Bitcoin swung to over $71,000 in anticipation of the halving

Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) climbed to over $71,000 on Tuesday morning, marking a weekly peak, as we approach the anticipated block reward halving. After briefly hitting the mark of $71,582.96, the price retreated and stabilized around $70,181.55 at the time of writing. The appreciation comes amidst a recovery phase for the cryptocurrency, following a slump influenced by inflation and an incident at BitMEX, along with growing anticipation for the April halving, which will cut miners’ rewards in half, potentially impacting Bitcoin’s supply and price.

Recovery in Bitcoin ETFs after the slump

On Monday, the Bitcoin ETFs listed on Nasdaq saw an inflow of $15.4 million, breaking a five-day streak of withdrawals, data from Farside revealed. Fidelity’s ETF (AMEX:FBTC) led with $261.8 million, followed by BlackRock’s (NASDAQ:IBIT) with $35.5 million. Other funds such as Bitwise (AMEX:BITB), Invesco Galaxy (AMEX:BTCO), Franklin (AMEX:EZBC), and Valkyrie (NASDAQ:BRRR) recorded inflows between $11 million and $20 million each. In contrast, Grayscale’s ETF (AMEX:GBTC) faced outflows of $350 million. In the previous week, the ETFs recorded a cumulative outflow of $887.6 million.

BlackRock warns: explosive growth of Bitcoin may slow down

According to BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), the era of astronomical gains for Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) might be coming to an end as the cryptocurrency matures and becomes institutionalized, especially with the introduction of ETFs. Robert Mitchnick from BlackRock signals that, while growth prospects remain, the previous frenetic pace of appreciation is unsustainable. He also predicts a decrease in Bitcoin’s volatility, attributing this to improved price discovery efficiency brought by institutional investors and ETFs, potentially altering Bitcoin’s characteristic market cycles.

Hong Kong gears up for cash-redeemable Bitcoin ETFs

The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong is set to allow spot Bitcoin ETFs with cash redemption options in the second quarter, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence study. This move, yet unprecedented, promises to differentiate Hong Kong’s ETFs from their American counterparts, offering tax and liquidity advantages. With the Asian crypto asset market surpassing the American in volume, this innovation could attract significant new investments to the sector.

APT hits an all-time high with new innovations

The native token of Aptos (COIN:APTUSD) appreciated to an all-time high, reaching the value of $19.26. This advancement occurred after Aptos Labs, focused on blockchain development, launched several innovative initiatives, including a new passwordless transaction signing methodology and a collaboration with Google Cloud (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to enrich games with Web3 technology. Additionally, the Aptos blockchain recently released 24.8 million APT tokens, expanding its impact on the market.

WAX and AWS form a strategic alliance for blockchain games

The WAX blockchain platform, geared towards the gaming universe and ranked among the most active, partnered with Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ:AMZN) to incorporate its network into the Amazon Managed Blockchain. This collaboration aims to facilitate the development of decentralized applications by simplifying the deployment of nodes on the WAX blockchain through the AWS console. Following the announcement, the value of the WAX token registered a significant increase, highlighting the potential of this union to boost Web3 adoption in the gaming sector.

SEC demands a billion-dollar fine from Ripple Labs

In a legal action, the SEC requests that Ripple Labs (COIN:XRPUSD) be fined almost $2 billion for alleged violations of U.S. securities laws. The SEC proposes a total penalty of $1.95 billion, breaking down the amount into $876 million in restitution, $198 million in pre-judgment interest, and an additional $876 million as a civil penalty. The case, initiated in December 2020, focuses on Ripple’s sale of XRP, with the company and its legal counsel preparing a response for next month, following a partial decision in favor of Ripple last July regarding XRP sales.

KuCoin and founders face charges from the U.S. Department of Justice

The U.S. Department of Justice charged cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin and its founders, Chun Gan and Ke Tang, with failing to comply with anti-money laundering regulations. The allegations include operating a money transmission business without a license and failing to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act. The indictment highlights that KuCoin, contrary to its claims, served a broad customer base in the U.S. and allegedly facilitated over $9 billion in money laundering, neglecting customer identity controls and reporting of suspicious transactions.

Galaxy Digital changes the game with annual profit of US$296 million in 2023

Galaxy Digital (TSX:GLXY) reported a net profit of $296 million in 2023, contrasting with a loss of $1 billion the previous year, showcasing a recovery in the crypto sector. The positive performance includes a profit of $302 million in the last quarter, reversing previous losses. Furthermore, the assets under management grew from $1.7 billion to an impressive $10.1 billion by February 2024, reflecting a substantial increase in confidence and investments in the company.

Bakkt reduces losses in 2023 with revenue growth

Bakkt (NYSE:BKKT), a cryptocurrency company of the NYSE, closed 2023 with $780 million in revenues and a loss of $226 million, improving 89% from the previous year. The acquisition of Bakkt Crypto contributed to the revenue increase, while expenses reflect investments in crypto and acquisitions. Despite a decline in trading volume, Bakkt projects a 555% jump in revenue for 2024, accompanied by equivalent growth in costs.

