Bitcoin is growing up. It has been a trying journey for the long list of bitcoin ETF campaigns, starting in 2013 when the Winkelvoss twins filed the first bitcoin ETF proposal.
But soon — barring an unexpected last hour interference from the SEC — at least one US regulated bitcoin ETF product will finally hit list on a US exchange this week, with as many as 4 different bitcoin ETF products pointing towards approval in the US within the month.
The catch? The products poised to launch next week will be exchange-traded funds that own cash denominated regulated bitcoin futures contracts, rather than offering direct exposure to the spot bitcoin market. That means the ETF will be using funds to purchase the next two month bitcoin futures contracts rather than holding bitcoin.
While the differences between the two may appear negligible to non market structure wonks, there are a laundry list of items that make the futures based product less than ideal in terms of both relative cost and ability to effectively track the global reference price for bitcoin.
Research from Bitwise this week suggests that the all in costs of a futures-based Bitcoin ETF product can be as high as 15% when factoring in the annualIzed basis or spread between futures and spot prices and the cost to roll into new contracts each month. However, product imperfections aside, the launch of the first regulated bitcoin futures ETF in the U.S. marks yet another coming of age moment for digital assets, and is certainly deserving of fists pumps all around!
Bitcoin's Coming Of Age
Bitcoin exchange traded funds prepare for US debut - The ETFs are likely to be given a green light by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, marking the culmination of an eight-year battle to win approval. All the ETFs will be based on bitcoin futures contracts, rather than the spot price, with the SEC known to be concerned about a potential lack of liquidity and the risk of price manipulation on spot exchanges. Read more
Cathie Wood's ARK Invest throws weight behind new bitcoin futures ETF - The proposed ETF, called ARK 21Shares Bitcoin Futures Strategy, is an attempt by the fund managers to take advantage of the surge in cryptocurrency this year. However, the SEC has yet to approve a bitcoin ETF. Other asset managers and exchanges such as Fidelity, CBOE Global Markets and Nasdaq are also waiting for the green light to launch ETFs tracking the digital currency. Read more
SEC set to allow bitcoin futures ETFs as deadline looms - The regulator isn’t likely to block the products from starting to trade next week, said people familiar with the matter. Unlike Bitcoin ETF applications that the regulator has previously rejected, the proposals by ProShares and Invesco Ltd. are based on futures contracts and were filed under mutual fund rules that SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has said provide “significant investor protections.” Read more
Alviere - New York based embedded finance startup raised $70m in Series B funding from investors including Viola Ventures, Viola Fintech, CommerzVentures and North Coast Ventures. Read more
Atomic - Salt Lake City based payroll startup raised $22m in Series A funding led by Core Innovation Capital. Read more
Beacon Platform - New York based quant development platform for custom trading and risk management apps raised $56m in Series C Funding led by Warburg Pincus. Read more
Bolt Financial - San Francisco based ecommerce checkout experience company raised $389m in Series D funding from investors including Untitled Investments, Willoughby Capital, Soma Capital and insiders General Atlantic, Tribe Capital, Activant Capital and Moore Strategic Ventures. Read more
Celsius Network - London based DeFi lending platform that uses the Ethereum blockchain raised $400m in new funding led by WestCap and CDPQ. Read more
Crabi - Mexico based auto insurance startup raised $4m in Seed funding led by Kaszek Ventures. Read more
Dutchie - Oregon based provider of payment tools for cannabis dispensaries raised $350m in Series D funding led by D1 Capital Partners. Read more
Elliptic - London based crypto asset risk management company raised $60m in Series C funding led by Evolution Equity Partners. Read more
Fount - South Korea based robo-adviser raised $33.4m in Series C funding led by Hana Financial Investment. Read more
GoodLeap - San Francisco based sustainable home financing platform raised more than $1b in new funding from investors including Michael Dell and Laurence Tosi. Read more
Halo - Chicago based structured investing platform raised $100m in Series C funding led by Owl Capital. Read more
Juni - Sweden based provider of banking services for e-commerce raised $52m in new Series A funding led by EQT Ventures. Read more
Lendflow - Boston based small and medium business lending company raised $10.8m in Series A funding led by Underscore VC. Read more
Mono - Nigeria based Africa-focused fintech company that connects bank accounts to financial apps raised $15m in Series A funding led by Tiger Global. Read more
MoonPay - Miami based crypto payments infrastructure startup raised $400m in funding led by Tiger Global and Coatue. Read more
Nelo - Mexico City based BNPL startup raised $20m in Series A funding led by Two Sigma Ventures. Read more
Open - India based neobank raised $100m in Series C funding led by Temasek. Read more
Productfy - San Jose based banking-as-a-service platform that aims to build “DeFi for traditional finance" raised $16m in Series A funding led by CMVentures. Read more
Swile - France based provider of payment cards for employee benefits raised $200m in Series D funding led by SoftBank. Read more
Tala - Los Angeles based online loan application platform for emerging markets raised $145m in Series E funding led by Upstart. Read more
TradingView - London based financial information platform and social network raised $298m in funding led by Tiger Global. Read more
Trumid - New York based credit trading platform raised $208m in new funding led by Point Break Capital Management. Read more
FinTech Collective Newsletter
Curated News with Context
Delivered every Saturday, the weekly newsletter, produced by our team, provides a tightly edited rundown of global fintech news, along with a bit of our original analysis.