Monthly report of February
This monthly report examines the most important cryptocurrency news in February and delves into banks' cryptocurrency plans and reports, new cryptocurrency purchases, and Ukraine's decision to raise cryptocurrency donations.
February in the cryptocurrency market
There were some differences in cryptocurrency price movements during February. Of the cryptocurrencies offered by Northcrypto, the two most successful cryptocurrencies were Bitcoin and Ethereum, whose prices rose by about 12 and 9 percent during the month. In addition to these, the price of Litecoin was on the rise as it increased by just under five percent during the month. Prices of the other cryptocurrencies offered by Northcrypto fell during February. The price of Polygon ended only slightly lower at the end of the month than at the beginning of the month, while the prices of Aave and Chainlink fell by about 7 and 12 percent during February.
Asset manager and banks’ cryptocurrency plans
Positive cryptocurrency news was received in February regarding the world's largest asset manager, BlackRock. According to information received by CoinDesk, BlackRock is preparing a cryptocurrency trading service. In addition, BlackRock is preparing a possibility to take out a loan using cryptocurrencies as collateral for the loan. BlackRock is a major global player, with clients including public pension schemes, endowments, and sovereign wealth funds.
For his part, Piyush Gupta, CEO of Singaporean DBS bank, which manages about € 450 billion in funds, spoke in February about the bank's cryptocurrency plans. According to Gupta, DBS plans to make cryptocurrency trading available to all its customers this year. The bank made cryptocurrency trading available to its institutional investors early last year.
The positive news was also heard from South Korea regarding the country's largest bank, KB Bank. KB Bank announced in February that it had set up a committee focusing on cryptocurrencies to help the bank release cryptocurrency ETFs and cryptocurrency-related derivatives as soon as possible. Thus, KB Bank will become the first bank in South Korea to offer cryptocurrency-related investment products to retail investors.
Banks' views on cryptocurrencies
The largest bank in the United States, JPMorgan, released an analysis of Bitcoin in February. JPMorgan’s long-term target price for Bitcoin was $ 150,000. According to the bank, the biggest challenge for Bitcoin in the future is its volatility which has a negative impact on the entry of institutional players.
Wells Fargo, one of the largest banks in the United States, published a report in February on the potential of cryptocurrencies. The first key takeaway of the bank’s report was that the number of people using cryptocurrencies is currently growing rapidly around the world. According to Wells Fargo’s second key takeaway, cryptocurrencies appear to be near a hyper-adoption phase, similar to that of the internet during the mid-to-late-1990s.
Marion Laboure, an analyst at Germany's largest bank, Deutsche Bank, also commented on cryptocurrencies and in particular Bitcoin and Ethereum in February. Laboure believes Bitcoin could potentially become the digital gold of this century. Laboure also spoke in a positive tone about Ethereum and its many use cases, such as DeFi and NFTs.
In connection with major banks, there was also news related to the purchase of cryptocurrencies as U.S. bank Morgan Stanley’s funds bought more shares in Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) during the fourth quarter of 2021. Several Morgan Stanley funds increased their holdings and in total, the funds bought nearly € 50 million worth of GBTC shares. Morgan Stanley is a large bank with operations in more than 40 countries and more than 60,000 employees. Grayscale, on the other hand, is a leading provider of cryptocurrency trusts targeting institutional investors in particular.
One of the world's largest audit and consulting firms KPMG’s Canadian office, also announced in February that it had acquired bitcoin and Ethereum. However, no information was provided to the public on the size of the investments. KPMG rationalized its investment decision by believing in the growing interest of institutional players in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. As a whole global company, KPMG has recently expanded its cryptocurrency business and, among other things, has a unit specializing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Ryan Peterson, CEO of Flexport, a U.S.-based logistics and supply chain company, told in a microblogging and social networking service Twitter at the very end of February that part of the company's approximately $ 1.5 billion balance sheet is invested in bitcoin. Flexport is a globally operating company valued at more than € 7 billion.
In addition to these, US company MicroStrategy, which provides Business Intelligence solutions, cloud-based services, and mobile software, also bought more bitcoin in February. MicroStrategy bought 660 bitcoin for just over € 20 million. After this acquisition, MicroStrategy owns a total of more than 125,000 bitcoin, valued at nearly € 5 billion at the end of the month.
Ukraine raises cryptocurrency donations
Ukraine, a country at war, began raising donations in cryptocurrencies in late February. Ukraine tweeted Bitcoin and Ethereum addresses through which people can help by sending bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDT stablecoin. The Ukrainian announcement spread very quickly on Twitter, and at the end of the month, there were bitcoin donations worth about € 7 million and Ethereum and USDT donations worth about € 6 million had been made to the addresses. Prior to the announcement by Ukraine, it was possible to assist the state through various organizations. Of these, for example, the organization behind the address savelife.in.ua accepted bitcoin donations, and through this, about 7.5 million euros worth of bitcoin had been donated to Ukraine at the end of the month.
The growing global demand for cryptocurrencies is reflected in the plans of the world's largest asset manager and two major banks that plan to offer cryptocurrency trading services or cryptocurrency-related investment products to their customers in the near future. In addition to customers, banks' interest in cryptocurrencies has also increased, as evidenced by cryptocurrency reports published by several large banks. Based on the reports, these banks also clearly identify the future potential of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency-related purchases of Morgan Stanley's funds, KPMG Canada, Flexport, and MicroStrategy also reflect confidence in the future potential of cryptocurrencies. Ukraine's decision to raise cryptocurrency donations in a war situation is, in turn, an indication of the global functioning, fast, and uncensored nature of cryptocurrencies for crowdfunding purposes.Ville Viitaharju Cryptocurrency specialist