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Pando, BlackRock, Grayscale Gearing Up for Spot Bitcoin ETF

Pando, BlackRock, Grayscale Gearing Up for Spot Bitcoin ETF

Spot Bitcoin ETF applications surge, Wormhole raises $225M, FTX to sell $873M in assets, and 75% of blockchain games fail in a 5-year study.

Welcome to Datawallet Daily's latest issue, delivering essential market updates from the past day:

Pando, BlackRock, Grayscale Gearing Up for Spot Bitcoin ETF

Swiss asset manager Pando Asset has joined the race for a spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S., becoming the 13th applicant. Pando’s application for the Pando Asset Spot Bitcoin Trust, which aims to track Bitcoin’s price, uses Coinbase for custody. On the same day, BlackRock proposed an updated ETF model to the SEC. The company revised its ETF redemption model to align with SEC’s regulatory concerns.

Grayscale is also preparing for a potential spot Bitcoin ETF, updating its trust agreement for the first time since 2018. This includes changes to the fee structure and asset custody for smoother share creation and redemptions, as part of a strategy to compete effectively in the evolving ETF landscape.

Bloomberg analysts Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart speculate on potential mass approval of Bitcoin ETFs on January 10, the deadline for ARK Invest’s application.

Wormhole Secures $225M Funding at $2.5B Valuation

Wormhole, a leading cross-chain protocol, has successfully raised $225 million in a recent investment round, achieving a $2.5 billion valuation. This funding was led by several prominent investors including Brevan Howard and Coinbase Ventures. Concurrently, Wormhole announced the inception of Wormhole Labs, dedicated to fostering cross-chain bridging activities and development. 

Since its 2021 launch, Wormhole has processed over $35 billion in transactions and handles millions of cross-chain messages daily. Despite a major hacking incident in February 2022, where $321 million was stolen through a glitch on its Ethereum–Solana bridge, Wormhole has maintained a significant presence in the industry. The hack was addressed by Jump Crypto, which owned a major share in Wormhole, by replenishing the lost funds. 

FTX Approved to Sell $873M in Grayscale, Bitwise Assets

FTX has received court approval to sell its trust assets, including shares in Grayscale and Bitwise investment funds. These assets are estimated to be worth approximately $873 million. The decision, detailed in a Delaware bankruptcy court document, allows FTX to proceed with the asset sales based on their business judgment. The crypto firm Galaxy will be assisting FTX in the disposal of these assets.

FTX’s holdings in various Grayscale funds and a Bitwise crypto index fund were initially valued at $744 million but have potentially increased due to recent cryptocurrency market rallies. 

CoinGecko: 75% of Blockchain Games Failed in Past 5 Years

According to a CoinGecko study, over 75% of blockchain games launched between 2018 and 2023 have “failed,” defined as a 99% drop in active users from their peak. Of the 2,817 games studied, only 690 maintain active players. The year 2021 saw the highest launch of blockchain games, but 2022 experienced the most failures, with 742 games fizzling out, reflecting an average failure rate of around 80% annually. 

This trend appears linked to market cycles, with lower failures in bull markets and higher in bear markets. Notable enduring games include Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Axie Infinity, while Alien Worlds, Splinterlands, and Planet IX lead in unique active wallets in 2023. 

The failure rate has decreased in 2023, suggesting a possible stabilization in the Web3 gaming sector.

Other breaking news

Wrapping up

That’s all for today’s edition, folks. Spot Bitcoin ETF approval race intensifies with Pando joining, BlackRock and Grayscale revising their proposals. Mass Bitcoin ETF approval seems to be on the horizon. Crypto sector still drawing major investments, as evidenced by Wormhole’s $225M funding at a $2.5B valuation. FTX has received the green light to sell $873M in Grayscale and Bitwise assets, with the timing of the sale drawing keen interest. Amidst the excitement in blockchain gaming, CoinGecko reports a 75% failure rate over the past five years. Stay tuned for more updates!