Tue. Jun 11th, 2024

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ETF volumes are soaring, Bitcoin makes a top 10 list, and Binance faces a $10Bn fine in Nigeria, or are they? These stories and more, this week in crypto.

Crypto Volatility Is Back

After a remarkable 20% surge in Bitcoin’s price, the sudden influx of buyers for short-dated options has increased Bitcoin’s volatility to its highest since last year, which could lead to rapid and significant swings. Leverage has also come back across various crypto sectors, including NFTs, mining, and DeFi. Bitcoin derivatives’ open interest has increased 90% since October.

Bitcoin Enters Top 10 Assets

In a resounding comeback, the total crypto market cap has surged past two trillion dollars. Fueled by positive market sentiment and continuous inflows into spot Bitcoin ETFs, the crypto market now surpasses the market capitalization of Amazon and Google’s parent company Alphabet. Surpassing a $1 trillion market cap itself, Bitcoin has joined the list of top 10 largest assets in the world.

Bitcoin ETF Breaks Record

Seven weeks after SEC approval, spot Bitcoin ETFs now hold 344,000 BTC in assets under management, worth over $21Bn. BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF, IBIT experienced a record-breaking $612 million inflow in a single day, while the asset class hit $7.7 billion in trading volume, further evidence that the success of the much-hyped ETFs is no longer in doubt.

Vanguard Rethinks Bitcoin Stance

Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley’s sudden departure after 33 years has sparked speculation about the firm’s potential entry into the Bitcoin ETF space. Despite previously assessing Bitcoin as an “immature asset class,” its competitors like BlackRock and Fidelity, which have embraced the ETFs, are reaping substantial profits, raising questions as to what Vanguard, with $7 trillion under management, will do next.

Bitcoin HODLing Pays Off

Bitcoin’s recent price surge is putting a spotlight on impressive unrealized gains for the biggest names in the industry. Although MicroStrategy’s holdings have doubled in value since the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs, its chairman Michael Saylor has reaffirmed several times that the company has no intention of selling. President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador also defended his country’s Bitcoin strategy, with its unrealized profits exceeding $173 million.

Binance Faces $10Bn Fine

While the BBC has reported that Nigeria is seeking nearly $10 billion in fines from Binance, accusing the crypto giant of manipulating foreign exchange rates through currency speculation and rate-fixing, a Nigerian government representative denies the accuracy of the report, saying it draws its conclusions from a misquotation of the government’s statements.  He claims that there hasn’t been a definitive decision yet, and that the fine is just a possibility. Nigeria is facing a currency devaluation crisis with the Naira losing 70% of its value, which has spiked interest in crypto.

Gemini Faces Heavy Fines

Gemini, the crypto exchange owned by the Winklevoss twins, will return a minimum of $1.1 billion to customers in a settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services. Additionally, the exchange faces a $37 million fine for “significant failures” in its Gemini Earn program during the November 2022 crypto crash.

Costly Fat-Finger Error

A Bitcoin Ordinals trader faced a costly fat-finger error, thinking he had paid $1300 for an NFT that was actually listed at $13,000. Feeling embarrassed, the trader shared the incident on X, urging caution to other Ordinals traders. Remarkably, the NFT’s seller, Dan Anderson, saw the post, and offered to buy back the NFT, effectively returning the funds.

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

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