Bitcoin mining difficulty hits 80 trillion ahead of halving, Satoshi emails unveil Bitcoin lore, and FTX to sell Anthropic shares.

by Editorial Staff 6 min February 24, 2024

feb 24

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Top Stories This Week

Bitcoin mining difficulty surpasses 80 trillion ahead of halving

Bitcoin mining difficulty, which measures how difficult it is to solve the complex cryptographic puzzles used in the mining process, passed 80 trillion on Feb. 16. The network’s hash rate reached 562.81 exahashes per second and the mining difficulty hit a record 81.73 trillion, according to Bitcoin mining difficulty has steadily risen since January 2023 and is expected to reach 100 trillion in the next few months. Bitcoin’s mining rewards will be cut in half in April in what’s known as the Bitcoin Halving.

Newly released Satoshi emails reveal a treasure trove of early Bitcoin lore

A litany of insights into the early days of cryptocurrency were recently revealed when Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s earliest collaborator, Martti Malmi, published 120 pages of email correspondences between the two on GitHub on Feb. 23. The emails were initially introduced as evidence in a London court case involving the Crypto Open Patent Alliance and Craig Wright, who has claimed to be Nakamoto. For historians and Bitcoin lore enthusiasts, the emails include many fantastic quotes and a general air of Satoshi-ness.

FTX to add over $1B to cash stack after court approves Anthropic sale

Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX has been given the judge’s nod to sell over $1 billion worth of its shares in artificial intelligence startup Anthropic. The decision was reached after FTX made concessions to some customers who objected to the sale. The customers had claimed the Anthropic shares didn’t belong to FTX, saying they were purchased with misappropriated customer funds, citing evidence presented during FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial. However, they agreed to the sale with the condition that they were later allowed to claim money from it for FTX users. Funds from the sale will be added to the $6.4 billion banked to pay creditors for the bankrupt exchange.

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Circle, the issuer of the United States dollar-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin, says it will discontinue support for the token on the Tron blockchain, asserting the decision aligns with “efforts to ensure that USDC remains trusted, transparent and safe.” Circle said in a Feb. 20 blog post: “Effective immediately we will no longer mint USDC on TRON.” The company urged retail users and non-Circle customers to move their Tron-based USDC to an exchange so that it could be transferred to a blockchain network where the stablecoin is still supported. Stablecoin issuer Tether did not specify whether it plans to drop support for the Tron network.

VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF notches 1,400% daily trading volume increase

VanEck’s spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) has experienced a sudden and drastic trading volume uptick over the week, leaving market commentators looking for the reason why. VanEck’s fund — which sports the ticker “HODL” — saw $258 million in trading volume on Feb. 20, a nearly 15 times increase in volume from the previous day, according to data shared to X by senior Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas. Trading volumes on WisdomTree’s Bitcoin Fund were also “popping off,” witnessing a roughly 1,200% jump from its average to $154 million in total daily volume on Feb. 20.

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Winners and Losers

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At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $51,009, Ether (ETH) at $2,942 and XRP at $0.53. The total market cap is at $1.95 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are SingularityNET (AGIX) at 101.73%, Worldcoin (WLD) at 89.70% and Siacoin (SC) at 52.86%.

The top three altcoin losers of the week are Starknet (STRK) at -17.53%, Helium (HNT) at 16.53% and Dymension (DYM) at -16.55%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“If we care about preserving history and culture, there is no better place to immortalize the data than on Bitcoin.”

Trevor Owens, CEO of Ninjalerts

“[Institutional adoption] is already happening. [BlackRock] already dipped their toes in the water, and the same is true for regulators.”

Navin Gupta, CEO of Crystal Intelligence

“There is no ‘proof-of-price’ in a speculative bubble. Instead, a reflation of the speculative bubble shows the effectiveness of the Bitcoin lobby.”

European Central Bank

“Bitcoin is technically superior to those asset classes. And that being the case, there’s just no reason to sell the winner to buy the losers.”

Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy

“I think there are several powerful catalysts coming up that might spark an altcoin rally.”

Henrik Andersson, chief investment officer at Apollo Capital

“Bitcoin is the freedom currency we need to solve a lot of problems.”

Joana Cotar, member of the German Bundestag

Prediction of the week

Bitcoin pre-halving ‘pullback’ calls for $45K BTC price support retest

Bitcoin is due a pullback around its next block subsidy halving, but the timing remains unclear. In his latest YouTube video on Feb. 20, popular pseudonymous trader and analyst Rekt Capital predicted BTC price action copying the 2016 and 2020 bull runs.

Bitcoin has ranged within a narrow corridor for over a week, with $52,000 acting as a resistance zone. While this has taken its toll on sentiment — as well as altcoin price performance — seasoned market observers remain optimistic.

“In the past, a macro downtrend break always precedes upside going into the halving,” Rekt Capital explained. “Then we have a pre-halving retrace and then a post-halving reaccumulation period and then parabolic price action toward new all-time highs.”

“We’re going to have the same thing in this cycle as well,” he continued.

The zone of interest when it comes to the pre-halving pullback lies at around $45,000, data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView confirms.

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FUD of the Week

Concerns mount over Ethena USDe’s promise of 27% yield following mainnet launch

Ethena’s USDe stablecoin caused widespread concerns in the crypto community after it launched on the public mainnet on Feb. 19. The USDe Ethereum-based synthetic dollar currently offers a 27.6% annual percentage yield, according to Ethena Labs’ homepage. The yield raised concerns about the protocol’s sustainability, notably higher than Anchor Protocol’s 20% before Terra’s UST collapse in May 2022. In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, the protocol’s founder, Guy Young, addressed the criticism, stating that concerns around the USDe stablecoin yield are a natural sign of a maturing industry recovering from the collapse of the Terra-LUNA ecosystem.

Axie Infinity co-founder loses $9.7M in 3,248-ETH wallet hack

Two crypto wallet addresses belonging to one of the co-founders of Axie Infinity and Ronin Network were hacked, and roughly $9.7 million worth of Ether (ETH) was stolen and siphoned across Tornado Cash. On Feb. 23, blockchain investigator PeckShield alerted about a “whale wallet” compromise over the Ronin Bridge, reporting that the hacker made away with 3,248 ETH. The co-founder confirmed that two of his personal wallets had been hacked, adding that said the attack was not due to vulnerabilities within the Ronin chain or Sky Mavis operations. Speaking to Cointelegraph, PeckShield said that the root cause of the hack was a “wallet compromise,” which allowed the unauthorized outbound transfer of funds.

Former US President Trump no longer anti-Bitcoin, says can ‘live with it’

Former United States President Donald Trump has changed his tune on Bitcoin (BTC). From making anti-Bitcoin statements and calling it a scam during his tenure as president, Trump now says BTC is something he can live with and acknowledges its growing demand. During a recent interview on Fox News, Trump was asked about his views on the rise of Chinese digital currency and whether the right way to counter it is through a decentralized currency network, such as Bitcoin. Trump, in response, said the U.S. dollar is still the top currency for him but, at the same time, acknowledged the growing popularity and adoption of Bitcoin.

Top Magazine Pieces of the Week

The DeFi bots pumping Solana’s stablecoin volume

Rampant bot activity has pumped daily USDC volume on a single Solana DEX past the entire stablecoin volume on Ethereum. So what’s going on?

Wealthy, isolated, and incredible beaches: Perth Crypto City Guide

PowerLedger, DigitalX and numerous Bitcoin miners are based in Perth, but it’s hard to find a Bitcoin ATM here.

Google to fix diversity-borked Gemini AI, ChatGPT goes insane: AI Eye

Gemini’s issues highlight the need for open source AI models, ChatGPT goes mad, plus more.


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Editorial Staff

Cointelegraph Magazine writers and reporters contributed to this article.