A curated weekly summary of forward-focused crypto news that matters. This week, Bitcoin briefly crosses $34,000 but remains volatile, while Ethereum passes through $1000 and XRP faces mass delistings following the SEC charges against Ripple Inc.
The cryptographic asset market has enjoyed a bullish first week of 2021 with the Bitcoin price up ~21% and crossing the USD30,000 price level for the first time. The Ethereum price was up ~55% and crossed the USD1000 price level for the first time in three years. Bitcoin and Ethereum lead a wider market charge and the overall crypto market cap rose by ~21%.
Despite ending the week with double-digit gains, Bitcoin had a typically volatile week. According to BNC’s Bitcoin Liquidity Index, the BTC price went just above $34,500 on Sunday morning UTC time before dropping to around USD29,000 just over 24 hours later on Monday. At the time of writing the Bitcoin price has recovered from the drop and is trading around USD31,200.
Meanwhile XRP missed out on the wave of bullish momentum – rising just ~2% in the last week.
Following the SEC filing suit against Ripple Inc claiming its XRP coin had been sold and exchanged as an unregistered security, crypto exchanges wasted no time in dropping or halting trading of XRP. Coinbase, Beaxy, and Okcoin all suspended trading of the asset globally, while others like Bitstamp and Etoro suspended trading of XRP in the US only. Bittrex, Crypto.com, and Binance US made the move to delist XRP entirely to US customers. Joining these exchanges, market makers Jump Trading and Galaxy Digital have announced they have suspended trading of XRP globally while asset managers Bitwise and Sarson funds have liquidated their XRP positions.
Accompanying the booming crypto prices over the last week has been a surge in trading activity across markets. According to data from the Block, the aggregated open interest from Bitcoin futures hit a record USD10.7 billion on January 3rd. This represents 294% growth in the last year. Growth in the Bitcoin options market has been even more impressive – with open interest in this sector reaching a new all-time high of USD7.96 billion on January 3rd. This represents annual growth of 2553%.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced on January 4th that Binance had posted a new all-time high in daily trading volume. Zhao said the exchange reached USD80 billion in trading volume across its spot and derivative markets. This more than doubled the exchange’s previous all-time high trading volume recorded between November 15th and December 15th, 2017 during the peak of the last Bitcoin bull run.
Crypto news for the week ahead
January 7th – Hedera Hashgraph mainnet release
On Thursday the Hedera Hashgraph network launches v.0.10.0 of its mainnet. The update will ship new changes that improve the usability of the Hedera Token Service and a new restriction on what payer accounts can be used. The price of the network’s native token, HBAR, which powers decentralized applications on Hedera has fallen by ~6% in the last week but is up ~189% in the last year.
January 13th – XRP delisted from Binance.US exchange
The US arm of crypto trading giant Binance says that effective from this Wednesday XRP will be delisted from its platform with trading and deposits of the token officially suspended. The blog post announcing the delisting states that withdrawals will not be affected.
Top 10 Crypto Summary
It was a strong week of trading for large-cap assets on the Brave New Coin market cap table. Ethereum led the altcoin charge rising an impressive ~55% in the last week. Coinciding with the price rise was a surge in usage and activity on the Ethereum network as its hashrate hit a new all time time of just above 305 TH/s. Gas fees soared on Sunday to hit an average of USD11.79 per transaction with an estimated duration of 9 minutes and 46 seconds.
Bitcoin Price Chart
Bitcoin had a landmark start to 2021 crossing the USD30,000 price level for the first time ever on January 2nd. Skybridge Capital, the investment firm founded by ex-White House Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci launched the Skybridge Bitcoin Fund LP on Monday. The fund targets affluent investors giving them a straightforward way to gain exposure to the booming digital asset. The fund currently holds USD310 million worth of BTC and the minimum investment threshold is USD50,000.