October 22, 2021 · 3 min read
The Weekly Wrap-Up - Friday 22nd Oct
Bitcoin Futures ETF Begins Trading
ProShares BTC ETF Makes Wall Street Debut(Image: CoinDesk)
On Tuesday (19th Oct), a BTC ETF(Exchange-Traded Fund) managed by ProShares went live on the New York Stock Exchange. Bitcoin has since reached an all-time high of $66,000. Up until now, no crypto-related ETF had ever been approved - this is the largest endorsement of crypto ever indicated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Since 2017, 10 asset managers had requested SEC approval to launch crypto-related ETFs but had all been unsuccessful. It should be noted however that as a ‘futures’ ETF, traders will not be able to purchase crypto directly as they would with a ‘pure’ BTC ETF. As a result, many have speculated that the ultimate BTC price-increase will not be as significant as it might have been with a ‘pure’ BTC ETF.
Coinbase Becomes NBA Sponsor
NBA Welcomes Its First Ever Crypto-Related Sponsorship
On Wednesday (20th Oct), Coinbase announced that they would become the exclusive “cryptocurrency platform partner” of the National Basketball Association. It has become the first crypto platform to ever enter a full sponsorship with the NBA. The NBA however has an existing partnership with Dapper Labs - creators of the Flow ‘NFT’ blockchain. A push for mainstream partnerships can now be seen amongst crypto platforms, with the exchange FTX forming partnerships with both MLB and the Mercedes F1 Team this year. Coinbase is also poised to launch its NFT marketplace which it announced last week.
Facebook Urged to Discontinue Its Crypto Wallet Pilot
US Senators Ask Zuckerberg to Withdraw From the Crypto Space
On Tuesday (19th Oct), US senators wrote to Mark Zuckerberg imploring Facebook to withdraw from the cryptocurrency space. This comes in response to Facebook launching the pilot of its crypto wallet service ‘Novi’. The senators including Sherrod Brown and Brian Schatz wrote:
Facebook’s decision to pursue a digital currency is just one more example of the company ‘moving fast and breaking things (and in too many times misleading Congress to do so.)
The company’s proposed cryptocurrency ‘Diem’ has already undergone significant scalebacks in response to pressure from government officials.
FTX Receives BlackRock Funding
Crypto Exchange Platform Backed By Leading Investor Group
On Thursday (21st Oct), Crypto exchange platform FTX announced that it has received an additional $420m in investment, pushing the company’s valuation to $25b as the second largest crypto-derivatives exchange. Its investors included Sequoia Capital and Temasek but notably also included funds managed by BlackRock - one of the world’s largest investment groups. It is one of many recent instances of fiat-capital endorsement of the crypto space and comes shortly after the first crypto-related ETF managed by ProShares began trading.
Robinhood’s Crypto Wallet Waitlist Tops 1M
Financial Services Company’s Crypto Wallet Proving Popular
Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev (Image: Yahoo)
On Thursday (21st Oct), Robinhood’s CEO Vlad Tenev announced that the waitlist for the online brokerage’s new crypto wallet service had surpassed one million users. The platform’s plans for the rollout of its crypto wallet service brings the brokerage company further into the crypto space. Tenev stated that
cryptocurrency is here to stay as an asset class and I think the ease of use has made it attractive to lots of people.
Tenev also stated that he believed that fees charged by cryptocurrency exchanges are a barrier to entry for some prospective crypto-owners, and that Robinhood is generally a more inclusive broker than its competitors.