News Headlines (20th December 2023)

A slurry of catalysts and historical behavior could catapult bitcoin (BTC) to as high as $160,000 in a widely expected bull market that analysts say could be underway in 2024.

Expected demand for bitcoin from several spot exchange-traded funds (ETF) in the U.S., the upcoming halving and growth in broader stock markets on the back of rates cut could buoy bitcoin prices to at least $50,000 in the short-term, on-chain analysis firm CryptoQuant said in a Wednesday report shared with CoinDesk.

“We argue that bitcoin and crypto markets could have a positive year in 2024 mostly amid the effects from: 1. The market valuation cycle, 2. Network activity, 3. The bitcoin halving, 4. The macroeconomic perspective, 5. Bitcoin spot ETF approval and 6. Growing stablecoin liquidity,” analysts at CryptoQuant said.

Bitcoin miner Marathon Digital Holdings is preparing for the halving.

In a Tuesday statement, the publicly traded company announced the acquisition of two Bitcoin mining sites for $178.6 million. The datacenter sites are based in Texas and Nebraska.

The move will add 390 megawatts of capacity, the company said, and it is expected it will reduce the cost per coin mined by around 30%.

As preparations for spot Bitcoin $42,941 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) continue, executives from across the crypto community have been sharing their opinions on how the new investment vehicle for crypto could affect the overall markets.

In a CNBC interview, Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein expressed his belief that there’s a lot of optimism in the BTC market again and that many investors are adding Bitcoin to their portfolios. The executive also said that he’s looking forward to the advent of spot Bitcoin ETFs to unlock Bitcoin exposure to a part of the investment community that has not yet had the chance to invest in BTC. Sonnenshein explained:

“We’re really talking about the advise market here in the U.S., which is today about $30 trillion worth of advised wealth.”

According to Foresight News, data from CoinGecko reveals that SOL has overtaken XRP to become the fifth largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization, with a value of $33.19 billion.

SOL’s rise in market cap highlights its growing popularity and adoption in the cryptocurrency market. The digital asset has experienced significant growth in recent months, outpacing other major cryptocurrencies such as XRP.

As the cryptocurrency market continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how the rankings of these digital assets will change in the future. However, SOL’s current position as the fifth largest cryptocurrency by market cap demonstrates its potential for further growth and success in the industry.

According to Daniel Ogbamey-Tetteh, the Director General of the Ghanaian Securities and Exchange Commission, the commission has established a task force to help it build its capacity to oversee and regulate crypto assets. The establishment of the task force is in line with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)’s call on members to take steps to protect digital asset consumers.

Ogbamey-Tetteh made these remarks at an event marking the commission’s 25th anniversary. As per a report by BFT Online, the Ghanaian regulator has also been working on boosting capital and crypto asset owners’ confidence in the commission.

Multifold gains on Solana-based meme coins have apparently led traders to hunt for small-cap plays on other networks – with some lucky enough to flip a tiny initial capital to a life-changing figure.

And while dog-themed tokens have usually created outsized gains for meme coin traders, Avalanche’s Coq Inu (COQ), a hen-themed token, is leading the narrative on the blockchain. Data shows the token was issued on Dec.8 and has since surged to a $230 million capitalization as of Wednesday, creating wild profits for early buyers.

That’s the dream, anyway, of the team behind the dog-themed Shiba Inu (SHIB) crypto ecosystem, which announced Tuesday that it plans to apply for a .shib top-level-domain (TLD) with ICANN, the nonprofit that maintains numerous aspects of the internet.

While organizations such as the Ethereum Name Service and companies like Unstoppable Domains already offer crypto users the ability to claim domain names ending like .eth or .crypto, those domains can be directed to crypto wallets—not websites accessible through any traditional browser.

Singaporean fintech firm Alchemy Pay has secured a partnership with United Kingdom-based payment processor Worldpay.

According to the Dec. 19 announcement, the partnership will grant Alchemy Pay users access to Worldpay’s Visa and Mastercard payment rails for purchasing cryptocurrencies with their credit and debit cards.

“Alchemy Pay is now better positioned to assist our business partners and users in seamless cryptocurrency transactions worldwide,” said Alchemy ecosystem lead Robert McCracken.

According to Foresight News, Kaiko reported that South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges experienced a record trading volume in early December, the highest since the beginning of the year. The surge in trading volume was driven by altcoin transactions and zero-fee promotions.

The increase in trading volume on South Korean exchanges can be attributed to the growing popularity of altcoins and promotional activities offering zero trading fees. This has attracted more traders to the market, resulting in higher trading volumes. The South Korean cryptocurrency market has been witnessing a steady growth in recent years, and the latest record trading volume is a testament to its increasing prominence in the global crypto landscape.

Fairshake, a federal independent expenditure-only political action committee (super PAC), announced Monday that crypto and blockchain leaders have amassed $78 Million “for Fairshake Super PAC and its affiliates to support pro-innovation and pro-crypto leadership going into 2024 congressional elections.” Fairshake is registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and supports candidates solely through its independent activities. The announcement states:

They will report $78 million raised and in the bank in Q4 2023 to support leaders who support American crypto and blockchain innovation and responsible regulation in the forthcoming 2024 elections.