Crypto weekly update
12. January 2023  • clock 3 min •  Daniel Mitrovsky

Bitcoin Celebrated Its 14th Birthday- Cryptocurrency Market Overview (30.12. – 12.1.)

Over the past two weeks, the total market capitalisation exceeded €822 billion. The increase in market capitalisation over a 14-day period is 10.04%. The price of Bitcoin has risen by 8.71 % over the last 14 days to a current value of over €16,850. Bitcoin’s dominance is currently around 39.5 %.

Source: Coinmarketcap

Bitcoin Celebrated Its 14th Birthday

The most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, celebrated its 14th birthday last Tuesday. On this day 14 years ago, Bitcoin’s anonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first bitcoin block, known as the “genesis block” or “block 0.”

The first block in the Bitcoin network was created roughly two months after Nakamoto published a Bitcoin Whitepaper on 31 October 2008, detailing the power of the new decentralised monetary system. The first bitcoin block was mined on 3 January 2009 at 2:15 PM EST, and the mining reward was 50 BTC. Since its inception, bitcoin has grown massively to become the most significant cryptocurrency on the market, with a market capitalisation of more than $330 billion.

Satoshi Nakamoto inserted a message into the code of the first bitcoin block that read, “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on the brink of second bailout for banks.”  This message comes directly from the headline of an article published in the London Times on 3 January 2009, detailing the banks being bailed out by the British government. Although Nakamoto never clarified the exact meaning of this message, many have interpreted it as a reference to why Nakamoto developed bitcoin: to weed out banks and intermediaries he considered corrupt and unreliable and set out to create a currency that would be more controlled by the users themselves. Source

Microstrategy Sold BTC for the First Time

Microstrategy, the largest institutional investor, sold off some of its bitcoin reserves for the first time at the end of December.

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), MicroStrategy sold 704 BTC for approximately $11.8 million on 22 December. However, the move does not signal the company’s retreat from bitcoin policy but the exact opposite. Microstrategy stated that it only sold off a portion of the BTC for tax optimisation and to receive tax benefits, not because the company was in trouble or thinking about ending its bitcoin accumulation.

That this was not a change of direction, but just a tax optimisation was confirmed by the fact that two days later, on 24 December, the company bought 810 BTC, which was more BTC than it had sold roughly 48 hours earlier. Furthermore, the company purchased another 2,395 BTC between 1 November and 21 November, which means it has increased its bitcoin balance on its balance sheet by over 2,500 BTC in the last two months.

According to the website, the company owns a total of 132,500 BTC worth $2.31 billion to date and is by far the largest institutional investor in the crypto world. Source

Coinbase Announces Further Layoffs

Well-known crypto exchange Coinbase announced layoffs this Tuesday, citing “the ongoing market conditions impacting the cryptoeconomy.”

In its filing with the SEC, the firm said that this restructuring will reduce the firm’s headcount by approximately 950 employees. The cost to do so, tallying severance packages, could range up to $163 million. The layoffs are expected to conclude by the second quarter of 2023.

Coinbase first began layoffs back in June 2022, announcing an 18% reduction in headcount, or approximately 1,100 employees. According to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, the crypto sector has seen the effects of unscrupulous actors in the industry, and there could still be an escalation in the crypto market. According to him, Coinbase is very well capitalised, but it needs to cut some of its costs.

Coinbase is currently the second-largest crypto exchange in terms of traded volumes. The company’s shares (:COIN) rose by almost 10% after the announcement, rising by almost 25% in the last 5 days. Source

Mastercard Partnered With Polygon

Payment giant Mastercard is once again expanding its exposure in the blockchain space. In early January, Mastercard partnered with crypto project Polygon, with whom it will work together to launch a program called the “Mastercard Artist Accelerator.”

In its official statement, The firm announced this program via a 7 January blog post, outlining that from this spring, it will connect five emerging musicians from across the globe with mentors that will help them set up their brand in the Web3 music space.

“The artists will gain exclusive access to special events, music releases and more. A first-of-its-kind curriculum will teach the artists how to build (and own) their brand through Web3 experiences like minting NFTs, representing themselves in virtual worlds and establishing an engaged community,” the post reads.

Mastercard is also launching a nonfungible token (NFT) collection called the “Mastercard Music Pass” for those that aren’t selected for the program. The aim is to provide hodlers with educational materials and “unique resources” through brand collaborations to help budding musicians learn about the Web3 integrations with the music sector. Source

Chinese Government Launches Its Own NFT Marketplace

At the beginning of the new calendar year, China launched the world’s first-ever state-backed NFT marketplace.

The launch ceremony of the NFT marketplace was held in Beijing on 1 January. The platform is operated by three different entities – two government-owned, China Technology Exchange and Art Exhibitions China, and one private company, Huban Digital.

The marketplace bears the official name “China Digital Asset Trading Platform.” The marketplace will trade collectables, digital copyrights and also proprietary rights. According to available information, the aim of this project is to regulate and avoid excessive speculation in the secondary NFT markets. Source

Event: CPI Numbers Coming on Thursday

The upcoming CPI numbers in the United States are likely to play a key role in the U.S. central bank’s decision on whether to continue its current monetary policy of raising interest rates.

Inflation data always brings increased volatility to the markets, and this time is likely to be no different. On Thursday, the latest data for December will be released, which means that the end of the week could be stormy, and the outcome could indicate the future direction of the crypto market.

Some analysts are predicting that Bitcoin could head towards $20,000 on better than currently expected CPI numbers, especially if the U.S. stock market also recovers. Year-on-year inflation is expected to fall from the 7.1% recorded in November to roughly 6.5% for December.

The release of the data is scheduled for Thursday at 14:30 CET. Source

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Daniel Mitrovsky


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