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February 5, 2024

January Closes Green as ETFs Accumulate 3% of All Bitcoin Supply

February 5, 2024

During the first month of the year, over 640,000 BTC has been accumulated among the 10 US spot products that are now live and trading.

As Bitcoin continues to be scooped up, the S&P 500 now stands at record highs even as interest rates were held stationary by the Federal Reserve.

Meanwhile, Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest eyes another multi-million dollar Bitcoin price prediction, and VISA, the largest payments provider in the world, integrates cryptocurrency withdrawals. 

With so much to cover in this week’s roundup, it’s time to get started!

Bitcoin ETFs accumulate 3% of BTC total supply

Despite a significant sell-off from Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), the remaining Bitcoin Spot ETFs have engaged in a proactive accumulation spree throughout January.

According to data tracked by Dune Analytics, GBTC executed a robust sell-off, shedding 132,195 Bitcoin during the month. 

This move resulted in a stark 21% decline in GBTC’s Bitcoin reserves, plummeting from 619,220 BTC on January 11 to 487,025 BTC by the end of the month.

In stark contrast, the remaining nine funds in the sector took a proactive stance, collectively accumulating an impressive 151,006 Bitcoin throughout January. 

This surge represented a remarkable 700% increase, propelling their combined holdings from 18,390 BTC to an impressive 169,396 BTC by the end of the trading month.

At the time of writing, the cumulative Bitcoin holdings across all 10 spot Bitcoin ETFs have reached 647,205 BTC.

These holdings translate to a valuation of $27.8 billion and equate to 3.3% of Bitcoin’s total supply.

Onchain Bitcoin holdings for Bitcoin Spot ETFs
Onchain Bitcoin holdings for Bitcoin Spot ETFs

S&P 500 surges to record high as Fed pauses interest rates

U.S. stocks surged on Friday, propelling the S&P 500 to a historic closing high.

The rally, fueled by robust corporate earnings and an impressive January employment report, instilled confidence in the economy and resulted in the S&P 500 index closing at a record high of 4958.  

S&P 500 over the last 5 years
S&P 500 over the last 5 years

Notably, the surge also dampened expectations of an imminent interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

Solid quarterly performances by Meta and Amazon played a pivotal role in propelling the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite Index over 1%. 

The upward momentum marked the fourth consecutive week of gains for both major US stock indexes.

The Labor Department’s report revealing an addition of 353,000 jobs in January, surpassing analysts’ estimates, further fueled the positive sentiment. 

In the eyes of analysts, these robust economic indicators have shifted the narrative, making it increasingly probable that the Federal Reserve will postpone any key policy rate cuts, which aligns with sentiment expressed by Fed Chair, Jerome Powell, at Wednesday’s FOMC meeting.

In a statement, Powell pushed back against the idea of a March rate cut, emphasizing the signs of economic vigor. 

Consequently, financial markets have adjusted expectations, with the likelihood of a 25 basis point rate cut at the Fed’s March meeting dropping to 38%, a significant decrease from the 69.6% estimated a month ago, according to CME’s FedWatch tool

The markets now await further developments, balancing the optimism surrounding record highs with the cautious anticipation of the Federal Reserve’s policy decisions.

Expected interest rate targets for March FOMC
Expected interest rate targets for March FOMC

$2.3 million price prediction for Bitcoin

Despite an overall bullish trend, the real excitement stirred this week with a daring price prediction for Bitcoin from Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment Management, setting the stage for potentially stratospheric growth.

After conducting a comprehensive analysis of various assets, including Bitcoin, gold, and stocks, Ark evaluated their risk-adjusted returns over the past five years. 

The outcome suggested an optimal portfolio allocation of 19.4% in Bitcoin.

In a hypothetical scenario where the $250 trillion global investible asset base aligns with this allocation, Ark projected Bitcoin’s price to skyrocket to an astounding $2.3 million. 

This ambitious forecast has further fueled excitement within the crypto community, amplifying the positive sentiment surrounding Bitcoin’s future trajectory.

Optimal Bitcoin allocation by Ark Invest
Optimal Bitcoin allocation by Ark Invest

VISA introduces crypto withdrawals in 145 countries

Global payment giant Visa is propelling the adoption of cryptocurrencies to new heights with its latest collaboration. 

Teaming up with Web3 infrastructure provider, Transak, Visa is introducing a groundbreaking method for exchanging cryptocurrencies to fiat without relying on centralized exchanges.

Partnership of Transak and VISA
Partnership of Transak and VISA

Announced on January 30th, the partnership brings forth cryptocurrency withdrawals and payments through Visa Direct solution. 

This innovative integration allows users to seamlessly withdraw cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin directly from a wallet like MetaMask to a Visa debit card. 

The feature is immediately available, offering users the ability to exchange crypto to fiat and make payments at over 130 million merchant locations worldwide where Visa is accepted.

Yanilsa Gonzalez-Ore, Head of Visa Direct in North America, praised the collaboration, stating, “By enabling real-time card withdrawals through Visa Direct, Transak is delivering a faster, simpler, and more connected experience for its users — making it easier to convert crypto balances into fiat.”

This strategic move significantly expands the options for converting crypto into fiat currencies, marking a significant milestone in bridging the gap between the crypto and traditional finance worlds, according to Harshit Gangwar, Transak’s Head of Marketing and Investor Relations.

Users from 145 countries, including jurisdictions like Cyprus, Malta, Singapore, Turkey, Portugal, and the United Arab Emirates, can now directly convert at least 40 cryptocurrencies to fiat without relying on centralized exchanges, as highlighted on Transak’s global coverage page.

Visa’s active exploration of cryptocurrency use cases has been evident in recent years. 

In 2020, the company made a major move by partnering with blockchain firm Circle to support the USDC stablecoin on specific Visa cards. 

The momentum then continued in September 2023 when Visa rolled out support for USDC payments settled on the Solana blockchain, further expanding its backing for the stablecoin.

Tweet from Cointelegraph announcing VISA’s partnership with Transak
Tweet from Cointelegraph announcing VISA’s partnership with Transak

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