What Happened In Crypto Market Last Week?

Bitcoin adoption is growing with pension funds, institutions, and El Salvador's clean mining, while Tether's minting and a theft case highlight the evolving crypto landscape.
What Happened In Crypto Market Last Week?

Key Insights

  • The State of Wisconsin's pension fund revealed that it had holdings in Bitcoin ETFs, meaning that pensioners indirectly own Bitcoin.

  • El Salvador has been mining Bitcoin using clean geothermal energy for three years and is now a model country when it comes to mining

  • Over 600 institutional firms now hold Bitcoin ETFs, with Millennium Management leading the pack at $2.2 billion.

  • Tether recently minted another $1 billion USDT, indicating another possible Bitcoin price surge based on history

  • Two brothers, Anton and James Pepaire-Bueno allegedly manipulated the Ethereum network to steal $25 million in crypto in less than 12 seconds

The crypto market had its usual share of interesting developments over the last week.

Last week, we had a Reuters report that showed how El Salvador mined nearly 500 Bitcoin (currently worth more than $30 million) purely from energy from its volcanoes.

Another report from the US DOJ showed how two brothers manipulated the Ethereum network itself, in a "first of its kind" exploit and managed to steal a staggering $25 million worth of $ETH.

In this section, we will be going over some of the most interesting stories in crypto from the last week, in bite-sized portions to keep you up to date with the latest happenings:

US Allegedly Holds $164M Worth of Spot Bitcoin ETFs

The Bitcoin ETFs have garnered significant institutional interest since their launch.

However, last week, in a filing with the U.S. SEC, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (also known as SWIB) revealed that it holds spot Bitcoin ETFs from Grayscale and BlackRock to the tune of $164 million.

Why is this massive?

For starters, the SWIB is the entity responsible for managing assets in the state’s pension system.

This means that pensioners in Wisconsin by extension, have spot ETF holdings in their portfolios.

The SWIB's filing showed that the agency holds more than 2.4 million shares in BlackRock's IBIT and more than one million shares of Grayscale's GBTC.

This means that the state of Wisconsin has around $100 million worth of IBIT and $164 million worth of GBTC.

El Salvador Has Mined Nearly 500 Bitcoin Using Geothermal Volcanic Energy

Last week, a Reuters report detailed how El Salvador has been harnessing the energy from the intense heat of its volcanoes to mine Bitcoin.

In fact, in the last three years, this Central American country has used this energy to mine nearly 500 Bitcoins, worth around $30 million at the time of writing.

Reuters noted that El Salvador mined these Bitcoins from its Tecapa volcano, with the aid of 300 mining processors, with an allocated 1.5 megawatts out of the total 102 megawatts produced by the country's power grid.

This sets El Salvador as a champion of Bitcoin mining using safe, clean and renewable energy, in the face of worldwide criticism over the mining industry's reliance on fossil fuels.

At press time, El Salvador currently has around 5,750 BTC worth around $354 million.

Over 600 Firms Collectively Hold $3.5 Billion Worth of Bitcoin ETFs

Last week, more than 600 companies submitted 13F filings to the SEC, which revealed that they collectively hold a staggering amount of Bitcoin ETF shares.

Some of these companies included Schonfeld Strategic Advisors, Boothbay Fund Management, Morgan Stanley and several others—all of which had around $3.5 billion worth of ETFs.

However, most interesting of all is that of Millennium Management, which held more than 70% of these ETFs, at a staggering $1.9 billion across five issuers like BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale, ARK 21Shares and Bitwise.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Millennium Management’s holdings</p></div>

Millennium Management’s holdings

Bloomberg senior ETF analyst, Eric Balchunas commented on the subject in a 15 May tweet, stating that Millennium Management currently holds about 200 times the average amount for new ETF investors.

Tether Minted Another $1 Billion Worth of $USDT

Tether the largest stablecoin issuer in the world by far, was in the news last week.

According to reports from LookOnChain, the USDT issuer minted an extra $1 billion worth of the stablecoin, in an apparently bullish outlook for Bitcoin.

According to LookOnChain’s insights, the most recent mint has pushed the amount of USDT minted on the Ethereum and Tron blockchains to a staggering $31 billion.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Tether’s recent mint</p></div>

Tether’s recent mint

But what does this mean for Bitcoin?

LookOnChain noted that Tether's habit of steady mints was one of the direct contributors to Bitcoin's pump from $27,000 to its all-time high of $73,000.

This $1 billion mint also happened right around the time Bitcoin started to recover from the $60,000 zone to where it now sits at around $67,000.

This means that if history is any indication, Bitcoin might be poised for another rally soon.

US DOJ Arrested Two Brothers For "Manipulating The Ethereum Network"

In more serious news concerning crypto crime, the United States Department of Justice charged two brothers—Anton Peraire-Bueno, aged 24, and James Pepaire-Bueno, aged 28—with a “first of its kind” crypto theft.

According to reports, these brothers allegedly manipulated the Ethereum network itself, to steal around $25 million worth of ETH in an impressive 12 seconds.

The Peraire-Bueno brothers, both of whom were computer science and mathematics majors at MIT allegedly gained access to pending transactions on the Ethereum network, then deployed several test transactions that tricked the blockchain into releasing the funds in significantly less than a minute.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Charges against Anton and James Pepaire-Bueno</p></div>

Charges against Anton and James Pepaire-Bueno

The two brothers are charged with crimes like conspiracy, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

In the end, this raises significant questions about how safe the Ethereum network really is.

Disclaimer: Voice of Crypto aims to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, but it will not be responsible for any missing facts or inaccurate information. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile financial assets, so research and make your own financial decisions.

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