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Crypto: Bitcoin and Ether Skyrocket in February, Gemini Earn Refunds $1.1 Billion to Clients, and More

Fernanda T
Latest News
February 29 2024 9:01AM

Bitcoin and Ether register strong surge in record month

On the last Thursday of February, cryptocurrencies, led by Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) and Ether (COIN:ETHUSD), witnessed a significant increase. “The movement observed in BTC today is an exhaustion move. After strong gains over the past few weeks, we were in a zone where there had never been so many investors with open sell contracts. It is common, in this situation, to have a day of explosion to liquidate all these bettors. The lesson given by the market today has been given several times in the past and this will not be the last. Never bet against BTC,” commented analyst Fernando Pereira from Bitget.

At the time of writing, the price of Bitcoin saw a decline of 2.4%, reaching $61,070, while Ether rose 0.23% to $3,395. Both currencies experienced notable growth in February, with Bitcoin increasing by 43.42% and Ether by 49.15%, both achieving the sixth consecutive month of advances. This growth was driven by a combination of increasing demand and anticipated events such as the upcoming Bitcoin halving, along with a significant influx into Bitcoin ETFs, highlighting a triumphant month for cryptocurrencies.

MicroStrategy scales to Top 500 US companies with historic surge in stock

MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR) achieved a prominent position among the top 500 largest US companies by market capitalization, after a significant jump of 46 positions, reaching the 427th place. This advance came on the back of a 45% increase in the value of its shares in just five days, surpassing the $1000 mark, which raised its market capitalization to an impressive $16.76 billion. This accelerated growth opens up the possibility of the company’s inclusion in the prestigious S&P 500 index, reflecting its strong financial performance and the success of its Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) investment strategy, which recently generated unrealized profits exceeding $1 billion in just 24 hours.

Bitcoin halving in April may reduce miners’ profits and pressure prices, according to JPMorgan

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) predicts that the upcoming Bitcoin halving event in April will negatively impact miners’ profitability due to reduced rewards and increased production costs, potentially leading to a decline in cryptocurrency prices. The report indicates that the production cost of Bitcoin, which historically sets a floor for prices, could fall to $42,000 after the halving. The estimate considers a possible 20% reduction in the Bitcoin network’s hashrate and an increase in production costs to $53,000, impacting miners with higher costs and favoring larger operators with superior efficiency.

Marathon Digital announces 2023 records and launch of Anduro network for Bitcoin

Marathon Digital (NASDAQ:MARA), a Bitcoin mining giant, highlighted an unprecedented year in its 2023 annual report, with significant advancements on multiple fronts. In addition to achieving a record production of 12,852 Bitcoins, the company launched an innovative Layer-2 network called Anduro, aiming to enrich the Bitcoin ecosystem. Under the leadership of Fred Thiel, Marathon not only optimized its mining operations but also saw a notable leap in profits and efficiency, marking a historic year for the company. Revenue soared to $387.5 million, a 229% increase over the previous year, while net profit reached a historic milestone of $261.2 million, reversing the $694 million loss in 2022. Additionally, the company improved its operational efficiency, increasing its hash rate to 24.7 EH/s and expanding its facilities to a total capacity of 900 megawatts, distributed across three continents. Despite the strong performance in results, MARA shares are down by over 17% on Thursday. Over the last 12 months, shares have risen by 264%.

Coinbase overcomes technical challenges and innovates with new crypto wallets to facilitate access

After an error that zeroed user balances due to excessive traffic, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN), led by CEO Brian Armstrong, works on scalability solutions. The platform is already showing recovery, with improvements in access and transactions, although it still faces intermittent challenges. Additionally, Coinbase has launched a smart wallet and embedded wallets, facilitating access to cryptocurrency. These solutions eliminate complex processes, promoting smooth integration for new users, with the smart wallet offering simplified key recovery and embedded wallets allowing customization for businesses.

Gemini agrees to pay fine and return $1.1 billion to customers after compliance failures

Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has agreed to pay a significant fine and reimburse $1.1 billion to participants of Gemini Earn, as determined by the New York State Department of Financial Services. The agreement stems from compliance failures identified by Gemini when dealing with Genesis Global Capital, LLC, which went bankrupt. The measure aims to compensate Gemini Earn customers affected by the exchange’s lack of diligence and the subsequent collapse of Genesis. This agreement underscores Gemini’s commitment to fully reimburse digital assets to its users, as promised in a recent statement.

Nigeria interrogates Binance executives and confiscates passports for illegal operations

Nigeria detained two senior officials of Binance, the global cryptocurrency giant, upon their arrival in the country. Accused of operating illegally, their passports were confiscated by the National Security Adviser’s Office. While not formally charged yet, they face potential charges of forex fraud and tax evasion. The incident, not considered a formal arrest, is under investigation for national security issues, involving discussions between various agencies.

MNNC Group emerges from the ashes of LedgerPrime

Following discontinuation due to FTX’s bankruptcy, LedgerPrime has rebranded as MNNC Group, led by former members including Shiliang Tang. This Cayman Islands-based fund, supported by both old and new investors, operates with 11 professionals, formerly of LedgerPrime, which previously managed $400 million with a 40% annual return. Additionally, former members founded Split Capital, focused on liquid tokens for long-term investments.

IOTA’s Ecosystem Foundation drives new startups with $10 million investment

IOTA’s Ecosystem Foundation announced an initial investment of $10 million in emerging startups specializing in digital commerce and asset tokenization. The first beneficiaries, focused on tradetech technologies and based in the United Arab Emirates and Africa, will be revealed soon. This move follows the regulatory registration of the Foundation in the United Arab Emirates, resulting in a significant increase in the value of the IOTA token (COIN:IOTAUSD). The initiative aims to strengthen the global commercial ecosystem, promoting innovations in tradetech and offering an acceleration program for startups utilizing IOTA technology.

Floki plans to burn 2% of token supply to boost value and security

The Floki team (COIN:FLOKIUSD) proposes to eliminate 2% of tokens in circulation, valued at over $11 million, to increase scarcity and reinforce network security. The burn, which permanently removes tokens from the market by sending them to an inaccessible wallet, has already resulted in a price increase after a similar event in January. The tokens earmarked for elimination come from reserves previously withdrawn from the bankrupt Multichain platform, aiming to prevent their future circulation.

Seneca suffers $6 million exploitation in Ethereum and Arbitrum

Seneca, a stablecoin protocol, faced a critical exploitation resulting in the loss of over $6 million across Ethereum and Arbitrum networks. An unidentified attacker exploited a critical flaw in Seneca’s smart contract approval mechanisms, allowing unauthorized fund diversion. Blocksec, a security company, identified an “arbitrary call issue” in the contracts as the primary flaw. The Seneca team is already taking action, urging users to revoke permissions to mitigate further losses.

SEC investigates $166 million diversion by Terraform Labs to law firm

The SEC has accused Terraform Labs of channeling approximately $166 million to Dentons US LLC, under the guise of an advance for legal fees. This action, according to the regulator, aims to conceal the company’s assets ahead of potential litigation. While the SEC acknowledges Dentons as legal counsel, it highlights the “extraordinary” volume of funds transferred as concerning. The regulatory body now seeks to recover $81 million unused in legal expenses, aiming to preserve resources for victims of the Terraform Labs collapse.