Data from CryptoCompare shows that the price of the flagship cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) moved sideways throughout most of the past week, starting at around $28,000 and dropping to roughly $27,500 after a sell-off over the weekend.
Ethereum’s Ether, the second-largest digital asset by market capitalisation, saw a more pronounced decline over the week, starting above the $1,700 mark and now trading below $1,600.
Headlines in the cryptocurrency space this week were partly focused on the recent launch of Ether Futures exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States. The products had a notably slow first day of trading, with less-than-stellar trading volumes reported across the board.
With a total of nine Ether futures ETFs launched early in the week, trading volumes were below $2 million on debut. Five of the ETFs only invest in Ether futures, while the other four combine them with Bitcoin futures contracts as well.
One of the more popular ETFs, EFUT by VanEck, had a trading volume of only $425,000, with an average price of $17 per share and about 25,000 shares traded. In comparison, ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), had a trading volume of over $1 billion on its debut day back in October 2021, although it launched during a crypto bull market.
Before the Ether futures ETFs were launched, VanEck had announced it plans to allocate 10% of the profit generated from its EFUT offering to Ethereum’s core developers for a period of “at least 10 years.”
The beneficiary of the act will be the Protocol Guild, a group that works on the development, governance, and improvement of the Ethereum protocol. It comprises developers, researchers, and other vital participants collaborating on the network.
The launch of these ETFs prompted Grayscale Investments, which has been trying to turn its Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF, is now planning to do the same for its Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE), aiming to turn it into a spot Ethereum ETF.
UBS pilots tokenized money market fund on Ethereum
Ethereum also saw UBS Asset Management, a global giant in the fund industry, launch its first “live pilot” of a money market fund tokenized on the Ethereum blockchain. The pilot lets the firm experiment with different fund operations on-chain, such as buying and selling shares.
The move came during the same week it was revealed during a panel discussion at CCData’s Digital Asset Summit in London by Tyrone Lobban, Head of Blockchain Launch and Onyx Digital Assets at JPMorgan, that an overwhelming 99.9% of the firm’s client conversations are centered on the tokenization of traditional financial assets rather than on cryptocurrencies.
Lobban observed that in the past year, nearly all major global bank, broker-dealer, or asset manager has started some kind of blockchain-related activity, either on permissioned or public blockchains. These initiatives are still in the testing phase, but the determination to exploit blockchain’s potential is clear.
On JPMorgan’s Onyx platform, financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, DBS, and BNP are running nodes and creating tokens for assets. The platform also enables clients to do repurchase agreements, or repos, with tokenized treasuries as collateral.
FTX employees unearthed secret code favouring Alameda before the collapse
According to reports some US-based employees of the now collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX found a secret feature on the platform’s code allowing it to let its sister company Alameda Research access billions of dollars of customer funds.
The discovery was made before the firm collapsed in November 2022 amid a bank run. Those who uncovered the secret feature in FTX’s code informed their division head, who spoke to one of the top executives of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. But nothing was done to resolve the problem.
In 2022, the leader of the team that challenged Alameda’s access to customer funds was fired and the secret feature is now crucial evidence in the fraud case against Bankman-Fried, who is facing a criminal trial in a federal court in New York.
The former FTX boss has rejected any wrongdoing, but prosecutors say he took funds from FTX’s customers partly by using the hidden feature. Court documents showed that inside FTX’s code there was a hidden line that allowed Alameda to have a negative balance of up to $65 billion.
FTX’s regular users had to follow an automatic liquidation process that made them sell their assets before their balances went below zero.
Meanwhile, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suffered a major setback in its lawsuit against Ripple, the crypto firm associated with the XRP token, when a federal judge denied its motion for an interlocutory appeal.
Francisco Memoria is a content creator at CryptoCompare who’s in love with technology and focuses on helping people see the value digital currencies have. His work has been published in numerous reputable industry publications. Francisco holds various cryptocurrencies.