SEC Delays Decision On Bitwise And Grayscale Bitcoin ETF Options, Clearstream To Participate In Digital Euro CBDC Trial

Here are some of the major developments from the world of crypto over the past few days
Some of the major developments from the world of crypto
Some of the major developments from the world of crypto

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed its decision on allowing the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to offer options trading on spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The delay, announced on April 8, 2024 affects proposed options trading on the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF (BITB), Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), and other trusts holding Bitcoin on the NYSE. The SEC stated in its filing that it needs more time to consider the proposed rule change.

Options are financial products that give traders leverage and allow them to make directional bets in the market. For instance, if a trader believes Bitcoin’s price will rise, he can pay a premium for a “call option”, which will give him a right to buy 1 BTC at today’s price in a month’s time, using less money than would be needed to buy 1 BTC outright.

The approval of options for spot Bitcoin ETFs, including those from Bitwise and Grayscale, are expected to contribute to a more robust and healthy market, according to comments made by Grayscale Investments CEO Michael Sonnenshein in a post on February 5, 2024.

Incidentally, NYSE had filed a 19b-4 form proposing options trading on Bitcoin ETFs on January 12, while Nasdaq and Cboe made their own proposals on January 19. The delay in the decision by the SEC aligns with a similar outcome for Nasdaq last month, which also requested options trading on BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT).

Clearstream To Participate In Digital Euro CBDC Trial

Clearstream, a subsidiary of Deutsche Börse Group, is the only central securities depository (CSD) participating in the first phase of the European Central Bank (ECB) trials for a digital euro wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Clearstream operates the D7 post-trade platform and holds over 18 trillion euros in assets under custody.

The ECB initiated the preparatory phase of its digital euro research in October 2023 after a two-year investigative phase. Clearstream, in collaboration with Google Cloud, has expanded D7’s capacities and will test the use of distributed ledger technology for wholesale transactions with tokenised securities. It will also link to three ECB products: Deutsche Bundesbanks Trigger Solution, Banca d Italias TIPS Hash-link, and Banque de France’s Full DLT Interoperability.

The decision on launching a digital euro will be made after the completion of the ECB trials and the adoption of corresponding legislation. Clearstream has also participated in SWIFT experiments involving CBDCs and tokenised assets, reports

Coinbase’s Base Surpasses Arbitrum For Most Active Addresses

Coinbase’s layer-2 network Base has emerged as the most active Ethereum layer-2 network by active addresses this month, surpassing Arbitrum. Base has seen over 1.48 million new active addresses in the first nine days of April 2024, slightly ahead of Arbitrum One, which has 1.43 million active addresses.

Despite its success, Base has also faced challenges, including a surge in phishing scams targeting its users. The network saw an 18-fold increase in successful phishing scams from January to March this year, resulting in $3.35 million stolen last month. Additionally, one in six meme coins on Base are scams, with 91 per cent of Base meme coins possessing security vulnerabilities that could lead to significant losses for users.

Base has expressed its commitment to decentralisation over time, despite these challenges. The network recently surpassed $4 billion in total value locked, trailing only Arbitrum One and OP Mainnet in this regard. Base also leads in 30-day transaction count, with 53.1 million transactions, surpassing both Arbitrum and Ethereum over the same timeframe.

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