News Headlines (13th FEB 2024)

Move over fears of a bitcoin (BTC) price drop due to so-called overbought technical conditions and potential selling by bankrupt crypto lender Genesis.

Crypto traders are snapping cheap out-of-the-money (OTM) bitcoin calls or bullish options bets at levels around the cryptocurrency’s lifetime high of $69,000.

Over the weekend, many call options at strikes $65,000, $70,000 and $75,000 changed hands on Deribit, the world’s leading crypto options exchange by volumes and open interest. On Deribit, one options contract represents one BTC.

A group of crypto developers released their alternative implementation of the experimental ERC-404 token standard in a bid to achieve the same results in a more efficient way.

The ERC-404 token standard was launched on Feb. 2 by the Pandora team, with the goal of combining ERC-20 tokens and NFTs. The broad idea was to provide native fractionalization of NFTs, by enabling them to be split apart and brought back together at will, although this leads to some potential interesting side effects, like the returning NFT potentially being different.

However, the tokens had a significant impact on Ethereum transaction fees, driving them up across the board. In response, this rival group of developers reckoned they could create a more efficient implementation, one that would have a lesser impact.

South Korea has been hit by an alleged crypto scandal linked to many popular celebrities and YouTubers involving the promotion of a fraudulent scheme.

According to a report published in The Korea Herald, Winnerz — a blockchain sports platform based in South Korea that runs multiple businesses, including cryptocurrency issuance — is accused of operating a coin scam. The alleged fraud came to light after anonymous investors complained that the company was issuing fake cryptocurrency, collecting investments and preventing investors from withdrawing their money.

The scheme was reported to the National Police Agency on Feb. 5 after being reported to the National Civil Service earlier.

According to Foresight News, CoinShares has released its financial report for the fourth quarter of 2023. The report shows that the company’s revenue, earnings, and other income for the quarter amounted to £33.3 million (approximately $42.12 million), while the total revenue, earnings, and other income for the year reached £85.7 million (approximately $108 million). In addition, the company’s total comprehensive income for the fourth quarter was £15.3 million (approximately $19.35 million), and the total comprehensive income for the year was £37.9 million (approximately $47.93 million). As of December 31, 2023, CoinShares’ total assets under management stood at £30.1 billion (approximately $38.1 billion).

Bitso, a Mexican cryptocurrency exchange with a presence in several countries in Latam, has dissected the trends that Latam users followed during 2023. Kicking off 2024 for the exchange, Bitso Argentina CEO Julian Colombo told Iproup that, for the most part, Latam was a bitcoin-centric region, with the first cryptocurrency being present in more than half of the wallets.

However, this behavior is less accentuated in countries like Argentina, where stablecoins have a significant penetration. Colombo pointed out that Argentina led dollar-pegged stablecoins purchases last year, accounting for over 60% of the purchasing volumes. This has to do with the country’s specific conditions and the inflation levels that Argentines have to deal with.

Colombo stated:

High inflation rates create an incentive for consumers to look for safe and fast options to protect their money from devaluation.

Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund made a $200 million investment in bitcoin and ether before the bull run, per report by Reuters.

According to CoinDesk Indicies data, bitcoin (BTC) has increased nearly 124% in the last 12 months, while ether (ETH) has risen 75%. The CoinDesk 20 Index (CD20) has rallied approximately 86% in the same period.

Founders Fund started to purchase bitcoin when it was below $30,000 and acquired more BTC and ETH in the subsequent months, sources told Reuters.

Franklin Templeton has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for approval to open a spot ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF). The filing on Monday makes the asset manager with $1.5 trillion in assets under management the latest investment firm to seek approval for such funds.

The other firms seeking approval for spot ETH ETFs include ARK 21 Shares, VanEck, Hashdex, Invesco, BlackRock, and Fidelity, each of which first filed for approval last fall. Grayscale applied to convert its Grayscale Ethereum Trust to a spot ETH ETF in October.

Pandora, an Ethereum token and NFT hybrid built on a new and unofficial ERC-404 standard, appears to be recovering from its weekend slump. But another “semi-fungible” experimental Ethereum token standard is starting to roll out to challenge its hot start.

At the time of writing, PANDORA is trading for about $19,755 according to CoinGecko data—a 1% gain from this time yesterday, and a whopping 342% jump from this time last week. The token launched just over a week ago.

Bitcoin (BTC) reached $50K again on Feb.12, hitting a market cap value of $981.86 billion. Compared against the world’s most valuable companies’ stocks and precious metals, Bitcoin has once again entered the top 10 most valuable assets by market capitalization.

As Cointelegraph recently reported, Bitcoin reached $50K again for the first time since Dec. 2021 amid apparent investor excitement over Bitcoin exchange-traded funds and the upcoming ‘halvening’ playing a substantial role.

If the bullishness continues, Bitcoin could find itself climbing the market capitalization charts. Its previous all-time-high led to a market cap of $1.28 trillion at $67,617.02 per bitcoin.

A video featuring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2019 comments about cryptocurrency resurfaced on social media platform X over the weekend, sparking renewed debate within the crypto community. Despite being from a November 2019 panel discussion, the video prompted responses and criticisms from many in the crypto space.

Clinton said: “One more area that I hope nation-states start paying greater attention to is the rise of cryptocurrency — because what looks like a very interesting, and somewhat exotic effort to literally mine new coins in order to trade with them, has the potential for undermining currencies, for undermining the role of the dollar as the reserve currency, for destabilizing nations, perhaps starting with small ones but going much larger.”