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Scenius Sync (Issue #71)
BlackRock’s iShares BTC Trust Listed on DTCC, North America Leads World Crypto Usage, Grayscale Victory Nearly Set in Stone, & BTC Dominance Hits 2-Year High
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Essential News 🗞
BlackRock's highly anticipated spot bitcoin ETF, the iShares Bitcoin Trust, has made an appearance on a list maintained by the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, which Nasdaq says provides post-trade clearance, settlement, custody and information services. While still awaiting approval from the SEC, along with other proposed spot bitcoin funds, the DTCC lists the BlackRock fund's ticker as IBTC. "This is first spot ETF listed on DTCC, none of the others on there (yet)," Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas wrote in a thread on X. "Def notable BlackRock is leading charge on these logistics (seeding, ticker, dtcc) that tend to happen just prior to launch. Hard not to view this as them getting signal that approval is certain/imminent."
More coverage on BlackRock’s Prep for the ETF launch here from Decrypt.
Grayscale Investments is waiting for a federal court tomorrow or soon after to formalize the defeat it handed the U.S. SEC two months ago in the parties’ dispute over a spot bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF). That federal court action will close the case, legally setting Grayscale's win in stone.
Agency agrees to dismiss allegations against Ripple Labs executives after earlier losing part of its case against the company. The dismissal of civil claims against Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen, who were sued for assisting Ripple Labs’s sales, will likely encourage wealthy crypto defendants to fight regulators in court. At the same time, the SEC’s withdrawal from the case preserves its resources for bigger lawsuits it has filed against crypto giants Coinbase and Binance.
The lawsuit alleges Gemini knew Genesis’ loans were undersecured and, at one point, highly concentrated with Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research but did not reveal this information to investors.
Hong Kong’s central bank and securities regulator have tightened crypto regulations after a major scandal allegedly affecting more than 2,000 victims.
The revamped guidelines mandate that specific virtual currency offerings will now be exclusively available to professional investors. In a joint blog on Friday, the Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority highlighted that certain risks associated with virtual asset-related products may be too complex for retail investors to grasp.
Innovation & Adoption 💡📈
The U.S. drives the greatest share of crypto activity in the world with over $1 trillion in transaction volume between July 2022 and June 2023, according to a new report from Chainalysis. Together with Canada, the region accounts for almost one-fourth of global transaction volume. Large institutional investors are the key driver of the activity, with 76.9% of transaction volume in the region made up by transfers of $1 million or more, Chainalysis said in a blog post on Monday.
Bitcoin's dominance in the cryptocurrency market has increased to over 49%, marking its highest point in more than two years, according to The Block's data dashboard. Bitcoin's dominance has experienced a steady rise, moving from approximately 38% at the start of this year to reach 48.85% on October 21, marking the highest level observed since April 2021. This surge in dominance can be attributed to a year-long rally in bitcoin, with the cryptocurrency's price surging by 81% since the beginning of the year.
The Worldcoin Foundation will soon pay orb operators, who scan people into the Worldcoin network, in WLD tokens rather than USDC stablecoins. The foundation expects to complete the transition by next month, according to its announcement, which is not visible to users in the United States.
Standard Chartered Bank's SC Ventures and Deutsche Bank have completed the first stablecoin swaps on the Universal Digital Payments Network, according to a report. The on-chain swaps were between the USDC and EURS stablecoins, using SC Ventures and Deutsche Bank digital currency wallets, Financial Express reported. The transactions were signed with SC Ventures’ private key.
Blockaid, an Israel-based Web3 security startup, announced raising $33 million today in its latest round. Ribbit Capital and Variant led the round, with participation from Cyberstarts, Sequoia Capital, and Greylock Partners.