eToro: a historic week in the crypto markets with the approval of a bitcoin spot ETF by the SEC on Wednesday, ending a saga that has been ongoing for a decade

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Simon Peters, cryptoasset market analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro

Bucharest, January 16, 2024# RBJSimon Peters, cryptoasset market analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro, brings us the latest crypto market insights and notable stories with a forward look at what’s coming up this week for investors.

Bitcoin spot ETFs approved

It was a historic week in the crypto markets with the approval of a bitcoin spot ETF by the SEC on Wednesday, ending a saga that has been ongoing for a decade.

In terms of the bitcoin price action, it proved to be volatile. We saw the $49,000 price level tested for the first time in two years on the first day of the spot ETFs trading (Thursday), before then crashing lower to $42,000 where it finished the week.

Currently bitcoin is trading at $42,400 on the eToro platform, however with the rails now in place for institutional investors to now get bitcoin exposure through a regulated vehicle, we could be set for an explosive 2024.

Interestingly ether was a better performing asset following the SEC announcement and is currently up 7% on bitcoin (as indicated by the ETHBTC trading pair) since the ETF approvals. Perhaps a sign that the market thinks this could be the next crypto to get a spot ETF application approved given it is the second largest cryptoasset by market cap and ethereum futures ETFs are already approved and available.

Week ahead

While we’re in for a quieter week in the world of crypto – a much-needed breather some might argue – with the bitcoin spot ETF applications now approved, attention will now be turning towards the upcoming block reward halving (currently scheduled to occur in 97 days on 22nd April 2024).

Historically the halving (an event built into the design of bitcoin, which decreases the mining reward by 50%) has marked the start of the next bitcoin bull market. The reward per block will drop from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC, and the annual bitcoin inflation rate will go from around 1.7% to around 0.85%, below 1% for the first time.

Eye-catching stories

Stablecoin Issuer Circle Internet Files for IPO

Circle, the company behind the USDC stablecoin has filed for IPO. USDC is currently the second largest stablecoin in the crypto ecosystem with a market cap of about $25 billion.

The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. The IPO is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process subject to market and other conditions.

Bitcoin hashrate reaches record high following spot ETF approval

The Bitcoin hashrate, which is a measure of the total computational power of the Bitcoin network) reached an all-time high of 630 EH/s (630 quintillion hashes per second) on 11th January following the SEC’s long-awaited announcement.

Since the Chinese mining crackdown in mid-2021, Bitcoin’s hashrate has been steadily increasing irrespective of the market sentiment, cementing itself as the most secure cryptocurrency network, and arguably one of the most secure computer networks in general.

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eToro is a trading and investment platform that empowers people to grow their knowledge and wealth as part of a global community of investors. eToro was founded in 2007 with the vision of opening up the global markets so that everyone can trade and invest in a simple and transparent way. Today, eToro is a global community of more than 33 million registered users who share their investment strategies; and anyone can follow the approaches of those who have been the most successful. Due to the simplicity of the platform users can easily buy, hold and sell assets, monitor their portfolio in real time, and transact whenever they want.

Disclaimer
This communication is for information and education purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice, a personal recommendation, or an offer of, or solicitation to buy or sell, any financial instruments. This material has been prepared without taking into account any particular recipient’s investment objectives or financial situation, and has not been prepared in accordance with the legal and regulatory requirements to promote independent research. Any references to past or future performance of a financial instrument, index or a packaged investment product are not, and should not be taken as, a reliable indicator of future results. eToro makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication.

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