The Bitcoin Briefing, 8 May 2024

Thanks for tuning in to the first of a new series of blogs, the Bitcoin Briefing from LondonLink. We’ll bring you the latest and greatest news from the world of bitcoin, shrinking it down into one easy-to-read highlight reel. Let’s get into what happened last week.

The Bitcoin Briefing

Bitcoin Market News

Hong Kong regulators approve ETFs 

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) gave the nod to spot-based bitcoin and ether ETFs by asset managers Harvest Global Investments, China Asset Management and a consortium of Bosera Asset Management and HashKey Capital. The approval comes after US regulators greenlit the country’s first spot-based bitcoin ETFs, a major breakthrough for the crypto industry that expanded the investor base for bitcoin. Led by global asset management giant BlackRock's offering, the funds have since amassed over $12 billion in net inflows.

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Bitcoin ETF bandwagon heading to Australia

Australia is set for a wave of Bitcoin exchange-traded fund launches, following in the footsteps of the US and Hong Kong, as issuers like Van Eck Associates Corp. and BetaShares Holdings Pty line up for listings. Australia’s $2.3 trillion pension market may help drive inflows through self-managed superannuation programs that allow individuals to pick their investments. These could emerge as buyers of spot-crypto funds, according to Jamie Hannah, deputy head of investments and capital markets for VanEck Australia.

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Canada's institutional investors re-embrace crypto

39% of Canada’s institutional investors had exposure to crypto assets in 2023, with 75% owned crypto currencies directly according to KPMG survey. Wealth management saw a pullback, with only 14% of firms with crypto asset services offering financial advice for crypto to their clients at year-end 2023, down from 42% the last time the survey was conducted two years ago.

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Morgan Stanley may allow brokers to pitch bitcoin

The Wall Street giant opened up bitcoin ETF purchases after they had been approved earlier this year. However, this was done only on an unsolicited basis. The bank is now looking to let its brokers pitch bitcoin ETFs directly to its customers.

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Bitcoin People Moves

Coinbase adds political clout to advisory council

Coinbase announced that former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will take a paid position on its global advisory council. The addition follows the formation of the board 12 months ago. Former Atlanta mayor and adviser to President Joe Biden Keisha Lance Bottoms is also joining the council to be a voice to lawmakers about crypto.

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Blackrock recruits Moonpay CLO to Board

BlackRock and iShares's $IBIT, currently the most-traded spot Bitcoin ETF by volume, is shaking up its board of directors, appointing Lindsey Haswell, Chief Legal and Administrative Officer at Web3 payment infrastructure company MoonPay. Haswell is also a member of the Core blockchain’s founding team. 

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Bit of bitcoin fun

The 'Buy Bitcoin' sign from Janet Yellen's 2017 speech sold for $1 million. The famous sign drawn on yellow notebook paper gained significance after being seen on TV behind then-Fed Chair Janet Yellen in 2017. A pseudonymous bidder, “Squirrekkywrath,” purchased the sign for 16 BTC (roughly $1.027 million).

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