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Grayscale wants a fair and square game. Democrats vs Stablecoins: America deserves better? Coinbase getting political. Mastercard releases music NFTs. Bruce Lee joins Metaverse. Now go get your AI GF.
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The air is tense in the world of crypto. Grayscale, a heavyweight in the crypto fund management ring, is calling for a fair game in the world of Bitcoin ETFs.
They're pulling no punches, urging the SEC to approve all proposed spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) at the same time.
In a letter penned by the Chief Legal Officer, Craig Salm, Grayscale made their case, urging the SEC not to play favorites and instead "make a fair and orderly decision".
In their corner, they've got eight spot Bitcoin ETF filings, including their own.
But what's the strategy behind this play?
The Grayscale team argues that the SEC could base approvals for spot ETFs on previous approvals for Bitcoin futures ETFs, claiming these two types of funds are as closely knit.
However, the SEC had demanded surveillance sharing agreements (SSAs) from the ETF providers. These SSAs, forged with Coinbase, would serve reveal all secrets of trading books to the SEC's watchful eyes.
But Grayscale claimed these SSAs were nothing but smoke and mirrors!
Grayscale claimed they would not meet the SEC's standards stating that its not a fresh play.
Why? Coinbase isn't registered with the SEC as a securities exchange or broker-dealer, nor with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as a futures exchange.
What would happen if the SEC did approve the ETFs? Grayscale predicts it would result in a spectacularly sudden and positive change in the SEC's tactics, but warns this might grant an "unfairly discriminatory and prejudicial first-mover advantage."
The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) has nearly 1 million investors.
If it's converted to an ETF it would return billions in value to investors. But, the SEC denied Grayscale's application to convert the GBTC to a spot Bitcoin ETF last year.
ARK's top ETF
Meanwhile, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) emerged as a superstar in Cathie Wood's ARK Invest portfolio during the second quarter of 2023. According to ARK's recent quarterly ETF report, GBTC ranked among the top contributors to the growth of ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW) in Q2.
Alongside other top-performing assets, including Tesla, Shopify, Unity Software, and DraftKings, GBTC was a pivotal player in the 9%+ growth of ARKW. Grayscale secured fifth place, contributing 108 basis points, with the leading asset, Tesla, clocking in 232 basis points.
"Yes" stamp for Bitcoin?
Investor and analyst Charles Edwards, founder of Capriole Investments, has predicted a gleaming future for Bitcoin, and he believes it will be further amplified by the BlackRock exchange-traded fund (ETF).
"The BlackRock ETF approval will be huge for the industry."
“BlackRock is the biggest asset manager in the world, and its (and regulatory) seal of approval will allow a new wave of capital to flow into the market. Many institutions sat on the sidelines last year due to concerns and uncertainty regarding crypto regulation. ETF approval will be a big rubber "yes" stamp for Bitcoin."
Drawing parallels with the launch of the gold ETF in 2004, Edwards suggests that the approval of a Bitcoin ETF could launch another significant bull run. In essence, the ETF approval is a major milestone on the pathway to wider regulatory acceptance and the establishment of Bitcoin as a serious asset class.
Stablecoins on Hold?
US Democrats are being accused of obstructing progress on stablecoin legislation, with growing concerns about the potential for tech giants to issue their own stablecoins.
House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry says:
This comes after three crypto bills were approved by the committee for a full House vote. The Democrats, largely seen as anti-crypto, are expected to resist the bill in the Senate. They've voiced concerns about the reserve provisions in the bill and expressed differing views on which regulators should oversee stablecoins.
Another worry is that the legislation could enable tech giants like Twitter, Meta, and Google to issue their own stablecoins. Senior Democrat Maxine Waters referred to this prospect as a "frightening proposition".
Republican Ralph Norman echoed this concern, highlighting the bill's lack of commercial entity prohibition, which could allow large tech companies to dominate the stablecoin market.
TTD Blockquote 🔊
Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO
Protect the value of your crypto by getting reps to vote yes on crypto bills
Brian Armstrong sounds the crypto bugle, calling all Americans to grab their phones and ring up their representatives. The mission? Get them to vote 'yes' on a new assortment of crypto bills making their debut this week on Capitol Hill.
Just two short years ago: Coinbase took a firm stance against blending politics and work, advocating that employees should keep discussions about political candidates and causes that are unrelated to work strictly out of the workplace.
But they later clarified in a blog post that, well, crypto is "inherently political". So, when it comes to championing the cause of crypto, it's not just acceptable, but encouraged to get political.
In an admirable follow-through on their statement, Coinbase has been making waves with a nationwide advertising campaign.
The goal: Get those policymakers to not only sit up and pay attention but to understand the undeniable importance of crypto.
Armstrong, along with Paul Grewal, the Chief Legal Officer at Coinbase, are doing their bit too, using their social media platforms to voice their support for legislation centred on crypto.
