Wait for the approval of Bitcoin ETFs in the US accelerates

BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), VanEck, Invesco, Galaxy, ARK 21Shares, Grayscale, and other potential issuers are among the 13 waiting for approval to launch Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US. They updated their documents on Tuesday, responding to the SEC’s comments received in the last 24 hours. This move follows the initial submission on Monday, detailing the fees of the proposed products. Significant changes include the reduction of fees by Invesco and Galaxy from 0.59% to 0.39% and measures to protect shareholders in case of insolvency.

The SEC, facing a deadline of January 10, 2024, may approve all applications simultaneously, promoting fairness. Valkyrie co-founder Steven McClurg suggests that the SEC make the ETFs effective by Wednesday, starting trading on Thursday. He predicts an influx of $200 to $400 million into Valkyrie’s ETF, with expectations of $4-5 billion in the first few weeks. Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (USOTC:GBTC) saw a spike in trading activity on January 8, attributed to market expectations regarding ETF approval.

After the potential approval of Bitcoin ETFs, many believe that Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD) will be the next major digital asset to receive a spot ETF. Ethereum already has futures-based ETFs and may be the next to have a spot fund in the US.

Bitcoin sustains value above $46,500

Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) remained firm above $46,500 on Tuesday morning, briefly reaching $47,000 amid optimism about the ETF race. The cryptocurrency recorded an increase of about 5%, but at the time of writing, it reversed to a decline of -0.25%. “After breaking the $47,000 resistance, Bitcoin should aim for the infamous $50,000. A profit-taking point for many investors,” commented Fernando Pereira, an analyst at Bitget. Despite the expectations of many market analysts regarding the imminent approval of a Bitcoin spot ETF by the US SEC, there are dissenting voices.

Youwei Yang, Chief Economist at BIT Mining, expressed his belief that no Bitcoin ETF will be approved in the near future, predicting a delay of at least another three months by the SEC. On the other hand, Ryan Lee, Chief Analyst of the Bitget Research Team, predicts that Bitcoin could reach a value between $48,000 and $50,000 on January 10: “Bitcoin, on January 10, could experience a price increase to around $48,000 to $50,000 through the approval of an ETF. Market conditions are expected to be influenced by the recognition and investment associated with these ETFs. If the ETF is approved, it could trigger significant demand in the market, driving an uptrend in Bitcoin prices. However, the future price movement will also be impacted by new capital inflows into Bitcoin ETFs. The abundance or scarcity of funds will play a crucial role in market sentiment and price fluctuations, determining whether Bitcoin prices will continue to rise or experience a decline. This event could trigger intense volatility in the market, and investors should closely monitor the market’s reaction after the ETF approval, as well as fund flows, to better formulate their investment strategies,” said Lee.

Enigmatic $1.2 million Bitcoin transfer to Satoshi Nakamoto’s wallet

An unexpected transfer of $1.2 million in Bitcoin (26.92 BTC) was made to the long-inactive wallet of Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD). Originating from an account on Binance, this transaction stands out due to its exorbitant value, differing from the modest amounts typically sent to Nakamoto’s wallet as tribute. Crypto speculations revolve around the motivations behind this action, including theories of marketing for Bitcoin ETFs, transaction errors, and even maneuvers related to new US tax laws that could compel Satoshi to reveal his identity. So far, the origin and purpose of this peculiar transaction remain a mystery.

Mash revolutionizes rewards with Bitcoin rewards page

Mash, specializing in media monetization via the Lightning Network, has launched a rewards feature. This new functionality allows the distribution of Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) in marketing campaigns. Partners like CryptoSlate and TFTC are already leveraging the tool to engage their users. The platform surpasses traditional rewards limitations, offering prizes starting from $0.01 and facilitating public participation. Integration with the Lightning Network ensures easy and global payments, boosting engagement and visibility on social media.

BitPay adds support for various virtual currencies

Initially focused on Bitcoin, BitPay, a payment company, now offers support for a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, including Uniswap (COIN:UNIUSD), Chainlink (COIN:LINKUSD), BNB (COIN:BNBUSD), Cronos (COIN:CROUSD), and Basic Attention Token (COIN:BATUSD). According to CEO Stephen Pair, the goal is to facilitate crypto payments. BitPay users can purchase products from major brands and pay expenses like cars and mortgages with cryptocurrencies. This move reflects a broader effort in the web3 sector to promote the use of various cryptocurrencies beyond Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD).

Helium leads gains among major cryptos, with Solana and Celestia on the rise on Tuesday

Solana (COIN:SOLUSD), Celestia (COIN:TIAUSD) are on the rise on Tuesday. This growth is seen as a prelude to the “Altcoin Season” and the introduction of cryptocurrency ETFs, which could mark a lucrative period for altcoin investors. Meanwhile, the price of Helium (COIN:HNTUSD) shows the biggest gain among major cryptocurrencies, with a potential increase to $9.6. The HNT value is $6.82 in the last 24 hours, with a significant increase of about 25.6%.

