Weekly Insights #7: Banks predict the bitcoin price

It remains noteworthy that banks are involving themselves in bitcoin price predictions. Standard Chartered Bank has raised its forecast for bitcoin from $100,000 to $150,000, with an expectation of $200,000 by 2025 if the influx into bitcoin ETFs continues. This weekly insights also highlights which bitcoin miners mined the most bitcoins in February, the $21 million penalty for Genesis by the SEC, and four consecutive days of outflow from bitcoin ETFs.

Who mined the most bitcoins in February?

In February, the bitcoin hashrate reached a record high of 735 EH/s, presumably driven by the significant increase in the bitcoin price. This surge ensured that even less efficient miners remained profitable.

With the upcoming bitcoin halving, less than a month away, miners are striving to mine as efficiently as possible to maximize their profits. However, their efforts were somewhat hindered by the 11% increase in mining difficulty in February.

But who mined the most bitcoins in February? Concerning 'physical' bitcoins, there is a top 3. Following the miners is their average operational hashrate in parentheses. Core Scientific (18.9 EH/s) ranks first with 893 bitcoins, followed by Marathon Digital Holdings (17.6 EH/s) with 833 bitcoins, and CleanSpark (13.9 EH/s) with 648 bitcoins.

In terms of the most bitcoins mined per EH/s, the smaller miners SATO Technology and DMG Blockchain performed the best in February.

And are the miners still holding onto their bitcoins? Indeed. The trend of not selling mined bitcoins (hodling) continued, with Riot Platforms adding all its produced bitcoins to its treasury. CleanSpark sold only 2.8 bitcoins, and Hive Digital sold only 8 bitcoins.

For more information on bitcoin mining, you can visit Compass Mining.

Banks predict the bitcoin price

Standard Chartered Bank has raised its forecast for the bitcoin price to $150,000 from $100,000 previously. This change stems from the strong inflows into recently launched spot bitcoin ETFs in the United States (US), driving the bitcoin price positively.

According to analysts at the bank, there is potential for the bitcoin price to reach $150,000 by the end of 2024, while the target for the end of 2025 remains at $200,000.

If the inflows into bitcoin ETFs reach the bank's estimated center of $75 billion and/or if forex reserve managers begin buying bitcoin, the bank even sees the possibility of surpassing this target, with the bitcoin price potentially reaching $250,000 at some point in 2025.

Additionally, the US banking giant JPMorgan Chase has an opinion on the bitcoin price. According to the bank's analysts, Bitcoin is currently in 'overbought territory,' despite last week's correction. The upcoming bitcoin halving is also expected to be unfavorable for the bitcoin price.

Remember that predicting the bitcoin price is actually uncharted territory, and no one has a crystal ball, not even the banks currently involved in bitcoin price speculation.

$21 million penalty for Genesis

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) imposed a civil penalty of $21 million on Genesis Global Capital last Tuesday. This settlement follows allegations that Genesis was involved in the unregistered offer and sale of securities through Gemini Earn.

Via Gemini Earn, retail investors in the US could lend their bitcoin and crypto to Genesis in exchange for interest payments. A larger group of crypto companies used this arrangement with Genesis. So, it also involves a larger group of victims, including a Dutch party.

Genesis came under fire when it announced in November 2022 that participating parties could no longer withdraw bitcoin and crypto due to a lack of liquidity.

The SEC sued both Genesis and Gemini for violating the Securities Act. In addition to the fine, Genesis has agreed to a permanent injunction against further violations of the Securities Act.

Investors who participated in the Gemini Earn program still do not have access to their bitcoin and crypto because Genesis and two subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy in January 2023.

Four consecutive days of outflow from bitcoin ETFs

Yesterday marked the fourth consecutive day of outflows from bitcoin ETFs. A total of $94 million flowed out yesterday. BlackRock (IBIT) partially offset this with an inflow of $233.4 million.

The largest outflow is from the 'expensive' Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ETF (GBTC). Yesterday, $358.8 million was withdrawn, bringing the total to $1.83 billion in just 4 days. It's a mystery who continues to sell mercilessly, but presumably, it has to do with the ongoing bankruptcies.

Meanwhile, Bitwise's (BITB) bitcoin ETF surpassed the $1.5 billion mark, and ARK 21Shares' (ARKB) bitcoin ETF surpassed the $2 billion mark.

More information on bitcoin ETF flows can be found at Farside Investors.

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