Hitting the spot

Europe goes spot Bitcoin

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Today: Europe launches a spot Bitcoin ETF, Sei makes high-speed promises, and SHIB performs a rocky debut. Let’s dive in.


Europe’s Spot On

You wouldn’t guess from Bitcoin’s recent price performance, but last week marked a significant milestone for the orange coin—the listing of the first Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) in Europe.

The details: London-based Jacobi Asset Management listed its Jacobi FT Wilshere Bitcoin ETF (ticker BCOIN) on Amsterdam’s Euronext exchange on Tuesday. The ETF’s launch was initially planned for 2022, but it was pushed back in the wake of Terra’s collapse last summer.

This is big. Up until now, all crypto exchange-traded products in Europe have been structured as exchange-traded notes (ETNs) rather than funds. Both ETNs and ETFs track the price of an underlying asset, but…

  • ETN investors own a debt security instead of the underlying assets.

  • ETFs allow shareholders to own a portion of the fund’s underlying holdings of a relevant asset (like Bitcoin).

Across the pond: The move means that Europe beat the U.S. to listing a spot Bitcoin ETF…which isn’t hard, considering that the SEC is delaying its decision to approve numerous ETF applications until early 2024.

While Europe’s listing is a significant development, all eyes (and money) continue to be on the U.S. You only have to look at the volume that BCOIN attracted on its first day—a meager $2,000.

P.S. Last week was a big one re: new crypto products.

  1. The SEC is poised to greenlight the first-ever ETH futures ETF, according to Bloomberg. These funds would hold derivatives contracts tied to ETH (rather than ETH itself). BTC futures ETFs have existed since 2021.

  2. Coinbase finally won approval to operate as a Futures Commission Merchant, making it the first crypto-native company allowed to offer crypto futures in the U.S. and allowing the exchange to tap into crypto’s biggest market.

Sei’s Big Debut

The highly anticipated Sei Network launched last Tuesday, sparking a flurry of trading (and controversy) for the project’s newly launched $SEI token. Let’s break down what’s behind the hype.

What is Sei? Sei is an open-source layer 1 (L1) blockchain that raised $120 million for its ecosystem from high-profile crypto VCs.

  • Sei is application-specific—unlike general-purpose blockchains like Bitcoin or Ethereum, Sei is specialized on the trading of digital assets.

  • By focusing on speed and low fees, Sei is fine-tuned to make asset trading on gaming, social, and NFT platforms as smooth as possible.

High performance: Sei claims to be the fastest L1 in all of crypto, allegedly 10x speedier than Solana. The project already attracted over 200 dev teams and has more than 7.5 million unique wallets, according to a Sei press release.

But…there’s backlash: $SEI’s trading volume topped $1.6 billion just 24 hours after launch, but the token’s price dropped more than 30% after its messy airdrop left investors frustrated.

  • First, users were unable to collect their tokens—fueling discontent among early Sei adopters eager to claim their share.

  • Then, the Sei Foundation opened the airdrop to 1 million more wallets than originally anticipated. This likely triggered a cascade of selloffs as users rushed to cash out their newfound $SEI.

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SHIB Let the Dogs Out

Last week, Shiba Inu launched Shibarium, its very own layer 2 (L2) blockchain on Ethereum. This comes after months of hype that saw 21 million wallets created during Shibarium’s testnet.

  • Shibarium focuses on metaverse and gaming applications.

  • The network also provides a cheap settlement for DeFi applications built atop it.

A rocky start: Things didn’t go as expected. Technical issues (particularly bridge problems) muddied what was supposed to be Shiba Inu’s transition from a memecoin to a serious DeFi project.

Zoom out: Although the faulty launch was met with disappointment from the SHIB community, we’re still keeping tabs. If Shibarium succeeds, Shiba Inu could become a role model for other projects trying to evolve their brands.

In other news:

  • Binance shut down its crypto payments service, Binance Connect.

  • OpenSea will stop enforcing creator royalties on secondary NFT sales.

  • Turns out Former President Trump is a crypto whale.

  • Trading action for Ordinals (aka Bitcoin NFTs) slowed to a crawl.

  • Activity on Coinbase’s new Base blockchain is soaring—at the expense of other major Ethereum L2s.

Crypto Job Board

And that’s what you need on your radar today in crypto. Don’t forget to let us know if you’re interested in Coinsider’s tokenomics and fundamental analysis course by filling out this quick form. Catch you back here next Tuesday!