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Will Bitcoin drive whole of crypto? 🤗
Can Bitcoin ETFs turn the tables for crypto in the US? Dog nose wrinkles ponzi scheme costs $127M. Degens bet $170K on missing Titanic submarine being found. Hackers leak 100K+ ChatGPT credentials.
Hello, y'all. Serious shit, this👇 Dispatching in them times of strangeness 🤲
Since 2013, there have been numerous attempts to introduce a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States. This type of ETF would allow investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin's value without actually owning the cryptocurrency. The crypto community has eagerly awaited the approval of a Bitcoin spot ETF, considering it a significant milestone.
An ETF is a publicly-traded investment vehicle that tracks the value of an underlying asset. In the case of a Bitcoin ETF, the underlying asset is Bitcoin itself. Supporters of a Bitcoin ETF argue that the complexities associated with exchanges, crypto wallets, and private keys act as significant barriers for new investors entering the crypto space. By offering a Bitcoin ETF, these investors could gain exposure to Bitcoin without the need to handle the cryptocurrency directly.
While Bitcoin ETFs have been successfully launched in countries such as Canada, Brazil, and Dubai, the United States has yet to approve a spot Bitcoin ETF. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has consistently rejected all applications for such an ETF. One of the primary concerns cited by the SEC is the potential for market manipulation by cryptocurrency traders. This has been a key factor in their decision to deny the applications.
In October 2021, ProShares launched a Bitcoin futures ETF on the New York Stock Exchange. However, this futures ETF does not provide direct exposure to Bitcoin itself, unlike a spot Bitcoin ETF.
Looking for the land of the rising sun
Despite the rejections, the crypto community remains hopeful for the future approval of a Bitcoin spot ETF in the United States. The quest for a Bitcoin ETF has become somewhat of a holy grail for enthusiasts, as it would offer a more accessible and regulated route for investors to participate in the growth of Bitcoin's value.
Bitcoin ETF applications currently in play
BlackRock: The world's largest asset manager filed an application for a Bitcoin spot ETF. BlackRock has a successful track record with ETF filings and proposed Coinbase as the custodian and BNY Mellon as the cash custodian.
WisdomTree: This New York-based asset manager previously launched a Bitcoin ETF on Switzerland's SIX stock exchange in 2019. WisdomTree filed a new application with the SEC in mid-2023, following the rejection of its previous application.
Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF: Galaxy Digital and Invesco jointly filed a physically-backed Bitcoin ETF in September 2021. Invesco Capital Management is the sponsor, and the ETF aims to be the first of a series of crypto-specific ETFs.
Valkyrie Investments: Valkyrie filed its first application for a Bitcoin ETF in January 2021, and it was rejected in late 2021. However, Valkyrie succeeded in launching a Bitcoin Mining ETF in early 2022. In June 2022, Valkyrie filed another Bitcoin spot ETF application with the SEC.
Ark Invest: The investment firm led by Cathie Wood filed an application for the Ark21Shares ETF in June 2021. Ark Invest's ETF was rejected twice, and it has now filed its third application.
No country for Bitcoin ETF
There have been numerous failed Bitcoin ETF applications
These applications were rejected by the SEC at different times, and some companies made multiple attempts to launch a Bitcoin ETF.
The road toward a Bitcoin ETF has been a long one. Since the Winklevoss twins first filed for a Bitcoin ETF-like trust in 2013, the SEC has dragged its feet over the idea. It has repeatedly delayed making decisions on multiple Bitcoin ETFs over the last few years, causing firms like VanEck to pull their applications over fears the SEC would reject them.
Is Bitcoin’s dominance sign of wider adoption?
Bitcoin's dominance in the cryptocurrency market has increased alongside its price this year. This indicates a shift towards safer investments, as investors flock to Bitcoin and stablecoins amid regulatory concerns and market volatility. On-chain metrics, such as the accumulation of Bitcoin by long-term holders and the increase in illiquid supply, suggest positive signals for Bitcoin's future performance. The upcoming halving event is expected to have a positive impact on Bitcoin's price, but its exact effects are uncertain. Meanwhile, alternative cryptocurrencies are losing liquidity, and financial institutions are making significant moves in the crypto space. The overall cryptocurrency ecosystem, led by Bitcoin, is in uncharted territory, with traditional institutions remaining engaged in crypto strategies despite market challenges.
TTD Blockquote 🔊
Joseph Chalom, head of Strategic Ecosystem Partnerships at BlackRock
“The first issue is, who am I trading with? All I know is, we go to jail if we don’t know who we’re trading with.”
