Bitcoin surpassed $31,300, marking an 89% increase for the year so far. Factors like a banking crisis and institutional adoption, including major institutions like BNY Mellon and Deutsche Bank entering the crypto space, have contributed to its growth. The collapse of FTX exchange led to forced selling, creating a market bottom. The launch of EDX Markets and the approval of the MiCA regulation in the EU have also been positive developments. The upcoming Bitcoin halving in April 2024 is anticipated to have a significant impact on its price.
Hong Kong's Crypto Revolution
In an unexpected turn, Hong Kong is actively encouraging banks to accept crypto exchanges as clients, aiming to reclaim its fintech leadership. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has queried HSBC, Standard Chartered, and Bank of China regarding their reluctance towards crypto businesses. While Standard Chartered has ongoing conversations with the regulators, the others have yet to comment.
The HKMA seeks to shift traditional banking mindsets, emphasizing that due diligence should not excessively burden potential customers. This approach attempts to break down the resistance from senior executives in banks and could mark the start of a new era.
The city's pro-crypto push has already started attracting big players. Crypto entities like Gate Group and Huobi have revealed plans to operate in Hong Kong, while China Pacific Insurance introduced two crypto funds. However, the contrasting approach of the US, with recent lawsuits against Binance and Coinbase, remains a sobering reminder of regulatory hurdles.
As Hong Kong charts its course in the crypto world, it's evident that this could set a precedent for global financial hubs. The city's eagerness to embrace crypto could potentially spur a global shift in traditional banking.
MicroStrategy persists and signs
MicroStrategy, the leading public corporation in terms of Bitcoin holdings, has acquired an additional 12,333 BTC for approximately $347.0 million. This brings their total holdings to 152,333 BTC, equivalent to 0.726% of the total supply. MicroStrategy's aggressive acquisition strategy cements its position as the dominant force in corporate Bitcoin ownership. The company also plans to leverage Lightning for enterprise infrastructure and content monetization. With this latest move, MicroStrategy reaffirms its belief in the long-term potential of Bitcoin as a digital asset.
Bitcoin miners expand their revenue
Bitcoin miners are expanding their revenue streams by pivoting to high-performance computing (HPC) services. Hut 8, a prominent mining company, recently signed a contract to provide HPC for clients in Canada's health sector. According to industry experts, the shift towards HPC is not about the hardware, but rather about leveraging existing facilities and expertise. Mining companies with large-scale operations can repurpose their infrastructure for HPC, generating additional revenue. This diversification could also benefit the Bitcoin market by reducing the pressure on miners to sell their freshly mined coins, leading to a healthier market. Furthermore, it highlights the broader applicability of crypto infrastructure beyond the cryptocurrency industry. The move reflects the growing demand for purpose-specific computation facilities and demonstrates how Bitcoin mining technology has paved the way for new applications.
The Fipto Research Team