EXCLUSIVE: Spot Ethereum ETF Could Unlock ‘Full-Scale, Global Adoption,’ Experts Tell Benzinga

EXCLUSIVE: Spot Ethereum ETF Could Unlock ‘Full-Scale, Global Adoption,’ Experts Tell Benzinga

Investors were initially curious about Spot Ethereum Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). However, after the approval of Bitcoin ETFs, these have now captured their full attention.

Benzinga gathered exclusive commentary from several experts to gauge the prospects for a spot Ethereum ETF approval this summer.

 

What Is The Current Status Of Spot Ethereum ETFs?

Tom Staudt, president and COO of ARK Invest, recently expressed confidence in the progression of Ethereum ETFs.

He cited the maturing dialogue with regulators and the sophistication of conversations surrounding the ETF, saying, “This is not the same place where we were on the timeline with Bitcoin at this stage.”

Staudt notes that potential issuers now possess greater legal, operational, and philosophical expertise, partly due to the successful approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs.

But skeptics warn of regulatory roadblocks and lingering doubts about Ethereum’s classification as a security. At the heart of the debate lies, once again, the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Will The SEC Play Ball?

Anndy Lian, an intergovernmental blockchain advisor, tells Benzinga that the SEC should act in the “best interest of the public and the crypto industry” by making a “timely and positive decision” on Spot ETH ETFs.

His comments highlight the widespread anticipation surrounding the potential ETF’s arrival, with both retail investors and institutional giants eager to gain exposure to the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency.

But the SEC had to be “dragged kicking and screaming” to approve one spot cryptocurrency ETF, he adds, and there is no guarantee a second one would be any easier.

 

Ethereum ETFs Could Spur “Full-Scale, Global Adoption”

The case for Ethereum is simple, according to Stijn Paumen, the founder of Helio.

He paints a vivid picture of a future transformed by Ethereum’s mainstream adoption. The ETF approval would be a catalyst for “full-scale, global adoption of cryptocurrency.”

Everyday purchases, from your morning coffee to online shopping sprees, could be made with a simple tap of your crypto wallet.
His infectious enthusiasm captures the transformative potential of blockchain technology and its ability to disrupt traditional financial systems.

 

Even Bitcoiners Think It’s Coming

Terrence Yang, managing director at Swan Bitcoin, acknowledges the inevitability of an ETH ETF, albeit somewhat grudgingly.

He concedes that legal precedents and the SEC’s recent Bitcoin approvals have tilted the scales in favor of Ethereum.

Indeed, as Decrypt reported, analysts agree that Bitcoin’s approval has set a precedent: Grayscale argued in court – and won – that the SEC could not approve a futures ETF and reject a spot ETF. Since futures Ethereum ETFs have already been approved, logic holds that a spot ETF would have to follow – as it did for Bitcoin.

 

So…When Ethereum ETF?

Chris Martin, head of research at Amberdata, a crypto data analytics firm, says an Ethereum ETF should come sooner rather than later.

Issuers will face two major challenges at the SEC:

  1. The SEC doesn’t have the public pressure it did for the Bitcoin ETF which means, they can take their time and don’t have to worry about passing all of the issuers at once
  2. The SEC is still pushing the security vs commodity stance without any clarity.

“Approving an Ethereum ETF may impact their current cases against Coinbase Inc  and Binance, and may push them closer to defining their stance on cryptocurrencies,” he says.

Prediction markets agree, with Polymarket rating the probability of an approval by May 31 only at 54%.

Should the SEC grant its blessing, the implications for the financial landscape could be profound. Mass adoption may come a step closer after all.

 

 

Source:

https://www.benzinga.com/markets/cryptocurrency/24/01/36759529/exclusive-spot-ethereum-etf-could-unlock-full-scale-global-adoption-experts-tell-benzinga

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/etf/exclusive-spot-ethereum-etf-could-unlock-full-scale-global-adoption-experts-tell-benzinga-1032994135

https://uk.investing.com/news/cryptocurrency-news/exclusive-spot-ethereum-etf-could-unlock-fullscale-global-adoption-experts-tell-benzinga-3310170

https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/exclusive:-spot-ethereum-etf-could-unlock-full-scale-global-adoption-experts-tell-benzinga

FAQ

What is the current status of Spot Ethereum ETFs, and how does it compare to the timeline of Bitcoin ETFs?

According to Tom Staudt, president and COO of ARK Invest, there is growing confidence in the progression of Ethereum ETFs. Staudt points to a maturing dialogue with regulators and increased expertise among potential issuers, influenced by the successful approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs. However, skeptics highlight potential regulatory roadblocks and uncertainties about Ethereum's classification.

How does Anndy Lian, an intergovernmental blockchain advisor, view the SEC's role in the approval of Spot ETH ETFs?

