News Roundup—FTX sold nearly $1 billion of Grayscale spot bitcoin ETF shares

January 29, 2024

Major news stories this week;

  1. FTX sold nearly $1 billion of Grayscale spot bitcoin ETF shares: report
  2. Swiss Crypto Bank Sygnum Inches Closer to 'Unicorn' Status With $40M Raise
  3. Ethereum’s Long-Awaited Upgrade Gets Closer As Devs Set Final Timeline
  4. Hong Kong SFC receives first spot Bitcoin ETF application
  5. US IRS Reminds Taxpayers to Report all Crypto-Related Income

Story Summaries;

  1. Defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX has sold nearly $1 billion worth of shares in Grayscale's GTBC fund since the firm's instrument began trading recently as a spot bitcoin ETF, according to CoinDesk, which cited "private data" and anonymous sources. Grayscale's spot bitcoin ETF has led rival funds in terms of trading volume, with much of that made up of outflows. As of Friday, Grayscale's fund had accounted for about 54% of trading volume since the new crypto-based ETFs began trading earlier this month, according to Yahoo Finance data compiled by The Block.
  2. Sygnum, a crypto banking group based in Switzerland, closed a $40 million round, which valued the firm at $900 million. “Closing a successful funding round in this macro environment with such strong partners is exciting, and we are thankful for our investors’ trust in us,” Mathias Imbach, Sygnum’s co-founder and CEO, said in a press release on Thursday. “Our strategy to build trust via regulation and good governance has guided us throughout all market cycles.” Investment manager Azimut Holdings led the round. The company says it plans to use the proceeds to expand its offerings into new markets in Europe and Asia.
  3. A blog post yesterday by the Ethereum Foundation confirmed that the next two steps of the long-awaited upgrade—known as the Sepolia and Holesky testnets—are due to be completed by early next month. This means that the upgrade should be live on the mainnet by March. “Assuming the Sepolia and Holesky upgrades go well, Dencun will be scheduled on the Ethereum mainnet next,” the post read, adding that Sepolia is due to take place on January 30, while Holesky will be completed on a testnet by February 7. These incremental steps are among the final ones needed to make Ethereum faster and cheaper, developers promise.
  4. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) reportedly received its first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application just weeks after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved the first spot BTC ETF in the United States. Harvest Hong Kong — one of China’s largest fund managers — submitted a spot Bitcoin ETF application to the Hong Kong SFC on Jan. 26, reported Tencent News. The report added that the regulatory body is actively working to expedite the process for approval of ETFs in the country to launch the first Hong Kong spot Bitcoin ETF after the Chinese New Year on Feb. 10.
  5. The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a reminder to all taxpayers to report any crypto-related income. The tax regulator has included a digital asset question on 2023 tax return Form 1040. The question asks taxpayers to report cryptos received in 2023 as a reward, award or payment for property or services. “Everyone who files Forms 1040, must check one box answering either “Yes” or “No” to the digital asset question,” the Monday announcement read. IRS stressed that it is mandatory for all taxpayers to answer the question when they file their 2023 federal income tax return and not only for those who engaged in a crypto transaction.

And that’s all for last week’s news! Wishing you a great week ahead!

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