News Roundup — MicroStrategy Piles on Bitcoin, Acquiring 0.90% of Circulating Supply

December 4, 2023

Major news stories this week;

  1. MicroStrategy Piles on Bitcoin, Acquiring 0.90% of Circulating Supply
  2. Binance Will Cease Support for Its BUSD Stablecoin on Dec. 15
  3. Crypto Hedge Fund Nine Blocks Snags Dubai Digital Assets License
  4. Judge says CZ can't return to UAE ahead of sentencing, for now
  5. Bitcoin ETF’s 60% surge in Canada signals what’s coming in the US

Story Summaries;

  1. MicroStrategy, the world’s largest Bitcoin corporate holder, has further increased its holdings of the primary cryptocurrency. According to a recent filing, the company acquired an additional 16,130 bitcoins between November 1 and November 29, spending $593.3 million at an average price of $36,785 per bitcoin. In addition to expanding its Bitcoin portfolio, MicroStrategy also announced plans to raise more funds. The company is considering the sale of new Class A common stock shares, aiming to raise up to $750 million. The business software company has seen unrealized gains of over $1.1 billion on its Bitcoin holdings, eclipsing their cumulative investment by 25%. As Bitcoin’s price crossed the $38,000 mark for the first time since May 2022, MicroStrategy’s investment resulted in impressive profits. Holding 174,530 BTC, the Virginia-based business intelligence firm has invested $5.28 billion, amounting to about 1% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply.
  2. Binance said it will end support for its BUSD stablecoin on Dec. 15, following the exchange's August announcement that it would “gradually” do so after Paxos, the company that actually issued it, was ordered to stop minting the coin in February.
    Users will still be able to redeem their BUSD until February 2024, Binance said in a blog post Wednesday. However, Binance said it would halt withdrawals on Dec. 31 and any remaining BUSD balances will at that point be automatically converted to FDUSD, a stablecoin issued by FD121 Ltd.
    BUSD’s current 24-hour trading volume is just under $400 million, according to data by CoinMarketCap. It was around $900 million in August.
  3. Nine Blocks Capital Management is claiming bragging rights for being the first cryptocurrency hedge fund to be granted a license under Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). The hedge fund also said Monday it’s making Dubai its global headquarters.
    Seemingly a million miles from the murk and uncertainty of U.S. regulation, a flourishing community of crypto businesses has taken root in Dubai, thanks to a comprehensive rulebook that addresses everything from issuance and exchange services to advertising.
    “I think what's interesting is that VARA has really created an ecosystem for crypto in Dubai,” Nine Blocks co-founder Henri Arslanian said in an interview. “Many of our hedge fund’s counterparties are one minute walk away from my office. Everybody is in this one square kilometer, which makes it easy to meet up, have conversations and generally enables a good exchange of information.”
  4. Former Binance CEO Changpeng 'CZ' Zhao will have to stay in the U.S. ahead of his sentencing in February, at least until a further review is conducted.
    Judge Richard Jones of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle ordered that a condition that would have allowed Zhao to return to his home in United Arab Emirates before his sentencing be "stayed until such time as this Court resolves the Government’s motion for review," according to a court filing on Monday. Prosecutors had warned that Zhao presented a flight risk, citing his wealth and noting that the UAE has no extradition treaty with the U.S.
  5. Canada stamped itself as a pioneer when it approved the world’s first spot Bitcoin exchange traded fund — the Purpose Bitcoin ETF — back in February 2021. There have been hiccups since, but the funds have seen a resurgence in 2023. The Canadian ETF explosion can be used as a proxy for what will follow in the “massive” US market, Eric Balchunas, an ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, told DL News. Assets under management at the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, the world’s largest spot Bitcoin exchange traded fund, soared 60% to over 947 million Canadian dollars this year, according to Cboe Global Markets’ Canadian arm. In US dollars, that’s almost $700 million. Balchunas noted that the US ETF market is 32 times that of Canada’s. “Based on Canada, if you extrapolate, it looks pretty good,” he said.

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

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