Five Things to Know in Crypto This Week: BlackRock and Ethereum ETF News Steals the Show
- Ethereum (ETH) returned to $2,100 in response to a BlackRock ETH-spot ETF filing.
- Bitcoin (BTC) strikes $38,000 for the first time since May 2022 as the window opened for the SEC to approve 12 BTC-spot ETFs.
- FTT surged 283% on Gary Gensler talking about an FTX reboot.
ETH-Spot ETF Sends ETH to $2,100
Ethereum (ETH) joined the crypto-spot ETF race on Thursday. News of BlackRock filing for an ETH-spot ETF with the Nasdaq sent the crypto market into a frenzy. BlackRock began the initial proceedings to launch an ETH-spot ETF by submitting a 19b-4 filing for the iShares Ethereum Trust.
ETH surged 12.30% on Thursday as investors reacted to the prospect of institutional money inflows into ETH. However, BlackRock was not the first to target an ETH-spot ETF. VanEck, ArkInvest/21Shares, Hashdex, and Invesco/Galaxy have filed for ETH-spot ETFs. Grayscale filed for a conversion of its Ethereum Trust into a spot ETF.
Notably, the filing presented a reasonable argument for approval, referencing the recent Grayscale win against the SEC on appeal. President of ETFStore Nate Geraci shared content from the filing, saying,
“Key language in the Nasdaq/iShares spot ether ETH filing… Grayscale court win + SEC approval of ether futures ETFs should = spot ether ETH approval.”
For the current week, ending November 12, ETH is up 10.14% to $2,086. The bulls are on target for a fourth consecutive weekly gain. On Friday, ETH gave up some of the gains from Thursday. The progress toward an ETH-spot ETF will likely hinge on the success or failures of the BTC-spot ETF applications.
BTC-Spot ETF Approval Window Opens
On Wednesday, the window opened for the SEC to approve 12 BTC-spot ETF applications. Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst James Seyffart announced the opening, saying the window will remain open until November 17. Despite the lack of SEC approvals, James Seyffart and Eric Balchunas gave a 90% chance of a BTC-spot ETF approval by January 10, 2024.
Investors responded to the news, with BTC striking a new 2023 high of $38,020 on Thursday. Hopes of the SEC approving one, some, or all the applications continue to drive demand for BTC and the broader market. The Grayscale win on appeal has contributed to the heightened optimism.
For the current week, BTC is up 6.61% to $37,378, with the bulls also eyeing a fourth consecutive weekly gain.
SEC v Ripple Jitters Leaves XRP Trailing the Market
Uncertainty surrounding the path of the ongoing SEC v Ripple case left XRP in negative territory for the current week. On Thursday, the SEC and Ripple jointly filed a briefing schedule as per the court order dated October 24.
Investors must now await a court scheduling order to start the 90-day timer on remedies-related discovery. The outstanding charges relate to the sale of XRP to institutional investors.
However, the positive price influence of a possible settlement has faded. Investors expect the SEC to appeal the Programmatic Sales ruling after the SEC v Ripple case.
Programmatic Sales may have been most significant for both parties. SEC attempts to expedite the case suggest an intent to appeal the Programmatic Sales ruling.
This week, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse shared his views on the possibility of an SEC appeal. Speaking at DC Fintech Week, Garlinghouse said,
“I think that definitely could happen. […] We’ve said this publicly. We’re in it until the end.”
Garlinghouse also talked about going to the Supreme Court and the chances of a Supreme Court victory, saying,
“That is a good thing. The current Supreme Court, we’d love to see the Vegas odds on how that would go. They have not been friendly to regulators.”
For the current week, XRP is down 0.15% to $0.6601.
FTT Surges on Talk of an FTX Reboot
On November 2, a jury delivered guilty verdicts on all counts, leaving Sam Bankman-Fried with the prospect of life in jail. The jury deliberated for only 4 hours before sending guilty verdicts on all seven charges.
This week, FTT Token is up 283% to $4.3590. Investors reacted to an SEC Chair Gary Gensler interview with CNBC. Gensler said an FTX reboot is possible if it adheres to the law. Gensler was speaking at DC Fintech Week 2023.
Circle Joins 2024 IPO Race
On Wednesday, news broke of Circle Internet Financial Ltd. (Circle) considering a 2024 initial public offering (IPO). Circle is the issuer of USD Coin (USDC), the second largest stablecoin by market cap. The news followed the recent rumors of Ripple planning for a 2024 IPO.
Whether the SEC will spook crypto players from listing on US exchanges remains to be seen. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse recently mentioned Coinbase (COIN). During an interview at DC Fintech Week 2023, Garlinghouse said,
“The SEC approved his S1 and then sued him for doing things they knew he was doing. How does that make sense?”