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Cathie Wood seeks Ethereum ETF approval, Binance clears (more) house, Alex Mashinsky's assets get frozen, Genesis sues DCG, and Circle teams up with Legend for global USDC reasons

September 7, 2023

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Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are seemingly inbound. The SEC approved a bitcoin futures ETF in 2021 and former SEC chair Jay Clayton has gone on record to say the approval of a spot bitcoin ETF is "inevitable." Likewise, Ethereum ETFs are on the cards.

Cathie Wood's Ark Invest, with the help of 21Shares, is the latest firm to apply for an Ethereum-based ETF, marking the first attempt to list a fund that directly invests in ETH in the US.

Known as the ARK 21Shares Ethereum ETF, the fund will operate as a spot ETF, similar to spot Bitcoin ETFs pending SEC approval. Ark is also among the many firms applying for a spot Bitcoin ETF.

Bitcoin ETF approvals were recently delayed by the SEC, which cited Grayscale's courtroom win to transform its Bitcoin Trust to an ETF.

Grayscale 1-0 SEC: Markets Rejoice
Markets pump as a US court rules that the SEC must review Grayscale’s Bitcoin ETF application, Seba eyes Hong Kong, Robinhood splits with Jump Trading, and Binance goes Belgian

As sentiment warms to the so-called "inevitable," some whales are stocking up on Ethereum. According to reports, a group of whales increased their holdings by 260,000 ETH in early September. New addresses created for ETH daily trading have risen 30% over the past week too.

However, ETH whales holding between 100,000 to 1,000,000 ETH have seen a decline of 2% whilst transaction volume among ETH whales has decreased 27% in the past month.

The price of ETH has largely traded sidewise after slipping below $1,700 last week.

For those anticipating the approval of ETH ETFs, now could be a good entry point. Approval of ETH ETFs will see the cryptocurrency open up to a wider audience, particularly from the TradFi space. That said, wider market conditions in the crypto market could keep ETH subdued for now. Just this week, animosity intensified in the crypto space as MakerDAO hinted at a shift away from Ethereum to Solana.

What to Make of MakerDAO’s Migration
While MakerDAO has been a stalwart of the Ethereum network, increasing congestion and high gas fees is prompting it to look for alternatives. A potential move to Solana could signify a significant shift in the DeFi landscape, given MakerDAO’s prominence in the space.

Markets will undoubtedly celebrate the approval of crypto ETFs but the innovation, development and utility of these blockchains are what truly excites us.


  • Binance Clearing House: Binance has lost another two executives. This time, Gleb Kostarev, the head of Eastern Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States, Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand, and Vladimir Smerkis, the general manager for the CIS region, have departed. Helen Hai, who managed Binance's global fiat business, has also left the company. The departures follow a string of exits from the world's largest crypto exchange.
  • Mashinsky Freeze: Former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky has had his banking and real estate assets frozen by the Department of Justice. The court order prevents assets from leaving accounts in Goldman Sachs and other financial institutions. Mashinsky was arrested in July on securities fraud and manipulation of the CEL token. He pleaded not guilty and his lawyers described the charges as "baseless."
  • Parents Get Sued: Genesis has filed two lawsuits against parent groups Digital Currency Group (DCG) and Digital Currency Group International (DCGI), seeking over $600 million in loans. Genesis filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2023. Genesis was owed about US$1.7 billion by DCG, which also owned the company.  The lawsuits claim two loans of $620 million, which matured in May, have not been repaid, plus an additional US$1.1 billion unsecured promissory note due in 2032. Its loans include 4,550 Bitcoin.
  • Circle + Legend = International USDC: Circle has partnered with institutional trading platform Legend Trading to expand their stablecoin services in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific regions. This collaboration hopes to increase USDC exposure among institutional clients. Legend Trading serves more than 800 institutions and processes $1 billion monthly across 150 countries.