UseTheBitcoin Weekly News Roundup (APR 15th – APR 19th, 2024)

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Stay in the loop with our weekly crypto digest as we get you up to speed on the hottest trends and events in the crypto space.

Here’s what happened in crypto this week:

Less Than 100 Blocks Remain Until The Bitcoin Halving

According to NiceHash‘s Bitcoin Halving Countdown page, Bitcoin’s next halving event is just a day or less than 100 blocks away. The estimated countdown is based on Bitcoin’s average block generation time of 10 minutes, setting a potential date of April 19th at around 9 a.m. UTC to reach the next halving block height of 840,000.

The halving occurs approximately every four years when the block reward for mining BTC is cut in half. This means miners who verify transactions on the Bitcoin network and create new blocks receive fewer Bitcoins for their work.

Hong Kong Approves Spot Bitcoin And Ethereum ETFs Ahead Of Halving

Hong Kong took a major step in becoming a crypto hub by conditionally approving the first-ever spot in the country for Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This means institutional investors in the city-state can now buy shares in funds directly backed by Bitcoin and Ethereum, similar to traditional stock ETFs. 

This move comes after the US approved Bitcoin spot ETFs in January, positioning Hong Kong as a rival for crypto dominance. Three offshore asset managers also indicated that they will soon launch their own spot ETFs within Hong Kong sometime soon.

Coinbase Releases Ad For Bitcoin Halving

Excitement is building up as the historic Bitcoin halving approaches in just less than a day. This is anticipated to be the most significant one yet due to the growing involvement of traditional finance (TradFi) in Bitcoin, primarily driven by the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US.

Coinbase upped the excitement for the Bitcoin halving with a clever infomercial. It uses a fun visual of a single pizza box on a motorcycle in 2012, representing when 1 BTC could buy one whole pizza. With each halving occurring every four years, the price of Bitcoin goes up. By 2024, the infomercial shows 1 BTC could buy a mountain of pizza boxes, literally burying the motorcycle!

Solana-Based DEX Trading Volume Recovers After Major Fix

In an announcement, Anza, a development team formed from Solana Labs earlier this year, revealed the release of Agave validator client version 1.17.31. This update includes initial fixes to address congestion problems on the Solana network.

Meanwhile, Solana-based decentralized exchanges (DEXs) have seen a notable increase in trading activity, with their volume exceeding the $1 billion threshold. According to DEX Screener, the current trading volume is $1.23 billion, marking a substantial rise from last week’s average volume of just under $1 billion.

UK Minister Reveals New Crypto Regulations

According to the country’s Economic Secretary, the UK government is reportedly cooking up some crypto-related legislation. The proposal could include a government-backed stablecoin and even crypto staking opportunities.

Legislators could introduce the proposal as early as July of this year. Last year, the Finance Ministry of the UK proposed rules that would essentially govern crypto assets in the same way as other assets.

US Senators Introduce New Stablecoin Bill

US Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Cynthia Lummis have introduced the Lummis-Gillibrand Payment Stablecoin Act to establish a regulatory framework for stablecoin issuers and users.

The bill prohibits unbacked algorithmic stablecoins and mandates one-to-one reserves for issuers in aiding greater transparency and accountability in the stablecoin ecosystem.

Furthermore, it establishes state and federal regulatory frameworks to oversee stablecoin operations, encouraging responsible innovation while safeguarding consumer interests.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell Turns Hawkish, Continues To Throw Shade At Potential Rate Cuts By June

Given recent remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell hinting at further delays ahead, the long wait for an interest rate cut may have to continue. In a speech at the policy forum on US-Canada economic relations on April 16th, the Fed Chair admitted that while inflation seems slowing, its pace is not as quick as anticipated.

Since July of last year, the Federal Reserve has maintained interest rates between 5.25% and 5.5%. This marks the highest level set by the central bank in the last 23 years. Despite this, Powell appears undeterred in achieving the 2% target before considering cutting interest rates.

Final Thoughts

So that’s it for this week!

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Have a fantastic week ahead!


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