20 February

Bitcoin has gained nearly 80% year to date, and the bullish market cycle isn’t showing signs of peaking. Bitcoin had a market value of $178 billion a year ago.

Sure there are speculative excesses, like in all bull markets. But the bitcoin tide is rising on the back of it becoming a global digital reserve asset.”

See Also: Bitcoin and cryptocurrency: Why I DO NOT think we are close to a market cycle peak (Video)

The cryptocurrency is up 172.5% year-to-date. Ethereum-based applications create a natural utility for ether as the cryptocurrency is required to settle transactions. DeFi coins have followed lockstep with ether as shown by the DeFi Pulse Index (DPI), up 83% in the last 30 days.

Staking on the Ethereum 2.0 network is also creating a supply shock of supports for the digital asset. Some 2.7% of ether worth $6 billion has been deposited on the Eth 2.0 blockchain.

Lastly, large investors such as investment funds may be interested in gaining some exposure to the cryptocurrency. CME launched cash-settled futures contracts for the digital asset on Feb. 8. The contracts surpassed $160 billion in aggregated volume within the first week.”

“The fund has seen huge interest, trading well over $100 million shares on its first day, and by the end of Friday it had collected $421.8 million AUM. Bloomberg Intelligence ETFs analyst Eric Balchunas tweeted the Purpose Investment’s bitcoin ETF could reach $1 billion in assets by the end of next week.

On Friday, another bitcoin ETF, the Evolve ETF, started trading on the TSX under the ticker EBIT.”

“Ethereum developers have scheduled the Berlin hard fork for April 14 at block height 12,244,000. The update, which includes at least five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP), will be shipped on four test networks before deployment

The hardfork includes various optimizations for contracts including gas efficiencies, updates to how code is read by the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and other changes to protect against denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks.”

“OKCoin is delisting bitcoin cash (BCH), a fork or “clone” of bitcoin, as well as its own fork, bitcoin sv (BSV), both as a way to protect neophyte clients who are trying to buy bitcoin and as a statement of principle. Craig Wright’s most recent legal crusade against developers who host Bitcoin’s white paper was a breaking point.

We wouldn’t have changed that if it weren’t for Craig Wright posting these threats to the open-source dev community. We think these threats are very destructive to development and Bitcoin as a whole.

Additionally, these coins bear bitcoin’s name and that has ‘caused a lot of confusion about what is the real bitcoin among new entrants.'”

“An age-old question of how to monetize memes appears to have found an answer. This afternoon, the storied internet sensation, Nyan Cat, sold for 300.00 ETH (about $590,000). Chris Torres, who created the meme 10 years ago, confirmed the sale and his role in it.

I’m very surprised with the success, but I think I’m most glad knowing that I’ve basically opened the door to a whole new meme economy in the crypto world.

I am still relatively new to crypto in general, but I see its full potential.

Torres’ sale represents the latest permutation of the NFT industry: codifying and selling bits of the web that seemingly belong to everyone.”

Polygon(Matic) L2

See Also: Ethereum L2’s Incoming! (Video)

“Raghu Yarlagadda cited three reasons for the recent institutional interest in crypto: inflationary hedge, geopolitical risk and a 24/7, always-on trading desk. Yarlagadda believes the Bitcoin price is more sustainable now than it was in 2017 thanks to the ‘the number and quality of institutions that are coming in.’

The first and foremost reason is the inflationary hedge.’ The second reason is less obvious—less publicly known—but all the last ten institutions that came to FalconX mentioned this: the geopolitical risk hedge.

With the new US administration coming in, there are a lot of people who say that the trade war between the US and China is going to aggravate just a little bit more.

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin also said that any conflict between China and the US is good for crypto, even though it’s an overall negative-sum for humanity.”

“According to analysts at JPMorgan, the bitcoin market could face severe liquidity shock if traders were to lose faith in tether (USDT).

If any issues arise that could affect the willingness or ability of both domestic and foreign investors to use USDT, the most likely result would be a severe liquidity shock to the broader cryptocurrency market, which could be amplified by its disproportionate impact on HFT [high-frequency trading]-style market makers which dominate the flow.

USDT’s market capitalization has increased from $4 billion to over $33 billion in the past 12 months [and] around 50%-60% of bitcoin traded was for USDT since 2019. Hence, a sudden loss of confidence in tether could end up triggering the crypto version of a bank run, destabilizing exchanges and causing a panic drop in bitcoin’s price.

The JPMorgan analysts did say, however, that they believe bitcoin is here to stay as an alternative currency.”

“BitMEX co-founder and former CEO Arthur Hayes has returned from exile with a post on the derivatives exchange’s official blog calling for a boycott of legacy platforms following the GameStop drama. Hayes urged retail traders trader to “opt-out” of the legacy financial system in favor of “Crypto Capital Markets”.

The game masters just didn’t like how the game was being played, so they jacked up margin to force a course correction.

The post did not provide any indication as to his current whereabouts, and did not address any of the accusations levied against BitMEX. However, he apparently has BitMEX’s permission to post on its official blog as he noted that he intends to post on a fortnightly basis.”

“Binance had a hiccup with its withdrawals for Ether (ETH) and all ERC-20 assets on Friday, with users being unable to access any of their Ethereum-based assets for about one hour. The community showed skepticism at such a [vague] explanation.

It would appear that the exchange would have no reason to actively undermine the Ethereum blockchain, but the lack of clear communication is letting speculation run wild. Curiously, Binance Coin (BNB) price spiked from $260 to a brief peak of $350 immediately after the pause was announced.

Whether it was simply scheduled maintenance or intentionally timed, the fact that any exchange can decide when someone is able to use their tokens with little to no warning is antithetical to the spirit of decentralization.”