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Bitcoin ETF Check, What’s Next For BTC

The approval of a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) in the U.S. has come true. Different actors in the crypto space have tried to receive the greenlight from that country’s regulator (SEC) for little less than a decade.

Related Reading | Bitcoin ETF Receives Approval from SEC, Marking Historic Day for Crypto

Major achievement for the crypto industry, there is a sensation of euphoria in the market with Bitcoin reaching a 24-hour high of around $63,000. There has been some retracement since that peak, but BTC’s price continues to trade north of $61,000, at the time of writing.

BTC with minor losses in the daily chart. Source: BTCUSD Tradingview

Investment firm QCP Capital commented on the BTC ETF approval. As reported by NewsBTC, the investment products will track the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Bitcoin futures. Thus, some have argued that it’ll be a poorly execute product to benefit Wall Street and institutions. QCP Capital said:

The approval of a Bitcoin ETF is a positive development. Whatever the case may be, a progressive step from the regulator is good for Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market at large.

Opposite to the opinion of those against the Bitcoin ETF approval, QCP Capital believes this product will “sideline institutional” investors due to its characteristics. Thus, the U.S. retail sector could become the predominant player.

Related Reading | Bitcoin “Supertrend” Begins As Buy Signals Stack On All Major Timeframes

A BTC ETF based on CME futures will most likely trade at a premium related to Bitcoin’s spot price. Therefore, institutional investors could have little incentive to trade this investment product in step of simply buying CME contracts.  QCP Capital said:

We are not sure if these futures-based ETFs will be able to draw enough new money to trigger an exponential move higher like the one we saw in Q4 2020.

The market could experience a new inflow of capital, as expected from traders and operators, as investors move “out of Gold ETFs into Bitcoin”. It remains to be seen if this move will be able to sustain a rally.

After The Bitcoin ETF, Is Ethereum Next In Line?

In addition to the potential lack of sufficient flows to hold BTC’s current levels, operators seem to have price in the Bitcoin ETF approval, QCP Capital added. There have been rumors going around for the past two weeks with the SEC Chair himself Gary Gensler hinting at this positive possibility.

This could contribute with a potential retracement and trigger a “buy the rumor, sell the news event”. In the future, QCP Capital expects an Ethereum ETF with similar characteristics to be approved as the CME offers ETH based products. The firm said:

(…) this also means that until other coins have a futures contract, the US will only be limited to Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs for the time being.

Other variables might come in to play to change market dynamics: a growth in CME BTC futures trading volume, a focus on other crypto related issues, the firm said, the increase in Bitcoin based instruments to generate yield.

However, one of the most important variables might be the potential decline in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). A favorite tool amongst institutions to gain BTC exposure, an ETF could render it obsolete. Thus, the crypto market could face some uncertainty.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Returns To $60K, What’s Holding Off From New ATHs?

As seen below, the GBTC has been trading at an important discount since March 2021. QCP Capital added the following:

What could happen for GBTC in the future is a possible takeover and delisting. We are not sure what market impact this might have but it would be worth keeping an eye on what happens with the largest private Bitcoins treasury with 680,000 BTC.

Source: Skew via QCP Capital

David Marcus, The Latest Top Executive To Leave Meta/ Facebook’s Crypto Project

Another one bites the dust. David Marcus stepped down as the head of Novi, Meta/ Facebook’s fintech division. The company’s first order of business was to create a cryptocurrency, but regulators around the world were not keen on the idea. After a few missteps and name changes, they finally released a wallet called Novi to::Listen

Another one bites the dust. David Marcus stepped down as the head of Novi, Meta/ Facebook’s fintech division. The company’s first order of business was to create a cryptocurrency, but regulators around the world were not keen on the idea. After a few missteps and name changes, they finally released a wallet called Novi to little fanfare. The coin, now named Diem, is still in development and unreleased.

Related Reading | What Zuckerberg’s Meta Means for the Metaverse

David Marcus Says Goodbye

This is not the first time this happens, other top executives have abandoned Meta’s ship over the years. CNBC recapitulates:

“Marcus’s departure follows that of other key executives who led Facebook’s ill-fated efforts in blockchain. Fellow project founder Morgan Beller left the company in September 2020 to go into venture capital. Kevin Weil, another one of the project founders, left in March to join Planet, a San Francisco company.”

Ex-Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel will replace David Marcus, who in a Facebook post announcing his departure said:

“The one thing I’m the proudest of during my time here is the amazing kickass team we’ve assembled over the last three years. This is the most resilient, passionate, determined and talented group of humans I’ve ever worked with. I find comfort and confidence in knowing that they will continue to execute our important mission well under Stephane Kasriel’s leadership, and I can’t wait to witness this from the outside.”

Mark Zuckerberg responded to David Marcus:

“I’ve learned so much working with you and I’m so grateful for everything you’ve done for this place. We wouldn’t have taken such a big swing at Diem without your leadership and I’m grateful you’ve made Meta a place where we make those big bets. You’ve built a great team, and while I’ll miss working with you, I’m looking forward to working with Stephane to lead the team going forward.”

I am so honored for the opportunity to lead the awesome @novi team, and look forward to continuing to build products and services that allow more access for people and businesses to the financial system and digital economy.

— Stephane Kasriel (@skasriel) November 30, 2021

For his part, Stephane Kasriel said via Twitter:

“I am so honored for the opportunity to lead the awesome Novi team, and look forward to continuing to build products and services that allow more access for people and businesses to the financial system and digital economy.”

FACEBOOK price chart on BMFBOVESPA | Source: TradingView.com
What’s The Deal With Libra/Calibra/Novi/Diem?

After many iterations, Diem is now a stablecoin prototype. For its part Novi, the wallet, is only available in the United States and Guatemala. Facebook/Meta is running a pilot program to test the technology and gather data. They’re trying to steal the remittances market in Guatemala, which constitutes 14% of the county’s GDP. Using the Novi wallet, it’s almost free.

Nowadays, Facebook/Meta is using the Paxos stablecoin USDP as their standard. About this, David Marcus said via Twitter. “USDP is a well-designed stablecoin that’s been operating successfully for over three years and has important regulatory and consumer protection attributes.  I do want to be clear that our support for Diem hasn’t changed and we intend to launch Novi with Diem once it receives regulatory approval and goes live. We care about interoperability and we want to do it right.”

Related Reading | Facebook Officials Claim Novi Received Approval From Major U.S. States

However, will Diem ever receive regulatory approval? For Facebook/Meta, that’s the Trillion-Dollar question. The company’s reputation regarding its handling of personal data is hampering the whole operation. And, well, governments around the world don’t seem to want a company like Facebook in charge of the money. And, well, the project’s been all over the place from the very beginning. No offense to David Marcus, who claims to be Diem’s “Co-creator & Board member.”

The project’s slogan is “To build a trusted and innovative financial network that empowers people and businesses around the world.” And, well, that’s Bitcoin. Why don’t they just plug in to the winning open monetary network? Because Meta wants to be in control of the money supply. And that’s what government’s around the world are trying to prevent.

Featured Image: mohamed_hassan on Pixabay | Charts by TradingView

Bitcoin ETF Check, What’s Next For BTC

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