Bitcoin Price: US$43,082.94 (+1.18%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 2,343.01 (+1.10%)
Bitcoin mining company Core Scientific, which became North America’s largest publicly listed crypto mining firm in 2023, revealed that it mined 19,274 Bitcoins worth $812 million during the year. Core Scientific operates approximately 209,000 owned and co-located Bitcoin miners across various states in the U.S., with a total energised hash rate of 23.2 exahashes per second. Despite filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2022, the firm outlined its comeback strategy, successfully relisting on the Nasdaq stock exchange on January 27, 2024. In another report, ARK Invest published its annual report highlighting Bitcoin’s historical outperformance and suggested an institutional portfolio allocation of up to 19.4% to maximise risk-adjusted returns. The report focused on the technological convergence of blockchain, AI, energy storage, and robotics, emphasising Bitcoin’s superiority in returns compared to traditional assets over the past seven years. ARK suggested that institutions could consider allocating 19.4% of their portfolio to Bitcoin for optimised risk-adjusted returns in 2023. Meanwhile, public holdings data revealed that the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) ETF sold 132,195 Bitcoin in January, reducing its stash by 21% to 487,025 BTC. Other spot Bitcoin ETFs added a combined total of 151,006 BTC during the same period, with total holdings across all ETFs reaching 656,421 BTC. Despite the price drop, these ETFs collectively increased their Bitcoin holdings by 3% in January.
In December 2023, a report by Vietnamese venture capital firm Kyros Ventures, with the collaboration of 10 media agencies from China, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam, revealed that Chinese crypto enthusiasts are more willing to invest heavily in cryptocurrencies compared to their counterparts in Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. The report, based on a survey of 5,268 participants, highlighted that over 70% of Chinese participants had more than half of their portfolios in cryptocurrencies. Despite China being a challenging jurisdiction for cryptocurrencies, with a ban on crypto trading in 2021, a majority of Chinese investors prefer trading on centralised crypto exchanges. The report also noted that self-research, crypto news, and community groups were the main information channels for investors in these countries. Additionally, it highlighted the changing regulatory landscape in Asia, with Hong Kong issuing its first cryptocurrency exchange licenses in 2023 and South Korea passing legislation to protect cryptocurrency users. Meanwhile, Binance is reportedly facing challenges in finding new partners to reestablish its presence in the United Kingdom. According to sources, at least three firms with regulatory permission to approve financial promotions have turned down Binance. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) imposed restrictions on Binance’s previous partner, Rebuildingsociety.com, in October, leading to the need for a new approver. However, the FCA’s expressed concerns about businesses considering partnerships with Binance have reportedly driven companies away from dealing with the crypto exchange. Binance has denied challenges in finding a new partner, stating that it continues to have productive conversations with potential approvers and is confident of providing a positive update soon.
Asset management firm Valkyrie has added BitGo as a custodian for its spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), alongside Coinbase. Valkyrie filed an 8-K with the SEC, announcing a custodial services agreement with BitGo for the Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund. BitGo’s CEO, Mike Belshe, referred to custodian diversification as the “best approach” to mitigate risks associated with ETF custody. The Valkyrie spot Bitcoin ETF, tickered BRRR, holds $113.5 million in Bitcoin and is the seventh-largest holder among spot Bitcoin ETF issuers. In a separate development, Ethereum developers plan to set a mainnet launch date for the Dencun upgrade on February 8. The upgrade includes proto-dank sharding, which is expected to reduce transaction costs on layer-2 solutions. Christine Kim of Galaxy Digital estimates an 80% chance of Dencun mainnet activation by the end of March. In Spain, fintech firm Monei has initiated trials of a euro-backed stablecoin, EURM, under the supervision of the Bank of Spain. The trial will examine EURM’s transaction capability in a regulatory sandbox, aiming to provide secure, programmable, and economical digital payments. The stablecoin’s infrastructure offers corporate options like real-time employee payments or productivity bonuses based on robotic instructions.
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