How do Bitcoiners, represented by Terrence Yang, view the inevitability of an ETH ETF?

Terrence Yang, managing director at Swan Bitcoin, acknowledges the inevitability of an ETH ETF, influenced by legal precedents and the SEC's recent approvals for Bitcoin. Despite some reluctance, Yang concedes that the scales are tilting in favor of Ethereum, especially considering the precedent set by Grayscale's court argument and victory.

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author- “NFT: From Zero to Hero” and “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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Exclusive: Inside Snowfro’s Collaboration With Oracle Red Bull Racing and Bybit

Exclusive: Inside Snowfro’s Collaboration With Oracle Red Bull Racing and Bybit

First launched into motion in late July, the Velocity Series, a digital art-focused joint project between Oracle Red Bull Racing (ORBR) and crypto exchange Bybit, with curation from AOI, has recently stepped into the third of its four drops.

The web3 project melds speed, technology, and artistry from globally recognized digital artists — which have included, up to this point, Rik OostenbroekPer Kristian Stoveland, and most recently Art Blocks founder and Chromie Squiggle creator Erick Calderon, aka “Snowfro.”

Digital artworks featured in the project draw inspiration from race team analytics and, more specifically, the RB19 F1 car’s telemetry. Additionally, each stage aligns with the 2023 Formula 1 races in the Netherlands, Japan, the United States, and Abu Dhabi.

For an exclusive inside look at the concept, curation, and creation of the Velocity Series, we spoke with ORBR, Bybit, AOI, and Calderon.

Concept

Taking a closer look at the concept, ORBR explained to us that “The merging of art and racing in the Velocity Series represents a dynamic fusion of two seemingly distinct worlds.”

It explained that the project was designed with a dual purpose to offer broader motorsport enthusiasts an immersive introduction to the realm of digital art, as well as provide its own fans with a tangible connection to their favorite team through unique team-inspired designs.

Other considerations included a fan engagement initiative designed to introduce web3 fans to the world of racing, with an underlying hope to transform them into lifelong ORBR supporters.

“This collaboration underscores both Oracle Red Bull Racing and Bybit’s commitment to constantly innovate and push boundaries in both motorsport and the digital space,” shared ORBR.

ORBR, known for its collaborations with traditional artists like Mr.Doodle, chose a more avant-garde path in the web3 domain. They commented, “We identified two clear markets within the world of web3 for us to focus on – native crypto enthusiasts and ORBR fans who are web3 non-rejectors, and this project aimed to serve the crypto enthusiast audience of people already appreciative of existing digital art.”

Emphasizing digital and generative art, ORBR highlights its commitment to “pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation.” In the Velocity Series, ORBR and Bybit aimed to make digital art accessible to diverse collectors, reflecting their vision of inclusivity. They stated, “This decision is rooted in our vision of inclusivity, inviting diverse participants into this pioneering movement.”

The series offers both exclusive and publicly available collectibles, evolving with the season for a richer experience. Additionally, a remix competition via Joyn.XYZ is underway until October 24. ORBR expressed their admiration for Snowfro’s /// collection, noting its minimalist yet impactful theme, and said, “As the name suggests, /// embodies a minimal yet impactful theme. We were truly inspired by how artworks with similarly simple motifs, like Dmitri Cherniak’s The Goose and Grant Yun’s Cow, successfully encouraged the artistic community to generate remixes.”

Curation

Curating the collection is AOI, a foundation for emerging art and technology with a focus on the convergence of the two — which the foundation shared it found a “vibrant expression” of in the Velocity Series project.

“The curation process was a meticulous journey, where we facilitated the creative interaction between the artistic realm and the data-driven domain of Oracle Red Bull Racing,” AOI shared, explaining, “Our role was to provide a fertile ground where artists could explore, interpret, and transcend the conventional boundaries of digital art inspired by racing data.”

Speaking to the artist selection process, AOI shared that “Our criteria were rooted not only in artistic excellence but also in the ability to synergize with big brands.”

The foundation explained that it sought out artists whose past engagements with notable brands “honed their capability to align creative prowess with brand ethos, ensuring a seamless blend of artistic and commercial objectives.”

However, one of the other and perhaps more significant considerations was identifying artists who “embrace boundary-pushing and are unafraid to explore never before seen concepts.”

“Continual innovation with each release is crucial to highlighting the technologies that underpin digital art.”

AOI

Creation

Calderon delved into the inspirations behind stage three of the Velocity Series, highlighting his love for driving and speed as major influences on the /// project. He elaborated, “As I have participated in the world of racing, mostly as a hobbyist, I see extensive use of italicized fonts to demonstrate a more dynamic vibe, and the forward slash is a character that is in an eternal state of italics and therefore felt like a great way to encapsulate motion or speed in a single character.”

