Week in Crypto: Bulls Come out to Play, Revolutionary El Salvador, and Lightning Strikes
In this week’s crypto round-up, we spotlight significant progress made by Grayscale and BlackRock in their Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) offerings. BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust, according to Bloomberg analyst Erin Balchusas, is inching closer to launching its Bitcoin ETF.
Meanwhile, Grayscale’s Bitcoin ETF proposal is set for review, as mandated by the US Court of Appeals. The court’s decision follows its earlier support of Grayscale’s claim that the SEC’s initial rejection of its application constituted “unfair discrimination.”
Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval Hopes Lift Market
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Hester Pierce acknowledged the agency’s inefficiency in handling crypto-related decisions.
“I really can’t speak to what we’re going to do on the Bitcoin exchange-traded products… I hope that they’ll wake up, and they’ll think… we need to take a more productive approach,” she said.
All this speculation has only served to stoke a market that has been decidedly flat for the past few months. And the Bitcoin price breached $35,000 by midweek.
Analysts attribute this rally to several bullish signals, including the narrowing GBTC discount, now standing at -11%. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink sees this as a testament to the growing consensus of a spot Bitcoin ETF approval by Q1 2024.
Michael Dunn of Bitnomial Exchange also highlighted the decoupling of Bitcoin from altcoins, especially with the market’s anticipation of a spot ETF approval.
This Week in Crypto Top 10
MicroStrategy Rides Bitcoin Wave
Meanwhile, the Bitcoin surge has revitalized MicroStrategy’s multi-billion-dollar bet on the cryptocurrency. With Bitcoin surpassing $31,000, MicroStrategy’s average purchase price of $29,582 is now profitable. This turnaround, following a 74% stock plummet in 2022, is a ripple effect of Bitcoin’s upsurge this year.
This victory lap follows a meticulous and aggressive Bitcoin purchasing strategy. Its co-founder, Michael Saylor, has spearheaded acquisitions since 2020. The news also saw MicroStrategy stock jump 160% this year.
Read more: Top 11 Public Companies Investing in Bitcoin
Crypto – Socially Speaking
From Pariah to Pioneer: El Salvador’s Bitcoin Revolution
The spotlight shines on El Salvador, a nation that has embraced Bitcoin, and its impact on the country’s socio-economic landscape. Over two years ago, El Salvador took a bold leap by adopting Bitcoin as legal tender. This decision, initially met with skepticism, now seems to have sparked a new sense of hope among its citizens.
A fresh perspective on the nation’s Bitcoin journey is provided in the documentary “Don’t Trust… Verify” by the Bitfinex team. The film highlights the transformative power of Bitcoin in El Salvador, from empowering its youth to revitalizing its international image.
Despite a history marred by high crime rates and financial instability, El Salvador has found an innovative solution in Bitcoin. The digital currency has not only given the country’s youth a new sense of hope but also revitalized its economy.
Bitcoin Beach, an initiative in El Zonte, has become a beacon of this transformation, where Bitcoin transactions are the norm and workers receive their salaries in digital currency.
Roman Martinez, co-founder of the community initiative Hope House, believes Bitcoin has been instrumental in empowering the unbanked and fostering financial education. He asserts:
“When the President made Bitcoin a legal tender, he gave all of us a place to be excited for the future, a place to come and build, a place to come and dream.”
However, full-fledged Bitcoin adoption will take time, as the asset’s volatility and the need for widespread Bitcoin education pose challenges. Yet, with initiatives like Mi Primer, which is educating the youth about the digital currency, El Salvador is paving the way for a future where Bitcoin is a cornerstone of its economy.
Bitcoin Lightning Network Security Questioned by Key Developer
Antoine Riard, a key developer on the Bitcoin Lightning Network, has stepped down after identifying a critical security vulnerability. He revealed the network was susceptible to replacement cycling attacks, which could potentially allow bad actors to exploit inconsistencies within individual mempools and drain funds from users.
“Those types of changes are the ones necessitating the utmost transparency and buy-in of the community as a whole, as we’re altering the full-nodes processing requirements or the security architecture of the decentralized bitcoin ecosystem in its integrality.”
He plans to return by Oct. 30 to address another issue and shift his focus towards core Bitcoin development. Despite this hiccup, adoption of the Lightning Network, a Layer 2 payment protocol built on Bitcoin, has soared.
DefiLlama data reveals that the total number of BTC locked on this solution had grown to over 5,600 BTC in June. While a report from River shows a 1,212% increase in transactions routed through the network in August 2023 compared to the previous year.
However, not everyone is singing praises. John Deaton, a pro-XRP lawyer, criticized the Bitcoin Lightning Network, favoring XRP’s SpendTheBits protocol. But, it’s worth noting that Deaton’s perspective may be influenced by his role as an angel investor and Chief Legal Officer in SpendTheBits.
This article was initially compiled by an advanced AI, engineered to extract, analyze, and organize information from a broad array of sources. It operates devoid of personal beliefs, emotions, or biases, providing data-centric content. To ensure its relevance, accuracy, and adherence to BeInCrypto’s editorial standards, a human editor meticulously reviewed, edited, and approved the article for publication.