No Spot Bitcoin ETFs for American Investors This Year: SEC Shots Down Two Proposals

Reflecting on the past year, 2021 has been great for Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market. It even saw the birth of two BTC futures ETFs in the States, but with just a week remaining until the end of it, American investors might not see spot one.

SEC in no Mood for Spot Bitcoin ETFs

According to the official document, the SEC rejected physically-backed Bitcoin ETFs proposed by Valkyrie and Kryptoin. The regulator cited similar market manipulation concerns while referring to both to list and trade shares of Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund and the Kryptoin Bitcoin ETF Trust.

It stated that the two proposals did not meet its standard designed to ward off fraudulent and manipulative practices as well as protect market players and the public interest.

The two entities that filed to propose rule modifications to list and trade the two ETFs were NYSE Arca and Cboe BZX Exchange. However, the Commission noted that both “have not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of Exchange Act Section 6(b)(5).”


Besides, the US regulator started a formal review of Kryptoin’s bitcoin exchange-traded fund application in April this year. This isn’t the first time that the Delaware-based company has faced rejection. In 2019, the company failed to get a green signal from the regulatory authorities.

The decision comes more than a month after the SEC denied VanEck’s application for a spot Bitcoin ETF.

The launch of the first spot-Bitcoin ETF, remains in limbo for many investment fund providers across the country. However, the latest move isn’t surprising, as SEC Chair Gary Gensler has been very clear about his preference.

BITO Fails to Charm Investors

After years of failed attempts, the SEC finally approved BITO – the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF. However, in the first two months of its trading, the ETF paled in comparison to the underlying asset’s spot price.

According to Bloomberg Intelligence ETF Analyst James Seyffart, BITO was trailing spot by 2.34% with just about two months of data. Going forward, Seyffart believes the fund will continue to underperform spot by 13-14% in its first year. The gap between the asset and the fund is significant. As a result, many financial advisors would opt for it.

However, some long-term investors argue that offerings with a smaller allocation to BTC futures contracts could, in fact, emerge as more dominant in the coming year.

Featured Image Courtesy of CNN


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Big Four Accounting Firm Enters the Metaverse With Purchase of Virtual Land in The Sandbox (SAND)

One of the biggest accounting firms in the world has ventured into the metaverse after purchasing virtual real estate on gaming blockchain The Sandbox (SAND).

PwC Hong Kong, part of the global PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting empire, has become the first member of an internationally recognized professional services network to publicly buy virtual land on The Sandbox, according to a press release.

As William Gee, a partner at PwC Hong Kong says,

“The Metaverse offers new possibilities for organizations to create value through innovative business models, as well as introducing new ways to engage with their customers and communities.

We will leverage our expertise to advise clients who wish to embrace the Metaverse on the full range of challenges presented by this emerging global digital phenomenon.”

SAND is a decentralized blockchain-based gaming world within the metaverse where users can buy, sell, and customize virtual plots of land, which they own as in-game non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

PwC Hong Kong can play a valuable role in growing the metaverse by creating an environment where blue-chip investors and brand-name companies can feel comfortable familiarizing themselves with Web3 technology, according to the media release.

As stated by Sebastien Borget, chief operating officer of SAND,

“The metaverse is open for business. We welcome PwC Hong Kong to experience how The Sandbox fosters new immersive experiences and ways for brands to connect with customers. It’s an exciting time, and PwC is at the forefront of this emerging frontier.”

SAND is exchanging hands at $6.14 at time of writing, a 29% increase from its seven-day low of $4.76.

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Ethereum Competitor Polygon (MATIC) Signs Deal With Web Browser in Push to Onboard Millions of New Users

Ethereum (ETH) layer-2 solution Polygon (MATIC) is teaming up with a prominent software company to bring Web3 functions to its web browser.

In a new blog post, Polygon details how it will be working together with Opera Software to bring decentralized applications (DApps) over to the Opera web browser.

“Polygon is coming to the Opera browser in a partnership that can potentially onboard millions of users into Polygon’s ecosystem of decentralized apps.

Opera will integrate the Polygon blockchain in their Web3-ready browser and its built-in crypto wallet on Android in the first quarter of 2022. The integration will enable Opera’s users’ in-browser access to over 3,000 dApps on the Polygon network.”

Some marquee DApps coming to the Opera browser include automated market maker SushiSwap, stablecoin-focused decentralized exchange Curve, and borrowing and lending protocol Aave, as well as popular land-based blockchain games The Sandbox and Decentraland, and non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces such as OpenSea.

