Bitcoin climbs to $41K and flippens the Russian ruble
The market capitalization of Bitcoin rose to roughly $780 billion on Monday, flippening the Russian ruble’s money supply at roughly $629 billion.

After climbing to a price of more than $41,000 on Monday, Bitcoin’s market capitalization has surpassed that of the Russian ruble.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, the market cap of Bitcoin (BTC) surged to roughly $780 billion on Monday amid the price rising to $41,391, a 5.7% increase over the last 24 hours. BTC’s market capitalization exceeds the money supply of the Russian ruble, which according to the Central Bank of Russia, was 65.3 trillion rubles as of Feb. 1 — roughly $629 billion at the time of publication.

Russian ruble notes. Source: Pexels

The flippening likely occurred as the Russian ruble is undergoing inflation amid sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Reuters reported the central bank raised its key interest rate from 9.5% to 20% on Monday, and the European Commission has announced plans to remove Russian banks from the SWIFT payments system.

In contrast, many residents of both Russia and Ukraine seem to have driven trading activity up on exchanges, possibly over concerns about the stability of their countries’ respective fiat currency and using crypto as a means to solicit donations for pro-Ukraine causes. Cointelegraph reported on Feb. 24 — the same day Russian forces launched their attack — the Ukraine-based crypto exchange Kuna had roughly $4.4 million in total trading volume of all tokens over 24 hours.

The most recent flippening came more than one year after the price of BTC surged to a then all-time high of $48,200 following news Tesla had purchased an aggregate of $1.5 billion in the crypto asset. Bitcoin’s market cap rose to $871 billion, surpassing that of the Russian ruble, then roughly $791 billion.

FTX acquires Japan’s FCA-licensed crypto exchange Liquid
The FTX-Liquid agreement requires FTX to comply with Japanese laws while serving existing Japanese users on its platform.

American billionaire and CEO of crypto exchange FTX Sam Bankman-Fried announced that his company acquired Japanese crypto firm Liquid Group and its subsidiaries.

As a part of the deal, FTX will acquire Quoine Corporation, a Financial Services Agency (FSA)-approved crypto exchange. As Cointelegraph previously reported, Quoine acquired a Type I Financial Instruments Business license under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act from the Japanese regulatory authorities.

According to the announcement, the partnership will serve retail and institutional investors in the Japanese and global markets:

“Quoine will gradually integrate FTX's products and services into its own offering, and FTX's existing Japanese customers will be migrated to Quoine's platform.”

The agreement also requires FTX to comply with Japanese laws while serving existing Japanese users on its platform. Based on this agreement, FTX will transfer its existing users from Japan to Quoine’s trading platform starting March 30.

While the acquisition is expected to close in March 2022, the economic terms of the deal are yet to be disclosed. Just last week, FTX US achieved an $8 valuation following SoftBank Group Corp-led funding of $400 million.

As Cointelegraph reported, FTX US president Brett Harrison had planned to redirect the funds to expand the crypto exchange’s offerings and a supporting workforce. Following numerous other concurrent investments, FTX exchange as a whole stands at a $32 billion valuation.


South Korean crypto market grows to $45.9B in 2021 despite strict regulations
By the final quarter of 2021, the Korean regulators focus shifted towards crypto taxation, with a proposal to impose a 20% tax on crypto profits.

South Korea’s crypto market grew to 55 trillion Won ($45.9 billion) by the end of 2021, as per a new study from the country’s chief financial regulator, the Financial Service Commission.

South Korea is considered among the strictest crypto markets in terms of regulatory policy implementations and made regular headlines throughout 2021 for its new travel rule and Know Your Company requirements. However, the Korean crypto market has bloomed to new heights despite the regulatory scrutiny in 2021.

The FSC analyzed transaction data from the 24 licensed crypto exchanges and revealed that daily transactions on Korean crypto exchanges reached 11.3 trillion won ($9.4 billion). The combined operating profit of 24 businesses came to 3.37 trillion won ($2.8 billion). A total of nine crypto exchanges reported a net loss over the past year.

The crypto trading market was dominated by national fiat Korean-won which accounted for 95% of the total crypto transactions which mainly came from Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit.

The domination of won in the Korean crypto market is attributed to a new crypto license regulation issued in 2021, that required crypto exchanges to open real-name bank accounts of traders in association with a certified bank. The particular regulations forced nearly 200 small and medium crypto exchanges out of business as banks refused to partner or offer any of their services.

The FSC report published by The Korea Herald suggests there are a total of 15.3 million registered crypto exchange users, out of which only 5.58 million people participated in trading in 2021. Out of these 5.58 million crypto users, nearly 3.1 million users hold crypto assets worth below 1 million won ($850), while 15% of the traders hold virtual assets over 10 million won ($8,500).


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