Monthly Review of November 2023
In this monthly report, we will examine the most important cryptocurrency-related news in November. The significant cryptocurrency news in November included the Ethereum spot ETF applications submitted by the world's largest asset managers, progress made by European banks, the judgment against Binance, positive developments in Bitcoin network metrics, and MicroStrategy's bitcoin purchase.
November in the Cryptocurrency Markets
Cryptocurrencies continued their upward trend in November. Of the cryptocurrencies offered by Northcrypto, Chainlink performed the best, experiencing about a 23% price increase. The prices of Aave, Polygon, and ApeCoin also rose by over 15% during the month. Ethereum's price increased by about ten percent, while Bitcoin's price rose just over five percent. Litecoin's price ended November about two percent lower than at the beginning of the month.
World's Largest Asset Managers Submit Ethereum Spot ETF Applications
BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager overseeing around 8.5 trillion euros, submitted an Ethereum spot ETF application to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in November. An ETF refers to an exchange-traded fund, while a spot ETF is an ETF whose shares are backed by an underlying asset, in this case, Ethereum.
Fidelity, the third-largest asset manager with over four trillion euros, also submitted an Ethereum spot ETF application in November. Fidelity can be seen following in the footsteps of BlackRock, as BlackRock submitted its own Ethereum spot ETF application just slightly before Fidelity. In addition to the applications from BlackRock and Fidelity, five other Ethereum spot ETF applications have been submitted so far.
Progress of European Banks in the Cryptocurrency Markets
The Santander Private Banking International division of Banco Santander, one of Europe's largest banks, has started offering cryptocurrency services to its wealthiest clients with accounts in Switzerland. Initially, this means the opportunity to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum. Santander plans to expand the range of cryptocurrencies available for trading in the coming months. Banco Santander has a total of approximately 165 million customers in Europe.
Germany's third-largest bank, DZ Bank, also introduced a cryptocurrency-related custody service in November. Initially, the service allows the storage of investment products resembling bonds tied to cryptocurrencies. In the future, DZ Bank hopes to offer cryptocurrency trading services to its customers. According to comments from DZ Bank, they anticipate that a significant portion of capital market business will be conducted through decentralized blockchain-based infrastructures in the next ten years.
In addition to Banco Santander and DZ Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, one of Austria's largest banks, is set to begin offering cryptocurrency trading services to its retail customers. This will be done in collaboration with the Austrian cryptocurrency exchange Bitpanda. The service is expected to be available to the bank's customers in Vienna in January 2024. Raiffeisen Bank has a total of nearly 18 million customers in Europe.
Binance CEO Resigns as Part of a €4 Billion Settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice
In November, the U.S. Department of Justice reached a resolution with Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. Binance was found to have violated money transfer laws and U.S. sanctions, resulting in a fine of nearly €4 billion. The fine imposed on Binance is one of the largest fines ever imposed on a company in U.S. history. In the same context, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the founder and CEO of Binance, a key figure in the cryptocurrency world, resigned from his role as CEO.
Positive Metrics for the Bitcoin Network
November also brought positive developments for the Bitcoin network. The hashrate of the Bitcoin network, which represents the total computational power used in mining, reached new record levels in November. According to Glassnode, specialized in blockchain analytics, the hashrate surpassed 550 ExaHashes per second (EH/s) in November. For comparison, the hashrate was around 270 EH/s at the beginning of the year, indicating a significant growth.
In addition to the hashrate, the proportion of bitcoins inactive for over a year reached new record levels in November. This indicator measures the share of bitcoins that have not been traded (technically transferred, but it can be assumed that a transfer usually involves a trading event) in the last over a year. The share of bitcoins inactive for over a year reached new record levels in November, surpassing 70% for the first time. At the end of the month, approximately 70.5% of bitcoins had been inactive for over a year.
MicroStrategy Purchased More Bitcoin
MicroStrategy, a U.S. company offering business intelligence solutions, cloud-based services, and mobile software, purchased more bitcoin in November. MicroStrategy announced at the end of November that it had purchased around €550 million worth of 16,130 bitcoins at an average price of just under €34,000. The company announced its first bitcoin purchase in August 2020 when the price of Bitcoin was around €10,000. Since then, MicroStrategy has bought bitcoin several times, and after the latest purchase, it owns 174,530 bitcoins.
In addition to the Bitcoin spot ETF news that has been prominent in 2023, the Ethereum spot ETF became a topic in November following the applications submitted by BlackRock and Fidelity. The world's largest asset managers aim to respond to the demand for the second-largest cryptocurrency, especially from institutional investors, by introducing ETF products that facilitate investment. In addition to the Ethereum spot ETF developments, a significant news theme in November was the progress made by European banks in the cryptocurrency markets. The actions of Banco Santander, DZ Bank, and Raiffeisen Bank reflect the trend of cryptocurrencies becoming increasingly integrated into traditional banking and finance. Although the fine imposed on Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, in November was significant, many cryptocurrency experts believe that the judgment against Binance was likely better than expected for the entire cryptocurrency market. Among the positive cryptocurrency news in November were the positive developments in essential metrics of the Bitcoin network. Both the rapid growth in hashrate and the increased share of long-inactive bitcoins are promising for the future price development of Bitcoin. In November, MicroStrategy continued to implement its Bitcoin strategy, and the company's ownership of bitcoin reached nearly one percent of all bitcoins in circulation.Ville Viitaharju Cryptocurrency specialist