TradFi 'Vultures' Descend Upon Crypto

Crypto was meant to unseat the financial giants. Now, they're coming for crypto

By: Zack Abrams

June 20, 2023

The world’s largest asset manager is hoping to succeed where over 30 others have failed in launching a Bitcoin ETF, but crypto investors are skeptical. Also, Do Kwon is sentenced in Montenegro, Louis Vuitton and Nike announce new Web3 offerings, and the IMF discusses CBDCs. 

Here’s our breakdown of the biggest headlines in crypto. Listen to Coinage’s host Zack Guzman discuss these stories with Paul Stavropoulos, founder of Archie Finance above.

In TradFi…

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has a good record of getting its ETFs approved: 575 successes with only one failure back in 2014. However, its latest proposal for a Bitcoin ETF might be its toughest battle yet, as at least 30 other filings for spot-Bitcoin ETFs have been rejected by the SEC. 

Meanwhile, the new crypto exchange EDX Markets has launched, backed by Citadel Securities, Fidelity, and Schwab. The exchange only trades four tokens: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash—none of which have been declared securities by the SEC. 

Back in the day, institutional adoption of crypto would’ve been a bullish price signal, but amidst the regulatory crackdown, many crypto investors are uncomfortable about legacy firms taking over, as crypto was designed in part to disrupt those very same institutions. 

In Governments and Regulation…

It’s not just American TradFi companies who are getting into crypto; Deutsche Bank has applied for a digital asset license in Germany. 

The IMF is exploring CBDCs and stablecoins, with an emphasis on interoperability between different countries’ central banks. Many crypto fans are predictably not pleased at the prospect of centralized international control over the money supply. 

Also: the EU will publish draft legislation on the digital Euro on June 28. The UK Parliament’s upper chamber approves crypto and stablecoin legislation. The Chinese city of Quingdao pilots CBDC payments for the metro, even with no cellular service or phone battery. 

In Bitcoin and Web3…

Bitcoin has recaptured its dominance over the crypto market, as it’s now worth more than every other crypto put together for the first time since May 2021. While Bitcoin is undoubtedly the king, Ethereum is arguably the queen, capturing around 20% of the entire market, more than all the other altcoins combined if you don’t count stablecoins. 

Fortnite has partnered with Nike’s .Swoosh Web3 project to offer an NFT achievement to participating players. 

Louis Vuitton recently partnered with NFT influencers, using Web2 strategies in order to promote its new Web3 offering called Via. Its first product: a €39,000 phygital “Treasure Trunk.” Much like you can’t just walk into Hermès and buy a Birkin, Vuitton is hand-selecting who gets to purchase a Treasure Trunk: “Criteria includes ownership of LVMH brand or other luxury fashion NFTs, blue chip NFTs, assets worth more than $1 million or an NFT collection worth more than $200,000.”

In Other Headlines…

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