GB Market Commentary 17/05/2022
by Marcus Sotiriou
Bitcoin has reclaimed the key psychological $30k level this morning, after falling below yesterday. On Monday, 32 central banks and 12 financial authorities (44 countries) met in El Salvador to discuss Bitcoin’s roll out and the benefits it has had on financial inclusion, the digital economy and banking the unbanked. Representatives from Africa, Asia and Latin America were present.
I am optimistic that more countries will follow El Salvador’s footsteps this year in making Bitcoin legal tender. One country in particular that is poised to take such a leap is Brazil. Last week it was announced that Nubank, the largest fintech bank in Brazil, just bought Bitcoin for its balance sheet with 1% of its treasury.
In addition, Brazil's largest broker XP will start offering Bitcoin to its 3.5 million customers by the end of June this year, and Brazil's stock exchange to offer Bitcoin futures in the next 6 months.
These integrations show how Brazil are taking steps towards becoming a nation that is receptive towards Bitcoin, as they clearly see its long-term potential.
Aside from greater adoption on a national scale, the Grayscale are making it easier for institutions to invest in crypto as they have announced the launch of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) in Europe. This ETF called the Future of Finance UCITS ETF will list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), Borsa Italiana, and Deutsche Börse Xetra.
Furthermore, Grayscale is trying to convince the SEC to approve the conversion of its flagship product, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), into a spot bitcoin ETF. If Grayscale were able to turn its Bitcoin Trust product into a NYSE-traded ETF, this would widen access to Bitcoin and enhance protections. Grayscale claim this would also unlock up to $8 billion in value for investors.
As the SEC has not approved a spot Bitcoin ETF so far, Grayscale have said “The SEC is discriminating against issuers by approving bitcoin futures ETFs and denying bitcoin spot ETFs.” I agree with Grayscale here, and I think that the SEC will be pressured into approving a spot Bitcoin ETF this year as it is long overdue.