Friday 20 October 2023

Market Summary

Market Summary 20 October 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$ 28,320.00 (-0.27%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,563.44 (-0.10%)  


The SEC has dropped charges against Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Executive Chairman Chris Larsen, who were accused of aiding and abetting Ripple in violating federal securities laws related to XRP transactions, cancelling a trial set for next year. While the SEC continues to pursue its claims against Ripple, the dropped charges were specifically connected to institutional sales of XRP. Ripple had previously received a partial victory in the case in July, with the judge ruling that the company didn’t violate securities laws when offering XRP to retail investors but had violated the law in selling XRP directly to institutional investors. Reports of substantial crypto funding for Palestinian groups, such as Hamas, may have been overstated, according to Chainalysis, which argued that funding figures have been inflated, leading to misconceptions. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it has onboarded new fiat service providers for euro (EUR) payments, deposits, and withdrawals to cater to its European users, following the cessation of euro services by its previous provider, Paysafe, in September, although the new partners remain unnamed.

Grayscale Investments is awaiting a federal court to formally recognise its victory over the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). While the SEC may still have avenues for addressing Grayscale’s ETF application, most anticipate the agency will eventually approve new ETFs, potentially transforming Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust into an exchange-traded product. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is proposing labelling crypto mixers as a “primary money laundering concern” to address concerns related to illicit crypto financing, including potential funding for terrorist groups like Hamas. In a different development, the number of Bitcoin ATMs installed worldwide recently hit a two-year low, with controversies and concerns about criminal usage contributing to the decline.

Polygon, a scaling solution for Ethereum, has proposed the establishment of a “Polygon Protocol Council” to foster decentralised governance, with 13 inaugural members, including representatives from Coinbase and the Ethereum Foundation. The council’s responsibility will involve managing changes to system smart contracts for Polygon protocols on Ethereum. These changes will play a crucial role in Polygon’s 2.0 roadmap. Meanwhile, Binance reported a challenging quarter in its Q3 “Market Pulse” report, noting that the global crypto market capitalisation declined 8.6% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ). The report highlighted a drop in fundraising and a 13.1% decrease in total value locked (TVL) across decentralised finance. NFT sales and gaming tokens were also discussed in the report. Additionally, Beniamin Mincu, CEO of Metaverse platform MultiversX, emphasised the importance of Apple’s spatial computing approach for the metaverse, noting that this approach is more intuitive than Meta’s focus on virtual reality. MultiversX aims to align its platform with spatial computing to enhance scalability, with key technical upgrades on the horizon. These upgrades are expected to boost transactional throughput and offer other improvements, including on-chain governance and a new virtual machine.

Bitpanda, a major European cryptocurrency exchange based in Vienna, has secured a virtual asset service provider license in Norway, making it one of the first foreign entities to receive such a license in the country. Bitpanda already holds licenses in several European jurisdictions, including Austria, Germany, France, Czechia, and Sweden. According to Lukas Enzersdorfer-Konrad, Bitpanda’s Deputy CEO, this license reflects the company’s commitment to expanding in Europe and providing a trustworthy investment platform. Norway had previously expressed its intention to establish its own crypto asset regulation, signalling a degree of independence from the European Union’s regulations. In related news, Grayscale Investments has filed a new application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Arca. This filing is part of Grayscale’s ongoing effort to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a spot Bitcoin ETF and is seen as a step toward making cryptocurrency investments more accessible to traditional investors. Several other companies, including BlackRock, Fidelity, and ARK Investment, are also seeking SEC approval to launch spot Bitcoin ETFs, indicating the growing interest in cryptocurrency-based investment products.




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