Second Australian bank mints stablecoin

Bitcoin and the broader crypto market ended the week higher once again, with the price of bitcoin hitting its highest level since mid-September and up over 34% since the start of the year.

As at 22 January 2023, bitcoin was trading at US$22,928. Bitcoin’s market capitalisation is at around US$441 billion, with the total crypto market above US$1 trillion. Bitcoin’s market dominance is sitting above 44%.

Price High Low Change from previous week
BTC (in US$) $22,928 $23,282 $20,541 10.64%
ETH (in US$) $1,630 $1,674 $1,509 6.82%

Source: CoinMarketCap. As at 22 January 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.

Source: Glassnode. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Crypto news we’re watching

NAB creates a stablecoin

National Australia Bank (NAB) has become the second of the big four banks to create and launch a stablecoin, following ANZ’s launch of A$DC, early last year. NAB’s  stablecoin AUDN will be fully backed, one-for-one, by the Australian dollar, and launch on the blockchains of Ethereum and Algorand later this year. Opportunities from the stablecoin include carbon trading, which will allow payment to occur at the same time that carbon credits are transferred, and the ability to streamline cross-border remittances.

NAB chief innovation officer Howard Silby said: “We certainly believe there are elements of blockchain technology that will form part of the future of finance … That continues to be the source of some debate. But certainly, from our point of view, we see [blockchain] has the potential to deliver instantaneous, transparent, inclusive, financial outcomes.” 1

Crypto will play a “major role” in the United Arab Emirates


At the 2023 World Economic Forum in Davos, UAE’s minister of state for foreign trade, Thani Al-Zeyoudi, said that, as the federation’s regulations around crypto are finalised, the UAE will become a “hub” with crypto-friendly policies. He noted that a sound regulatory framework should support further growth in the UAE’s crypto sector.

The minister said: “Crypto will play a major role for UAE trade going forward … the most important thing is that we ensure global governance when it comes to cryptocurrencies and crypto companies.”2

Crypto exchange Bitzlato busted for money laundering


Cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato has been charged by US authorities for the alleged laundering of US$700 million. The world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, has been named as one of the receiving and sending counterparties, according to the order from the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Bitzlato was labelled a “primary money-laundering concern” by FinCen.


A spokesperson for Binance said: “Binance is pleased to have provided substantial assistance to international law enforcement partners in support of this investigation. This exemplifies Binance’s commitment to working collaboratively with law enforcement partners worldwide.”3


On-chain metrics


Bitcoin (BTC): Mean Hash Rate (7-Day Moving Average)


This metric shows the average estimated number of hashes per second produced by the miners in the network. Hash rate is an indicator of the overall security of the Bitcoin network.


According to data from Glassnode, the mean hash rate has recently hit all-time highs.


Source: Glassnode. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.


Bitcoin (BTC): Mining Difficulty


This metric shows the current estimated number of raw hashes required to mine a block. The higher the difficulty, the more computing power is needed to mine a block.


According to data from Glassnode, the Bitcoin network’s mining difficulty rose to an all-time high, making block discovery more challenging. The increase will make profits a lot tighter for bitcoin miners.


Source: Glassnode. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Altcoin news


In altcoin news, Decentraland’s MANA token was one of the top performers in the Top 40 over the last seven days, returning over 28% (as at 22nd January 2023).

MANA is the in-game currency of Decentraland and also serves as the platform’s cryptocurrency. MANA is an ERC-20 token that lets users trade or purchase land and pay for goods and services in the virtual world.4

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.





4. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Off the Chain is published every 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.

This article mentions the following funds

Photo of Justin Arzadon

Written by

Justin Arzadon

Director, Adviser Services & Head of Digital Assets.

C4 Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP) and Blockchain Council Certified Bitcoin Expert™ with over 18 years’ experience in the ETF market. Passionate about the future of money.

Read more from Justin.

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