Bitcoin Price: US$33,069.99 (+10.26%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,765.46 (+6.12%)
BlackRock’s iShares spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) has been listed on the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), a move that suggests potential approval by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The ETF’s listing on DTCC is seen as a significant step towards its launch, and it implies that BlackRock may have received a signal from the SEC that approval is likely. If approved, this could pave the way for other spot crypto ETF filings under SEC review, potentially including ETFs from ARK Investment, Fidelity, and Valkyrie. Meanwhile, the excitement around Bitcoin ETFs has driven a surge in Bitcoin’s price, with anticipation that such ETFs will make it easier for investors to access the cryptocurrency. Grayscale’s court victory against the SEC has also increased the likelihood of its ETF approval, while Galaxy Digital’s market report highlights interesting developments in the options market that could affect Bitcoin’s price.
PetroChina, a Chinese oil and gas company, recently completed the world’s first international crude oil trade utilising the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the e-CNY. This transaction involved the purchase of 1 million barrels of crude oil, with the settlement in e-CNY, which took place at the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange (SHPGX). While the exact value and the identity of the seller were not disclosed, this development underscores China’s ambition to facilitate the global adoption of its currency, the renminbi. In a different financial landscape, MicroStrategy, led by the vocal Bitcoin advocate Michael Saylor, saw its substantial Bitcoin holdings turn profitable as cryptocurrency prices surged. The firm’s holdings of over 158,000 bitcoins make it one of the largest institutional holders in the crypto space. Additionally, the largest decentralised finance (DeFi) protocol on the Solana blockchain, Marinade Finance, implemented geo-restrictions for users in the United Kingdom due to regulatory compliance concerns related to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The move follows a trend of regulatory restrictions affecting cryptocurrency businesses in the UK and other parts of the world, underscoring the evolving landscape of digital currencies and their regulatory challenges.
India has emerged as the global leader in cryptocurrency adoption, with Nigeria and Vietnam following closely, according to a report by Chainalysis. However, when it comes to the total value received by cryptocurrency exchanges, North America takes the lead, driven primarily by the United States. The report reveals that overall cryptocurrency adoption has been on the decline worldwide, except in lower-middle-income countries, where nations like India, Nigeria, and Ukraine have shown significant adoption. Meanwhile, in California, legislators are considering a bill to curb cryptocurrency ATM withdrawals to combat growing scams, proposing a $1,000 daily withdrawal cap and limiting operator fees starting in 2025. Binance’s UK chief, Jonathan Farnell, has stepped down in crypto exchanges, becoming the latest executive to depart amidst the exchange’s escalating regulatory challenges in the US and the UK.
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