Bitcoin (BTC) reached another milestone this week as it surpassed $48,000, maintaining a steady uptrend. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was last seen trading at $48,067.30 on Sunday, Feb. 11.
Meanwhile, Solana (SOL) continues to make headlines after experiencing its first network outage of the year. Additionally, MicroStrategy announced its purchase of an additional 850 BTC. Here’s a recap of the top stories from the past week:
Solana Network Experiences 5-Hour Outage
- On Feb. 6 at around 10:00 UTC, Solana suffered a network disruption, its first in over a year.
- The outage caused a dip in investor sentiment, but SOL showed resilience, only dropping 4% in a market that was otherwise trending upward.
- Network engineers and validators worked to address the issue, and after five hours, the network was fully restored.
Bitcoin Surpasses $48,000
- Despite the Solana outage, SOL saw significant gains this week, thanks to Bitcoin’s resurgence as the leading cryptocurrency saw impressive price surges.
- At the start of the week, Bitcoin received positive updates, including a record monthly trade volume of $1.21 trillion in January 2024, its highest since September 2022.
- With increasing demand, Bitcoin broke through multiple psychological resistance levels and saw six consecutive weeks of intraday gains.
- On Feb. 9, BTC reclaimed the $47,000 level and continued to surge, eventually reaching $48,000, where it remains at the time of writing.
MicroStrategy Adds 850 BTC to Its Holdings
- During Bitcoin’s uptrend, MicroStrategy, led by CEO Michael Saylor, announced the purchase of an additional 850 BTC in January.
- With Bitcoin’s current price, these assets are now worth over $41 million, resulting in an unrealized profit of $3.8 million for the January purchases alone.
- Following this addition, MicroStrategy now holds 190,000 BTC, valued at $9.18 billion.
- Saylor recently sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock, according to an SEC filing, but has not made any purchases of the stock in the past year.
Updates on US Spot Bitcoin ETFs
- The nascent US spot Bitcoin ETF market made headlines this week as the country’s regulators aim to follow the approach taken by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
- Lee Bokhyun, chief of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) of South Korea, plans to meet with SEC chairperson Gary Gensler to implement proper regulations for the Korean digital asset industry.
- Meanwhile, spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US continue to make significant strides, with BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) now among the top 5 ETPs in the country with the highest capital inflows.
- Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas noted that BlackRock’s IBIT and Fidelity’s FBTC had the best initial 30-day performances for any ETF in the US over the past 30 years.
- However, Valkyrie’s CIO Steven McClurg predicts that some of these products will not stand the test of time, expecting the market to reduce to eight or seven players.
US Struggles to Find Clarity on Crypto Regulation
- In the US, regulatory challenges continue to persist as the SEC adopts two new rules that would require liquidity providers on defi protocols to register with the agency.
- However, these rules would only apply to entities with over $50 million in assets dealing with securities, and it has received backlash.
- Lawmakers in the US also responded to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s call for stricter regulations for the crypto industry, highlighting the limitations of the Howey Test for this evolving sector.
- In an interview, US House of Representatives member Maxine Waters revealed that lawmakers are closer to reaching a consensus on the regulation of stablecoins in the country.
Genesis Settles with NY Attorney General
- Bankrupt crypto lending firm Genesis reached a settlement with New York Attorney General Letitia James over customer losses in Gemini’s Earn program.
- Customers of the now-defunct program will receive a settlement for their losses, and Genesis will settle its creditors, with the terms to be approved by a bankruptcy judge.
- Following this agreement, the NY Attorney General extended the lawsuit against Genesis and its parent company Digital Currency Group to $3 billion, accusing them of $1 billion in fraud.
Global Regulatory Developments
- Around the world, there have been regulatory efforts and enforcement actions in the crypto space.
- Uzbekistan has fined Binance for operating in the country without a license, and the SFC of Hong Kong has warned consumers of a crypto scam scheme connected to MEXC, leading to the police blocking the exchange’s website in the region.
Craig Wright vs COPA
- The legal battle between Craig Wright, who claims to be the creator of Bitcoin, and the non-profit organization Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) began this week.
- On the second day of the trial, COPA alleged that Wright had forged a document related to Bitcoin’s origins, pointing out discrepancies in the numbers.
- Wright denied these claims but presented a second document relating to Bitcoin Cash from 2008, with metadata that appeared genuine.
- However, COPA presented evidence that multiple documents presented by Wright were forged, with Wright eventually admitting to some but placing the blame on others.