Welcome to the latest edition of our Market Roundup, where we cover the highlights of the past week in the rapidly evolving world of blockchain and decentralized technologies.
(as of 9:30 AM Singapore Time, September 15, 2023)
The FTX saga’s next chapter is unfolding. This week, the failed exchange received the green light to sell off billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency, with the proceeds earmarked to be distributed to its creditors. This token sale was proposed in August 2022, with the requirement that a financial advisor will be involved to guide each stage of the sale.
FTX has US$3.4 billion worth of tokens that are ready to be released on the market. The tokens that are part of this stash are US$1.6 billion worth of SOL, US$560 million in BTC, US$196 million in ETH, and other coins.
Under the proposed plan, FTX would sell US$100 million worth of cryptocurrency at a time, with the possibility of doubling the threshold amount.
Crypto investors responded immediately, with token prices tanking on Monday. Some cryptocurrencies have since recovered, with BTC and ETH trading at roughly the same level as one week ago. But there are coins that have not pulled out of the rut yet, including SOL, which is down 6.22% week-on-week.
For now, it’s back to business as usual. But do brace for possible volatility as the US$3.4 billion stash is unloaded.
For more insights about market movements, be sure to check out the routine updates on BTSE’s blog.
- JPMorgan foresees saving upwards of US$20 million by the close of next year by leveraging blockchain technology to facilitate rapid and efficient financial transactions, including same-day settlement of repurchase agreements (“repos”). Tyrone Lobban, head of blockchain launch and Onyx digital assets at the banking giant, highlighted the substantial advancements in tokenizing traditional assets like US Treasuries and cash, which can then be integrated into smart contracts, dictating exact terms of trade entries and fund returns. While this savings projection may appear nominal against JPMorgan’s daily handling of $10 trillion in payment flows, it marks a promising beginning, offering clients both cost reductions and new asset utility. The blockchain initiative is witnessing accelerated growth, with transaction volumes in the first half of 2023 equalling the entirety of 2022, and expectations of this trajectory doubling by the next year. While emphasizing the proof of concept’s validity, Lobban envisions an expanding clientele eager to exploit the novel features sans an emphasized focus on the underlying blockchain technology.
- MetaMask wallets can now be customized further thanks to new functionalities introduced by Consensys under the moniker MetaMask Snaps. Launching with 34 available Snaps, created by third-party developers and vetted by Consensys, the feature allows MetaMask, initially designed for the Ethereum network, to interact with other layer-1 blockchains including Bitcoin, Solana, and Cosmos, amongst others, for the first time. The Snaps can offer users notifications for decentralized applications (dApps), although this is currently limited to the MetaMask browser extension and does not support mobile push notifications. Christian Montoya, the senior product overseer of the initiative, highlighted the user control over Snaps and their usefulness in warning against potentially harmful transactions involving malicious smart contracts or phishing attempts. Despite its current central approval system for Snap publication, there are plans to transition to a decentralized, smart contract-powered approach for a community-driven vetting process. The release is still in its early stages, with user feedback actively encouraged to shape its future development.
- In a recent move signifying its sustained interest in the digital asset space, financial powerhouse Franklin Templeton filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF, with plans to house it under Coinbase custody and trade on the Cboe BZX Exchange. This stride follows similar actions by industry giants such as BlackRock and Fidelity, showcasing growing confidence that the SEC could soon approve the entrance of Bitcoin ETFs into the public markets, thereby providing investors a straightforward route to adding Bitcoin exposure to their portfolios. While Franklin Templeton has previously explored funds merging blockchain technology and tokenized treasury bonds, this marks its inaugural filing for a Bitcoin ETF. The firm is joining a crowded race, trailing behind several other aspirants in the SEC’s procedural timeline, with the next regulatory update on such filings expected in mid-October, although potential delays could defer a concrete decision until March 2024.
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- After discontinuing its involvement with The Open Network (TON) in 2020 following a lawsuit from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), messaging app Telegram is renewing its participation with the launch of a self-custodial crypto wallet. Developed by TON Foundation, the wallet, named TON Space, is integrated into Telegram, providing its 800 million users with digital wallet functionalities. Projects built on TON will receive priority access to Telegram’s advertising platform. Initially available in Telegram’s settings, the global rollout of this feature will commence in November, excluding the US and several other countries. This venture marks a significant step towards realizing Telegram co-founder Pavel Durov’s vision of facilitating crypto transactions through chat while monetizing the messaging platform. Telegram has witnessed a surge in its user base, now being among the top 10 most downloaded apps globally.
- NFT trader and crypto investor Machi Big Brother’s proposal to purchase Bored Apes, Mutant Apes, and CryptoPunks using 11,000,000 APE is up for voting tomorrow. The stated purpose is to donate the NFTs to museums around the world. If approved, it will introduce a new governance token called DAM to aid in the curation of the NFTs. The community can secure DAM allocations by locking APE tokens, which will counteract potential selling pressures stemming from the sizable APE expenditure for the NFTs. This ambitious project dictates that at least half of the capital should be utilized in the first year and prohibits NFT acquisitions directly from Machi. The initiative, regarded as a substantial capital booster to the market, is eagerly awaited. Voting began at 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday.
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