Welcome back to Chain Reaction.
Happy New Year! The crypto space has been off to a strong start for 2024, with reports and ETF analysts suggesting that a bitcoin spot ETF approval in the U.S. could be imminent. This news has caused bitcoin’s price to surge over $45,000 on Tuesday, its highest level since April 2022. While it has retracted slightly to $44,000 at the time of publication, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization is currently sitting at $1.68 trillion, the highest level since May 2022.
In other news, the Financial Intelligence Unit, an Indian government agency, announced last Thursday that it has issued a notice to nine global crypto exchanges – including Binance, Kraken, Kucoin, and Mexc – for allegedly operating “illegally” in the country and has subsequently blocked their websites. More details on this below.
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This Week in Web3
The latest pod
In this week’s news episode, Jacquelyn dove into the latest developments on spot bitcoin ETF applications in the U.S. as anticipation grows. She was joined by Fred Thiel, CEO of Marathon Digital Holdings, a digital asset technology company and the largest publicly traded bitcoin mining firm, to help break down the latest developments.
Currently, there are 14 asset management firms, including BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale, and VanEck, hoping to individually win approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for their spot bitcoin ETFs. Recent reports suggest that this approval may happen soon, given the frequent meetings and updated filings in recent weeks.
The discussion also touched on the potential impact a spot bitcoin ETF could have on investors, institutions, and miners, as well as the overall effect on bitcoin’s price.
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Follow the Money
Here are some notable recent investments in the web3 space:
- Arkon Energy has raised $110 million to expand U.S. bitcoin mining capacity and launch an AI cloud service in Norway;
- Web3 gaming company Portal has closed a strategic round for an undisclosed amount;
- Lending platform Tonka Finance has raised $2.5 million in funding;
- Animoca Brands has invested in racing esports startup Veloce in a pre-IPO funding round.
This list was compiled using information from Messari and TechCrunch’s own reporting.
What Else We’re Writing
Interested in exploring beyond the world of web3? Check out some of our articles on TechCrunch that caught our attention this week:
- OpenPath raises $3 million in Series A funding to bring keyless entry to SMBs
- 5 faltering startups rebrand for a comeback
- Watch the recorded version of TC Sessions: Robotics + AI
For breaking crypto news, memes, and more, follow me on Twitter @Jacqmelinek.