Market update

Cointree Crypto Market Update - January 17th 2024

Market report for traders

🔮 BTC and altcoins

Over the last 7 days, Bitcoin ends at AU$65,758, dropping by -8.79% at the time of writing. Meanwhile, Ethereum ends at AU$3,949, moving +6.72% week-on-week. And in other altcoin movements, Arbitrum rises +15.06%, Cardano +1.70%, and Solana -4.58%.

🗞 What’s happening in the news?

Welcome back to our weekly crypto market update. We've got some exciting developments to kicking this year off, promising new avenues in the crypto space. Let's dive into the latest news and see what's shaping the world of digital assets.

In a groundbreaking but much anticipated move, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has officially approved the first regulated spot Bitcoin ETFs. This approval, coming after last week’s ‘mix-up’ on social media, marks a significant milestone. The launch of these ETFs saw a vibrant start, with BlackRock's iShares Bitcoin Trust leading the charge and Grayscale's Bitcoin Trust hitting record trading volumes. This development is a big deal because it opens up direct investment in Bitcoin's price without needing to directly purchase or manage the cryptocurrency.

So, what's the big fuss about ETFs, and why is Bitcoin's ETF so crucial?

An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is related to a mutual fund but trades on stock exchanges. ETFs have become popular in traditional finance due to their tax efficiency and lower costs. The SEC's move to approve Bitcoin ETFs is a significant nod to the legitimacy and potential of cryptocurrency within the broader financial landscape. It's expected to attract a new wave of buyers and advisors, integrating crypto more deeply into mainstream investment portfolios.

On another positive note, the stablecoin market has been witnessing a steady increase. In the past three months alone, the market cap has risen by $16 billion, indicating a growing interest and investment in the stability and utility that these digital assets offer. Stablecoins are often seen as the gateway for traditional finance entering the crypto world, and this uptrend could signify broader acceptance and usage within the crypto ecosystem.

As MilkRoad puts it, “Stablecoins are the casino chips of crypto. More stablecoins = more money people have to spend in the crypto casino.”

Switching gears to some tech news, Solana Mobile is set to release a second crypto smartphone. The first model, Saga, gained traction in the secondary market, with its value soaring due to limited supply and associated perks like BONK token allocations. The upcoming phone promises to retain core features like an integrated crypto wallet and specialized software but will come with updated hardware and at a more accessible price point. This development reflects the growing convergence of crypto and mainstream technology, illustrating how blockchain technology is increasingly becoming a part of everyday gadgets and applications.

As we step into 2024, these developments paint an exciting picture for the crypto world. The SEC's approval of Bitcoin ETFs is particularly significant, potentially heralding a new era of institutional investment in cryptocurrency.

📖 What we’ve been reading

X calls it quits on NFT profile pic “X has officially ended support for NFT-based profile pictures, reversing a feature introduced in January 2022 under the leadership of its crypto-enthusiast CEO, Elon Musk.” Read more

Wall Street CEO on Tether Controversy: 'They Have the Money’ “Tether's $95 billion stablecoin has been dogged by questions around whether it actually holds the assets it says are backing USDT.” Read more

BlackRock drops ‘boomer’ Bitcoin ETF ad as marketing blitz ramps up “While other spot Bitcoin ETF issuers use pop-culture references and flashy imagery, BlackRock has seemingly taken a more mature approach.” Read more

Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational purposes and does not constitute financial product advice. You should obtain independent advice from an Australian financial services licensee before making any financial decisions.

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