Bitcoin (BTC) crossed $48,000 again as part of a sustained week-long uptrend. At last check on Sunday, February 11, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was trading at $48,067.30.
Solana (SOL), meanwhile, is still in the spotlight after recording its first network outage of the year. And MicroStrategy revealed that it purchased an additional 850 BTC. Here’s our coverage from last week:
Solana records 5-hour outage
- Solana experienced a network outage on February 6 around 10:00 UTC.
- The outage, Solana’s first in more than a year, shook investor confidence at a time when the broader market was in an uptrend. SOL collapsed 4% amid an expected crisis, but market participants praised its resilience, given the circumstances.
- Network engineers and validators across the ecosystem mobilized to solve the performance problem as blockchain disrupted transaction processing. After five hours, the network finally recovered from this interruption.
Bitcoin exceeds $48,000
- Despite the Solana network outage, SOL gained massively this week, and its bullish price performance can be attributed to Bitcoin’s resurgence, as the top crypto saw impressive increases during the week.
- Bitcoin started the week with a favorable outlook amid bullish updates, one of which revealed that the token recorded a cumulative monthly trading volume of $1.21 trillion for January 2024, its highest monthly volume highest since September 2022.
- Amid increasing demand, the asset, which started the week at the $42,000 level, crossed several psychological resistance points during a rally that allowed it to record six consecutive weeks of gains intraday.
- BTC eventually reclaimed the price from $47,000 on February 9, triggering a bullish market reaction that led to a massive price rally for other cryptocurrencies. The token once again surpassed $48,000 and sealed a spot above the price level, currently hovering at $48,067.30.
MicroStrategy adds to its BTC reserve
- During Bitcoin’s uptrend, Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy revealed on February 6 that they had increased their BTC holdings again. According to the disclosure, MicroStrategy purchased an additional 850 BTC tokens last month at a total cost of $37.2 million.
- Interestingly, at the current Bitcoin price, the assets are now worth over $41 million, reflecting an unrealized profit of $3.8 million from January purchases alone. Following the latest addition, the Tysons, Virginia-based company now holds 190,000 BTC, currently valued at $9.18 billion.
- Saylor, owner and executive chairman of MicroStrategy, recently sold 5,000 shares of the company, according to a recent SEC filing. Over the past year, he sold a total of 120,000 shares and made no purchases of the company’s stock.
Bitcoin ETF Spot Product Updates
- The burgeoning Bitcoin ETF market in the United States also made headlines this week. Reports have emerged that South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) is seeking to learn from the US approach to screening Bitcoin ETF products.
- FSS chief Lee Bokhyun plans to meet Gary Gensler, chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These plans are part of a broader initiative to implement appropriate regulation for Korea’s digital assets sector.
- Additionally, the efforts also involve the planned implementation of the Virtual Asset User Protection Act on July 19 by the Financial Services Commission of South Korea.
- Meanwhile, Bitcoin spot ETFs in the United States continued to hit major milestones this week. Notably, BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) has slipped into the top 5 US ETPs with the largest inflows.
- Additionally, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas revealed that BlackRock’s IBIT and Fidelity’s FBTC had the best initial 30-day returns of any ETF in the United States over the past 30 years.
- Despite the impressive inflows these investment products have seen in their first month of launch, Steven McClurg, CIO of Valkyrie, believes that some of them will not stand the test of time. Speaking in an interview this week, McClurg predicted those products would be reduced to eight or seven.
The United States struggles to find clarity
- Meanwhile, regulatory struggles in the United States persisted this week. In the interest of clarity, the US SEC has adopted a set of two new rules that would require liquidity providers on defi protocols to register with the SEC.
- According to the regulatory agency, these rules would apply to liquidity providers that trade assets considered to be securities. However, this would only affect entities with assets worth more than $50 million. The set of rules has drawn negative reactions.
- US lawmakers have sent a letter to Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury, responding to her demand for stricter regulations for the crypto industry. Members of Congress have drawn attention to the limitations of the Howey test for the nascent industry.
- In an interview on February 7, Maxine Waters, a member of the United States House of Representatives, revealed that the country’s lawmakers are moving closer to a consensus regarding the regulation of stablecoins in the country.
Genesis settles with New York Attorney General
- Bankrupt crypto lending company Genesis has reached a settlement with New York Attorney General Letitia James in the case involving customer losses in Gemini’s Earn program.
- Under the deal, customers of the now-defunct Cryptocurrency Earnings Program would receive settlement for their losses. Genesis would also settle its creditors. These conditions would be approved by a bankruptcy judge.
- Shortly after the terms of the settlement were disclosed, the New York attorney general expanded the lawsuit against Genesis and its parent company Digital Currency Group to $3 billion. The original lawsuit accused the companies of fraud totaling $1 billion.
Global Regulatory Affairs
- The global stage has also witnessed a resurgence in regulatory efforts and enforcement measures. Reports on February 7 confirmed that Uzbekistan would fine Binance for operating in the country without a license. The fine amounts to 102 million soms, or a value of $8,200.
- Interestingly, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has warned consumers of a crypto-focused scam scheme linked to major crypto exchange MEXC. Police also blocked the MEXC website in the region.
Craig Wright against COPA
- The lawsuit between Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed founder of Bitcoin, and the non-profit crypto organization Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), began this week.
- On the second day of the court proceedings, COPA alleged that Wright had falsified the original Bitcoin document he presented to the court. According to the organization, the digits 08 in the year “2008” were noticeably smaller than the digits 20. Wright denied falsifying the document.
- Meanwhile, on the third day of the trial, Wright presented a second document relating to Bitcoin Cash from 2008, as he persisted in proving that he was Satoshi Nakamoto. The metadata in this document appeared authentic.
- COPA presented several pieces of evidence to prove that several documents presented by Wright were false. On the fourth day, Wright admitted that he had indeed falsified some documents, but blamed other people for the forgery.