November 1st, 2021
“My definition of what good social skills look like have changed a lot over (the) last few yrs in crypto. A guy who can spin up a discord DAO (with) dozens of contributors is way more socially adept than someone who can converse adroitly at a country club.” — Zhu Su, Co-Founder, CEO, and CIO - Three Arrows Capital
Good afternoon and Happy November! Today, our team and crypto advocates around the world pay homage to the 13th anniversary of the Bitcoin Whitepaper and the work of Satoshi Nakamoto, Wei Dai, Adam Back, the (late) Hal Finney, and the devoted Bitcoin network developers.
October kicked off the fourth quarter of 2021 in an explosive fashion. While the leaves began fading to amber, crypto markets turned green led by Bitcoin hitting a new all time high. To recap this past month's action: Bitcoin awaits its biggest network upgrade since 2017, CoinDesk releases their top blockchain university rankings, and we take a deep dive into the long awaited launch of a Bitcoin ETF in our November Breakdown below.
We’d also like to announce that Binance.US now supports BSC network token deposits and withdrawals!
Let's dive in…
*Note that the contents of this newsletter are subject to a legal disclaimer located below*
Top Gainers and Losers in October:
- Bitcoin’s highly anticipated Taproot upgrade goes live this month. In a couple weeks, the Bitcoin network will undergo the biggest upgrade to its code since the implementation of SegWit in 2017. Taproot introduces what are called Schnorr signatures and will improve privacy, scalability and finally implement smart contract functions on Bitcoin.
- Total value locked (TVL) in DeFi platforms across all blockchains reached a record of more than $245 billion in October. Since April 2020, the total value locked in DeFi protocols has grown over 370x. Data from DeFiLlama.
- CoinDesk announces their top collegiate universities for blockchain education in 2021. This year’s ranking of 230 schools worldwide sees schools across Asia dominate and European universities rise up the board. UC Berkeley and MIT are the highest-rated U.S. schools. Check out the rankings here.
November Breakdown: Bitcoin’s Long Awaited ETF Goes Live
Photo by Yahoo
October was a historic month for the crypto industry. ProShares, an American provider of specialized exchange-traded products established in 1997, launched $BITO - the first U.S. bitcoin-linked ETF. Trading went live on October 19th on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) 2 months after filing for SEC approval. In the first 30 minutes of trading, $BITO traded over $320 million in volume.
An exchange traded fund (ETF) is a type of security that tracks an index, sector, commodity, or other asset, but which can be purchased or sold on a stock exchange the same way a regular stock can with low expense ratios and fewer broker commissions.
How we got here
Talks of a bitcoin ETF started back in 2013 when Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss officially filed to bring the product to market under the ticker name “COIN”. While the SEC rejected the twins’ ETF in 2013 and again in 2018, the crypto industry continued its rapid ascent from a $1.5 billion industry in 2013 to $2.6 trillion at the time of writing. In the 8 years from their submission, we have seen the launch of bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) during the peak of the great 2017 bull run, traditional finance firms and fintechs like PayPal, US Bank, and Robinhood providing trading and custodian services, as well as Coinbase’s direct listing on the NASDAQ. Not to mention bitcoin ETF approvals in other countries such as Canada.
Where we’re going
Following the launch of $BITO, Valkyrie’s Bitcoin Futures ETF went live 3 days later on October 22nd on the NASDAQ under the ticker name $BTF. Grayscale Investments LLC, the digital currency asset manager, has also filed to convert its signature bitcoin trust product $GBTC into a bitcoin spot ETF.
While it remains uncertain how the launch of these products that allow traditional market participants to gain exposure to bitcoin will affect the crypto market in the short term, many long time crypto enthusiasts have drawn parallels to the market conditions of the 2018 market crash following the launch of the CME bitcoin futures. On the flip side, proponents argue that many traditional market participants have long awaited a simple, low cost investment vehicle to gain exposure to one of the world’s fastest growing industries.
- Over/Under - 30: Total number of CryptoPunks owned by Eth Address 0x26f744711ee9e5079cbeaf318ba8a8e938844de6?
- Which asset accounted for 62% of Robinhood’s crypto trading revenue in Q2 2021?
Answers at the bottom
Venture & Fundraising
- Blockchain-enabled play-to-earn video game Axie Infinity is raising about $150 million in a Series B funding round at a $3 billion valuation. A16z will lead the funding round for the video game company. The Block has the scoop.
- Immunefi raises $5.5M to squash Web 3.0 crypto bugs which might cost billions. The round is led by Electric Capital with participation from Blueprint Forest, Framework Ventures, Bitscale Capital, P2P Capital, IDEO Colab, The LAO, BR Capital, 3rd Prime Ventures, North Island Ventures and other individual investors, according to TechCrunch.
- Aurora Labs, a project that has built an Ethereum-compatible development platform on top of NEAR Protocol, has raised $12 million. The funding round was co-led by Pantera Capital and Electric Capital with more than 100 investors participating in the round, The Block reports.
- Strike CEO Jack Mallers announced that Strike implemented a new wallet feature that converts direct deposits into BTC (Jack Maller’s Medium)
- Ethereum competitor NEAR has launched an $800 million fund to support initiatives targeting the ecosystem’s growth (Decrypt)
- NFT marketplace DraftKings to become full validator for Polygon Network (Yahoo Finance)
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