Those spot BTC ETFs may have launched but there are still plenty more fund-related developments taking place.
But before we look at that, let’s check in on what’s happening with Elon Musk’s plans for payments on X, and why they’re affecting the price of Doge.
Here’s what’s in today’s issue:
- Sam shares his thoughts on Doge mooning because of X Payments account, more BTC ETF news, a Trezor phishing attack risk & Coinbase receiving a 70% chance of beating the SEC.
- This week on chain.
- This week’s trending coins by Rebecca.
This is positioned to be the top perpetual DEX on both opBNB and the Manta network.
Start trading today to earn points towards the airdrop. Sign up with this referral link and enjoy a 15% fee rebate on all trades.
X Payments Twitter Account Sets Off Dog Coin Speculation
Remember when Doge would sometimes get a price pump thanks to Elon Musk tweeting anything that referenced the number one dog coin?
Those unpredictable events kept crypto degens on their toes, but now that Elon actually owns Twitter (I mean X) Doge can get sent in other ways, as on Saturday, when the official X Payments account went live.
X Payments didn’t actually post anything, but it exists, and that was enough to set off a Doge price spike, and fellow dog coin Floki followed the trend too.
Yes, for all the serious finance talk around ETFs and institutional crypto adoption, you can still get a decent pump on a dog coin because of a minor event on Twitter.
But on the other hand, maybe it wasn’t just a minor event…
Just to clarify, the reason crypto traders were interested in the Payments account activation is because of Elon’s plans to turn X into what gets called an everything app, in which payment services–and other finance-related activities–will be fully integrated.
There’s no guarantee that any future in-app payment mechanisms have to include crypto, but considering Elon’s Tesla-related BTC and Doge activity, and his apparent fondness for Doge in particular–and if the everything in everything app actually means, well, everything–then it’s fair to speculate that crypto may be a part of X’s future payment capacities.
But what do you think, will Elon’s plans to turn X into a payments platform include the use of crypto? And if so, will Doge in particular play a role? As always, reply to this email and let us know your takes.
BTC ETFs: Options Next?
If you thought ETF talk would ease off now that the spot BTC ETFs are actually operating, then think again, because next up is news that BlackRock is planning to offer options on its new BTC product.
To make this happen, Nasdaq has filed for approval with the SEC to list these options.
In response, the SEC has opened a comment period, and according to analyst James Seyffart, the SEC appears to be moving fast and could in theory grant approval before the end of February (if it wanted to, but then again, it’s the SEC, so who knows.)
The Cboe has also filed a similar options-trading application for the six BTC ETFs it lists, and don’t forget that we also have the potential for spot ETH ETFs to launch later this year, so all in all, 2024 could be a year in which crypto-related TradFi products feature heavily.
Hong Kong BTC ETFs Incoming
Sticking with the TradFi/crypto crossover, with the intense concentration on BTC ETFs in the United States, it’s sometimes overlooked that other regions–including Canada and Australia–have already for some time allowed similar investment products (maybe these countries were quicker to launch because they don’t have Gary Gensler to contend with.)
America is a bigger market, so it’s a bigger deal when BTC gets an official seal of approval there, but over in Asia, it’s Hong Kong that has recently looked like one of the most crypto-friendly areas, and now the Special Administrative Region of China is also keen to get its own spot BTC ETFs up and running.
Leading the charge is a financial services company called Venture Smart Financial Holdings, which is aiming to have its spot BTC ETF operating before the end of Q1 this year, with a target of hitting $500 billion in AUM by the end of 2024.
On top of that, it’s reported that a further ten or more firms are working on plans to launch similar products, so it looks like the ETF frenzy has only just started and is taking place on a global scale.
Trezor Phishing Attack Risk
Hardware wallet maker Trezor has posted a warning that up to 66,000 of its users may be vulnerable to phishing attacks. The firm stated that they’re investigating a vulnerability relating to,
“A security incident that occurred on January 17th, 2024, where there was unauthorized access to the third-party support ticketing portal we use.”
Trezor also clarified that the incident,
“Has implications for customers who have interacted with Trezor Support since December 2021.”
While this certainly doesn’t look good for Trezor and its affected users, the company made clear that this is not an on-chain compromise. However, it appears that some Trezor users have been sent emails by the attackers attempting to gather user seed phrases, with Trezor stating that despite this, no funds have been compromised and all devices remain secure.
