September 2021 Recap

In September we saw Bitcoin’s (BTC) price decrease from around $52,000 to $40,000. Towards the end of the month, the downward pattern discontinued, with Bitcoin rising to around $45,000. This was an exciting month for crypto with a lot of developments within the industry. One of the big events that happened in the month was Bitcoin becoming legal tender in El Salvador. The country also acquired more than 150 Bitcoins. On the other hand, China was not as supportive of crypto, and towards the end of September, the country continued its crackdown on the cryptocurrency space.

In the Bitcoin ETF space, many applications are still awaiting approval from the SEC and SEC Chairman Garry Gensler reiterated support for a futures-based Bitcoin ETF. We have seen several firms place applications into the SEC in hopes of getting approval. Among these firms are Bitwise, Skybridge, and Amplify. Invesco and Galaxy Digital also filed a joint application for an ETF. Also related to regulation, U.S. Homeland Security signed a contract with Coinbase where the exchange will provide blockchain analytics software.

Cryptocurrency is continuing to see institutional adoption. Ark Investment Management revised the ARKW prospectus to allow the fund to invest in Canadian crypto ETFs. MicroStrategy also increased its BTC holdings this month, bringing the total to 114,000 BTC. Interactive Brokers launched crypto trading through Paxos, and quantitative trading firm Jump launched a crypto division. PayPal also continued its involvement in crypto and it released a new app for crypto, savings, and direct deposits.

The decentralized finance (DeFi) space has also been active. Societe Generale applied for a $20M loan on DeFi platform MakerDAO, offering to use a tokenized bond as collateral. NFT marketplace OpenSea confirmed an employee used insider knowledge when buying NFTs, and this employee has since stepped down. SushiSwap’s co-founder 0xMaki announced he would be stepping down and moving to an advisory role. The blockchain Solana also went down in September, with the outage attributed to a denial-of-service attack that targeted a DEX offering. Finally, DEX aggregator 1inch blocked out US traders, but said it has plans to launch a separate American platform.

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