Over 42 Million Address Hold Bitcoin amid the Bear Market, 4.5 Million More than 2021

Bitcoin (BTC) has lacked a significant leg up as bears continue to bite. Nevertheless, Bitcoin hodlers are not relenting in their quest to have more coins.

Data analytic firm IntoTheBlock explained:

“The number of Bitcoin hodllers has been growing in the bear market. Over 42M addresses are currently holding BTC, 4.5M more than a year ago.”


Source: IntoTheBlock

Since coins are stored for the future other than speculation, hodling has emerged as one of the sought-after strategies in the Bitcoin market. Furthermore, it triggers a bullish picture because it reduces selling pressure. 

Market insight provider Glassnode pointed out:

“Bitcoin has once again rejected below the psychological $20k region, plunging Short-Term Hodlers into severe, unrealized loss. However, Bitcoin hodlers remain steadfast, with old coin spending approaching a full cycle detox.”

Glassnode recently noted that even though Bitcoin has lacked a significant upward momentum, this has not dampened the spirits of hodlers because coins aged at least 3 months hit an ATH of 86.3%, Blockchain.News reported. 

On the other hand, Bitcoin addresses with at least 0.01 coins have been surging. Glassnode stated:

“Number of BTC addresses holding 0.01+ coins just reached an ATH of 10,746,906 Previous ATH of 10,746,518 was observed on 25 September 2022.”


Source: Glassnode

Moreover, addresses with more than 10,000 BTC reached a monthly high of 101.

Even though a bullish picture has not been painted in the Bitcoin market, it remains to be seen how things shape up for the leading crypto in the short term.

“No bullish price structure for Bitcoin,” senior market analyst at Cubic Analytics Caleb Franzen pointed out.


Source: TradingView/CalebFranzen

Bitcoin was down by 7.23% to hit $18,723 during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap.

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HK-Based Hardware Wallet Maker OneKey Raises $20m in Series A Funding

A Hong Kong-based crypto hardware wallet maker has raised around $20 million in a Series A funding round.

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OneKey announced on Twitter that the funding round was led by Dragonfly and Ribbit Capital. Other participants included Coinbase Ventures, Framework Ventures, Sky9 Capital, Folius Ventures and Ethereal Ventures. While angel investors, including Santiago Santos and Feng Liu, also backed the round.

“We are thrilled to announce that OneKey has closed a Series A round of approximately $20 million led by @dragonfly_xyz and @RibbitCapital, and followed by @hiFramework, @Sky9Capital, @FoliusVentures, @etherealvc, @coinbase, @santiagoroel, and @fishkiller,” Yishi Wang, a core contributor at OneKey, tweeted.

Along with Series A funding, OneKey also closed a round of “small funding” with other participants from IOSG Ventures, according to a tweet from Wang.

“One more thing, we are super excited to announce that after series A, we have also closed a new round of small funding with participation from @IOSGVC for an unspecified amount,” he tweeted.

OneKey claims that its code is open source. According to the crypto hardware wallet firm, if a crypto wallet does not operate in an open source way, it could hide a backdoor that could compromise the security of customer assets.

“OneKey is, to date, the only hardware wallet in the world that is 100% open source and uses a certified secure chip,” said another tweet from Wang today.

The company believes that it is the number one hardware wallet in the Eastern Hemisphere since its foundation in 2020. According to Wang, OneKey has overtaken custody of billions of dollars in crypto assets. He also believes that the firm continues to grow rapidly without “incomplete 3rd-party statistics.”

Wang has also revealed – citing data from the firm’s shipped orders – that rival wallet maker Ledger and crypto firms Alchemy and Infura are using OneKey’s devices.

Currently, there are around 30 people working for OneKey and the wallet maker has no plans to increase that number. “OneKey is very conscious of controlling the burn rate and prioritizing long-term profitability,” Wang said. He also added that the firm currently does not have any plans for a native token.

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Argentina Fighter Guido Cannetti Accepts Salary in Stablecoin

Argentina athlete Guido Cannetti of the world’s leading mixed martial arts competition Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced that he would would be paid in full in stablecoin USDC.

He becomes the first UFC athlete in Argentina to use a cryptocurrency stablecoin for salary.

According to Bitwage – the global leader in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and stablecoin payroll with services across invoicing and benefits services. Guido Cannetti will receive his USDC stablecoin payment via Stellar Network on Vibrant.

Stellar Network on Vibrant is a wallet application developed by the Stellar team specifically for Argentines experiencing inflation.