Opera, which has had its own built-in crypto wallet since 2018, already supports Ethereum’s Web3 application programming interface but suffers from high gas transaction fees, according to Polygon. However, MATIC believes their partnership with Opera can solve this problem.

“Opera’s non-custodial crypto wallet already supports the Ethereum Web3 API, making interacting with these DApps seamless to the user.

Adoption of Web3 crypto wallets has been handicapped by high gas fees on the Ethereum layer-1. Polygon has stepped in with a broad range of scaling options and some of the industry’s lowest transaction rates.”

Polygon’s announcement comes on the heels of them creating a $200 million fund with social giant Reddit in order to bring social media and games over to the blockchain.

The popular altcoin’s recent collaborations, along with its push to improve its scaling solutions in the form of zero-knowledge (ZK) rollups which bundle and verify hundreds of transactions off-chain, have some analysts predicting that MATIC will rally in 2022.

MATIC is exchanging hands at $2.68 as of writing, a 36% increase from its seven-day low of $1.97.

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The Biggest Bull In Bitcoin Made A Wild $6 Million Price Prediction as Ethereum Rivals Make Huge Gains

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices have staged a late Santa rally this week with the bitcoin price climbing over $50,000 per bitcoin—even as Tesla’s Elon Musk and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey spar over crypto’s future.

The bitcoin price climbed to levels not seen since its early December crash, boosting the ethereum price. Meanwhile, smaller cryptocurrencies including ethereum and its biggest rivals have rocketed in recent weeks.

Ahead of the crypto market’s pre-Christmas surge, bitcoin evangelist Michael Saylor’s huge bitcoin price prediction was revealed—as well as his personal near-$900 million bitcoin stash.

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MicroStrategy’s chief executive Michael Saylor, who’s transformed his business intelligence company into a bitcoin acquisition vehicle over the last 18 months, expects the bitcoin price to eventually hit $6 million, according to details from a November interview with technology news site The Information published in its Crypto Global newsletter this week.

A $6 million bitcoin price, which has already climbed from around $4,000 in March 2020 to highs of almost $70,000 last month, would give the nearly 19 million bitcoins in circulation a combined value of $126 trillion—an increase of around 12,000% from its current near-$1 trillion market capitalization and making it by far the world’s most valuable commodity.

Saylor also said he personally owns 17,732 bitcoin, worth around $832 million at current prices, and has never sold any—however, he doesn’t own any other cryptocurrency besides bitcoin despite many climbing at a far faster clip than bitcoin over the last year.

“I don’t believe you should sell your bitcoin,” Saylor told The Information.

MicroStrategy, after beginning to acquire bitcoin in August 2020, has now bought just over 122,000 bitcoins now worth almost $6 billion and is increasingly being run as two separate businesses.

“Right now, the strategy is we run the software business as hard as we can,” Saylor said. “On the other side, we acquire and hold bitcoin.”

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MORE FROM FORBESBitcoin Will ‘Replace The U.S. Dollar’-Jack Dorsey Made A Radical Prediction As The Price Suddenly Surges, Boosting Ethereum

MicroStrategy’s first $250 million bitcoin purchase is now worth around $1 billion and it has made a series of blockbuster bitcoin purchases since then, financed via company debt. Its latest $82 million bitcoin-buy was made earlier this month.

The company’s stock price has soared since August 2020, adding 300%, but has swung wildly along with the highly-volatile bitcoin price.

Saylor, who is infamous for losing $6 billion in a single day during the height of the dot-com bubble, has become known for his outlandish and ostentatious bitcoin quotes.

“Bitcoin is a swarm of cyber hornets serving the goddess of wisdom, feeding on the fire of truth, exponentially growing ever smarter, faster, and stronger behind a wall of encrypted energy,” Saylor tweeted in September 2020.

Bitcoin’s huge rally over the last year or so has helped it to be taken more seriously on Wall Street and by established technology giants. Bitcoin has swept through Wall Street this year, with many of the biggest banks beginning to roll out crypto services and piling into crypto markets.

This week, former Twitter TWTR chief executive Jack Dorsey, who recently quit the social media giant he cofounded to grow his payments company, predicted bitcoin will eventually replace the U.S. dollar.


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5 cryptocurrency projects that made waves in 2021

2021 was a breakout year for the cryptocurrency market in many respects and most investors are absolutely thrilled that Bitcoin (BTC) price established a new all-time high of $68,789. In the same timeframe, Ether (ETH) went on a parabolic rally which saw its price gain 565% from Jan. 1 to hit a record high at $4,859 on Nov. 10.

