Crypto ETFs, Bitfinex's solvency, and Binance donating listing fees to charity

Bitcoin $6,670              Ethereum $220.63 
Crypto Mkt Cap $222B        BTC Dominance 52.00%  

“Decentralization in crypto is a myth. It is a system more centralized than North Korea: miners are centralized, exchanges are centralized, developers are centralized dictators (Buterin is “dictator for life” ) & the Gini inequality coefficient of bitcoin is worse than North Korea.” — Nouriel Roubini, Professor NYU Stern

The Big Block

U.S. Regulators are cold to the idea of a bitcoin exchange-traded fund tied to the volatile market for digital assets, but that hasn’t stopped more and more firms from exploring a fund of their own. 

The “bitcoin ETF,” a darling of crypto Twitter, has long been viewed as a natural next step in bitcoin’s maturation as an asset. It was even hailed by JPMorgan, the bank led by bitcoin basher Jamie Dimon, as a “holy grail.” Proponents say it could provide a new avenue by which retail investors could enter the market, unlocking a wave of capital to revive the once sanguine crypto markets. 

Regulators and skeptics don’t appear convinced that the market is ready for such a derivative. Citing concerns about manipulation, for instance, the Securities and Exchange Commission recently pushed off deciding on asset manager VanEck’s plan for a fund tied to bitcoin until late December. In August, the regulator rejected nine bitcoin funds. But that hasn’t stalled ambitions at some crypto firms to explore new fund ideas in the short term, The Block has learned. 

Read More on The Block (5 Minutes)

Around The Block

‘Bitfinex is not insolvent:’ Crypto exchange giant Bitfinex responds to recent rumors in new blog post

Bitfinex, the cryptocurrency exchange, responded to brutal rumors surrounding its business in a blog post Sunday. 

In recent weeks, rumors emerged that Bitfinex, and its affiliated firm Tether, could face insolvency amid reports that its reported banking partner Noble International was no longer working with the firm.

Bitfinex has had a long and winding banking history. In April 2017, a banking relationship between Wells Fargo and Bitfinex ended, according to media reports. Bitfinex then moved its business to Noble International later in the year. But that relationship has also ended in recent months as Noble grips with the possibility of going out of business. — More

Binance will start donating listing fees

Binance, currently the most popular cryptocurrency exchange, said in a press release that starting from today, it will make all listing fees transparent and donate 100% of them to charity through Binance’s Blockchain Charity Foundation. Binance was often criticized for charging a significant amount to list a token on its platform. — More

U.S. Senators move to sanction Venezuela’s cryptocurrency — More

Autonomous NEXT: Here are the possible factors behind the ICO market’s implosion — More

The United Arab Emirates to allow ICOs as funding option — More