News Headlines (15th MAR 2024)

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Bukele referred to the new setup as “our first #Bitcoin piggy bank.” El Salvador stored the cold wallet “in a physical vault within our national territory,” he said, including a photo of a wallet that held 5,689.68 BTC, worth $411 million at Thursday’s prices.

A bitcoin treasury of that size places El Salvador’s holdings far higher than previously believed. Even on Thursday, public trackers place the nation’s trove at less than 3,000 BTC ($205 million). Earlier this week Buckle teased that the country was not simply buying BTC but also getting it by selling passports, through currency conversions for businesses, from mining and from government services.

MicroStrategy’s $2 billion in Bitcoin purchases over the past six months risk exacerbating the hangover of any new downturn, JPMorgan warned in an investor note on Thursday.

MicroStrategy most recently bought $821 million worth of Bitcoin between February 26 and March 10 on the back of selling $1.2 billion in senior convertible notes at the start of the year, as DL News previously reported.

“We believe debt-funded Bitcoin purchases by MicroStrategy add leverage and froth to the current crypto rally and raise the risk of more severe deleveraging in a potential downturn in the future,” JPMorgan analysts wrote, without expanding on the point.

Donald Trump has fans among the crypto community, with 48% of crypto owners planning to vote for the former president compared to 39% who plan to vote for U.S. President Joe Biden. The figures are from a poll of 1,000 registered voters commissioned by leading crypto venture capital firm Paradigm, which released the results on Thursday.

The poll was conducted nationally by Virginia-based Public Opinion Strategies between Feb. 28 and March 4, while Bitcoin was on the upswing from $58,000 to $68,000—setting an all-time high.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged 17 individuals with orchestrating a $300 million Ponzi scheme under the guise of crypto trading platform CryptoFX.

CryptoFX was registered as a crypto trading platform in Houston in February 2020. In September 2022, the SEC filed an emergency action to halt all operations of CryptoFX, suspecting it of being an ongoing crypto-asset Ponzi scheme. About 18 months later, on March 14, the SEC identified 17 individuals allegedly involved in the scheme.

Gurbir Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said:

“We allege that CryptoFX was a $300 million Ponzi scheme that targeted Latino investors with promises of financial freedom and life-altering wealth from ‘risk free’ and ‘guaranteed’ crypto and foreign exchange instruments.”

According to PANews, Matrixport co-founder and Kryptanium Capital co-founder Daniel Yan recently shared his thoughts on the X platform regarding market crashes and Bitcoin dominance. He stated that a 5% market crash during a bull market is quite healthy and not surprising. What is truly surprising, however, is the simultaneous decline of BTC.D (Bitcoin’s market dominance) and BTC for the first time in a long time, indicating that the altcoin season may be approaching.

Yan’s comments come as the cryptocurrency market experiences fluctuations and investors are closely monitoring the performance of various digital assets. The decline in Bitcoin’s market dominance could signal a shift in investor focus towards alternative cryptocurrencies, commonly referred to as altcoins. As the market continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how these trends will impact the overall cryptocurrency landscape.

Bernstein analysts Gautam Chhugani and Mahika Sapra shared their optimistic bitcoin outlook in a note published earlier this week. The analysts explained that they are “now more convinced” about a BTC price breakout post-April halving event.

While noting that “These are still early days of bitcoin’s integration into traditional asset portfolios,” they wrote:

We are now more convinced about our $150K price for bitcoin.

The Bernstein analysts predicted in November last year that the price of bitcoin could rise to $150K by 2025. Their confidence in BTC achieving that price target has been reinforced by the increasing inflows into spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). “At this run rate, bitcoin ETFs would surpass our 2025 inflow estimates within 166 trading days for [the] rest of 2024,” the analysts detailed. “We built bitcoin institutional flows in our estimates to arrive at bitcoin price. We estimated $10 billion inflows for 2024 and another $60 billion for 2025.”

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) warned the public Friday that crypto exchange MEXC was operating in the territory without a license.

“The SFC will not hesitate to take enforcement action against unlicensed platforms where appropriate,” the SFC said in an emailed statement.

This is not the first time MEXC has fallen foul of regulators. Last April Japan’s Financial Services Agency said the exchange had been operating in the country without registration, as did Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority as recently as October.

Bitcoin may have dipped from its new all-time high it hit yesterday—but smaller cap meme coins and tokens are up big.

The biggest winner is Dogwifhat (WIF), which is up nearly 34% in 24 hours and is priced at $3.21, CoinGecko data shows at time of writing.

And Pepe (PEPE), which came into existence last year, is up slightly more than 13%, making it the second biggest gainer in the past day.

Solana-based meme Bonk (BONK) has also made gains, jumping by nearly 10%.

Revenue for Chainlink’s Cross Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) has surged 180% over the past two months amid  increased adoption of the multichain bridging platform.

Fee revenue for CCIP has gone up from around $61,000 in total for January to more than $171,000 in just the first two weeks of March.

Meanwhile, total cumulative revenue for the cross-chain protocol, which launched in July 2023, has reached $377,724, according to Dune Analytics.

“CCIP growth rate remains robust and very much in line with expectations,” stated Chainlink staking technology providers, and the creators of the Dune dashboard, LinkPool.

Ethereum layer-2 protocol Arbitrum is the largest source of CCIP network fees with 28% of the total, followed by Base with 24%.

According to PANews, Dutch cryptocurrency derivatives exchange D2X has announced the completion of a $10 million Series A funding round, led by Point72 Ventures and GSR Markets. The funds will be used to ‘attract liquidity, develop new features, and expand business in the European Union.’ D2X is set to launch later this quarter.

D2X has previously obtained a MiFID MTF license from the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), allowing it to operate a crypto futures and options exchange within the EU.