Tuesday, 19 December 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 19 December 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$42,657.80 (+3.10%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 2,219.43 (+1.04%)

Crypto asset manager 7RCC, focusing on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, has entered the competition for a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The company, founded in 2021, has filed a request with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its crypto ETF, differing from others by allocating 80% to bitcoin and the remaining portion to carbon credits futures. The ETF aims to provide investors with a combined approach to digital assets and environmental sustainability. Meanwhile, Electric Coin Co., the primary developer behind privacy-oriented blockchain Zcash, has announced the departure of founder Zooko Wilcox as CEO, with Josh Swihart taking over. Zcash’s native cryptocurrency (ZEC) saw a 5.8% drop following the news. In another development, crypto derivatives platform Hegic faces potential scrutiny from the SEC for insider trading after its affiliated project, Whiteheart, shut down, and Hegic’s treasury made a significant profit from purchasing Whiteheart’s tokens before the shutdown announcement.

The U.K. has introduced a new regulation allowing its financial watchdogs, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England, to operate a Digital Securities Sandbox (DSS) for tokenised securities. Scheduled to take effect on January 8, the regulation enables businesses to test solutions and products related to distributed ledger technology, facilitating the digitisation or tokenisation of traditional securities. The sandbox participants will be subject to modified rules if existing regulations present barriers, and the regulators themselves can test and implement rule changes to accommodate evolving technologies. In another development, Bitcoin (BTC) miners are experiencing windfall profits as transaction fees spiked to the highest level since April 2021 due to the rising popularity of Ordinals inscriptions on the Bitcoin blockchain. The surge in fees has benefited miners, who now generate approximately $63 million in daily income from fees, nearly quadrupling the two-year average. Additionally, Bitwise Asset Management has launched an advertising campaign featuring Jonathan Goldsmith for what could be the first spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S., emphasising Bitwise’s expertise as “ETFs backed by crypto specialists.” The U.S. regulatory approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF is expected in early 2024.

Circle Internet Financial has announced that its euro-backed stablecoin EURC is now live on the Solana (SOL) blockchain, expanding its presence after native implementations on Avalanche (AVAX), Ethereum (ETH), and Stellar (XLM). The stablecoin aims to facilitate around-the-clock foreign exchange transactions, trading, borrowing, and lending on Solana, a blockchain known for cost-effective and rapid transactions. Meanwhile, the MetisDAO Foundation, behind layer 2 rollup Metis, has introduced a $100 million fund to accelerate ecosystem growth, supporting NFTs, decentralised finance, smart contract development, and blockchain security. In the midst of these advancements, the potential approval of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the U.S. is generating contrasting expectations. While some foresee a surge in Bitcoin’s value, others caution that it could be a “bloodbath” for centralised cryptocurrency exchanges, with ETF Store president Nate Geraci and Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas emphasising the potential impact on fees and market dynamics. 


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