Increase in developer retention at Solana in 2023

After reaching its peak at $126 in December 2023, the price of Solana (COIN:SOLUSD) entered a declining phase, marking consecutive weekly bearish candles for the first time since October. The beginning of 2024 was not promising for SOL, which had already shown a strong recovery since July 2023. Despite breaking a resistance trendline and reaching peaks, SOL did not surpass a crucial horizontal resistance. Recently, it fell below an important Fibonacci level, raising doubts about the continuation of the downtrend. Analysts are divided: while some predict a decline below $100, others see potential for an upward breakout, with targets up to $180.

Additionally, the Solana Foundation reported a 31% increase in developer retention to over 50% in 2023, driven by better integration and more opportunities in the ecosystem. The foundation’s report showed that 400-500 developers graduate semi-annually from Solana bootcamps, with a 500% growth in job offerings. On average, 2,500 to 3,000 developers remained active monthly in the ecosystem, thanks to improved tools and growing global reach.

Ripple sponsors Digital Euro Conference 2024 as a gold sponsor

Ripple Labs has become a gold sponsor of the Digital Euro Conference 2024 (#DEC24), as announced by the Digital Euro Association (DEA). The DEA is excited about Ripple’s (COIN:XRPUSD) partnership, highlighting it alongside big names like Ernst & Young. Anthony Ralphs, Ripple’s Senior Product Manager for Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), will be one of the speakers at the event, which will focus on CBDCs, stablecoins, and commercial bank money tokens (CBMTs). The conference, scheduled for February 29, 2024, in Frankfurt, aims to explore the future of digital money.

Evmos recovers 59 million tokens from co-founder Akash Khosla

Following allegations of an attempted mass sale, Akash Khosla, co-founder of Evmos (COIN:EVMOSUSD), returned 59 million tokens to the Evmos Foundation. This return, including acquired and unacquired tokens, totals $7.6 million. Khosla, who left the company due to operational disagreements, stated that the return is best for the project and the community. The foundation, currently led by Federico Kunze Küllmer, reached an agreement with Khosla for the token return. This event comes at a crucial time for Evmos, which seeks to stabilize its token economy amid a significant value decline since its launch in 2022.

Disagreement over loan repayment between Genesis and DCG intensifies

A group of creditors associated with the Genesis bankruptcy disputes the claims of Digital Currency Group (DCG) and investment firm Grayscale regarding compliance with loan repayment requirements. Despite DCG claiming to have disbursed over $1 billion to creditors, including $700 million to Genesis, the ad hoc group alleges that substantial amounts in dollars and Bitcoin are still unpaid. They point out that DCG transferred only $189 million in cash and holdings in illiquid Ethereum Classic (COIN:ETCUSD) and Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD) trusts, insufficient to cover Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) obligations. Furthermore, creditors claim that DCG still owes more than $26 million in interest and late fees, as stipulated in the loan contracts, intensifying the dispute over pending payments.

Ninjalerts innovates with SNES emulator on Bitcoin

Ninjalerts, a company known for its work in the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector, achieved a notable feat by integrating a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) emulator into a Bitcoin satoshi, expanding the capabilities of Bitcoin Ordinals. A “satoshi” is the smallest unit of measurement used in the Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) network. This “Pizza Ninja” project combines art, games, and blockchain, taking the concept of NFTs beyond simple static images. It allows you to play classic Nintendo games directly through the Bitcoin blockchain, aiming to preserve digital games that have entered the public domain. This innovation represents a significant step forward in the evolution of NFTs and the protection of digital cultural artifacts.

CleanSpark acquires 160,000 Bitcoin miners and aims for growth

CleanSpark Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSK), one of the leading Bitcoin mining companies in terms of hash rate, announced the purchase of up to 160,000 Bitmain S21 miners. This investment of $193.2 million initially covers 60,000 units, with an option to acquire an additional 100,000, aiming to increase the company’s hash rate to 50 EH/s in the next year, a significant increase from the current 10 EH/s. The acquisition comes in the context of record difficulty in Bitcoin mining and precedes the upcoming halving, which will reduce mining rewards.

El Salvador celebrates Bitcoin profit after a challenging period

El Salvador, which began investing in Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) in 2021, finally sees unrealized profits of $12.6 million in its portfolio of 2,798 bitcoins. Purchases made at prices ranging from $47,250 to $52,670 resulted in an average cost of $42,440 per bitcoin. The recent 75% increase in the value of Bitcoin, driven by the possibility of a new Bitcoin ETF in the US, brought the investment “back in the black,” as celebrated by President Nayib Bukele.

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