With debates about stablecoins and crypto regulation taking centre stage on Capitol Hill this week, Armstrong and Grewal are urging Congress to enact digital asset regulation "without delay".
TTD NFTs 🐝
The British Museum hops into the Sandbox
Ever dreamed of meandering through the British Museum in your PJs? Thanks to a partnership with Ethereum-based metaverse game, The Sandbox, the museum is not only going digital, but also interactive. The NFTs will reflect the museum's collections and offer new immersive experiences. The British Museum creates its own interactive space within The Sandbox. Thus, joining other famous icons like Snoop Dogg and McDonald's in the virtual realm.
The museum has previously collaborated with French startup LaCollection on three NFT collections, including works by Katsushika Hokusai and Joseph Mallord William Turner. The partnership with The Sandbox allows the museum to explore new ways of sharing its collection and reaching new audiences. The most recent sale featured NFT artwork by Giambattista Piranesi.
The Sandbox's COO, Sebastien Borget, is stoked about this collaboration:
"This is a great opportunity for The Sandbox players, regardless of where they are, to learn about the amazing wealth of human history, art, and culture that The British Museum has to offer."
Fashion gets patched up
Moving from museums to the runway, we land on MNTGE. This fashion brand just dropped a hot new collection of Ethereum NFT patches called Patchwork. Each patch is redeemable for a physical version equipped with NFC chips.
Notable artists involved in the project include Coldie, OSF, Grant Yun, and Chris Torres. MNTGE aims to bridge the gap between Web2 and Web3 by celebrating the art and artists involved. The collection also features the work of All Seeing Seneca, known for her involvement with Bored Ape Yacht Club and her own surreal digital artwork.
Mastercard + Billboard
Mastercard and Billboard are releasing five new artist singles as NFTs through their Web3 music initiative, The Mastercard Artist Accelerator. These are no ordinary songs — they're AI-infused tracks.
Each track will be live-streamed and available as an NFT on the OneOf Marketplace. The participating artists have incorporated Mastercard's sonic brand identity and helped shape the cover art for their singles. The program aims to equip artists with the skills and knowledge to navigate the Web3 domain and foster a vibrant community. Mastercard's previous Web3 program saw 100,000 mints of its limited-edition Mastercard Music Pass NFT.
TTD Stunts 🥷🏻
The legendary Bruce Lee, who passed away in 1973, is all set to mentor you in martial arts, but this time, in the metaverse.
This virtual resurrection is thanks to a tribute event by Byte City, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the icon's passing.
To take part, you simply mint your avatars on Ethereum and Polygon. Once that's done, you'll be able to utilise these characters within the Byte City metaverse game on your desktop or mobile device.
In an epic collaboration, Byte City, Bruce Lee's daughter Shannon Lee, and Samsung Gaming have teamed up to create this unique event. Shannon expressed that the game provides a unique way to appreciate her father's legacy.
This isn't Bruce Lee's first digital rodeo, though. Earlier, the Bruce Lee Foundation collaborated with Shibuya, an NFT video platform, to launch an NFT collection named "The House of Lee".
TTD AI 🤖
AI Girlfriends/Boyfriends are here. Singles can rejoice.
The future is here, and Andreessen Horowitz, a renowned VC firm, is handing you the chisel to carve out your digital Aphrodite!
Step 1: Enter the Digital Atelier
Andreessen Horowitz has unveiled a user-friendly GitHub tutorial, offering a canvas to create your customisable "AI companion". Choose from pre-crafted personalities, like the daring Evelyn, the sassy Alex, or the distinguished writer Sebastian. Even a space dog, Corgi, is up for grabs. Not impressed? then you can design your own digital confidante from scratch.
Step 2: Infuse Life into Your Creation
Here's where you breathe life into your digital creation! The program enables you to dictate your companion's personality and backstory. Each detail you input will shape the way your AI interacts and responds, giving depth to your conversations. You can transform adventurous Evelyn into a romantic soul with a simple tweak or make Corgi your interstellar guide.
Step 3: Unleash Your Creation into the Digital Universe
Of course, "Romantic AI girlfriends/boyfriends" top the list of potential use cases. But remember, this venture isn't just for creating AI Romeo or Juliet. Therapeutic potential is at the heart of the concept, and these companions can help users understand themselves better.
Step 4: Watch the Romance Bloom.
TTD Surfer 🏄
Sotheby's held a historic Dutch auction for Vera Molnár's generative NFT artworks, which sold out in just an hour and fetched $1.2 million in Ethereum.
German political parties are divided on how to regulate the increasing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI).
Elon Musk's Twitter, now called X, has added contributors from 18 new countries to ensure accurate information sharing.
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The Token Dispatch is a daily newsletter that takes you on a 4-5 minute drive through the wild west of the Crypto World. Daily in your email inbox @13:00 GMT. Almost always.