đź”´Ethereum ETFs Delayed | This Week in Crypto – Mar 11, 2024 –

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Bitcoin hits an all time high, Ethereum fees skyrocket with memecoin mania, and is Tesla buying Bitcoin again? These stories and more, this week in crypto.

Bitcoin Hits All-time High

Bitcoin surged to all-time highs in a week of volatile trading; first on Tuesday by touching just over $69,200 before a sharp 10% decline. But by week’s end Bitcoin had recovered and then briefly surpassed $70,000 for the first time. Billions poured into Bitcoin ETFs, and the anticipation of the upcoming halving event continues to fuel investor excitement. Meanwhile, Ether hit $4,000 for the first time in over two years, propelled by increasing speculation regarding spot Ether ETFs.

Fees Soar on Memecoin Mania

Memecoin mania is back as Ethereum-based meme tokens like Pepe, Shiba Inu and Floki each more than doubled in price. Shiba Inu led the pack, with its market cap climbing to over $25 billion. Its growth is attributed to accelerated token burning and anticipated Shibarium network upgrades. The meme coin craze has driven Ethereum gas fees to a nearly 2-year high, causing challenges for transfers.

Fomo in Asia Fuels Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s recent surge has been predominantly fueled by Asian investors, particularly from South Korea, China, and Hong Kong, accounting for roughly 70% of trading volume. Asia accounted for 800 billion of the total $1.17 trillion in Bitcoin traded in February. The trend reveals a significant FOMO effect in the region, further evidenced by a 12-fold increase in “bitcoin” searches on the WeChat messaging app.

Ethereum ETFs Delayed

The US SEC has postponed decisions on two new crypto products. The decision on Ethereum ETF applications has been delayed, initiating a public comments period, where the agency seeks opinions on whether arguments supporting approved Bitcoin ETFs are applicable to Ethereum, and what potential manipulation risks may arise. The SEC also deferred its decision whether to allow exchanges to list and trade spot bitcoin ETF options.

BlackRock to Buy Bitcoin ETFs

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has recently updated its filing with the SEC, indicating its intention to purchase spot Bitcoin ETFs for its funds. The BlackRock Global Allocation Fund and Strategic Income Opportunities Fund aim to generate investment returns through equity, debt, money market securities and now, Bitcoin.

FTX Settled with BlockFi

Bankrupt firms BlockFi and FTX have announced an agreement to resolve their long-standing legal battle. FTX will pay $874 million to BlockFi, including a $185 million customer claim against FTX.com, and a $689 million claim against Alameda Research. The negotiated agreement is seen as a positive outcome, as mediation will reduce litigation expenses in BlockFi’s bankruptcy proceedings.

Spain Halts Worldcoin Project

Spain has halted the Worldcoin crypto project, co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, due to privacy concerns. The Spanish government’s data protection agency ordered Worldcoin, which provides WLD tokens in exchange for iris scans, to suspend activities in the country for three months, emphasizing the high risks to people’s rights posed by the processing of sensitive biometric data.

Is Tesla Buying Bitcoin Again?

Speculation surrounds Tesla’s Bitcoin holdings, as its BTC wallet currently holds about 11,509 bitcoins, which is about 1,800 more than it reported in its last earnings report. Some anticipate the announcement of a recent Bitcoin purchase during Tesla’s upcoming earnings call, while others consider the possibility of an accounting error. Tesla bought $1.5 billion in Bitcoin in February 2021, later selling 75% of its stack in 2022.

That’s what’s happened this week in crypto, see you next week.

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