Bitcoin

Crypto Biz: The race for a Bitcoin spot ETF, Wall Street’s new crypto exchange, and other news

The bid for the first Bitcoin (BTC) spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States is gaining traction following BlackRock’s recent application, with both former applicants and new players seeking permission from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to list a crypto ETF.

Although it’s unclear whether the SEC will finally allow a Bitcoin ETF, BlackRock’s initiative appears to have “breathed new life into the race” amid the ongoing crackdown on the crypto industry.

Other headline news includes Wall Street titans backing a newly launched crypto exchange despite the current regulatory landscape. The newcomer is EDX Markets, supported by names such as Citadel Securities, Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab — among others.

Meanwhile, crypto pioneers keep fighting for survival. On June 17, a U.S. judge approved an agreement between Binance.US and the SEC to avoid the exchange’s assets being frozen, while Gemini is seeking to expand operations beyond U.S. authorities’ reach.

This week’s Crypto Biz looks at the wave of applications for a Bitcoin spot ETF, the most recent centralized exchange (CEX) launch in the U.S., and CleanSpark’s aggressive mining expansion despite the bear market.

Wall Street giants back EDX Markets, a new cryptocurrency exchange

The U.S. crypto industry has a new player: EDX Markets. The new CEX made a notable entry with backing from prominent financial institutions such as Citadel Securities, Fidelity Investments, Paradigm, Sequoia Capital and Charles Schwab. Currently, the exchange supports trading only four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). In the coming months, EDX plans to introduce EDX Clearing, a clearinghouse to settle trades executed on the EDX Markets platform.

Blackrock’s spot Bitcoin ETF renews optimism, sparks wave of new filings

At least three investment firms have filed for spot Bitcoin ETFs following investment goliath BlackRock’s move to lodge a similar application on June 15. Asset management fund WisdomTree is seeking permission from the SEC to list its “WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust” for a third time. Less than four hours after the WisdomTree filing, global investment manager Invesco “reactivated” its application for a similar product, followed by a request from Valkyrie Investments on June 21. Moreover, rumors have begun circulating that the multitrillion-dollar fund manager Fidelity Investments may also be looking to capitalize on the newfound frenzy for spot Bitcoin ETFs. While the SEC has not yet approved a single spot Bitcoin ETF product, Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas noted that “BlackRock breathed new life into the race.” 

CleanSpark buys two Bitcoin mining campuses for $9.3 million

Crypto mining firm CleanSpark continues its aggressive infrastructure expansion in the U.S. by acquiring two Bitcoin mining facilities in a $9.3 million cash deal. The facilities will host over 6,000 Antminer S19 XPs and S19J Pro+s, which are expected to add about one exahash per second (EH/s) to CleanSpark’s hash rate following the deal’s completion. According to Zach Bradford, CEO of CleanSpark, the newly acquired infrastructure will enable the company to reach its target of 16 EH/s by the end of 2023. The purchase follows several other acquisitions by CleanSpark in recent months, despite a slump in BTC mining profitability during the bear market.

Gemini plans Asia-Pacific expansion as part of “next wave of growth for crypto”

Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has announced plans to expand into the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region by increasing the staff at the firm’s Singapore office and establishing an engineering division in India. In a blog post, Gemini hinted at “larger” plans for expanding into the region in the next 12 months. “We believe that APAC will be a great driver of the next wave of growth for crypto and Gemini,” said the exchange. Gemini seemed to be exploring different markets amid the crackdown on many crypto firms in the United States. In April, the exchange took the first steps to become a restricted dealer with Canada’s Ontario Securities Commission. Last month, it chose Ireland as a base to grow the firm’s services across Europe.

Before you go: Bitcoin hits $28,000 after BlackRock files for BTC ETF

In the latest episode of The Market Report, Cointelegraph analyst and writer Marcel Pechman explains what’s behind Bitcoin reaching 50% crypto market dominance for the first time in two years amid Blackrock’s spot ETF filing and the U.S. SEC’s crackdown on altcoins. You won’t want to miss it!

Crypto Biz is your weekly pulse of the business behind blockchain and crypto, delivered directly to your inbox every Thursday.

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