It's all good and up🔆
Bitcoin hits $40K like a boss, and Altcoins follow the lead. Binance cleans up its act. Nayib Bukele steps down only to come back in 2024. Ethereum gas fee is up, and Kingship Island is in Roblox.
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Bitcoin has reached another milestone.
It’s so over the $40K mark - a level not seen since April 2022.
It even hit $42k
Bitcoin's value climbed by 15% in the past month and more than doubled in value compared to this time last year.
At the beginning of January, it was trading at less than $17,000 per coin. It's now up by almost 150%.
Ethereum Joins the Upswing: Ethereum is also on the rise, surpassing $2,200 for the first time since May 2022.
Altcoin Performance: Dogecoin (DOGE) saw a 6.6% increase, Ripple (XRP) experienced a 3% rise, and Solana (SOL) saw a 1.5% increase in price.
NFT Projects Shine: Several popular NFT projects have witnessed substantial price surges over the weekend.
Assets in projects like Pudgy Penguins, DeGods, and Azuki have recorded impressive double-digit percentage gains in just 24 hours.
Crypto exchanges liquidated approximately $220 million worth of crypto perpetual futures positions over the weekend. About 85% of these liquidations were bullish long positions.
Over $120 million worth of bitcoin short positions (bets against price rises) were liquidated since Friday.
Traders liquidated $2.3 million in DOGE, $1.38 million in XRP, and $4.6 million in SOL.
This event marked the second-largest amount of short liquidations in a single day since mid-November.
Open interest in the market grew by 6% on Monday as traders leveraged their positions, anticipating further price volatility.
BitMEX, a major crypto exchange, witnessed a 90% increase in open interest within hours, surging from $200 million to $420 million on Saturday.
What Fuels the Rally
The ETFs: The renewed optimism in the cryptocurrency market is largely attributed to the potential approval of a Bitcoin spot ETF in the United States.
The tightening: The Federal Reserve appears to be easing up on fiscal tightening, which had previously discouraged investors from "risk-on" assets like equities and crypto.
The halving: The next Bitcoin halving is also on the cards, which will reduce miner rewards and increase scarcity, potentially boosting valuations.
The Diversification Factor
Investors are increasingly looking for effective diversification options. Bitcoin, with its historically low correlation to traditional assets, offers an attractive option for those seeking diversification.
James Butterfill, head of research at CoinShares, feels that Bitcoin's diversification benefits could drive its price higher as more investors recognise its value.
"The increasing correlation between bonds and equities—now at a record high of 42%, excluding the COVID-19 period—is prompting a search for effective diversification among investors. Bitcoin has proven to offer significantly greater diversification compared to other asset classes."
But is it Alt-season already? Read this:
Binance's new CEO, Richard Teng.
Binance is now "totally different."
Richard Teng, sat down for an interview to discuss the crypto exchange's future after a groundbreaking $4.3 billion settlement with US authorities.
Here's what he had to say
On Compliance Transformation: Teng emphasized that Binance's early compliance issues are a thing of the past.
"The gaps in compliance that existed during Binance's early days have been addressed, and the crypto exchange is now 'totally different.'"
CZ's Role: Teng clarified that as part of the settlement, Binance founder Changpeng 'CZ' Zhao could no longer be involved in the company's day-to-day operations.
Overcast Conditions Lifting: Teng believes that the recent $4.3 billion settlement with the US Justice Department has helped clear the regulatory cloud hovering over Binance.
He sees a brighter future ahead.
"I'm taking the baton and pushing ahead with our growth agenda while working very closely with global regulators."
Binance's Early Compliance Challenges: Teng acknowledged that during Binance's rapid growth from 2017 onwards, there were compliance gaps that resulted in mistakes and breaches.
Scrutiny by US Agencies
"Binance is now left to shoulder the ongoing cost and scrutiny that its settlement with U.S. authorities involves."
Importantly, there were no allegations of misappropriation of user funds.
“What I can do is bring my own values and expertise to the table in a maturing company. Six years ago, compared to now, Binance is totally different."