While it was a banner year for large cap cryptocurrencies, some of the biggest gains and most impactful developments came from the altcoin market where decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) rallied by thousands of percent and helped to usher in a new level of awareness and adoption for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

Here’s a look at five altcoin projects that made significant contributions to the cryptocurrency ecosystem in 2021.


The decentralized exchange Uniswap (UNI) has arguably had the greatest impact on the crypto ecosystem as a whole since launching in the summer of 2020, with the DEX seeing significant growth throughout 2021 as it helped facilitate the launch of thousands of new crypto projects by removing the barriers to launch that existed on centralized exchanges.

Data provided by Dune Analytics shows that Uniswap has been the dominant DEX throughout the year and it has consistently seen more trading volume than all other DEXs combined.

Monthly DEX volume by project. Source: Dune Analytics

As seen on the chart above, the volume traded on decentralized exchanges really started to ramp up in the second half of 2021 led in large part by activity on Uniswap.

Throughout 2021 Uniswap led the field in development as well, with the developers behind the protocol announcing the release of Uniswap v3 in March. The v3 upgrade included multiple protocol upgrades and it built the foundation to integrate layer-two scaling solutions like Optimism and Arbitrum with Uniswap as a way to help reduce the transaction costs and processing times for users.


Aave (AAVE) is a DeFi lending protocol that allows users to deposit their tokens and lend them out as a way to earn a yield or pledge them as collateral in order to borrow another asset.

As the DeFi sector started to gain traction in early 2021, AAVE emerged as a community favorite thanks to the wide swath of crypto assets supported and the backing from some well-funded players.

Over the course of the year, AAVE expanded its capabilities and reach with the release of AAVE v2 which added support for Polygon, a layer-two scaling solution, and Avalanche, which is a popular cross-chain blockchain network.

Total liquidity on the AAVE protocol. Source: Aave

As a result of these added capabilities, the total liquidity available on the AAVE protocol has surpassed $25.7 billion, making AAVE the top-ranked DeFi protocol by total value locked (TVL).


Curve Finance is a stablecoin-focused protocol that utilizes an automated market maker to manage liquidity on the platform and across the DeFi ecosystem.

Stablecoins have emerged as a foundational piece for the cryptocurrency community as a whole in 2021 because they provide sufficient liquidity for the market and a safe haven for traders seeking shelter during periods of high volatility. 

The growing importance that stablecoins have benefited Curve protocol and its native CRV by accelerating its integration of stablecoins into many of the top DeFi protocols, including the Yearn.Finance ecosystem and Convex Finance.

Despite the fact that a significant portion of the assets locked on the Curve protocol are stablecoins, the platform now ranks as the second leading protocol in terms of TVL behind AAVE, with data from Defi Llama showing that $21.77 billion in value is now locked in Curve vaults.

Total value locked on Curve. Source: Defi Llama

Curve has also integrated with many of the most active blockchain networks, including Ethereum, Avalanche, Harmony, xDAI, Polygon, Arbitrum and Fantom, which is further evidence of the protocol’s quest to be the stablecoin liquidity provider for the entire crypto market.

Related: US Financial Stability Oversight Council identifies stablecoins and cryptos as threats to financial system

Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn (p2e) trading and battling game that allows participants to collect, breed, raise, battle and trade NFT-based creatures called Axies.

The p2e model emerged as a new fan favorite over the course of 2021 because it provides users with the ability to earn a daily income alongside their gameplay, which offers a few unique advantages when compared to the traditional pay-to-play model.

Alongside the rise in popularity of Axie Infinity came a new all-time high for the platform’s native AXS token. As the token stormed to new highs, the platform generated a daily revenue of $17.55 million at its height on August 6.

Axie Infinity price vs. total revenue. Source: Token Terminal

Axie Infinity was also one of the earliest projects to establish the trend of migrating away from the Ethereum network because of high fees and slow transactions. Earlier in the year the project migrated to the Ronin sidechain and in November the project launched its own DEX called Katana.


Dogecoin is an open-source proof of work cryptocurrency that leads the field of “meme” coins that made headlines all throughout 2021.

While the project has few contributions on the technological or development front, frequent shilling from the likes of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban helped to push Doge into a 23,746% rally that saw the price rise fr from $0.0031 on Jan. 1 to an all-time high of $0.74 on May 8.

DOGE/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

On top of the gains seen in DOGE price, the token received increased attention after it was announced that it would be used to help fund the launch of a lunar satellite by SpaceX and the Dogecoin movement also kicked off a meme-coin rally and spawned a bevy of copy-dog projects li Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Dogelon Mars (ELON).

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.