The Alpha Is Bitcoin

Senator Warren Shouts Into Abyss, AVAX Season, Bitcoin Bonds Coming

Well, well, it looks like the king needed a brief respite on his journey to all-time highs, and who could blame him? These past few weeks have been nothing short of spectacular! The crypto world never fails to surprise us, with each week bringing something new to the table, making last week's events seem like distant memories

ICYMI

  • El Salvador's Bitcoin 'Volcano Bonds' receive regulatory approval for Q1 2024 issuance 

  • China to verify citizens' identities with new blockchain-based platform

  • KuCoin has agreed to pay $22M to settle a lawsuit brought by the New York Attorney General’s Office 

  • Coinbase has announced Project Diamond, a smart contract-powered platform for institutions to create, buy, and sell digitally native assets 

  • Binance’s Market Share of Crypto Trading Tumbled to 30% in 2023 

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren adds five co-sponsors to her bill that would target crypto 

  • Coinbase has listed SEAM, their first listing of a token native to the Base network

  • Montenegro’s High Court extended the detention of Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon for two months to February 15 at the request of the United States and South Korea

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Narratives Of The Week: BTC Cools Off

The market in the last few days has been marked by significant sell-offs and price fluctuations. Key developments include a notable sell-off by short-term Bitcoin holders, contributing to a substantial transfer of around $2B worth of Bitcoin to various exchanges. This event is particularly significant as it's the largest sell-off by short-term holders in the last year and a half.  This sell-off coincided with a dramatic dip in Bitcoin's value. At one point, the market leader fell to a low of $40K, marking a 7.5% drop. This downturn represents one of the most significant single depreciations of Bitcoin in 2023, only surpassed by previous lows in March and August.

  • BRC-20 on Binance: In other developments, the BRC-20 token 1000SATS has hit Binance, adding a new dimension to the trading platform. This listing not only diversifies the available trading pairs but also pays homage to Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.

  • Airdrops and Liquidity: A notable trend from the last bull market, which seems to be making a return, is the use of airdrops to bootstrap users. These airdrops are not just promotional tools but are increasingly being leveraged to provide liquidity to users. This strategy is gaining traction as it incentivizes participation and investment in new and existing crypto projects, potentially laying the groundwork for the next surge in market activity.

  • Regulatory Landscape: In the realm of regulation, figures like Senator Elizabeth Warren continue to voice concerns about the crypto market, highlighting the ongoing tension between the burgeoning crypto industry and regulatory bodies. This push and pull between innovation and regulation remains a critical factor in shaping the market's direction.

  • Economic Indicators and Market Outlook: On the economic front, the US recently announced a CPI annual rate of 3.1% for November, a slight decrease from the previous value and the lowest since June of this year. This easing of inflation has led Wall Street to speculate on a possible rebound in the Bitcoin and broader crypto market, as investors often view crypto as a hedge against inflation.

  • Avalanche's Remarkable Rally: One of the standout stories in recent days has been AVAX, which saw a dramatic rally of +85.9%. This surge is attributed to Avalanche's proactive efforts in attracting financial entities and its focus on tokenizing off-chain assets. The collaboration with JP Morgan’s Onyx and Apollo Global, coupled with the successful launch of Republic Note on its platform, has bolstered AVAX’s market position significantly​​.

  • Injective Protocol's Impressive Performance: Another significant highlight is the Injective Protocol, which has seen its price soar by over 1,917% from its lowest point in 2023. The protocol's focus on finance, combined with the strengths of Solana's speed, Cosmos's interoperability, and Ethereum's stability, has positioned it as a rapidly growing player in the blockchain industry. Its DEX, Helix, has become one of the fastest-growing in the crypto world.

Industry

Circle reported that global stablecoin settlement volume surpassed $7T last year, drawing closer to the $14T settlement volume of giants like Visa and Mastercard. This surge in stablecoin usage is particularly notable in Latin America, where 51% of consumers are using digital currencies for shopping, with a significant one-third opting for stablecoins for their daily purchases. In tandem with this trend, Tether has introduced a new policy aimed at strengthening ecosystem security. This move includes the freezing of wallets belonging to sanctioned persons. These developments underscore the rapidly growing adoption of stablecoins globally.

  • London’s Top Pension Fund M&G Plc injects $20M into UK’s drypto derivatives

  • Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest sold 335,860 Coinbase (COIN) shares worth about $49.2M, the largest single sale since July 

  • JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon hates on crypto: ‘If I was the government, I’d close it down’ 

  • Fidelity held meeting with SEC about spot Bitcoin fund, submitted presentation about ETF workflows

  • FTX claims it owes nothing to the IRS, the tax agency is demanding as much as $24B, more than three times what FTX currently has to pay to recoup losses from creditors

  • Google updates its crypto ads policy

  • Taiwan Completes wholesale CBDC technical study

Projects

Uniswap V3's expansion to the Bitcoin sidechain Rootstock marks a significant stride, this will enhance liquidity and introduce more DeFi use cases by integrating Ethereum-based smart contract capabilities with Bitcoin's robust security. Concurrently, Binance is broadening its asset offerings, having listed the BRC-20 project Sats (1000SATS) with new trading pairs like 1000SATS/USDT, alongside setting a zero listing fee for SATS to boost accessibility and diversity in trading options. Meanwhile, Bitcoin's recent inscriptions, particularly associated with the Ordinals Protocol, have been identified as a cybersecurity concern by the US National Vulnerability Database.

  • Pudge Penguins announces Pudgy World Alpha powered by zkSync, releasing Q1 2024 

  • Polymer Labs announced last week that they are building an Ethereum Layer 2 for interoperability similar to Cosmos’ IBC

  • Bakery Swap announces IDOs for BRC projects, starting with Bitcoin Cats

  • Solana’s USDC supply increased by 126.4M USDC  or 27% in the last week 

  • Synthetix to end SNX token inflation, shift focus to buybacks and burns 

  • The Cardano Foundation introduced their new Identity wallet which lets users manage self-sovereign identities across Cardano and other blockchain networks

  • LayerZero announces plans for native token, aiming for distribution in first half of 2024 

  • Starknet Foundation plans to distribute 1.8B tokens as rewards

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