Monday, 19 February 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 19 February 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$52,137.67 (+0.96%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 2,881.20 (+3.42%)

Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) experienced substantial net inflows totalling over $2.2 billion from February 12 to 16, marking a robust week for the cryptocurrency market. This surge in investment was led by BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT), which alone received $1.6 billion in positive flows during the period, comprising a significant portion of BlackRock’s total net ETF flows. Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund and the Ark 21Shares Bitcoin ETF also attracted substantial inflows, further bolstering the influx of capital into the cryptocurrency space. However, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust witnessed significant outflows amounting to $624 million over the same timeframe, potentially dampening the collective performance of newly approved spot Bitcoin ETFs. Nevertheless, the approval and subsequent popularity of these ETFs are believed to have contributed to Bitcoin’s recent price surge, with the cryptocurrency climbing 91% in the past four months. Meanwhile, amid developments in the crypto market, Coinbase has announced the removal of support for native Bitcoin and other unspent transaction output (UTXO) coins from its merchant payment platform, Coinbase Commerce. This decision, attributed to challenges in delivering updates on its payment protocol for Bitcoin, has sparked criticism from some community members concerned about its implications for Bitcoin adoption and accessibility in online commerce.

A fraudulent version of Rabby Wallet, a cryptocurrency wallet app, surfaced on the Apple App Store, wreaking havoc among unsuspecting users. Despite the genuine Rabby Wallet app being under review, the counterfeit app, listed as “Rabby Wallet & Crypto Solution” by “Solution Development,” remained available for download for at least four days. Users reported substantial financial losses due to the fake app, with one victim claiming a $5,000 scam and another losing 10% of their portfolio. Some individuals even had their wallets drained after the fake app prompted them to import their seed phrases. Despite user complaints, the imposter app continued to persist until Apple eventually removed it. This incident mirrors similar instances involving fake cryptocurrency apps, indicating a persistent challenge with fraudulent apps infiltrating reputable app stores. In a related development, Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) experienced significant outflowstotalling $7 billion since its conversion to a spot Bitcoin ETF, with observers suggesting that competition from lower-fee ETFs and portfolio rebalancing contributed to the slowdown in outflows in February. Meanwhile, Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin lauded Verkle trees, a technological upgrade aimed at enhancing Ethereum’s protocol by enabling stateless validator clients and reducing hardware requirements for nodes, thus promoting decentralisation and improving network efficiency.

In Japan, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) approved a bill allowing limited partnership (LP) firms to invest in and hold crypto assets, aiming to boost domestic investments in Web3 startups. This amendment permits LPs to invest in crypto-related ventures, fostering the emergence of blockchain startups in Japan. Meanwhile, Binance announced the discontinuation of leveraged token services tied to Bitcoin, Ether, and BNB due to be halted on April 3, impacting tokens like BTCUP, BTCDOWN, ETHUP, and ETHDOWN. Despite FTX’s bankruptcy, exchange tokens like BNB and OKB have rebounded or reached all-time highs, indicating resilience in the crypto exchange market. Conversely, FTX’s FTT token has plummeted by over 90% from its pre-bankruptcy levels, highlighting the challenges the exchange faces in restarting operations.


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