News Headlines (19th JAN 2024)

The price of bitcoin (BTC) fell another 4.5% on Thursday, tumbling to its lowest price in a month at $40,800. The decline was roughly matched by the CoinDesk 20 Index, which tracks the world’s largest and most liquid cryptocurrencies, now lower by 4.6% over the past 24 hours.

Since the newly approved spot bitcoin ETFs began trading on Jan. 11, the price of bitcoin – after a very brief spike higher – is now lower by about 13%.

as of yesterday, the new spot ETF issuers have added more than 68,000 bitcoin in their first week of action. Grayscale’s GBTC, however, has shed roughly 40,000 bitcoin, leaving a net addition of about 28,000 to bitcoin ETFs.

The amount of crypto stolen through scams last year was nearly a third less than in 2022, according to advance excerpts from a report by Chainalysis to be published in full in February. According to the blockchain analysis firm, illicit revenue in total was down more than 54%.

Stolen cryptocurrency, Chainalysis said, accounted for 0.34% of total on-chain transactions in 2023 and totaled $24.2 billion compared to 0.42%, or $39.6 billion in 2022. The total for 2023 included funds sent to addresses the firm identified as “illicit” and funds stolen in hacks.

A crypto trader made $6.77 million in profit within three hours of the launch of the SatoshiVM (SAVM) token. The trader used a banana gun sniping tool to acquire the token before it launched and then sold the token as the price increased, raking in nearly $7 million in profits.The trader first bought 2.61 million SAVM for 277.66 Ether ETH $2,483 worth $681,000 using the Banana Gun trading bot. Banana Gun — which launched in July 2023 — allows users to snipe presale tokens and trade crypto quickly. A trader can choose between “Manual Trade” and “Automatic Sniper,” where the fee for manual trades is 0.5%, while the automatic sniper feature charges a fee of 0.75%.

According to Decrypt, blockchain game developer Laguna Games is migrating its Crypto Unicorns and related NFT games from Ethereum sidechain network Polygon to Arbitrum’s Xai gaming network. The Crypto Unicorns ecosystem, founded in 2021, includes land-based building and battling experiences, jousting, and party games, with its NFTs generating around $35 million in trading volume so far. Laguna Games CEO Aron Beierschmitt cited challenges with operating on Polygon, particularly network gas spikes that increased costs and created friction for players.

According to a provisional agreement between the European Union (EU) Council and Parliament, crypto asset service providers (CASPs) will now feature in the list of obliged entities that are required to “conduct due diligence on their customers.” This means CASPs need to verify facts and information on users whose transactions exceed $1,090 or €1000.

In its Jan. 18 statement, the Council of the EU claimed that the due diligence, which also includes reporting suspicious activity, “adds measures to mitigate risks in relation to transactions with self-hosted wallets.” The statement also explains why the council and parliament agreed to add CASPs to a list which already includes banks, casinos, real estate agencies, and asset management services.

Bitcoin BTC) has dropped over 15% since the inaugural launch of spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) last week with $1.5 billion flowing out of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust GBTC, financial giant JPMorgan (JPM) said in a research report on Thursday.

“It looks like GBTC investors who over the past year had been buying the GBTC fund at a significant discount to NAV to position for its eventual ETF conversion, have been taking full profit post-ETF conversion by exiting the bitcoin space entirely rather than shifting to cheaper spot bitcoin ETFs,” analysts led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou wrote.

China has formed a working group to push for standardization for the metaverse sector, as the world’s second-largest economy looks to drive the growth of the nascent industry.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a notice released Friday that it has formed a working group with representatives from the government, academia and corporations.

Members of the working group include those from Chinese tech giants, such as Huawei, Ant Group, Tencent, Baidu, NetEase and Sense Time.

Just a week after South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) warned against trading United States-based spot Bitcoin BTC $41,270 exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the Office of the President is now urging the regulator to reconsider its stance.

On Jan. 18, the Office of the President of the Republic of Korea — also referred to as the Yongsan Presidential Office — asked the FSC to refrain from having a “do” or “not” directive for ETFs, according to a local report from Maekyung. In a rough translation, Tae-yoon Sung, head of the presidential policy office, said:

“We are trying to make appropriate changes to the legal system of our country or to consider whether what happens abroad can be accepted in our country.”

According to Foresight News, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have proposed regulatory amendments regarding how public investment funds handle crypto assets. The aim is to further clarify custody rights and rules for funds dealing with crypto assets. Under the proposed amendments, only alternative investment funds and non-redeemable investment funds would be allowed to directly buy, sell, or hold crypto assets, while other mutual funds could only invest in these funds to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies.

Ark Invest, led by fund manager Cathie Wood, has made several trades based around bitcoin exchange-traded products. The firm has sold its holdings in the Proshares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), a bitcoin futures ETF, and redirected these funds to bolster its holdings in its own Ark 21shares Spot Bitcoin ETF (ARKB).

The reshuffling involved Cathie Wood’s ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW) reducing its stake in BITO in order to increase its investment in the Ark 21shares Spot Bitcoin ETF. This move resulted in the purchase of $15.9 million worth of shares in ARKB. Following this transaction, ARKB shares closed at $43.51 on Tuesday, marking a 0.80% decrease.