Despite starting slower than Solana and other altcoins, Ethereum (ETH) is now catching the attention of traders. Over the past three months, Solana (SOL) outperformed Ethereum with a $103 price compared to ETH's $2,377. However, Ethereum experienced a sudden 8.9% spike in the last 24 hours, sparking optimism among traders. Jordi Alexander, Chief Investment Officer at Selini Capital, sees this as the "revenge of the ETH" and points to recent altcoin rallies and significant Bitcoin purchases as reasons for Ethereum's potential upward movement.
Pentoshi, a pseudonymous trader, adds to the positive sentiment by sharing a bullish target of approximately $3,485 for Ethereum. The ongoing rivalry between Solana and Ethereum communities has intensified in recent weeks, with Solana boasting a remarkable 951% year-to-date gain compared to Ethereum's 102%. While Solana is praised for its lower fees and faster transactions, Ethereum backers argue for its suitability for larger entities and highlight layer-2 scaling solutions. As of now, Ethereum is valued at $2,417 (up 8.9% in 24 hours), while Solana has taken a slight dip, trading at $104 (down 4.2%). The evolving dynamics between these two cryptocurrencies continue to draw attention from the crypto community.
Bitzlato, a cryptocurrency exchange, has recently announced a temporary suspension of Bitcoin withdrawals following co-founder Anatoly Legkodymov's agreement to dissolve the exchange and forfeit $23 million in cryptocurrency. According to a report by CoinTelegraph, Legkodymov pleaded guilty on December 6 to operating Bitzlato as an unlicensed money services business. The founder's arrest in Miami earlier in the year was part of a joint effort by the United States Department of Justice, Treasury Department, and French law enforcement, resulting in the seizure of Bitzlato's infrastructure, including its website.
Despite facing legal challenges, the exchange managed to partially restore user access to funds in March, enabling withdrawals through a Telegram bot. Withdrawal limits increased gradually, reaching 70% in November. However, Bitzlato's recent decision to temporarily suspend Bitcoin withdrawals is attributed to upcoming legal hearings regarding assets seized in France. In a December 27 post on its Telegram Channel, the firm assured users that the suspension is a temporary measure while preparing for and going through legal proceedings. CoinTelegraph reported that the exchange had been accused by the United States Attorney Breon Peace of being an "open turnstile by criminals" and by the DOJ of being a "crucial financial resource" for the Hydra darknet marketplace, facilitating money laundering, including funds from ransomware attacks.
MicroStrategy recently made headlines with the acquisition of an additional 14,620 BTC for $615.7 million in cash. This move further solidifies the company's substantial Bitcoin holdings, now totalling an impressive 189,150 BTC, acquired at an average price of approximately $31,168 per Bitcoin. This strategic acquisition aligns seamlessly with MicroStrategy's unwavering commitment to Bitcoin, a commitment that echoes the resolute advocacy of co-founder Michael Saylor.
This development closely follows MicroStrategy's noteworthy Bitcoin acquisition in November 2023, underscoring the company's enduring belief in the long-term potential of the cryptocurrency. As the crypto community eagerly awaits January 10, speculated to be a pivotal day for the potential approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF by the SEC, Michael Saylor sees this as a groundbreaking development for mainstream investors. Nonetheless, opinions on the implications of a spot Bitcoin ETF diverge. Some, like Trezor Bitcoin analyst Josef Tětek, express concerns about potential drawbacks, including a shift away from self-custody and the creation of unbacked Bitcoin. Conversely, sceptics, including BitMEX co-founder Arthur Hayes, caution against potential risks a successful spot Bitcoin ETF might pose to the overall stability of the cryptocurrency market.