Crypto Scoop: The Total Crypto Market Cap Hits $1 Trillion

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More price gains among top cryptocurrencies as more countries announce CBDC initiatives.

This week, top cryptocurrencies record price gains as more countries pursue CBDC initiatives. In this edition of the crypto scoop, we review: 

  • BTC, ETH, and SOL price gains
  • Ripple’s CEO’s prediction on the SEC lawsuit
  • BNB token’s 22nd burn round
  • CBDC initiatives in Africa and across the globe
Bitcoin rising

Bitcoin soars to the moon (Source: Stakin)

Crypto Market Cap Hits $1 Trillion Following Price Gains.

This week, the total market cap soared back to $1 Trillion. Bitcoin attained a 3-month high as it soared to $21,500, with ETH skyrocketing to $1,600.

The last few weeks have been positive for Solana, gaining over 36%, bringing it closer to flipping Polygon to move back into the top 10 cryptocurrencies. Memecoins weren’t left behind in the price gains, DOGE went up 5%, and SHIB surged 20%.

Ripple's CEO Says SEC Lawsuit Might End First Half Of 2023

According to Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, the legal dispute between Ripple and the US Securities and Exchange Commission will likely be resolved in the first half of 2023.

In an interview with CNBC on January 18, Garlinghouse stated, "We're optimistic that this will certainly be resolved in 2023, and maybe [in] the first half. So we'll see how it plays out from here. But I feel very good about where we are relative to the law and the facts.".

Garlinghouse went on to say that Ripple was unlikely to settle with the SEC, noting that it would only do so if the agency defined XRP as a non-security. 

Binance burns $600M BNB in 22nd burn event

On January 17, Binance burned 2.06 million of its BNB token worth over $600 million. The event, according to Binance, was the company's 22nd BNB burn and the first quarterly burn of 2023. According to Binance, the BNB burn programme, honoured through a quarterly burn programme, is intended to remove half of the token's total supply (100 million) from circulation.

The asset price and the number of blocks created on the BNB Smart Chain (BSC) during the quarter determine how much BNB is burned through the auto-burn mechanism. Within 24 hours of the burn, BNB's price increased by about 0.72%.

CBDC Initiatives in Tanzania, Georgia, Spain, and China

The last couple of months has featured several countries pursuing or expressing interest in creating a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The central bank of Tanzania officially declared that it had decided to adopt its central bank digital currency with more caution and a focus on risk. Additionally, the bank stated that it would keep working to find a suitable and appropriate use and technology for the issuance of Tanzanian shillings in digital form.

In the first half of 2023, Georgia said it would begin testing its Digital Lari currency. A "digital lari" whitepaper, to be released by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG), will enable prospective partners to adjust their proposals before the project's test phase.

The central bank of Spain, El Banco de Espaa, has given the go-ahead to test the digital Euro token EURM. The central bank's digital "sandbox" programme was used to create the token, which will be issued by the Spanish fintech company Monei. The announcement states that all EURM tokens will always be backed 1:1 by FIAT. Up to 12 months of the pilot are planned, after which reports will be generated to help the central bank decide whether to approve a formal launch.

Upgrades have been made to China's Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), also known as the digital yuan or eCNY, adding smart contract functionality and several recently unveiled use cases. According to a Jan. 17 report by a local media outlet, the CBDC has been integrated into the Meituan app. The Meituan is a Chinese app that offers retail and food delivery services, and with its integration, customers can now use the CBDC in payments.