TTD El Salvador 🇸🇻
We all liked Nayib Bukele.
He is the man who put El Salvador on the crypto map, has stepped down as President.
On December 1, Bukele officially stepped down.
Why this move? Bukele's resignation is part of his strategy for the upcoming 2024 re-election campaign.
Acting President: Claudia Rodríguez de Guevara (until June 2024).
During his presidency, Bukele achieved fame for reducing El Salvador's high homicide rate and advocating for Bitcoin as legal tender.
But also allegations of human rights abuses in the fight against gang activity.
Reports of "mass detentions" and mistreatment in the crackdown on gang activity drew international attention and condemnation.
Before 2021, presidents in El Salvador had to wait a decade before seeking re-election. However, a Supreme Court ruling altered this, enabling Bukele's re-election bid in 2024.
Jenny Johnson, the president and CEO of Franklin Templeton, discussed Bitcoin ETFs, investing in cryptocurrency, and how her firm is utilising blockchain technology👇🏻
TTD NFTs 🐝
Bored Apes Set Sail in Roblox
Kingship Island just arrived in Roblox.
This interactive world, brought to life by Universal Music Group's label 10:22PM, features the iconic Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT avatars forming a supergroup known as Kingship.
What's in the Kingship Islands game? Well, for the first six weeks, gamers can score free in-game items and avatar emotes.
Animated avatar accessories and Kingship-themed emotes, using Roblox's facial animation technology, are available for purchase in the in-game shop and the Roblox Marketplace.
Holders of the Kingship Key Card, an Ethereum NFT pass, gain special access to content and experiences related to the band, including exclusive Roblox badges and entry to the Floating Villa.
Buterin Cards: Fueling Ethereum Gas Fees
Ethereum gas fees surged due to an NFT project celebrating Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum's co-founder.
The Buterin Cards: This NFT project plans to mint 2,015 NFTs, each paying tribute to Vitalik Buterin. What sets it apart is its use of "JPEG mining." Unlike typical NFTs, which store metadata on-chain, Buterin Cards directly upload image data onto Ethereum.
Gas Guzzler: Buterin Cards became Ethereum's top gas consumer, accounting for 13.1% of total gas units in a three-hour period.
It temporarily outpaced Uniswap and Tether in gas usage, causing a spike in transaction fees, totalling 318.31 ETH ($665,670) in 24 hours.
Tiger Cuts Down?
Investment firm Tiger Global has reportedly marked down its stakes in BAYC and NFT marketplace OpenSea.
The company reduced its stakes in BAYC by 69% and in OpenSea by 94%.
Tiger Global has been actively investing in the crypto space, including blockchain security and privacy-focused projects. In 2021, it co-led a funding round for CertiK and participated in a Series B investment round for Aleo.
Tiger Global also invested in the layer-2 network Polygon in 2022.
TTD Circle ⭕
USDC issuer Circle has responded to allegations that it financed Hamas and illicit actors, including Tron founder Justin Sun.
In the letter, Circle's Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Policy, Dante Disparte, stated unequivocally that "Circle does not 'bank' Justin Sun" and clarified that neither Justin Sun nor any entity under his control, such as the TRON Foundation or Huobi Global, has accounts with Circle.
This is the allegation by Bittrace, a blockchain analytics firm:
Low USDC Transactions in Alleged Terrorist Wallets
Public blockchain data show that out of $93 million in digital assets held by wallets identified by the Israeli government, only $160 was transferred in USDC among those wallets, and none of it was acquired from Circle.
Neither Justin Sun nor his entities have been officially sanctioned by U.S. authorities.
TTD Surfer 🏄
South Africa has reviewed 128 applications from crypto service asset providers and plans to discuss 36 of them in December.
The Arbitrum DAO has approved a $23.54 million one-time “backfund” to support 26 projects that missed out on its initial round of grant funding.
Blockchain developer Mantle has launched a liquid staking protocol on the Ethereum mainnet.
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