Crypto News This Week: Hong Kong’s ETF Approval, SBF Appeals Sentence

Key Takeaways

  • Hong Kong poised to approve Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs, potentially attracting $25 billion from Chinese investors.
  • FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried appeals his 25-year fraud conviction and sentence.
  • SEC targets Uniswap with enforcement notice, escalating regulatory actions on crypto exchanges.

In this week’s roundup of crypto news, we examine the latest developments and trends in the cryptocurrency market.

Hong Kong may approve spot Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as soon as April 15, with possible trading by the end of the month.

The news is significant as analysts predict mainland Chinese investors could pour $25 billion in potential Hong Kong-listed spot Bitcoin ETFs through the Southbound Stock Connect program.

In another major development, lawyers for FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried have filed a notice of appeal of his federal fraud and conspiracy conviction and his 25-year prison sentence.

Here are this week’s important crypto stories.

Hong Kong May Approve Crypto ETFs Next Week

Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that Hong Kong may approve ETFs investing directly in Bitcoin and Ethereum on April 15.

An international arm of Chinese asset manager Harvest Fund Management and a partnership between Bosera Asset Management (International) and HashKey Capital are among the issuers expected to get the green light for both types of spot-crypto ETFs.

H.K. Seen Approving Bitcoin, Ether ETFs as Soon as Monday (Bloomberg)

Hong Kong ETFs to See Massive Demand

According to Singapore-based crypto services provider Matrixport, Hong Kong’s crypto ETFs could unlock up to $25 billion in demand from Chinese investors via the Southbound Stock Connect program. The Southbound Stock Connect allows qualified mainland Chinese investors to access eligible shares listed in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong-listed Bitcoin ETFs Could Unlock Up to $25B in Demand, Crypto Firm Says (CoinDesk)

SBF Appeals Fraud Conviction and Sentence

Sam Bankman-Fried has filed to appeal his conviction and sentence for fraud and conspiracy charges. The disgraced crypto boss was convicted last November after a month-long trial on seven different charges and was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried appeals fraud conviction, 25-year prison sentence (CNBC)

SEC Goes After Uniswap

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sent a notice to decentralized crypto exchange Uniswap, revealing intentions to pursue an enforcement action. Uniswap CEO Hayden Adams announced the receipt of the so-called Wells notice on X, saying he wasn’t surprised, “just annoyed, disappointed, and ready to fight.”

Binance Executive Pleads Not Guilty

Detained Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan has pleaded not guilty to four money laundering charges in Nigeria. In his defense, Gambaryan emphasized that he should not be held accountable for Binance’s activities in Nigeria, as he does not possess decision-making authority in the company’s business operations.

Binance Executive Pleads Not Guilty to Money Laundering Charges in Nigeria (Cryptonews.com)

1inch Unveils Web3 Debit Card

DEX aggregator 1inch Network has created a Web3 debit card in partnership with crypto card developer Baanx, powered by payment giant Mastercard. The 1inch Card will allow users to use their crypto for online and in-person purchases and cash withdrawals at supported ATMs.

1inch launches a Web3 debit card in partnership with Mastercard and Crypto Life (1inch)

TON Partners With HashKey

The TON ecosystem has formed a partnership with HashKey Group, the parent company of the Hong Kong-licensed crypto exchange HashKey, to increase provision for on- and off-ramping of crypto and fiat to Asia-Pacific users of the wallet service in messaging app Telegram.

TON Foundation Announces Strategic Partnership with HashKey Group (HashKey)

Bitkub May Be Valued at $3B in IPO

Thai crypto exchange Bitkub Online, which plans to sell shares to the public next year, could be valued as high as $3 billion, Bitkub Capital Group CEO Jirayut Srupsrisopa said.

“A price-to-earnings ratio of 10-30 would put our valuation between 1 billion – 3 billion US dollars,” he elaborated.

Thai Crypto Exchange Bitkub May Be Valued as High as $3B in IPO: CEO (Yahoo Finance)

Craig Wright Drops Appeal Against Hodlonaut

Craig Wright has dropped his appeal against Norwegian bitcoiner Hodlonaut. It ends a nearly five-year-long legal battle over a series of social media posts in which Hodlonaut called Wright a “scammer” and a “fraud” for claiming to be the inventor of Bitcoin. Previously, a UK judge ruled that Wright was not Satoshi Nakamoto.

Grayscal Records Lowest Outflows

Grayscale’s Bitcoin ETF logged about $18 million in outflows on April 10, a record-low figure since it first went live in January. The figures come a day after Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein said he sees outflows from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) reaching an “equilibrium” as selling activity connected to settlements of bankrupt crypto companies like FTX was “largely behind us.”

Grayscale CEO sees bitcoin ETF outflows reaching equilibrium (Reuters)

50% of Solana Pre-Sales Are Scams

Half of the recent pre-sale token launches on Solana have been malicious, according to blockchain security firm Blockaid. “They are focused both on memecoins as well as existing projects, for example just in the coming days we’ve seen some of the most popular projects being targeted by some of these groups,” Blockaid CEO Ben Natan said.

Half of Solana Pre-Sales Are Scams, Blockaid Says (Insider)

Crypto.com Obtains Dubai License

Singapore-based digital asset exchange Crypto.com has received full operational approval from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) for its local entity. CRO DAX Middle East FZE is now on VARA’s public register. As a first step, institutional investors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can now use the Crypto.com exchange.

Crypto.com’s Dubai Entity Receives Full Operational Approval (Crypto.com)

Crypto Market Cap to Double by Year-End

According to Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, the cryptocurrency market’s value could almost double to $5 trillion by the end of the year, propelled by spot ETFs and the halving event.

“I’m very optimistic. I think the macro trends, the big picture things like the ETFs, they’re driving real institutional money for the first time,” Garlinghouse said.

Global Crypto Market Cap May Hit $5 Trillion by December 2024, Ripple CEO (Tech Report)

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