October 18, 2021       /       Unchained Daily       /       Laura Shin

Daily Bits ✍️✍️✍️

  • The CFTC filed and settled charges against Tether and Bitfinex for a total of $42.5 million regarding USDT’s backing.

  • Square and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says Square is considering building Bitcoin miners.

  • Bakkt, a digital asset marketplace, is trading on the NYSE under the ticker “BKKT” starting today.

  • Grayscale is close to converting its GBTC fund into a spot ETF.

  • Bitcoin addresses with more than 10,000 BTC are at an all-time low.

  • Stronghold Digital, a Bitcoin mining firm that uses coal to power its operation, is set for an IPO worth up to $104 million.

  • Steam, an online gaming company, booted NFTs off its platform.

What Do You Meme?

What’s Poppin’?

Barring any news between press time (8 am ET Monday morning) and when you read this email, a bitcoin futures ETF might be trading on the NYSE Arca.

The bitcoin futures ETF from ProShares is slated to start trading today under the ticker “BITO.” It will be the first bitcoin futures product to list in the US and the most direct investment vehicle for investors looking to get exposure to crypto via an ETF.

This is a big move for the crypto industry, which has seen all prior bitcoin ETF applications denied, delayed, or ignored since June 2013, when the Winklevoss twins filed for an ETF. For the first time, a bitcoin ETF is “home free,” as Bloomberg’s Eric Balchunas expressed it on Twitter.

Interestingly, the US Securities and Exchange Commission gave its approval via silence. According to The Block, once the 75 days lapse from the initial filing of an ETF product with no dissent from the SEC, the ETF is allowed to list. However, the regulator did perhaps tip its hand on Thursday afternoon, tweeting out an investor education bulletin regarding bitcoin futures trading.


While a bitcoin ETF is technically approved, the real thing, the spot bitcoin ETF, has yet to find the SEC’s permission. The regulator recently punted on its decision regarding four bitcoin ETF listings, pushing the deadlines back to 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

  • Bitwise CEO Matt Hougan on an ~actual~ bitcoin ETF is possible now:

  • The Generalist on OpenSea:

  • Danny Diekroeger, a Bitcoin software developer, on the Bitcoin market cycle:

On The Pod…

What Is the Role of Investors in a Decentralized World?

Four investors talk about the decentralized web, explain how the crypto industry is improving upon Web 2, and discuss what can be done to increase diversity and financial inclusion within Web 3. Featuring Rik Willard, founder of Agentic Group, Thomas France, co-founder of Cygni Capital, Dylan Hixon, president of Arden Road Investments, and Nick Grossman,general partner at Union Square Ventures . Show highlights:

  • how funding rounds for decentralized protocols differ from investing in traditional companies
  • what VC investors can do to 1) participate in the protocols they invest in, and 2) not take advantage of whale holdings in governance voting
  • how Web 3 has the potential to displace the “plantation economy”
  • the difference between crypto idealism (i.e., banking the unbanked) versus what has actually played out (i.e., Salvadorans being mandated to accept BTC)
  • what area of blockchain is delivering on the promise of financial inclusion
  • how to bring diversity to the blockchain + crypto industry
  • what can be done to solve the gender imbalance in crypto
  • how investors are navigating the murky waters of US regulations regarding crypto projects
  • how institutions fit into the Web 3 landscape
  • what I think about the state of sexism within the crypto industry

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