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This Week in Crypto 04.07.23

  • On Friday, SEC told Nasdaq and CBOE exchanges that the recent filings for Spot Bitcoin ETF Funds from BlackRock, Fidelity and others weren’t clear and comprehensive. Both BlackRock and Fidelity refiled their paperwork with US regulators to add new details, including a Coinbase surveillance sharing agreement (SSA), to their proposals for an exchange-traded fund that invests directly in Bitcoin.

  • The new management team to the FTX group has successfully recovered approximately $7 billion in liquid assets. Last year when FTX filed for bankruptcy, it owed its customers $8.7 billion. FTX has now begun the process to relaunch the international crypto exchange, WSJ reports.


  • The Bitcoin dominance in crypto crimes has significantly decreased from 97% in 2016 to just 19% in 2022 according to a TRM Labs report.


  • Ark Invest filed for a spot BTC ETF in collaboration with 21shares, long before Blackrock did, and its application is reportedly first in line for the SEC’s approval. Bloomberg intelligence ETF analyst, James Seyffart, stated that Arkinvest 21Shares and CBOE have an advantage because their next SEC decision date is known, unlike other applications.


  • EU is planning to make a decision on the creation of a digital euro by the end of October, According to the ECB president Christine Lagarde.


  • Pax’s has partnered up with Mercado Pago to make the regulated pax stablecoin available in Mexico. Transactions will be facilitated by MercadoPago, which is a digital wallet app by Mercado Libre. The latest move is part of Paxos’ vision to position itself as an “established leader” in digital assets throughout the region. Data cited by the company stated that over 60% of its active wallets currently support customers in Latin America.


  • The United Kingdom passed the Financial Services and Markets Bill after receiving approval from King Charles. Akin to MiCA, the new act will bring cryptocurrencies and stablecoins into the scope of regulations. Crypto adoption in Europe has snowballed since MiCA’s approval, with the UK joining the league despite not being a part of the bloc. The move by Great Britain and Northern Ireland has placed it ahead of the US in terms of acceptance despite having a significantly smaller user base than the US.


  • A new Binance report, “Institutional Crypto Outlook Survey”, showed that 63.5% of Binance VIP and Institutional users surveyed, had a positive outlook on crypto assets over the next 12 months. A vast majority (88%) of respondents expressed a positive sentiment on crypto assets for the next decade.


Graph of the Week

Bitcoin’s correlation with the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 collapsed to just 3% in June, hitting its lowest level in nearly three years. Bitcoin outperformed tech equities this month jumping by nearly 14% while the Nasadq 100 is up only 3%. Overall, its correlation with traditional risk assets has steadily weakened this year from an average of 60% in 2022.


NFT Markets

by Gerard Barile, Principal at Wave Digital Assets


Dior has just revealed its latest line of men’s sneakers! Markedly, Dior has named the sneakers B33 and has paired them with matching NFTs. Dior Menswear artistic director Kim Jones has designed the B33 sneakers, and they are an integral part of Dior’s Men’s Fall 2023 collection.Limited release of 470 pairs priced at $1,350, adding to their exclusivity and appeal to fashion enthusiasts. Six additional B33 styles with an NFC chip offering access to a personalized online platform with certificates of authenticity and exclusive services.

Chiru Labs, creators of the Azuki and Beanz NFT collections, is set to launch a new series of NFTs called ‘Elementals’. This collection will be comprised of 20,000 anime-themed digital collectibles designed by Skycrow, Tenn, Timugi, and Njo, adding a fresh element to the Azuki universe (BeInCrypto, 2023). The series will be divided into four unique domains: Fire, Lightning, Earth, and Water, each representing a distinct artistic element. The Dutch Auction sale of these assets will begin at 2 ETH, with the price dropping every five minutes until all Elementals are sold (Decrypt, 2023).

Since its launch in 2022, Azuki has become a significant player in the NFT space. Its collection of 10,000 unique assets, each featuring a distinctive character with a variety of randomized traits, has seen individual pieces sell for up to $1.4 million (BeInCrypto, 2023). In addition to this, Azuki has developed its own metaverse called 'Hilumia', where holders can engage in a range of virtual activities (BeInCrypto, 2023). The recent announcement of the Elementals NFTs has led to a 3% increase in trading sales volume for the Azuki collection, and the floor price has risen from $28,110 to $29,611 in just one day (BeInCrypto, 2023).


Latest News

by Sam Eisner, Associate at Wave Digital Assets


  • Banking giant JPMorgan has expanded its blockchain-based settlement token JPM Coin to euro-denominated payments. Since its inception in 2019, over $300 billion in transactions have been processed using JPM Coin, making it one of the most extensive uses of blockchain technology by a traditional financial institution, albeit still a drop in the bucket compared to the nearly ~$10T JPMorgan processes daily by conventional means. The system allows JPMorgan's institutional clients to make wholesale payments between accounts around the world using blockchain tech as the rails. German tech firm Siemens conducted the first euro payment on the platform.

  • Gibraltar-based crypto friendly private bank Xapo is to expand across India and the rest of South Asia in a sign of considerable expansion for the provision of cryptocurrency services in the region. Xapo is to begin accepting members across South Asia, offering services such as its USD offshore savings account offering 4.1% interest and a bitcoin wallet, offering 1% on BTC deposits.

  • Top Japanese banking group Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG) is reportedly holdingdiscussions with stablecoin issuers to have them issue such tokens on the group's blockchain platform. MUFG is also engaging entertainment companies and non-financial businesses on stablecoin projects.

  • HSBC Hong Kong, the largest bank in the special administrative region of China, now allows customers to trade bitcoin and ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) listed on Hong Kong's stock exchange.

  • Warner Music Group has formed a new music accelerator program in partnership with Polygon Labs that seeks to bolster decentralized music-related apps and projects built on the Polygon network.


Regulatory Roundup

  • Crypto.com has successfully obtained registration as a virtual asset service provider from the Bank of Spain. With regulators in the European Union set to adopt new standards and requirements aligned with Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), Spain appears to be positioning itself as an early adopter and regulator-friendly environment for crypto-related activities.

  • The U.S. House Financial Services Committee will vote on legislation aimed at creating a clearer pathway for digital assets to move from a security to a commodity, as well as a comprehensive framework for stablecoins, in July.

  • Germany’s largest banking institution, Deutsche Bank, has reportedly applied for a digital asset custody license to the country’s financial regulator, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, or BaFin, in a bid to expand its revenue streams. This comes after a similar shift from the bank’s investment arm, DWS Group, and aims to expand on digital asset custody services, including cryptocurrencies. DWS Group had previously indicated an interest in investing in two German crypto firms. Companies negotiating with DWS Group included Deutsche Digital Assets, a crypto exchange-traded products provider, and market maker Tradias. The banking giant’s corporate bank division first revealed plans to offer digital asset-related services in 2020 but hadn’t announced a timeline for introducing the services.

  • Ripio has been approved to operate in Spain, a move that follows competitors including Bit2Me and Bitpanda gaining regulatory approval to set up shop within the country.

*PLEASE SEE IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES BELOW*



DISCLOSURE:

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone and do not represent Wave Digital Assets LLC or any of its affiliates. The author may hold investment positions in some of the assets discussed.


Nothing in this email or linked information should be interpreted as an offer or recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security or other financial product. Wave is federally regulated by the US Securities & Exchange Commission as an investment adviser. Registration with a federal or state authority does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Additional information including important disclosures about Wave Digital Assets LLC also is available on the SEC’s website at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.

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