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U.S. House Approves FIT21 Law, Hong Kong Considers Staking in Ether ETFs, and More Crypto News

Fernanda T
Latest News
May 23 2024 3:25PM

U.S. House approves FIT21, boosting regulatory framework for cryptography

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Financial Innovation and Technology Act for the 21st Century (FIT21), marking a significant advance in the regulation of digital assets. With a vote of 279 to 136, the bill received strong bipartisan support and promises to establish clear guidelines for the issuance, trading, and custody of cryptocurrencies. This moment represents an important step towards integrating cryptography into U.S. financial regulation.

U.S. Bitcoin ETFs hit record with 850,707 BTC in custody

The exchange-traded funds for bitcoin in the United States have reached a new record, with 850,707 BTC under custody, surpassing the previous high in April. The Grayscale ETF (AMEX:GBTC) and the BlackRock ETF (NASDAQ:IBIT) are the largest holders. On May 22, the spot ETFs recorded eight consecutive days of net inflows, with more than 24,500 BTC accumulated. This growth occurs at a time of renewed optimism, following the U.S. House of Representatives’ approval of the Financial Innovation and Technology Act for the 21st Century.

U.S. lawmakers push SEC for approval of Ether spot ETF

Bipartisan lawmakers from the U.S. House, including Tom Emmer and Josh Gottheimer, sent a letter to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler on May 22, urging the approval of an Ether spot ETF. The move aims to provide a safer and more regulated way to invest in ETH. The crypto community eagerly awaits the SEC’s decision, hoping for approval by the end of the month.

VanEck pressures SEC for order approving Ethereum spot ETFs

VanEck, a prominent New York asset manager, is stepping up pressure on the SEC to adopt a “first come, first served” approach in approving Ethereum spot ETFs. Matthew Sigel of VanEck argues that this policy is crucial for maintaining fairness and order in the market, especially as the SEC’s 240-day review period for VanEck’s Ether ETF offering ends today, signaling a possible imminent regulatory milestone.

Major managers withdraw staking from Ether spot ETF proposals

BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), Grayscale, and Bitwise have modified their Ether spot ETF filings with the SEC, removing staking provisions to avoid regulatory hurdles. The changes come ahead of a crucial decision expected on Thursday regarding the approval of the ETFs. The decision to remove staking, seen as a regulatory controversy point, was followed by other major issuers, signaling a cautious approach in an uncertain regulatory environment.

Hong Kong may allow staking in Ethereum ETFs, diverging from U.S. regulators

The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) is evaluating the possibility of allowing staking in Ethereum ETFs under its regulation, exploring new ways to yield for investors. This decision marks a contrast with the more restrictive stances of the U.S. SEC, which faces legal challenges with similar products. Hong Kong’s regulatory innovation could attract more investors to its Ethereum ETFs, which have shown low activity since their launch.

Analyst predicts delays in the launch of Solana ETF in the U.S.

James Seyffart, a Bloomberg ETF analyst, suggests that a Solana spot ETF (COIN:SOLUSD) could face considerable delays in the United States, depending on a regulated futures market by the CFTC and the current regulatory environment. Unlike Ethereum, the SEC has explicitly classified Solana as a security, which could further complicate its approval. Despite the hurdles, Seyffart believes a Solana ETF would attract significant demand.

Cryptocurrencies fall in anticipation of SEC decision on Ethereum ETF

Cryptocurrency prices fell on Thursday as investors awaited a U.S. regulatory decision on Ether spot ETFs. Bitcoin dropped 2.9% to $67,124, while Ethereum showed resilience, rising 0.2% to $3,745 after a brief spike above $3,900. The overall market sell-off was influenced by an increase in U.S. economic output and a large sell order of ETH by Symbolic Capital Partner, exacerbating losses in the sector.

Xapo Bank introduces deposits via Lightning Network, a banking innovation in Bitcoin

Xapo Bank, based in Gibraltar, has become the first licensed bank to allow bitcoin deposits (COIN:BTCUSD) through the Lightning Network, offering instant global transactions with minimal fees. According to CEO Seamus Rocca, the initiative reflects the belief in the potential of the Lightning Network for daily bitcoin transactions. The move aims to facilitate the integration of bitcoin into everyday transactions and maximize the value of customer assets without the need for locking or lending.

Grayscale launches investment funds in Stacks and Near Protocol

Grayscale has unveiled two new investment trusts focused on Stacks (COIN:STXUSD), a Bitcoin layer-2 network, and Near Protocol (COIN:NEARUSD), standing out in the high-speed blockchain sector. Limited to accredited investors, these trusts offer diversified exposure within the growing cryptographic ecosystem. With the increasing demand for innovative solutions, Grayscale reaffirms its commitment to facilitating access to emerging investments and influencing the widespread adoption of blockchain technologies.

Fantom announces creation of Sonic Foundation to boost new blockchain

The Fantom Foundation (COIN:FTMUSD) has revealed the formation of the Sonic Foundation and Sonic Labs, aimed at supporting Sonic, an innovative layer-1 blockchain. Integrated into Ethereum through a layer-2 bridge, Sonic promises greater speed and security. Additionally, Michael Kong, CEO of the foundation, highlighted that Sonic would be capable of performing autonomous fund withdrawals from Ethereum. The Sonic blockchain, along with its native token, is expected to be operational later this year.

Bybit CEO refutes insolvency rumors and confirms financial solidity

Ben Zhou, CEO of Bybit, has countered accusations of the cryptocurrency exchange’s insolvency, following rumors on social media suggesting financial instability. He emphasized the company’s solvency, presenting proof of reserves and reiterating Bybit’s commitment to securing all user assets.

Discussion between Montenegro and SEC about fraud case involving Do Kwon

Montenegro’s Justice Minister, Andrej Milović, met with SEC officials, including the Director of Enforcement, Gurbir Grewal, to discuss the investigation into Do Kwon, co-founder of Terraform Labs. Kwon, who faces fraud allegations in the U.S. and extradition requests, was arrested in Montenegro in March 2023. He is awaiting a judicial decision that could determine his extradition to either the U.S. or South Korea.