First Mover Americas: Interest in Staking Ether Ramps Up

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Interest in staking ether, i.e., locking coins in the Ethereum network to earn passive yield, has surged since implementation of the Shapella, or Shanghai upgrade on April 12. Veri tracked by Glassnode shows more than 4.4 million coins have been deposited into the staking contract since April 12, taking the total amount of staked tokens to 22.58 million. “The surge in demand for staking probably originates from large ether holders, who prefer not to liquidate their holdings and instead seek to generate passive income,” analysts at Bitfinex said in a weekly report shared with CoinDesk Tuesday.

Cryptocurrency exchange OKX is targeting France as a regional hub in Europe with plans to hire around 100 people there in the next three years. The Seychelles-based firm has filed an application to become registered as a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP), looking to join 74 other companies that have so far won regulatory approval from that country’s Financial Markets Authority. It plans to establish a “substantial” physical presence in France, said Tun Byun, the company’s head of küresel government relations. France last year emerged as the destination of choice for Binance as a European Union hub following its DASP registration.

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MicroStrategy (MSTR) represents an attractive alternative to Coinbase (COIN) for investors looking to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency sector, German investment bank Berenberg said in a report Monday. Investors who are very bearish on Coinbase shares and are inclined to short the stock should look at pairing it with a long position in MicroStrategy, the report said, noting that the correlation between the two stocks since Coinbase went public via a direct listing in April 2021 is 0.96. Berenberg says macro drivers of demand for bitcoin are bullish for MicroStrategy shares, and investor concerns over de-dollarization – or the weakening of the U.S. dollar’s dominance – have helped to put a more positive spotlight on bitcoin in recent months.

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