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Ethereum

Cathie Wood Doubts SEC Approval for Crypto ETFs Beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum

Cathie Wood, founder of ARK Investment Management, has expressed skepticism regarding the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) stance on approving spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) following cryptocurrencies beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Wood’s sentiment was echoed in her recent remarks on WSJ’s Take On the Week podcast: “We’d be surprised to see anything but Bitcoin and Ether being approved by the SEC.”

Franklin Templeton Joins the ETF Race

This sentiment follows Franklin Templeton’s recent filing with the SEC for approval to launch a spot Ethereum ETF. If approved, the filing, submitted on February 12, would be listed as the “Franklin Ethereum ETF” on the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

The filing states that Franklin Templeton plans to stake a portion of the ETF’s Ether for additional income, similar to strategies outlined in ARK 21Shares’ recent applications.

Franklin Templeton just joined the spot #Ethereum ETF race. pic.twitter.com/zJvk9seXe3

— James Seyffart (@JSeyff) February 12, 2024

“The Sponsor may, from time to time, stake a portion of the Fund’s assets through one or more trusted staking providers, which may include an affiliate of the Sponsor.” the filing stated.

The asset manager with $1.5 trillion in AUM joins several prominent asset management firms, including BlackRock, VanEck, Fidelity, Invesco Galaxy, Grayscale, and Hashdex, who have also submitted applications for spot Ethereum ETFs.

Franklin Templeton’s Bitcoin ETF Struggles Amidst Competitors

On January 11, 2024, these eight firms, including Franklin Templeton, introduced spot Bitcoin ETFs. However, Franklin Templeton’s spot Bitcoin ETF has been less successful compared to others, gathering only $77 million by February 9.

The iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) from asset management firm BlackRock and Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC) have experienced the highest investor interest, with IBIT acquiring more than $3.5 billion worth of Bitcoin over the last month, while Fidelity has observed an influx of approximately $3 billion.

Meanwhile, the SEC has postponed all decisions regarding approving a spot Ethereum ETF up to this point. The U.S. SEC postponed its ruling on an application submitted by Grayscale Investments seeking to transform its Ethereum trust offering into a spot ETF.

It also delayed BlackRock’s proposal to introduce a similar product with VanEck’s application for a spot Ethereum ETF, pending approval or denial by May 23. JP Morgan assesses the likelihood of such a fund receiving approval before May at below 50%.

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Ethereum

Railgun Denies North Korea Ties as it Approaches $1B Total Volume

Crypto privacy protocol Railgun has denied accusations that it is being used by North Korea and other United States-sanctioned entities to launder digital assets.

This development comes as the crypto privacy protocol nears $1B total volume.

Railgun Denies Lazarus Group Association

Responding to claims made by crypto reporter Colin Wu through an X post, Railgun denied allegations linking it to the North Korean hacker group Lazarus Group.

“The North Korean hacker group Lazarus Group is also a user of the coin mixer Railgun,” the post stated. “Railgun is seen as the main alternative to Tornado Cash after the sanctions were imposed on it,” the team added.

Wu’s post referenced an FBI statement from January 2023 that accused Railgun of being used to launder over $60 million worth of Ethereum stolen during the 2022 Harmony Bridge heist.

RAILGUN protocol: “Any suggestion that sanctioned individuals, governments, or entities such as North Korea have used RAILGUN have no evidence & are based only on speculation.” From 2023, all RAILGUN transactions go through a Private Proofs of Innocence check which verifies that…

— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) April 16, 2024

“This is not true, and it’s false reporting,” Railgun stated. The team affirmed that the Lazarus group can’t access the Railgun system due to its ‘Private Proofs of Innocence’ system, which became operational over a year ago. Railgun also dismissed the accusation as a mistaken and false claim.

This development comes amidst a surge in Railgun’s total volume, which is about to break the $1 billion mark. Data from Dune Analytics reveals that Railgun has reached $962.81 million in total volume, with its total value locked on Ethereum surpassing $25 million.

Buterin’s Endorsement of Railgun

The protocol’s rise in popularity has been further propelled by an endorsement from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who recently defended it while praising its privacy features.

“Privacy is normal,” Buterin affirmed. “Railgun uses the privacy pools protocol, which makes it much harder for bad actors to join the pool without compromising users’ privacy.”

Meanwhile, Buterin has transferred 100 ETH (approximately $325,000) to Railgun within the last two days, according to data from Arkham Intelligence. Over the past six months, he has engaged with Railgun several times, regularly interacting with the platform using small amounts of ETH each month.

Railgun, established in January 2021, leverages zero-knowledge cryptography to shield wallet balances, transaction history, and transaction details. This allows customers to use decentralized apps (DApps) while safeguarding their privacy.

The introduction of Private Proofs of Innocence in January 2023 has increased Railgun’s security measures as it now uses cryptographic assurance to verify the legitimacy of funds entering its smart contract.

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Ethereum

EY Launches Ethereum-Based OpsChain Contract Manager for Business Contracts

Ernst & Young (EY) has launched OpsChain Contract Manager (OCM), an Ethereum solution that leverages zero-knowledge proofs technology.

