Al-Khwarizmi Weekly #19: Crypto & Blockchain Weekly News Summary
Welcome to issue 19 of Kurdcoin’s blockchain and cryptocurrency newsletter, Al-Khwarizmi Weekly. We bring you the latest and most important news and insights in the crypto market in just 5 minutes.
The crypto market continued its upward trajectory this week, reaching a new high for the year with a global crypto market cap of $1.43T, up from $1.38T last week. This optimism was fueled by several positive developments, including the confirmation of BlackRock’s Ethereum ETF, SEC chair Gary Gensler’s openness to an FTX reboot, and strong price movements for several altcoins. Bitcoin and Ethereum remain the two dominant cryptocurrencies, with a combined market cap of over 68% and both posting modest gains this week. The Fear & Greed Index, which measures investor sentiment, is currently at 77 out of 100, which is firmly in the “greed” zone, indicating that investors are feeling increasingly bullish on the crypto market.
Several altcoins posted impressive gains this week, including Solana (50.7%), Celestia (146.92%), and FTX token (63.1%). These gains were likely driven by a combination of factors, including speculation on the upcoming Ethereum Merge and the FTX reboot.
BlackRock, one of the world’s largest asset managers, appears to be taking the first steps toward launching an ether ETF. The firm has registered an iShares Ethereum Trust with the Delaware Division of Corporations, a similar move it made before filing for a bitcoin ETF in June.
The number of bitcoin millionaires has more than tripled in 2023, with over 81,000 digital asset wallets now holding at least $1 million in bitcoin. This represents a 237% increase since January, and is likely due to optimism around the upcoming bitcoin halving and the possibility of the SEC approving spot bitcoin ETFs.
Middle East Headlines
Institutional crypto custodian Hex Trust has secured a full operating license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), allowing it to continue providing crypto custodial services to institutional clients and sophisticated investors in the region. This is the final step in VARA’s comprehensive licensing process, and Hex Trust is now eligible to offer a range of digital asset services, including custody, buying, selling, and trading.
Crypto.com, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, has secured a Virtual Assets Service Provider (VASP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). This license will allow Crypto.com to offer a range of services to retail and institutional clients in Dubai, including exchange, brokerage, asset management, investment, and lending.
Startups and Funding
Crypto venture capital firm Maven 11 is seeking $100 million for its third fund, which will focus on consumer applications in the blockchain and crypto space. The firm has already secured $33 million in commitments and plans to close the fund in the first half of next year. Maven 11 has a proven track record of identifying promising early-stage crypto projects, and its new fund will continue to support the development of nascent ecosystems such as the modular blockchain space.
Lightspeed Venture Partners has launched a $285 million early-stage venture fund called Lightspeed Faction Fund I (“Faction”). The fund will focus on investing in blockchain technology companies across the entire spectrum, from infrastructure to applications. Faction is particularly interested in supporting founders who are building “something fundamentally useful and passionately propelling the industry forward.” The firm takes a hands-on approach to its investments and provides a range of support services to its portfolio companies. Faction believes that blockchain technology has the potential to be “seismically big” in the next few decades and is excited to invest in the companies that will shape the future of this industry.
The FTX bankruptcy estate has filed a lawsuit against Bybit, alleging that the exchange misappropriated nearly $1 billion worth of funds and digital assets in the lead-up to FTX’s collapse. The lawsuit claims that Bybit used its VIP status and connections to FTX executives to withdraw large sums of money and prioritize its own withdrawals over those of other customers. FTX is seeking compensatory and punitive damages from Bybit.