Kalam Crypto #93: ETH ETF, Open AI Drama & Is Argentina the next El Salvador?
This week, BlackRock and Fidelity doubled down on crypto by filing for spot Ether ETFs, OpenAI’s CEO drama, Argentina has a new pro-bitcoin president, and JP Morgan tested tokenizing assets.
“You have something in this world. So, stand for it.” Ghassan Kanafani
Ahlan wa sahlan, and welcome to the 93rd edition of CoinMENA's weekly newsletter, Kalam Crypto. This week, BlackRock and Fidelity doubled down on crypto by filing for spot Ether ETFs, OpenAI’s CEO drama, Argentina has a new pro-bitcoin president, and JP Morgan tested tokenizing assets. All that and more, so let's dive into this week's letter, and talk crypto:
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Global News 🌍
ETH ETF: BlackRock and Fidelity have filed applications for a spot Ether Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). Fidelity sees the approval of a Spot ETF as crucial for protecting U.S. investors in the crypto asset space. The potential approval could attract significant institutional investment into ETH, but the final decision lies with the SEC, which has been cautious about cryptocurrency. Despite some skepticism, there is growing optimism in the market regarding the possibility of approval.
Binance $4 Billion Fine: The U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly in talks with Binance for a potential $4 billion settlement to resolve a criminal investigation into the cryptocurrency exchange. If finalized, the settlement would permit Binance to continue its operations. The negotiations include the potential for criminal charges against CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao related to alleged money laundering, fraud, and sanctions violations.
JP Morgan Testing Tokenizing Assets: JPMorgan's blockchain unit, Onyx, partnered with industry startups in collaboration with the Monetary Authority of Singapore's Project Guardian to conduct tests demonstrating how tokenization can enhance the management of financial assets. The proof of concept focused on enabling fund managers to tokenize portfolios on selected blockchains, allowing wealth managers to purchase and rebalance positions across interoperable blockchain networks. Notably, the transactions were conducted in a permissioned manner on private blockchain networks.
OpenAI Debacle: OpenAI, the artificial intelligence company behind Chat GPT, has removed Sam Altman as CEO and board member due to a “lack of consistent candor in his communications, impeding the board's ability to fulfill its responsibilities”. However, over the weekend, severe blowback from OpenAI employees and investors eventually led to several resignations, and then the Microsoft CEO announced that Altman and several colleagues would be joining Microsoft to lead their advanced AI research team. Though ousted as CEO of OpenAI, Altman remains the co-founder and chairman of Tools for Humanity, the developer behind Worldcoin. While there is no direct connection between OpenAI and Worldcoin besides Altman, the market appears to view events at OpenAI as a WLD trading signal. Overall, WLD is up over 30% during the past week.
Keep an eye on 👀
Argentina the next El Salvador? Javier Milei has emerged victorious in the Argentine presidential race. Describing himself as an anarcho-capitalist, Milei has expressed strong support for Bitcoin, considering it a means of returning money to its original creator—the private sector. While he hasn't advocated for making Bitcoin legal tender, Milei aims to eliminate Argentina's central bank and adopt dollarization as a solution to the country's high inflation, reaching 142% in October.
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