Ethereum ETFs to go live in June, zkSync files for 'ZK' trademark, Babylon BTC staking project raises $70m, Elon Musk and Trump crypto discussion rumors.
Ethereum ETFs Could Launch in June

Ethereum ETFs Could Launch in June

May 31, 2024
| Issue

GM. This is our final newsletter to prepare you for the crypto weekend. The US stock market took some notes from DeFi as the SP500 and Dow index values froze on some websites for an hour. Meanwhile, crypto is pumping due to the rising odds of Ethereum ETFs launching in June.

On the misc side, zkSync is positioning itself as the main crypto villain by filing for trademarks over the 'ZK' ticker in nine countries. Additionally, rumors from Bloomberg that Elon Musk and Donald Trump are discussing crypto were quickly denied but there is a positive twist in it.

Ether ETFs Could Launch in June as BlackRock Updates S-1

BlackRock filed an updated S-1 form for its proposed spot ether (ETH) exchange-traded fund (ETF), revealing that a "Seed Capital Investor" purchased the first 400,000 shares at $25.00 each, for a total net asset value of $10 million. According to the document, BlackRock's ETF assets will be redeemable for cash or ether. The fund will trade under the ticker "ETHA" and it won't support staking features.

Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas suggested that Ethereum ETFs could launch by the end of June. This filing follows the SEC's approval of several ether ETFs, boosting market sentiment. In the most recent update, the SEC asked issuers to submit their draft S-1 filings by Friday. Following this, the SEC will issue its first round of comments, which will lead to additional modifications.

ZkSync Files For ZK Ticker Trademark in Nine Countries

Matter Labs, developer of zkSync, has filed trademark applications in nine countries to claim the term “zero-knowledge” (ZK) as its exclusive intellectual property, sparking outrage within the crypto community. The company had previously attempted to register a token with the ticker "ZK" on cryptocurrency exchanges but the name has already been taken by Polyhedra Network who opted for "ZKJ" instead.

Industry leaders, including StarkWare CEO Eli Ben-Sasson, have condemned the move as an “absurd IP grab” and “oppressive behavior,” arguing that ZK technology is a public good. A public letter demanding the withdrawal of the trademark filing was signed by prominent figures like Polygon co-founders Sandeep Nailwal and Brendan Farmer, and ZK-proofs co-inventor Shafi Goldwasser.

Babylon BTC Staking Protocol Raises $70M Led by Paradigm

Babylon, a Bitcoin staking protocol, raised $70 million from Paradigm, Bullish Capital, Polychain Capital, and others. Babylon aims to integrate Bitcoin into proof-of-stake (PoS) systems by providing infrastructure that enables staking capital to be sourced from Bitcoin. The platform uses a modular design and slashing to let blockchains, Layer 2s, DA layers, and oracles to incorporate BTC as a staking and restaking asset.

The raise is the biggest in Bitcoin's ecosystem history and will help Babylon enhance BTC's utility and improve network security. Previously, Babylon received investments from Binance Labs and led an $18 million Series A round in December 2023. Polychain Capital, a repeat investor, supports Babylon's vision of expanding Bitcoin's role in decentralized security markets.

Elon Musk Denies Rumors of Discussing Crypto with Trump

Elon Musk denied reports that he discussed cryptocurrency with Donald Trump, clarifying on X, the social media platform he owns, that he is "in favor of things that shift power from government to the people, which crypto can do". This response came after a Bloomberg report alleged that Musk had advised Trump on cryptocurrency and discussed speaking at the Republican National Convention.

Earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump was considering an advisory role for Musk if re-elected, discussing economic and border security policies. Trump, previously skeptical of crypto, recently expressed a more open approach and endorsed freeing Silk Road's Ross Ulbricht. Meanwhile, Biden’s campaign has reached out to crypto industry figures for policy guidance, indicating a softer stance.

Data of the day

According to data by Nansen, DBS, the largest Singaporean bank, has been identified as an Ethereum whale, holding around $660 million in ETH (173.7k coins). The S$739 billion financial institution has netted over $210 million in profit by holding Ethereum in the last twelve months.

Angel investor Kirby O. pointed out that DBS has a digital exchange for accredited investors that has been active for some time, and it is likely that the ETH is held on behalf of the investors rather than by the bank.


More breaking news

  • Solana can now communicate securely and openly with seven other chains thanks to LayerZero: Ethereum, Avalanche, Polygon, Arbitrum, BNB, Optimism, and Base.
  • EU parliamentary elections next week could have a big impact on crypto regulation. Depending on the results, there could be crackdowns or motions to support crypto.
  • Vitalik Buterin donated 30 ETH ($111,000) to a legal defense fund for Tornado Cash devs Alexey Pertsev and Roman Storm via Juicebox. The fund so far has 591 ETH ($2.2 million).
  • Terraform Labs, the Do Kwon-led company behind the collapsed LUNA token and TerraUSD (UST) stablecoin, has agreed in principle to a settlement with the US SEC over fraud charges.
  • Jesse Pollak, head of protocols at Coinbase and creator of the Base blockchain has 'softly' hinted about the creation of a Base Coin with a single emoji reply to a picture on X.

For the latest updates on digital asset markets, follow us on X @Datawalletcom.