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• Spot Bitcoin ETF approval ‘still happening’ by Jan. 10, analysts say

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As applicants for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) rush to incorporate new cash-only requirements into their proposals in the last month of 2023, some analysts still expect ETF approvals in the United States by early 2024.

Bloomberg ETF analysts James Seyffart and Eric Balchunas anticipate that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will approve a spot Bitcoin ETF in January 2024 despite multiple last-minute amendments that applicants are scrambling to add to their proposals.

Seyffart took to X (formerly Twitter) on Dec. 21 to share his observations about BlackRock’s latest spot Bitcoin ETF update from Dec. 18, which accepted the SEC’s cash redemption system instead of in-kind redemptions, or those implying non-monetary payments like BTC.

• El Salvador passes law offering citizenship to Bitcoin investors: Report

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The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador has reportedly approved a migration law granting expedited citizenship to foreigners who make Bitcoin donations toward government social and economic development programs.

The reform was passed by the country’s legislature on Dec. 21 with support from the Nayib Bukele’s New Ideas party, according to a Reuters report.

The law is expected to come into force in the coming days.

Bukele temporarily stepped down as the country’s leader to campaign for the upcoming presidential election on Feb. 4, 2024. He spearheaded El Salvador’s Bitcoin revolution when he made the cryptocurrency legal tender in September 2021.

• Community responds to Gary Gensler’s latest jab at crypto

Crypto community members were quick to clap back at United States Securities and Exchange Chair Gary Gensler for his latest jab at the space’s compliance.

On Dec. 22, Gensler shared a post on X (Twitter) asserting that there’s a lot of noncompliance in crypto. The SEC official said this “undermines confidence” in the space and implied that this leaves victims helpless. Gensler underscored that people who have been affected by the recent crypto bankruptcies can only “stand in line” in the courts.

The community instantly responded to the SEC chair’s sentiments, highlighting that the SEC has been constantly asked to clarify what compliance means. Using the social platform’s Community Notes feature that allows users to fact-check posts on X, the community shared that the SEC has not shared a clear stance. The note also pointed out that companies like Coinbase have tried to get regulatory clarity from the SEC in the last few years.

• Ripple’s legal chief unveils SEC’s XRP settlement offer pre-2020 lawsuit

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Ripple’s legal chief, Stuart Alderoty, had disclosed the content of the Securities Exchange Commission’s (SEC) settlement proposal before the agency filed the lawsuit in December 2020.

Looking back on the third anniversary of the lawsuit, Alderoty mentioned the settlement terms proposed by the Commission before initiating the case. He explained that before suing Ripple, Chris, and Brad three years ago today, the SEC suggested a settlement: publicly declaring XRP as a security and allowing the market a brief period to “come into compliance.”

On Dec. 22, 2020, the SEC accused Ripple’s co-founder, Christian Larsen, and CEO, Bradley Garlinghouse, of conducting an unregistered digital asset securities offering, raising over $1.3 billion.

• Curve Finance to disburse $49M in compensation to hack victims

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The community behind the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Curve Finance has voted to reimburse the liquidity providers (LPs) hit by a $61-million hack in July.

On-chain data confirms that 94% of tokenholders approved on Dec. 21 the disbursement of tokens worth over $49.2 million to cover the losses of the Curve (CRV), JPEG’d (JPEG), Alchemix (ALCX) and Metronome (MET) pools.

The calculation of losses includes the amount of Ether and CRV tokens in the pools before the hack, along with missed CRV emissions that would have been distributed to LPs over the past months. According to Curve’s proposal, the community fund will supply the Curve DAO (CRV) tokens. The final amount also includes a deduction for the tokens recovered since the incident.

• Hong Kong’s financial regulator opens door for spot crypto ETFs

Hong Kong is getting ready to welcome spot crypto ETFs, as its financial regulator announced on Dec. 22 that it is prepared to receive their applications.

In a collaborative announcement today, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the city’s de facto central bank, stated that both organizations have reviewed their current policy for intermediaries involved in virtual asset-related activities.

The SFC expressed readiness to receive applications for the authorization of various funds, including Virtual Asset Spot exchange-traded funds (VA Spot ETFs), alongside the existing crypto futures ETFs.

In another circular issued on Dec. 22, the SFC outlines the criteria for funds to “directly invest in identical spot Virtual Asset (VA) tokens available to the Hong Kong public on SFC-licensed Virtual Asset Trading Platforms (VATPs).”

Concluding Notes:

  • Spot Bitcoin ETF approval ‘still happening’ by Jan. 10
  • El Salvador passes law offering citizenship to Bitcoin investors
  • Community responds to Gary Gensler’s latest jab at crypto
  • Ripple’s legal chief unveils SEC’s XRP settlement offer
  • Curve Finance to disburse $49M
  • Hong Kong’s financial regulator opens door for spot crypto ETFs

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