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The Omicron Bounce

Happy Monday. We’re starting off in the green this week, with a rebound in the crypto market after speculation that Covid’s new glo-up variant, Omicron, is not as bad as other variants. A number of cryptocurrencies jumped by double digits today, pointing to a market-wide crypto recovery. 

The other talk of the day, of course, is that Jack Dorsey is leaving Twitter. Experts believe that the bitcoin-maxi will shift his full attention to his favorite cryptocurrency. We’ll be watching you, Dorsey!  

Today, $BTC.X surged 8.5%, reaching $58,000. With a 10% hike, $ETH.X traded near $4,400. All other major cryptocurrencies ended above their last week’s performance. 

In light of this bullish momentum, let’s unfold what’s in the news today: 

  • Invesco launches Bitcoin ETP in Europe
  • India will not recognize bitcoin as a currency
  • Some altcoins jumped amid bullish sentiment 
  • Thailand aims to attract crypto rich in latest tourism push

Check how the major cryptocurrencies are performing: 

Bitcoin (BTC)
Ether (ETH) $4,451.90 +4.42%
Binance Coin (BNB)
Solana (SOL) $206.37 +4.16%
Cardano (ADA)
Polkadot (DOT)
Dogecoin (DOGE)  $0.217 +6.10%
Avalanche (AVAX)
Shiba Inu (SHIB) $0.00004306 +11.65%

Keep An Eye On It

Invesco Enters The Bitcoin ETP Space

After dropping its ETF filing for a Bitcoin futures ETF in the United States, asset manager Invesco now has its eyes to launch the first European exchange-traded product (ETP) backed by physical Bitcoin in Europe. The firm has partnered with crypto indices provider CoinShares to list the Invesco Physical Bitcoin ETP (BTIC) on Deutsche Börse Xetra, Germany’s stock market. 

Deutsche Boerse has actively expanded the range of crypto derivatives products in the past few months. Its digital exchange, the Xetra exchange, offers as many as 26 ETNs (exchange-traded notes) from seven providers on various cryptocurrencies. 

ETPs are similar to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as they track the performance of an underlying asset or financial instrument. With BTIC, the investors will gain exposure to crypto without holding the asset. 

In an interview with ETF Stream, Gary Buxton, head of EMEA ETFs and indexed strategies at Invesco, said BTIC has been in the works since 2018. The company aimed to create a product that resembled a traditional ETF product from an institutional perspective. 

With $1.3 trillion under management, Invesco was one of the first U.S. firms to apply for a Bitcoin futures ETF. However, in October, the firm decided not to pursue its futures application after seeing the SEC’s negative approach to Bitcoin ETFs.

Keep An Eye On It

India Unlikely To Recognize Bitcoin As Currency

Indian parliament began its winter session today. What’s top-of-mind? The country’s controversial and critical new crypto legislation. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made clear that the government does not plan to recognize bitcoin as a currency. She also said that the government does not collect data on bitcoin transactions during the question-and-answer session.

As reported earlier, the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 will ban private cryptocurrencies but promote the underlying technology. The Reserve Bank of India, the country’s apex bank, is planning to pilot its digital currency in 2022.

Although the country has seen ups and downs in the crypto space, the players are ready to stake their bets. For instance, Singaporean crypto exchange Coinstore allocated a $20 million fund today to set up three new offices in India. Separately, CoinDCX, India’s first crypto unicorn, announced plans to go public.  

Amid the uncertainty, experts are hopeful the government will bring positive regulations that would help the country, which has become a hub for cryptocurrency-related investments.

One To Watch

Cryptocurrencies Surfing The Bullish Wave Today

The crypto market has recovered from the COVID-induced crash over the past few days. Several altcoins are soaring in double-digits. Here are a few: 

  • Polygon: Polygon ($MATIC.X) price rallied 11% over the past 24 hours, indicating a renewed interest in buying. The cryptocurrency gained the attention of buyers when Uniswap, an automated market maker (AMM), said ‘Yes’ to its blockchain network last week. 

Uniswap saw a proposal on its forum, suggesting that it should expand support for its dapp (decentralized application) to Polygon, a layer-2 solution. Currently, Uniswap is built on the Ethereum blockchain and has faced issues due to high gas fees and slow transactions. 

Polygon proposed to expand support for the AMM on its platform to address these issues. 7.79 million UNI voted yes, and now Polygon chain-based Uniswap is likely in the near future.

  • Tezos: Tezos ($XTZ.Z), a cryptocurrency that allows investors to trade assets on the blockchain, soared 20%, up 8% from a week ago. The surge follows a record day for developer activity on the blockchain network, which saw 9,635 contracts deployed on average per day. 

The network said, ‘‘In the past 28 days, we see a total of 269,785 contract deployments on all three testnets and mainnet combined. This comes down to an average of 9,635 contract deployments per day. This is four times as many as in March this year.’’

To boot, the network also received over 5,000,000 contract calls in a single month. Contract calls are transactions involving smart contracts.

  • KuCoin: The KuCoin Token ($KCS.X) jumped 13% today, reaching around $25. The native token of Kucoin (one of the top crypto platforms) has seen tremendous growth in recent months. The surge comes after the company announced that it would be investing $100 million in metaverse projects. CEO Johnny Lyu said that the KuCoin Metaverse Fund would be used to invest in GameFi, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and decentralized finance (DeFi) related projects.

The crypto platform has always been active in launching crypto products. Earlier this month, it launched KuCoin Fiat Account, which grants global users access to deposit US dollars using a credit or debit card and purchase major crypto assets. 

HODL On A Second

Thai Tourism Chases The Crypto Rich

The Thai government is laying the groundwork to become a “crypto-positive society.” In its latest attempt to revitalize Thailand’s tourism industry, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) hopes to attract wealthy crypto investors. 

Per Bloomberg, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn has partnered with crypto exchanges and companies in order to accept crypto for travel. The authority will create its own cryptocurrency, make a wallet, and set up a new tourism ecosystem next year.

The governor said, “There are people who have become wealthy from holding digital currencies and they may want to use the wealth they have accrued. If they can use their currencies here without having to exchange it, or be faced with government taxes, then it would create convenience for them.”

The governor said that the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bank of Thailand (BOT), and Bitkub Online Co., the largest crypto exchange in the country, are already discussing the plan.

The pandemic cost the tourism-dependent nation $80 billion in revenue. The city welcomed 40 million international visitors a year before Covid. As a result, tourism’s contribution to Thailand’s GDP dropped from 18.21% in 2019 to 6.78% in 2020. 

The TAT hopes that a million tourists will travel to the country in the first quarter of 2022 and that 10% of those tourists will own crypto.