Monday, May 16th 2022

Crypto Three Things (5/16)

Commentary

"Growth and comfort do not coexist." — Ginni Rometty

1) Goldman Sachs and Barclays participate in $70M funding round of UK crypto trading platform Elwood

  • The two banks have invested in Elwood Technologies, a trading platform founded by UK billionaire Alan Howard.

  • In addition to Goldman and Barclays, fundraising was backed by Dawn Capital and units of Commerzbank AG and Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd., Mike Novogratz’s crypto firm.

  • Elwood, now valued at $500M, will offer portfolios of digital assets and crypto funds for institutional investors such as hedge funds, banks, and family offices.

Titan’s Takeaway: This funding round represents an unusual but exciting collaboration between traditional financial mainstays and crypto-native funds. More importantly, it is another major milestone towards mainstream adoption of digital assets as institutional investors shrug off the recent market drop.

2) Aurora launches $90M token fund to support DeFi development on Near Protocol

  • Aurora, an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) on the Near Protocol, is aiming to draw in Ethereum developers to build decentralized finance (DeFi) applications.

  • Aurora has allocated 25 million of its own tokens to seed the fund. These coins will be used to provide grants to builders on the Near Protocol.

  • The fund was unveiled in partnership with Proximity Labs, Near Protocol’s DeFi unit.

Titan’s Takeaway: Aurora joins a swath of blockchain firms rolling out grant initiatives in efforts to make developing Ethereum applications on native protocols more attractive. In-line with our thesis that 2022 would be a year of cross-chain innovation, the funding is expected to further extend the Ethereum economy outside its blockchain.

3) Australia welcomes its first spot crypto ETFs amid turbulent market conditions

  • The Bitcoin ETF (EBTC) tracks the performance of the price of bitcoin in Australian dollars, and provide holders with an interest in “physical” BTC.

  • The investment products were built in partnership with Switzerland’s 21Shares and are currently trading on the Cboe Australia exchange.

  • The Bitcoin ETF and the Ethereum ETF booked underwhelming first-day trading volumes of $656,000 and $415,000, respectively.

Titan’s Takeaway: These launches come as BTC’s price floats at its lowest for the year, hence the relatively underwhelming response from investors. Nevertheless, Australia’s spot crypto ETFs mark significant progress towards meeting the global demand for “physical” cryptocurrency investments, which were previously only available in select countries such as Canada, Brazil, and some parts of Europe.

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