SEC vs / Grayscale⚔️
SEC plays hard to get, but Grayscale wins the first date. SBF's defense's courtroom challenge. Senator Warren links crypto to Hamas. Sturgeon AI, Greek letter decoding and Mistral Trismegistus-7B.
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The SEC ran out of time to appeal a court ruling that went in favour of Grayscale.
They really did.
They had until Friday, and they chose radio silence from their end.
What led to this? 📜
Grayscale's plea to change its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot Bitcoin ETF was previously dismissed by the SEC.
The federal court, however, found the SEC's decision inconsistent, especially when it had approved analogous futures Bitcoin ETFs.
SEC will reportedly not appeal a court decision to allow Grayscale to convert its bitcoin trust into an ETF, increasing the likelihood of the first bitcoin ETF in the country.
The court would likely advise the SEC on their next steps, which might involve revisiting Grayscale's application.
Bitcoin's valuation soared to more than $28,000 as soon as the news broke.
Grayscale issued a statement on Oct. 15 noting that the SEC's 45-day period to seek a rehearing had expired, implying that the court would issue its "final mandate" within seven calendar days.
"The Grayscale team remains operationally ready to convert GBTC to an ETF upon the SEC's approval, and we look forward to sharing more information as soon as practicable," according to a report by the company.
Grayscale's GBTC 📈
GBTC's share price was $20.24 as the deadline loomed, a modest 1% increase over the past day.
Grayscale's recent court win saw almost 20 million GBTC shares traded. Compare this to the 2.2 million shares traded as the decision's finality nears.
If Grayscale gets the green light to convert GBTC into a spot Bitcoin ETF, each GBTC share could be swapped for the actual Bitcoin held by Grayscale.
A win-win for investors as this conversion would bridge the gap between GBTC's share value and its Bitcoin holdings.
The value difference between all outstanding GBTC shares and Grayscale's Bitcoin holdings is known as the discount.
Currently, this discount sits at about 15%.
The GBTC discount reached a low of 48% in December 2022.
Yet, with investment giant BlackRock throwing its hat in the ring and Grayscale's recent win, the discount has shrunk significantly.
GBTC's discount is also seen as a barometer for spot Bitcoin ETF approval chances.
As of Oct. 13, the discount to Bitcoin's net asset value (NAV) was 15.87%.
Market Influencers 📉
Grayscale's share discount once plummeted to 48% in December 2022, signalling doubts about the trust's conversion chances.
However, after BlackRock announced its intention to list a similar product, and given its historical success with the SEC, the GBTC discount started reducing.
Furthermore, Grayscale's successful lawsuit against the SEC further boosted its position in the market.
Grayscale isn't just focused on Bitcoin.
The firm also aims to convert its Ethereum Trust into a spot Ethereum ETF, especially after the SEC's recent approval of futures Ethereum ETFs.
Coinbase Vs SEC
Coinbase is turning up the heat, nudging the SEC for a clear "Yay or Nay" on its rule-making petition.
Sec's got 30 days.
Coinbase just pulled a legal move called a mandamus asking the SEC to make up its mind on their rule-making petition.
The main goal for Coinbase is to get a definitive approval or denial of its petition.
On October 11, Paul Grewal peeked at an "update" from the SEC on X .
The message? Something about a "recommendation" on Coinbase’s petition.
Coinbase believes that unless the SEC is forced into action, it might continue its perceived strategy of avoiding and delaying.
TTD Blockquotes 🎙️
Former Assistant US Attorney, Kevin J. O'Brien.
"It's almost like he's a man-child or something."
Things look bleak when Kevin J. O'Brien, points out how challenging the defense's path looks in the SBF court drama.
The prosecution's shining star is Caroline Ellison, ex-chief of Alameda Research and once a close associate of Bankman-Fried.
She has not only admitted to her guilt but also placed Bankman-Fried at the scene of the crime, so to speak.
O'Brien points out the challenge of cross-examining someone like Ellison who openly accepts guilt and isn’t just passing the buck.
This trial's brisk pace might be signalling a conviction.
O'Brien suggests that faster trials often lean in favour of the prosecution.
Prolonged hearings can make jurors' minds drift, leading to unexpected results.
Bankman-Fried’s demeanour might be interpreted as immature or naïve, but utilising such an argument in court is a delicate matter.
O'Brien questions its feasibility, let alone if the judge would entertain it.
"When you think about it, it's not strictly speaking a defense. I'm not even sure [Judge] Kaplan would allow them to lean on this argument. But it is a way to convey to a jury that this guy is not all there." He said.
Sega Co-COO Shuji Utsumi.
“Blockchain gaming is still an unknown world for us.”
Sega has warmed up to the idea of blockchain gaming, believing that player-owned assets might introduce fresh dimensions to player expectations.
Sega, the iconic publisher behind Sonic the Hedgehog, has teamed up with blockchain firm Double Jump.Tokyo.
The collaboration will produce a trading card game (TCG) named "Battle of Three Kingdoms," which boasts NFT cards inspired by the 2005 game, Sangokushi Taisen.
The new Sega-licensed TCG is gunning for the Asian gaming market, with plans for over 100 distinct cards at launch and a promise of continuous game updates.
Licensing the new game aims to breathe life into the Sangokushi Taisen brand, ensuring the essence of the original game remains intact.
This collaboration offers Sega a chance to better understand the makings of blockchain games. For Utsumi, it's a "win-win" situation.
Sega's venture into blockchain gaming aligns with their objective to leverage advanced tech and novel business models.
