Wednesday, 16 August 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 16 August 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$ 29,200.00 (-0.78%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,828.98 (-0.90%)  


The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has extended the timeline for potential approval of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) until early 2024. The SEC, responsible for granting approval to cryptocurrency ETFs, appears to be moving closer to endorsing this investment vehicle after years of application review. Notably, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management firm, has submitted its Bitcoin ETF application alongside others, sparking renewed investor interest. A notable development involves BlackRock’s collaboration with Coinbase under a “surveillance-sharing agreement,” potentially enhancing the application’s acceptance prospects. The SEC’s history of delaying ETF applications for public commentary may influence the outcome, yet it has yet to approve a spot Bitcoin ETF. Meanwhile, blockchain platform Sei has launched its mainnet after a successful test phase, featuring its native token SEI on major exchanges. Focused on facilitating effortless asset exchange, Sei distinguishes itself with speed and scalability, boasting over 7.5 million wallets and numerous teams building upon its infrastructure. Lastly, the Stellar Development Foundation has invested as a minority stakeholder in MoneyGram International, aiming to expand the latter’s digital presence and explore blockchain technology, solidifying MoneyGram’s commitment to fintech innovation.

Amid ongoing liquidation and investor lawsuits, Silvergate CEO Alan Lane and key executives John Bonino and Antonio Martino are set to depart from their roles as part of the bank’s wind-down plan. The departure comes alongside multiple proposed lawsuits, implicating Silvergate and Lane in alleged misconduct involving crypto exchange FTX. In a separate development, former US President Donald Trump’s Ethereum wallet was revealed to hold over $2.8 million, reflecting his involvement in NFT collections and crypto ventures, despite his past skepticism toward cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, Illuvium’s collapsing ILV token highlights challenges faced by blockchain games, with insufficient focus on quality user experiences and instances of rushed, underwhelming releases causing players to lose trust in the industry.

US lawmakers from the House Financial Services Committee have raised questions about the special purpose broker-dealer (SPBD) license obtained by Prometheum, demanding explanations from SEC Chair Gary Gensler and FINRA president and CEO Robert Cook. Lawmakers have expressed concerns about the timing and circumstances of the SPBD approval, as Prometheum lacked an operating history and had no track record of serving customers. They have requested documents related to the license and asked FINRA to address allegations of ties to the Chinese Communist Party. In a separate development, China’s new AI regulations, known as “Generative AI Measures,” are set to take effect on August 15, requiring platforms providing AI services to register, undergo security reviews, and adhere to guidelines regarding data sourcing, user privacy, and accountability for content created on their platforms. Meanwhile, New Zealand crypto exchange Dasset has entered liquidation, leaving customers unable to access their funds as the company faces financial difficulties and a significant reduction in asset values and trading levels.

Europe welcomes its inaugural spot Bitcoin ETF as Jacobi Asset Management’s Jacobi FT Wilshire Bitcoin ETF debuts on Euronext Amsterdam, offering investors regulated exposure to Bitcoin through a physically-backed product. This ETF, trading under BCOIN, utilises the FT Wilshire Bitcoin Blended Price Index and boasts Fidelity Digital Assets as its custodian. In parallel, a Bitcoin Equities ETF debuted in June by Melanion Capital on the same exchange, enabling exposure to stocks of firms deeply involved in the cryptocurrency sector. The Delphi Digital co-founder suggests the crypto market is in a nascent cycle, with cycle timing aligning with the broader business cycle, while the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) underscores the potential risks posed by cryptocurrency activities to the US banking system, including fraud, legal ambiguities, immature risk management practices, platform vulnerabilities, and deposit outflow risks due to stablecoin runs.




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