Bitcoin mining stocks experienced a surge in trading volume, surpassing $3.5 billion on American stock exchanges, with some outpacing well-known U.S. tech giants in terms of volume. On January 8, Marathon Digital and Riot Platforms, two major Bitcoin mining firms, collectively recorded a trading volume of $3.55 billion, marking a substantial day in stock trading. Marathon Digital (MARA) even claimed the top spot as the most traded stock in the U.S., with 112 million total shares traded, outperforming well-established companies like Tesla, AMD, Nvidia, and Apple.
Grayscale's Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) also demonstrated significant activity, with a trading volume close to half a billion on January 8, surpassing over 99% of the 3,000 current ETFs, as noted by industry expert Eric Balchunas. As the anticipation for the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs grows, Grayscale aims to convert or "uplist" its fund to a spot ETF, pending approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission. This increased activity in the Bitcoin mining sector aligns with Marathon's notable performance, coinciding with broader positive developments such as Core Scientific securing a $55 million equity investment and CleanSpark entering into a strategic agreement potentially acquiring up to 160,000 miners by the end of 2024.
In anticipation of potential SEC approval for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded product, Gary Gensler, the chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, issued a cautionary statement on the inherent risks associated with crypto investments. Via a Jan. 8 post on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), Gensler urged crypto investors to be mindful of potential non-compliance with federal securities laws by asset managers offering crypto investment vehicles. He emphasized the "exceptionally risky" and "often volatile" nature of cryptocurrencies and warned against fraud, citing instances of scams, bogus coin offerings, Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, and outright theft targeting retail investors.
Gensler's remarks, posted around two hours after several spot Bitcoin ETF issuers submitted amended S-1 applications to the SEC, hinted at the ongoing anticipation surrounding potential approval. While the SEC's stance on crypto ETFs has faced criticism, the recent S-1 filings by firms like Valkyrie, WisdomTree, BlackRock, VanEck, Invesco, Galaxy, Grayscale, ARK Invest, 21Shares, Fidelity, Bitwise, and Franklin Templeton signal a crucial step in the process. The SEC retains the authority to either approve or deny these applications, with previous reasons for rejection likely requiring reevaluation in light of a federal judge's order in August, which deemed the denial of a spot BTC ETF application from Grayscale as "arbitrary and capricious." Despite the filings, approval remains uncertain.
Solana's developer community has surged, boasting over 2,500 monthly active contributors, reflecting a 50% increase in developer retention, as reported by the Solana Foundation. The ecosystem, with SOL priced at $102, has maintained this developer count, ranging between 2,500 and 3,000 over the past year, according to a Jan. 9 report evaluating key network metrics for 2023. Despite this, Electric Capital's Developer Report, using GitHub data until Oct. 1, 2023, presents a contrasting figure of 946 developers for Solana, down from its peak of 2,634 on Dec. 22, 2022. An update on Q4 data is anticipated next week.
CoinTelegraph highlights the discrepancy in reported developer counts, emphasizing the need for comprehensive and up-to-date assessments in capturing the dynamic landscape of blockchain developer activity. Ethereum, in comparison, experienced a 22% decline in its total monthly active developer count to 5,769 on Oct. 1, 2023, from a peak of 7,433 on June 16, 2022, based on Electric Capital data. CoinTelegraph reached out to Solana for comments, but as of now, no immediate response has been received. The increasing developer retention on Solana aligns with a surge in network activity and a positive trend in the Solana token's value, marking a period of significant growth for the platform.