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Tokenisation to Unlock Trillion-Dollar Industry as CZ Sentenced to Jail Time 

Deloitte report reveals tokenisation could revolutionise the financial industry

The Deloitte deep dive believes that most traditional financial assets can benefit from the advantages of tokenisation, including faster settlement times and easier accessibility.  

The crypto sphere’s jungle drums are beating louder and louder for tokenisation. Community interest in the sub-sector swelled last month upon the arrival of BlackRock’s first tokenised Treasury Fund, built in partnership with Coinbase and Securitize. The fund’s release came with positive comments from the antithesis to Gary Gensler and crypto’s newest best friend Larry Fink. 

The CEO of BlackRock was incredibly bullish on tokenisation’s potential not just within crypto circles, but the broader financial world. 

“ETFs are step one in the technological revolution in the financial markets. Step two is going to be the tokenization of every financial asset.” 

And now global consulting giant Deloitte has joined the party, releasing a report last week that heralded tokenisation’s untapped market. The document examined the merits of tokenisation from a commercial sense, and uncovered the industry could be worth trillions of dollars before the end of the decade. 

The report touched on several primary use cases that Deloitte believes will drive the industry forward. In particular, BlackRock’s path of tokenising bonds and treasury assets to improve liquidity is likely to lead the charge. In general, assets with difficult storage or poor liquidity are on the path to being revolutionised by blockchain tech – think vintage cars, gold or even real estate. 

Widespread adoption of cryptocurrency might still be years away. The day might not ever come. But as Deloitte put it: tokenisation has the power to “usher in a new era for the financial services industry”. 

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao set to spend time behind bars 

Changpeng Zhao avoided significantly longer jail time thanks in part to his status as a kind family man that made an honest mistake.  

The CEO of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Changpeng Zhao, was sentenced to four months behind bars earlier this month. The Canadian billionaire  was charged with flouting US financial laws following a year-long probe from the Justice Department.  

It was found that Binance was used by several criminal organisations, in particular terrorists, to launder and transfer funds without government intervention. By facilitating these transactions – and perhaps even inviting them – Binance became the home for bad actors all around the world. 

As one staffer put it not so delicately: “Is washing drug money too hard these days – come to Binance we got cake for you”. 

Prosecutors arguing against CZ had set to make an example out of him, with the team pushing for three years imprisonment as a warning to other crypto CEOs. Financial crimes of a similar nature in the US have been seldom punished with jail time, especially in the TradFi sector.  

However, the presiding judge wasn’t buying what the prosecutors were selling and ultimately settled on a four-month sentence. In fact, for lack of a better phrase, CZ’s sentence was so lenient thanks to his status as a good bloke among the industry. A revolving door of character references from family, friends, employees and customers rushed to Zhao’s aide – supporting the idea he was a nice man who made a simple mistake.  

The news comes in contrast to supervillian Sam Bankman-Fried, who tried a similar defence but had a personality far too ghoulish to pull it off (not to mention the fallen empire). 

ETF-mania to Australia: Major asset managers preparing to offer Bitcoin funds in 2024 

VanEck and Betashares are gearing up to release their first Bitcoin ETFs to the Australian market following the success of their US counterparts.  

It’s not quite Beatlemania, but ETF-mania is spreading like wildfire. The success of spot Bitcoin funds in the United States has reinvigorated the crypto market, with BTC setting a new all-time high on the back of increased institutional demand. Now, Australia is (re)entering the party, with several major companies set to launch their own BTC-based funds. 

Interestingly, the hurrah in the US for ETFs was somewhat outdated – Australia had already approved and listed two spot Bitcoin ETFs, although one is now defunct and the other largely underperformed. 

So, what’s the difference now?  

Market sentiment, broadly from an institutional sense, has shifted significantly since 2022. For years, asset managers considered BTC a risky, volatile asset that they wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Now, they view it as a viable long-term investment – that yes, is risky, but has consistently demonstrated resilience during rigorous economic challenges.  

Two of Australia’s biggest names for ETFs have put their hands up to list a spot Bitcoin ETF on the ASX – Betashares and VanEck. The filings are expected to be approved before the year is out, meaning investors will have several new avenues to access BTC through the Australian markets.  

Victims of the 2022 FTX collapse to be repaid ‘in full’ 

FTX has recouped over 100% of money owed to creditors thanks to its liquidation process – but victims are still getting a raw deal.

Victims of one of the crypto world’s darkest days – the November 2022 failure of FTX – are finally getting some closure. As the bankruptcy proceedings for the fallen exchange come to a close, new CEO John Ray revealed the company has reclaimed some $16B worth of assets through the liquidation process. This number is significantly higher than the $11B they owe to customers after the exchange went kaboom following Sam Bankman-Fried’s misuse of investor funds. 

The company, which is being kept alive as it navigates the litigation process, managed to secure funds thanks to selling its investments in artificial intelligence and other sectors. Notably, FTX scored a handsome return liquidating its crypto assets, which have enjoyed a stellar start to 2024. 

Controversially, FTX’s victims won’t be afforded the same luxury. Those affected by the exchange’s capitulation will be repaid based on the cash value of assets lost in November 2022.  

At the time BTC was at its lowest point in the market – sitting under $20K, compared to being over triple that figure as of writing this article. Creditors are set to be compensated with 9% interest on top of what they’re owed. It’s not nothing, but it’s a far cry from the potential 100%+ they would’ve got had their assets not been misappropriated.  

Written by

Ben Knight