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BlackRock's Crystal Ball 🔮
BlackRock with Bitcoin: From 'It's complicated' to 'In a Relationship'. IBTC plays peek-a-boo at DTCC. $61 million fresh moolah dives into crypto. And, HayCoin's Hollywood moment.
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Bitcoin has made a 12% surge in just one day, knocking $35,000 mark.
Speculations that BlackRock's ETF nod might be on the horizon.
From skepticism to endorsement, Larry Fink, the head honcho at BlackRock, has had a transformative journey with crypto, particularly Bitcoin.
Let's look at the timeline of BlackRock's evolving crypto stance:
2017: The Initial Hesitation
October 3: Fink sees potential in crypto but is wary of market speculation.
October 13: Bitcoin = Money laundering index?
Fink drew parallels with the tulip mania.
2018: The Wait-and-Watch Phase
July 16: BlackRock clients aren't hungry for crypto just yet, as per Fink.
2019: Stepping into Digital Waters
April 3: BlackRock gets Robbie Mitchnick from Ripple on board to helm digital assets.
July 19: Fink underscores the need for efficient cross-border payments but is not sold on Bitcoin as an international currency.
2020: Warming Up?
November 20: Rick Rieder of BlackRock backs crypto's longevity and hints at it replacing gold.
December 1: Fink acknowledges Bitcoin's growing influence but is uncertain about its global market potential.
2021: Mixed Signals
January 27: Fink is still on the fence about Bitcoin's potential. - “We’re watching it; we’re enjoying the conversation.”
October 13: Fink sides with Jamie Dimon's (JPMorgan CEO) skeptical view on Bitcoin, yet he envisions a grand future for digital currencies.
2022: Embracing the Digital Future
Feb 9: BlackRock dips its toes in crypto trading via its Aladdin platform.
April 7: Peter Thiel dubs Fink an "enemy of Bitcoin."
April 12: BlackRock invests big in Circle and takes charge of its cash reserves.
April 13: Crypto interest is soaring among BlackRock clients, reports Fink.
March 24: Russia-Ukraine crisis: A potential catalyst for digital currency adoption? - Fink talks.
August 4: BlackRock and Coinbase join forces to offer crypto services.
August 11: A Bitcoin trust for the big players is born.
November 30: BlackRock's $24 million bet on FTX goes south, and Fink hints at the future of tokenised securities.
2023: Full Steam Ahead
June 15: BlackRock takes a shot at launching a Bitcoin ETF.
July 5: Fink's vision: Making crypto accessible and affordable for all.
The talk of bringing crypto to masses on Fox Business appearance.
"What we're trying to do with crypto is make it more democratised with all of crypto and making it much cheaper for investors, The bid spread for crypto is very expensive. It does erode a lot of the returns….because it costs a lot of money right now to transact Bitcoin and it costs a lot of money to get out of that. And so, we hope that our regulators look at these filings that as a way to democratise crypto and we'll see in the future how that plays out"
October 16: Crypto is gaining traction among BlackRock clients, thanks to global geopolitical challenges.
BlackRock's Moves Raise Eyebrows 👀
BlackRock has everyone talking after they listed their iShares Bitcoin Trust on the DTCC.
While some might argue that it's just business as usual - the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation is a regular pit stop for settlement and clearing in the financial markets - the timing has excited investors and analysts.
Bernstein's analyst, Gautam Chhugani, mentioned that the general sentiment is that this move signals the ETF's imminent launch.
But then, IBTC vanished just as abruptly, Bitcoin's value dipped by almost 3%. A few hours later, the ticker was back.
So, what did the reappearance of IBTC reveal?
A keen-eyed Twitter user noted that the first listing had a "Y" under the "create/redeem" column.
But the comeback listing? It sported an "N".
James Seyffart, a Bloomberg ETF analyst, stepped in to explain.
The "N" signified that the ETF wasn't live yet, and BlackRock seems to be prepping for a launch, given they get the green light from the SEC.
A little stroll down memory lane showed that the IBTC listing was added to DTCC's site back in August, but only became the talk of the town recently.
A Step Back Before Moving Forward? ⏮️
BlackRock has agreed to a $2.5 million fine imposed by the SEC.
This penalty addresses BlackRock's alleged misrepresentation of investments in the entertainment sector, specifically with the Aviron Group.
This news has surfaced while the financial community eagerly awaits the SEC's verdict on BlackRock's Bitcoin ETF application.
According to the SEC
From 2015 to 2019, BlackRock's Multi-Sector Income Trust (BIT) was invested in the film company Aviron Group, LLC.
The fund manager represented Aviron as a "Diversified Financial Services" company, a depiction the SEC refutes.
BlackRock also purportedly overstated the interest rate that Aviron was paying.
In defense, by 2019, BlackRock had corrected these discrepancies in subsequent reports.
This isn't BlackRock's first run-in with the SEC.
They were fined $12 million in 2015 for undisclosed conflicts of interest, and faced another $340,000 fine in 2017 for inappropriate use of separation agreements.
TTD Numbers 🔢
Publicly traded crypto funds across the globe saw an injection of a $61 million in fresh capital this past Monday.
This is over 10% of all net deposits into crypto funds since the beginning of this year.
Bitcoin got the lion's share of this stash.
