In a cosmic twist that captures the pioneering spirit of the crypto community, Dogecoin enthusiasts are preparing for an interstellar journey as the first physical Dogecoin is set to be sent to the moon.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin remains resilient amid CPI release and delays in spot Bitcoin ETF approvals by the SEC.
BlackRock and Fidelity intensify the competition by filing for spot Ethereum ETFs and the altcoin market heats up, propelled by South Korean traders.
Let’s jump into this week’s round-up.
Dogecoin surges to the moon (literally)
In an ambitious lunar endeavor, the Dogecoin community is gearing up to launch a physical representation of the beloved cryptocurrency to the moon!
The forthcoming mission, slated for December 23, 2023, is orchestrated by Pittsburgh-based firm Astrobotic and is part of their Peregrine Mission One (PM1).
Dogecoin developers disclosed the plan in a recent post, unveiling their collaboration with Astrobotic to transport a physical Dogecoin token to the lunar surface via the DHL Moonbox, utilizing ULA’s Vulcan Centaur Rocket.
Notably, this lunar journey is a community-driven initiative that gained financial backing back in 2015.
Astrobotic’s PM1 is a multifaceted mission carrying 21 payloads, a diverse array sourced from governments, companies, universities, and NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.
Among these payloads, Dogecoin’s physical token is set to embark on its celestial adventure alongside a physical Bitcoin token, an initiative championed by the crypto exchange BitMEX and announced in May.
Additionally, the PM1 mission is poised to carry a significant relic – a copy of the Genesis Block, the foundational block of Bitcoin, commissioned by Bitcoin Magazine.
This lunar expedition marks Dogecoin’s second attempt to reach the moon, following a 2022 plan for a SpaceX mission funded entirely by DOGE tokens.
The Canadian company Geometric Energy Corp., responsible for that mission, initially touted it as the first-ever commercial lunar payload in history funded exclusively with DOGE.
However, unforeseen circumstances led to a postponement, and the mission is now rescheduled for a January 2024 launch.
As news of the ambitious plans was announced, Dogecoin skyrocketed to $0.086, breaking the local highs created in July 2023.
Bitcoin battles CPI and SEC delay
Bitcoin has demonstrated resilience in the face of economic fluctuations, first reacting to Consumer Price Index data and later maintaining composure despite delays in spot Bitcoin ETF approvals.
October CPI figures for the US were released on Tuesday and showed that year-on-year inflation for the US had dropped to 3.2% – below market expectations of 3.3% and down from the previous month of 3.7%.
While traditional markets, represented by the S&P 500, welcomed the news with a 1.5% surge, Bitcoin’s reaction was more measured.
The cryptocurrency briefly revisited an intraday low before climbing back toward $37,000, remaining within a defined range.
Turning to regulatory developments, the SEC announced delays in decisions on spot Bitcoin ETF applications from Franklin Templeton and Global X.
While market expectations didn’t anticipate approvals this week, the news still had minimal impact on Bitcoin’s value, which modestly rose above $36,500 during the weekend.
The SEC extended the deadlines for Franklin Templeton and Global X into early 2024, emphasizing a cautious approach toward approving spot Bitcoin ETFs.
Race for Ethereum spot ETF begins
BlackRock, a behemoth in the asset management sphere, has officially submitted a filing for a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund.
This bold step is a manifestation of the firm’s increased commitment to cryptocurrency investments, aligning with the positive sentiment among investors anticipating the approval of such innovative financial instruments.
The newly registered iShares Ethereum Trust, poised for listing on Nasdaq pending approval, is designed to offer investors exposure to ether, the second most prominent cryptocurrency.
Notably, BlackRock is advocating for the conversion of the trust into a “spot” ETF. This distinction is crucial as it implies actual ownership of ether, a departure from the prevalent trend of ETFs based on futures products tied to the crypto token.
Hot on BlackRock’s heels, financial giant Fidelity has also entered the race to launch its Ethereum-centric ETF.
As revealed in a filing on Friday, the proposed Fidelity Ethereum Fund aims to hold Ethereum’s ether. This development echoes the steps taken by BlackRock, underlining a broader trend among major financial institutions to deepen their involvement in the cryptocurrency space.
Fidelity’s Ethereum Fund, if approved, is slated to be listed on an exchange owned by Cboe Global Markets.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the arbiter of such financial innovations, must render a decision on this ETF and others, including BlackRock’s, disclosed earlier.
Both Fidelity and BlackRock are not limiting their ambitions to Ethereum alone. The financial powerhouses are concurrently exploring the creation of ETFs that facilitate easier access to Bitcoin as well.
The SEC’s stance on these Bitcoin-focused ETFs remains uncertain, adding an additional layer of anticipation to the crypto community.
Altcoin market begins to heat-up
According to CryptoQuant analysts, South Korean traders are once again taking center stage in the surging altcoin market, propelling prices to new heights.
The recent altcoin rally, fueled in part by the high-risk appetite of South Korean traders, has seen a substantial increase in spot volumes on the local exchange Upbit.
CryptoQuant analysts noted that spot volumes on Upbit nearly doubled since September, with the exchange experiencing an 82% growth in October compared to the previous month.
This surge in trading activity created a flywheel effect, attracting market makers and traders who reinvested their profits, further amplifying the rally.
While altcoin activity intensified on South Korean exchanges, Bitcoin has maintained its dominant position globally.
Bitcoin’s market dominance, measured by its capitalization compared to the rest of the market, rose from 49% to 53% during this period, reaffirming its status as the preferred choice among traders.
The overall cryptocurrency market capitalization reached $1.4 trillion as of Friday, compared to just over $1 trillion at the beginning of September, indicating substantial growth in the broader digital asset space.
As the altcoin market experiences a surge driven by South Korean enthusiasm, it’s essential to reflect on the comparisons with the previous altcoin rally in 2021.
As noted by @MilesDeutscher, In the first half of 2021, the altcoin market cap skyrocketed from $100 billion to an impressive $900 billion, followed by another surge from $450 billion to $1.1 trillion in the second half.
Contrasting with this, the recent altcoin rally has led to a comparatively modest increase in market cap from $300 billion to $420 billion.
This observation emphasizes the notion that we are still in the early stages of the crypto game, with the current rally being perceived as a mere warm-up for the more significant events to come.
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