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Crypto: VeChain Leads Weekly Gains, VanEck Slashes Fees, and More

Fernanda T
Latest News
February 16 2024 9:14AM

VeChain leads gains in the cryptocurrency market with a 65% increase

Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) has recorded a 14.62% increase in the last week, but altcoins stood out with gains exceeding 50%. The highlight was VeChain (COIN:VETUSD), which surged by around 60%. The blockchain, focused on optimizing supply chains and business processes, saw its value skyrocket without an apparent reason, despite VeChain’s recent announcement about the implementation of “Account Abstraction,” which promises to enhance the interoperability and functionality of smart contract wallets. Sei Network (COIN:SEIUSD) also had a notable performance, with a jump of 44%, while Ether grew by 15%.

Ether futures contracts reach record highs indicating growing interest

Since the beginning of February, there has been a notable increase in open interest for perpetual Ether (COIN:ETHUSD) futures contracts across various centralized crypto derivative exchanges, surpassing $10.1 billion. Specifically on Deribit, perpetual Ether futures contracts reached a record of over $690 million. This type of contract, which has no expiration date, allows for extended trading and reflects an increase in trading activity. This interest may be related to anticipation of significant events, such as the potential approval of an Ethereum ETF in the US, suggesting growing optimism in the market.

AI blockchain market nearing $10 billion with Bittensor surge

The artificial intelligence (AI) blockchain sector is poised to reach a market value of $10 billion, mainly driven by Bittensor (COIN:TAOBUST), which saw a 164% surge in the last month. The token reached a market capitalization of over $4 billion. Among the leading AI cryptocurrency projects, which include Bittensor, The Graph (COIN:GRTUSD), Fetch.ai (COIN:FETUSD), SingularityNET (COIN:AGIXUSD), and Ocean Protocol (COIN:OCEANUSD), all recorded gains of over 10% in the last week. Bittensor, focused on creating a decentralized network for machine learning using blockchain and AI, leads the market. Growth expectations remain high in the sector, especially with Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) approaching its earnings release date, reflecting investor enthusiasm around AI technologies.

MicroStrategy holds significant amount of Bitcoin through Fidelity and Coinbase

Arkham Intelligence, a cryptocurrency analytics firm, revealed that MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSFT), now focused on Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD), holds a vast amount of the cryptocurrency, mostly stored with Fidelity and partly in segregated custody on Coinbase Prime. Of the company’s 190,000 BTC, 107,000 are with Fidelity, merged with assets of other clients, and 79,000 are separately in custody, including on Coinbase Prime. Arkham’s discovery highlights MicroStrategy’s significant role in the Bitcoin market, with its holdings nearing nearly $10 billion in value.

VanEck cuts fees for Bitcoin ETF amid intense competition

VanEck (AMEX:HODL) plans to reduce fees for its spot Bitcoin ETF to 0.20%, a cut from the current fee of 0.25%, as revealed in a recent filing with the SEC. This adjustment, effective February 21, is part of a growing “fee war” in the US, where asset managers are aggressively lowering fees to attract investors. This move follows similar fee cuts by other major firms, reflecting fierce competition in the Bitcoin ETFs and ETPs market in both the US and Europe.

Coinbase surpasses expectations as stocks surge

Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) impressed the market with its fourth-quarter profits, surpassing forecasts and boosting its stocks by up to 15% during Friday’s trading. Coinbase announced diluted earnings of $1.04 per share, a significant turnaround compared to the previous year’s loss of $2.46 per share, thus ending a streak of seven quarters of losses. Total revenue grew 51% to $953.8 million, marking the second consecutive quarter of growth after a period of declines. Wall Street reacted positively, with several firms adjusting their ratings and raising the company’s target prices. While KBW acknowledged the favorable momentum of cryptocurrencies by raising its target price, Wedbush viewed the results as a refutation to skeptics. Canaccord and JMP Securities also raised their target prices, citing strong prospects. However, Mizuho remained cautious, highlighting concerns despite the better-than-expected performance.

Revolut announces cryptocurrency exchange platform for experienced traders

Digital bank Revolut is expanding its cryptocurrency offerings with the launch of a new exchange platform aimed at experienced traders, promising in-depth analysis and reduced fees. The platform, designed for its 30 million customers, will introduce competitive fees ranging from 0% to 0.09% and will allow operations with limit and market orders, with no fees for limit orders. The initiative comes despite the recent suspension of crypto services for business customers in the UK due to new regulations.

Trial seeks to identify if Craig Wright is the true Satoshi Nakamoto

In the trial organized by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) to investigate if Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, the second week brought peculiar testimonies. Danielle DeMorgan, Wright’s sister, cited an old memory of him dressed as a ninja to justify her belief that he is Satoshi. Other witnesses presented arguments based on previous conversations with Wright and his patents, suggesting his possible authorship of Bitcoin. The trial faced moments of tension, with accusations of false statements and inconsistent memories, and will continue next week with more testimonies.

Tether collaborates with authorities to prevent illicit use of stablecoins

Tether (COIN:USDTUSD), the issuer of the stablecoin, stated that it is collaborating with international law enforcement agencies to prevent illegal uses of its coins, responding to allegations of involvement in illicit activities. During a recent debate, Caroline Hill of Circle (COIN:USDCUSD) raised concerns about Tether and terrorism financing. In response, Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether, defended the company, highlighting significant efforts in the fight against crypto crimes. Additionally, Tether emphasized its adherence to OFAC sanctions and collaboration with global authorities, countering criticisms about transparency and regulatory compliance.

Airdrop scam deceives crypto news sites

A social engineering campaign led several cryptocurrency media outlets to promote a fake $10 million airdrop by Uniswap (COIN:UNIUSD) on February 16. The impostor, pretending to be from the Uniswap Foundation, proposed collaborative advertising to coincide with the legitimate announcement of Uniswap v4. The fraud, later revealed, underscores the need for vigilance in the fast-paced crypto news cycle, especially when scammers employ increasingly sophisticated methods to appear credible.

Ethena introduces synthetic dollar with backing from major investors

Ethena Labs announced the public launch of its synthetic dollar anchored in ether, after raising $14 million from notable investors such as PayPal Ventures and Franklin Templeton. With a total funding of $20 million, including contributions from renowned venture firms, Ethena aims to compete in the $130 billion stablecoin market with its USDe token, which does not classify as a traditional stablecoin but offers a savings mechanism with yield. The product seeks independence from the conventional financial system, using ether collateral and hedging strategies to maintain its value.

Aptos and Jambo join forces to expand Web3 in Africa and beyond

The Aptos Foundation (COIN:APTUSD) and Jambo Technology, a developer focused on the African web3 markets, announced a strategic collaboration to promote education and accessibility of Web3 in underserved regions. The highlight of this partnership is the JamboPhone, a $99 smartphone designed to facilitate user access in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America to the digital economy. The phone, available in over 40 countries, comes with pre-installed apps that integrate Aptos’ blockchain technology, including the Petra wallet and the Jambo App, aimed at educating users about opportunities in the web3 universe, such as DeFi and gaming.