Weekly Wednesday Roundup – September 27th, 2023

Welcome to this edition of AsicZ’s Weekly Wednesday Roundup! In a week filled with regulatory maneuvers and innovative strides, the cryptoverse remains in the spotlight. The U.S. House lawmakers are pushing for a swift approval of a Bitcoin ETF, signaling a potential shift in regulatory stance. Meanwhile, the community is abuzz with MicroStrategy’s significant Bitcoin purchase and the introduction of the Runes protocol by Casey Rodarmor. As we navigate through these developments, the impact of a possible government shutdown on the industry looms large, adding a layer of uncertainty to the market dynamics. Let’s dive in to the article summaries.

US House Lawmakers Push for Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval

In a significant move, bipartisan members of the House Financial Services Committee have urged the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler to promptly approve a spot Bitcoin ETF. The lawmakers, including Rep. Tom Emmer, emphasized the indistinguishability of a spot Bitcoin ETF from the crypto futures ETFs, which have already received the SEC’s approval. The call for immediate action follows a court’s instruction to the SEC to reconsider its rejection of Grayscale’s spot Bitcoin ETF application. The lawmakers argue that the SEC’s current stance is untenable and discriminatory, and there is no reason to continue denying such applications. The approval of a Bitcoin ETF could provide investors with a more straightforward avenue to invest in the digital asset market.

MicroStrategy Buys More Bitcoin

MicroStrategy has once again reinforced its commitment to Bitcoin by purchasing an additional 5,445 BTC for a total investment of $147.3 million. This acquisition was made at an average price of approximately $27,053 per Bitcoin. The latest addition brings the company’s total Bitcoin holdings to a remarkable 158,245 BTC, acquired at an average price of around $29,582 per Bitcoin, equivalent to approximately $4.68 billion. CEO Michael Saylor continues to be a vocal advocate for Bitcoin, emphasizing its role as a strategic treasury reserve asset and often referring to it as digital gold. This consistent investment strategy highlights MicroStrategy’s position as one of the most significant institutional investors in Bitcoin, showcasing a robust belief in it as a store of value and a potential hedge against economic uncertainty.

Nomura Laser Digital Receives In-Principle Approval in Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has granted in-principal approval to Laser Digital, the digital assets arm of Japan’s Nomura Bank, to provide broker-dealer services and asset/fund management services with both digital and traditional assets. This approval is a significant step, allowing Laser Digital to operate after fulfilling unspecified conditions. The ADGM, an international financial free zone within Abu Dhabi, has been a hub for digital assets, with other major exchanges like Binance and Kraken also receiving permission to operate within its jurisdiction. This move by Laser Digital follows their receipt of an operating license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority and the launch of a Bitcoin Adoption Fund in August. The ADGM’s clear regulatory framework is contributing to the creation of a global hub for digital assets, attracting various digital asset firms to establish operations in Abu Dhabi and the rest of the United Arab Emirates.

Government Shutdown’s Impact on Crypto

The unfolding scenario of a possible U.S. government shutdown casts a shadow over the digital asset space, bringing with it a wave of uncertainty and potential delays. The last government shutdown delayed several approvals for companies and slowed down the hoped-for greater regulatory acceptance of crypto. The current shutdown is expected to be more complex, with a high possibility of the federal government being shut down. During the last shutdown in 2018 and 2019, companies like Bakkt and ErisX saw much-needed approvals pushed weeks behind. A Bitcoin exchange-traded fund application was withdrawn, with one of the executives at the company behind the product explicitly blaming the shutdown. The SEC is already preemptively delaying Bitcoin ETF applications, and Coinbase is looking at an Oct. 11 deadline for a response from the SEC to its petition. The shutdown won’t be a death knell for the space, but it may slow down or halt crypto legislation and cause delays in civil and bankruptcy court cases after the first few weeks.

Rodarmor Announces Runes Protocol

Casey Rodarmor, the creator behind Bitcoin Ordinals, has introduced a new fungible token protocol named “Runes,” designed to replace BRC-20. The Runes protocol is crafted to be more efficient with block space and more Bitcoin-like, aiming to mitigate UTXO proliferation and enhance user experience compared to other fungible token protocols on Bitcoin. Runes work by linking the record of balances to UTXOs themselves rather than wallet addresses, starting with an issuance transaction that specifies the supply, symbol, and number of decimals, assigning that supply to a specific UTXO. This UTXO-based approach allows Runes to be compatible with both Lightning and DLCs, offering a significant advantage over BRC-20s. Despite the introduction as a “terrible idea” and a “worse-is-better fungible token protocol for Bitcoin,” the Runes protocol has garnered noticeable attention and excitement within the Ordinals community.

Ben Armstrong Arrested

Crypto influencer Ben Armstrong, known for his Bitboy Crypto Channel, was arrested and later released on bail. The arrest followed a confrontation with a former business partner, part of which was live-streamed. He was charged with “loitering/prowling” and “simple assault by placing another in fear.” Despite the charges, Armstrong humorously acknowledged the incident on social media, declaring himself a “loiterer.” The BEN tokens, which Armstrong had launched, saw a 30% drop following the news of his arrest. This incident follows Armstrong’s previous ousting from his media company, BitBoy Crypto, after a unanimous decision, which likely led to the altercation.

This roundup encapsulates a period of notable advancements and challenges in the crypto arena. The push for Bitcoin ETF approval, MicroStrategy’s unwavering Bitcoin investment, and the unveiling of the Runes protocol highlight the industry’s relentless pursuit of growth and innovation. However, the shadow of a potential government shutdown and the arrest of Ben underscore the vulnerabilities and external factors that continue to influence the market. Stay tuned to our daily blog for articles that keep you up to date with industry news.

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  1. “US House Lawmakers Push SEC’s Gensler to Approve Spot Bitcoin ETF Immediately.” CoinDesk. Link
  2. “Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy Buys 5,445 Bitcoin for $147.3 Million.” Bitcoin Magazine. Link
  3. “Nomura Laser Digital Receives In-Principal Approval Abu Dhabi.” Cointelegraph. Link
  4. “The Government Shutting Down Isn’t Great for Crypto.” CoinDesk. Link
  5. “Rodarmor Returns, Announces Runes Protocol to Compete With BRC-20.” Bitcoin Magazine. Link
  6. “BEN Token Plunges 30% as Crypto Influencer Ben Armstrong Apparently Arrested.” CoinDesk. Link
Weekly Wednesday Roundup – September 27th, 2023