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Bitcoin price rallies following false report of Bitcoin ETF approval 

An errant tweet from Cointelegraph caused Bitcoin’s price to sky-rocket before the coin settled around the $28k USD mark.  

For a few months, the crypto community has patiently waited for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve the first spot Bitcoin ETF, amid mounting interest from traditional finance (TradFi). This week, it appeared they’d finally got their wish. A tweet from Cointelegraph claimed that the SEC accepted BlackRock’s application for a spot ETF, and the crypto sector rejoiced. In response to the news, the price of BTC shot up past $30k in a matter of hours, highlighting the rubber band effect these big events can have on a coin’s price action. 

However, it soon became clear that Cointelegraph’s social media post may have been a little premature. Several community members – retail investors, social media influencers and industry businesses – voiced their scepticism of the claims. Before long, Cointelegraph had to walk back their statement. As it turns out, the SEC hadn’t approved the application for a Bitcoin ETF at all, and the market reaction was for nothing. Just as soon as it had risen, the price of Bitcoin fell back to where it started, around the $27k point. The SEC themselves even weighed in on the situation. 

The aftermath of the false tweet ended up rather positive for Bitcoin. The reaction clearly demonstrated investor appetite for the cryptocurrency and that an eventual spot ETF approval may significantly impact its price action. Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, echoed these sentiments

“[The rapid price swings are] an example of the pent-up interest in crypto. We’re hearing from clients around the world about the need for crypto. Crypto will play the role of ‘flight to quality.”  

US residents can now buy a Ferrari with crypto 

The vaunted luxury car company has begun accepting digital currency as payment for some of its vehicles.  

The world’s most exclusive and prestigious luxury vehicle manufacturer now allows its North American customers to purchase cars using several cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH and USDC). The company will not be charging its clients a surcharge for using the digital currency and plans to immediately convert any crypto they receive into fiat due to fears of its volatility. This conversion service will be provided by the payment gateway BitPay. 

Of course, Ferrari’s order books are full until 2025, so if you’re a crypto millionaire planning to cruise around the US in the latest model, think again. But it might not all be bad news for interested buyers, as the manufacturer plans to offer this same service to the European market. 

Ferrari’s appetite for cryptocurrency has seemingly grown to meet the demands of their ‘wealthier’ clients for a digital currency payment option and demonstrates that retail interest in the sector is growing. Tesla, the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, plans to follow in Ferrari’s footsteps and accept BTC again – so long as Bitcoin miners are using at least 50% renewable energy (something they are already doing). Although the news may not directly impact the average investor who can only dream of getting their hands on a Ferrari, it shows that real-world crypto adoption has moved well past the “theoretical stage”.  

Australian Government releases crypto proposal to regulate digital asset platforms 

The Government is planning to regulate digital asset platforms under the existing financial products and services regime, albeit, with interesting modifications.  

2023 is set to be the year of regulatory uplift as the Australian Government joins several other countries in attempting to design a suitable regulatory framework for the digital currency market. The Albanese Government’s official proposal, released last week, is focused on protecting consumers and providing much-needed certainty and clarity to the sector. The new legislation would require crypto and other digital asset platforms with more than $5 million in aggregate on their platform, or more than $1500 for any individual customer to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence – the same licence required for traditional stockbrokers and financial services businesses in Australia.  

The proposal is still a while off implementation, with the official legislation set to be presented in early 2024. From there, the Government will likely offer a 12-month transition period to qualifying business to uplift their internal processes and procedures to meet the new standards.  

X introduces fee for new users, but won’t be using crypto 

It was speculated that Elon Musk’s company, formerly Twitter, would begin accepting crypto when onboarding new users.  

X, formerly Twitter, continues its radical business changes under Elon Musk, as the platform considers introducing a $1 fee for new users to combat spam. The popular social media platform is testing the new program in New Zealand and the Philippines – two nations that appear to have been selected arbitrarily. However, those in the crypto community hoping X would use digital currencies for this small payment have been left disappointed, with the platform only accepting fiat currency for now. 

The new “Not A Bot” program aims to wipe out the bot accounts that plague the current version of X. However, according to Musk, the $1 annual fee would only apply to users who wish to post on the platform. Those who read without writing – known colloquially as lurkers – can still browse X for free. 

The efficacy of their plan has been criticised among the X community. Some claim that advanced bot behaviour can be difficult to differentiate from humans, making data difficult to extract from such a trial. Another common point is that spammers who stand to make a profit will have no problem spending $1-100+ on multiple accounts, especially if it makes them appear more legitimate. 

On the flipside, some crypto community members have met the proposal with positivity. Although the $1 fee will not integrate digital currency into X as some have hoped, there’s no denying the crypto social media landscape is chock-full of bots and needs an overhaul. Twitter bots have long played a big role in market manipulation, building up hype for small-cap coins in pump-and-dump schemes.  

No matter which side of the fence you sit on, sitting back and watching Elon Musk make polarising decisions – and the heated discourse that follows – is extremely entertaining. 

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