Weekly Crypto Roundup: Ethereum ETFs, Trezor Staking, Venezuela Crackdown

Weekly Crypto Roundup: Ethereum ETFs, Trezor Staking, Venezuela Crackdown

Welcome to our newest weekly crypto update, presented by StealthEX and CryptoDaily! This week, we’re highlighting the top and most thrilling news in the crypto universe. Curious about the latest buzz in the digital assets scene? Check out our fresh digest!

Weekly Crypto Roundup: Ethereum ETFs, Trezor Staking, Venezuela Crackdown

SEC Moves Closer to Approving Spot Ethereum ETFs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has called for US exchanges to expedite updates to their 19B-4 filings, hinting at potential progress in the approval process for spot Ethereum ETFs. This action, ahead of a significant deadline, has sparked optimism among investors and analysts.

The SEC has long been expected to reject spot Ethereum ETF applications, but recent developments suggest a shift. The regulator’s request for updated filings indicates that they are seriously considering these applications. Though approval is not certain, the move is seen as a positive step.

Spot Ethereum ETF issuers must also secure S-1 application approvals before launching. The SEC can take an indefinite amount of time on these, adding an element of uncertainty. Despite this, the latest actions mark a significant change from previous delays.

Analysts James Seyffart and Eric Balchunas of Bloomberg Intelligence have raised their approval odds for a spot Ethereum ETF to 75%, up from an initial 25%. This adjustment reflects a growing belief that the SEC might be shifting its stance on these financial products.

The SEC’s position on Ethereum, especially after its shift to a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, remains critical. If ETH is classified as a security, it could derail the ETF approval process. However, current signals suggest the SEC might be warming up to the idea of a spot Ethereum ETF, much like its Bitcoin counterpart.

Secure Your Future: Trezor Adds Ethereum Staking to Its Suite

Trezor, the pioneer in hardware wallets, has just unveiled a major update to its Trezor Suite. This update introduces Ethereum (ETH) staking, allowing users to earn rewards securely with as little as 0.1 ETH.

Trezor’s integration with Everstake, a staking-as-a-service platform, powers this new feature. Now, Trezor users can select the staking option within their ETH accounts, decide the amount they wish to stake, and start earning rewards.

Staking ETH is a straightforward way to support the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike Bitcoin mining, which requires specialized hardware and high energy consumption, staking involves holding and locking up ETH to validate transactions and create new blocks. This process not only secures the network but also offers users a chance to earn rewards.

During the staking period, the staked ETH is locked and cannot be traded. However, users can unstake their ETH after a dynamic waiting period of a few days. Rewards are auto-compounded, meaning earned ETH is automatically used for further staking, boosting potential gains over time.

The addition of staking to Trezor Suite enhances the functionality of all Trezor wallets, including Model T, Model One, and the new Trezor Safe 3. Users can now buy, sell, exchange, and stake their cryptocurrencies in one secure place.


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Venezuelan Government Shuts Down Bitcoin Mining Operations to Stabilize Power Grid

Venezuelan authorities have taken decisive action against Bitcoin mining farms, disconnecting them from the national power grid and seizing over 11,000 mining rigs. The government aims to curb the excessive power consumption caused by these operations, which have been straining the country’s already fragile electricity supply.

The crackdown, led by Rafael Lacava, governor of the Carabobo state, is part of a broader initiative to stabilize Venezuela’s power network. Carabobo, home to a significant portion of Venezuela’s industrial infrastructure, saw numerous Bitcoin mining farms shut down. This follows an earlier move where the government seized 2,000 mining devices amid an anti-corruption campaign.

The National Power Ministry emphasized the need to ensure reliable and efficient electrical service across the country. The ministry’s efforts are focused on removing the heavy load imposed by energy-intensive mining activities. Since 2019, Venezuela has faced frequent blackouts, severely affecting both economic activity and daily life.

Venezuela joins a list of countries, including China and Kazakhstan, that have imposed strict regulations or outright bans on cryptocurrency mining due to its high energy demands. The recent actions are part of a larger anti-corruption drive that has resulted in the arrest of several senior officials. Governor Lacava has urged the public to report illegal mining operations, highlighting the government’s commitment to combating unlawful activities in the crypto sector.

MIT Graduates Arrested for $25 Million Ethereum Heist in 12 Seconds

Two MIT graduate brothers, Anton and James Peraire-Bueno, have been arrested and charged for exploiting a vulnerability in the Ethereum blockchain. The duo allegedly stole $25 million worth of cryptocurrency in just 12 seconds. This unprecedented case has drawn significant attention from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Anton was arrested in Boston, while James was apprehended in New York. Both are set to appear in federal court. Their lawyers have yet to comment on the charges. The indictment accuses them of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Federal prosecutors have likened the scheme to a high-stakes digital heist.

The investigation was conducted by the IRS Criminal Investigation Cyber Investigations Unit in New York, with support from the New York City Police Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, emphasized the brothers’ sophisticated misuse of their technical skills.

The charges highlight the contentious practice of MEV (maximal extractable value). MEV enables blockchain operators to preview upcoming transactions for extra profit. The government’s indictment points to the inherent vulnerabilities in Ethereum’s protocol.

The brothers allegedly exploited MEV-boost software used by Ethereum validators. By exploiting a bug, they previewed block content before validators received it. They studied their victims’ trading behaviors since December 2022 and took steps to conceal their identities and the stolen proceeds.

Investment Giant Millennium Management Invests $2 Billion in Bitcoin ETFs

Millennium Management, a leading investment management firm, has announced a substantial investment in spot Bitcoin ETFs. The firm holds nearly $2 billion in these assets, reflecting a growing institutional interest in cryptocurrency.

According to the 12F-HR report filed with the SEC, Millennium’s Bitcoin ETF holdings total $1,942,591,163. This represents about 3% of its $64 billion fund. The portfolio includes significant investments in various Bitcoin ETFs:

  • $844 million in BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust
  • $45 million in ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF
  • $44.73 million in Bitwise Bitcoin ETF
  • $202 million in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust
  • $806 million in Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund

This investment highlights Millennium Management’s commitment to the cryptocurrency market. The firm is one of the world’s top investment companies, and its move into Bitcoin ETFs underscores the asset’s appeal.

The disclosure comes amid a bullish trend in Bitcoin’s price, which recently surged to $70,000. This increase in value makes Bitcoin an attractive asset for investment firms.

Millennium Management is not alone in this trend. The State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) and JPMorgan Chase have also revealed significant Bitcoin ETF holdings. These institutions’ involvement signals growing acceptance of Bitcoin in mainstream finance.

This article is not supposed to provide financial advice. Digital assets are risky. Be sure to do your own research and consult your financial advisor before investing.

Tags: Bitcoin crypto world cryptocurrency CryptoDaily Ethereum
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