The /// project aimed to distill motion into its most basic form, resonating with Calderon’s affinity for minimalism and echoing the simplicity of his renowned Chromie Squiggle collection.

In addition to its visual simplicity, /// introduces a tactile element through embroidery. Calderon commented on this choice, saying, “There are also limitations to what can be done, and while I’m excited to potentially push those boundaries in the future, this initial project was going to be complex enough simply to make it exist and work. So something simple felt critical, and I can apply my color techniques to simple shapes — although again, it was a learning process to figure out how to make gradients within the limitations of embroidery.”

Despite its physical limitations, some fans of the work on X have shared that they see a direct connection to Chromie Squiggle in ///, something Calderon said he loves to hear, as he hopes to “continue to apply a common thread to my work where it is recognizable as being part of the same body.”

He expanded on this thought, stating, “Perhaps specifically to the micro-brand element of the project, what PFPs and GenArt have taught me is an inherent desire for people in the digital realm to express themselves as individuals within a broader family or group.”

Calderon compared the constraints of embroidery to custom ceramic tile mosaics, a technique he used prior to Chromie Squiggle and employed in his recent project, heart + Craft, with Prohibition’s Jordan Lyall. Discussing the choice of embroidery, Calderon clarified that it was crucial for him, saying it was a key component of his involvement in the Velocity Series.

He confessed, “To be perfectly candid, I’m utterly overwhelmed and overcommitted as it is,” and added, “While I’m always proud and excited for new opportunities to get to express myself through art, I have had many of those opportunities already and felt that I could not justify the bandwidth that was going to go into this unless I could do something that tested new ideas.”

Calderon revealed a long-standing interest in generative embroidery, having pitched the idea of a supporting infrastructure to Art Blocks over a year ago. He remarked, “It was not utilized much, and I realize oftentimes it is critical to demonstrate a proof of concept for others to be willing to go deep into rabbit holes to want to consider a concept for their own work. I definitely had to intimately learn the craft of embroidery to pull this together, which required hours of research through trial and error.”

He expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “I’ve been really excited to demonstrate generative embroidery at scale for a really long time, and this provided the perfect opportunity to showcase what Art Blocks Engine built that facilitates this.”

Calderon emphasized the significance of the live algorithm in generative embroidery. He explained, “At Art Blocks, we render PNGs basically in an effort to be backward compatible with the majority of aggregation platforms, but the reality is that the digital artwork is animated and has options for the user to customize it based on their mood, whether in a party mood or a lonely mood, you have control of the way the digital is presented on your screen, down to the background color.” He also provided insight into the interactive features of the artwork, allowing users to modify its appearance using various keyboard controls.

Calderon emphasized the importance of aligning the physical and digital realms in the world of NFTs, stating, “What felt critical though is that the main subject would match with the embroidered output, which is also generated by the algorithm.”

He introduced a concept called “digital optional/physical optional” to promote wider adoption of NFT technology. Calderon believes that participation in the content a creator produces shouldn’t be determined solely by one’s presence in the physical or digital space.

Calderon remarked, “They can keep that physical object — imagine a scratch-off with a seed phrase or an IYK-linked product and onboard into web3 at their own pace, on their terms.” He also fondly mentioned collaborating with his wife Mara on the Velocity Series, saying, “I’ve really enjoyed collaborating with my wife Mara, as she’s been so supportive of this crazy journey I’ve been on over the last three years and here there was a project that could lean into her skillset and area of expertise.”

Catalyst

“As the curtain falls on this project, our aspiration is to leave a lasting imprint on the digital art community,” shared Anndy Lian, head of partnerships at Bybit, adding, “We envisage the Velocity Series as a catalyst for more such innovative rendezvous between new communities, fostering a culture of exploration, learning, and appreciation for digital art that transcends traditional boundaries.”

Calderon further outlined that there is a general incompatibility between the ability to prove ownership of a digital object and the ability to prove ownership of a physical object. As a result, he sees the digital object as a permission mechanism to facilitate the creation of the physical — rather than a one-to-one relationship like a COA or Soul Bound Token where the two are locked together.

In conclusion, he shared, “Projects like this one really let me test these ideas out, especially if over time we see people take the embroidery file that comes with their mints and use it to make their own stuff like backpacks and shirts, etc., because they are the owners of the work.”

Teasing at what’s to come, Oracle Red Bull Racing said, “We are announcing the fourth artist very soon. They are, in our opinion, a real innovator in the space, and they have released a number of collections recently that are pushing the boundaries in terms of digital art and interactivity.”

