Crypto News Highlights (22nd April to 26th April 2024)

Here are the top stories that happened in crypto this week.

Crypto News Highlights (22nd April to 26th April 2024)
Here are the top stories that happened in crypto this week.
  • BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Reports Zero Inflows
  • SEC Delays Decision on Franklin Templeton’s Spot Ether ETF
  • Stripe Resumes Crypto Payments
  • Shiba Inu Plans Shibarium Hard Fork Update on May 2nd

BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Reports Zero Inflows

In a recent report by Cointelegraph, BlackRock iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) has seen its first day of $0 inflows since Bitcoin ETFs were established in the United States in January.

Since its start on January 11, IBIT has continuously drawn millions of dollars in daily investments, totalling approximately $15.5 billion in just 71 days. BlackRock's 71-day inflow streak ended on April 24 when it posted $0 inflows.

Most other Bitcoin ETF participants also experienced a dry spell. Out of the ten Bitcoin ETFs registered in the United States, only Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC) and ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB) saw inflows of $5.6 million and $4.2 million, respectively.

Additionally, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ETF (GBTC), one of the initial Bitcoin ETFs, has continued to withdraw investments. On April 24, GBTC reported $130.4 in outflows, resulting in a total outflow of $120.6 million for the Bitcoin ETF ecosystem.

While the dearth of inflows is unprecedented for IBIT, the one-time incident has no negative ramifications. It is vital to remember that all other players frequently experience $0 inflows, which are determined by various factors such as market demand and investor sentiment.

The Bitcoin ETF market in the United States has raised approximately $12.3 billion. However, GBTC aggressively counteracts the investments made by the 9 Bitcoin ETFs. As of January 11, outflows from GBTC have surpassed $17 billion.

SEC Delays Decision on Franklin Templeton’s Spot Ether ETF

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed a decision on Franklin Templeton's application for a spot Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF).

In a notification dated April 23, the SEC stated that it had extended the deadline for approving or disapproving a proposed rule change that would allow the Cboe BZX Exchange to list and trade Franklin Ethereum Trust shares. The commission will have until June 11 to reconsider its decision on the spot ETH ETF, giving it a further 45 days.

Many analysts believe that the SEC will decide whether to accept or deny a spot Ether ETF for listing and trading on US exchanges in May, during the deadline for applications from various asset managers. In March, Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart predicted that the current wave of Ether ETF applications would be "ultimately denied."

In January, the SEC began permitting U.S. exchanges to list and trade shares of spot Bitcoin ETFs, a watershed moment that will undoubtedly continue to influence how financial institutions manage cryptocurrencies.

Though some anticipated that the commission would follow suit with a spot ETH ETF, sources now indicate that it may be aiming to categorize Ether as a security.

Stripe Resumes Crypto Payments

Six years after dropping support for bitcoin (BTC) and, thus, crypto payments altogether, Stripe is bringing back the service later this summer, though initially only for Circle’s USDC stablecoin.

“We’re excited to announce that we’re bringing back crypto as a way to accept payments, but this time with a much better experience,” Stripe co-founder and President John Collison said Thursday in a keynote address at the company’s Global Internet Economy conference.

The payments processor has a long history in crypto, first tapping the Bitcoin ecosystem in 2014. Four years later, in 2018, it discontinued all of those efforts, arguing that Bitcoin was too volatile and would function as an asset rather than a medium of exchange. It had also criticized its lengthy transaction times and growing fees at the time.

That year saw bitcoin’s first “crypto winter” with the token dropping from a high of $19,650 in December 2017 to $3,401 at the end of 2018.

The fintech giant took a step toward re-entering the market the following year by becoming a co-founder of Facebook’s Libra project, but it stepped away later that year and Libra never got off the ground. In 2022, Stripe introduced a project to facilitate fiat-to-crypto payments.

“Crypto is finding real utility,” Collison said in his keynote Thursday. “With transaction speeds increasing and costs coming down, we’re seeing crypto finally making sense as a means of exchange.”

Payments will be available on the Solana (SOL), Ethereum (ETH) and Polygon (MATIC) blockchains, Stripe said.

The company is currently valued at $65 billion, according to Bloomberg, and is one of the biggest payments providers in the world with over $1 trillion in transactions in 2023.

Shiba Inu Plans Shibarium Hard Fork Update on May 2nd

The Shiba Inu community is looking forward to reaching a considerable milestone as the development team is getting ready for a critical hard fork on the Shibarium network. Planned for May 2nd, this large-scale upgrade will help to transform the user experience to a new level and strengthen the underlying framework of the rapidly expanding ecosystem.

The fundamental purpose of this update is a significant improvement of the transaction speed. The protocol simplifies the validation process leading to quicker confirmations, which means that users do not have to wait for extended periods.

Furthermore, the heavy fork aspires to solve the problem of variable transaction costs during high-traffic days and give a more stable and predictable structure.

The vision of the Shiba Inu group goes beyond just correcting current issues. As outlined in their blog post, “Shibarium Network Hard Fork Update: Faster, Cheaper, and Ready for the Future,” the network is being prepared to scale up massively with the ambition to welcome the upcoming billion users.

In the same time frame, the team stresses not only cost-effectiveness but also user-friendliness, where users may expect the transaction fees to be as less as 0.0000219 BONE ($0.00001).

Disclaimer:  The information provided in this crypto news round-up is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial or investment advice. Obiex will not be held liable for your investment decisions.