Bitcoin crosses $48K, Solana suffers outage, MicroStrategy grows stash | Weekly Recap

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Bitcoin (BTC) once again crossed $48,000 amid a sustained week-long uptrend. At last check on Sunday, Feb. 11, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap was trading at $48,067.30.

Solana (SOL), meanwhile, is still in the spotlight after it recorded its first network outage of the year. And MicroStrategy revealed it purchased an additional 850 BTC. Here’s our coverage of the past week:

Solana records 5-hour outage

  • Solana suffered a network disruption on Feb. 6 at around 10:00 UTC.
  • The outage, Solana’s first in over a year, flipped investor sentiment at a time when the broader market was in an uptrend. SOL collapsed 4% in an expected slump, but market participants commended its resilience, given the circumstances.
  • Network engineers and validators across the ecosystem trooped in to address the performance issue, as the blockchain halted transaction processing. After five hours, the network eventually recovered from the downtime. 

Bitcoin breaks above $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 premier crypto witnessed impressive surges during the week.
  • Bitcoin began the week with a favorable outlook amid bullish updates, one of which revealed that the token recorded a cumulative monthly trade volume of $1.21 trillion for January 2024, its highest monthly volume since September 2022.
  • Amid an increase in demand, the asset, which began the week at the $42,000 level, breached multiple psychological resistance points in a rally that saw it record six consecutive weeks of intraday gains. 
  • BTC eventually reclaimed the $47,000 price on Feb. 9, triggering a bullish market reaction that led to massive price surges for other cryptocurrencies. The token further broke $48,000 and has sealed a spot above the price level, currently hovering at $48,067.30.

MicroStrategy adds to its BTC stash

  • During the Bitcoin uptrend, Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy disclosed on Feb. 6 that they again augmented their BTC holdings. Per the disclosure, MicroStrategy purchased 850 more BTC tokens for a total cost of $37.2 million last month.
  • Interestingly, at Bitcoin’s current price, the assets are now worth over $41 million, reflecting an unrealized profit of $3.8 million for the January purchases alone. Following the latest addition, the Tysons, Virginia-based firm now holds 190,000 BTC currently valued at $9.18 billion.
  • Saylor, MicroStrategy’s owner and executive chair, recently sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock, according to a recent SEC Filing. Over the past year, he sold a total of 120,000 shares and has not made any purchases of the company’s stock.

Updates on spot Bitcoin ETF products

  • The nascent spot Bitcoin ETF market in the U.S. also made headlines this week. Reports revealed that the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) of South Korea was looking to take a page out of the United States’ approach to spot Bitcoin ETF products.
  • The FSS chief Lee Bokhyun plans to meet with Gary Gensler, chairperson of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These plans are part of a broader push to implement proper regulations for the Korean digital asset industry.
  • Moreover, the efforts also involve a planned implementation of the Virtual Asset User Protection Act on July 19 by the Financial Services Commission of South Korea.
  • Meanwhile, spot Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. continued to hit major milestones this week. Notably, BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) slipped into the top 5 list of ETPs in the U.S. with the largest capital inflows.
  • In addition, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas revealed that BlackRock’s IBIT and Fidelity’s FBTC witnessed the best initial 30-day performances for any ETF in the United States over the past 30 years. 
  • Despite the impressive inflows these investment products have witnessed in their first month of launch, Valkyrie’s CIO Steven McClurg believes some of them will not pass the test of time. Speaking in an interview this week, McClurg predicted these products to reduce to eight or seven.

The US struggles to find clarity 

  • Meanwhile, regulatory struggles in the U.S. persisted this week. In a bid to find clarity, the U.S. SEC adopted a set of two new rules that would mandate liquidity providers on defi protocols to register with the SEC.
  • According to the regulatory agency, these rules would apply to liquidity providers that deal on assets considered securities. However, it would only affect entities with over $50 million worth of assets. The rule set attracted backlash.
  • Lawmakers in the U.S. sent a letter to Janet Yellen, the Secretary of the Treasury, replying to her demand for stricter regulations for the crypto industry. The members of Congress called attention to the limitations of the Howey Test for the nascent industry.
  • In an interview on Feb. 7, U.S. House of Rep. member Maxine Waters revealed that lawmakers in the country are moving closer to reaching a consensus regarding the regulation of stablecoins in the country. 

Genesis settles with NY Attorney General

  • Genesis, the bankrupt crypto lending firm, reached a settlement with New York Attorney General Letitia James in the case involving customer losses in Gemini’s Earn program.
  • As part of the agreement, customers of the now-defunct cryptocurrency earning program would receive a settlement for their losses. Genesis would also settle its creditors. These terms would be approved by a bankruptcy judge.
  • Shortly after the disclosure of these settlement terms, the New York Attorney General extended the lawsuit against Genesis and its parent company Digital Currency Group to $3 billion. The initial lawsuit accused the companies of fraud amounting to $1 billion.

Global regulatory affairs

  • The global scene also witnessed a resurgence of regulatory efforts and enforcement actions. Reports from Feb. 7 confirmed that Uzbekistan would fine Binance for operating in the country without a license. The fine amounts to 102 million soms, worth $8,200.
  • Interestingly, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong warned consumers of a crypto-focused scam scheme connected to the prominent crypto exchange MEXC. The police also blocked MEXC’s website in the region.

Craig Wright vs COPA

  • The legal case between Craig Wright, the self-acclaimed Bitcoin founder, and 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 forged the Bitcoin origin document he presented in the court. According to the organization, the 08 numerals in the year “2008” were visibly smaller than the 20 numerals. Wright denied forging 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 is Satoshi Nakamoto. This document’s metadata appeared to be genuine.
  • COPA presented multiple evidence to prove that several documents presented by Wright were forged. On day four, Wright conceded that he indeed forged some of the documents, but blamed other individuals for the forgery.

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