In a recent panel discussion at the Coinbase crypto summit, finance professionals expressed differing views on the pace of tokenisation of traditional assets. While some predicted a speedy merger of decentralised finance (DeFi) and traditional finance (TradFi), BlackRock's Joseph Chalom struck a more cautious note, stating that the tokenisation process would be slower than people expect. Chalom emphasised that true institutional adoption of blockchain technology would require the acceptance and implementation of know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) practices in DeFi.
TTD WTF 🤦♀️
A South Korean company lured investors with a blockchain app that can identify dogs by their nose wrinkles. The investigation found that what the company promoted to be its dog nose wrinkle reader was fake.
South Korean police have arrested three individuals and charged 64 others in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme. The company lured investors with promises of high returns on investment and raised over $100 million from around 22,000 people.
According to the police, victims of the scam have suffered losses exceeding $100 Million. The fraudulent company managed to raise approximately 166.4 billion South Korean won (approximately $127 Million) from around 22,000 individuals, primarily targeting elderly citizens lacking expertise in cryptocurrencies. Investigations revealed that the promised dog nose wrinkle reader was a fabrication, devoid of any blockchain technology as initially claimed. Additionally, the company failed to secure the purported locations for building pet theme parks, which it used to entice potential investors.
The project involved an Ethereum-based token, which was traded on decentralised exchanges and the South Korean centralised exchange Bithumb. However, the police did not disclose the specific token or reveal the company behind it.
This case is not an isolated incident in South Korea, as similar scams have defrauded citizens of substantial amounts in recent months. Doo Wan Nam, co-founder of Seoul-based research and advisory firm StableLab, lamented the prevalence of such scams in the country. In April, a group managed to steal $6.9 Million from investors through a crypto mining scam, while another scheme in May resulted in the theft of over $300 Million by selling virtual items to investors with promises of profitable resale
TTD Degens 🔯
In a bizarre turn of events surrounding the missing submarine exploring the Titanic wreckage, cryptocurrency enthusiasts have taken an unexpected interest. Betting site Polymarket has seen over $170,000 in wagers placed on whether the manned submarine will be located.
The OceanGate Titan submarine disappeared on June 18 during its expedition, carrying five people and having only 96 hours of oxygen. With time running out, the search efforts are underway in the Atlantic Ocean. However, crypto degens have taken it upon themselves to place bets on the submarine's discovery by midnight on June 23.
The rules of the bet state that the submarine does not need to be physically recovered, but merely found. If any pieces are located but not the cabin containing the passengers, it will not count as finding the submarine.
As news of people gambling on the lives of others spread, the online reception has been mixed. Some found it dystopian, while others jokingly considered investing their bonuses in the bet. Video game publication Dexerto labeled it insane to gamble on lives.
Polymarket, the crypto platform hosting the betting, used the buzz and backlash as a promotional opportunity, even replying to viral tweets about the Titan search. They maintained a 15% chance of finding the submarine by Friday.
For the bet to be settled, an official statement from OceanGate, the U.S. Coast Guard, or another credible government agency is required. If no such statement is provided, a consensus of credible reporting will be used.
TTD HACK 🏮
Over 100,000 login credentials for OpenAI's ChatGPT AI chatbot were leaked on the dark web, according to a cybersecurity firm called Group-IB.
When: The theft of credentials started in June 2022 and peaked in May 2023, with 26,802 logins stolen during that time.
Who: The theft was carried out using the Raccoon Infostealer malware, which victims unknowingly downloaded through phishing emails.
How: Once infected, the malware collected login credentials, browsing history, cookies, and potentially crypto wallet information.
Phishing attacks, such as the one used in this case, involve fraudulent communications that appear to come from reputable sources like email, text messages, or social media.
Group-IB emphasised that info stealers, like Raccoon Infostealer, are simple yet effective tools for compromising personal data and have become a major source of data breaches.
The majority of stolen ChatGPT credentials (around 41,000) were from the Asia-Pacific region.
Group-IB recommended users update their passwords and enable two-factor authentication to enhance security.
What's the history?
In October 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Mark Sokolovsky for his alleged involvement in the Raccoon Infostealer cybercrime operation.
Sokolovsky faces charges including conspiracy to commit computer fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.
Sokolovsky was granted extradition to the United States and could potentially face a 20-year prison sentence if convicted.
TTD Surfer 🏄
The SEC agreed to delay recovery of BlockFi’s $30 Million fine in an effort to put creditors first in line for reimbursement.
Maker to settle for $1.16 Million with investors who sought compensation for losses suffered after the “Black Thursday” COVID crash in March 2020.
KT Corporation, formerly Korea Telecom, has a plan to invest $5.3 Billion to offer AI services in fields ranging from education to robotics by 2027.
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