Despite the under-pressure Bitcoin prices, the number of BTC addresses with positive balances sets a new record. Also, a recent research report indicates that crypto trading has tipped in favor of institutional clients, with them dominating this space currently.
Next, eCommerce behemoth eBay is likely to add the crypto payments option soon. Brazil is also in the process of giving a green light to cryptocurrencies. As for NFTs, they raked up a whopping $7 billion globally in sales in January. Let's get to know these exciting events in detail.
BTC Addresses With Non-Zero Balance Reach an All-Time High of 40 Million
Since the start of 2022, the number of bitcoin addresses with a non-zero balance has seen a steep increase, leading to a new All-Time High (ATH) of 40 million, according to data from on-chain analytics firm Glassnode.
“$BTC Number of Non-Zero Addresses just reached an ATH of 40,276,163,” said Glassnode in a tweet. It added saying, “Previous ATH of 40,275,801 was observed on 05 February 2022.”
Among the addresses with a non-zero balance, 817,445 of them have at least one whole bitcoin, a 10-month high on February 28, says data from Glassnode.
Moreover, Glassnode also reported that wallets with a positive BTC balance are increasingly holding their coins. The amount of bitcoin circulating supply last moved between three and five years ago hit a four-year high of just over 2.8 million coins.
Overall, the spike in BTC addresses with a positive balance indicates the strong supply-side dynamics of the bitcoin network.
Professional Investors Are Dominating The Crypto World, Says Report
Professional investors are taking the lead in buying the most cryptocurrency, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
The report suggests that about $1.14 trillion in crypto was traded by institutional clients on the Coinbase exchange in 2021, a massive increase from just $120 billion in 2020.
In the early years of cryptocurrency, retail traders made up a lot of the bitcoin market, trading on crypto exchanges to either buy or sell bitcoin. As such, the crypto market was “small and erratic,” said WSJ, and could be easily moved by just modest trades.
Although retail investors still exist, bigger players like hedge funds, companies, and registered investment advisers have also joined the crypto game. Moreover, there are other entities like the Southern American country El Salvador, which has adopted bitcoin as a legal tender.
In general, it looks like the widespread adoption and growth have given crypto a new mainstream status in the current fast-changing technological world.
eBay May Enable Crypto Payments in The Future
American e-commerce platform eBay is planning to enable crypto payments on its platform in a bid to attract younger buyers to its platform.
A number of research reports have claimed that people aged between 18 and 49 make up the major share of crypto investors. As such, the e-commerce company is looking to rope in more shoppers from the millennial and Gen-Z generation groups on its website.
However, eBay is yet to make an official announcement on the same, which it could do on March 10 during its day dedicated to investors.
During a recent interview with American financial publication TheStreet, the CEO of eBay Jamie Iannone, spoke about the company's upcoming intentions.
"We're not accepting crypto currently. On March 10, we're going to go deeper on all of these things, payments, advertising, our focus categories,” replied Iannone when asked if eBay is adding digital currencies such as bitcoin and ethereum to the means of payment.
Brazil Takes First Step Towards Regulating Cryptocurrency
On February 22, the Brazilian Senate took its first step to regulate the cryptocurrency market in the country as the Brazilian Senate’s economic affairs committee unanimously approved a bill that will regulate the day-to-day usage of cryptocurrencies in financial transactions.
Under this bill, digital assets and their service providers have been clearly defined and classified, giving the federal government authority more clarity to decide entities responsible for regulating business with cryptocurrencies.
“The intention of the project is to curb or restrict illegal practices, such as money laundering, tax evasion, and many other crimes in this segment. There is a market that is licit, legal, which is the vast majority of this market, but there are exceptions,” said Senator Irajá about the bill.
However, the legislation still needs adoption by the full Senate and lower house before Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro can consider signing it into law. If the bill gets approved, it would make Brazil the largest country in the Latin American region to regulate cryptocurrencies.
Global NFT Sales Surpass $7 Billion in January
While the cryptocurrency market has plunged since the start of this year, the non-fungible token (NFT) market has continued its upward trajectory so far. According to data compiled by The Block Research, the global NFT sales hit a record $7.3 billion in January 2022.
A lot of credit goes to NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and LooksRare that have given buyers access to popular and trustworthy NFTs in the space.
While the drop in the price of cryptocurrencies made it cheaper for users to buy NFTs, some crypto experts are of the opinion that at least a part of the spike is artificial. Experts speculate that the massive trading seen on NFT marketplace LooksRase may be a result of wash trading- a practice where NFT owners buy and sell NFTs between themselves to increase the price.
However, NFT adoption has seen a massive increase due to a new class of crypto investors, which include collectors, celebrities, fans, among others, as they are excited about digital objects, their value, along with immutable ownership that is provided by blockchain-based systems.