Weekly roundup: Ethereum extends recent dominance
Ether has continued its recent market dominance by setting a new all-time high above $3,600, having outperformed Bitcoin and a few other leading cryptocurrencies in the past few weeks
Ether crosses hits $3,600
The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Ether, recorded a highly favourable week. The cryptocurrency surpassed the $3,500 mark and set a new all-time high at $3,605. Thus, rising by over 20% over the past week while its monthly gain is above 60%. Conversely, Bitcoin is down by roughly 3% over the past month. The rally brought many positives, with Ether’s market cap reaching $400 billion for the first time in its history. It is still a long way from Bitcoin (a market cap of $1 trillion), but Ether opened up a significant lead over the third-largest crypto, Binance Coin (BNB), with a market cap of roughly $100 billion.
This rally has made Vitalik Buterin the youngest cryptocurrency billionaire. The 27-year old co-founder of Ethereum holds 333,520 ETH, which is over $1 billion at Ether’s current trading price. Furthermore, Ether’s options trading volume surpassed Bitcoin’s for the first time in history. Ethereum’s options volume across major exchanges stood at $1.32 billion while Bitcoin recorded only $879 million.
eBay could add crypto payment options
One of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world, eBay, is considering adding cryptocurrency payment options for its users. The company’s CEO said crypto payment options are becoming popular, and the company could implement them in the future. The CEO also confirmed that eBay is exploring ways to enter the nonfungible token (NFT) market. NFTs have become popular in various sectors of the global economy, and have gained adoption from artists, celebrities, athletes, and media companies. eBay is planning to become a platform that would help people buy and sell collectibles as NFTs.
S&P Dow Jones introduces three cryptocurrency indexes
Earlier this week, S&P Dow Jones, the company behind S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), launched three indices that track the performance of Bitcoin and Ethereum. The indexes are the Ether-based S&P Ethereum Index (SPETH), the Bitcoin-based S&P Bitcoin Index (SPBTC), and the S&P Cryptocurrency MegaCap Index (SPCMC). The SPCMC tracks the performance of Bitcoin and Ether as weighted by their market cap. The indices allow people to measure the performance of the two leading cryptocurrencies over a certain period. They will be competing with Bitwise and Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, which were previously the only available benchmarks in the market.
NYDIG partners with FIS to enable banks to offer Bitcoin services
NYDIG has partnered with fintech firm FIS to launch a new service that would allow banks to provide Bitcoin services to their clients. The new service would make it possible for people to buy, sell, and hold bitcoins via their traditional bank accounts. According to FIS, more people need to access the cryptocurrency market, and this could be possible if banks provide some basic Bitcoin-related services. NYDIG is set to provide a secure custodial and trading platform for managing the bitcoin transactions. The partnership was created due to the high demand for cryptocurrencies. If the new solution gains adoption, then Bitcoin will be available for billions of people to buy.
Goldman Sachs expanding its cryptocurrency presence
Leading investment bank Goldman Sachs is increasing its presence in the cryptocurrency space. This week, the bank revealed that it has started offering its investors access to non-deliverable forwards (NDFs). The forwards are tied to Bitcoin’s price and pay out in cash. Goldman Sachs stated that institutional demand for cryptocurrencies has been rising massively in recent months, necessitating the need to launch these investment vehicles.
Goldman Sachs also led a $15 million funding round for Coin Metrics earlier this week. The company is one of the leading providers of crypto financial intelligence and intends to use the funds to expand its operations. Coin Metrics wants to provide services to more institutional clients in various parts of the world.
Coinbase to close down its HQ by 2022
US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase will close its San Francisco headquarters in 2022. The company said it is going remote as it encourages a decentralised workforce. According to the crypto exchange, by going remote, it is showing that no location is better than another. However, Coinbase will offer a network of smaller offices for its employees to work from if they choose to. The move is expected to bring more work-life balance for the employees and comes barely a month after the cryptocurrency exchange became a publicly-listed company. It is one of the most valuable crypto companies, with a market cap of over $50 billion.
Galaxy Digital to acquire BitGo
Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital will acquire BitGo in a deal worth roughly $1.2 billion. BitGo is one of the leading independent digital assets infrastructure providers, and its acquisition will allow Galaxy Digital to position itself as a leading global full-service platform for institutions looking to enter into the crypto market. BitGo shareholders are set to receive 33.8 million newly issued shares of Galaxy Digital common stock and $265 million in cash.
Kraken ordered to submit customer data to the IRS
US-based crypto exchange Kraken has received a court order to submit relevant customer information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS has been seeking customer data from several crypto trading platforms as it cracks down on traders and investors who refused to report their cryptocurrency earnings. According to the tax agency, those who transact with cryptos have to fulfill their tax obligations, similar to every other taxpayer in the United States. The IRS said Kraken is not at fault, and it is only going after the traders and investors who didn’t file their crypto earnings.