Bitcoin Price: US$41,732.35 (-2.60%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 2,472.87 (-4.09%)
In the lead-up to the Bitcoin halving expected in April 2024, mining firms Riot, TeraWulf, and CleanSpark have been identified as best-positioned by CoinShares to navigate the anticipated cost increases. The analysis estimates that the cost of production and cash costs per Bitcoin will rise significantly post-halving. Riot is seen as well-positioned due to its cost structure and runway, though challenges may arise if Bitcoin’s price falls below $40,000. Meanwhile, trends for 2024 in the crypto industry include a focus on scalability solutions like rollups, increased decentralisation, and the potential approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs driving innovation and growth. In Africa, Web3 adoption faces regulatory uncertainties, with Cartesi and Web3bridge collaborating to address challenges in education and accessibility for developers in the region. Despite hurdles, Africa is viewed as primed for a Web3 boom, driven by its younger demographic and the potential transformative impact of decentralised applications in addressing financial challenges.
In response to a notice from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Google’s Play Store in India has removed Binance and OKX crypto exchange apps. The FIU notice, issued on December 28, 2023, required exchanges like Binance and others to register as “reporting entities” and submit statements to the income tax department to comply with Indian regulations. Following the notice, Google’s Play Store blocked Binance and OKX apps, similar to Apple’s App Store’s decision in December 2023. Despite the app removal, existing users can still access Binance via its website and application. The move is part of India’s regulatory measures and taxation policies on cryptocurrencies, including a 30% tax on crypto and a 1% tax deduction at source for every crypto trade. The Hong Kong Virtual Asset Consortium (HKVAC) has revised its crypto indexes, excluding Ripple’s XRP from the top five global crypto index and replacing it with Solana. Avalanche also entered the top 10 index, replacing Tron’s token. The revisions reflect changes in market capitalisation and performance of various cryptocurrencies. Additionally, the report highlights the increased correlation between Bitcoin and gold during 2023, as both assets showed similar behaviours, possibly linked to growing fiscal deficits or anticipation of changes in interest rates. Fidelity’s analysis notes Bitcoin’s increased correlation with gold as both rallied despite global rates increasing. The report speculates that Bitcoin and gold may be signaling concerns about the bond market or anticipating changes in fiscal policies.
In the first two trading sessions, newly launched spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) attracted significant attention, accumulating $1.4 billion in inflows, according to Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas. Notably, Grayscale’s ETF, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), experienced an outflow of $579 million during the same period, but after deducting GBTC outflows, the net total inflows stood at $819 million. The strong initial activity aligns with predictions that Bitcoin ETFs could attract around $10 billion in their inaugural year. BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust, Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF, and Bitwise emerged as top performers during the week, attracting substantial inflows. Despite the positive ETF developments, Bitcoin faced a 6.8% decline following the SEC green light, confirming a “sell-the-news” event. In a separate development, the Hedera Global Governing Council approved the allocation of $408 million worth of its native cryptocurrency, HBAR, for further development and decentralised governance. Meanwhile, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink expressed doubts about Bitcoin becoming a currency, emphasising its role as an asset class and indicating a focus on wealth storage. He also mentioned expectations for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to materialise in the future.
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