In a surprise move, investment firm 21Shares filed with the Securities Commission

In a surprise move, investment firm 21Shares filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday afternoon, May 31, the name of its proposed exchange-traded fund (ETF) for Ethereum (ETH ) and the withdrawal of ARK Invest from the stock market. ask.

An ARK Invest spokesperson later confirmed that the company had decided not to move forward with the cryptocurrency product, citing the need to reevaluate its investment strategy. The move has sparked concerns within the cryptocurrency community about the near-term viability of the newly approved ETFs.

In a June 5 interview, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler suggested delaying final approvals from asset managers. ETFs “will take some time,” Gensler said. The SEC has not yet approved the applicants’ S-1 registration statements.

ARK Invest and 21Shares will remain partners in the Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund, which launched in January.

This week’s Crypto Biz also explores Animoca Brands’ Galaxy Digital token loan, Avail’s fundraising, Toposware acquisition, and first reports from Bitcoin miners since the halving.

Galaxy Digital uses a historic NFT violin to secure the loan

Galaxy Digital and Animoca Brands co-founder Michael Novogratz, Yat Siu, coded a 1708 Stradivarius violin to use as collateral for a multi-million dollar loan. On June 4, Galaxy allegedly advanced an undisclosed sum of money to Seo, who used a 316-year-old violin he owned as collateral. The digital asset company turned the violin into a non-fungible token (NFT) and will keep the NFT and physical copy until Siu settles the loan. The violin previously belonged to Russian Empress Catherine the Great.

Antique violin named Empress Katerina. Source: Tarisio

Polygon Labs acquired Toposware, bringing ZK’s total investment to $1 billion

Polygon Labs has acquired blockchain research and engineering firm Toposware, its third investment in the zero-knowledge (ZK) startup in three years. Toposware is working with Polygon on Type 1 Prover, enabling Ethereum-compatible blockchains to use zero-knowledge proofs with minimal modifications. The acquisition adds 11 Toposware engineers to Polygon’s ZK teams and brings Polygon’s total investment in ZK technology to over $1 billion, following its acquisition of Mir and Hermez for $650 million in 2021.

Bitcoin Halving Affects Miner Riot’s Revenue by 43% Despite New Facilities

Bitcoin mining company Riot Platforms produced 215 bitcoins in May, down 43% from last month, despite expanding its fleet. This drop is a direct impact of the Bitcoin halving on the mining industry, which resulted in a halving of mining rewards to 3,125 BTC. Riot previously planned to upgrade its infrastructure to maintain production after the halving with a new facility in Corsicana, Texas, which added 3.1 exahashes per second to its total self-operating to date, an increase of 17% compared to the previous month. Additionally, after adjusting its operations after the halving, Marathon Digital sold 63% of its Bitcoin production in May.

Avail raises $43 million in Series A to consolidate Web3

Avail, a standard blockchain underlay, recently completed an oversubscribed Series A round of $43 million. The Series A funding saw participation from several venture capital firms and angel investors, including Altos Ventures, Alliance DAO, Hashkey, Elixir Capital, Spark Digital Capital, RW3 Ventures and others. In total, the company has raised $75 million in various funding rounds. Avail is led by Arjun, one of the founders of Polygon, which aims to address three key challenges within the Web3 ecosystem: blockchain fragmentation, insufficient data availability, and limited scalability.

Before leaving: Jenny Johnson, CEO of Franklin Templeton, believes that we are still in the early days of the Bitcoin investment cycle and that big institutional capital is not yet fully deployed in the asset class.

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