Welcome back to Chain Reaction.
To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important crypto stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday at noon. PT, sign up for Chain Reaction here.
If you’ve been dreaming about bitcoin spot ETFs, it’s time to talk to someone outside of the crypto world. This is coming from someone who literally had a dream about them this week. Pray for me.
There were cheers throughout the crypto community this week as Grayscale won its lawsuit against the SEC in regards to its bitcoin spot ETF application. While there’s still a 45-day review period, many believe this is a step in the right direction.
Although this was a win for the digital asset firm, the SEC was also making headlines separately for its suit against an NFT project, which was fined $6 million.
Meanwhile, in decentralized social media land, the Friend.tech hype — which I covered and highlighted community skepticism about — has fallen as daily transactions plummeted. Details below.
This week in web3
- As appeals court rules in favor of Grayscale, a bitcoin spot ETF could be on the horizon
- Grayscale’s legal head says bitcoin spot ETF approval is a ‘matter of when, not if’
- SEC settles first NFT enforcement case, fines LA media company $6M
- Friend.tech gets unfriended: Daily transactions drop 95% as hyped decentralized social app loses steam
- MoonPay launches venture arm to invest in web3 infra, gaming and fintech
- Bitcoin startups remain undercapitalized as funding drought drags on
The latest pod
Grayscale is a digital asset investment firm that aims to provide products and services, like its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), to institutional and individual investors. The company was founded in 2014 and is one of the world’s largest digital asset currency managers. It currently owns 3.4% of outstanding bitcoin, “worth tens of billions of dollars,” according to a recent legal filing.
As mentioned above, the firm was making headlines this week after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Grayscale in a lawsuit against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the matter of a bitcoin ETF. This ruling is in response to the SEC denying Grayscale’s application to convert its GBTC product into a bitcoin spot ETF in June 2022.
We discussed why the ruling matters for Grayscale and its GBTC investment vehicle; as well as what it could mean for the crypto ecosystem and other firms like BlackRock, Citadel and Fidelity that also filed applications for bitcoin spot ETFs.
We also talked about the SEC’s argued difference between bitcoin futures ETFs, which have been approved by the agency, and bitcoin spot ETFs, which have not been approved by the agency.
Follow the money
- NFT-focused startup FirstMate raised $3.75 million in a round led by Dragonfly Capital
- Web3 engagement platform Raleon raised $3.8 million in a seed round
- Coral Finance obtained $500,000 in capital from Momentum Capital
- Web3 infrastructure startup Ironmill raised $2.6 million in funding
- Builder DAO raised $2 million in a round led by Sequoia China and Seven X Ventures
This list was compiled with information from Messari as well as TechCrunch’s own reporting.
What else we’re writing
Want to branch out from the world of web3? Here are some articles on TechCrunch that caught our attention this week.
- This venture-backed startup has quietly bought more than 80 mom-and-pop shops
- Will the power of data in the AI era leave startups at a disadvantage?
- Tesla investors might get payout from SEC settlement
- The mugshot that launched a thousand memes
- Five takeaways from Instacart’s S-1 filing
Follow me on Twitter @Jacqmelinek for breaking crypto news, memes and more.