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Biggest News in Crypto This Week: Michael Saylor Buys more BTC | Ethereum ETFs Launch | Paradigm to Invest $850M

By:
Ibrahim Ajibade
Published: Jun 16, 2024, 01:09 GMT+00:00

Key Points:

  • Spot Ethereum (ETH) ETFs on track for end of summer approval according to SEC chairman Gary Gensler.
  • MicroStrategy, the IT firm led by Michael Saylor has announced plans to raise $500 million through convertible debt notes.
  • Cryptocurrency venture capital firm Paradigm has raised $850 million to invest in early-stage crypto projects.
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On Saturday June 15, the crypto market capitalization grew by 0.83% adding over $22 billion in global valuation, meanwhile Ethereum ETFs, MicroStrategy and Paradigm investment grabbed major bullish news headlines. 

Spot Ether ETFs on Track for End of Summer Approval: SEC’s Gensler

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler said in a budget hearing final approvals for spot Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) could be granted by summer’s end.

Speaking to a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee in a hearing on the regulator’s budget, Gensler said the approval process was “working smoothly” after the initial go-ahead given to a group of these ETFs, referring to the SEC clearing the path for these funds.

Ethereum Price Action (ETH/USD) Since ETFs Nod| May 21 - June 15 | TradingView
Ethereum Price Action (ETH/USD) Since ETFs Nod| May 21 – June 15 | TradingView

Before spot Ethereum ETFs can start trading their S-1 filings must be approved, and Gensler said these are being handled at the “staff level.” When asked directly whether ETH is a commodity, Gensler remained noncommittal, reflecting the SEC’s uncertain stance on the classification of the digital asset.

In contrast, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair Rostin Behnam definitively stated, “yes,” when asked about ETH being a commodity. The distinction holds weight in determining the appropriate regulatory body for various cryptocurrencies.

The SEC will oversee securities, while the CFTC is set to regulate commodities. While Gensler has repeatedly suggested most digital assets fall under securities purview, he has refrained from specifically identifying them beyond those already targeted by the SEC in enforcement actions.

MicroStrategy Plans $500 Million Convertible Notes Offering to Boost Bitcoin Holdings

Nasdaq-listed business intelligence firm MicroStrategy has announced plans to raise $500 million through convertible senior notes due in 2032 in a private offering targeted at institutional investors in a bid to fuel fresh Bitcoin (BTC) purchases.

The offering will be subject to market conditions and could be increased by an additional $75 million. The notes will carry interest paid twice a year and will convert to MicroStrategy stock if certain conditions are met.

MicroStrategy's Bitcoin (BTC) Holdings at Close of June 15, 2024 |Source: SaylorTracker
MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin (BTC) Holdings at Close of June 15, 2024 |Source: SaylorTracker

Proceeds from the sale will be used primarily to buy more Bitcoin, according to a company press release, as well as for “general corporate purposes.” MicroStrategy is the world’s largest corporate Bitcoin holder, with 214,400 BTC worth over $14 billion on its balance sheet.

Specifics of the offering, including the interest rate and conversion terms, will be determined closer to the sale date, with MicroStrategy noting it “expects that the reference price used to calculate the initial conversion price for the notes will be the U.S. composite volume weighted average price of MicroStrategy’s class A common stock from 9:30 am through 4:00 pm EDT on the date of pricing.”

Paradigm Raises $850 Million to Bolster Early-Stage Crypto Ventures

Cryptocurrency venture capital firm Paradigm has announced the closing of its third fund, securing $850 million to invest in early-stage crypto projects.

In a blog post unveiling the new fund, co-founder Matt Huang underscored the team’s strengthened conviction, stating that “crypto is now a main character on the world’s political stage.”

The conviction reflects the growing prominence of crypto regulation in the upcoming U.S. presidential election and the looming June 30th deadline for Europe’s MiCA stablecoin framework.

Paradigm has a successful track record in early-stage investments as the firm participated in the seed round for decentralized exchange Uniswap and spearheaded the Series B round for Flashbots last year.

Paradigm’s prior fund, launched in November 2021, secured a staggering $2.5 billion. However, the firm’s investment history hasn’t been without blemishes, as it famously invested $278 million in collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

About the Author

Ibrahim Ajibade Ademolawa is a seasoned research analyst with a background in Commercial Banking and Web3 startups, specializing in DeFi and TradFi analysis. He holds a B.A. in Economics and is pursuing an MSc in Blockchain.

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