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Spring's here? 🌼
Crypto's out of the winter? Wall Street RSVPs to Bitcoin's 15th. Andreessen is cooking up a billion-dollar stew. Stanley’s got FOMO. K-Bank’s shopping, and Starknet's playing Santa, early.
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With Bitcoin bouncing back, ETFs on their way, and Wall Street warming up to digital assets, the cold days of the "crypto winter" are behind us.
The whole crypto drama around Sam Bankman-Fried is also wrapping up, clearing the stage for a fresh start.
Hello, Wall Street 🏛
The bigwigs on Wall Street are giving Bitcoin some serious attention. Billions are expected to pour into the crypto universe via ETFs.
The narrative? Mainstream financial institutions are here to level up the crypto game.
The crypto renaissance was already in motion earlier this year.
From banks diving into crypto to significant regulatory advancements, there's been a lot cooking.
Despite the chilly regulatory climate in the US, the crypto world's been spotting spring's 'green shoots' for months.
BlackRock's CEO, Larry Fink told Fox Business.
“I think there are more people running into a flight to quality whether that is in treasuries, gold or crypto – depending on how you think about it. And I believe crypto will play that type of role as a flight to quality.”
Read more about Fink's crypto journey: BlackRock's Crystal Ball 🔮
In the next couple of years. Crypto is decoupling from other markets, during a time of geopolitical uncertainty, growing debt loads and high budget deficits.Framework Ventures co-founder Vance Spencer says,
“You’re probably looking at a bull market. Exactly at the time you would hope it would. The narratives couldn’t be much better for crypto.”
During a chat on the Bell Curve podcast, Spencer highlighted various positive strides in crypto.
Treasury bills moving on-chain.
Potential high volume in Synthetix.
Notable improvements in DeFi services, like dYdX.
Growth for Lido’s ether staking service.
Anticipation for blockchain-based games launching by year-end.
Wall Street & Bitcoin
On Bitcoin's 15th anniversary, there's a paradox at play. Wall Street, which Bitcoin was once seen as a challenger to, is now playing a dominant role in the cryptocurrency’s narrative.
This changes a lot of things.
The institutions Bitcoin once sought to challenge are now central to its narrative.
The involvement of these financial behemoths has brought mainstream recognition to Bitcoin, but it also prompts the question: Is Bitcoin's decentralised vision being overshadowed by traditional finance?
Wall Street's presence is undeniable, and its future influence will largely be shaped by regulatory decisions.
ETPs Inflows Surge
Crypto ETPs, which typically track the price of significant cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether, witnessed their most extensive weekly inflow in more than a year.
The inflow stood at a whopping $326 million, overshadowing the previous week's $66 million.
Highest inflows since July 2022.
Fifth straight week of ETP inflows.
The recent increase was the 21st largest ever.
Bitcoin ETPs accounted for 90% of the total inflows.
Solana (SOL) saw inflows of $24 million.
Ether funds experienced outflows of $6 million.
Read more here.
What else to be happy about?
BTC Options Surge: On Oct. 23 and 24, Bitcoin options volumes spiked, corresponding with a 17% BTC price increase. In just two days, a massive 208,000 contracts were traded. For comparison, a prior peak on Aug. 18 only saw 132,000 contracts traded when BTC's price had fallen by 10.7%.
Short Squeeze Potential: Liquidity maps from DecenTrader indicate the potential for a short squeeze between the price ranges of $36,300 to $40,000. If Bitcoin manages to breach the $36,300 level, it could lead to intensified pressure on short positions, potentially causing a cascade of buying activity as traders rush to cover their positions.
Andreessen Horowitz is reportedly planning to raise $3.4 billion for its next early-stage and seed-stage funds. The firm is expected to raise new growth, crypto, and bio vehicles in 2025.
Bitcoin's Wikipedia page experienced a surge in views, reaching its highest level since June 2022. On October 24, the page received 13,490 page views.
TTD Blockquotes 🎙️
Veteran investor, Stanley Druckenmiller.
‘I don’t own Bitcoin, but I should’
Stanley Druckenmiller, in a recent interview with hedge fund magnate Paul Tudor Jones, expressed admiration for Bitcoin's branding success over the years.
Druckenmiller lauded Bitcoin for creating its distinct "brand" over the past 17 years. He likened the young generation's perception of Bitcoin as a store of value to gold.
“I’m 70 years old. I own gold. I was surprised that Bitcoin got going, but you know, it’s clear that the young people look at it as a store of value because it’s a lot easier to do stuff with. 17 years, to me, it’s a brand. I like gold because it’s a 5,000-year-old brand. So, I like them both. I don’t own any Bitcoin, to be frank, but I should.”
Past Bitcoin Holdings 🔄
While Druckenmiller has held Bitcoin in the past, he disclosed in a 2022 interview that he liquidated his holdings due to central banks' stringent actions.
Druckenmiller envisions a flourishing future for the digital asset domain, particularly if there's a collective loss of faith in the central banking system.