Arkon Energy aims for Euronext Amsterdam listing after merger

Arkon Energy, an American company specializing in data center infrastructure and mining, seeks to enter the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange through a merger with Cayman Islands-based BM3EAC Corp. A 90-day exclusivity agreement was established on February 21 to finalize the merger terms. If successful, Arkon, located in Hannibal, Ohio, would be a pioneer in its field on the Euronext, expanding its operational capacity to 307 MW with plans for expansion in the U.S.

London Stock Exchange announces crypto ETN market for May

The London Stock Exchange (LSE:LSEG) will introduce a market for Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) and Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD) Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) on May 28, starting to accept orders from April 8, pending approval from the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Aimed at professional investors, ETNs are designed to replicate the performance of specific indices or benchmarks, acting as debt securities.

SWIFT advances with innovative solution for CBDCs

After a six-month trial, SWIFT unveiled multiple uses for its pioneering CBDC solution, which is not a CBDC itself but a connector to facilitate interactions between existing CBDCs. Essentially, the solution uses DLT and smart contracts to ensure trustworthy transactions, with potential applications in digital commerce, securities, and more. This significant test involved 38 institutions and over 750 transactions, marking it as one of the largest CBDC experiments to date.

Tether ventures into artificial intelligence with new division and recruitment

Tether (COIN:USDTUSD), known for its leadership in the stablecoin market, is advancing into the field of artificial intelligence by creating a division dedicated to developing open-source AI models. Aiming to apply these models to practical solutions, Tether is recruiting experts, including a head of research and an AI engineer. This move broadens Tether’s foray into AI, following a previous investment in Northern Data, and aims to promote AI technology that respects privacy.

Angle launches stablecoin with yield based on real assets

Angle introduced USDA, its new dollar-linked stablecoin, on Tuesday, standing out for offering yields from its real backing assets and DeFi lending operations. Supported by U.S. Treasury bonds and tokenized bills, USDA provides its users the opportunity to earn rewards by staking their tokens in the protocol. Angle aims to attract investors in a growing stablecoin market by differentiating itself through profits from its collateral assets, unlike others like USDT and USDC. The company also plans to create a blockchain-based currency exchange ecosystem, promising cost-free conversions between euro and dollar.

El Salvador increases Bitcoin reserves under Bukele’s management

El Salvador, a pioneer in the official adoption of Bitcoin since 2021, increased its stock of the cryptocurrency to 5,700 BTC, as announced by President Nayib Bukele. This increase, of approximately 10 bitcoins since mid-March, values the country’s reserves at over $400 million, considering the current Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) price above $70,000. Bukele also revealed that the national Bitcoin reserves were moved to secure storage, highlighting El Salvador’s commitment to strengthening its position in the crypto ecosystem and attracting foreign investments with favorable policies.

Energy transformation in Argentina: from residual gas to Bitcoin

In the wine-producing region of Mendoza, Argentina, Texas entrepreneurs Brent Whitehead and Matt Lohstroh are revolutionizing the use of residual energy. According to a CNBC report, they utilize excess gas from oil fields in the world’s second-largest shale gas reserve, Vaca Muerta, converting this otherwise wasted resource into electricity to power intensive Bitcoin mining operations. This method not only capitalizes on Bitcoin’s (COIN:BTCUSD) rising value but also offers a sustainable solution, significantly cutting CO2 emissions by repurposing natural gas that would otherwise be flared.

Nissan accelerates towards the digital future

Auto industry giant Nissan (USOTC:NSANY) is advancing into the digital era with its foray into the Metaverse, as evidenced by its filing of four patents related to Web3 in the U.S. This move signals Nissan’s entry into innovative digital territory, encompassing everything from virtual reality and NFTs to blockchain technology, paving the way for virtual stores and NFT marketplaces. With a forward-looking vision, Nissan not only reinforces its pioneering stance in adapting to digital trends but also sets a new standard for automotive marketing in the virtual space.

0G Labs raises $35 million for AI blockchain

0G Labs, a specialist in modular blockchain for decentralized artificial intelligence applications, secured $35 million in initial funding. With support from notable investors such as Hack VC and Animoca Brands, the company aims to build a diverse shareholder base. This pre-seed funding, structured as a future equity agreement with token warranties, will propel the development of a modular system that enhances data accessibility and management on blockchain, promising to revolutionize the field with high speed and reduced costs. 0G Labs plans to launch its test network soon, with the mainnet scheduled for July, standing out in a growing landscape of modular blockchain.

Gunzilla Games secures $30 million for new Battle Royale game

Gunzilla Games, the creator of the highly anticipated “Off the Grid,” secured $30 million in funding led by CoinFund and Avalanche’s Blizzard Fund. The game, a free-to-play Battle Royale, will be released for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, distinguishing itself by allowing full ownership of in-game assets and a player-driven economy. The company plans to elevate AAA gaming experiences with the integration of blockchain technology, promising immersive gameplay and a decentralized in-game economy.

OrdinalsBot raises $3 million to boost Bitcoin ecosystem

OrdinalsBot, a key platform in the Bitcoin ecosystem, announced the raising of over $3 million in initial investments to expand its operations and innovations. Led by DACM, with support from entities such as Eden Block and Nural Capital, the round brings the total funding to $4.5 million. The company, which gained prominence following the success of the Ordinals protocol, aims to strengthen its team and develop new solutions for users and developers in the Bitcoin world, promising to extend the functionalities and reach of its offerings in the sector.

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