VanEck's Bitcoin ETF Sees Remarkable 1,400% Surge In Daily Trading Volume

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

VanEck and WisdomTree's Bitcoin ETFs experienced a significant surge in trading volume, leaving analysts puzzled about the sudden uptick. VanEck's "HODL" fund saw its trading volume spike to $258 million on Feb. 20, a nearly 15-fold increase from the previous day. This surge was driven by approximately 32,000 individual trades, a stark contrast to its average volume. The reason behind this sudden increase remains unclear. Analysts speculate that it could be related to a recommendation from a social media influencer on platforms like Reddit or TikTok, given the exponential rise in the number of trades. This speculation aligns with the current trend of retail investors influencing market movements.

Similarly, WisdomTree's Bitcoin Fund (WBTC) witnessed a significant increase in trading volume, jumping roughly 1,200% to $154 million on Feb. 20. This surge in volume across both VanEck's and WisdomTree's ETFs occurred amidst a period of generally heightened trading activity in the Bitcoin ETF market, including BlackRock's iShares Bitcoin ETF. VanEck's Bitcoin Trust is now the seventh-largest spot Bitcoin ETF, with $191.9 million in assets under management, while WisdomTree's fund is the smallest, with just $29.4 million in AUM.

DeFi Developers Gain Access to Real-Time Bitcoin ETF Data Through Pyth Network

Pyth Network has introduced real-time price feeds for 13 Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), enabling DeFi developers to access accurate market data. This move follows the approval of Bitcoin ETFs in the United States in January 2024, a milestone event that opened up regulated exposure to Bitcoin for mainstream investors who may still be hesitant to directly own cryptocurrency.

The initiative by Pyth Network aims to bridge the gap between traditional finance and DeFi by providing developers with real-time data on ETFs. This access could help DeFi platforms expand their portfolio options, improve risk management strategies, and potentially attract institutional capital on-chain, thereby enhancing liquidity in the DeFi space. Pyth Network views Bitcoin ETFs as a crucial element in the ongoing evolution of crypto markets, institutionalizing demand and liquidity.

This integration with Bitcoin ETFs allows Pyth Network to offer deeper insights into the DeFi ecosystem. The 13 Bitcoin ETFs covered include well-known names such as ARK 21Shares, Bitwise, Valkyrie, Invesco Galaxy, WisdomTree, and others. Pyth Network also supports several other ETFs, such as SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust and Vanguard S&P 500 ETF, further expanding its data offerings for DeFi developers and market participants.

Starknet Airdrop Shows Strong Success Amid Controversies

Despite facing controversies, the Starknet airdrop has been largely successful, leading to the protocol's total diluted market capitalization surpassing $20 billion. The high demand for Starknet, an anticipated Ethereum layer-2 solution, drove this success. Starknet developers allocated around 700 million STRK tokens out of a total supply of 10 billion for the airdrop, rewarding Ethereum solo and liquid stakers, developers, and users within and outside the Web3 ecosystem. Within the first 90 minutes, 45 million STRK tokens were claimed, and this number has since risen to over 220 million. Users have until June 20, 2024, to claim the remaining tokens.

Despite the initial enthusiasm from investors, the price of STRK tokens dropped to $2 from an opening high of $7 on Binance. However, the protocol still holds a significant valuation, with a total value locked of $57 million. The airdrop process was not without controversy, as Yearn Finance developer Banteg alleged that Starknet developers included airdrop squatters in the eligibility list, despite prior warnings. Banteg highlighted concerns about airdrop hunters utilizing repeat or renamed GitHub accounts to claim tokens, potentially leading to unfair distribution.

Airdrop hunters, who aim to profit from token airdrops, often use scripts to consolidate multiple addresses into a few. In this case, out of the 1.3 million eligible wallet addresses for the STRK airdrop, approximately 701,544 were linked to accounts controlled by airdrop squatters. Despite these challenges, Starknet's airdrop has demonstrated strong demand and interest, showcasing the growing enthusiasm for decentralized finance solutions like Starknet.

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