Data from CryptoCompare shows that the price of Bitcoin started the week with a sharp move higher from around $35,000 to a high near $38,000 before enduring a correction, to now trade at $37,000 per coin.
Ethereum’s Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, moved sideways throughout the week, starting it at around $2,050 and seeing a high near $2,100 and a low near the $2,000 before moving back to its current level, around $2,050.
Headlines in the cryptocurrency space this week revealed a growing number of services being offered by major financial institutions, with popular commission-free trading platform Robinhood preparing to launch its cryptocurrency trading services in the European Union, and brokerage operations in the UK in the near future.
Robinhood’s move comes as Caitlin Long’s cryptocurrency-friendly bank, Custodia Bank, launched a Bitcoin custody service targeting corporate treasurers, fiduciaries, fund managers, and investment advisers.
On top of that HSBC, one of the world’s largest banks, is set to launch a custody service for tokenized real-world assets. The service is aimed at institutional clients and is expected to launch in 2024 to complement HSBC’s digital assets issuance platform HSBC Orion, as well as its system to issue tokenized gold held in its London vault.
Over the past week, CCData released an Exchange Review report that detailed centralized exchanges have experienced a surge in spot trading activity for the first time in four months, with an 87.2% rise to $632 billion, marking the largest spot trading volume on these platforms since March.
Spot trading volumes’ month-on-month growth was the highest January 2021. Likewise, centralized exchanges saw a 44.4% increase in derivatives trading volumes, reaching $1.94 trillion, the largest monthly volume since June 2023.
Cryptocurrency-related services also grew last week after Moody’s Analytics revealed it’s introducing a new stablecoin service called Digital Asset Monitor. The service uses artificial intelligence (AI) to predict stablecoin depeggings “in a 24-hour time horizon” while providing real-time insights into stablecoin issuers’ liquidity and stability.
Hong Kong eyes spot crypto ETFs
Hong Kong is considering the possibility of allowing spot crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that would allow retail investors to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency market, as it works to establish itself as a key player in the digital asset space.
The initiative was disclosed by Julia Leung, CEO of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), who noted these funds would first need regulatory approval. Both Hong Kong and the U.S. currently let investors buy futures-based crypto ETFs, but these products have so far not seen significant traction among fund investors.
Over the week, global financial services giant UBS Group revealed it’s opening up its platform to allow wealthy clients in Hong Kong to trade cryptocurrency-linked exchange-traded funds, in a move that sees it follow rival HSBC in the offering.
The region’s growing openness to spot crypto ETFs comes at a time in which stablecoin issuer Circle, the firm behind the USDC stablecoin, is said to be considering going public through a potential initial public offering (IPO).
The firm was valued at $9 billion when it tried to merge with a blank-check company last year before dropping the plan, and was valued at $7.7 billion in a 2022 funding round. Earlier this year, Coinbase took an equity stake in Circle.
The third largest bank in Germany, DZ Bank, has also recently rolled out a new blockchain-based cryptocurrency custody platform that will serve institutional clients. The bank is planning on letting institutional investors purchase cryptocurrencies in the future after it applied for a crypto custody license with the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) in June 2023.
BlackRock’s Ethereum trust could lead to spot ETF move
Over the past week, the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock, registered to create an Ethereum trust in what could, potentially, be a move towards seeking regulatory approval of an exchange-traded fund tied to Ethereum.
The move was revealed in a Nasdaq filing, the exchange the ETF could be listed on. The filing came shortly after BlackRock registered the iShares Ethereum Trust in Delaware, with iShares being BlackRock’s ETF division.
The ETH in the ETF would be stored on Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange listed on Nasdaq, while an undisclosed party would manage its cash holdings. Coinbase would also be the market surveillance partner.
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.
Featured image via Unsplash.