This timeline remains even without new crypto legislation, with SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s mandate until June 2026.

The approval of a Ripple ETF depends on the prior existence of an XRP futures fund, according to Eleanor Terette from Fox Business. Comparing with the Bitcoin ETF process, she highlights the need for market controls to combat fraud. While Ripple faces legal challenges with the SEC, the number of active XRP wallets grows, indicating continued interest despite price volatility.

Harvest Global seeks Bitcoin ETF in Hong Kong

Harvest Global Investments is applying for a spot bitcoin ETF in Hong Kong, also discussing the city’s stablecoin sandbox. The initiative comes after Hong Kong indicated openness to spot cryptocurrency ETFs in December 2023, echoing similar moves in the US. In addition to Harvest, Venture Smart Financial plans its own ETF, both in talks with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority about stablecoin regulations.

PayPal advances in the stablecoin market with PYUSD

The launch of the stablecoin PYUSD (COIN:PYUSDUSD) by PayPal on August 7, 2023, brought a new player to the cryptocurrency scene. Received positively, including praise from the CEO of Circle, PYUSD stimulated a 4% increase in Bitcoin. In five months, it reached the eighth position in market value among stablecoins, with US$300 million. Despite this, its presence in DeFi is limited, focusing more on centralized exchanges. PayPal also faced an SEC inquiry but overcame the challenges, using PYUSD in strategic investments, indicating its potential for growth and innovation in the sector.

Manta Pacific surpasses Base and reaches the top 3 of Layer 2

Manta Pacific surpassed Coinbase’s Base, becoming the second-largest Layer 2 network in just five months. According to co-founder Kenny Li, the success came after the New Paradigm campaign, which introduced yield-bearing assets and boosted interest in the network. The launch of the network’s token, which faced challenges like denial of service attacks, also contributed to the growth. With US$1.7 billion in smart contracts, Manta Pacific now focuses on developing its ecosystem and transitioning to a zkEVM.

Stellar’s smart contract update delayed by bug

The launch of smart contracts on the Stellar blockchain, scheduled for January 30, was postponed due to the discovery of a bug in the software. The Stellar Development Foundation opted for caution after community feedback, planning a new date for the update after fixing the problem. The decision affects the implementation of “Soroban” contracts and demonstrates the foundation’s caution in ensuring the network’s stability and security.

OKX innovates with support for unique inscription tokens

OKX announces an innovation in the market by integrating inscription token standards, such as Doginals and Atomicals, into its wallet and platform. This advancement allows users to view, transfer, and trade these unique tokens, including popular Bitcoin inscriptions, without fees. With the launch, OKX responds to the growing interest in innovative digital assets, reinforcing its position as a leader in web3 solutions and attracting over 100,000 users to the new features.

Crypto adoption grows in Europe, reveals Binance

A Binance survey shows growing European optimism about cryptocurrencies, with 73% of respondents confident in their future. The study highlights that 55% use crypto for daily transactions, evidencing the increasing integration of digital assets into everyday life. This rise in adoption reflects a global trend, despite recent market challenges, supported by increasing legitimacy and visibility at major events.

Friend.Tech faces sharp decline in activity

After a promising start, the decentralized social media protocol Friend.Tech saw its popularity plummet, attracting only 19 new users and conducting 5,544 transactions on January 28, a drastic reduction from its peak. With the exit of more than US$5 million in assets, the total value locked fell to US$30 million. The decline was exacerbated by security issues and competition from similar platforms, highlighting challenges in the project’s execution and innovation.

Unibot launches UNISOL token and promises value to holders

Unibot (COIN:UNIBOTUSD), a trading app, announced a new UNISOL token in the Solana ecosystem, aiming to add value to holders of the original UNIBOT tokens on Ethereum. Despite initial concerns about dilution, the company clarified that UNISOL could benefit both groups of holders, promoting a fair distribution of revenues. The integration seeks to strengthen value accumulation for users.

GRIID debuts on Nasdaq

GRIID (NASDAQ:GRDI), a prominent Bitcoin mining company, marked its debut on Nasdaq today, following the merger with Adit EdTech Acquisition Corp. According to CEO Trey Kelly, the listing on the American stock exchange aims to increase visibility and attract more investors, thus strengthening the company’s position in the market. With operations in the US since 2019, GRIID now aligns with other industry giants, such as Riot Platforms (NASDAQ:RIOT) and Marathon Digital (NASDAQ:MARA), in the search for sustainable energy for mining.

Somesing loses US$11.58 million in tokens in hack

The South Korean blockchain karaoke platform Somesing (COIN:SSXCUSD) was hacked, resulting in the loss of 730 million SSXC tokens, equivalent to US$11.58 million. The breach included undistributed and circulating tokens. Somesing is collaborating with authorities and partners to track the attacker and freeze the compromised assets, while major South Korean exchanges suspended SSX transactions, increasing concerns about security in the crypto industry.

Ana Maria Caballero’s poem sold in Bitcoin at Sotheby’s

Ana Maria Caballero’s poem “Cord” was auctioned for 0.28 Bitcoin, equivalent to US$11,430, at Sotheby’s, marking the first sale of an individual poem by the auction house. The work was part of the Natively Digital collection, exploring NFT-like inscriptions on Bitcoin. In addition to the digital poem, the buyer will receive a signed print, highlighting the unique value of poetry in the digital age.

Gevulot raises $6 million for innovation in ZK proofs

Gevulot, a blockchain innovator focused on zero-knowledge proofs, has raised $6 million in an initial round led by Variant. With support from industry notables, such as the CEO of Polygon Labs, the startup aims to expand its Layer 1 network, which promises to revolutionize the scalability and efficiency of blockchain applications through ZK proof technology. Preparing to launch a developer-focused test network, Gevulot aims to facilitate the implementation of scalable and secure solutions in the blockchain space.

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