Data from CryptoCompare shows that the price of Bitcoin moved up steadily throughout the last seven days, going from around $41,000 at its start to more than $47,000 at the time of writing with no signs of slowing down.
Ethereum’s Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, moved in a similar way, breaking through the $3,000 resistance early on in the week to now be over $3,300 after rising nearly 6% in only 24 hours.
Headlines in the cryptocurrency space this week kept on centering around the war between Russia and Ukraine, with a major development seeing Russia consider accepting Bitcoin as a payment method for its oil and gas exports, according to the chair of its Duma committee on energy, Pavel Zavalny.
Zavalny reportedly said that “friendly” countries could be allowed to pay in cryptocurrency or their local currencies, while Russia is demanding payments in its Rouble fiat currency from “unfriendly” countries. The move is believed to be aimed at boosting the value of the currency, which has plummeted more than 20% year-to-date.
Zavalny also doubled down on Putin’s comments, saying “unfriendly” countries had the option to pay in “hard currency” referring to gold, or “as it is convenient for us”, meaning in their national currency.
While Russia could accept BTC payments in types of transactions the cryptocurrency hasn’t seen before, the central bank of Honduras has issued a statement clarifying that Bitcoin is not regulated as a currency in the country, shooting down social media chatter about a potential announcement that BTC was set to become legal tender in the country.
In an announcement, the central bank explained BTC is not regulated in Honduras or considered legal tender in the majority of other countries. It reminded the public that the central bank is the only entity legally allowed to issue bills and coins.
In El Salvador, the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender, the issuance of an unprecedented $1 billion Bitcoin bond has been postponed over unfavorable market conditions. The country’s Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya has stated Russia’s invasion of Ukraine impacted the price of BTC and the wider market, leading to the change.
Zelaya has said he prefers the bond’s issuance to take place between March and April, saying: “In May and June sometimes you can, but the market variables get different. After September, it is difficult to raise, unless you are previously funded, as in the case of bitcoin bond.”
Over the week, a survey conducted by the Salvadoran Chamber of Commerce has found that out of 337 businesses, 14% have already transacted in Bitcoin since the country’s Bitcoin Law came into effect in September 2021.
The survey also found that 90% of companies believed that the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in the country had little impact on their sales. 71% of respondents were micro or small businesses, 13% medium-sized businesses, and 16% were large companies.
Goldman Sachs conducts OTC crypto options trade
Goldman Sachs has executed its first over-the-counter crypto options trade, making it the first major US bank to trade cryptocurrencies over the counter. The firm traded a non-deliverable Bitcoin option, a derivative tied to Bitcoin’s price that pays out in cash.
The trade was facilitated by Michael Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital and came after Goldman opened up trading of non-deliverable Bitcoin forwards last year. The firm also offers exchange-listed options and futures trading in both BTC and ETH.
Meanwhile, the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, is reportedly planning to back its first cryptocurrency fund. The fund, with more than $150 billion in assets under management, is not planning to directly invest in crypto assets itself.
On top of that, Grayscale has launched a new fund offering investors exposure to a variety of smart contract networks other than Ethereum that have emerged amid the growth of decentralized finance (DeFi).
The fund, called the Grayscale Smart Contract Platform ex Ethereum Fund (GSCPxE), holds alternative smart contract ecosystems Cardano ($ADA), Solana (SOL) Avalanche (AVAX), Polkadot (DOT), Polygon (MATIC), Algorand (ALGO) and Stellar (XLM).
The new fund is being launched after Ethereum’s burning mechanism, introduced in the London hard fork through EIP-1559, destroyed over two million ETH tokens, worth well over $6 billion. The mechanism came as part of a restructure to the network’s fee system.
If enough ETH is burned on a daily basis, the cryptocurrency could become deflationary as more tokens are burned than minted. The cryptocurrency could become deflationary ahead of the launch of Ethereum 2.0, which is expected to improve the network’s transaction speeds and lower costs.
Ethereum 2.0 will move the network to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, which is more environmentally friendly.
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.