This is another reminder to be on very high alert at all times in crypto, and to never, ever give out your seed phrase. As Trezor emphasized due to this event,
“It’s crucial to remember that Trezor will never ask for your recovery seed, over email, customer support, or any form of communication.”
Coinbase Given 70% Chance of Beating SEC
In yet more crypto courtroom drama involving the SEC, Coinbase is currently engaged in a hearing against the regulatory agency, with the SEC asserting–as always–that Coinbase is offering securities investments to customers (through staking crypto assets on behalf of users), and that the Coinbase platform is an unregistered broker.
Extract from Elliot Stein
Coinbase, as you’d expect, is arguing against all this, and it was notable when Bloomberg’s senior litigation analyst Elliot Stein declared after attending the hearing that he now gives Coinbase a 70% chance of winning, due to the crypto exchange having offered a better definition of what an investment contract actually is.
Yet again then, it looks like the SEC’s overblown crusade to assert misplaced control over the entire crypto industry is being put in its place by the courts.
With all the recent hype around ETFs and institutions, you might wonder who is now in possession of all the coins.
Are MicroStrategy and various asset management firms now the main BTC holders? Well, not really. In fact, a combination of companies, funds, governments, and DeFi protocols have a little over 2.1 million BTC–or 10.33% of future total supply–locked up, leaving the vast majority of coins in the wallets of individual holders.
This doesn’t mean that those ETFs haven’t still been hoovering up a decent chunk though, as BlackRock and Fidelity’s products both surpassed $1 billion of inflows last week, while all spot ETFs combined, except GBTC which is seeing outflow, now hold around $4 billion in assets under management.
And there’s striking long-term data when it comes to the robustness of the Bitcoin network too, as hash rate hit a new high in 2024 of over 500 exahashes a second.
We can also see that at around the time of maximum ETF anticipation, significant profit-taking took place, which will have affected the market, although it’s not a shock that traders will have opted to lock in some profits after a prolonged upwards trend and around a major news event.
When it comes to Ethereum, the trend continues to be towards greater amounts of ETH being staked and less kept on exchanges, with the data now showing 24% staked compared to 11% on exchanges.
This looks like it has the makings of a possible future supply squeeze, as there is–at the moment–strong conviction among ETH holders and no apparent desire to unstake.
Stablecoins are also keeping on along the trajectory they started last October, with the overall stables market cap continuing to grow and now reaching $128 billion after a most recent monthly inflow of $4.17 billion.
And if we zoom in on stablecoin transfer volumes across different chains, we can find Solana out at the top on $23.05 billion, with Ethereum pushed into second place, and Tron coming in third. We should also take note of Layer 2s though, especially with Arbitrum breaking through the $1 billion mark.
In the DeFi sector, we can focus in on developer activity to get a sense of which protocols are busy and attracting builders, and in that case (with activity numbers measured according to events on GitHub), it’s the Cosmos-based Osmosis DEX that is way out at the top, with dYdX and Radix looking healthily active in second and third.
If you’re interested in prediction markets and crypto, you might have used decentralized platform Polymarket, which is currently enjoying its biggest month so far in terms of volume, and its third highest month for new users (with January, of course, still not over.)
In the world of NFTs, Ethereum had been losing out on its dominance recently, with Bitcoin and Solana pulling ahead, but the latest figures show Ethereum back on top when it comes to NFT trade volume by chain.
However, it’s apparent that this is not due to a surge in Ethereum NFT activity, but rather, a decline in NFT (or Ordinals) volume on Bitcoin.
By the way, we sometimes hear crypto-skeptics arguing that blockchains are a haven for criminal activity, but the data simply doesn’t back up such assertions, as a recent report found that in 2023, a mere 0.34% of crypto transaction volume was illicit transactions.
That’s a tiny slice, and you can bet that the share of fiat money used in crime puts that fraction in the shade.
Here are my key takeaways from the trends this week and there have been launches, integrations, mishaps, and new records.
- Pyth Network is an oracle network that’s launched its MANTA/USD price feed on more than 50 blockchains. Pyth trading volume jumped from $11.6 billion in November to $22.7 billion in December.
