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White House and SEC Diverge on FIT21, IBIT Sees Significant Inflows, and More Crypto News

Fernanda T
Latest News
May 22 2024 3:25PM

BlackRock Bitcoin ETF records $290 million inflows on Tuesday

On May 21, spot Bitcoin ETFs accumulated nearly $300 million in net inflows. BlackRock’s popular Bitcoin ETF (NASDAQ:IBIT) saw a significant increase in activity, with inflows of over $290 million on Tuesday, the highest daily amount since April 5. IBIT’s total holdings now exceed $19 billion, driven by positive expectations about the approval of an Ether (ETH) ETF in the US and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (AMEX:GBTC) managed to extend a four-day streak without net outflows, providing temporary relief after being one of the biggest losers since the products’ launch in January. Only the Bitwise ETF (AMEX:BITB) and the VanEck ETF (AMEX:HODL) recorded outflows, of $4 million and $5 million, respectively. Bitcoin peaked at $70,659.99 earlier, slightly retreating after hitting $71,400 on Tuesday. Currently, BTC is priced at $69,633, showing a drop of approximately 0.71% in the last 24 hours.

Gensler opposes FIT21 bill, but White House seeks dialogue

Gary Gensler, chairman of the SEC, criticized the FIT21 Act, stating it would weaken consumer protections in the cryptocurrency market. The Biden administration also opposed it but showed willingness to work with Congress on balanced regulation for digital assets. The House of Representatives votes on the bill today, May 22. Despite the criticisms, the White House does not intend to veto the bill if passed.

Potential approval of spot Ether ETF: impacts and expectations

The SEC is about to decide on the first spot Ether ETF, with a deadline of May 23. Approval could revolutionize crypto regulation, bringing significant institutional capital inflows and boosting ETH prices. Experts expect a positive impact on the cryptocurrency market despite possible initial setbacks. The decision could signal a significant shift in the US regulatory approach.

WisdomTree and 21Shares launch crypto ETPs on London Stock Exchange

WisdomTree and 21Shares announced the launch of crypto ETPs on the London Stock Exchange after approval by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The products, offering exposure to Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) and Ether (COIN:ETHUSD), will be listed on May 28. The approval marks a milestone in institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies in the UK, despite FCA warnings about the associated risks.

Bitcoin Pizza Day: The first Bitcoin purchase

On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz from Florida paid 10,000 bitcoins for two Papa John’s pizzas, marking the first commercial transaction with digital currency. Today, those bitcoins would be worth about $700 million. Besides this historic purchase, Hanyecz also significantly contributed to Bitcoin’s development, including translating the code for Apple’s operating system and pioneering GPU mining.

Worldcoin ordered to cease iris scans in Hong Kong

Worldcoin was instructed by the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) to halt iris scanning in Hong Kong, citing data protection violations. The operation involved collecting iris and facial images from 8,302 individuals. The project also faces suspension in Kenya due to similar concerns.

Near Labs develops AI to empower users in creating DApps

Illia Polosukhin, co-founder of Near Labs, revealed the company’s vision to empower people without coding skills to create DApps through an AI agent. In an interview with Cointelegraph, Polosukhin explained that AI would allow anyone to turn their ideas into functional apps by writing the necessary code. Near Labs also addresses AI risks, promoting open-source models to protect users against corporate manipulations.

StarkWare announces Ethereum-compatible zkEVM named Kakarot

StarkWare, developer of the Starknet blockchain, revealed plans to launch the Ethereum-compatible zkEVM Kakarot. In testing and accessible via the Starknet Stack, Kakarot will allow developers to use Solidity, facilitating DApp creation on Starknet. Currently, only selected developers have access to the Kakarot zkEVM.

WEF warns about CBDCs vulnerability to quantum attacks

The World Economic Forum (WEF) warned about the potential threat of quantum computers to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), especially due to their ability to decipher encryption systems. Although quantum computing is still in development, with several proofs of concept in laboratories, the WEF highlights that digital assets can be particularly vulnerable. The entity suggests that central banks develop “cryptographic agility” in their systems to protect against future quantum cyberattacks.

Change of prison location for former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

Authorities plan to transfer Sam Bankman-Fried, former FTX CEO, from New York to a federal prison in California, near his parents’ residence. According to the Wall Street Journal on May 22, although his lawyers requested he remain in New York during the appeal process, it is likely that Bankman-Fried will serve most of his 25-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Mendota.

Blockchain at the forefront: transforming industries and combating digital challenges

Blockchain is transforming sectors from supply chain management and healthcare to voting systems and digital authentication. AWS, for instance, implemented the “Track and Trace” service with Amazon Managed Blockchain, which scales automatically to support millions of transactions across thousands of applications. Besides promoting scalability and cost reduction, blockchain enhances transparency and simplifies process automation. Mondelēz International (NASDAQ:MDLZ), which owns brands like Oreo and Cadbury, joined the Hedera Council to use blockchain for sustainability and customer engagement innovation. Additionally, as generative AI advances, increasing deepfake risks, blockchain, with its transparency, decentralization, security, and immutability, presents a promising solution to authenticate content and information, offering an effective means to combat these emerging risks in the digital age.

Stripchain raises $10 million to improve UX in the crypto industry

Startup Stripchain raised $10 million to develop an interoperability protocol that enables chain abstraction at scale, improving user experience (UX) in crypto. Led by Sora Ventures, the round included investors like Santiago Santos and Ryan Selkis. The goal is to facilitate transactions without users worrying about the network used, promoting broader Web3 adoption. The Stripchain testnet will be launched soon.

Trump accepts cryptocurrency donations for 2024 presidential campaign

Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate, announced he will accept donations in Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD), Ether (COIN:ETHUSD), Dogecoin (COIN:DOGEUSD), Solana (COIN:SOLUSD), and other cryptocurrencies, becoming the first major candidate to adopt digital currencies. Donations will be processed via Coinbase Commerce. In a statement, Trump highlighted that this new option will help boost his campaign. The move represents a reversal in his previous stance on cryptocurrencies, which he once described as a “fraud” and a “disaster waiting to happen.”