News Headlines (11th December 2023)

Bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), Solana’s SOL, and other major altcoins began the Asia trading day in the red as the week opened with volatility.

Bitcoin was down as low as 5% over a 24-hour period, trading at $41,300, before recovering to $42,000, according to CoinDesk Indices data. Ether hit a low of $2,170 before climbing back up to $2,239. Solana was down to $66 before climbing back to $70. Most of these losses took place within the last 90 minutes, as of press time.

The CoinDesk Market Index (CMI) is down 4% to 1,743.*189rp7t*_up*MQ..*_ga*ODQ5NTMyMTU5LjE3MDIyOTY0NDI.*_ga_VM3STRYVN8*MTcwMjI5NjQ0Mi4xLjEuMTcwMjI5NjQ1MS4wLjAuMA..

The price of Bitcoin slumped below $43,000 in the early hours of Monday morning, all but erasing the last week’s gains and causing almost $390 million in liquidations across the crypto futures market in the past 24 hours.

At time of publication, Bitcoin is trading at around $42,400, down  3% in the past 24 hours—having dipped as low as $41,800 in the past day, per data from CoinGecko.

Of the nearly $402 million in liquidated crypto positions over the past day, just over $345 million were long positions—with over $260 million in the past hour, according to data from CoinGlass. Over 109,000 traders were liquidated over the past 24 hours.

Tech giant Google has updated its cryptocurrency-related advertising policy to allow ads about crypto trusts from the end of January, the same month that spot Bitcoin BTC down

$42,367 exchange-traded-funds (ETFs) are predicted to be approved in the United States.

In a Dec. 6 policy change log, Google said its crypto and related products ad policy will be updated on Jan. 29, 2024, to allow ads from “advertisers offering Cryptocurrency Coin Trust targeting the United States.”

Cryptocurrency coin trusts were given as examples of “financial products that allow investors to trade shares in trusts holding large pools of digital currency” — likely including ETFs.

According to Cointelegraph: The Solana-based memecoin Bonk (BONK) has seized the spot as the third-largest memecoin by market capitalization, leapfrogging fellow memecoin Pepe (PEPE) on December 8. A remarkable price increase of 370% over the past month boosted Bonk’s market cap to $762 million, thereby eclipsing Pepe’s current market cap of $675 million, as per CoinGecko data.

Over the past month, BONK has climbed from $0.0000028 to $0.000012, making it a magnet for traders looking to benefit from the sweeping interest in the Solana ecosystem. In comparison with established dog-themed memecoins, Bonk’s impressive price surge outperformed the gains of both Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Dogecoin (DOGE), which posted increases of 20% and 35%, respectively, during the same period.

According to an analysis carried out by Coin Journal, about 47% of Nigerians are actively engaged in crypto, which is now widely seen as an alternative to traditional financial systems. The analysis also showed that crypto ownership in the country grew by 15% between 2020 and 2023.

The growth in the number of Nigerians owning such digital assets comes despite the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s move to curtail their use. As previously reported by News, the central bank moved to vigorously enforce its Feb. 6, 2021 decision, which sought to exclude crypto entities from the banking system.

However, the depreciation of the Nigerian currency, which accelerated in the second half of 2023, and rising inflation, have pushed residents into digital assets like bitcoin (BTC) and USDT.

Bitcoin (BTC) fell early Monday, validating the caution signaled by the options market last week.

The 4% drop to $42,000 has cooled the overheated crypto perpetual futures market, clearing the way for a steady ascent into the year-end.

Perpetuals are futures with no expiry with a funding rate mechanism that helps tether perpetual prices to the index price. Funding rates are periodic payments of an asset between long (buy) and short (sell) position holders calculated and collected by exchanges every eight hours. A positive funding rate means the perpetual contract is trading at a premium to the spot prices; longs are dominant and are paying shorts to keep their positions open. A negative rate suggests otherwise.*189rp7t*_up*MQ..*_ga*ODQ5NTMyMTU5LjE3MDIyOTY0NDI.*_ga_VM3STRYVN8*MTcwMjI5NjQ0Mi4xLjEuMTcwMjI5NjQ1MS4wLjAuMA..

Tether, the company behind the world’s largest stablecoin,  USDT -0.08%, announced yesterday that it would be ‘freezing’ its tokens in wallets belonging to sanctioned individuals on the United States’ Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) list of sanctioned individuals. In its announcement, Tether framed the move as a voluntary step to “proactively prevent any potential misuse of Tether tokens and enhance security measures.” 

Blockchain data accessed through Etherscan shows that Tether did indeed freeze 161 Ethereum wallets yesterday, though 150 of those wallets currently hold no USDT tokens. It’s unclear if any of the wallets held USDT tokens at one point, or how many.

South Korean regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), published a notice highlighting that by July 2024, investors in digital assets must receive interest when depositing their funds into an exchange. However, the guidance clarified that nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are excluded from the law.

On Dec. 10, local media outlets reported the FSC plans to release the legislative guidance. Despite the exclusion of NFTs, the regulator also noted that there can be exceptions. According to the report, even if the tokens are categorized as NFTs but function as a payment method and are issued in large quantities, they may be included in the virtual asset classification. In this case, the assets may be eligible for interest when deposited into exchanges.

According to CoinDesk: ARK Invest, under Cathie Wood’s management, sold a total of 335,860 shares in cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (COIN) on Friday, marking the firm’s most substantial sale since July. The shares were sold across three of ARK’s exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with the Innovation ETF (ARKK) accounting for most of the sales.

The recent sale would’ve generated $49.2 million based on Coinbase’s closing price. As Bitcoin’s price rallied, so did Coinbase’s shares, prompting ARK Invest to consistently sell off the exchange’s stock in recent weeks.

Yulia Parkhomenko, Director of the Virtual Assets Department at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, said in a Facebook post on Dec. 11, 2023, that the country will implement crypto standards developed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in order to comply with international standards.

Parkhomenko explained that financial monitoring is essential to combating terrorism and money laundering, noting that Ukraine is risking being placed on FATF’s grey list should the country fail to comply with international rules.

“If we do not comply with FATF recommendations, there is a risk that Ukraine and Ukrainian businesses will be placed on the FATF gray or black list.”

Yulia Parkhomenko