Crypto Q1 2024 Recap: ETFs Approved, Ethereum Scales, Legal Battle

Hello! I’m Casey from YAP Global Singapore. As a current intern at YAP Global, staying on top of the fast-changing crypto space is crucial. The Context newsletter has been immensely helpful in this regard, providing clear insights by distilling the noise of the first quarter’s events. Here’s my quick recap of what went down: 

Spot ETF Approvals (The Context #105)

After years of rejections, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finally gave the green light to spot Bitcoin ETFs in January 2024. This was a massive win for crypto enthusiasts, especially after a court ruling in August 2023 that challenged the SEC’s previous justifications for disapproval. 

Hong Kong followed suit by approving spot Bitcoin and Ether ETFs in April and launching them shortly after. Australia is likely next in line. These developments suggest a growing comfort level with crypto among regulatory bodies, potentially laying the groundwork for wider adoption.

Ethereum Scales Up with Dencun Upgrade (The Context #114)

Ethereum’s network finally got the much-needed upgrade it deserved in March with Dencun. This wasn’t just any update – it tackled the long-standing issue of scalability, lowering costs and making transactions way faster.

SBF vs CZ: A Tale of Two Trials (The Context #116 & #120)

The contrasting legal situations of crypto exchange heads Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) and Changpeng Zhao (CZ) unfolded like a crazy drama in 2023. SBF, facing fraud charges related to FTX and Alameda Research, went down swinging with a not-guilty plea. Maybe that defiance wasn’t the best strategy – he ended up with a 25-year sentence after his trial.

CZ, on the other hand, took a different approach. He owned up to Binance’s weak anti-money laundering controls, pleaded guilty, and cooperated with authorities. This proactive move likely earned him a lighter sentence of four months. Lesson learned: cooperation goes a long way, especially in legal situations. 

The Year Ahead

The coming months are shaping up to be crucial for crypto regulations. Poland’s about to introduce a new crypto bill, Japan is sorting out legalities surrounding its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), and the US Treasury under Janet Yellen might make moves that impact market liquidity. Internationally, organisations like the International Organisation of Securities Commissions and the World Economic Forum are actively shaping the conversation around crypto regulation. 

So whether you are new to the field (like me) or a crypto-savvy seasoned pro, The Context surely has something for you. Our writers translate complex ideas into clear, bite-sized pieces that are entertaining to read. Stay informed and subscribe now! 

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