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Bitcoin is mooning aboard a spaceship, BItcoin ETFs approved, and the number of merchants accepting cryptocurrency has tripled

Jan 12, 2024
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Bitcoin to the moon — literally. 🚀 One BTC in a physical wallet is currently on its way to the moon and expected to land mid-February. The cryptocurrency is riding along with astronauts on the lunar rocket Vulcan Centaur that took off from Cape Canaveral on January 8. Watch Bitcoin take off for the moon.

More on Bitcoin’s metaphorical mooning status in the News Snaps below.

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Market Spotlight

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News Snaps

Bitcoin ETFs Approved

This week, spot Bitcoin ETFs have won the US SEC’s approval after over a decade of the asset management industry attempting to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF. Bitcoin’s price topped US$47,500 on Wednesday following the decision. The spot ETFs will begin trading on Thursday.

Cryptocurrency Fund Inflows Surge
The first week of 2024 already hit a notable milestone in cryptocurrency investments, where investment products in this sector saw inflows of US$151 million, according to a recent CoinShares report. American exchanges contributed over half of these inflows (55%), while German and Swiss exchanges followed, contributing 21% and 17%, respectively, of the inflows.

Merchants Accepting Cryptocurrency Tripled

The global count of merchants accepting cryptocurrency payments surged in 2023, marking a near 300% increase, as reported by BTC Map, a prominent Bitcoin merchant mapping provider. According to the data, numbers rose from 2,207 establishments — restaurants, bars, shops, and other services — to 6,126.

Mercari to Accept BTC

Another merchant will soon add its name to the list: Japanese e-commerce giant Mercari will accept Bitcoin payments starting in June. The platform has become a gateway for crypto adoption in Japan after launching several crypto-focused products and services on its flea market app. 

New US Crypto Tax

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed by the US Congress in November 2021, introduced a new provision into the Tax Code. Anyone receiving over US$10,000 in cryptocurrency in their trade or business must report the transaction to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) within 15 days. This new rule took effect on January 1, 2024. 

Bitcoin Now Unit of Account

Próspera, a semi-autonomous city established under Honduran ZEDE laws, now officially recognizes Bitcoin as a unit of account. This recognition means that Bitcoin can now be used to measure the market value of goods and services within the zone.

What’s Ahead

Crypto Catalyst Calendar

The crypto conference calendar for 2024 is in – including the dates for Blockchain Week in Paris and Bitcoin 2024.

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Chart of the Week

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Investors poured over US$2 billion into digital-asset investment exchange-traded products (ETPs) in 2023, making it the third-largest year for net inflows dating back to 2017, according to data provided by CoinShares. The inflows were more than double those of 2022.

Research & Insights

Monthly Feature Article | Issuing Tokens on Bitcoin 

Bitcoin’s aim is to be a simple, robust cryptocurrency system focused on digital cash, with a design philosophy emphasizing security and decentralization. 

Compared to Ethereum, Bitcoin has several technical features that make it less suitable for issuing new tokens, including its lack of a native token standard, low transaction throughput, and the unspent transaction output (UTXO) model.

While Bitcoin was originally developed as a digital currency for payment, ongoing developments within the Bitcoin ecosystem seek to expand its functionality.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Innovation in the Bitcoin ecosystem aims to build upon its base layer by introducing increased programmability to expand functionality and use cases. 
  • A key area of focus is the issuance and transfer of tokenized assets on the Bitcoin network. Current notable protocols include BRC-20, Atomicals Protocol (ARC-20), Taproot Assets, and the Nostr Assets Protocol.
  • BRC-20 adopts a similar way to inscribe data based on the Ordinals protocol. While Ordinals NFTs inscribe multimedia data (like images) onto Satoshis, the BRC-20 token standard inscribes a JSON text (a text structure) to Satoshis. The JSON contains pieces of operation instructions that can be deployed on the Bitcoin network.
  • Atomicals Protocol introduces the ARC-20 fungible token standard, which uses each Satoshi to represent ownership units of deployed tokens. This means that every unit of the token is backed by 1 Satoshi forever. A key difference compared to BRC-20 is that Atomicals are minted and propagated based on Bitcoin’s UTXO, thus aligning more closely with Bitcoin’s model. 
  • Assets issued with the Taproot Assets protocol are held in Bitcoin UTXOs and transferred as part of regular Bitcoin transactions. Assets issued through this protocol are interoperable on both Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.

For more, check out Issuing Tokens on the Bitcoin Network.

NFT Spotlight

Aiming to bridge the gap between the physical and virtual worlds, the team behind previous sold-out projects ‘OG MASKS’ and ‘YUROSAKO’ present the ‘MISAKI’ NFT collection, which drops on Monday, January 22.

YUROSAKO is a generative anime art project consisting of 3,939 characters. The collection of MISAKI, the daughter of YUROSAKO, includes 1,700 PFP characters, and each of these characters is specially designed by over 100 unique traits.

This drop features various utility items, including:

🎫 Early access to the upcoming ‘AZURONG’ collection

🗝️ Access to YUROSAKO manga volume 2

👕 Free hoodies

🪂 MISAKI NFT airdrops

🪂 YUROSAKO NFT airdrops


Can’t beat a $1 mint! You can also join the YUROSAKO fam.

