Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Bull Raising $250M, Binance Launches OTC, ETF Pulled

The crypto market may be in the midst of a mundane, multi-month lull, but the Bitcoin news cycle has begun to pick up steam. Save for the withdrawal of VanEck’s Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application, this sector’s upstarts made strong fundamental steps forward. A former Wall Street investor began his search for $250 million for a cryptocurrency fund, while Coinbase and Binance pushed new offerings. Moreover, rumor has it that two monumental, potentially paradigm-shifting crypto-centric business deals are slated to finalize in coming weeks and months.

Crypto Tidbits

  • VanEck Bitcoin ETF Withdrawn, As CBOE Retraces: On Wednesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took to Twitter to throw crypto bears a bone. They didn’t bite. Regardless, the American regulator, currently crippled due to the ongoing shutdown, revealed that the CBOE would be withdrawing its proposed rule change that would have facilitated the listing of VanEck and SolidX’s Bitcoin ETF. According to a comment from VanEck’s namesake and chief executive, Wall Street heavyweight Jan Van Eck, this sudden move was deemed necessary, as the shutdown disallowed the hopefuls from convening with the SEC regarding the government entity’s crypto concerns. Van Eck explained that concerns remained regarding market manipulation, custody, a lack of liquidity — just to name a few qualms. However, it was explained that the crypto-friendly organizations do intend to refile their application when the time arises.
  • Crypto Legend Novogratz Seeks $250M Amid Bear Market: Amid broader tumult in the crypto industry, Mike Novogratz, the chief executive of Galaxy Digital, has purportedly begun a search for $250 million in funding. Per people familiar with the matter, Novogratz, who runs the foremost merchant bank that is centered around cryptocurrencies, is looking for this hefty cheque to launch a credit fund, which would offer U.S. dollar loans to blockchain upstarts. The Business Insider sources added that Galaxy will request for cryptocurrencies, properties, and ASIC machines in return for loans. Save for a brief mention during Novogratz’ appearance on crypto podcast Unchained, the fund hasn’t been publicly announced. Yet, the insiders claimed that the fundraiser will end in May.
  • Binance Launches OTC Desk: In recent months, over-the-counter (OTC) trading has become a hot topic in the halls of the cryptosphere. This theme was only accentuated on Wednesday, when Binance, a preeminent crypto conglomerate, revealed that it would be launching an OTC desk. In a company blog post, the exchange, headed by fervent leader Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, noted that traders with “Level 2” verification and above and trade sizes of 20 BTC+ would be able to participate in this offering. The launch of this venture comes just weeks after Coinbase made a similar move, announcing a darkpool behind closed doors. Reports indicate that a majority of OTC desk clients — institutions, crypto hedge funds, high net-worth individuals, and the like — are now bullish on cryptocurrencies.
  • Coinbase Expands Institutional Services To Asia: In the same vein as institutional services, Coinbase, Binance’s de-facto competitor, revealed that it would be extending its Wall Street-centric services to Asia over the past week. Through the medium of a company announcement, the San Francisco-headquartered upstart revealed that it would be offering OTC and custody services to Asian clients. Coinbase also divulged that a number of its clients in Europe and Asia will be able to fund their accounts via SWIFT, even from non-U.S.-registered bank accounts.
  • Bithumb May Go Public In The U.S.: According to CNBC, Blockchain Exchange Alliance, a firm that holds a majority stake in Bithumb, has ambitions to go public on U.S. stock exchanges, even though its based in Singapore. Per the report, the Alliance would use a so-called “reverse merger,” meaning that it would take over an already-listed U.S. company,  to go live potentially on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq. Bithumb is reported to be Korea’s top exchange, yet many have lambasted the exchange for facilitating wash trading.
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