What happened this week around blockchain and cryptocurrencies? The most relevant local and international events as well as appealing background reports in a pointed and compact weekly review.
Selected articles of the week:
A week ago, a false report caused turbulence in the crypto markets. Allegedly, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had approved the BlackRock iShares Bitcoin ETF. While the headline proved to be inaccurate, Bitcoin’s subsequent price reaction indicated pent-up interest in the digital asset. After all, there is a grain of truth behind most rumors. New changes to the ETF filings then reignited hopes for a Bitcoin fund, leading to a double-digit daily price spike this Monday. But behind the price jump were fundamental factors that had reached new highs over the past several months. For example, the number of newly created Bitcoin addresses cracked the old all-time high of over 760,000 per day, and the total computing power of the network (hash rate) has doubled within the last year.
Thanks to early initiatives by regulators and policymakers, Switzerland has been a pioneer in the blockchain space since 2015. FINMA guidelines effectively regulated the issuance of new cryptocurrencies during the ICO boom in 2018, while the DLT Act 2021 formed the world’s first comprehensive framework for digital assets. This created a solid legal foundation for crypto businesses in Switzerland. This international competitive advantage is something that a large number of this year’s election winners would like to maintain. An overview of all participants in the CVJ.CH political poll who were elected to the Swiss parliament for the 2023 to 2027 legislative term.
Since the beginning of the month, Zuger Kantonalbank has been the first state-owned bank in Switzerland to offer its customers the opportunity to trade in and hold cryptocurrencies in custody. Thus, the largest bank in the heart of the Crypto Valley secured the pioneering role among the cantonal banks. For despite some limitations of the offer, Zuger KB was satisfied with customer demand. An expansion of the services could also be possible: the offer of additional cryptocurrencies, the deposit/withdrawal of cryptocurrencies, staking or tokenization of classic assets. Pressure is growing on other cantonal banks to position themselves in the digital assets sector.
A week ago, a group of U.S. lawmakers led by Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to the Biden administration. According to the letter, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad have received more than $130 million in cryptocurrencies since August 2021. Therefore, it was apparent that the government should take action against the “clear and present” terrorist financing through cryptocurrencies. However, these figures originally published by the Wall Street Journal quickly turned out to be wrong. An in-depth analysis of the facts surrounding the old familiar terrorist financing myth.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) refer to the corporate strategy of combining two or more companies through various financial transactions such as mergers, acquisitions or consolidations. In the financial industry, such transactions are already common practice. For the Web3 sector, however, M&A requires a tailored approach because the industry does not have extensive historical precedents. Yet according to Karl-Martin Ahrend, co-founder of crypto-focused investment banking boutique web3 Studios, one thing is certain: M&A will play a central role in shaping the digital space of the future.