Countdown to Bitcoin ETFs

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    Bitcoin starts the year with a boost, Michael Saylor sells stock to buy more Bitcoin and one blockchain is about to buy a memecoin?!  These stories and more, this week in crypto.

     

    Strong Start for Bitcoin in 2024

    Bitcoin started the new year on an impressive rise, amid optimism for anticipated ETF approvals, a higher risk appetite driven by rate cuts, and the halving quickly approaching. BTC reached a 21-month peak of just below $46000 on Tuesday, before pulling back a bit. Bitcoin closed out the year with a gain of 156% in its strongest yearly performance since 2020.

    Countdown to U.S. Spot Bitcoin ETFs

    U.S. investment firms, stock exchanges, and the SEC finalized applications for spot bitcoin ETFs, with the anticipation from many that they are securing regulatory approval. The SEC commissioners are expected to vote on the filings this week, as January 10 is the deadline for approval for ARK Invest and 21Shares products. However, sources emphasized the confidentiality of ongoing talks.

    Goldman Sachs Bets on Bitcoin ETFs

    After J.P. Morgan and Jane Street, another leading investment bank, Goldman Sachs is in talks to become an authorized participant for spot bitcoin ETFs, for institutions like BlackRock and Grayscale. Authorized participants have the right to create and redeem shares of a spot Bitcoin ETF, a product for which 14 asset managers are awaiting SEC approval.

    Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum Vision

    Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin unveiled Ethereum’s 2024 roadmap, highlighting six core aspects. The Merge, which integrated the proof-of-stake consensus, remains the key focus with its simplicity and durability. Additionally, Buterin wants to bring back the original idea of the cypherpunk revolution for the blockchain with more privacy solutions.

    Bankrupt Lender Pivots to Bitcoin Mining

    A U.S. bankruptcy judge gave a green light for Celsius Network’s move into Bitcoin mining, allowing for a shift from their previously approved bankruptcy strategy. Celsius, one of several crypto lenders going bankrupt in 2022, had to alter its plans after the SEC rejected the initial proposal. The judge ruled that the approved bankruptcy plan from November was flexible enough to accommodate for the transition to Bitcoin mining as a backup strategy.

    Saylor Sells MicroSrtategy Shares for Bitcoin

    MicroStrategy’s co-founder, Michael Saylor, intends to sell $216 million in company stock options, and use the proceeds to buy more Bitcoin for his personal holdings. Saylor plans to exercise and sell 5,000 shares daily from January 2nd through April 25th, aiming to address personal commitments and increase his Bitcoin holdings before his stock options expire.

    Avalanche Foundation Considers Memecoins

    The Avalanche Foundation is considering buying memecoins in its ‘Culture Catalyst’ initiative. Inspired by recent token surges on Solana, like BONK and Dogwifhat, the idea is to support internet culture-inspiring coins that go beyond utility assets. The move aligns with the Foundation’s commitment to diversifying its portfolio to encompass NFTs, RWAs, and various crypto assets; fostering broader engagement in the Avalanche ecosystem.

    Bitcoin’s 15th Anniversary

    15 years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto mined Bitcoin’s genesis block, marking the start of the cryptocurrency era. Celebrated annually on January 3rd, this milestone reflects Bitcoin’s profound impact on finance. After 15 years, BTC’s market cap sits at nearly $900 billion, and has spawned a $1.8 trillion crypto ecosystem, reshaping digital assets and global financial markets.

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

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