Grayscale Investments CEO Michael Sonnenshein expressed optimism about ongoing dialogues with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the potential approval of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Despite no specific timelines, Sonnenshein noted active engagement and positive signals from the SEC. Grayscale's pursuit of a spot Bitcoin ETF gained momentum following a court decision in August, requiring the SEC to re-review their application after initially rejecting their proposal to convert the GBTC fund into an ETF. SEC Chair Gary Gensler, known for his critical stance on crypto, is still reviewing this decision amidst concerns about fraud and manipulation in the crypto space. Sonnenshein also responded to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon's recent critical remarks about crypto, highlighting the growing investor interest in cryptocurrencies and the adaptation of traditional financial institutions to these new technologies, as evidenced by JPMorgan's introduction of programmable payments via JPM Coin.
The issuer of the USDC stablecoin, Circle, has partnered with Latin American fintech leader Nubank to broaden access to its dollar-backed digital asset. This collaboration will introduce USDC support within Nubank Cripto, allowing Brazilian users to buy and hold digital dollars. Nubank boasts a customer base of 90 million across Latin America, with over 85 million in Brazil. Alongside this partnership, Nubank has teamed up with Talos to reduce crypto trading costs. Jeremy Allaire, Circle's CEO, highlighted Brazil's significant role in digital currency adoption and sees the partnership as a key moment in expanding USDC's global reach.
Brazil is actively developing its own digital currency and attracting top crypto firms and payment companies. The widespread use of Pix, a peer-to-peer digital payment app, in Brazil shows the high consumer interest in digital assets. Thomaz Fortes, the general manager of Nubank's crypto arm, looks forward to integrating Nubank Cripto with other financial services in their app, signaling growing digital asset adoption in Brazil.
Deloitte, a leading professional services firm, is set to utilize the Polkadot-based Kilt blockchain in collaboration with Nexxiot to provide innovative logistics and supply-chain services in the shipping industry. Their service, named KYX, combines Know Your Client (KYC) and Know Your Cargo processes for verifying client identities and cargo. This system, built on the Kilt network, allows entities to create blockchain-based services without needing direct involvement with cryptocurrencies. Shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd will be the first to implement KYX, with plans to equip 1.5 million containers with tracking devices. This follows IBM's earlier, similar blockchain project in shipping, TradeLens, which was discontinued due to limited commercial interest. Deloitte's involvement in blockchain extends back several years and includes participating in fintech firm Digital Asset's network for decentralized infrastructure, indicating a growing interest and resurgence in blockchain-based enterprise projects.
There has been a remarkable surge in open interest for both BTC and ETH on the Deribit platform, setting a new record at an impressive $23.6 billion. This surge signals a heightened demand for these leading cryptocurrencies. When we delve into the specifics, 67% of this substantial open interest is concentrated on Bitcoin. Notably, a significant portion of this open interest revolves around specific strike prices:
For BTC, there is a notable focus on call options with strike prices set at $50,000, $40,000, and $45,000.
For ETH, call options are in demand with strike prices at $2,300, $2,400, $2,500, and $3,000.
Shifting gears, El Salvador has embarked on an intriguing endeavor to attract crypto millionaires with its 'Freedom VISA' program. This recently launched initiative invites more than 1,000 individuals annually who are willing to invest a minimum of $1 million in either BTC or USDT. If fully subscribed, this program has the potential to bring in a substantial $1 billion in deposits each year.
In the stock market, the outlook appears to be mixed as stock futures experienced a decline on a Friday morning. This dip comes as investors assess the latest U.S. jobs report. The much-anticipated nonfarm payrolls data for November exceeded expectations, registering at 199,000, surpassing the projected 180,000 figure. Additionally, there was an unexpected drop in unemployment from 3.9% to 3.7%. This unexpected turn of events has triggered an uptick in the 10-year yield and the US Dollar Index, indicating a heightened probability of extended periods of higher interest rates.
Throughout the week, stocks have faced considerable challenges, with the S&P 500 registering a 0.2% decline, thus ending its five-week winning streak. On the other hand, the Nasdaq managed to reclaim positive territory for the week, recording a 0.2% gain and marking its sixth consecutive week of gains.
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