TTD Bill ✍🏻
Amidst a backdrop of Israeli forces' retaliation to Hamas attacks that saw over 1,200 Israelis dead, revelations have emerged about Hamas' crypto funding.
This has caught the attention of US lawmakers, particularly Senator Elizabeth Warren.
The Highlight 🎯
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who's already not a fan of crypto, argues that Hamas' crypto connections further support her efforts to combat crypto-associated illicit activities.
There's a bill in the making
Purpose: To counteract money laundering and sanction abuses in the crypto domain.
Features: Extends the Bank Secrecy Act's (BSA) anti-money-laundering requirements to digital asset wallet providers, cryptocurrency miners, validators, and other participants in the crypto network.
The Chamber of Digital Commerce warns that this bill could "extinguish digital asset innovation in the US, compromising market security."
However, the recent attacks by Hamas and their subsequent crypto ties could potentially fortify Warren's arguments in favour of the bill.
TD Cowen analyst, Jaret Seiberg, believes the recent events enhance the bill's chances, making it challenging for lawmakers to oppose enhanced crypto-focused AML/BSA measures.
While introduced in July, the bill hasn't seen noticeable advancement towards committee approval.
But Sen. Warren's linking of the Hamas funding news to her legislative efforts might change the game.
Bipartisan Backing ✅
The bill enjoys support from both sides of the aisle
Democratic Supporters: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.)
Republican Supporters: Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
The FTX Saga🚨
Attorneys for Sam Bankman-Fried have requested that he be allowed access to his prescribed medication, Adderall, during his ongoing fraud trial👇🏻
AI Model Sturgeon Diagnoses CNS Tumors 🧠
What's New?: An AI model named "Sturgeon" can diagnose central nervous system (CNS) tumours with 90% accuracy.
How?: By using nanopore sequencing, it analyses tumour samples rapidly, providing a diagnosis in just 40 minutes.
Significance: Early diagnosis of CNS tumours (which can be benign, malignant, or cancerous) is pivotal for effective treatment.
Sturgeon's real-time diagnostic capability might reshape the methods surgeons use in tumour removal, ultimately enhancing patient outcomes.
AI Deciphers Ancient Greek Letters 📜
Who: A 21-year-old student from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Achievement: Using AI, the student deciphered ancient Greek letters within a sealed scroll from Herculaneum, Italy.
Details: By developing a machine learning algorithm, the student could discern subtle texture differences between inked and blank scroll areas, revealing over 10 Greek characters.
Context: This innovation offers a beacon of hope for deciphering hundreds of scrolls buried during Mount Vesuvius's eruption in 79 AD, many of which currently sit unread in the National Library of Naples.
Meet Mistral Trismegistus-7B 🔮
What is it: Mistral Trismegistus-7B is an AI-powered digital mystic.
Offers insights on mysticism, tarot card readings, and more.
Contains training from over 35,000 instruction-response pairs.
Can provide comprehensive guides on hand readings, detailing the significance of various hand lines and patterns.
The model is designed to run on local machines, ensuring users' privacy.
Creators: Pseudonymous AI enthusiast, Teknium, uploaded the model to the machine learning collaboration platform, Huggingface.
Comparisons: While GPT-4 remains focused on poker, Mistral Trismegistus-7B offers a dive into the esoteric.
TTD HR 🏢
Crypto companies are facing major shifts in their teams.
Let's dive in and see who's making moves in the crypto talent pool 🏊♀️
Gemini's big Indian move 🇮🇳
Top News: Gemini lands the big fish! They've nabbed Sachin Ranglani to steer their ship in India.
Who's this guy? 🧐
Former Uber & Amazon mover and shaker.
Last gig? Holding the fort at Indian fintech titan, Paytm, as Senior VP of Product Management.
Gemini’s game plan: Strengthening its Asia Pacific presence, Gemini aims to increase its Gurgaon branch's workforce from 70 to over 100 by 2023's end.
Ripple’s Rollercoaster 🎢
Who left the building? CFO Kristina Campbell.
Campbell's exit comes after Ripple abandoned its acquisition of Fortress Trust. She described her tenure as "memorable", especially with Ripple's legal tussle with the US SEC.
What's she up to now?: Keeping her tech hat on, Campbell is now wielding her powers as CTO at Maven Clinic, the go-to virtual health clinic catering to women and families.
Other Moves on the Block 🔄
Tether: The stablecoin giant named Paolo Ardoino as its upcoming CEO, with an official start in December.
ETC Group: The crypto ETP provider brought Chanchal Samadder onboard as its head of product.
Hilbert Group: Former Galaxy executive and Deus X Capita CEO, Tim Grant, is set to be a part of the board of directors.
Asset Reality: Chris Tyrer, previously leading Europe at Fidelity Digital Assets, now joins the board of this digital asset compliance platform.
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has deeply impacted the Israeli blockchain tech industry.
Many companies are grappling with sudden employee shortages, largely due to a significant portion of their staff being called up for reserve duty.
The current conflict has led to many employees, who are also reserve members, being called up for active duty.
For many startups, this translates to substantial operational disruptions.
A startup resources initiative by Zoe and Michael Burian aims to support affected startups in the region.
The campaign, shared on X by healthcare investor Shalva Gozland, notes that over 400 professionals from diverse domains are volunteering to support Israeli startups during this time.
TTD Surfer 🏄
Social finance apps Tomo and New Bitcoin City have surpassed $1 million in total value locked (TVL) in their smart contracts.
The Australian Treasury has proposed new regulations for crypto exchanges, requiring them to hold a financial services license.
Canon has unveiled a new technology called "nanoimprint lithography" that aims to compete with Dutch firm ASML in the chip manufacturing industry.
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