Issue #76

BTC ETFs approved!! Circle file to IPO, Tether reach 95B USDT in circulation & more...

Market Overview

As of the time of writing (Monday 5pm), the total market cap of the crypto asset market is $US1.76T, up (4.3%) from last week.

Below is the weekly performance of the top crypto assets. 

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News Headline Highlights

  • Bitcoin ETF update
    • The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved 11 spot BTC ETFs to trade on the NYSE, Nasdaq and Cboe on the 10th of January. Further they approved all of them to commence trading on the 11th. This historic moment for Bitcoin did not come without some drama, after the SEC twitter was hacked and released a false approval announcement on the 9th of January (24 hours early). 
    • US-listed bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) saw US$800m of net inflows and US$10.8B worth of shares trade hands in their first 2 days. The following ETF providers experienced the following inflows / (outflows): 
      • BlackRock $497m inflow 
      • Fidelity $422m inflow 
      • Bitwise $237m inflow 
      • ARK $105m inflow
      • Grayscale ($579m) outflow
    • As shown below, the landing page for many Bitcoin ETF providers, including BlackRock, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton and VanEck are promoting BTC in efforts to attract investors to their newly launched products.
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 Crypto Asset Project Updates

  • Tether, the issuer of USDT - the largest USD stablecoins by marketcap, saw its share of the global stablecoin supply grow from 50% to 71% over the course of 2023. There are now over US$95B USDT in circulation. 
  • Ripple plans to buy back $285m of shares in Ripple Labs (not the XRP token), putting the company at a valuation of $11 billion. “We are committing $500 [million] of cash from the balance sheet to convert RSUs and buy back shares – purchasing up to $285 [million] of equity and committing over $200 [million] to convert RSUs.” a Ripple spokesperson commented. CEO Brad Garlinghouse told Reuters that Ripple holds $1 billion in cash and $25 billion of crypto on its balance sheet. The crypto holdings are mostly XRP.
  • Aave, a leading decentralised lending and borrowing protocol, passed a vote (99.99% ‘yay’) to onboard PayPal's PYUSD stablecoin issued by Paxos Trust Company. 

Regulation Station

The Weekly Deal Room

After a quiet holiday period, the deals are back! 

  •, a web3 decentralized music streaming platform & music NFT marketplace, raised $20m in a round from LDA Capital, Animoca, Mindfund and others.
  • SkyArk Chronincles, a triple-A game creation system and online gaming platform, raised $15m in a Seed Round led by Binance Labs.
  • Finoa, a crypto custodian, raised $15m in a Strategic Round co-led by Maven 11 and Balderton Capital.
  • Bitfinity, an EVM-compatible Bitcoin Layer 2 network, raised $7m at a $130m valuation in a round with participation from Polychain Capital, ParaFi Capital and others.
  • Altitude, defi loan automation tools, raised $6.1m in a Seed Round with participation from Tioga Capita, GSR and others.
  • Pontem, a product development studio building products with Move on Aptos and other L1s, raised $6m in a round co-led by Lightspeed, Faction.
  • Kasu, a decentralised platform that bridges DeFi Liquidity Providers and Real World Yield Providers, raised $3m in a Seed Round from Woodstock, Morningstar Ventures and others.
  • Eesee, a gamified NFT marketplace, raised $2.85m in a Private Round from SevenX Ventures, Maven11, MetaBros and others.
  • Particle, a leverage AMM (LAMM) protocol, raised an undisclosed amount in a Seed Round led by Polychain.

Metric of the Week

BlackRock research released a graph showing that Bitcoin is the world's best-performing asset over the last 10 years.  It is incredible to see a firm with the institutional reputation of BlackRock share information such as this to their clients.

Source: BlackRock

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