🔴Bitcoin Makes History | This Week in Crypto – Jan 15, 2024

Spot Bitcoin ETFs are approved but start with a hiccup, one stablecoin is going public and Bitcoin lifts off toward the moon, only to get lost in space?!  These stories and more, this week in crypto.

Bitcoin Makes History

On Wednesday, The US SEC finally approved 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs in a process that began in 2013 when the Winklevoss twins first sought approval. Trading volumes exceeded $4bn across the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and CBOE on the first trading day. Grayscale’s bitcoin ETF accounted for half of that volume with $1bn of it coming in the first hour after markets opened. BlackRock’s iShares bitcoin ETF claimed the bulk of the other half with its first day trading of $1bn.

 

Fake Tweet Rocks Markets

A day before the approvals were announced, a fake tweet resulting from a hack of the SEC’s X account stated that all Bitcoin ETFs had been approved, causing upheaval in crypto markets. The account was hacked through an associated phone number, and was possible because the account wasn’t utilizing two-factor authentication. The post was quickly exposed as a fraud, but not before leading to $90 million in Bitcoin liquidations.

Bitcoin Dives as Euphoria Ends

After the first ETFs began trading in the US, Bitcoin briefly topped $49,000 for the first time since December 2021. Next day however, Bitcoin’s price dropped below $42,000, plunging nearly 10%, as the euphoria over ETF approvals gave way to a ‘sell the news’ rout.

SEC: We Don’t Support Bitcoin

SEC Chair Gary Gensler indicated that the ETF approvals were granted reluctantly, emphasizing that the decision does not reflect the commission’s endorsement of Bitcoin itself. Gensler said that last year’s Grayscale court decision forced the commission’s hand, but it doesn’t signal support for Bitcoin or any other crypto asset; a category that he still views as speculative and volatile.

USDC Issuer Files for IPO

Circle, the creator of stablecoin USDC, has filed for an initial public offering, to take the company public. The IPO is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process. With a $25 billion market cap, USDC holds the spot as the second-largest stablecoin after Tether, which boasts a market cap of $95 billion.

New Ethereum Improvements Proposed

In an Ask-Me-Anything session, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin recommended a modest 33% increase in the gas limit to boost network capacity and reduce user expenses. However, the proposal comes with some risks, as larger blocks may lead to increased energy consumption, raising the potential for chain splits and abandoned blocks.

X Discontinues NFT Profile Pictures

Social media platform X has discontinued its NFT profile picture service that allowed subscribers to use Ethereum-based NFTs as profile images. Previously known as Twitter, X embraced NFTs and bitcoin tipping in September 2021, expanding its NFT offerings by October of the following year with “NFT Tweet Tiles.”

Houston, We Have a Problem

The Peregrine 1 space mission recently took off carrying a Bitcoin genesis block commemorative plaque, and a special Bitcoin token engraved with a private key for 1 BTC. The mission? To place those items on the surface of the moon, as a symbol that Bitcoin highlights remarkable progress in terms of technological advancement. Unfortunately, it seems there’s a problem with the rocket’s propulsion system, making it uncertain as to whether Bitcoin will ever reach the Moon safely.

That’s what’s happened this week in crypto, see you next week.

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