Fortnightly Crypto Insights 18/1/24

January 18, 2024

SEC’s Rollercoaster Week: Hacking Incident and Bitcoin ETF Approvals

A busy week for the SEC began with their X account being hacked, falsely announcing Bitcoin ETF approvals after a SIM swap attack and weak 2FA security. However, in a true turn of events, the SEC officially greenlit 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs. Notably, BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF hit over $1 billion on its first day.

Vitalik Buterin Updates Ethereum Roadmap

Ethereum’s co-founder Buterin has introduced an updated roadmap, prioritising scalability, security, and decentralisation. Key features are quicker block finalizations and advancements in the ‘Surge’ phase for rollup scaling. The roadmap also tackles PoS economic centralization and stresses on interoperability among Ethereum-based applications.

Retail Bitcoin Acceptance Skyrockets in 2023

Data from BTC Map shows a near triple increase in brick-and-mortar retailers accepting Bitcoin last year, exceeding 6,000 globally. Latin America leads, with Europe and the U.S. following despite Bitcoin’s price fluctuations. This growth underlines Bitcoin’s rising popularity in everyday transactions.

Ark Invest Slashes Coinbase Shares

Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest has sold another 133,823 Coinbase shares, valued at about $20.6 million. This follows a previous $29 million sale, totaling $50 million in recent divestments. This aligns with Ark’s strategy to rebalance its portfolio, particularly after a substantial Coinbase sell-off in December.

CME Bitcoin Futures Reach New Heights

Bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) have soared to a record high. This spike reflects escalating institutional interest and anticipation of Bitcoin’s value growth.

CoinGecko’s Social Media Compromised

CoinGecko’s social media account was hacked, falsely promoting a new GCKO cryptocurrency and a misleading airdrop. The company quickly cautioned users and is investigating the security breach.

Cosmos Hub Proposes Zero ATOM Inflation

The Cosmos Hub community is contemplating a proposal to drop ATOM’s inflation rate from 7% to 0%. If passed, it could steadily reduce ATOM inflation, given sufficient token bonding, but concerns about network security and validator earnings persist.

JPMorgan CEO Reaffirms Bitcoin Skepticism

Despite JPMorgan’s involvement in BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF, CEO Jamie Dimon maintains his doubt about Bitcoin’s value, reflecting the financial sector’s mixed views on cryptocurrencies.

Social Media Platform X to Drop NFT Profile Feature

Platform X is apparently discontinuing its NFT profile picture feature, introduced two years ago. This move could affect its rapport with the crypto community and signals a change in its digital asset strategy.

Hong Kong Firms Eyeing Crypto ETF Launches

HashKey COO Livio Weng disclosed that about ten Hong Kong fund companies are exploring spot crypto ETFs. This interest from Asian and European firms shows Hong Kong’s growing involvement in the crypto market.

Fox Corporation and Polygon Labs Launch Verify

Fox Corporation and Polygon Labs have introduced Verify, a blockchain media platform. It aims to manage AI content licensing and ensure media authenticity using cryptographic signatures.

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