SEC Delays ETF Approval Dates Yet Again
The showdown between the Securities and Exchange Commission and asset management firms continues, as the regulator has further stalled the approval process for a series of Bitcoin-based exchange traded funds. Following the lapsing of the August 13 deadline, the SEC has now reported that it is seeking public comment on the proposals, which could push the approval date out to early 2024.
The first BTC spot ETF that could potentially be approved would be Cathie Wood’s ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF, with a tentative approval date of January 10, 2024. The SEC has also received submissions from companies such as BlackRock, VanEck and Valkyrie, to name a few. While the SEC has previously approved Bitcoin futures ETFs, spot ETFs have, for many years, remained off-limits, despite applications dating back to 2013. Analysts remain optimistic that these much-anticipated BTC spot ETFs will eventually be launched, with a probability of 65% based on the fact that the SEC would not want to grant undue advantage to one single firm, but would rather want an even playing field. This marks the latest in a series of developments which have seen the SEC tussle with both crypto exchanges and asset management firms, as these decisions are set to have long-lasting regulatory impacts both in the US and further abroad.
SHIB Prices Drop After New Layer 2 Launch
Shiba Inu, the project behind the once-wildly popular ERC-20-based SHIB coin, launched their Shibarium mainnet this past week at the Blockchain Futurist Conference in Canada. The Layer 2 solution is touted as a layer 2 memecoin ecosystem built on Ethereum, created to fulfill the vision of anonymous founder Ryoshi.
Despite participation from users well into the millions, as well as the creation of 21 million wallets, the price of SHIB slumped by almost 8% following the launch of the new chain. Rather than using the predominant Proof of Work or Proof of Stake consensus mechanisms, Shibarium uses a model called Proof of Participation. This mechanism allows blockchains to achieve consensus on the state of the network through active participation, rather than computational power, like in proof of work. The chain will use SHIB tokens as fees and is positioning itself to become a major player in the DeFi space, while also expanding into metaverse and gaming applications. Shibarium is the latest player in an already-congested Layer 2 space, with some 50 other competitors offering similar solutions at time of writing. The price impact on SHIB remains to be seen, with many hoping for a return to bull market prices, given the network’s scalable and cost-effective transaction platform for DeFi applications.
Polygon Joins Forces With Major Korean Telecoms Player
Leading South Korean mobile carrier SK Telecom has inked a deal with Polygon Labs that will see the blockchain developer provide support for MATIC to SKT’s NFT marketplace while providing deeper integration with its current Web3 ecosystem. The long-term collaboration, signed in Seoul at SKT’s headquarters, aims “to discover promising Web3 startups and support incubation.”
Both companies have made significant inroads in terms of blockchain developments, with Polygon Labs signing a number of deals over the past year in a bid to expand their presence. SKT, too, has made major inroads into the Web3 space launching its NFT marketplace TopPort and also hosting a series of free virtual concerts on its ifland metaverse platform. As part of the strategic partnership, Polygon's scalable blockchain will be integrated into SKT's upcoming Web3 wallet, slated for release later this year. SKT will provide Polygon Ventures access to promising Korean Web3 startups for potential investment opportunities. Additionally, the two companies will cooperate to onboard high-quality decentralized applications into the Korean market. A major goal is connecting SKT's NFT marketplace, TopPort, to Polygon's blockchain. This integration will allow users to seamlessly mint Polygon-based NFTs on TopPort's platform.
By combining SKT's sizable Korean user base and Polygon's Ethereum scaling solutions, the partnership hopes to create a thriving Web3 ecosystem in South Korea. The collaboration marks a significant milestone in bridging legacy tech and finance companies with next-generation blockchain networks.
Donald Trump Earns ETH Whale Status Thanks To NFT Royalties
Former US president Donald Trump is shown to hold hefty amounts of ETH, according to fresh reports by crypto intelligence agency, Arkham. Trump’s ETH holdings are further corroborated by documents submitted to the governmental ethics watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics. A breakdown of wallet holdings show that the 45th US president holds 1,535,000 ETH, along with negligible amounts of MATIC and USDT. This puts the wallet value at approximately $2.8m as of writing. To add to that figure, Trump is said to have collected $4.87m in licensing fees from his NFT collection; Trump Digital Collectible Cards.
Priced at $99 each, the first Trump NFT drop is said to have generated more than $26m, according to NFT marketplace OpenSea. Both collections sold out to the tens of thousands. Despite being openly anti-crypto during his term as president, Trump’s sizeable crypto earnings have sparked fresh debate around crypto regulation and put it on the agenda for the upcoming US presidential election in 2024.
Coca-Cola Links With Coinbase To Launch New NFT Collection
Coca-Cola has launched a new NFT collection called "Masterpieces" on Coinbase's Base Layer 2 blockchain. The collection features digitized Coca-Cola bottles integrated with classic artworks and modern pieces. This marks Coca-Cola's latest foray into NFTs after previous drops on platforms like Crypto.com. It showcases Base's growing traction - the network recently ranked 4th in daily transactions per second among Layer 2s.
Base is in the midst of its "Onchain Summer" campaign which has attracted over 100,000 daily active users. The Coca-Cola drop is part of this initiative to highlight Base's capabilities and drive activity. However, past brand NFTs like Budweiser's have crashed in value by over 60% post-launch. Coca-Cola's long-term secondary market prospects remain uncertain amid broader NFT bear trends. The launch represents a high-profile case study for major brands experimenting with NFTs. Historically, however, real-world brand collections have struggled to sustain value after initial hype.
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