Friday, March 1, 2024


This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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Volatility Shares 2x Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITX), the first leveraged bitcoin (and crypto) ETF in the U.S., started trading on Tuesday, witnessing $5.5 million of volume on its first day, according to data from Bloomberg. Action got off to a quick start, with volume of about $500K in the first 15 minutes after the open. By comparison, ProShares’ BITO – the first ever bitcoin ETF (futures-based) in the U.S. – saw roughly $1 billion in volume on its first day of trading in 2021. A number of futures-based bitcoin ETF products trade in the U.S., including now this new leveraged product. The SEC, however, has consistently blocked spot funds from launching – a stance that will again be tested after asset management giant BlackRock earlier this month applied to create a spot bitcoin ETF.

Dollar-pegged stablecoin TrueUSD (TUSD) is trading at a discount relative to peer tether (USDT) on Binance.US, the U.S. subsidiary of Binance. At press time, the TUSD/USDT pair traded at 89 cents on Binance.US, having hit a low of 80 cents on Wednesday, data from charting platform TradingView show. On Binance, the pair traded at around $0.9980. Volatility in stablecoins, which have evolved as funding currencies over the past three years, often feeds into the broader market, though so far this hasn’t happened in this instance as bitcoin continues to trade in a tight range just above $30,000. TUSD, with a market cap of $3 billion, poses less of a systemic risk to the broader market than tether, whose market cap is $83 billion.

Austria-based One Trading, the digital asset exchange formerly known as Bitpanda Pro, has announced a successful €30 million (roughly $33 million) funding round as it separates entirely from Bitpanda. The new platform plans to expand its crypto asset offerings for retail and institutional investors throughout Europe. The raise was led by Valar Ventures, co-founded by billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel, and featured participation from MiddleGame Ventures, Speedinvest, Keyrock and Wintermute Ventures. Bitpanda initially launched Bitpanda Pro in 2019 to provide a regulated platform for retail traders, finance professionals and institutions. The company – which hit a $4.1 billion valuation during a funding round in Aug. 2021 – will retain an undisclosed minority stake in One Trading. One Trading will continue to be led by Bitpanda Pro CEO Joshua Barraclough, who joined Bitpanda in late 2021 after a stint as co-head of digital innovation at JPMorgan in London.

Chart of the Day

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  • The chart shows bitcoin’s price and the exchange whale ratio since 2017. The exchange whale ratio represents the relative size of the top 10 exchange inflows to total inflows.
  • The seven-day moving average of the ratio has declined to the lowest since 2018 in a bullish sign for the leading cryptocurrency.
  • “It indicates that the whales are less active in the central exchanges. Due to the recent events surrounding the digital asset industry (Hong Kong opening the crypto market, regulatory updates in the U.S., and big TradFi filing BTC spot ETFs), it seems that the whales are taking the wait and see approach at the moment,” CryptoQuant said.

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Edited by Stephen Alpher.



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