Bitcoin, Ether, Shiba Inu fears make another country launch Cryptocurrency crackdown
Cryptocurrency has drawn the attention of regulators globally as a result of the volatile price movements - from Bitcoin and Ether to Shiba Inu.
The Financial Conduct Authority is proposing to restrict marketing of cryptocurrency assets to only wealthy and experienced investors, part of a broader push to strengthen consumer protections around high-risk investments. The British watchdog said in a statement Wednesday that it plans to categorize qualifying cryptoassets as “restricted mass market investments.” That means consumers “would only be able to respond to cryptoasset financial promotions if they are classed as restricted, high net worth or sophisticated investors.”
The proposal comes after the Treasury said on Tuesday that it planned to tighten rules on cryptocurrency advertising to ensure promotions are “fair, clear and not misleading.” Crypto has drawn the attention of regulators globally as a result of the volatile price movements of digital assets -- from Bitcoin and Ether down to memecoins such as Shiba Inu -- as well as the complexity of the products and lack of consumer protection.
The FCA is seeking feedback on its proposals by March 23 and intends to confirm its final rules in the summer.
Biggest Bitcoin Fund Sinks Near 30% Discount in Crypto Rout
(Bloomberg) One of the biggest casualties of the cryptocurrency selloff is the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.
The $27 billion fund (ticker GBTC) has plunged nearly 17% so far in 2022, outpacing Bitcoin's nearly 9% decline. As a result, GBTC's price closed 26.5% below the value of the Bitcoin it holds on Tuesday, widening GBTC's so-called discount to record levels, according to Bloomberg data.
It's a dynamic that's plagued GBTC for months. The trust doesn't allow for share redemptions in the same manner as an exchange-traded fund, meaning that the supply of shares can't be created and destroyed with shifting demand. As a result, the shares tumbled deeply as investors pulled sharply back from cryptocurrencies, exacerbating the discount in the share price.
Grayscale Investment LLC applied to the Securities and Exchange Commission in October to convert GBTC into an ETF -- which is expected to quickly repair the discount -- but regulators have yet to approve a physically-backed Bitcoin fund.
“GBTC keeps breaking hearts as the discount widens,” Brent Donnelly, president of Spectra Markets, wrote in a report. “GBTC is basically a binary bet on a physical ETF at this point. Tempting but tempting the way value traps can be tempting.”
GBTC first fell into a discount last February as the number of shares outstanding skyrocketed, after years of trading at a premium to Bitcoin. However, the launch of Bitcoin ETFs in Canada and the first U.S. derivatives-backed Bitcoin ETFs eroded GBTC's competitive advantage. Grayscale's parent company, Digital Currency Group, has sought to repair the discount by buying back GBTC shares.
GBTC's price has dislocated from Bitcoin to an even greater degree than the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), which is vulnerable to tracking errors given that it holds futures contracts. While Bitcoin rallied 1.6% on Tuesday, BITO and GBTC fell 3.3% and 6.4%, respectively.