- Ondo Finance is a financial platform focusing on Real World Assets (RWA) that’s launched its ONDO token across the major crypto exchanges and has hit $1.66 billion in market cap.
- Manta Network is a modular ecosystem for zk apps that’s launched its MANTA token. Shortly after launch the network suffered a DDoS attack causing delays to withdrawals and impacted gas fees.
- Solidus Ai Tech is a platform giving the public sector access to AI solutions that’s launched Polygon’s Aether Games on AITech pad.
- Ronin is an EVM blockchain for gaming that’s expanded its gaming wallet to support ETH, MATIC and BNB Chain. Ronin-powered project Pixels Online also launched its play-to-airdrop.
- Ethereum pushed its Dencun upgrade live on the Goerli testnet but a software bug delayed the launch by 4 hours. Ethereum’s correlation to Bitcoin has dropped to its lowest level since 2021.
- Myro is a Solana-based memecoin that’s skyrocketed 50% in a day and over 130% in a week making a new all-time high. Myro has seen 50x gains since November which means traders could be about to move on to the next token.
- Dogecoin is a memecoin that’s risen 9% on the speculation that Elon Musk’s new X payments company will integrate Dogecoin as a payment method.
- Xai is a Layer-3 blockchain created for AAA gaming that’s announced Crypto Unicorns will be migrating over to the chain.
- Bitcoin has seen BlackRock and Fidelity’s spot ETFs each hit $1 billion in assets after a week whilst GBTC has lost $4.87 billion. Bitcoin’s hash rate has also dropped 34% after miners have been switching off in Texas due to freezing temperatures.
- Injective is an L1 blockchain and DEX protocol that’s introduced gas fee compression making its transaction costs the lowest across the entire crypto market.
- Celestia is a modular data availability network that’s seen the Nitrogen testnet go live on Arbitrum built using Celestia’s technology.
- Solana is a Layer-1 blockchain that’s seen its stablecoin transfer volume hit a new monthly record of $300 billion. Solana has also seen renewed interest in memecoins with its WIF token rising by 50% in 24 hours.
- Connext is a protocol allowing apps to live on any chain that’s seen over 8,000 users participate in the X1’s testnet tour.
- Sui is a Layer-1 blockchain that’s overtaken Bitcoin and Aptos in total-value locked (TVL) to become the 13th largest DeFi network.
Thank you so much for your support, and I truly hope that today’s issue will give you insights needed to help you master your wealth.
If you are reading this it means you are on the free version of the Wealth Mastery Investor Report, which is great for news and tips on the crypto markets.
If you really want to take advantage of fastest growing asset class EVER, I highly recommend that you check out my Altcoin course: Mastering Altcoin Investing
In this course we’ll teach you all about how to spot, choose and acquire the winning altcoins of the upcoming bull market.
Learn how to build your portfolio so that growth is ensured and risk is mitigated. Let me help you build a strategy that’ll change your life forever in the upcoming bull run.
See you next time!
Lark and the Wealth Mastery Team
💰 BINANCE: BEST EXCHANGE FOR BUYING CRYPTO IN THE WORLD 👉 10% OFF FEES & $600 BONUS
🚀 BYBIT: #1 EXCHANGE FOR TRADING 👉 GET EXCLUSIVE FEE DISCOUNTS & BONUSES
🔒 BEST CRYPTO WALLET TO KEEP YOUR ASSETS SAFE 👉 BUY LEDGER WALLET HERE
📈 TRADING VIEW: BEST CHARTING SOFTWARE ON THE INTERNET 👉 JOIN NOW
1️⃣ COINLEDGER: #1 CRYPTO TAX SOFTWARE 👉 IF YOU OWN OR TRADE CRYPTO YOU NEED THIS
Wealth Mastery (Lark Davis, and the Wealth Mastery writing team) are not providing you individually tailored investment advice. Nor is Wealth Mastery registered to provide investment advice, is not a financial adviser, and is not a broker-dealer. The material provided is for educational purposes only. Wealth Mastery is not responsible for any gains or losses that result from your cryptocurrency investments. Investing in cryptocurrency involves a high degree of risk and should be considered only by persons who can afford to sustain a loss of their entire investment. Investors should consult their financial adviser before investing in cryptocurrency.
You can find a full disclosure of all my crypto & venture investments here.