Product Picks

Manual Refresh Balances on the DeFi Wallet

With this new update to the Wallet Extension, there’s no longer any need to wait for your wallet balances to refresh. Simply hit the manual refresh button to see your wallet balances update in real time! Download the Wallet Extension here.

The BTC Trading Competition Is Live in the Trading Arena

With the Bitcoin ETF making headlines, there’s never been a better time to trade BTC volatility. Do so on the Exchange and stand to win bonuses of up to US$1,000! Simply trade a minimum of US$500 of BTC to be eligible. Find out more here. App New Token Listings

Kryptonite (SEILOR)

Kryptonite, a flagship project of Sei Network, enhances LSDFi with integrated SEI lending and collateralized kUSD stablecoin minting, plus improved staking strategies by unlocking liquidity within staked assets. SEILOR powers the Kryptonite protocol by enabling user features, such as access to SEI staking infrastructure, the mint function for stablecoin creation via SEI, and priority access to Kryptonite’s infrastructure. 


ALEX is an open-source DeFi protocol on Bitcoin via Stacks’ smart contracts, contributing to Web3’s financial infrastructure. Its native token, $ALEX, incentivizes users involved in DEX liquidity provision and staking. $ALEX emissions sustainably drive adoption and community engagement.

KYVE Network (KYVE)

KYVE is a stand-alone Proof of Stake (PoS) Layer-1 blockchain leveraging the Cosmos SDK. At the chain level, it’s used for staking and delegating, securing the network through Proof of Stake. KYVE tokens are also staked on the chain for stakers to participate in the protocol layer. 

Decentralized Social (DESO)

DeSo is a new Layer-1 blockchain built to decentralize social media for billions of users. It aims to build an internet that is creator-led, user-owned, and open to millions of developers globally. Its native utility token, DESO, has practical uses, allowing you to create new assets and tokens, power smart contract executions, and set up new blockchains.

Xai (XAI)

Xai is a gaming blockchain designed to facilitate seamless trading in the next generation of video games. Powered by Arbitrum, its goal is to enable billions of traditional gamers to own and trade in-game items without the need for crypto wallets. XAI serves as the native gas token for Xai, leveraging Layer-3 technology to scale to hundreds of millions of users without sacrificing interoperability, composability, and security.


Live Video AMA With Kris Marszalek

Tune in to our live AMA with Kris Marszalek,’s co-founder and CEO on January 19 (Friday) at 14:00 SGT. We’ll be streaming it on YouTube, X, and Facebook, and Kris will be answering questions from the community. This is one AMA you won’t want to miss!

Submit your questions here.

Crypto Level Up

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Discover How Real-World Assets Bring Real-World Value to DeFi

Real-world assets (RWAs) are tangible or intangible assets that can be tokenized and represented as digital tokens on a blockchain. Several examples include real estate, bonds, and commodities.

Continue reading to learn how DeFi benefits from the inclusion of RWAs.

How Are RWAs Tokenized?

RWAs are tokenized either non-natively or natively. The former refers to tokens issued to represent RWAs that are managed off-chain. Conversely, the latter refers to tokens acting as the RWAs themselves, like a digital bond on the Ethereum blockchain.

What Are the Advantages of Tokenization?

RWA tokenization is transparent, allowing the true value of an asset to be reflected on-chain. Tokenizing RWAs results in a highly efficient distribution process for owners, as well, and the tokenized RWAs have the potential to act as collateral in DeFi protocols.

Find out more about RWAs bringing value to DeFi.


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Croissants and coffee carried @croshouf through the end of 2023, while the Jade Green Visa Card leads us to an exciting 2024. It’s all shaping up to be delicious, friends.

Hashtag #CryptoIRL with your Crypto.‌com Visa Card on your social profiles to get featured! Your 15 minutes of fame in the #CROFam awaits you!



A burn refers to the removal of cryptocurrency tokens from circulation. During the process of burning, the project’s team typically sends tokens to a burn address where they are no longer accessible.

There are many reasons for burning tokens. One is to create a deflationary token, as burning ensures the total supply continues to decrease. 

Another reason is that a token might be pegged to another asset. In this case, burning — whether manually or algorithmically — helps ensure the token’s price is maintained at the pegged asset’s price.

Security Tips

Ninety Percent of Cyber Attacks Begin With Email Phishing

American web security firm Cloudflare’s 2023 Phishing Threats Report highlights that approximately 90% of successful cyber attacks began with email phishing. Hackers often use a combination of techniques, including social engineering and technical obfuscation, to make their emails appear legitimate.

Protect Yourself From Email Scams With These Three Tips:

1. Verify the Information Received via a Separate Channel

This is especially important if the email contains bank or credit card transaction details. Check your internet banking application or call the bank to confirm if this transaction was indeed performed. Don’t respond to the email or click on any links in it.

2. Scrutinize the Sender’s Email Address

Scammers tend to use fraudulent email addresses that mimic official ones. For example, using ‘@google.corn’ instead of ‘’, as the ‘rn’ looks similar to the letter ‘m’. Other techniques include using a zero (‘0’) in place of an uppercase ‘O’.

3. Don’t Fall Prey to Psychological Tricks

The subject line of the email may contain tags like ‘URGENT’ or ‘ACTION NEEDED’, while the content may urge you to act immediately. Don’t panic and fall prey to these tactics. Take your time to verify the information on the alleged sender’s official website or by calling the company.

That’s it for this week’s Snapshot. Want more? Find out what’s trending in the crypto world.

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