Bitcoin recovery boosts crypto stocks in the US

A recent surge of Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) above $51,000 has boosted the shares of crypto companies in the US, with Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) and MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR) among the beneficiaries. The increase propelled BTC to a market capitalization of $1 trillion, aligning it with giants like Meta (NASDAQ:META) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). The appreciation was accompanied by a growth in the number of Bitcoin whales, reflecting a growing interest in the crypto sector and related investments. Additionally, the upcoming Bitcoin halving may occur on April 20, known as “weed day.” CoinGecko, based on Blockchair data, suggests that the event could be between April 20 and 21. If confirmed on this date, the halving, which will halve miners’ rewards, promises to generate a wave of memes in the community, continuing the tradition of crypto humor at key market moments.

Records and growth in Bitcoin ETFs

On February 13, 2024, BlackRock’s ETF (NASDAQ:IBIT) reached a milestone with an influx of $493 million, bringing its total to $4.6 billion and 105,000 BTC in holdings. Fidelity’s ETF (AMEX:FBTC) also grew, with inflows of $164 million, totaling $3.3 billion. Meanwhile, GBTC (AMEX:GBTC) saw outflows of $73 million, accumulating a total of $6.6 billion in outflows. The Bitcoin ETF market recorded net inflows of $3.8 billion, totaling about 236,982 BTC in holdings.

Significant depreciation of Bitcoin forks against BTC

Major Bitcoin forks, such as Bitcoin Cash (COIN:BCHUSD), Bitcoin SV (COIN:BSVUSD), and eCash (COIN:XECUSD), have faced significant declines in value since the 2021 peak, with losses of 48%, 42%, and 71% respectively against BTC. While Bitcoin has shown resilience, these forks have shown volatility and temporary recoveries, especially during BlackRock’s (NASDAQ:IBIT) entry into the Bitcoin ETF market. However, in the long term, institutional preference and interest in the original Bitcoin may be negatively impacting the performance of these forks.

Solana surpasses Binance Coin in market value

On Wednesday, Solana (COIN:SOLUSD) briefly surpassed Binance Coin (COIN:BNBUSD) as the fourth largest digital asset by market capitalization, reaching $50 billion. The growth is driven by Solana network’s resilience and an increase in DeFi activity, with TVL approaching $2 billion. Solana also recorded robust activity in its DEX, with $9 billion in trades this month.

Starknet announces strategic airdrop to 1.3 million wallets

Starknet Foundation has revealed details of the anticipated airdrop to 1.3 million wallets, encompassing a wide range of users, from dApps pioneers to network contributors. The STRK token, introduced to strengthen decentralization and governance, will be distributed on February 20, with recipients having until June 20 to claim. This key event will distribute 7% of the total 10 billion STRK tokens, marking a significant moment in Starknet’s development.

Security breach at PlayDapp results in PLA token loss

PlayDapp (COIN:PLAUSD), a cryptocurrency-based gaming platform, faced severe security breaches, with PLA token losses estimated at $290 million. Elliptic reported that an unauthorized wallet created 200 million PLA tokens, compromising the private key. PlayDapp offered a $1 million reward for the return of the funds, but there was a new minting of 1.59 billion tokens. Elliptic is working to recover the funds, while the value of PLA has significantly declined.

Citi innovates with fund tokenization on blockchain

Citi (NYSE:C) collaborated with WisdomTree and Wellington Management to test the tokenization of private equity funds on Avalanche’s Spruce subnetwork, aiming to innovate capital markets. This project on the Evergreen subnetwork, geared towards financial institutions, included token transfers and asset validation via secured loans. The initiative reflects Wall Street’s growing interest in blockchain, promising more efficiency and compliance for the sector.

Innovative partnership between Hedera and Mondelēz for DLT

Hedera Hashgraph (COIN:HBARUSD) has partnered with Mondelēz International (NASDAQ:MDLZ), a giant in the food industry, to develop distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions focused on digital transformation and supply chain management. As a new member of the Hedera Council, Mondelēz aims to boost operational efficiency using Hedera’s unique hashgraph technology, promising fast and secure transactions, benefiting renowned brands like Oreo and Cadbury.

Advancement in Ethereum staking with Taurus-Lido partnership

The partnership between Taurus, a Swiss cryptocurrency custody, and Lido (COIN:LDOUSD), a pioneer in Ethereum staking, brings banks closer to offering Ethereum token staking yields to customers. Initially available to Swiss banks regulated by FINMA, Lido’s liquid staking service allows Ether locking and issuance of tradable stETH tokens (COIN:STETHUSD). This collaboration aims to connect traditional finance and digital assets, expanding staking services to financial institutions.

ENS Labs evaluates $300,000 settlement offer in domain dispute

ENS Labs, the organization responsible for Ethereum Name Service (ENS) development and maintenance, is considering a $300,000 proposal from Manifold Finance to settle the dispute over the domain, vital for the Ethereum community. The offer, which includes confidentiality and non-depreciation clauses, comes after an unexpected auction of the domain in 2022. Facing legal costs of $750,000, ENS Labs seeks guidance from its DAO on accepting the offer, negotiating, continuing litigation, or closing the case, weighing the domain’s future and the costs involved.

CoinShares achieves $42 million profit in 4Q 23

CoinShares (TG:3TW), a European leader in crypto investment, reported a profit of $42 million in the last quarter of 2023, marking a recovery after a challenging year. The company attributed success to asset tokenization and service expansion, including the acquisition of Valkyrie in the US, supported by the recent SEC approval for Bitcoin ETFs. With $5.87 billion under management, CoinShares consolidates its European leadership and aims for American expansion.

Revenue growth in crypto boosts Robinhood

Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD), a widely used trading platform, reported a 10% increase in crypto revenue in the last quarter, reaching $43 million. Cryptocurrency trading volume on the platform grew by 89%, driven by expectations of Bitcoin ETF approval in the US. This increase suggests a possible positive scenario for Coinbase, which will report quarterly results on Thursday. With total revenue of $471 million and earnings per share of $0.03, Robinhood exceeded expectations. The company also plans to expand its market share in crypto and advance into international markets, already starting operations in the European Union.

New pro-crypto leadership in Indonesia with Prabowo and Gibran

Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming Raka, crypto-friendly, have been elected president and vice president of Indonesia, respectively. With nearly 60% of the votes, they promise to maintain the country’s pro-crypto policies. The previous administration had already explored crypto’s potential for the economy, with Indonesia recording more cryptocurrency investors than stock investors. The new leadership plans to strengthen fiscal oversight and foster talent in blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Japanese FSA strengthens security in crypto exchanges

The Financial Services Agency of Japan (FSA) has suggested new guidelines to increase user security on cryptocurrency platforms, recommending that banks suspend transfers with divergent sender and account holder names and intensify monitoring of suspicious transactions. These measures aim to combat fraud in crypto exchange services, following Japan’s trend of maintaining rigorous regulations in the cryptocurrency sector.

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