5 minutes reading time
- Digital assets
Bitcoin reached a 19-month peak, soaring to above US$39K and ending higher, along with the broader crypto market, over the seven days to 3 December. Bitcoin was trading at US$39,409, with ethereum underperforming, up 3.33% vs bitcoin’s 4.34% increase. Bitcoin’s market capitalisation increased to US$770.8 billion, with the total crypto market cap up to US$1.48 trillion. Bitcoin’s market dominance is 52%.
|Change from previous week
|BTC (in US$)
|ETH (in US$)
Source: CoinMarketCap. As at 3 December 2023. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Performance is shown in US dollars and does not take into account any USD/AUD currency movements.
Crypto news we’re watching
Standard Chartered Bank’s bullish bitcoin prediction
Head of FX research at Standard Chartered Bank, Geoff Kendrick, has given his three reasons that bitcoin could top US$100K in 2024. The first is expected flow into digital assets more broadly. The second is the bitcoin halving expected to occur in April 2024. The bitcoin halving is when the reward for bitcoin mining is cut in half, and takes place every four years. Kendrick feels the price of bitcoin may peak 12-18 months after the halving. Finally, he believes the launch of the first US spot bitcoin ETF is imminent and could spur a bull run.
Kendrick said: “We now expect more upside to materialise before the halving than we previously did, specifically via the earlier-than-expected introduction of US spot ETFs. This suggests a risk that the US$100,000 level could be reached before end-2024.”1
Binance pays historic fine
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has agreed to pay a historic fine of US$4.3 billion for money laundering, and its founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has been forced to resign after pleading guilty to criminal violations. According to US officials, the exchange knowingly aided the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars between users of the platform in the US, sanctioned parties in countries such as North Korea and Iran, and terrorist groups including Al Qaeda and a wing of Hamas.2
The platform appears to be stable and over-collateralised for many of the largest assets on its books such as bitcoin, ether, and tether.3
Hut8 Mining completes merger
Bitcoin mining companies Hut8 Mining and US Bitcoin Corp have completed a merger according to an announcement released on 30 November. The new company name will be Hut 8 Corp (New Hut) and is a US-domiciled entity. The deal is being labelled a “merger of equals” by executives, and is expected to increase revenue streams and bring about a new phase of geographic diversity.4
Hut 8 Mining is a North American company specialising in digital asset mining, High-Performance Computing, and yield programs. Hut 8 Mining is currently held in the Betashares Crypto Innovators ETF (ASX: CRYP).
Bitcoin: Percent Balance on All Exchanges
This metric displays the percent supply held on exchange addresses. A bias to hold crypto off-exchange typically indicates strong demand and weakening sell-side pressure in the market.
According to data from Glassnode, the percent balance on all exchanges is 11.8%, a low not seen since December 2017. Just over 37,000 BTC, worth approximately US$1.4 billion, has been withdrawn from exchanges since 17 November, showing investors taking direct custody of their coins.
Source: Glassnode. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.
This metric shows the number of bitcoin in the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, a Canada-based spot bitcoin ETF.
According to data from Glassnode provided by Purpose Investments, the number of bitcoin being held has gone from 24,405 at the beginning of October to 34,938 in just eight weeks.
The top-performing top 30 altcoin over the seven days to 3 December was THORChain (RUNE), returning just over 30%, and 428% over the last 365 days. Helping push the price higher was news that Edge, a self-custody wallet was integrating RUNE.5
According to the THORChain website, THORChain is a network that facilitates native asset settlement between Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB Chain, Avalanche, Cosmos Hub, Dogecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. Its native token RUNE secures the network and accrues value as more assets are deposited onto the network.
Investing in crypto assets or companies servicing crypto-asset markets should be considered very high risk. Exposure to crypto assets involves substantially higher risk when compared to traditional investments due to their speculative nature and the very high volatility of crypto-asset markets.
Investing in crypto assets or crypto-focused companies is not suitable for all investors and should only be considered by investors who (i) fully understand their features and risks or after consulting a professional financial adviser, and (ii) who have a very high tolerance for risk and the capacity to absorb a rapid loss of some or all of their investment. Any investment in crypto assets or crypto- focused companies should only be considered as a very small component of an investor’s overall portfolio.
Past performance is not indicative of future performance.
Off the Chain is published every second Tuesday. It provides the latest news on bitcoin and the rest of the crypto market, along with analysis and insights into the world of crypto.
It provides general information only and is not a recommendation to invest in any crypto asset, crypto-focused company or investment product.
Betashares - Head of Digital AssetsRead more from Justin.