Spot Bitcoin ETFs Shift to Outflows Ahead of Halving

Key Takeaways

  • Bitcoin traded flat as cryptocurrency markets prepare for bitcoin halving later this week.
  • Spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) experienced net outflows last week, a rarity for the new asset class.
  • Uniswap Labs received a Wells notice from the SEC, a sign that the decentralized exchange will be facing a lawsuit from the securities regulator.
  • Monad Labs raised $225 million to build a Layer 1 blockchain to compete with Ethereum and Solana.

Bitcoin (BTCUSD) traded flat while spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which have been driving up bitcoin demand and consequently its price, experienced a rare week of net outflows as the markets geared up for the halving event later this week.

Uniswap Labs received a Wells notice from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Monad Labs raised $225 million from Paradigm and others.

Spot Bitcoin ETFs Experience Net Outflows Ahead of Halving Week

Last week, U.S. spot bitcoin ETFs experienced net outflows, a rare occurrence that has only happened three times since these funds were introduced in January.

Between April 8 and April 12, the category, which comprises 11 funds, reported a loss of about $83 million in assets, according to data from BitMEX Research. This represents a significant swing from the previous week’s net inflows of $485 million. Despite this setback, spot bitcoin ETFs have amassed $12.5 billion in net positive inflows since they were launched.

Notably, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ETF (GBTC) continued to post a decline, with $767 million exiting the fund last week alone. In contrast, other leading funds such as BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) and the Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC) brought in $487 million and $90 million, respectively, but these gains were insufficient to counterbalance the substantial outflows from GBTC.

Demand generated by spot bitcoin ETFs has been credited for the recent rally in bitcoin prices, and it is also considered a key differentiator for the upcoming bitcoin halving versus prior instances.

Uniswap Labs Receives Wells Notice

Decentralized crypto exchange Uniswap last week disclosed receiving a Wells notice from the SEC, indicating impending enforcement actions.

This led to a sharp drop in the price of Uniswap’s native token, UNI, falling from above $11 before the news broke to under $8. Uniswap Labs CEO Hayden Adams shared his disappointment and readiness to contest the charges on X. Wells notices serve as preliminary alerts about potential regulatory charges and often precede formal enforcement actions.

The SEC’s concerns centered on allegations of Uniswap operating as both an unregistered securities broker and exchange, Uniswap executives Mary-Catherine Lader and Marvin Ammori clarified at a press conference, according to CoinDesk. The specifics of whether UNI itself might be classified as a security weren’t clear from the notice. Ammori referenced a favorable recent court decision for Coinbase, which he sees as a positive indicator for Uniswap’s defense against similar charges.

Monad Labs Raises $225 Million

Monad Labs has secured $225 million in a funding round led by Paradigm, enabling the company to expand its team and advance the development of its blockchain, which is designed to contend with Ethereum.

This financial backing aims to transition Monad’s test version of its blockchain into a full production stage. Its Layer 1 blockchain maintains compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). According to Monad’s announcement on Substack, the EVM processes more than 96% of all investments in decentralized finance (DeFi).

While Ethereum is currently limited to processing fewer than 20 transactions per second, Monad’s newly operational testnet, launched in March, demonstrates a capacity to handle approximately 10,000 transactions per second. This significant increase in transaction throughput is part of a broader trend in the crypto community, which sees various entities, including both Layer 1 and Layer 2 solutions, striving to enhance DeFi’s efficiency. Monad’s approach incorporates parallel execution to significantly boost performance across the protocol.

This round of funding also attracted investments from several notable firms, including Electric Capital, Castle Island Ventures, Animoca Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, and CoinFund, underscoring broad industry support for Monad’s technology.

What To Expect in the Markets This Week

All eyes are on the anticipated bitcoin halving this week, as the fourth iteration of the scheduled decrease in the cryptocurrency’s issuance rate is expected to take place by the end of the month.

Halving, which occurs after every 210,000 blocks, or roughly every four years, cuts the pace of new bitcoin mined and halves miner incentives.

While previous halvings have led to bull runs for bitcoin in the past, multiple industry reports have indicated the spot bitcoin ETF market may have a bigger impact on the cryptocurrency’s supply-and-demand dynamics at this point.

Despite the upcoming decline in bitcoin-denominated revenue for miners, it’s possible miners could enjoy an increase in revenue in dollar terms due to the potential for a bitcoin price run-up combined with the developments of Ordinals and various Layer 2 networks.

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