Spot Ethereum ETFs approved

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Bitcoin, along with the broader crypto market, lifted after news broke that the likelihood of approval for spot Ethereum ETFs increased dramatically. Bitcoin was up 2.95%, while ETH rose over 21% over the last 7 days. Bitcoin’s market capitalisation is at US$1.36 trillion. The total crypto market cap rose to US$2.57 trillion, while bitcoin’s market dominance sits at 53%.

Price High Low Change from previous week
BTC (in US$) $69,315 $71,444 $68,040 2.95%
ETH (in US$) $3,783 $3,929 $3,063 21.42%

Source: CoinMarketCap. As at 26 May 2024. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Performance is shown in US dollars and does not take into account any USD/AUD currency movements.

Source: Glassnode. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Crypto news we’re watching

Spot Ether ETFs get the go-ahead

In a move that surprised industry observers, spot Ethereum ETFs were approved by the SEC last Thursday in the US. Key regulatory filings (or 19b-4 forms) for the ETFs have been approved, meaning regulators are comfortable with these ETFs coming to market; however, the ETFs are not yet cleared to trade. Issuers’ S-1 filings still need approval from the SEC before investors can invest in the ETFs. This can sometimes occur within a week, but will most likely take longer.

Applications for spot Ether ETFs have been submitted by BlackRock, Fidelity, VanEck, Grayscale, Franklin Templeton and Bitwise, among others1.

US crypto bill approved

Last Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21) with a vote of 279-136 (for-against), in what is seen as the most significant legislative accomplishment to date for the crypto industry in Congress2.

FIT21 will establish regulations around the US crypto market, setting protections for consumers, and installing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a leading regulator of digital assets, and the watchdog of the non-securities spot markets. Additionally the legislation seeks to provide clarification around what makes a crypto token a ‘security’ or a ‘commodity’.

The legislation, driven by House Republicans, received impressive Democratic support as 71 Democrats and 208 Republicans voted in favour of the bill, versus 3 Republicans and 133 Democrats who voted against.


CRYP company spotlight

Marathon Digital announces partnership

Bitcoin mining company Marathon Digital announced a partnership with the Kenyan government. The partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Energy and Petroleum will help develop Kenya’s renewable energy sector. According to the International Trade Administration (ITA), more than 80% of Kenya’s energy is from renewable sources. Kenya is one of the world’s lowest-cost geothermal energy producers3.

Marathon Digital is currently held in Betashares Crypto Innovators ETF (ASX: CRYP)4. According to the company’s website, Marathon Digital “is one of the largest, most energy efficient, and most technologically advanced Bitcoin mining companies, as well as one of the largest holders of bitcoin among publicly traded companies in North America”.

Bitcoin (BTC): Number of New Addresses (7d Moving Average)

This metric shows the number of unique addresses that appeared for the first time in a transaction of the native coin in the network.

According to data from Glassnode, this number is at the lowest since 2018 after hitting highs in the same time period just 6 months ago – even though the price of bitcoin remains strong. This could be an indication that new users are using spot bitcoin ETFs, rather than going direct.

Source: Glassnode. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Bitcoin (BTC): Percent of Supply Last Active 1+ Years Ago

 

This metric shows the percentage of the bitcoin supply last active 1+ years ago.
According to data from Glassnode, after hitting a high of 70% at the beginning of the year, the number has fallen to 65%, indicating that some investors who have been holding for at least a year have been selling to take profits. 

Source: Glassnode. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Altcoin news

The best performing ‘Top 25’ altcoin over the past week was PEPE, a ‘meme coin’ that was up more than 56% over the last week, and is up over 963% over the 12 month-period to 26 May 2024. Helping push the price higher was the approval of spot Ether ETFs by the SEC5. PEPE is an ERC-20 token, meaning it is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain.

‘Meme coins’ are a specific sector of cryptocurrencies which usually have no utility, are considered very speculative and are very volatile in nature. Meme coins are driven by online communities, created as a form of satire or humour dedicated to internet culture. Prices are usually driven by hype or speculation rather than any underlying fundamentals, making them highly risky.

Investing in crypto assets or companies servicing crypto-asset markets should be considered very high risk. Exposure to crypto assets involves substantially higher risk when compared to traditional investments due to their speculative nature and the very high volatility of crypto-asset markets.

Investing in crypto assets or crypto-focused companies is not suitable for all investors and should only be considered by investors who (i) fully understand their features and risks or after consulting a professional financial adviser, and (ii) who have a very high tolerance for risk and the capacity to absorb a rapid loss of some or all of their investment. Any investment in crypto assets or crypto-focused companies should only be considered as a very small component of an investor’s overall portfolio.

References:

1. https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/sec-approves-spot-ethereum-etfs

2. https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2024/05/22/us-house-approves-crypto-fit21-bill-with-wave-of-democratic-support/?_gl=1*3ke732*_up*MQ..*_ga*MTI0NDQwNTUzNy4xNzE2NTEwOTY3*_ga_VM3STRYVN8*MTcxNjUxMDk2Ni4xLjAuMTcxNjUxMDk2Ni4wLjAuMTk4MTc1NjM5OA

3. https://cointelegraph.com/news/marathon-digital-kenya-renewable-energy

4. As at 26 May 2024. No assurance is given that this company will remain in the portfolio or will be a profitable investment.

5. https://www.fxstreet.com/cryptocurrencies/news/why-is-pepe-meme-coin-rallying-whats-next-after-pepes-ath-202405232330


Off the Chain is published every second Tuesday. It provides the latest news on bitcoin and the rest of the crypto market, along with analysis and insights into the world of crypto.

It provides general information only and is not a recommendation to invest in any crypto asset, crypto-focused company or investment product.

This article mentions the following funds

Photo of Justin Arzadon

Written by

Justin Arzadon

Director, Adviser Services & Head of Digital Assets.

C4 Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP) and Blockchain Council Certified Bitcoin Expert™ with over 18 years’ experience in the ETF market. Passionate about the future of money.

Read more from Justin.

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