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Cryptocurrency News Weekly Roundup

Bitcoin ends the week above the $57k level even as the first digital NFT art piece was sold at Christie’s for over $69 million

Bitcoin ends the week above $57k

The leading cryptocurrency underperformed towards the end of February and at the start of this month. However, it bounced back this week, recovering most of its losses and nearly reaching its all-time high again.

Bitcoin’s price reached a weekly high of $57,000 and is slowly marching towards its all-time high of $58,300 again. The other leading cryptocurrencies are also performing excellently well at the moment. Ether is slowly approaching its all-time high of $2,000 and could reach it over the next few days.

Data from Bloomberg revealed that institutional investors are more inclined to Bitcoin over Gold. According to Bloomberg, the number of investors choosing Bitcoin over the precious metal has surged significantly lately. Bloomberg analyst Mike McGlone believes the rising demand for Bitcoin could indicate that the leading cryptocurrency is slowly taking over and could eventually replace Gold.

The rising demand for Bitcoin is affecting its availability. According to data from Blockchain analysis firm, CryptoQuant, BTC held on cryptocurrency exchanges is roughly 2.3 million as of 8 March. This came after crypto exchanges saw an outflow of over 61,000 bitcoins from their platforms in a single day.

This could be attributed to institutional investors buying the coins and storing them on a cold storage wallet. Most investors believe in the cryptocurrency’s long-term potential and are willing to hold it for the next few years.

Christie’s auction house sells digital art for $69 million

Famed British auction house Christie’s sold its first digital art piece earlier this week. The Beeple NFT was sold for $69.3 million, making it the most expensive digital art piece ever sold. It was the first time the centuries-old auction house sold a digital NFT. The event was also the first time Christie’s accepted Ethereum as payment for an artwork.

Digital NFT arts are becoming increasingly popular in the world. Thanks to blockchain technology, artists can claim ownership of their digital arts and get paid for them. Christie’s sale of the Beeple NFT and its adoption of cryptocurrencies could persuade other auction houses to make similar moves.

Ripple claims it never held an ICO

Ripple continued its legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The regulatory body had accused Ripple and some of its executives of selling unregistered securities in the form of XRP. The company and its executives have so far denied the allegations. This week, Ripple issued a statement denying that XRP is a security. Since it never held an ICO, the blockchain payment company said XRP could not be categorised as a security.

The blockchain company also settled its legal dispute with YouTube. Ripple sued YouTube over the video platform’s inability to enforce its policies, allowing the spread of XRP scams. YouTube and Ripple will now work together to eliminate XRP scams on the video platform.

Ripple was also in the news this week after it ended its partnership with MoneyGram. MoneyGram had worked with Ripple for nearly two years, joining forces on a project in the cross-border payments space.

Bitcoin ETF mania is rising

In the first decade of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency space lacked a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). This could be due to low institutional interest in the cryptocurrency, and the US SEC denied several ETF applications over the years.

However, Canada has already approved three Bitcoin ETFs in recent months. The Bitcoin ETFs are gaining traction as institutional investors use them to gain exposure to the leading cryptocurrency.

Grayscale’s recent job posts suggest the investment firm could be planning to launch a Bitcoin ETF soon. The company posted nine ETF-related jobs on its official website. The jobs are based in the United States, further fueling speculations that Grayscale could launch its Bitcoin ETF in the country.

The ETF mania continued as South-East Asia saw its first insured Bitcoin ETF launch earlier this week. The Bitcoin ETF was launched in Malaysia as demand for cryptocurrencies from institutions increases.

The ETF, named BCMG Genesis Bitcoin Fund-I (BGBF-I), will also provide investors with insurance, therefore, acting as a safety net for investors who decide to invest in the leading cryptocurrency.

JPMorgan is upping its cryptocurrency game

JPMorgan Chase is making moves to become one of the leading banks with a cryptocurrency presence. Earlier this week, JPMorgan announced it was launching a debt instrument basket of 11 stocks, granting investors exposure to the crypto market.

The bank made this known in a form provided to the SEC. The basket would be called the JPMorgan Cryptocurrency Exposure Basket. The basket itself wouldn’t invest in cryptocurrency companies but will invest in the market through the listed companies’ proxy.

The investment bank is also looking for blockchain experts as it beefs up JPM Coin to provide effective payment services. The bank currently has 34 open blockchain job positions on its website.

Goldman Sachs recording Bitcoin demand from clients

The president and COO of Goldman Sachs revealed that the investment bank sees rising demand for Bitcoin from its clients. John Waldron said Goldman Sachs’s entry into the cryptocurrency space is a matter of when and not if. The investment bank said it would continue to evaluate the market.

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