Even as U.S. regulators step up their actions against cryptocurrency exchanges and their staking programs, the price of Bitcoin brushed near $24,300 on Wednesday, the highest point since August 2022, gaining 8.2% in the last 24 hours, according to data from CoinGecko.
The pump, which comes close to breaking an eight-month record, arrives as users and major brands flock to the OG blockchain to inscribe content on the network using Ordinals inscriptions.
The number of Ordinal inscriptions crossed 100,000 late Tuesday night, and unlike Bitcoin sidechains like Stacks or Counterparty, Ordinals are inscribed directly onto the blockchain. Inscriptions were made possible by the SegWit and Taproot upgrades to the Bitcoin network, as they are stored in the transaction witness of a Bitcoin block.
Projects moving to Ordinals include the popular Solana NFT collection DeGods, which put 535 DeGods NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain. On Wednesday, Xverse, a Bitcoin-based web wallet, added support for Ordinals.
Also, it doesn’t hurt that Keanu Reeves like crypto.
But while Ordinals is having its moment in the sun, some point to recent movements by the SEC against stablecoins and staking, speculating that investors are converting their altcoins into Bitcoin, which SEC chair Gary Gensler said in the past was not a security.
Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged cryptocurrency exchange Kraken with a $30 million fine for failing to "properly" register its staking program.
On Monday, fellow U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, said it would defend its staking services against the SEC.
“Coinbase’s staking services are not securities,” tweeted Coinbase co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong, “We will happily defend this in court if needed.”
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