Copper’s Weekly Update – 15 March 2021

Highlighting what went right, and what went wrong, in this week’s crypto news analysis.

Copper

Shortly after Canada approved and listed three Bitcoin ETFs on the Toronto Stock Exchange, ETF applications are beginning to pile up at the SEC.

First came Simplify, revealing in a filing on Tuesday that its proposed US Equity PLUS Bitcoin ETF would contain up to 15% shares in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, but the bulk of its holding would be in US stocks.

WisdomTree is also having another crack,  submitting its filing on Thursday. The following day, Valkyrie Digital Assets, a crypto investment firm, filed for an ETF that would invest in companies that hold Bitcoin on their balance sheets. This would bear a strikingly similar resemblance to the JP Morgan Chase ‘cryptocurrency exposure basket‘, which the investment bank filed with the SEC on Tuesday and is the latest sign of Wall Street players warming to Bitcoin.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Valkyrie’s chief investment officer said: “If we have a Bitcoin ETF in the US, there probably will be no more inflows into any Bitcoin trust.” And it seems the firm behind the biggest Bitcoin trust, Grayscale, sees the writing on the wall. Various reports surfaced on Friday claiming that the world’s largest crypto fund manager is prepping for an ETF by hiring an entire ETF team.

I think we can all agree it really is starting to feel like the SEC will follow Canada’s lead in finally approving a Bitcoin ETF this year. Especially as when it comes to novel financial products, the US has historically followed in Canada’s footsteps (do check out our article on this).

And finally, another week means yet another Bitcoin splurge for MicroStrategy. On Friday, the business intelligence firm added $15m in Bitcoin to its treasury holdings, bringing its total holdings to more than $5bn. 🛍

This week’s top stories

Bitcoin surpassed $60,000 in record high

Bitcoin crossed a record high of $60,000 on Saturday morning, continuing its rally as major companies and financial institutions adopt cryptocurrencies. The digital currency is up 963% over the last 12 months, with the value surpassing $1 trillion last week for the second time this year. Read more

Norwegian conglomerate Aker ASA sets up unit to buy Bitcoin

Aker Solutions, a Norwegian a $6bn industrial holding company that controls construction and oil services companies, has established Seetee, which will primarily invest in Bitcoin-related projects. In a letter to its shareholders (it’s very good so do check it out) , the company announced that it will be keeping all its liquid assets in Bitcoin. According to Aker’s CEO, Kjell Inge Røkke, Bitcoin is a revolution that can’t be ignored.

Aker joins the growing number of companies including Tesla and Microstrategy who are opting to hold their reserve assets in Bitcoin. As the bull market continues to rally, many companies and wealth holders are adopting cryptocurrencies and embracing the potential that they hold in shaping the new global monetary system. Read more

Binance faces CFTC probe over US customers trading derivatives

Binance is being investigated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to determine if U.S. residents traded derivatives on the cryptocurrency exchange in violation of U.S. rules, Bloomberg reported.

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is not registered with the CTFC to trade those types of securities. The agency counts cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to be commodities and therefore oversees its futures and other derivatives. The CTFC has yet to determine whether the cryptocurrency exchange did allow US residents to buy and sell derivatives. Thus far, Binance has not been accused of misconduct. Read more

In case you missed it..

⚡️ Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX to purchase Miami Heat arena naming rights.

⚡️ Founder of NFT fund Metapurse bought Beeple’s 5000-day collection for nearly $70m.

⚡️ Damien Hirst to join NFT art sale trend after $69m Beeple auction.

⚡️ Soros, Morgan Stanley join $200m investment in Bitcoin firm NYDIG.

⚡️ BlockFi raises $350m at a $3bn valuation.

⚡️ Coinbase is valued at $100bn before direct listing on Nasdaq.

⚡️ New York regulators award BitLicense to ICE crypto venture Bakkt.

⚡️ Regulated stablecoin launches in New Zealand.

⚡️ US lawmakers introduce bill to clarify crypto regulations.

⚡️ Bitcoin ETF launches in Malaysia in regional first.

⚡️ Tether tokens go live on Ethereum competitor Solana blockchain.

⚡️ ETC Group to launch Ethereum ETP on Deutsche Borse.

⚡️ a16z is investing in a top NFT marketplace as part of a wider crypto bet.

⚡️ BlockTower Capital launches $25m fund to invest in DeFi projects.

⚡️ Binance names ex-US senator Baucus as adviser.

⚡️ CoinShares stock jumps 33% in first day on Nasdaq’s Swedish exchange.

⚡️ Ripple and MoneyGram part ways amid SEC litigation while XRP eyes $0.50.

⚡️ SEC brings enforcement action against alleged $6.9m Ponzi scheme.

⚡️ Ross Gerber’s firm adding crypto asset management through Gemini.

⚡️ Grayscale parent DCG buying $250m worth of GBTC.

⚡️ German private bank to offer cryptocurrency services.

⚡️ Lawmaker signs petition calling for legal changes that would allow France’s central bank to buy Bitcoin.

From Copper

Copper has systems and controls designed to minimise counterparty risk according to legal opinion from gunnercooke

Counterparty risk may not seem like the most exciting topic, but it remains a challenge in the wider crypto industry. We’re proud to announce that following an analysis completed by the leading law firm gunnercooke, Copper has received a glowing evaluation on our systems and controls to limit risks. Read More

Walled Garden and Bad Neighbours

Last month, the founder of two New York-based crypto hedge funds pleaded guilty to securities fraud after having cheated investors out of around $90m. Copper’s Boris Bohrer-Bilowitzki says that this scam should have been unsuccessful given that solutions which can squeeze out fraudsters, namely the Copper Walled Garden, exist in the market today. Read More

How Canada’s Bitcoin ETF finally opened up crypto markets to everyone

On 9 March 1990, Canada’s TMX Group unveiled the world’s first ever exchange-traded fund (ETF). 31 years on, the Canadians continue to demonstrate their lead with respect to ETF product development, approving the first North American Bitcoin ETFs. In February, the popularity of these new cryptocurrency ETFs helped attract approximately $5.2bn to Canada’s ETF sector – the second-highest amount of inflows on record. Read More

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