Welcome to the distributed ledger. I’m Frances Yue, MarketWatch’s cryptocurrency and markets reporter.
Spot trading volume on centralized cryptocurrency exchanges rose 4.5% to 1 trillion in January as the introduction of new Bitcoin ETFs last month boosted investor interest in crypto assets, according to crypto data provider CCData. 400 billion, the fourth consecutive month of increase. It also marked the highest monthly spot trading volume for virtual currencies since June 2022.
I sat down with Bobby Zagotta, CEO of crypto exchange Bitstamp USA, to talk about what he observed.
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Zagotta said in a phone interview that Bitstamp saw a particularly steep rise in crypto trading volume and the number of new institutional and individual users in the fourth quarter of last year as investors anticipated the arrival of new ETFs. He said it had increased. Zagotta said the exchange continued to see strong trading volumes and onboarding users in January.
Zagotta noted that Bitstamp does not list a Bitcoin ETF, but acts as a liquidity provider for the product.
Cryptocurrency exchanges provide liquidity not by offering trading in ETF shares, but by supporting ETF sponsors and other institutional investors in the creation or redemption of Bitcoin-backed ETF shares. Bond ETFs work similarly.
Zagotta said the launch of the Bitcoin ETF has further increased the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, increasing the trading volume of crypto exchanges.
Zagotta said he expects the full impact of Bitcoin ETFs to gradually become apparent over the next six to 24 months as institutional investor participation increases.
Larry David regrets appearing in FTX ad
Comedian Larry David called his appearance in a cryptocurrency ad for bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX in 2022 “stupid.”
In an ad that premiered during the 2022 Super Bowl featuring FTX, David touted how he was “never wrong” about a series of iconic inventions throughout history.
During a red carpet event for the 12th season of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm this week, David said that friends told him at the time that it was a good idea to do a cryptocurrency ad. Stupid, I did it. ” David’s representative sent several emails and phone calls, but could not be reached by press time. It’s unclear whether David plans to refund the fees he earns from FTX ads.
FTX filed for bankruptcy in November 2022, and co-founder Sam Bankman Freed was found guilty in November 2023 on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy.
MarketWatch’s Weston Blasi writes more here.
ETH vs BTC
Investors are hopeful that the Ether ETF could be approved in the coming months, according to its head, Mark Newton, adding, “Cryptocurrencies could see further consolidation before bottoming out again in March.” “However, it is increasingly advantageous to be overweight Ethereum vs. Bitcoin.” Responsible for technology strategy at Fundstrat.
Newton wrote in a note on Tuesday that the ether-to-bitcoin price ratio rose to a multi-day high for the second time in the past two weeks. Newton said the ratio “seems to be paving the way for a bottoming process, which should lead to an uptick in the coming weeks.”
Cryptocurrency made easy
Bitcoin is up 0.5% over the past seven days, while Ethereum is up 3.5% over the same period, according to CoinDesk data.
- “I lost my house and all my assets”: Retiree sues bank over crypto fund losses (Guardian)
- Cryptocurrency scam: Man gets his money back after being scammed out of six figures (BBC)