According to the official inflation data released by Argentina earlier, the inflation rate in August soared to 78.5% year-on-year, a new high in 30 years, and the month-on-month increase reached 7%. The inflation rate is expected to rise by nearly 95% by the end of this year.

The central bank has raised interest rates by a total of 3,700 basis points (37%) this year but has fallen into the dilemma of “no one dares to save money”.

Canneti said the stablecoin could hedge against local currency fluctuations and depreciation. 

In a statement released by Bitwage, Canneti said that:

“I am getting paid in USDC because it is safer for my future.”

Due to persistent inflation, the devaluation continues to weaken the Argentine peso (ARS). Argentines are reportedly buying two to three times the normal amount of stablecoins.

Depending on different regulations, the adoption of cryptocurrencies is expected to continue to rise in Argentina, as cryptocurrencies are seen as a hedge against cyclical economic crises such as hyperinflation, recessions, and repeated currency devaluations.

51% of Argentinian consumers have purchased cryptocurrencies, with 27% of them buying cryptocurrencies on a regular basis, up from 12% at the end of 2021, according to Americas Market Intelligence’s April statistics.

Argentines have been seeking refuge in digital assets, even though the country has recently halted financial institutions’ crypto operations.

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Bitcoin’s Trading Volume Reaches High Since June as Price Slips Below $18.8K

After touching the psychological price of $20K recently, selling pressure has emerged in the Bitcoin (BTC) market, causing the price to drop below $18,800. Furthermore, trading volume hit a three-month high.

Market insight provider Santiment explained:

“Trading volume has heated up for crypto markets, and especially Bitcoin. During the big leg down on Tuesday, BTC peaked at its highest level of trading since June 14th. Volume has gradually risen all year since bottoming out in late January.”


Source: Santiment

The leading cryptocurrency was down by 7.32% to hit $18,744 during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap

Market analyst Michael van de Poppe believes Bitcoin should hold a zone between $18,600 and $18,800 to avoid further downside. He pointed out:

“Back in the range for Bitcoin, through which the levels still stand. On the upside, breaking & flipping $19.3K and preferably $19.5K activates continuation towards $22.5K. Supports to hold; $18.6K-18.8K range.”


Source: TradingView/MichaelvandePoppe

Based on Santiment data, profit-taking tendencies emerged after Bitcoin jumped above $20,000. The market insight provider noted:

“Many traders were apparently awaiting the $20k threshold to begin selling their bags. As Bitcoin crossed back above this psychological level, mass profit taking ensued. Now we find out whether those anxious to sell will regret their decisions.”


Source: Santiment

With Bitcoin trading volume exploding against the British pound (GBP) recently, it remains to be seen how the top cryptocurrency trends in the short term. 

James Butterfill, the head of research at CoinShares, stated:

“Bitcoin volumes against GBP were US$881m yesterday (US$70m average), when a FIAT currency is threatened, investors start to favor Bitcoin.”


Source: JamesButterfill

Meanwhile, interest in BTC recently spiked, causing social dominance to surge to a 2-month high, Blockchain.News reported. 

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Strike Secures $80m in Funding to Propel Instant Bitcoin Payments

Strike raised $80 million in funding to revamp BTC payments for top financial institutions, marketplaces, and merchants.

Jack Mallers, the CEO and founder of Strike, pointed out:

“We’re moving full speed ahead not just to integrate Strike’s revolutionary payments with leading merchants, but globally, with a variety of businesses and partners to innovate and deliver on more financial inclusion.” 

As a leading digital payments platform built on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, Strike recently launched its flagship API meant to render instant, cash-final, and global payments by eradicating interchange and other processing fees. 

Some investors taking part in the $80 million funding included the University of Wyoming, Ten31, and Washington University in St. Louis, among others. 

Since Strike is poised to revamp the Landscape’s payments and financial services, Grant Gilliam believes it will offer everyone a more inclusive, innovative, and efficient financial experience.

The co-founder and managing partner of Ten31 added:

“Strike and Ten31 have a shared vision for the positive impact bitcoin can have on the world and are mutually aligned on accelerating its adoption. It was therefore a natural fit to partner with Strike as its lead investor.” 

Strike intends to use the capital to boost growth beyond its commerce API, enhance existing partnerships, and launch new collaborations. For instance, the digital payments platform intends to roll out new product lines that will take the hassle of building in-house solutions for large businesses and financial institutions. 

