Friday, 7 June 2024

Market Summary

Market Summary 7 June 2024

Bitcoin Price: US$ 70,822.52 (-0.22%) 
Ethereum Price: US$ 3,813.46 (-1.36%) 

The approval of US spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETF) is contingent on issuers’ responsiveness to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) comments, which has already approved eight 19b-4 filings to list spot Ether ETFs on various US exchanges. This shift in the SEC’s stance on spot Ether ETFs was influenced by Grayscale’s Bitcoin ETF legal challenge last year, with Ethereum’s case presenting a similar scenario. Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart suggests that SEC Commissioner Jamie Lizárraga, known for his ties to Nancy Pelosi, played a role in the reversal on Ether ETFs. Meanwhile, Franklin Templeton is broadening its horizons by exploring a new crypto fund for institutional investors, extending its offerings beyond Bitcoin and Ether. It is also championing a spot Ether ETF, which recently received SEC approval. In addition to this, Franklin Templeton now accommodates investors who wish to use USD Coin stablecoin to fund investments in its money market fund, the Franklin OnChain U.S. Government Money Fund (FOBXX). In a related development, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is reinstating its customers’ ability to purchase cryptocurrencies using Mastercard, a move that signals the resolution of Binance’s regulatory issues following its settlement in the United States. 

In a bid to combat phishing scams and hacks in decentralised finance, Avalanche and Blockaid have formed a partnership to integrate Blockaid’s security features into Avalanche’s Core wallet, despite critics arguing that the security screening features lead to too many false positives. Even with potential threats from malware like “Angel Drainer”, tests have shown that Blockaid continues to flag suspicious transactions. Meanwhile, Robinhood is set to acquire the Bitstamp cryptocurrency exchange for $200 million to serve institutional clients in the US, a deal expected to be finalised in the first half of 2025. This acquisition will enable Robinhood to tap into Bitstamp’s institutional-grade offerings, including institutional lending, staking, and the Bitstamp-as-a-service white-label solution. Despite potential legal issues in the US and a Wells notice from the SEC, Robinhood is proceeding with the acquisition and has indicated its intention to continue cooperating with the securities regulator to avoid any potential violations. However, a new law granting the US president sweeping powers to block access to digital assets has drawn significant concern from commentators, suggesting that users could be compelled to join KYC-compliant and permissioned blockchain networks. 

CryptoUK, a self-regulatory trade association for the UK’s crypto industry, has taken a proactive step in releasing a comprehensive guide to aid crypto businesses in navigating the complexities of the UK’s Travel Rule, a regulation aimed at enhancing transparency in crypto transfers. Despite the efforts to clarify the rules in collaboration with regulators, CryptoUK acknowledges the persistent challenges businesses face in navigating the multi-jurisdictional approach of the Travel Rule. In a parallel development, Meta Platforms is under fire in the EU for proposed changes to its use of personal data for training AI models without obtaining consent, a move that could potentially violate EU privacy regulations. The privacy advocacy group, None of Your Business (NYOB), has responded by urging national privacy watchdogs to take immediate action to halt Meta’s changes and has lodged complaints in 11 countries. Meanwhile, in the US, spot Bitcoin ETFs witnessed collective inflows of $488.1 million on June 5. Interestingly, Google data reveals that search interest is significantly lower compared to the 2021 bull run, despite strong inflows and a Bitcoin rally past $71,000. This suggests that retail investors have not yet entered the market, indicating a potential future surge. 


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