ViaBTC: The BTC Market Goes into Full Swing as Futures ETF, BTMs, and the Taproot Upgrade Draws Attention
Recently, there have been many Bitcoin-related market movements, many of which are favorable factors. As a result, investors have become very excited, and the BTC price has soared.
To begin with, after years of failed attempts, the first US Bitcoin futures ETF officially started trading on the New York Exchange at 9:30 a.m. on October 19 (EST). Its first-day turnover reached 24.42 million shares, equivalent to nearly $1 billion, making it one of the most popular ETFs on the financial market that day. Additionally, it also recorded the second-highest daily turnover in the history of ETFs. As a result, the next day, the BTC price exceeded $66,000, which is a record high.
Subsequently, Walmart, which shares close ties with the crypto space, announced on October 20 that it has installed bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) in 200 locations across the United States via a partnership with the coin-cashing company Coinstar and the bitcoin ATM operator Coinme. As of October 28, there have been over 30,000 BTMs installed around the world. Consumers can now buy bitcoins through BTMs in Walmart stores where such machines are available.
Coinstar is best known for allowing users to exchange cryptos for cash or gift cards, while Coinme is a firm that specializes in BTMs. When using a BTM, after inserting bills into the machine, the user will receive a paper voucher, which can only be redeemed by setting up a Coinme account and passing a KYC (know your customer) check. The machine charges a 4% fee for bitcoin trade services, plus another 7% cash exchange fee. Although it is more expensive to buy bitcoins through BTMs, it makes the cryptocurrency more accessible, according to an informed source.
Interestingly, faced with another report involving Walmart and cryptos, the media reporter covering the news tested the service in a local Walmart store out of an abundance of caution following the “Bitcoin in Bentonville” hoax last month. This time, the Walmart story is real.
Yet, the favorable market conditions did not last long. As the market excitement for the first US Bitcoin futures ETF fades, traders have flocked to sell the crypto at a record high price. After 7:00 October 27 (UTC), cryptocurrencies led by Bitcoin suffered a fall. The BTC price dropped to $58,985, a decrease of 5%. In the hour afterward, over $540 million worth of crypto contracts were liquidated around the world.
El Salvador, the world’s first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, did not miss the fun. President Nayib Bukele, who is always on Twitter, said on October 27 that El Salvador had purchased another 420 bitcoins during the recent decline. Calculated according to the market price of $59,123 at 19:00 that day, these bitcoins are worth about $24.83 million.
Amidst the sluggish Bitcoin market last month, the Salvadoran government remained committed to its “buy the dip” strategy, and Nayib Bukele tweeted “They can never beat you if you buy the dips”. Counting the 420 bitcoins the country just bought, El Salvador now holds a total of 1,120 bitcoins. According to the relevant statistics, the country profited nearly $4 million in less than two months by purchasing bitcoins on the dips.
As November comes, the most exciting crypto development will definitely be the Taproot soft fork upgrade of Bitcoin. In June, over 90% of Bitcoin’s hashing power “signaled” their support of the Taproot upgrade, which met the minimum mandate. This also means that the Taproot upgrade will be activated at BTC block height 709,632, which is projected to occur around November 15, 2021. The upgrade is expected to improve BTC transactions in terms of privacy, smart contract functions, and scalability.
The last major upgrade of the Bitcoin network happened in August 2017, when miners activated SegWit. Following the upgrade, the BTC price had soared. However, this time, although the BTC price might rise, Taproot itself may not be the trigger, according to Lyllah Ledesma, a crypto insider from Coindesk. After the successful activation of Taproot, no matter how the market changes, as users, the lower fees, higher efficiency, and more flexible contract deployment are worth the wait.