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Bitcoin (BTC) has started the week in the same buoyant mood that saw it gain around 15% last week. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has held steady above $34,000 in Asian and European trading hours, sitting at just over $34,500, up about 1% in the last 24 hours. The CoinDesk Market Index (CMI), a broad-based tracker of hundreds of tokens, is up around 1.4% on the day and over 11% in the past week. The crypto market’s upward trajectory has been carried by enthusiasm at the prospect of a BTC spot ETF finally being approved in the U.S., though this week eyes may turn to the Fed’s interest-rate decision. “While a pause seems the most likely scenario, with cuts seemingly still a while away, crypto watchers will no doubt be seeing this as another pivotal milestone as the crypto winter continues to thaw,” Simon Peters, a markets analyst at eToro wrote in an emailed bulletin. Should crypto’s rally hold firm against a neutral Fed announcement, it could be a sign of further thawing and increased resilience in digital assets.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) is now the second-largest bitcoin futures exchange, with only Binance holding a greater market share, according to data from Coinglass. Notional open interest (OI) – the value locked in the number of active or open contracts – on CME reached $3.54 billion compared with Binance’s $3.83 billion. Open interest in CME’s cash-settled futures contracts surpassed 100,000 BTC for the first time and the exchange’s share in the BTC futures market rose to a lifetime high of 25%. The ascent of a regulated, mainstream financial exchange is a sign for some observers that the recent rally in the crypto market is institutionally led.

Thai bank Kasikorn, also known as K-Bank, said it has acquired a 97% stake in crypto exchange Satang at a valuation of 3.705 billion Thai baht ($102.8 million), a month after the creation of its $100 million fund targeting Web3 and fintech investments. Following the closure of the deal, Satang will be re-branded to Orbix, along with three new subsidiaries: Orbix Custodian, fund manager Orbix Invest and blockchain tech developer Orbix Technology. K-Bank rival Siam Commercial Bank has also been targeting inroads into the digital asset industry, last month inking a partnership with Hashed, one of Thailand’s biggest Web3 investors.

Chart of the Day

(Game of Trades)(Game of Trades)
  • The year-on-year percentage change in the U.S. consumer price index from 2013 to date looks eerily similar to the 1970s.
  • If history is a guide, inflation may rebound in the coming months, boosting demand for perceived store-of-value assets.
  • Bitcoin, widely considered digital gold, is set to undergo its fourth mining-reward halving in April next year. Reward halvings have historically presaged major bull runs.
  • Source: Game of Trades

– Omkar Godbole

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Edited by Sheldon Reback.

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