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DeFi News of the Week Bitcoin ETF NFT Institutional investment

Bitcoin ETF to reportedly trade next week, DeFi tops $200 billion

2021.10.17 Adam James

Bullish sentiment is being reignited in the blockchain and cryptocurrency world amid reports that a long-awaited Bitcoin ETF is inbound.

The blockchain and cryptocurrency market saw renewed optimism this week amid rumors and reports that a Bitcoin ETF will not be blocked by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Meanwhile, the decentralized finance industry has topped $200 billion in total value locked while Sotheby’s launches its own dedicated NFT platform.

Here’s everything you need to know about these stories, and more, in this week’s edition of OKEx Insights’ News of the Week.

Bitcoin ETF reportedly inbound as SEC prepares to allow it

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly prepared to allow, for the first time, a BTC futures exchange-traded fund. Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that the agency “isn’t likely to block the products from starting to trade next week.”

Key takeaways

  • Bolstering claims that the SEC will allow a BTC futures ETF is an earlier tweet from the agency’s investor education account that read: “Before investing in a fund that holds Bitcoin futures contracts, make sure you carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits.”
  • The price of BTC surged by more than $2,000 almost immediately after the news went live.

Sotheby’s launches dedicated NFT platform

Famous auction house Sotheby’s launched its own dedicated nonfungible token platform, Sotheby’s Metaverse, on Thursday. The platform features curated NFTs and supports payments using ETH, BTC, USDC and fiat.

Key takeaways

  • With the brand power Sotheby’s carries, it comes as no surprise that its new platform’s first sales include work from Pranksy, Paris Hilton and others.
  • Sotheby’s is now putting more pressure on rival Christie’s, which has also pushed into the NFT space in 2021.

Failed Flashbots attempt results in $430K for a failed transaction

One unfortunate Ethereum user spent $430,000 in network fees for a failed transaction, in addition to $105,000 to cancel a subsequent transaction, while attempting to partake in the STRIPS token sale via the MISO launchpad.

Key takeaway

  • The user in question reportedly used communications protocol Flashbots to bribe miners for block priority. However, the transaction was inadvertently sent to the mempool and never picked up in the Flashbots relay — resulting in a costly failed transaction. Had it been processed through Flashbots, it would not have gone through if no tokens were secured.
  • The token sale in question sold out in six seconds to only 14 addresses.

DeFi surpasses $200 billion in total value locked

This week saw the decentralized finance industry surpass $200 billion in total value locked, per statistics site Defi Llama. Though the estimations on tracking sites are imperfect, it is reasonable to infer that DeFi smart contracts now hold more than twice what they held in June.

Key takeaway

  • Ethereum unsurprisingly is the dominant protocol for decentralized finance. However, competitors such as Solana, Terra, Avalanche and Fantom have seen impressive growth — resulting in decreased Ethereum dominance.
The total value locked in DeFi is currently $217 billion. Source: Defi Llama

U.S. takes over Bitcoin hash rate dominance

Following a mass exodus of cryptocurrency miners from China in 2021, the United States now maintains the largest percentage of hash rate growth — per estimates from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.

Based on an analysis of 44% of the total Bitcoin hash rate, miners in the U.S. are responsible for 35.4%.

Key takeaways

  • The Chinese crackdown on cryptocurrency mining has removed all fears surrounding the country’s previous dominance over the network’s hash rate — effectively eradicating one concern some in the industry held for years.
  • Other countries are also experiencing growth in Bitcoin hash rate market share — including Kazakhstan, a prime destination for displaced mining operations previously based in China.
The United States has taken over Bitcoin’s hash rate dominance. Source: Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

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Disclaimer: This material should not be taken as the basis for making investment decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation to engage in investment transactions. Trading digital assets involve significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should ensure that you fully understand the risk involved and take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary.

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