Grayscale, a leading crypto asset manager, has appointed John Hoffman, a seasoned ETF expert from Invesco, as the new Managing Director and Head of Distribution and Strategic Partnerships. This strategic hire comes six weeks before a crucial decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the potential launch of a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded-fund (ETF) by Grayscale. Hoffman, who brings over 17 years of experience from Invesco, where he notably led the Americas, ETF, and indexed strategies team, is expected to leverage his expertise to benefit Grayscale, especially in this pivotal period. Dave LaValle, Global Head of ETFs at Grayscale, expressed enthusiasm over Hoffman's addition to the team. This move occurs as Grayscale prepares for the SEC's decision on the launch of several potential spot Bitcoin ETFs, including their own, amidst a competitive landscape with major players like BlackRock and Invesco.
Zodia Custody, a cryptocurrency storage provider supported by Standard Chartered, is joining Metaco's network, a Ripple-owned custody specialist, to enhance the safekeeping and settlement of digital assets for global institutions. This collaboration reflects a growing trend in the crypto industry where enhanced storage and settlement networks are being developed to mitigate counterparty risks, especially in the wake of major firm collapses like FTX. Zodia Custody CEO Julian Sawyer described this as the 'third generation of crypto custody', emphasizing the integration of multiple custodians for efficient asset management. This network allows for global sub-custody arrangements, where institutions can contract others to hold assets in different jurisdictions. For instance, a Brazilian custodian could use Zodia as a sub-custodian in the UK, leveraging their regulatory permissions. Zodia Custody, already established in the UK, Ireland, and Luxembourg, has expanded into Singapore. Concurrently, Zodia Markets, also backed by Standard Chartered, has received preliminary approval to operate as an OTC crypto broker-dealer in Abu Dhabi. Metaco, expanding its influence in the sector, has also recently partnered with HSBC for its custody technology services.
U.S. Space Force Major Jason Lowery has introduced a novel perspective on Bitcoin, emphasizing its potential role in national defense and cybersecurity. In his letter to the Department of Defense’s Innovation Board, Lowery argued for the strategic significance of Bitcoin and proof-of-work protocols, urging exploration of their applications in military strategy. He conceptualizes Bitcoin as a "macrochip," which could transform the global electric grid into a computational resource, introducing physical costs into digital security. This approach, he suggests, could revolutionize cybersecurity and data protection, challenging existing paradigms and offering a new method to secure internet data. Lowery's insights, stemming from his expertise in national defense and digital technology, highlight the urgency for the U.S. to adapt to these technologies. He recommends the Defense Innovation Board prioritize investigating Bitcoin's potential in cyber warfare and defense strategies, stressing that neglecting this could impact global power dynamics and compromise the U.S.'s position as a digital superpower.
Equity futures took a step back on Monday following the impressive performance of the S&P 500, which achieved a new high for the year in 2023 last Friday. This marked the culmination of a five-week upward trend. The S&P 500, representing a wide range of stocks, managed to achieve its highest closing value since March 2022 during this Friday milestone, resulting in a remarkable year-to-date gain of nearly 20%. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq index showed exceptional growth, surging by 37% in the year 2023.
The recent resurgence in the stock market, particularly since October, can be attributed to investors' growing belief that the Federal Reserve might start interest rate cuts in the coming year. This optimism persists despite Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell attempting to temper expectations by stating that it is premature to anticipate any policy easing.
All eyes are on the eagerly anticipated November jobs report scheduled for release this Friday.
On the cryptocurrency front, Bitcoin surpassed the $42,000 mark, marking a 19-month high, while the price of gold reached its highest nominal intraday level ever. This bullish sentiment spilled over into the crypto mining sector, with stocks like Marathon Digital and Riot Platforms experiencing gains of more than 14% and 12%, respectively. Additionally, Coinbase and Microstrategy also saw substantial increases of more than 9% and 8%, respectively.
Notably, prominent figures in the cryptocurrency industry are expecting the start of a new bull market, with an increasing number of voices predicting fresh all-time highs for Bitcoin in 2024, potentially surpassing the $100,000 mark. Another positive development on the horizon is the scheduled Bitcoin halving event, which occurs every four years and is set for May 2024. These factors collectively have the potential to trigger a significant upward surge in Bitcoin's price.
This research is for informational use only. This is not investment advice. Other than disclosures relating to Secure Digital Markets this research is based on current public information that we consider reliable, but we do not represent it is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied on as such. The information, opinions, estimates, and forecasts contained herein are as of the date hereof and are subject to change without prior notification. We seek to update our research as appropriate.
Any forecasts contained herein are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be relied upon as advice or interpreted as a recommendation. The price of crypto assets may rise or fall because of changes in the broad market or changes in a company's financial condition, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. Past performance is not a guide to future performance, future returns are not guaranteed, and a loss of original capital may occur. Fluctuations in exchange rates could have adverse effects on the value or price of, or income derived from, certain investments. We and our affiliates, officers, directors, and employees, excluding equity and credit analysts, will from time to time have long or short positions in, act as principal in, and buy or sell, the securities or derivatives, if any, referred to in this research.
The information on which the analysis is based has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable such as, for example, the company’s financial statements filed with a regulator, company website, company white paper, pitchbook and any other sources. While Secure Digital Markets has obtained data, statistics, and information from sources it believes to be reliable, it does not perform an audit or seek independent verification of any of the data, statistics, and information it receives.
Unless otherwise provided in a separate agreement, Secure Digital Markets does not represent that the report contents meet all of the presentation and/or disclosure standards applicable in the jurisdiction the recipient is located. Secure Digital Markets and their officers, directors and employees shall not be responsible or liable for any trading decisions, damages or other losses resulting from, or related to, the information, data, analyses, or opinions within the report.
Crypto and/or digital currencies involve substantial risk, are speculative in nature and may not perform as expected. Many digital currency platforms are not subject to regulatory supervision, unlike regulated exchanges. Some platforms may commingle customer assets in shared accounts and provide inadequate custody, which may affect whether or how investors can withdraw their currency and/or subject them to money laundering. Digital currencies may be vulnerable to hacks and cyber fraud as well as significant volatility and price swings.
Sign up to receive more exclusive market coverage:
Start trading with Secure Digital Markets today by e-mailing: