First Mover Americas: Bitcoin ‘Ordinals’ Boom Prompts NFT Activity Surge

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for Feb. 20, 2023.

AccessTimeIconFeb 20, 2023 at 1:12 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 21, 2023 at 2:43 p.m. UTC
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This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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+10.2 0.9%
+131.0 0.5%
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BTC/ETH prices per CoinDesk Indices, as of 7 a.m. ET (11 a.m. UTC)

Top Stories

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has published its proposed rules for crypto trading platforms. The regulator is seeking comments on whether to allow licensed platforms to serve retail investors and what consumer protection measures to offer. The new rules would also mean all platforms would need to apply for a license, including existing ones. Platforms “should begin to review and revise their systems and controls to prepare for the new regime,” the SFC said. It was misconstrued through a tweet last week that the city was set to offer crypto trading to retail investors, which is not the case. Hong Kong’s new Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP) licensing regime kicks in at the start of June, but it only permits exchanges to provide access to professional investors.

Hong Kong (Shutterstock)
Hong Kong (Shutterstock)

Helium is set to entirely shift to the Solana blockchain by March 27, developers have said. That’s prompted a rally of the decentralized wireless network’s HNT tokens, which are up nearly 6% at $3 in the last 24 hours. Following the migration, HNT, MOBILE and IOT will all be issued on the Solana network and continue to be the tokens in the Helium ecosystem. A new version of the Helium wallet app will become available, and users will also have the option of using Solana-based wallets like Phantom and Solfare.

Crypto-focused hedge fund Galois Capital has shut down after losing a sizable portion of its assets during FTX’s collapse last year. Galois told CoinDesk last November that the $40 million stuck on FTX amounted to around half of its funds. The FT reported earlier today that Galois is selling its bankruptcy claims for 16 cents on the dollar. In other FTX-related news, founder Sam Bankman-Fried and other execs have been subpoenaed by bankrupt brokerage Voyager Digital’s unsecured creditors. Their lawyers are investigating FTX's attempt to bail out Voyager when it went bankrupt last July.

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows weekly volumes for bitcoin and ether options listed on Deribit since February 2022.
  • Last week, bitcoin options volume totaled $5.4 billion, the highest in three months, while the notional volume in ether options was $3.1 billion.
  • "Market participants continue showing preference over Bitcoin," Amberdata's Greg Magadini said.
  • Traders opened long positions in bullish calls at $26,000, $28,000 and $30,000 with conviction in the second half of last week, Magadini added.

- Omkar Godbole

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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.

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