Weekly Report: Centralised exchanges are joining the NFT space
Bitcoin and Ethereum appear to be on the path towards hitting new all-time highs after recent gains. Elsewhere, the cryptocurrency and NFT spaces saw a lot of action this week
The US eclipses China as home to Bitcoin mining
Researchers at Cambridge University on Wednesday released data confirming that the US is now responsible for the highest Bitcoin mining power—a third of the total hashrate. The report from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance indicated that Bitcoin’s hashrate in the US has increased by 428% since September last year.
The data also showed that the US had a 35.4% share of Bitcoin’s hashrate by the end of August this year. China has been its own villain in the reduction of the hashrate given how unwelcoming the government has made it for crypto in general. The country’s government, through the People’s Bank of China, has massively changed the crypto scene in the country, by intensively clamping down on crypto mining and trading.
From an approximated 75% share in Bitcoin in hashrate in 2019 to 44% in May, the Chinese proportion had fallen to zero by July this year. Miners have fled the Chinese region in droves to other less hostile regions, and US states like Texas have been favourite destinations.
ARK Invest looks into a Bitcoin futures ETF
Cathie Woods’ ARK Invest has joined the list of applying firms seeking SEC approval to offer an ETF. The investment firm is said to have partnered up as a marketer with Alpha Architect as the ETF issuer and 21Shares as the sub-adviser. The filings made on Wednesday indicated that the proposed product will strictly trade in futures rather than directly in cryptocurrencies.
The recent inclination towards crypto futures makes sense given that SEC chair Gary Gensler has previously suggested that ETFs based on futures would receive higher consideration for approval. Experts have predicted there could be a Bitcoin ETF coming as soon as before the end of the year.
The rumours of possible approval around the corner have played a part in pushing up the price of Bitcoin which is currently changing hands at around $59,000. However, not all are optimistic about an approval coming soon, as CFRA’s Todd Rosenbluth told CNBC that approval could well be delayed to Q1 2022.
Vladimir Putin sees value in crypto
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has said that he sees crypto serving as a unit of account in the future, maintaining that digital assets are still too premature for that use right now, due to their volatility. In a Wednesday interview with CNBC’s Hadley Gamble, he added that he sees the use of crypto in cross border payments.
Though he agreed that crypto holds value, President Putin was also cynical of the idea of using crypto in making energy settlements, considering that they are unbacked assets. Putin also suggested that in response to the US’ targeted sanctions, Russia could move to non-dollar denominated trades. When asked if crypto could offer an alternative to the dollar for Russia, the President said it was too early to discuss the use of crypto in transacting energy resources.
However, he acknowledged that given time, crypto has the potential to mature enough to be used in trading. Russia has in the past implemented legal regulations that bar the use of crypto in making payments, to maintain its currency’s sovereignty. Also, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev confirmed this week that the state would not bar the purchasing and trading of crypto assets like China has recently done.
TradingView locks latest funding round at $298 million
Price charting and investing platform TradingView has received $298 million from its most recent funding round led by Tiger Global Management, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The funding round, which gave the London-based firm a $3 billion valuation, was pushed up by increasing interest from retail investors seeking to trade in public markets. This round raised the highest amount yet, having only netted a total of about $40 million in its previous funding rounds.
The financial information platform has been around for about ten years, and it currently has 30 million monthly users from more than 180 countries where the platform is accessible. A significant chunk of the growth that TradingView is seeing has come from a 237% increase in the number of visitors and a 400% increase in the newly created accounts over the last eighteen months.
TradingView tracks the performances of several asset types while also providing a social forum for user discussions. The latest capital injection will help the firm extend its goal of enhancing informed financial trading decisions through global expansion, according to Co-Founder and CEO Denis Globa.
‘Coinbase NFT’ waiting list reaches a 1.5 million users
Coinbase’s peer-to-peer marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has now accrued over 1.5 million users on its waiting list despite only being announced on Tuesday, the very day when the one million mark was also reached. The crypto exchange said users would be able to trade and mint their own NFTs on the platform: ‘Coinbase NFT’.
Such numbers of interested users are showing developing interest in the NFT sector, which recorded $10 billion in sales volume in the third quarter compared to the $1.3 billion in Q2 this year. The NFT space has seen tremendous growth in just the space of a few months and Coinbase is setting itself up appropriately to make a killing off it. The entry of crypto exchanges into the NFT marketplace business is expected to have an impact on investor entry into NFTs.
The 1.5 million users on the Coinbase waiting list by far dwarfed the 261,000 users on the OpenSea marketplace. Coinbase’s announcement followed Monday’s FTX revelation that it would be launching a Solana-based NFT marketplace. The exchange also detailed that it is planning to add support for Ethereum tokens soon.
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