Mallers added:

“Businesses and institutions want a groundbreaking experience sending payments as well. We can empower businesses to move money in ways networks such as card networks and SWIFT can’t, and we pay these partners in the form of commissions to do so, which makes it an exciting innovation for everyone. We’ve seen a lot of demand here.”

Having clocked more than two million app downloads, it seems the sky’s the limit for Strike, given that it permits users to send dollars instantly and feeless globally.

Meanwhile, Strike enabled Shopify merchants to have the option of receiving BTC off-chain payments, which are readily confirmed, faster, and cheaper than that processed on-chain, Blockchain.News reported. 

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Slow to Incorporate Crypto Regulations Could Fuel Arbitrage Risk: French Central Banker

Francois Villeroy de Galhau, the governor of the French Central Bank, has warned of the risks of arbitrage that may be fueled by uneven crypto regulations on the global scale.


As reported by Reuters, Villeroy was quoted saying that the failure of some countries to develop regulations to govern the broader crypto ecosystem quickly can create a safe haven for global players in the emerging industry.

“We should be extremely mindful to avoid adopting diverging or contradictory regulations or regulating too late,” Villeroy said in a statement at a conference on digital finance in Paris. According to him, failure to provide sound regulations “..would be to create an uneven playing field, risking arbitrage and cherry picking.”

As far as Villeroy is concerned, the bottom line that is being pursued by regulators, including the protection of consumers and the prevention of money laundering, may not be achieved.

Villeroy’s comments trail the push by the key European Union regulators, including the Central Bank, Parliament, and Council agreeing on the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework earlier this year. The framework is comprehensive, and it is set to usher in a standard for the crypto industry at a time when most other economies, including the United States, are still largely at the earliest stages of their regulatory designs. 

With the details about MiCA now finalized, Villeroy said he sees full implementation to commence next year in March.

Harmonizing crypto regulations has been a very difficult move. While the G7 and G20 member states have made some attempts to unify tax-related levies on tech startups and by extension players in the crypto ecosystem, the leniency of some smaller countries tagged as Tax havens can still make this move a very long shot.

Unless global regulators find a way to set a standard that can easily be implemented by most local regulators, the regulatory approaches of nations will always be uneven.

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France’s CBDC Projects to Manage DeFi Liquidity, Settle Tokenized Assets

On Tuesday September 27, Villeroy de Galhau, the Governor at the Banque de France, the Central Bank of France, announced two new projects that aim to achieve the benefits of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) used at a wholesale level by banks and financial markets.

The governor made the announcement during his speech at the bank’s digital currency conference on Tuesday. The Head of Central Bank said the first project will look at improving CBDCs’ liquidity management in decentralized finance (DeFi), such as via automated market makers. As a liquidity creator, the CBDC will play a role similar to that of investment banks to sustain trading in particular securities.

On the other hand, the second project will focus on issuing and distributing tokenized bonds on a blockchain. This will build on previous findings about CBDCs being used to settle Web3 securities, such as the French Central Bank’s Project Jura.

In his speech, the governor stated that: “A wholesale CBDC could significantly contribute to improving cross-border and cross-currency payments.” But then he acknowledged that: “CBDCs at the wholesale level attract less attention than their headline-grabbing retail equivalent.”

The governor pledged to add more details about the new projects in the coming weeks. A point to remember is that France’s wholesale CBDC is currently in the second stage of the experimentation programme, which will see four to five new projects introduced.

Intensifying CBDC Efforts

In July this year, France’s Central Bank began the second phase of experimentation with its wholesale CBDC, designed to streamline domestic and cross-border transactions between commercial banks.

France’s Central Bank wants to bring CBDC as a settlement asset as early as 2023. The bank is working to get closer to a viable prototype, testing it in practice with more private financial institutions and foreign central banks in the second half of 2022 and 2023.

Banque de France, which started experiments on a wholesale CBDC in March 2020, completed its first stage of experimentation in December 2021. During the experimentation period, the bank had been exploring the use of the CBDC for the exchange of money between financial institutions.

Besides the wholesale CBDC, the Banque de France is also exploring a retail CBDC as part of the European Central Bank’s broader work on the potential development of a digital euro.

Central banks across the globe are exploring the development of digital currencies not only to address the decline in the use of cash but also to tackle the rising interest in private cryptocurrencies among users.

Central banks are increasingly exploring wholesale CBDCs that are built on blockchain technology and promise to help speed up interbank settlements.

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FTX’s Bankman-Fried Considering to Bid on Celsius’ Assets

The founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of digital-asset exchange FTX is considering bidding for the assets of bankrupt lender Celsius Network, according to a source familiar with the matter.

