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Cryptocurrency News Weekly Roundup

Tesla invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin earlier this week, pushing the BTC price to a new all-time high of $49,000

Tesla invests $1.5 billion in Bitcoin

Perhaps the top news this week was Tesla’s investment in Bitcoin. The electric car manufacturer invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, making it the company with the most significant treasury investment in the cryptocurrency. Tesla revealed its BTC investment earlier this week after it filed its annual report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company told SEC that its new investment policy would require it to buy and hold digital assets from time to time or for the long-term. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, has been a long-term proponent of Bitcoin, and he has recently been pushing for the adoption of Dogecoin, another leading cryptocurrency.

Tesla said it intends to start accepting BTC as payment for its goods and services. This would help the adoption of the cryptocurrency as the company is one of the world’s leading electric car manufacturers.

Bitcoin hits $49k as market cap tops $900 billion

The leading cryptocurrency experienced a record-breaking week. The Tesla news pushed BTC past the $45,000 mark to set a then all-time high of $47,500. However, the rally continued throughout the week, and BTC reached $49,000 a few hours ago.

The rally to $49,000 saw Bitcoin’s total market cap reach $900 billion for the first time in its 12-year history. Bitcoin’s market cap is slowly closing in on $1 trillion, thanks to the recent rally. The total cryptocurrency market cap is close to $1.5 trillion, and Bitcoin remains the most popular crypto with a market dominance of 61.25%.

Nigeria bans cryptocurrency trading

Nigeria, Africa’s leading economy and the most populous black country globally, banned cryptocurrency trading earlier this week. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a circular to all private banks in the country to shut down the accounts traders and entities dealing with cryptocurrencies.

The country has become the second-largest Bitcoin market in the world after the United States as an increasing number of people, especially the youth, turn to cryptocurrency to negate the effects of hyperinflation and a free-falling Naira. The CBN said the ban is nothing new as they were reiterating the stance they took since 2017.

Cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance and Luno disabled deposits and withdrawals with Naira following the CBN’s directive. However, cryptocurrency enthusiasts in the country have found another way to continue trading Bitcoin and other coins. They are using peer-to-peer platforms to access Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. According to the youths, Bitcoin is a P2P cryptocurrency, which makes it impossible to ban.

Canada introduces the first Bitcoin ETF

The cryptocurrency space has been waiting for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) for the past few years. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had rejected all the ETF applications in the past. The cryptocurrency space believes that Bitcoin ETF will make it easier for institutional investors to enter the crypto market, boosting Bitcoin’s adoption.

This week, the first Bitcoin ETF was approved in North America. However, it was in Canada rather than the United States. The Bitcoin ETF by investment firm Accelerate Financial was approved by the Ontario Securities Commission yesterday.

Accelerate Financial Technologies filed for the Accelerate Bitcoin ETF (ABTC) earlier this month, and the Canadian securities regulator approved it within a few days. The Bitcoin ETF will offer investors units denominated in both United States and Canadian dollars and attract a 0.7% management fee. Accelerate also applied to list ABTC units on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The Bitcoin ETF will make it easy for institutional investors, especially in Canada, to access Bitcoin.

Mastercard to support cryptocurrency payments

Payment giant Mastercard announced earlier this week that it would support cryptocurrency payments this year. This move is prompted by the fact that many Mastercard users are using their debit and credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies are becoming an essential part of the global financial system. Mastercard intends to provide its customers, merchants and businesses with the necessary tools to move their funds from fiat to cryptocurrencies and vice versa. Mastercard is currently working on the changes and will decide the cryptocurrencies to support. The company intends to support the most widely used stablecoins to make it easier for people to move their funds.

Mastercard said it would prefer cryptocurrencies that serve spending purposes rather than investing, and the cryptos have to adhere to local laws and regulations. The company will implement strict compliance protocols, and customers would enjoy the same high standard of consumer protections as they do for their credit cards.

Institutional investors are finding more ways into the BTC market

Institutional investors are flocking into the Bitcoin market as their views on the cryptocurrency changes. However, they mainly access Bitcoin via the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which enjoyed billions of dollars’ worth of investment last year.

The cryptocurrency is opening up, and more firms are now offering institutional investors alternative means of gaining exposure to Bitcoin. Last week, Bitwise filed to publicly list its Bitcoin Fund, and BlockFi did the same this week.

Cryptocurrency financial services firm BlockFi in a press release earlier this week said the BlockFi Bitcoin Trust would allow institutional investors and accredited private individuals to gain easy access to BTC.

The BlockFi Bitcoin Trust will charge investors a sponsor fee of 1.75% as the cryptocurrency financial services firm competes with Grayscale and Bitwise in this sector. This is excellent news for institutional investors who can now gain access to BTC from any of the available funds.

Ethereum futures launch on CME

Ethereum futures launched on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) earlier this week. CME was only offering Bitcoin futures but decided to add futures for the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

The Ethereum futures saw a massive trading volume on the first day, with over $30 million worth of Ethereum contracts changing hands on CME. Each CME contract is worth 50 ETH, and the exchange sets a minimum trading value at five contracts. The ETH futures launch helped push Ether’s price higher this week, with the cryptocurrency rallying to a new all-time high of above $1,800.

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