News Roundup — Timeline set for Craig Wright trial on Satoshi Nakamoto identity claim

January 22, 2024

Major news stories this week;

  1. Timeline set for upcoming Craig Wright trial on Satoshi Nakamoto identity claim
  2. Spot Bitcoin ETFs Surge Past $10 Billion in Just Three Days of Trading
  3. Dubai Based OKX Subsidiary Granted a License by VARA
  4. Ethereum Moves One Step Closer Toward Major Scalability Upgrade
  5. SEC delays decision on Fidelity's proposed spot Ethereum ETF to March

Story Summaries;

  1. After months of ETF hype and focus, the start of the COPA (Crypto Open Patent Alliance) v. Wright trial on Feb. 5 marks a pivotal juncture in the Bitcoin narrative, challenging the claims of Craig Wright as Satoshi Nakamoto, the enigmatic creator of Bitcoin. Set against the backdrop of the open-source community’s ethos, the trial’s outcome could redefine the legal and operational framework of Bitcoin development. The case hinges on COPA’s effort to debunk Wright’s assertion of being Nakamoto. COPA, backed by industry giants like Block, Coinbase, and Meta, serves as a representative for open-source development, countering Wright’s claims, which, if true, could potentially hinder the volunteer-driven evolution of Bitcoin. Wright, a divisive figure in the crypto realm, faces charges of presenting inauthentic evidence, including questionable documentation and manipulated metadata in files claimed to be pivotal in establishing his identity as Nakamoto.
  2. Since the launch of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States on January 11, these new investment vehicles have rapidly gained traction, with trading volumes soaring past $10 billion within just three days, as reported by Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Seyffart. This meteoric rise in trading activity has sparked debate, with some questioning whether the frenzied trading has had any substantial impact on Bitcoin’s price. However, Eric Balchunas, another Bloomberg analyst, emphasizes the sheer magnitude of this achievement. He points out that the $10 billion volume in the first three days dwarfs the performance of 500 ETFs launched throughout 2023, which collectively managed only $450 million in volume during the same period. The most successful ETF from that batch achieved a mere $45 million in trading volume.
  3. In significant development within the cryptocurrency industry, OKX Middle East Fintech FZE, the global cryptocurrency exchange OKX subsidiary, has secured a license from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). This pivotal milestone allows OKX to expand its cryptocurrency services, including fiat transactions, spot services, and spot pairs, targeting institutional and qualified retail customers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With Dubai emerging as a prominent hub for crypto enthusiasts, this regulatory approval marks a crucial step for OKX in the Middle East region.
  4. Ethereum’s Dencun upgrade went live on a testnet last week in the decentralized network’s latest advancement. Dencun was launched Wednesday 17th January on the Goerli test network—a way for developers to try out the upgrade before it becomes available to everyone on the mainnet. Although the test seemed to get off to a bumpy start, with Ethereum core developer Parithosh Jayanthi announcing on X (formerly known as Twitter) that developers were “debugging a client issue,” all seemed to go according to plan, with the “chain finalizing.” The testnet launch today means Ethereum is one step closer to completing its upgrade. When fully live, Dencun will mean Ethereum—the blockchain behind ETH, the second-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap—will have addressed its scalability issues.
  5. The Securities and Exchange Commission delayed its deadline to make a decision on Fidelity's proposal for a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund until March 5, according to a filing on Thursday."The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the issues raised therein," the SEC said. Fidelity applied for the Fidelity Ethereum Fund in November, noting in its proposal a court ruling last year where judges said the SEC failed to find a coherent reason on why it should reject spot crypto ETFs when it had allowed futures-based products. The SEC will now have more time to decide whether to approve, disapprove or institute proceedings.

And that’s all for last week’s news! Wishing you a great week ahead!

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