Where's the Cash Flow? 💸
With Bitcoin's price skyrocketing to $35,000 this Monday, it's no surprise that investors are thirsty for a spot Bitcoin ETF in the US Out of the total inflow, $57 million parked itself in BTC-based funds, and Solana (SOL) managed to bag $5.7 million.
James Butterfill, the big brain at CoinShares, highlighted that the main players here are Germany and Canada.
Some quick numbers
Germany's ETC Group: $24.3 million inflow
Canada’s Purpose Investments (world's first Bitcoin ETF champ): $10.9 million
21Shares AG: Another $11.8 million
US Playing the Waiting Game? ⌛
While the US does have its own BTC-based funds, they lack that direct 1:1 Bitcoin exposure.
For example, Grayscale (GBTC) doesn’t follow Bitcoin's price to the T.
Meanwhile, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) is all about Bitcoin futures.
The US investors might be holding their breath for a true-blue physical Bitcoin ETF, given the slow movement in the current offerings.
The FTX Saga 🚨
FTX is considering various future options, including partnering with another company, selling the exchange, or reorganising it independently.👇🏻
CFTC commissioner Summer Mersinger
"Market is ready for spot Bitcoin ETFs"
Summer Mersinger believes the crypto investment arena has evolved and matured. Speaking on CoinDeskTV, Mersinger highlighted the growing institutional interest in cryptocurrencies, which stands in stark contrast to the previous skepticism.
With Bitcoin soaring past the $35,000 mark, Mersinger emphasises that there's now an undeniable institutional eagerness to invest in crypto.
Mersinger stands firm in her belief that "these products aren't going away." The increasing involvement of traditional finance players in the crypto space is testament to this conviction.
*The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is an independent agency of the US government created in 1974 that regulates the US derivatives markets, which includes futures, swaps, and certain kinds of options.
Uniswap's test baby, HayCoin, is now trading at $3 million for a single token.
The Birth of HayCoin
Hayden Adams, the genius behind decentralised exchange Uniswap, released the very first coins on the platform back in 2019.
Just to set things straight, these tokens were just a part of a playful experiment and weren't meant to carry any value.
Despite most of them being destroyed soon after their birth, a savvy group of crypto enthusiasts dug up the remaining few earlier this month.
HayCoin (HAY) was born with a total of just 4.4 tokens in circulation. The rest of the total supply stayed with Adams.
From Thousands to Millions
With the limited amount of HayCoin, its price skyrocketed to hundreds of thousands shortly after it began trading.
But that was just the beginning.
The majority of these tokens were cozily sitting in Adams' wallet.
How much? Worth $650 billion 👀
Adams decided to set his tokens on fire. After Adams’ bold move, only the 4.4 tokens owned by the crypto traders remained.
Adams took to social media to give a little backstory.
The remaining 4.4 HayCoins aren't just tokens; they're a piece of crypto history.
Some investors view them as digital artefacts, reminiscent of the early days of Uniswap.
After touching a peak of $4.4 million per token, the price eventually found its ground above $3 million on Monday.
TTD Adoption 🫂
Mastercard's Dive into Web3💳
Mastercard is venturing into the Web3 domain, planning collaborations with leading self-custody wallet providers like MetaMask and Ledger.
From Mastercard's lens, offering a payments card isn't just about smooth transactions.
It's a strategy to boost the number of wallet users, build brand loyalty, and discover fresh revenue avenues.
However, it's no cakewalk for wallet firms.
Launching a card in unfamiliar terrains demands heavy resources.
Enter Mastercard with its rich experience and global network, aiming to bridge this gap.
Their vision for the future includes:
Exploring new avenues for global issuance using on-chain stablecoin settlements.
Venturing into cost-effective fast chains.
Launching a suite of groundbreaking products such as the Mastercard Multi-Token Network, Crypto Credential, and the CBDC Partner Program. These innovations aim to seamlessly intertwine the worlds of Web2 and Web3.
Mastercard's acquisition of blockchain analytics firm CipherTrace in 2021 will aid in ensuring transaction security.
Vodafone & Sumitomo Go Crypto📲
Vodafone's Digital Asset Broker (DAB) have teamed up with Japanese powerhouse Sumitomo and Chainlink to make transferring trade documents across platforms a breeze.
Aim? Make the massive $32-trillion global trade ecosystem smoother and faster. The dream team wants to upgrade document transfers and financial transaction processing.
How? They utilised Chainlink’s Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP).
The proof-of-concept? A showcase of Vodafone's IoT devices and blockchains feeding data to contracts and AI.
The goal? One interface to rule them all—moving both data and tokens seamlessly.
This collaboration could be a game-changer in addressing the complications surrounding trade documents that often bounce between paper and incompatible digital systems.
With prior successful ventures, like Vodafone’s UK trial with Mastercard, and continued partnerships, the trio's future in reshaping global trade looks promising.
US Senators have introduced a bipartisan bill called the Proof-of-Reserves Bill, which aims to establish standards for digital exchanges to guarantee customer funds.
Crypto wallet maker Ledger has officially launched its "Recover" option, which has sparked controversy among some crypto users.
Crypto lending firm BlockFi has announced that it has emerged from bankruptcy and has a plan in place to repay its customers.
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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.