Spot Bitcoin ETFs Regain Momentum Recording $418 Million In Net Inflows

Here are some of the major developments in the world of crypto over the past few days.
 Some of the major developments in the world of crypto.
Some of the major developments in the world of crypto.

Bitcoin spot ETFs are gaining momentum again, recording net inflows of $418 million. The Fidelity Bitcoin ETF posted its biggest day of gains in the last two weeks, leading the way with $279 million in daily inflows. Fresh capital is returning to U.S. spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for Bitcoin, with BTC at $70,252 after a five-day period of consecutive net outflows. Led by strong inflows into funds from Blackrock and Fidelity, the ten newly approved spot Bitcoin ETFs recorded a total net inflow of $418 million on March 26, according to data from Farside Investors.

Fidelity's fund generated its largest daily inflow since March 13, reaching $279.1 million on March 26 when the investment giant acquired an additional 4,000 BTC. This was the second consecutive day the fund recorded inflows of over $260 million. However, daily inflows remain low compared to earlier this month, which averaged more than $300 million per day. The Ark 21Shares Bitcoin ETF fund had its best day since March 12, recording $73.6 million in inflows, while Invesco Galaxy, Franklin Templeton, and Valkyrie each received more than $26 million in inflows into their respective funds.

Grayscale's Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) continued to bleed, recording a daily outflow of $212 million. However, this was not enough to offset competitors' net inflows. Since converting from a trust to an ETF on January 11, Grayscale has lost a substantial 277,393 BTC, worth about $19.5 billion at current prices. In a March 26 post, Balchunas pointed out that even the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF, currently the 18th largest Bitcoin ETF by assets under management, is larger than the world's largest SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) fund, he noted.

KuCoin and Two Founders Charged by US Justice Department for AML Law Violations

KuCoin founders Chun Gan and Ke Tang remain at large, according to Justice Department officials who filed an indictment against the exchange on March 26. US Department of Justice officials have filed an indictment against cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin and two of its founders for conspiring to operate an unlicensed money transfer business and violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The US Department of Justice said KuCoin founders Chun Gan and Ke Tang willfully failed to maintain an anti-money laundering program on the exchange, resulting in the platform being used for money laundering and terrorism financing.

The company itself was accused of operating an unlicensed money transfer business and violating the BSA. KuCoin and its founders deliberately sought to conceal that a significant number of American users were trading on KuCoin's platform, the US Securities and Exchange Commission said. Attorney Damian Williams stated, “In fact, KuCoin has reportedly leveraged its significant US customer base to become one of the world's largest cryptocurrency derivatives and spot exchanges, with billions of dollars in daily transactions and trillions of dollars in annual trading volume.”

The Justice Department's criminal complaint was paralleled by a civil one Prosecution proceedings announced in the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which on March 26 accused KuCoin of “multiple violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations.” Gan and Tang helped launch KuCoin in 2017. The two founders, Chinese citizens, were still at large at the time of publication. US officials have filed similar criminal charges against crypto exchanges and their executives doing business in the country. On March 28, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried will be sentenced following his conviction on seven felony charges. Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is expected to be sentenced on April 30.

US Bitcoin Miner Giga Energy Set to Launch Facility in Argentina

Giga's new site uses energy from burning natural gas that would otherwise be wasted and has already mined $200,000 to $250,000 worth of Bitcoin, says a co-founder of the company. Texas-based Bitcoin miner Giga Energy, valued at $70,325 BTC, has expanded its operations to Argentina to harness wasted energy from “natural gas flaring” in the South American country’s oil fields. Giga co-founder Brent Whitehead described the expansion as a "huge milestone" for his company in a March 26 post on LinkedIn. Gas flaring is the burning of natural gas in connection with oil production, which releases methane. Giga then converts this methane into electricity to power its Bitcoin mining rigs.

The expansion will allow Giga to place a large shipping container containing thousands of Bitcoin miners on an oil well, diverting excess gas into generators, and using that energy to power Bitcoin mining rigs, according to a CNBC report from March 26th. Giga's Argentine mining site in Mendoza province has been in a testing phase since December and has already mined $200,000 to $250,000 worth of Bitcoin, the company's other co-founder Matt Lohstroh told CNBC. However, the company is still waiting to import all of the necessary equipment before it can fully scale operations. The company does not expect to make a profit until then.

According to a recent scientific article published by the University of Michigan, Argentina has the second-largest shale gas reserves in the world. The company's Bitcoin mining operations will also reduce methane emissions, Whitehead told CNBC. IT services company Exa Tech will help Giga manage on-site operations, while oil and gas company Phoenix Global Resources will provide the gas needed to run Bitcoin miners. Giga first launched its Bitcoin mining operations in 2019 and has installed 150 megawatts worth of containers at its facilities in Texas and Shanghai, according to CNBC. The move comes as Bitcoin mining companies prepare for the upcoming Bitcoin halving, currently scheduled for April 20.

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