The solution will help private businesses efficiently manage and execute intricate business agreements while ensuring confidentiality, timeliness, and cost-effectiveness.

EY Launches the OpsChain Contract Manager

EY, one of the top “big four” accounting firms alongside Deloitte, KPMG, and PwC, has been exploring the business applications of zero-knowledge proofs (zk proofs) since at least 2018.

OpsChain Contract Manager (OCM) is tailored to facilitate the secure management of business contracts on a public blockchain. By leveraging zero-knowledge proofs, OCM ensures contract integrity and confidentiality while enhancing efficiency and reducing costs.

The platform integrates with existing enterprise systems through a standardized API and supports various contract types, including volume purchase agreements and pricing models linked to market data feeds.

The development of OCM came from EY’s previous client engagements, where it realized that contract term accuracy could be enhanced while significantly reducing cycle times and administrative costs by approximately 90% and 40%, respectively.

Meanwhile, EY chose Ethereum, a public blockchain, over a private network to prevent any party from gaining undue advantage while mitigating the risk of sensitive business information leakage.

Paul Brody, EY Global Blockchain Leader, highlighted that the technology behind OCM, Nightfall, initially emerged on Ethereum and underwent testing on its test network. The upcoming update will transition Nightfall to Ethereum’s mainnet and may incorporate a Layer-3 upgrade to enhance scalability and functionality.

EY’s Venture Into Blockchain

EY’s launch of OpsChain Contract Manager comes amid increasing blockchain adoption by major financial players. BlackRock also recently entered the space with a tokenized fund on Ethereum.

EY’s OCM reflects its commitment to revolutionizing how enterprises handle contracts, focusing on enhancing process efficiency and transparency through blockchain solutions. By integrating blockchain into traditional business practices, EY sets a precedent for the industry’s progression toward embracing this transformative technology in routine operations.

This latest development builds upon EY’s ongoing engagement with the blockchain sector. EY recently made headlines with a “healthcare breakthrough” by leveraging blockchain technology in collaboration with Canadian Blood Services.

In October 2023, EY unveiled the fourth generation of its EY blockchain analytics tool, Reconciler, designed to aid Fidelity in enhancing internal risk management for digital assets.

In September 2021, EY also announced its collaboration with Polygon to integrate Polygon’s solutions with EY’s flagship blockchain services, including EY OpsChain and EY Blockchain Analyzer.

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Ethereum

Ethereum Poised to Retest $3.5K as Bullish Sign Reappear (ETH Price Analysis)

After experiencing a rapid downturn, Ethereum has found itself supported by a substantial zone, comprising the 100-day moving average and a critical price range between the 0.5 and 0.618 Fibonacci levels. Consequently, a bullish rebound is anticipated in the medium term.

By Shayan

The Daily Chart

A thorough examination of the daily chart reveals an extended period of corrective retracements, culminating in the price finding support within a pivotal zone.

This zone encompasses the 100-day moving average at $3050 and the significant price range between the 0.5 ($3190) and 0.618 ($2972) Fibonacci levels.

This range carries significance as it attracts considerable demand, potentially hindering further downward pressure from market sellers. Additionally, a minor bullish divergence between the price and the RSI indicator suggests the potential for a bullish resurgence, targeting a reclaim of the $3.5K threshold. However, despite the bullish indications, an unexpected breach below this critical support zone could trigger a cascade effect toward the 200-day moving average at $2.5K.

eth_price_chart_2004241
Source: TradingView

The 4-Hour Chart

A closer inspection of the 4-hour chart reveals the formation of a descending wedge pattern during a multi-month consolidation correction. Following a significant decline, the price has reached the lower boundary of the wedge and the support region around $3K.

Nonetheless, given the potential buying pressure within this crucial range, the price has entered a consolidation phase characterized by minimal volatility.

This price action highlights a tug-of-war between buyers and sellers. Nevertheless, a noticeable divergence between the price and the RSI indicator on the 4-hour timeframe suggests the strength of buyers, increasing the likelihood of a bullish upswing in the medium term. In such a scenario, the next target for the price would be the critical resistance level at $3.5K. Conversely, should a break below this support occur, a descent toward the $2.7K support becomes increasingly probable.

eth_price_chart_2004241
Source: TradingView

By Shayan

As Ethereum’s price exhibits signs of recovery, it’s crucial to determine whether this resurgence stems from spot buying or leveraged futures activity. A key metric for this analysis is the funding rates, where positive values signify bullish sentiment and negative values indicate fear in the market.

Observing the recent downtrend in Ethereum’s price, it’s notable that the funding rate metric has mirrored this trajectory, steadily declining until reaching near-zero levels. This alignment suggests that the recent price drop has led to the liquidation of a significant number of positions in the perpetual market, resulting in a cooling effect on the futures market. Consequently, the market appears primed for the re-emergence of long positions, with the potential for a fresh upward surge.

eth_funding_rates_chart_2004241
Source: CryptoQuant
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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.

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