Bitcoin Price: US$ 30,447.31 (+1.23%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,851.99 (+1.31%)
Fidelity, one of the leading asset management companies, has resubmitted its application for the Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), following a previous rejection by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This move comes in the wake of BlackRock’s filing for the iShares Bitcoin Trust, also a spot bitcoin ETF, and is followed by similar filings from other fund companies such as Invesco and WisdomTree. Fidelity’s new application includes a “surveillance sharing agreement” with an undisclosed U.S. spot-based bitcoin trading platform, aimed at addressing SEC concerns regarding market manipulation. Fidelity cited recent losses suffered by crypto participants due to insolvencies of custodians and centralised exchanges, emphasising the need for a spot bitcoin ETF to protect investors. The SEC has yet to make a decision on these applications, generating mixed expectations given BlackRock’s positive track record. Meanwhile, despite renewed concerns over inflation, bitcoin has remained relatively stable around $30,300, experiencing modest fluctuations driven by news of Fidelity and BlackRock’s interest in spot bitcoin ETFs and considerations of SEC approval timing and inflationary pressures. The interest of U.S. investors, coupled with growing institutional involvement, has been a key driver of bitcoin’s recent price surge, outperforming other cryptocurrencies. However, smaller cryptocurrencies have faced challenges due to increased regulatory scrutiny, leading trading platforms to limit the availability of certain tokens to mitigate risks.
Coinbase’s Base, a layer 2 blockchain developed in collaboration with Optimism, has undergone a series of security audits in preparation for its mainnet launch. Coinbase conducted a six-month internal audit of Optimism’s pre-deployments and smart contracts on both layer 1 and layer 2, as well as utilising fuzzing techniques to identify vulnerabilities in crucial components like the layer 2 blockchain bridge. Additionally, over 100 external security researchers were engaged to further enhance security. Base aims to attract 1 million new crypto users in the coming years. In another development, derivatives exchange CME Group has announced plans to launch ether/bitcoin (ETH/BTC) ratio futures on July 31, pending regulatory approval. The cash-settled futures will enable investors to capture exposure to both assets in a single trade, without needing a directional view. Lastly, Polygon, a scaling solution for Ethereum, is set to introduce Polygon 2.0, which aims to unify liquidity across its various networks. The plan includes restaking tokens and providing developers with the ability to add new decentralised chains on demand. Polygon plans to achieve this through a shared crypto bridge powered by zero-knowledge proofs, enhancing scalability and user experience.
The United Kingdom is poised to pass a bill that will subject cryptocurrencies to the same regulations as traditional assets, providing legal clarity and support for their adoption. The Financial Services and Markets Bill, approved by the upper chamber of parliament, awaits final approval from King Charles. This legislation will empower regulatory authorities such as the Treasury, Financial Conduct Authority, Bank of England, and Payments Systems Regulator to establish and enforce regulations for crypto businesses. Meanwhile, in the United States, officials are considering stricter controls on the export of AI chips to China, which has raised concerns among industry leaders regarding potential market opportunities. Additionally, lawmakers in North Carolina have passed a bill to study the feasibility of investing in Bitcoin and gold as a means to strengthen the state’s finances, particularly to hedge against inflation and diversify portfolios. These developments reflect efforts to navigate the evolving landscape of digital assets and emerging technologies.
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