Data from CryptoCompare shows that the price of the flagship cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC) surged at the beginning of the past week, moving from around $30,600 to over $34,500 and has since shifted sideways to now remain at that level.
Ethereum’s Ether, the second-largest digital asset by market capitalisation, moved in a similar way, starting the week off at around $1,650 and jumping to a $1,850 high before enduring a small correction to now trade at $1,815.
The prices of most digital assets surged over the week after it was revealed that BlackRock’s proposed iShares spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) had been listed on the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), which provides post-trading clearing, settlement, custody, and information services for Nasdaq.
It was revealed shortly after, however, that the ETF had been listed on the DTCC’s website since August. The move was nevertheless interpreted as a signal that the ETF could get approved by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the near future, boosting prices, to the point that BTC reached $35,919 on OKX.
As a result Bitcoin short sellers lost nearly $180 million over 24 hours, showing how strong demand for a spot Bitcoin ETF in the US appears to be. Backing that up, a recent report from crypto forensics firm Chainalysis revealed that the largest market in the cryptocurrency world is North America, with an estimated transaction volume of $1.2 trillion between July 2022 and June 2023.
Per the report, North America’s crypto transactions account for 24.4% of the total and are driven by institutional activity, with large transactions of over $1 million or more making up 76.9% of its total volume. Decentralised finance and centralized exchange, the report notes, share the region’s on-chain activity.
Elliptic debunks claims of Hamas raising millions in crypto
Blockchain forensics firm Elliptic has over the week clarified that the numbers that are being used to show how much crypto Hamas has raised aren’t correct, noting there’s little evidence showing terrorist groups are using digital assets effectively.
Elliptic said that Hamas started asking for Bitcoin donations in 2019, but stopped all public crypto fundraising in April. It said that Hamas was worried about the safety of donors using crypto. Per Ellitpic, only about $21,000 in crypto donations were sent to Hamas following its attack on Israel on October 7.
The possible use of cryptocurrencies by terrorist organisations gained attention earlier this month after the Wall Street Journal reported, using Elliptic data, that Hamas and other militant groups raised millions in crypto before launching its attack on Israel. The report was cited by more than 100 US lawmakers.
Elliptic clarified that there’s no evidence suggesting “that crypto fundraising has raised anything close to this amount, and data provided by Elliptic and others has been misinterpreted.
Chainalysis has itself in a separate report that claims of millions of dollars in crypto being moved to fund Hamas’ operations are likely to be “overstated”.
JPMorgan moves more than $1 billion daily with its JPM coin
JPM Coin, the digital asset launched by JPMorgan in 2020, is being used for over $1 billion in daily transactions, according to the company’s global head of payments, Takis Georgakopoulos.
Georgakopoulos said that current payment systems are slow, especially for cross-border transactions. He also said that they separate money and information, which makes tracking and reconciling transactions difficult, and reduces the fungibility of money.
Meanwhile, Charles III, King of the United Kingdom and the 14 other Commonwealth realms, has approved a bill that will help law enforcement agencies confiscate and freeze cryptocurrency that has been used for crime.
In the US, Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has argued that the Securities and Exchange Commission has overstepped its authority when it classified cryptocurrencies it listed as securities.
Coinbase said in a recent court document that it wants to end the SEC’s lawsuit against it. In it, the firm claimed the regulator’s definition of a security was too broad and disputed that the cryptocurrencies the exchange offers were not within the SEC’s authority.
Over in Europe, Binance announced it will end its Visa debit card services in the European Economic Area (EEA) on December 20 over a decision from the card issuer, Contis Financial System.
Francisco Memoria is a content creator at CryptoCompare who’s in love with technology and focuses on helping people see the value digital currencies have. His work has been published in numerous reputable industry publications. Francisco holds various cryptocurrencies.
Featured image via Unsplash.