Weekly Cryptocurrency News. Jan. 12

Here comes Friday, January 12th. As the week elapses, we can focus on the industry highlights over the past few days.

SEC gives green light to spot bitcoin ETFs

It was the evening of January 10 when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the approval of 11 applications submitted for spot exchange-traded funds based on the alpha cryptocurrency.

Some of the approved issuers include Bitwise, Grayscale, Hashdex, BlackRock, Valkyrie, BZX, Invesco, VanEck, WisdomTree, Fidelity and Franklin Templeton. The start of trading is anticipated on January 11.

According to the paper, having carefully considered the proposals, the Commission is satisfied that the proposals are compliant with the Exchange Act and with the rules and regulations applicable to a national securities exchange.

At the same time as the approval announcement, the SEC released a statement made by its chairman Gary Gensler. He confirmed the agency’s assertion, but also alerted about potential risks.

As Gensler himself said, digital gold is primarily a “speculative, volatile asset that’s also used for illicit activity including ransomware, money laundering, sanction evasion, and terrorist financing.”

“While we approved the listing and trading of certain spot bitcoin ETP shares today, we did not approve or endorse bitcoin. Investors should remain cautious about the myriad risks associated with bitcoin and products whose value is tied to crypto,” he added.

The approved order relates to 19b-4 amendment forms, but issuers would have to obtain additional S-1 filings approval to list on the exchange. So far, the Commission is reviewing these documents, presumably to finalize the process by the time the trading opens.

Cosmos community votes on reducing ATOM inflation to 0%

Cosmos Hub kicked off a voting process to completely abandon minimum inflation parameter for its main token, ATOM.

To date, 94.5% of community members have spoken in favor of the proposal, while 4.5% opposed it. Still, despite overwhelming support, only 1.4% of the 40% quorum was reached. Voting will last from Jan. 9 through Jan. 23.

The gist of the proposal is to change the “InflationMin” parameter to zero. As early as November 2023, the community has a history of backing a similar cut from 14% to 10%, but the ultimate goal is to eliminate it altogether.

What the author of the proposal emphasizes is that this adjustment adds flexibility by allowing stakeholders to fine-tune the overall percentage of bond tokens based on the incentives which are in turn provided by the issuance level, given the absence of specific consumer network revenues.

The changes were initially intended to increase ATOM staking yields per annum. The proposer also argues that the token’s sky-high inflation rate, when compared to its rivals, is an unnecessary “security overpayment”. Meanwhile, the maximum inflation rate in the ecosystem (“InflationMax” parameter, to be precise) is flatlined at 20%.

Aave to integrate PYUSD, a PayPal’s stablecoin

99.99% of those voting in favor of integrating PYUSD into Aave’s DeFi platform pools strongly supported the initiative, thus meeting the requisite quorum.

The voting was launched back on December 18 and is set to wrap up on January 11 at 8:21 UTC.

In fact, the idea of incorporating PYUSD into Aave’s DeFi platform stemmed from decentralized exchange Curve’s decision to list the stablecoin in December.

Trident 15, the proposer, explained that such integration helps create a synergy with the PayPal’s asset and it also strengthens the interconnection between PYUSD and GHO (a decentralized, multi-collateralized stablecoin by Aave).

“The idea is to keep yields quite high on Curve. This will create organic borrowing demand for PYUSD on AAVE,” the post says.

If approved, Trident 15 will commit to contribute between $5m and $10m of liquidity to the respective pool.

Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin puts forward gas limit surge

Over the course of the AMA session on Reddit, Ethereum CEO Vitalik Buterin, revealed a possible 40 million (+33%) skyrocketing in the network’s gas units limit in order to increase capacity.

The gas limit is basically the maximum computing power available to process transactions or execute smart contracts in a single block. As of now, this limit stands at 30 million gas units.

Buterin indicated that this parameter remained intact for almost three years, which is the most continuous period in the history of the Ethereum protocol. He also clarified that the 2x bump in the chart in late 2021 is due to the transition to EIP-1559, which doubled the “limit” but the actual average climbed by only 9%.

However, Martin Keppelmann, CEO of Gnosis, voiced concerns about raising the gas limit, noting that it could lead to escalating operating costs for validators. That being said, he believes the benefits of the effort outweigh the potential challenges.