Bitcoin Price: US$ 26,339.97 (-0.67%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,720.95 (-0.39%)
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) has surged close to its 2023 highs following the news that BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has filed to launch a Bitcoin spot price exchange-traded fund (ETF). While the ETF is still not permitted in the United States, experts believe that a reputable entity like BlackRock may have a better chance of breaking the legal barriers. Despite the ongoing discount of GBTC shares compared to BTC spot prices, the discount has narrowed, with GBTC trading at a level closer to zero than at any other time this year. The potential approval of the BlackRock ETF is seen as a significant opportunity for GBTC. In a separate development, the ARB token, associated with the Arbitrum network, has seen a consistent decline since its airdrop in late March. However, the ecosystem surrounding Arbitrum has shown healthy growth, as reflected in increased daily active users, gas fees, and transaction counts. The trading volume on Arbitrum-based decentralised exchanges has also experienced a notable rise. Furthermore, Ethereum’s upcoming upgrade in the second half of 2023, along with a reduction in transaction fees on Arbitrum, is expected to enhance the value proposition of the blockchain. In the legal arena, cryptocurrency company Coinbase has expressed frustration with the evasive response from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to a court order. Coinbase has now filed a request in federal court, seeking a court order mandating the SEC to provide clearer rules and standards for the digital assets industry, aligning with the objective of its previous petition.
New York-based digital assets platform Bakkt has decided to delist Solana, Polygon, and Cardano due to regulatory uncertainty. The company’s general counsel and secretary, Marc D’Annunzio, stated that the delisting is temporary until there is more clarity on how to compliantly offer a wider range of coins. This decision follows recent lawsuits filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Binance and Coinbase, alleging that both platforms offered unregistered securities, including the aforementioned cryptocurrencies. Bakkt’s move is part of a broader reassessment of token listings by crypto platforms, with Robinhood and eToro also announcing similar delisting actions. In a separate development, Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is currently under investigation in France for suspected illegal provision of crypto services and aggravated money laundering. The investigation, which started in February 2022, is being conducted by local authorities and focuses on Binance’s alleged breach of digital asset service provider regulations and its involvement in money laundering activities. Binance has stated that it cooperates with law enforcement globally and complies with all laws in France. Finally, JPMorgan strategists have suggested that the United States Congress may classify Ethereum (ETH) either in the same commodity category as Bitcoin (BTC) or create a new “other category” with regulations that are less burdensome than securities. The remarks come after recent questions raised by SEC officials regarding the classification of ETH as a security, which could potentially result in the introduction of a new regulatory framework specifically for decentralised cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has previously stated that, apart from Bitcoin, most other cryptocurrencies are considered securities.
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