Bitcoin ETFs Surge, ETH Waits: This Week in Crypto

Ah, the thrill of the crypto Wild West! It’s enough to make even the most jaded tech writer feel young again. Just like the California Gold Rush, everyone’s rushing towards the next big thing: Bitcoin ETFs, Ethereum ETFs… it’s enough to make your head spin.

Bitcoin ETFs: Back in Vogue

Remember when Bitcoin blasted past its all-time highs? Yeah, those were the good old days, fueled by the initial wave of Bitcoin ETF demand. Well, guess what? That demand is back with a vengeance!

  • June 4th saw nearly $900 million flood into Bitcoin ETFs.

  • Fidelity’s fBTC took the lion’s share, proving that institutional interest is alive and kicking.

  • BlackRock’s iBIT is on track to be the fastest ETF to hit $20 billion in AUM. Just look at this chart:

    Chart comparing the growth of iBIT to a JP Morgan ETF

    It’s like watching a thoroughbred race against a donkey! And the best part? This is just the beginning. As Bitcoin’s price appreciates (and it will appreciate), those AUM numbers are going to skyrocket.

Ethereum ETFs: The Waiting Game

Now, for the question on everyone’s mind: when will the Ethereum ETF arrive, and will it unleash a similar wave of euphoria? Here’s the latest:

  • Estimates for approval range from 1 to 3 months. The wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly, but they do grind.
  • BlackRock is already seeding the ETH ETF with $10 million. Where BlackRock goes, others follow.
  • A fee war has erupted among ETF issuers, with Franklin Templeton slashing fees to a record low.

So far, so good, right? Well, not so fast. Our old friend Gary Gensler decided to play party pooper, declaring that ETH ETF approvals will “take some time.” Classic Gary.

My prediction? We’ll see the ETH ETF trading by early July. Mark your calendars, folks.

Gary Gensler: Crypto’s Unenthusiastic Biographer

Speaking of Gary, he graced us with his presence on CNBC’s Squawk Box. And what did he have to say? Let me sum it up for you:

Exchanges are trading against their customers. Bankruptcies are rampant. And crypto leaders? They’re either in jail, about to be in jail, or on the run from the law!

Look, he’s not wrong about FTX, Celsius, or Do Kwon. But c’mon, Gary, those are isolated incidents! It’s like saying all banks are doomed because Wells Fargo got caught creating fake accounts.

The crypto industry is evolving, and we need regulators who understand that. Happy 90th birthday, SEC. Maybe it’s time for a new playbook?

Ethereum Price Predictions: From Doom and Gloom to… $154,000?

There’s been a lot of hand-wringing over Ethereum’s price action (or lack thereof) since the ETF announcement. Some analysts, like those over at JP Morgan, are downright bearish:

*“Demand for spot Ethereum ETFs will be a fraction of what we saw with Bitcoin.”*

Their reasoning? Bitcoin had first-mover advantage, a halving event, and less competition. Oh, and Ethereum doesn’t have enough liquidity. Excuse me while I stifle a laugh.

Personally, I think the Ethereum ETF will unleash significant buying pressure, but predicting the exact price impact is a fool’s errand. There are too many variables at play.

That said, if you’re looking for a dose of hopium, look no further than VanEck’s latest Ethereum report:

  • Base case price prediction for 2030: $22,000.
  • Bear case: $360. (Yeah, right.)
  • Bull case: $154,000. Now we’re talking!

Biden Vetoes Crypto: Did the Democrats Just Lose the Plot?

In a move that surprised absolutely no one, President Biden vetoed S.B. 121, the pro-crypto legislation that Congress foolishly placed on his desk. His official statement:

“My administration cannot support measures that jeopardize consumers and investors. We need appropriate guardrails to protect against risk.”

Let’s be honest, this wasn’t Biden speaking. This was his team of advisors, terrified of anything that might disrupt the status quo.

What’s baffling is that this move undermines the Democrats’ recent attempts to court the crypto vote. They were this close to positioning themselves as the party of innovation. Instead, they chose to side with the big banks and entrenched interests.

Nick Carter said it best:

“RIP, Dems. Your crypto talking points died as quickly as they were born.”

The good news? The Stand With Crypto movement is gaining serious momentum, recently hitting 1 million members. If you’re tired of politicians ignoring the crypto community, make your voice heard!

Robinhood Acquires Bitstamp: A Match Made in… Regulated Heaven?

In a surprising turn of events, Robinhood announced that it’s acquiring Bitstamp, one of the oldest and most respected crypto exchanges.

What makes this move so intriguing?

  • Robinhood gains access to Bitstamp’s 25 million users, significantly expanding its crypto footprint.
  • This is Robinhood’s way of doubling down on crypto even as the SEC breathes down its neck.
  • This could be the start of a wave of crypto exchange IPOs. Rumors are swirling that Kraken might be next.

It’s almost as if Robinhood is saying, “You want to regulate us, Gary? Fine. We’ll buy a regulated exchange and beat you at your own game.”

Starkware Sets Sights on Bitcoin: Can ZK-Rollups Breathe New Life into the OG Blockchain?

Starkware, the brilliant minds behind StarkNet, announced this week that they’re bringing their ZK-rollup technology to Bitcoin.

That’s right, you heard that correctly. Bitcoin. With ZK-rollups.

Here’s the gist:

  • No new chain is being created. This is about scaling Bitcoin using existing StarkNet infrastructure.
  • It hinges on the adoption of “op cat,” a new opcode that would enable ZK-rollups on Bitcoin. (Don’t hold your breath waiting for that one.)

This is a long-term play, but it’s a potential game-changer for Bitcoin. If successful, it could silence the critics who claim that Bitcoin is too slow and inflexible.

Coinbase Launches Smart Wallet: Onboarding the Next Billion Users

Coinbase is making headlines with the launch of its new “smart wallet,” designed to onboard the next billion users to crypto.

What’s so special about it?

  • Seed phrases are dead. The wallet uses your existing password manager or secure enclave for key management.
  • It’s fast, familiar, and ridiculously easy to use. Sign up takes seconds, and you can even text crypto to your friends.

This is a huge step towards making crypto more accessible to the masses. After all, mass adoption won’t happen if people can’t even figure out how to set up a wallet.

CryptoPunks: A Bargain at $50,000?

Alright, Ryan, this one’s for you. Remember how you were complaining that CryptoPunks were too expensive? Well, guess what? They’re now selling for under 30 ETH!

That’s right, a mere $50,000 can now buy you a piece of NFT history. Don’t act like you’re not tempted…

The Hopium Never Dies: BlackRock, Citadel, and the Ethereum L2 Stock Exchange?

In a move that could shake the financial world to its core, BlackRock and Citadel are teaming up to launch a rival stock exchange in Texas.

Here’s where things get interesting:

  • What if this new exchange is built on an Ethereum L2?
  • What if BlackRock’s true goal is to create a tokenized securities market?

It’s a wild theory, but one that I’m choosing to believe with every fiber of my being. Hopium is a powerful drug, my friends.

Until Next Time…

Well, folks, that’s a wrap for this week. Crypto is a wild ride, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Until next time, remember: fortune favors the bold, especially in the untamed frontier of crypto.

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