Bitcoin consolidates at US$52,000 as retail traders observe, research finds attacks on BTC and ETH “economically unfeasible”

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21st February 2024 – (New York) Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, had a strong start to the month, surpassing the $50,000 milestone and settling around $52,000. However, recent market trends indicate a potential slowdown as retail traders remain cautious. Despite this, spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) continue to experience high levels of activity, with BlackRock, the issuer of a spot bitcoin ETF, on track to become the largest holder of bitcoin, surpassing Microstrategy Inc.

In a significant development, a research paper published recently concluded that theoretical cyber attacks on the consensus mechanisms of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) would be “economically unfeasible.” The study highlighted the robust security measures protecting these cryptocurrencies, making 51% attacks impractical due to their exorbitant costs and logistical challenges. The findings underscore the enhanced security of Bitcoin and Ethereum, marking a pivotal milestone in their evolution.

Meanwhile, the decentralized crypto exchange Fixedfloat faced criticism after suffering a hack that resulted in the theft of approximately $26 million worth of bitcoin and ether. Concerns were raised regarding the exchange’s delayed reporting of the incident, which occurred earlier this month.

Looking ahead, traders are closely monitoring the potential approval of an Ethereum ETF by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Unlike previous filings, the latest application from money management firm VanEck does not include staking. Analysts speculate that there is a 50% chance of SEC approval by May, which could pave the way for mainstream institutional adoption of Ethereum in the crypto market. Bernstein, a brokerage firm, suggests that an approved ETH ETF could be well-positioned for institutional adoption.

Additionally, attention is focused on STRK, the native token of Ethereum Layer 2 network Starknet. Following a large-scale airdrop to millions of users, STRK briefly reached a market capitalisation in the billions before settling around $2 on CoinMarketCap.