Crypto News Headlines (16-Jan-2023)

Expectations for bitcoin’s (BTC) price over the next six months have turned positive after a long time, in another sign of confidence in the cryptocurrency’s latest bull revival.

Bitcoin’s 180-day call-put skew has crossed above zero for the first time since the start of 2021, indicating that bullish call options expiring in six months have become pricier than bearish put options, according to chart sourced from digital assets data provider Amberdata.

The skew measures the price for calls relative to puts and is a good measure of the consensus for six months ahead, as both institutions and retail investors use options to speculate and hedge against future shifts in the price of the cryptocurrency.

The governor of India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Shaktikanta Das, emphasized the bank’s stance on crypto at the Business Today Banking and Economy Summit Friday.

Das stressed that the central bank’s view is to completely ban cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether, India Today reported, quoting him as saying: “RBI’s position on crypto is very clear — it should be banned.”

Emphasizing that cryptocurrencies have no underlying value, the Indian central bank governor described:

Some people call cryptocurrency an asset, some call it a financial product, but every asset or financial product needs to have an underlying value. But cryptocurrency does not have any underlying value.

With Bitcoin and Ethereumboth soaring over 20% this past week, the cumulative value of all digital assets has once again reclaimed the key level of $1 trillion.

This is the first time the wider crypto market has been valued this high since the beginning of November when the sudden collapse of FTX sent prices spiraling.

Peaking at $1.15 trillion on Sunday night, the total market capitalization is currently valued at $1.01, according to data from CoinGecko.

The key driver behind the latest upward trend is primarily the price of Bitcoin (BTC) which hit a two-month high of $21,446 late on Sunday night before retracting to $20,873 by press time.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has posted a modest 0.5% increase in the past 24 hours, and a hefty 22.3% surge over the week.

Crypto markets surged to regain the $1 trillion market capitalization mark over the weekend amid signs of bottoming and a record number of short liquidations contributing to the uptick.

Nearly $500 million in shorts, or bets against higher prices, were liquidated since Friday to mark the highest such levels since October 2022, data from Coinalyze shows.

The liquidation figure mean over 70% of traders booked losses as exchanges closed leveraged positions due to a partial or total evaporation of the trader’s initial margin. Crypto exchange OKX saw $256 million worth of short losses on Friday alone, the most among all crypto exchanges, followed by $125 million on Binance and $42 million on Huobi, CoinGlass data show.

Aptos’ native APT tokens saw over $10 million in liquidations in an unusual move as prices doubled over the past week.

By the end of 2022, scammers shifted their focus to duping crypto investors who desperately tried to recoup their year-long losses. An international law enforcement operation led by European government agencies joined crypto entrepreneurs and businesses to curb cross-border crypto scams since July 2022, uncovering a criminal network operating through call centers.

Europol and Eurojust, two EU agencies for law enforcement cooperation, joined authorities from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany and Serbia to investigate online investment fraud since June 2022. The investigation identified a criminal network that incurred over $2.1 million in losses — primarily for German investors.

According to Europol, the scammers lured victims — from Germany, Switzerland, Australia and Canada, among others — to invest in bogus crypto investment schemes and websites. This finding eventually led to the creation of an operational task force aimed toward cross-border investigation.

Still riding the tailwinds of falling inflation and a more upbeat view of the economy, bitcoin cracked $21,000 in early weekend trading for the first time since early November before retreating slightly.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was recently trading at about $20,830, roughly flat over the previous 24 hours but up a whopping 25% this year, most of the gains occurring since last Tuesday when BTC was still hovering near $17,400. The surge comes amid renewed investor confidence that the U.S. central bank is taming inflation without casting the economy into recession, a trend that has sent most riskier assets higher this year.

“We see the current rally in digital assets as a market reversal and NOT a bear market rally,” wrote Mark Connors, head of research at Canadian digital asset manager 3iQ, in an email.

The South Korean supreme court has issued a final ruling in a case involving a service outage at Bithumb, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Yonhap reported.

The court has ordered Bithumb to pay damages totaling 251.4 million won ($203,120) to 132 investors who filed a lawsuit against the crypto exchange operator following the service outage, officials said Friday.

The plaintiffs claimed that they suffered financial losses due to steep price drops in a number of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin cash (BCH) and ethereum classic (ETC), on Nov. 12, 2017, when the service outage occurred. According to the lawsuit, during the service interruption, the average number of orders per hour doubled, causing transaction flows to significantly slow down.

After collapsing more than 80 percent over the course of last year, Solana is having a stellar in 2023. The price of SOL has more than doubled this month, rising more than 58 percent to $23.70 in the last seven days, according to CoinGecko.

Not only that, but the once-celebrated “Ethereum killer” saw its highest trading volume since the week of the spectacular collapse of crypto exchange FTX, which crashed Solana along with most of the crypto market in November.

It’s a remarkable rebound for Solana. Less than a month ago, SOL was closing out the year down 94 percent, hitting a two-year low of $8.17 and dropping out of the top twenty coins, per CoinGecko data.

Now, Solana briefly bumped Polygon MATIC out of the top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap, which cleared $9 million on Saturday afternoon. Its price is also at its highest point since FTX fell. In one 24-hour period last weekend alone, Solana jumped 21 percent.

Upcoming layer 2 network Shibarium will soon join the ever-growing fray of Ethereum-based blockchains, such as Arbitum and Optimism, looking to solve the problems of scalability, speed and expense.

A beta testnet, or a blockchain that mimics real-world functioning, is expected to launch in the coming weeks.

Layer 2 refers to a set of off-chain solutions (separate blockchains) built on top of layer 1s that reduce bottlenecks with scaling and data. These bundle multiple off-chain transactions into a single layer 1 transaction, which helps reduce the data load and fees.

In an introductory post on Sunday, Shiba Inu developers said Shibarium would have a focus on metaverse and gaming applications especially as the NFT sector is expected to heat up in the coming years, apart from Shibarium’s use as a cheap settlement for decentralized applications (dApps) built on the network.

Twitter has quietly expanded its new crypto feature that enables users to search the price of individual tokens, adding at least another 30 tokens.

The new additions are part of the social media giant’s “$Cashtags” feature, announced by the Twitter Business account on Dec. 21. Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) were the first to be part of the new feature.

Tweeting or searching for a crypto token or ticker symbol with a dollar sign ($) in front now links to pricing graphs for those symbols.

Cointelegraph found 30 of the top 50 tokens by market capitalization, including Tether USDT tickers down $1.00, XRP XRP tickers down $0.38, Binance USD BUSD tickers down $1.00, Cardano ADA tickers down $0.350, Solana SOL tickers down $23, Polygon (MATIC), Litecoin

LTC tickers down $85.99, Dai DAI tickers down $1.00, Avalanche AVAX tickers down $16.53, Uniswap UNI tickers down $6.45, Dogecoin DOGE tickers down $0.08  and Shiba Inu SHIB tickers down $0.000010.

Dogecoin’s Twitter community was delighted with the addition, given new Twitter CEO Elon Musk has offered words of support for the cryptocurrency on many occasions.