October 20, 2021       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • 5 democratic senators sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calling for the shutdown of Diem and Novi (disclosure: I write a Facebook Bulletin newsletter); Paxosand Coinbase announced relationships with Novi for a pilot program already live in the US and Guatemala.

  • The Associated Press launched an NFT collection on Binance Smart Chain.

  • Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Interactive raised a new $325 million “content and technology” fund.

  • Coinbase is partnering with the National Basketball League and Women’s National Basketball League as their exclusive cryptocurrency sponsor.

  • Chainalysis, a blockchain analytics company, added an undisclosed amount of BTC to its balance sheet. 

  • The Chamber of Digital Commerce does not think stablecoins warrant new regulations.

  • Japanese regulators approved the crypto exchange Huobi to offer crypto derivative products to citizens.

  • Cosmos is building a new blockchain for testing and experimentation.

  • Celsius CEO claims that Tether is minting USDT backed by BTC and ETH.

What Do You Meme?

What’s Poppin’?

The ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF went live yesterday, bringing the first bitcoin futures ETF to market. Trading under the ticker BITO on the New York Stock Exchange, investors poured roughly $993 million into the product — enough to make it the second-largest trading day for a US ETF on its first-day trading. Once after-hours trading was calculated, data from Bloomberg shows that BITO hit $1 billion.

On Twitter,  Eric Balchunas, a senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg, said BITO became the largest launch of 2021 in, all caps for emphasis, “UNDER AN HOUR.” 

Notably, the price of Bitcoin received a sizable bump yesterday, reaching a high of $64,608 on Tuesday at 7:49 pm ET — roughly $200 from its all-time high.

In related news, Grayscale officially filed with the SEC to transform its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), the largest bitcoin investment vehicle in the world, into an ETF for spot bitcoin. At the time of writing, GBTC has $40 billion in AUM and holds approximately 3.5% of all BTC in circulation.

The company believes that BITO’s approval is a signal from the regulator of its comfort with Bitcoin. “This move was triggered by the SEC’s clearance of a Bitcoin Futures ETF — which we believe is an indication of the agency’s comfort in Bitcoin as an underlying asset.,” said Grayscale in a press release.

Turning GBTC into an ETF would be a massive feat, as the SEC has yet to let a spot ETF pass through due to concerns over market manipulation. As covered here on Monday, the SEC recently delayed its decision regarding four bitcoin ETF listings until November and December. The earliest we could see a decision for a spot bitcoin ETF would be November 14, when the VanEck application reaches its final deadline.

Recommended Reads

  • Token Terminal on why TVL can be a misleading statistic for measuring a protocol’s performance:

  • Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg’s senior ETF analyst, on the performance of ProShare’s bitcoin futures ETF on its first day of trading:

  • CoinDesk on DeFi regulation:

On The Pod…

Is the Metaverse Already Here? Two Experts Disagree

Andrew Steinwold, managing partner at Sfermion, and John Egan, CEO at L’Atelier BNP Paribas, discuss NFTs and debate the characteristics of the metaverse. Show highlights:

  • their backgrounds and how they got into NFTs
  • how they each define the metaverse
  • what NFTs have to do with the metaverse
  • how John and Andrew’s depiction of the metaverse differs
  • what John thinks about Facebook’s entrance into the metaverse
  • whether Second Life is a metaverse game
  • how blockchain technology allows for an open metaverse (and why Web2 is “communist”)
  • what NFTs currently unlock for the metaverse
  • whether the metaverse will necessarily have to be experienced through augmented reality
  • whether there will be multiple metaverses across different blockchain platforms
  • why John thinks NFT maxis and crypto maxis are destined to clash
  • how the metaverse is changing how people generate income
  • how to make the metaverse more accessible
  • whether regulators will force the metaverse to be siloed
  • how the metaverse will handle jurisdictional disputes
  • what happens when someone’s Web3 avatar/identity is stolen in the metaverse
  • what John and Andrew predict will happen in the metaverse over the next 6-12 months.

Book Update

My book, The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze, is now available for pre-order now.

The book, which is all about Ethereum and the 2017 ICO mania, comes out Jan. 18. Pre-order it today!

You can purchase it here: http://bit.ly/cryptopians