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Bitcoin inches toward all-time-high; Mining difficulty on the up

Bitcoin inches toward all-time-high on the back of the first Bitcoin futures ETF in the U.S.

Bitcoin inches towards all-time-high following Proshares spectacular opening. 

Australian Bitcoin trader continues crusade against debanking.

Bitcoin mining difficulty rises for seventh consecutive time.

We’ll have more on those stories — and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world — in this episode of The Daily Forkast October 20th.

Transcript

Blue Ribbon Day today, possibly Bitcoin futures are exciting our newsroom today.

Welcome to The Daily Forkast October 20th 2021. I'm Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News covering all things blockchain.

While the first Bitcoin futures ETF in the U.S. had a spectacular opening on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, with around US$280 million worth of shares in ProShares, Bitcoin Strategy ETF traded within 20 minutes. We're going to take a look at what's next on the ETF agenda and a whole lot more coming up.

Let's get you up to speed from Asia to the world.

First up, ProShares ETF knock out opening continued in that same fashion, with trading volume approaching US$1 billion by the end of the day.

And eager to get on the bandwagon, Grayscale Investments filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to convert its Bitcoin Trust into a Bitcoin Spot ETF amid a turbo boost to the industry from these ETF developments. As of the time of this recording, Bitcoin inches ever closer to an all time high.

Forkast.News Monika Ghosh has more.

ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF went live on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BITO, but one expert told Forkast.News, that as the ETF will only trade for the seven hours per day that the New York Stock Exchange operates; it has limitations.

"It doesn't allow investors to capitalize on those big moves that occur outside of exchange trading hours or alternatively stop out of positions, which to me is a very important part of trading with your trading digital assets or your trading conventional equities."

Sycamore says while it was an inspirational start, he sees a spot Bitcoin ETF, attracting a broader range of investors, including those who have already embraced digital assets.

However, he says there won't be any rush from regulators in allowing that to happen.

All of this has said Bitcoin's price on a tear hovering within 2% of its all time high. The price was at just under US$64,000 Wednesday midday Asia time.

Jonathan Miller of Kraken says a combination of factors have benefited the cryptocurrency this year.

"More general awareness, security, easier pathways onto crypto. It's a confluence of things, and that's why, you know, that's why we're here today."

For Forkast.News, I'm Monika Ghosh.

Meanwhile, an Australian Bitcoin trader dumped by his banks is continuing to raise a ruckus.

Allan Flynn is forging forward with his crusade against being debanked because of his occupation as a trader of Bitcoins.

Having been debanked around 20 times, Flynn decided to do something about it. And using anti-discrimination laws that only apply in Australia's capital territory.

He has already settled a case with ANZ Bank. Westpac is next on his list.

Forkast.News Lachlan Keller has more from the man and the saga from Melbourne, Australia.

Allan Flynn started Canberra Bitcoin, offering managed transactions on an escrow platform in July 2017, but he ceased operations in December 2019 as his bank accounts kept being shut down despite his business being lawful.

Prior to the hassle and customers losing trust in him, he set out to find a solution that appeared in the form of the ACT's 1991 Discrimination Act, which considers a profession to be a protected attribute unless discrimination is reasonable under the circumstances.

Flynn settled his case with ANZ before it went to tribunal, and his hearing with Westpac is set to begin on Thursday.

Debanking's also on the agenda for the Australian Senate Select Committees inquiry into fintech regulation. But Flynn told Forkast.News that while he was heartened by Senator Andrew Bragg saying policy will be implemented, his cynical over what it will achieve.

"We're six years down the track. Debanking is still an issue. I'm beginning to wonder whether, you know it ever really will be addressed. So meanwhile, I'm not holding my breath for politicians to do anything. This is why I'm taking action myself. I've got this law supporting me. I'm going to use it."

Well, this settlement, an upcoming tribunal, mark a milestone in Australia's debanking story. Industry watchers remain skeptical any true change to banking practices will emerge as a result.

In the meantime, all eyes are on the Senate Inquiry set to release its final report at the end of the month.

For Forkast.News, I'm Lachlan Keller from Melbourne, Australia.

And finally, we started the show talking Bitcoin approaching another high. Well, as we end this report, Bitcoin is in another respect, also hitting a high in mining difficulty.

In fact, Bitcoin mining difficulty has hit its highest level since the May 30th adjustment.

According to data from BTC.com Tuesday's adjustment saw the bitcoin mining difficulty increase by 0.95%, close to 1% there.

The difficulty level saw four consecutive decline immediately after China intensified its clampdown on the sector in May, remember that. But this is the seventh increase in a row since then.

These adjustments are highly correlated to changes we're seeing in the mining hash rate, which, as you may know, refers to the level of computing power required to mine. The more difficult mining is less profitable it becomes, and when the hash rate increases, mining difficulty typically follows.

Now, according to data from Blockchain.com, the hash rate began a nosedive mid-May, plunging from an all time high of just over 180 million tera hashes per second to a low of almost 85 million tera hashes per second at the beginning of July.

Now, on Tuesday, that reading was back up to 144.4 million tera hashes per second.

That's a big jump.

Now, China may be slowing down, but the U.S. is picking up the slack. It's recently emerged as a mining hotspot, with data from the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance showing that the U.S. accounted for 35.4% of the global hash rate chair at the end of August.

That is a huge leap, up from the 16.8% it commanded in April.

Those ripples from China's clampdown still not showing much of a sign of slowing down. It just means miners are popping up somewhere else in the world.

And that's The Daily Forkast from our vantage point right here in Asia.

Hit like, hit subscribe. We want to reach out to more and more subscribers. It helps us reach our goal to reach out to more of you, and we truly appreciate it. Visit Forkast.News.

And by the way, I want to personally invite you to join our global virtual summit on November 10th.

Very excited about it, our entire team is shameless plug here.

We've got some of the biggest names in blockchain joining us, including Don Tapscott. And if you check out his TEDx talk right here on YouTube, you'll see why he's a big deal.

We've got SBF, that's Sam Bankman-Fried, of course, joining us. We've got Alex Muszynski of Celsius. We've got newsmakers, blockchain leaders. We've got so many people.

It is a live event with an opportunity to engage with Forkast and all of these newsmakers. bitcoinandbeyond.io

The link is in the description below. So I hope you do register and join us there.

In the meantime, I'm Forkast.News Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau. Until the next time.

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