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ASX Welcomes First-Ever Spot Bitcoin ETF as Speculation Grows for SOL and ADA ETF Applications 

The ASX has approved its very first Bitcoin ETF 

VanEck has extended its reach Down Under, offering Australians the opportunity to purchase their ASX-traded ETF, VBTC. 

It’s official. The ETF craze has penetrated the Australian zeitgeist. After the Securities and Exchange Commission finally relented on approving Bitcoin ETFs earlier this year, the ears of several other governments perked up. And now, Australia’s largest stock exchange has entered the fray. 

The new exchange-traded fund is being introduced by US investment management firm VanEck, with live trading planned for June 20th. The fund (ticker VBTC) will hold Bitcoin directly on behalf of investors, which the institutions’ APAC CEO believes will be a huge milestone for adoption Down Under. 

“VBTC also makes Bitcoin more accessible by managing all the back-end complexity. Understanding the technical aspects of acquiring, storing and securing digital assets is no longer necessary.” – Arian Neiron, VanEck’s Asia-Pacific CEO and Managing Director  

Interestingly, Aussies hadn’t actually been barred from accessing Bitcoin ETFs like other nations. Australia had already approved a handful of crypto-based funds on the lesser-known stock exchange Cboe Australia. The Monochrome Bitcoin ETF, launched on Cboe a couple of weeks ago, and revealed they have just over $3 million AUD in Assets Under Management (AUM) in their latest update on Twitter.  

It will be interesting to see if the renaissance of crypto ETFs in the US will make its way to Australia. Popular US products like BlackRock’s IBIT smashed trading records after a month or two – can VanEck’s VBTC follow suit? 

Europe’s largest telecom provider is entering the Bitcoin mining game – with a twist 

Deutsche Telekom, who serve upwards of 250 million customers, plans to implement “digital monetary photosynthesis” as they continue their venture into cryptocurrency. 

Institutions have been racing into cryptocurrency ventures like it’s going out of fashion. Although January 11th’s spot ETF approval in the US may have been the catalyst in North America, European businesses have been far more progressive when it comes to crypto adoption. But now, things are being moved into the next gear with the official entry of Deutsche Telekom – Europe’s largest Telecom provider.  

Last weekend’s BTC Prague Conference unveiled several important industry announcements, but none were bigger than Deutsche Telekom’s. The company’s Head of Web3 Infrastructure proudly told a packed audience that the company plans to officially begin mining Bitcoin. An exact start date wasn’t outlined, however, it is likely to be sooner rather than later. 

To put it into context, this is like if Optus or Telstra announced they’d begin mining Bitcoin. Except instead of serving 10 million customers, they served 250 million. 

Much has been made about the environmental danger that Bitcoin mining can pose. Finding sustainable methods to acquire BTC would be a landmark moment for the industry, immediately severing some of the world’s biggest concerns. 

That’s exactly what Deutsche Telekom pledged – albeit in uncertain terms – with their “digital monetary photosynthesis” mission. How exactly this fancy terminology works is yet to be released, but the core concept revolves around using renewableenergy as Bitcoin mining power. 

This is not Deutsche Telekom’s first rodeo with cryptocurrency. The parent company of T-Mobile already operates several Bitcoin Lighting nodes and even operates as a validator for the Ethereum network. 

AI heavyweights team up to launch the Superintelligence Alliance (ASI) project 

Fetch.AI, Singularity.NET and Ocean are merging become the crypto industry’s most powerful research and development firm for Web3-based artificial intelligence. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) has taken the world by storm over the past 18 months. The introduction of ChatGPT, Dall-E and more set off a wave of generative models being created by companies across the world. If you’re a tech company without an AI arm, there’s a good chance you’ll be left behind. We’ve already seen this with Apple’s WWDC announcement, unveiling plans to add a proprietary Apple AI to new smartphone devices in collaboration with OpenAI.  

The cryptosphere is no different. And now, three of the biggest AI projects in the Web3 world have joined forces to create a Super AI. No, that isn’t a joke – that’s (almost) literally the collab’s name. 

Three heavyweights of the crypto AI sub-sector: Fetch.AI, Singularity.NET and Ocean are merging tokens to create the Superintelligence Alliance (ASI). Over 200,000 community members will be able to convert their FET/AGIX/OCEAN tokens to ASI at varying conversion rates.  

Each member of the joint project will retain their identities – so governance for Fetch, Singularity and Ocean shall remain independent. The trio intends to kick off their partnership by optimising a decentralised AI platform, which they hope will lead to further innovation within the AI Web3 sector.  

Swyftx lists all 3 of these assets and will support the Merge into ASI. If you hold any of these cryptocurrencies in your Swyftx wallet, find out how you will be impacted here. 

Wall Street hungry for crypto as speculation grows over Cardano and Solana ETF applications

Several in the community believe that financial giants BlackRock may file documents for a spot Solana ETF following approval of Ethereum funds in the US.  

Spot crypto ETFs have basked in the spotlight for basically the entirety of 2024. Apart from a few weeks where the media’s attention turned to Bitcoin halving, the SEC’s policy-making (and the political jostling around it) has been at the front of everyone’s mind. The appetite for crypto among institutions is clearly there, and with Ethereum ETFs on the verge of going live in the US, that hunger is only going to grow. 

So, where to from here? 

At the beginning of the year, some analysts believed that getting Ether approved by the SEC was a longshot. It looked like a Bitcoin-and-bust scenario.  

But things in the cryptosphere move rapidly, and the sentiment among regulators and politicians has changed. Digital currency is the real deal, and Wall St wants a piece of the pie. And it is their greed that may be the driving force for future spot crypto funds, according to Tether Co-Founder William Quigley. 

“Wall Street is greedy. Every time Wall Street packages a new product to sell to consumers, if that product is successful, you can guarantee there will be copycats.”   

There’s no denying Bitcoin’s Jan 11th approval wasn’t a resounding success – if it wasn’t, there’s no chance Ethereum’s fund would have been pushed through. 

Whether other altcoins will make it through the rigorous approval process is up for debate, and may depend on how Ethereum products fare in its first few months of trading.  

Written by

Ben Knight