Dispatch #169: Conquering New Heights

4 min read

In this patch of your weekly Dispatch:

  • A bank’s stablecoin 🪙
  • Tether’s crushing lead 🦾
  • 10 years of 🐶

The Big Idea

Bitcoin Talks the Talk – Walks the Walk

We have been feeling it’s time for Bitcoin to make a move for a while now. And the world’s premier crypto did cross the $40,000 mark during the weekend for the added surprise that Bitcoin rarely fails to deliver. To add substance to the emotion, let’s examine how we got here. 👇

How It Started: The (hot) anticipation of a spot Bitcoin ETF approval had been the driving force behind BTC’s price increase over the last few weeks. It was sparked further by a less hawkish comment from the Fed. In BTC markets though, it wasn’t just talk. Open interest reached yearly highs, while investors – everyone from shrimp to whale – kept on accumulating Bitcoin true-HODLer style: via cash-in-hand, spot deals. The basis for more gains was there – a highly anticipated catalyst event spurring market activity substantially.

Amidst It All: Grayscale CEO Michael Sonneheim shared his optimism on the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF, while BlackRock doubled down on its own efforts with updated applications. In short, positive news that signal strong institutional demand for Bitcoin fuelled the rally. It was on Wednesday that Bitcoin reached its 2023 ATH at $44,300. In trading, that price action also saw $170M in short positions liquidated to put the bulls at the helm. The influx of capital resulted in options open interest reaching a record-breaking $20B.

Here We Are: That rally has left Bitcoin with some juicy accolades for the entire community to feast upon:

  • Bitcoin has outpaced giants like Meta, Tesla, and Berkshire Hathaway, now ranking as the world's seventh most valuable asset with its $850B market cap.
  • El Salvador's Bitcoin investment reaps a $3.6M profit, prompting President Bukele to demand apologies.
  • MicroStrategy achieved $2B in profits, attributed to the strategic acquisition of 174,530 Bitcoins at an average price of $30,252.

Where do we go from here? As Bitcoin’s halving nears, price will be further discovered. Where we stand, with a Bitcoin that has more than doubled in 2023, is not a bad place at all.

The Latest In…

The (Unexpected) Stablecoin Pioneer

Société Générale, France’s third-largest bank, upped its game on the crypto scene by launching its own stablecoin, EUR CoinVertible. It is backed by euros and aims to challenge the dominance of USD-based stablecoins. The bank's entry aligns with the upcoming EU digital assets regulation (MiCA) and is important because it marks one of the first attempts of a major player to offer a digital token tracking a hard currency to a broad investor base.

The Latest In…

Altcoin Extravaganza

The total capital locked in DeFi protocols surged to $50B this week, marking a $15B increase since early October. That uptick reflects a welcome revival in the crypto space but it’s potentially these three developments that helped reach that nice round number:

  • Dogecoin (DOGE) experienced a 17% surge, celebrating its 10th anniversary and revisiting April 2023 highs, with open interest reaching $706M.
  • The Blur (BLUR) token dominated the Ethereum-based NFT market with an impressive 80% of NFT trading volume, surpassing OpenSea, and December's trading already hitting close to $90M.
  • Avalanche's (AVAX) token steals the spotlight with a remarkable 17% surge, outpacing other cryptocurrencies above $1B in market value, showcasing its momentum with a 15% gain in the last 72 hours and a near-doubling in price throughout November.

The Latest In…

Tether Continues to Tower Higher

Tether (USDT) rocketed to an all-time high with a staggering $90B market cap in the first week of December 2023. This cements USDT's dominance – the asset currently commands an impressive 70% market share and showcases the crypto space's booming acceptance of stablecoins. The crypto landscape is evolving, with USDT's meteoric rise contrasting with the decline of its traditional counterparts.

The Latest In… Nexo

Antoni on Yahoo Finance

In a chat with Yahoo Finance, our Co-founder and Managing Partner Antoni Trenchev remarked on crypto's "mixed signals," staying positive amid Binance's settlement, and hopes for a Bitcoin ETF. Antoni, optimistic about Bitcoin's resilience post-FTX, envisions a $100,000 value by the end of next year, fueled by the ETF build-up and the 2024 halving – contingent on staying above $42,000. He sees the ETF as a magnet for institutions and anticipates the halving as a major catalyst. Check out the full interview on Yahoo Finance Live for a deep dive into the exciting world of crypto with expert insights. 🚀

The Week’s Most Interesting Data Story

It’s All On-Chain

We’re turning on-chain for some investigations on what’s happening on Bitcoin’s network while prices are at a yearly high. And it’s an overlooked, yet simple metric that paints a defining picture – the number of Bitcoin transactions has hit an ATH with over 700,000 in a single day earlier this week!

Hot Topics

What the Community Is Discussing

Don’t be greedy, y’all.

Could ETH follow BTC’s recent moves?

There’s no stopping Elon.

What to Watch for Next Week:

  • What is the best state for crypto regulation?
  • What Ethereum updates are coming?
  • Will crypto options trading overtake futures trading?

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