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Sam Bankman-Fried has been bailing out distressed crypto firms and bought several of them recently.

FTX has already managed to acquire the assets of bankrupt crypto brokerage Voyager Digital Ltd. this week after winning an auction with a bid of about $50 million, Blockchain.News reported.

Besides its lending business, Celsius owns large Bitcoin mining operations and a crypto custody business. The company filed for bankruptcy in July of this year.

However, it is unclear as to which of Bankman-Fried’s crypto companies – the FTX crypto exchange or trading firm Alameda Research – will be bidding for some or all of Celsius’ assets.

According to data from CoinGecko, Celsius’s token, CEL, jumped as much as 9.9% on the development before retreating again.

Crypto platform BlockFi was also under FTX’s acquisition radar earlier this year, along with a potential takeover of Robinhood Markets Inc., where Bankman-Fried owns a stake.

According to a source, FTX is in the process of raising a $1 billion funding round. The deal has not closed yet or been made public, the source familiar with the deal added.

Reportedly, negotiations are ongoing and confidential, and the company will raise as much as $1 billion in order to keep the previous valuation of $32 billion. Still, conditions could be changed, according to sources.

Meanwhile, Celsius’s CEO Alex Mashinsky resigned Tuesday.

Mashinsky co-founded the Celsius Network alongside Daniel Leon back in 2017, and the firm grew to become one of the most celebrated crypto lending platforms in the crypto world. 

However, The company’s operation hit the rocks in June when it halted withdrawals and finally declared bankruptcy after it realized that internal restructuring and staff layoffs would be insufficient in helping to solve its liquidity woes.

Following his resignation, the crypto firm and its creditors are considering a slew of alternatives, ranging from restructuring to liquidation. 

In August, the company said it received multiple offers of fresh cash to help fund its restructuring process.

Mashinsky’s resignation has come at a time when the company is neck deep into bankruptcy proceedings, and the former CEO said his exit would position him in a better place to help every stakeholder get the best out of the company in the end.

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Revolut Finally Wins FCA Registration to Offer Crypto trading Services in UK

Revolut, a London-based digital banking startup, has finally won a long awaiting registration from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to offer crypto services in the United Kingdom.

Revolut becomes the latest accredited crypto asset firm register, bringing the list of companies approved to conduct crypto asset activities in the country to 38.

An FCA spokesperson discussed the development: “We confirm that Revolut has been removed from the temporary register and has received full registration as a crypto asset firm. Revolut has agreed to a number of directions designed to ensure it has the systems and controls to meet the requirements of the money laundering regulations.”

The FCA became the U.K.’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing authority at the beginning of 2020. As a result, the regulator requested firms conducting certain cryptoasset activities nationwide to register with it.  And so, more than 100 firms, including Revolut, applied for registration.

Although the registration deadline was in March this year, the FCA allowed a select number of firms to remain on the watchdog’s Temporary Registration Regime (TRR), which was introduced to enable firms to continue operating while their applications were being reviewed.

As of early April, Revolut was one of five firms on the Temporary Registration Regime, along with CEX.I0, Copper Technologies, GlobalBlock and Moneybrain. This implied that more than 60 other applications were denied registration or had withdrawn from the official register.

Efforts to Ramp Up Growth Across the World 

This week, Revolut has finally received its approval, while the fate of the other four firms is still unknown. The latest move follows a series of additional regulatory achievements for Revolut around the globe as part of its efforts to launch its services to more customers.

On August 15, Revolut was granted authorization by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CYSEC), allowing it to offer crypto services across the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA includes the 27 nations in the European Union, including Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Therefore, the U.K.’s registration license cemented the winning regulatory approval for the company’s crypto services in Europe.

Early last month, Revolut gained regulatory approval to operate in Singapore. On August 4, the firm launched its crypto services in Singapore.

With the U.K.’s FCA approval, Revolut is now fully authorized to provide crypto services in the United Kingdom. The authorization also has strengthened hopes for the firm to get a U.K. banking license that would enable it to offer its own banking products in its home country.

Revolut, which applied for a U.K. banking license in January 2021, sees getting a U.K. banking license as being a key step in its plan to become a global super app. The firm applied for 48 banking licenses across the globe, but so far, it has received 44 – still awaiting to receive some elsewhere, including in the U.K.

Revolut’s U.K. banking license may be delayed after the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) discovered flaws in its audit by U.K.’s auditing firm BDO.

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