The price of bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, surpassed $57,000 on Monday morning, extending its two-week rally. It's up over 30% in October, currently trading at around $57,442.
The rally is likely due to a couple of reasons, including hope that a bitcoin futures ETF could be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission soon and excitement after Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell clarified that he has no intention to ban bitcoin in the U.S., which seemed to "embolden" investors, Ned Davis Research told CNBC.
Other altcoins jumped as well this week, including meme-coin shiba inu, which aims to compete with dogecoin. Shiba inu still has a long way to go, though. It's currently ranked No. 16, while dogecoin is ranked No. 10.
Outside of price movement, here are five other key things that happened in crypto this past week.
1. NFT trading volume hit $10.7 billion last quarter
NFT, or nonfungible token, trading volume surged in the third quarter of 2021 to $10.67 billion, a report by analytics platform DappRadar found. That's a 704% increase from the previous quarter.
August, in particular, fueled this growth. It was a record-breaking month, according to DappRadar, with over $5.2 billion in trading volume. Though things cooled off slightly in September, it still accounted for over $4 billion in trading volume.
A current lucrative use for NFTs is in-game items, in which users can buy things like skins or accessories to be used in blockchain-based video games. In the third quarter of 2021 alone, in-game items generated $2.3 billion in trading volume, DappRadar found. This represents 22% of the total NFT trading volume.
2. U.S. Bank launches bitcoin custody service
On Tuesday, U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest retail bank in the nation, announced that its cryptocurrency custody service is available to fund managers, CNBC reported. Sub-custodian NYDIG will assist in the endeavor.
This service will help managers store private keys for bitcoin, bitcoin cash and litecoin. Private keys, or a string of letters and numbers similar to a password, are used to unlock access to a holder's cryptocurrency.
Support for other cryptocurrencies like ether is expected over time.
3. AMC accepts dogecoin as payment for gift cards
Also on Tuesday, AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron tweeted that AMC theaters will begin to accept dogecoin as payment for gift cards.
"As we work to accept online crypto payments, now you can buy @AMCTheatres digital gift cards (up to $200 per day) with dogecoin and other cryptocurrency using a BitPay wallet," Aron wrote. "Accepted on our website, mobile app and in theaters."
A few weeks prior, Aron announced that by the end of 2021, AMC will accept bitcoin, ether, litecoin and bitcoin cash for online payments.
4. Sen. Cynthia Lummis discloses a bitcoin purchase worth up to $100,000
Senator Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., bought bitcoin worth between $50,001 and $100,000 on Aug.16, according to a filing on Thursday. The purchase was disclosed outside of the 45-day reporting deadline set by the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.
A spokesperson at Lummis' office told CNBC that the delay in disclosing was due to "a filing error."
"Once we realized it, we worked with the ethics committee to fix it," the spokesperson said. "It was an honest mistake, and the issue has been resolved without penalty."
Lummis has long been a supporter of bitcoin. In fact, the August purchase was made weeks after she and two other senators tried to amend the Senate's infrastructure bill to address its definition of who qualifies as a cryptocurrency broker. However, the amendment was ultimately rejected.
5. Biden administration weighs executive order on cryptocurrency regulation
The Biden administration is weighing an executive order that would direct federal agencies to study and offer recommendations on the crypto market, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
The order would clarify the responsibilities of different agencies, including the Treasury Department, the Commerce Department, the National Science Foundation and national security agencies.
While a draft of the potential order has been circulating among officials and regulators, no decision has been made to move forward, according to Bloomberg.
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