He used the Bank of England's situation after the British pound's downfall in 2022 as an example.
“I could see cryptocurrency having a big role in a Renaissance because people just aren’t going to trust the central banks.”
Druckenmiller, the founder of Duquesne Capital Management, has a stellar investment track record.
Running from 1981 to 2010, his fund maintained an impressive 30% average annual return without experiencing a single down year.
A US District Judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by artists against AI-image generator Midjourney and digital art community platform DeviantArt, ruling that the plaintiffs did not provide enough evidence to support their claim of copyright infringement.
However, the judge allowed a separate claim of infringement against AI developer Stability AI to move forward.
The artists alleged that Stability AI violated copyright infringement laws, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the artists' right of publicity, and the platforms' terms of service.
The judge acknowledged that the artists may have a case on those grounds.
The G7 countries are set to agree on an AI code of conduct on October 30th, aiming to promote safe and trustworthy AI while addressing its risks.
The code includes 11 points, such as publicising reports on AI systems and implementing robust security controls.
The G7 countries involved are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US, and the European Union.
This development comes as governments worldwide are grappling with the emergence of AI, with the EU and the United Nations already establishing guidelines and regulations.
The Biden administration has issued an executive order with a 26-point mandate to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
The order aims to address concerns such as discrimination, privacy, and worker displacement caused by AI.
It also seeks to put the US at the forefront of defining AI regulations and promoting research within its borders.
The order highlights the need to protect workers and prevent under-compensation due to AI, as well as combat AI-enabled fraud and deception.
It also mentions developing content authentication and watermarking to label AI-generated content.
The order has the weight of law but can be overturned or changed in the future.
The FTX Saga🚨
Sam "SBF" Bankman-Fried, who is currently on trial, has been revealed to have privately expressed disdain for regulators, despite publicly supporting crypto regulation👇🏻
TTD Numbers 🔢
Thailand's major bank, Kasikornbank, a.k.a. K-Bank, has splurged $102.8 million to acquire a dominant stake in the nation's time-honoured crypto exchange, Satang.
All through the bank's dedicated arm, Unita Capital.
This happens a month after K-Bank launched a $100 million fund targeting web3, fintech, and AI.
Post the takeover, there's going to be a new name in town. Satang will now greet users as Orbix Trade Company Limited.
Having its roots since 2017, Satang takes pride in being the longest-serving crypto exchange in Thailand.
Unita Capital isn't just stopping at the acquisition. It's spreading its wings with three fresh subsidiaries:
Orbix Custodian: Aims at digital asset safeguarding.
Orbix Invest: Specialises in digital asset fund management.
Orbix Technology & Innovation: Dedicated to creating blockchain infrastructure.
🔍 K-Bank's Snapshot
Fourth-largest by assets in Thailand, K-Bank has a legacy dating back to 1945.
Evolving with time, it adopted its current name in 2003, reflecting its Thai pronunciation.
Besides its massive domestic presence in 1,000+ spots, K-Bank flaunts international branches, majorly in China.
Their tech endeavours include the recent $100 million tech venture fund spotlighting AI, Web3, and deep tech ventures.
💼 Competitor's Stance
Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) isn't far behind in the crypto race. They introduced their digital asset arm, SCB 10X, in 2021.
Following it up, SCB announced a $600 million joint initiative called the Global Disruptive Technology Venture Capital Fund.
Their ambitious bid to acquire a majority stake in Bitkub, another Thai crypto exchange, did face regulatory challenges, leading to its withdrawal.
TTD Reward 🎁
Starknet Foundation is showing gratitude in a big way.
They're setting aside a massive 50 million STRK tokens for those who played a pivotal role during the network's budding phase.
If you've been a voice for Starknet, organised events, or contributed significant content, there's a token reward waiting for you.
If you're part of the Early Community Member Program, you might be in for a treat. The foundation aims to honour individuals who:
Kindled technical discussions.
Spearheaded Starknet-centric events.
Consistently produced Starknet-branded content.
How to Claim? Contributors need to formally apply for this token grant by furnishing details about their distinct contributions to the ecosystem.
This token program won't be available to individuals residing in the US or to US citizens.
Token Release Date: The Starknet tokens, all 10 billion of them, are still under wraps. They're slated for release on April 15, 2024. Here's the token allocation breakdown:
Starknet Foundation: The lion's share.
Core Contributors: 32.9%
The ECMP (Early Community Member Program) forms part of the strategy to disperse the tokens set aside for the foundation. And just to be clear, Starknet isn't labelling this token distribution as an 'airdrop'.
TTD Surfer 🏄
DJ and NFT creator Steve Aoki has partnered with move-to-earn game Stepn to release a collection of digital sneakers.
SnowTrace, a popular blockchain explorer for Avalanche, will shut down its website on Nov. 30.
Saudi Arabia's future city project, Neom, is set to invest $50 million in metaverse giant Animoca Brands.
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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.