By Frances Yue
Last week, the U.S. saw the launch of the first ether futures-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by ProShares, VanEck, and Bitwise. While this development has been celebrated by crypto enthusiasts for its potential to expand financial institutions' access to digital assets, it hasn't had a significant impact on the prices of major cryptocurrencies. In fact, the price of ether has remained relatively flat compared to a week ago.
Dessislava Aubert, senior analyst at crypto research firm Kaiko, highlighted that the trading volume of the new ether futures ETFs has been relatively low. This lackluster response can be attributed to the low demand for crypto exposure, especially in light of the 10-year Treasury yields reaching a 16-year high earlier in the week before experiencing a slight decline.
According to Aubert, the absence of a market catalyst that can attract inflows into crypto is primarily due to the prevailing macro environment. With less capital available for allocation to risk assets, people have been cautious. The situation might change if the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approves a spot bitcoin ETF, but at this point, it remains uncertain.
Looking ahead, Aubert anticipates further volatility in the bitcoin market during the fourth quarter. The market is currently characterized by low liquidity and volume, making it sensitive to economic data.
Earlier this week, the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, former chief executive at bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, commenced at the Manhattan federal court in New York City.
When worlds collide: Bankman-Fried and Trump trials create spectacle in New York courts
During the opening statements, assistant U.S. Attorney Thane Rehn informed the jury of twelve that Bankman-Fried allegedly embezzled a minimum of $10 billion from FTX customers. The funds were purportedly used to acquire luxurious property in the Bahamas, engage in political betting, and cover risky bets made by FTX’s sister company, Alameda Research, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Rehn stated, "He had wealth. He had power. He had influence. But all of that—all of it—was built on lies."
On the other hand, Mark Cohen, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, portrayed his client as a "math nerd" who had genuine intentions of building his crypto exchange within a challenging environment.
The jurors will also hear statements from key witnesses, including Caroline Ellison, Bankman-Fried’s former girlfriend and Alameda's ex-chief executive, as well as Gary Wang, co-founder of FTX.
Crypto in a snap
According to CoinDesk data, Bitcoin (BTCUSD) experienced a 3.5% gain over the past seven days and was trading around $27,474 on Thursday. Ether (ETHUSD), on the other hand, remained unchanged during the same period at approximately $1,618.
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