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Welcome to today's edition of Tokengraph, your dedicated source for the most compelling and critical updates from the exciting world of Web3. Whether you're a seasoned blockchain veteran, a curious enthusiast, or a newcomer eager to learn, our newsletter is designed to provide you with essential insights to navigate the evolving landscape of Web3. Let’s get started.
On today’s agenda:
TradFi Moves in on Crypto
RFK Jr. Talks Crypto Politics
Why Are BAYC Prices Plummeting?
Bet on Zuckerberg VS Musk Fight
Amazon Doubles Down on AI
In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has greenlit the first-ever leveraged Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF). The Volatility Shares 2x Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITX) is poised for launch on the Chicago Board Options (CBOE) BZX Exchange on June 27. Per the SEC filing, the BITX aims to achieve investment outcomes that mirror twice the return of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Bitcoin Futures Daily Roll Index.
The US SEC has approved the first leveraged Bitcoin futures ETF.
— whalechart (@WhaleChart)
Jun 24, 2023
ETFs allow investors to acquire exposure to various securities such as stocks and commodities by purchasing shares without direct ownership. In the crypto domain, two types of Bitcoin ETFs have typically emerged: Bitcoin futures and Bitcoin spot.
The BITX fund is a leveraged ETF using Bitcoin futures for leverage to increase returns on a benchmark index. While this leverage may offer short-term gains for investors, it equally carries the potential for significant losses.
The 2x bitcoin ETF $BITX has become effective, scheduled to launch Tuesday. I was doubtful it would happen but looks like it’s official. Could this be early sign of SEC lightening up? After $BITO launch I believe they made earlier 2x filers withdraw
— Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas)
Jun 23, 2023
The approval by the SEC elicited mostly positive responses from cryptocurrency enthusiasts, yet it did raise some questions. Nate Geraci, the co-founder of the ETF Institute, expressed bewilderment at a 2x leveraged futures product launching before a straightforward spot ETF, calling it "wild."
Blackrock to regulators.
— James Lavish (@jameslavish)
Jun 19, 2023
Simultaneously, the performance of $BITO, the first Bitcoin futures ETF in the U.S., was brought into focus. Despite it experiencing a 3.45% gain following the BITX announcement, it remains more than 50% down from its 2021 peak.
Bitcoin ETF filed in last 2 weeks
Blackrock - $10 Trillion
Fidelity - $4.5 Trillion
Invesco - $1.49 Trillion
Wisdom Tree - $87 Billion
Valkyrie - $1 Billion
Institutional FOMO is happening
— Ash Crypto (@Ashcryptoreal)
Jun 24, 2023
The approval of BITX provides a glimmer of optimism for the digital asset industry, especially after the SEC recently filed lawsuits against two of the largest crypto exchanges, Coinbase and Binance. SEC Chair Gary Gensler has historically demonstrated strong skepticism toward cryptocurrencies. However, the recent approval, along with BlackRock's Bitcoin ETF application, might suggest a potential change in the SEC's fraught relationship with crypto. It’s too early to say for sure, but we’ll keep you updated.
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In a recent interview with The New York Post, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a Democratic Party presidential candidate, expressed his unequivocal support for Bitcoin and voiced concerns over central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and the uncontrolled rise of artificial intelligence (AI). This disclosure reveals Kennedy's stance on some of the most pivotal topics at the intersection of technology and finance.
🇺🇸 US Presidential Candidate Robert Kennedy Jr: "I will make sure that we have policies that support #Bitcoin and the freedom to transact and that allow individuals to manage their own bitcoin wallets, nodes, and passwords."
— Bitcoin Magazine (@BitcoinMagazine)
Jun 22, 2023
If elected, Kennedy affirmed his commitment to policies that uphold the freedom to transact in Bitcoin, ensuring the right for individuals to manage their own Bitcoin wallets, nodes, and passwords. He would enforce only the minimal controls necessary to curb money laundering. This commitment aligns with Kennedy's previous address at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami, where he criticized the proposed 30% crypto tax and denounced CBDCs.
RFK Jr’s Support For Bitcoin
RFK Jr. has come out and openly stated his opinion on Bitcoin and the important role it could play in maintaining Democracy.
He has also been vocal in the war against CBDC’s, (Central Bank Digital Currencies), and points to the actions of Canada… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
— Mario Nawfal (@MarioNawfal)
May 22, 2023
According to Kennedy, CBDCs, which are digital forms of fiat currencies issued by central banks, are "instruments of control and oppression, and are certain to be abused.” This viewpoint aligns him with several other prominent figures, such as Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, who publicly expressed concerns about CBDCs.
#Bitcoin now has the support of presidential candidates, regulators, legislators, money managers, bankers, investors, and the general public. The future will bring a parade of positives for those intent on proliferating bitcoin as an instrument of economic empowerment.
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor)
Jun 22, 2023
Kennedy also highlighted the risks associated with AI, a domain he believes requires global regulation. He particularly pointed to the potential dangers of AI, which he believes can control narratives, create illusions, enforce compliance, monitor behavior, and potentially “enslave” humanity. Kennedy's position mirrors those of tech leaders like Elon Musk, who have also issued warnings about the threats posed by AI.
This latest disclosure from Kennedy reaffirms his position on cryptocurrencies, CBDCs, and AI, topics that are likely to be increasingly relevant as we approach the next presidential election. RFK Jr. is currently trailing Biden by about 58 percentage points in the Democratic Party presidential primary, according to polling website FiveThirtyEight.
IPFS is a protocol commonly used in Web3 development. What does IPFS stand for?
A. InterPlanetary File System
B. Internet Protocol Fast Service
C. Integrated Protocol File Sync
D. IntraPlanetary File Sync
Scroll down to the bottom to see if you're right!
⚡ Lightning Round: Weekly Updates
A series of trades by Jeffrey Huang (AKA Machi Big Brother) triggered a price drop in Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. He sold over 50 of the NFTs, including a single transaction of 19 Apes for around $1.2 million total. At 33 ETH, the blue-chip collection has now hit its lowest floor price since November 2021, down from its peak of 152 Ethereum in April 2022. Huang later bought back 14 Apes, causing a minor rebound in the collection's price.
In anticipation of U.S. approval for Bitcoin spot ETFs, investors are entering a “Great Accumulation Race,” according to Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss. BlackRock, Fidelity, Invesco, Wisdom Tree, and Valkyrie have all filed for spot ETFs, and that’s what seems to have sparked Bitcoin's recent 19% surge. Winklevoss is implying that the influx of institutional interest means the opportunity for retail investors to get ahead of the curve may be diminishing.
In a bid to compete with Microsoft and Google, Amazon's cloud unit, AWS, is reportedly investing $100 million in a Generative AI Innovation Center. This facility will connect AI experts with clients for application development and is expected to boost cloud service sales. Highspot, Twilio, Ryanair, and Lonely Planet are set to be the first users.
❓ Trivia Answer
The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) was established as a solution for entirely decentralized and distributed file storage and sharing mechanisms. Contrasting the conventional approach where web data is held on servers with a fixed location, IPFS utilizes a structure akin to blockchain for the dispersion and preservation of data.
Web3 Resource of the Day
Bitcoin: Dubious Speculation | Video from Benjamin Cowen
Bitcoin has rallied again past $30,000, taking out its prior high from this April—and Altcoins are bleeding against BTC as liquidity flows between the two. With this new yearly high, are things looking up for the market, or will we face a secondary scare sometime soon? Benjamin Cowen brings the analysis and his own well-worded but in-depth thoughts on the matter in today’s resource video.
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DISCLAIMER: This is not financial advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Do your own research.