• Bitcoin ETF Approval Marks Conclusion of a Decade-Long Journey
It’s been over ten and a half years since the Winklevoss twins first filed for a bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) in July 2013.
This filing, covered by CoinDesk in its first year of operation, was ultimately unsuccessful – despite multiple re-submissions– but serves as an interesting time capsule to look at how the industry has changed and matured since then.
At the time, bitcoin’s market cap had just surpassed $1 billion dollars (now it is closer to $900 billion), and the crypto was trading for around $87. Cameron Winklevoss’ preduction that Bitcoin might one day hit $40,000 was as controversial as it could get.
Comparing Winklevoss’ 2013-2014 era filings with recently approved S-1s, one can see how the industry has matured and become ready for this institutional-grade challenge.
Custody, for instance, which was one of the SEC’s concerns, was relatively primitive in 2013, but the 2024 filings detail a more sophisticated custodian method, emphasizing segregated cold storage, advanced private key management, and comprehensive risk controls.
• Jim Cramer Now Says Bitcoin Is ‘Topping Out’
Jim Cramer, a former hedge fund manager and host of CNBC’s Mad Money, affirmed in a TV segment Monday that bitcoin was “topping out,” just days after he claimed Bitcoin was “here to stay.”
“Let’s stop fooling around. You want bitcoin, buy bitcoin. (But) I think bitcoin is topping out,” said Cramer. Bitcoin added as much as 8% on Monday before giving back some gains, reaching as high as $47,100 for the first time since April 2021.
• FTX creditors seek ‘in-kind’ crypto repayments instead of 2022 low prices
Several FTX clients have requested a United States bankruptcy judge prevent the defunct crypto exchange from valuing their cryptocurrency deposits based on 2022 prices. They argue that FTX’s approach is hindering them from capitalizing on the recent rise in crypto prices.
In supporting the debtor’s motion to estimate claims based on digital assets, the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors expressed the belief that estimating claim values collectively, as proposed in the motion, is the most efficient way to streamline the claim reconciliation process and expedite the Chapter 11 confirmation.
According to the bankruptcy plan, FTX plans to reimburse customers in U.S. dollars, determined by cryptocurrency prices at the time of FTX’s bankruptcy filing in November 2022. While FTX contends that U.S. bankruptcy law mandates valuing claims using that date, customers argue that this method undervalues cryptocurrencies, which have surged significantly since the 2022 market low.
• 1inch DAO votes in legal team for risks around decentralization
The 1inch decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) voted to hire permanent legal counsel from a Geneva-based Web3 solutions provider, Storm Partners. The legal team should help 1inch to “face the many challenges its decentralized nature poses.”
The single-choice voting on obtaining the “comprehensive legal support” from Storm ended on Jan. 9, with an overwhelming majority of 96.45% in approval. The legal services provided by the Swiss firm will include regulatory compliance checks, entity structuring, governance policy development, contractual support, intellectual property protection and legal defense against external claims.
Among the principal motives for getting permanent legal counsel, the 1inch statement cites the court’s tendency to apply traditional legal principles regarding corporate liability and regulatory obligations to decentralized entities, as evidenced by recent cases in Europe and the United States.
• Coinbase partners with Yellow Card to expand USDC access in Africa
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has partnered with Africa’s Yellow Card to expand access to its products to 20 African countries, focusing on increasing USD Coin stablecoin access.
“Our new partnership […] will help usher in the future of money by giving millions of users access to USDC and fast, reliable, cheaper transactions on our decentralized, open L2 Base through both Coinbase and Yellow Card products,” Coinbase said in a Jan. 11 statement.
Yellow Card CEO Chris Maurice told Cointelegraph that the partnership involves Coinbase integrating Yellow Card’s payment rails in Africa so customers can on and off-ramp fiat to Bitcoin and USDC on Ethereum layer-2 rollup Base.
This will be accessible to African users via Coinbase Wallet, which recently implemented a new feature to make transfers via links from social media platforms like iMessage, Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.
• Ethereum devs air concern over Vitalik’s plan to increase gas limit
Ethereum developers, node operators and users have yet to agree on Vitalik Buterin’s recent suggestion to increase the gas limit on Ethereum.
On Jan. 11, Buterin advocated for a “modest” 33% gas limit increase to potentially improve network throughput.
Increasing the gas limit to the proposed 40 million from the current 30 million would allow more transactions for each block, theoretically increasing the overall throughput and capacity of the network, he argued.
However, there are some drawbacks, according to Ethereum developer Marius van der Wijden, who aired his concerns in a Jan. 11 blog post titled “Why increasing the gas limit is difficult.”
The primary concern would be the increase in the size of the blockchain state, which contains account balances and smart contract data.
The total space needed right now is roughly 267 gigabytes (GB) only for the state, he said, adding, “If we increase the gas limit, this size will grow even quicker.”
- Bitcoin ETF Approval Marks Conclusion of a Decade-Long Journey
- Jim Cramer Now Says Bitcoin Is ‘Topping Out’
- FTX creditors seek ‘in-kind’ crypto repayments
- 1inch DAO votes in legal team for risks around decentralization
- Coinbase partners with Yellow Card
- Ethereum devs air concern over Vitalik’s plan