New Cryptocurrency-based ETF Filed with US SEC

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has received another application for a cryptocurrency-based exchange-traded-fund (ETF). Submitted on May 9, 2019, the latest crypto ETF application was prepared by Crescent Crypto Index Services LLC, a subsidiary of Crescent Crypto Asset Management LLC.

Crescent Crypto Index Fund (“XBET”)

According to Crescent Crypto’s prospectus, the ETF will “track the performance of a market capitalization weighted portfolio of bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).” Referred to as the USCF Crescent Crypto Index Fund (“XBET”), the ETF is supported by the US Commodity Funds LLC (USCF), which will reportedly invest XBET’s assets in both BTC and ETH (held in the investment portfolio).

According to the ETF application: “XBET is an exchange traded fund. This means that most investors who decide to buy or sell shares of XBET place their trade orders through their brokers and may incur customary brokerage commissions and charges.”

As noted in Crescent Crypto’s prospectus, shares of XBET are “expected to trade” on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Arca under ticker symbol “XBET.” In a manner that is similar to how traditional ETFs are traded, the crypto-based ETF, if approved, will “be bought and sold throughout the trading day at bid and ask prices like other publicly traded securities.”

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Oakland, California, the United States Commodity Funds LLC is “an issuer of exchange traded commodity products (ETPs).” Notably, the first fund it launched (in 2006) was United States Oil Fund, LP, which is reportedly “the first commodity ETF based on crude oil launched in the United States.”

Bitwise Asset Management, VanEck/SolidX ETFs Applications To Be Reviewed This Month

USCF is currently regulated by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association - under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).

Currently, there are several ETFs that have been filed with the SEC, including one submitted by Bitwise Asset Management with NYSE Arca and one by VanEck/SolidX, which was filed through a partnership with Chicago Board of Options Exchange (Cboe).

In March 2019, the SEC postponed its decision on whether to approve ETF applications filed by both VanEck/SolidX and Bitwise Asset Management. The federal securities regulator is now expected to review both ETFs this month.

Cryptocurrency Volatility May Be Affected By ETF Decisions

To date, the SEC has not approved any cryptocurrency ETF applications, however several analysts have argued that one will be approved in the foreseeable future.

According to a recent report from SFOX, a “prime dealer of cryptoassets for sophisticated traders and institutional investors,” the volatility of cryptocurrencies may be affected by “Bitcoin exchange-traded-fund (ETF) decisions,” among other factors such as the expiration of crypto futures contracts, and the discussions during “major” crypto and blockchain conferences such as Consensus which is taking place mid-May

Apple Users Score Crypto-Friendly Options; Trio Close Venture Equity Rounds

The top daily news from the cryptocurrency and blockchain space:

  • Opera’s crypto-, blockchain-ready browser hits Apple iOS.
  • Venture funding spree continues with trio of equity round closures.
  • Ethereum ERC-20 tokens to be tradable on a world-leading stock exchange by year-end.

At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $12,630.8 (-0.7%) and $327.5 (-1.1%), respectively. As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 5,051.6 (-0.1%).

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Opera’s Crypto-, Blockchain-Ready Browser Hits Apple iOS

Opera, the software technology company behind the popular web browser of the same name, announced its blockchain and cryptocurrency-ready Opera Touch browser is now available for iOS, the mobile operating system created and developed by Apple.

Opera Touch features “crypto wallet integration and Web 3 support,” meaning users can natively interact with blockchain-based applications; eliminating the need for a browser extension such as MetaMask.

Currently, Opera Touch only supports ERC-20 tokens, stablecoins, and non-fungible tokens. Support for other blockchains like Tron (TRX), however, is expected to be enabled by the middle of next year.

Venture Funding Spree Continues as Trio Close Equity Rounds

A total of three projects that, either directly or indirectly, form part of the fast-growing cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem, announced successful venture capital rounds.

The first was blockchain data startup dfuse, which raised $3.5 million in an equity round co-led by Multicoin Capital and tech giant Intel’s venture arm, Intel Capital. Commenting on his crypto-fund’s decision to invest in dfuse was Multicoin’s Kyle Samani, who, in a blog post, noted that the EOS-native dfuse will “be launching support for Ethereum in the next few weeks.”

The second was Imgur, one of the world’s leading image hosting platforms, which announced it raised a venture equity round worth $20 million from the XRP-integrated micropayments startup, Coil. “As part of the transaction, Stefan Thomas, Founder & CEO of Coil and former CTO of Ripple Labs, Inc., will be joining Imgur's board of directors,” stated a press release from Coil.

The third was now-former ConsenSys incubatee 3Box, a U.S.-based startup specializing in the decentralized identity space, which closed a Placeholder Ventures-led $2.5 million seed round. Other investors in 3Box included Venrock, CoinFund, Northzone, and ConsenSys.

Ethereum ERC-20 Tokens on Swiss Stock Exchange by Year-End

According to CoinDesk, Swiss security token startup BlockState is planning to “passport” six Ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens to R3’s Corda, a private distributed ledger technology platform.

“Before the end of the year, the tokens will be locked up in a smart contract on ethereum and “mirrored” versions of them will run on Corda,” the crypto media outlet reported, before continuing to report “the passporting will take place on the network R3 is building for the Swiss Digital Exchange (SDX) – part of SIX, Switzerland’s national stock exchange.”