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Athena Bitcoin to Install 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador as BTC Becomes Legal Tender

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Bitcoin ATM operator Athena Bitcoin has unveiled its plan to install 1,500 bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador. The company will install dozens of machines as a test.

On Thursday, Athena Bitcoin said that it plans to invest over $1 million to install cryptocurrency ATMs in El Salvador, particularly where residents receive remittances from abroad, Reuters reported, citing a company representative.

The firm expects to gradually install about 1,500 ATMs, hire staff and open an office to carry out operations in El Salvador.

Matias Goldenhörn, Athena Bitcoin’s director for Latin America, was quoted by the publication as saying that El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele “presented us with a tough challenge of 1,500 ATMs, we will go for that, but in phases.”

“We are a private company and we want to ensure that our development in the country is sustainable,” Goldenhörn added, elaborating: “Initially we are going to bring dozens of machines, test what the business model is like in El Salvador, which will probably be different than in the United States.”

Athena Bitcoin installed its first cryptocurrency ATM in El Salvador’s El Zonte beach about a year ago. It was part of an experiment called Bitcoin Beach with the aim to make the town one of the world’s first bitcoin economies.

El Salvador passed a bill making bitcoin legal tender earlier this month. The law will go into effect on Sept. 7. President Bukele unveiled the country’s official wallet application and a bitcoin giveaway Thursday.

This week, Bitcoin ATM provider Chainbytes also said it plans to install bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador. The company is setting up a manufacturing hub in the country.

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Bitcoin Slumps to One-Month Low as Crypto Market Loses Steam

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The cryptocurrency market is facing a turbulent period, marked by significant declines and waning investor confidence.

Bitcoin, the leading digital asset, has dropped to a one-month low, trading at approximately $62,275 as of Monday morning in London.

This decline is part of a broader downturn in the crypto market, which has seen its second-worst weekly performance of 2024.

The overall gauge of the largest 100 digital assets fell by about 5% over the past week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

This represents the worst decline since April and highlights the growing concerns among investors regarding the future of digital currencies.

A key factor contributing to this downturn is the cooling demand for Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Over the past six days, U.S. Bitcoin ETFs have experienced a consistent outflow of funds, undermining the confidence of investors who were hoping for a steady influx of capital into these investment vehicles.

This has compounded the already existing uncertainties surrounding the cryptocurrency market.

Adding to the market’s woes is the prevailing uncertainty over the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.

Speculation about the Fed’s ability to cut interest rates from their current two-decade high has created a cloud of doubt over the entire financial market, including cryptocurrencies.

Analysts suggest that this uncertainty is dampening broader risk appetite, with investors becoming increasingly cautious about their investments in volatile assets like Bitcoin.

David Lawant, the head of research at FalconX, noted that the current crypto market dynamic is “characterized by low volatility, soft volumes, and order books getting unbalanced when prices start to move to the edges of their range.”

This imbalance has made the market more susceptible to sharp declines, as seen in the recent slump.

The declines in other major cryptocurrencies are also noteworthy. Ether and Solana have experienced their longest streaks of weekly declines since last year and 2022, respectively.

This comes despite preparations by fund companies to launch the first U.S. ETFs that invest directly in Ether, the second-ranked crypto asset. Solana, once a favorite among digital-asset hedge funds, has also seen significant drops.

Bitcoin, which hit a record high of $73,798 in March, is now trailing behind traditional assets such as stocks, bonds, and gold this quarter.

Analysts are now focusing on the 200-day moving average, currently at around $57,500, as a potential zone of support for Bitcoin’s price.

Tony Sycamore, a market analyst at IG Australia Pty, suggests that this level could provide some stability in the coming weeks.

As the cryptocurrency market navigates through these challenges, investors and analysts alike are keeping a close watch on any developments that could influence the market’s direction.

For now, the sentiment remains cautious, with many waiting to see if the recent declines will continue or if a recovery is on the horizon.

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Bitcoin (BTC) Holds Steady Above $70,900 as Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) Outflows Increase

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Bitcoin (BTC) maintains its stronghold above $70,900 despite increasing outflows from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).

As reported by CheckonChain, a total of $124.9 million flowed out of GBTC recently, contrasting with modest inflows into other investment vehicles like Fidelity’s FBTC and Bitwise’s BITB.

This trend has prompted speculation within the market regarding its impact on Bitcoin’s price dynamics.

While some believe that continued outflows from GBTC may exert selling pressure on BTC, driving down prices, others adopt a more cautious approach.

They argue that such outflows are expected from GBTC, given its relatively higher fee structure compared to alternative investment options.

Traders, however, seem to be pricing in a degree of stability for Bitcoin in the coming weeks, with optimistic forecasts on platforms like Polymarket.

According to predictions, there’s a 60% chance that BTC will reach $75,000 by the end of April, while the likelihood of it hitting $80,000 stands at 32%.

Despite the varying sentiments among market participants, Bitcoin’s resilience above the $70,900 mark underscores its status as a cornerstone asset in the crypto space.

Investors continue to monitor developments closely, navigating through the complex interplay of factors influencing Bitcoin’s price trajectory.

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Bitcoin Tests $66,000 Amidst Volatility Forecast

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As Bitcoin surged to a $66,000 price level during Asian trading hours, cryptocurrency markets brace for heightened volatility, with market observers predicting turbulent times ahead.

The cryptocurrency’s price volatility has been a subject of much discussion, particularly in light of recent events.

Semir Gabeljic, Director of Capital Formation at Pythagoras Investments, who highlighted the ongoing volatility cited a recent drawdown of 10% fueled by spot Bitcoin ETF outflows from GBTC, totaling approximately $300 million on March 20.

Gabeljic emphasized that such drawdowns typically occur in the lead-up to Bitcoin halving events, signaling a potential for increased volatility in the near future.

Meanwhile, the CoinDesk 20 (CD20), which tracks the world’s most liquid digital assets, experienced a minor dip of 0.5%.

However, amidst this overall market movement, CoinDesk’s Digitization Index (DTZ) saw a notable uptick, led by protocols like Ethereum Name Service (ENS), which rose by 2.7% during Asia trading hours.

Singapore-based trading firm QCP Capital noted the current consolidation in the market, with Bitcoin and Ethereum trading within a relatively tight range.

They suggested that the market might see a pause in activity over the weekend following the volatility leading up to the previous weekend’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

Also, QCP Capital highlighted the continued outflows from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), expecting a fourth consecutive day of BTC spot exchange-traded fund net outflows.

The firm also pointed out a widening discount on Grayscale’s Ethereum Trust (ETHE) and the market’s diminishing expectations for the approval of a spot Ethereum ETF.

With Bitcoin’s test of $66,000 and ongoing market dynamics, cryptocurrency investors and analysts remain vigilant, anticipating further fluctuations in the days to come.

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