 

 

 

Source: https://nftnow.com/features/exclusive-inside-snowfros-collaboration-with-oracle-red-bull-racing/

 

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author- “NFT: From Zero to Hero” and “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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Exclusive: Anndy Lian: “Web3 and AI Are Transforming NFTs” — Keynote Speech

Exclusive: Anndy Lian: “Web3 and AI Are Transforming NFTs” — Keynote Speech

I was honored to be invited as a keynote speaker at the NFT 2023 Seoul conference, which took place on September 1, 2023, at the COEX Convention Center in Seoul, South Korea. The conference was a huge success, attracting many attendees from around the world who were interested in the latest developments and trends in the non-fungible tokens space.

The speech was titled “The Journey of NFTs in the Age of AI and Web3”. In it, I shared my insights on how NFTs have evolved and what their future holds, how artificial intelligence (AI) is creating new possibilities and challenges for NFTs, and how Web3 is emerging as a new version of the internet that is more decentralized, open, and user-centric.

In this article, I will summarize some of my speech’s key points and provide examples of NFT projects that illustrate them. I hope you will find them informative and inspiring.

What Are NFTs?

One of the topics that I covered in my speech was the basic concept and definition of NFTs. NFTs are non-fungible tokens, which means that they are unique and irreplaceable. Unlike fungible tokens, such as cryptocurrencies, that can be exchanged for one another, NFTs have their own individual characteristics and value. They are mostly digital items, such as artworks, music, videos, games, collectibles, and even virtual land, that users can buy and sell online using blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology is the backbone of NFTs, providing a secure and transparent way of verifying their authenticity, scarcity, and ownership. Blockchain is a distributed ledger system that records transactions in a network of computers without the need for a central authority. Each transaction is verified by the network and added to a chain of blocks that cannot be altered or tampered with. This ensures that NFTs are original, rare, and belong to their rightful owners.

The NFT market has been booming in recent years, especially in 2021, when it reached new heights of popularity and profitability. According to data from NonFungible.com, the total sales volume of NFTs in 2021 was over $12 billion, which is more than 20 times higher than the previous year. The average price of an NFT also increased significantly, from $142 in 2020 to $3,700 in 2021.

Some of the more popular and best-selling NFT collections in the market as of last week were:

  • Bored Ape Yacht Club: 7-Day Sales Volume: $52.2 million
  • The Sandbox: 7-Day Sales Volume: $33.1 million
  • CryptoPunks: 7-Day Sales Volume: $17.5 million
  • Art Blocks: 7-Day Sales Volume: $13.2 million
  • Decentraland: 7-Day Sales Volume: $6.6 million

These collections feature different types of digital assets, such as pixelated characters, generative art, virtual worlds, and more. They have attracted thousands of buyers and sellers from around the world, who are willing to pay millions of dollars for some of the rarest and most coveted pieces. Just to put some figures to illustrate these NFTs. A Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT sold for $24.4 million at Sotheby’s auction house in September 2021.

A CryptoPunk NFT sold for $11.8 million at Christie’s auction house in May 2021. An Art Blocks NFT sold for $5.4 million on the OpenSea platform in August 2021.

How is AI Transforming NFTs?

Another topic I covered in my speech was the impact and potential of artificial intelligence on NFTs. I explained how AI is transforming NFTs by creating new possibilities for generating unique digital assets that can appeal to different tastes and preferences. I also explained how AI can integrate dynamic experiences into NFTs, making them more interactive and adaptive.

One of the ways that AI is creating new possibilities for NFTs is by enabling users to automatically create artworks using various algorithms and models. This means that users do not need to have any artistic skills or experience to create their own NFTs. They can simply use AI tools and platforms that can generate images based on their inputs, such as keywords, styles, colors, and more. Some of the examples of AI-generated NFTs include:

  • Artbreeder is a platform that allows users to create and breed images using neural networks. Users can choose from different categories, such as portraits, landscapes, animals, and abstract art, and then adjust various parameters, such as genes, mutations, and mixtures, to create unique images. Users can also combine different images to create hybrids and variations.
  • GANksy is a collection of street art created by a generative adversarial network (GAN) inspired by Banksy. A GAN is an AI model consisting of two competing networks: a generator that creates fake images and a discriminator that tries to distinguish them from real ones. The generator learns from the feedback of the discriminator and improves over time. GANksy is a GAN that was trained on hundreds of Banksy artworks and then generated its own original pieces.
  • Alethea AI is a platform that enables users to create and trade intelligent NFTs that can speak, interact, and learn. Users can upload their own images or choose from a gallery of pre-made avatars and then use a text-to-speech engine to give them a voice. Users can also customize the personality, mood, and emotion of their NFTs and teach them new skills and knowledge.

Another way that AI is transforming NFTs is by integrating dynamic experiences into them thanks to their self-learning capabilities. This means that NFTs can change over time based on external factors, such as data, events, user actions, and more. This makes them more dynamic compared to more traditional NFTs that often take the form of an image or audio file.

What is Web3 and How Does It Enhance the NFT Ecosystem?

The final topic that I covered in my speech was Web3 and how it enhances the NFT ecosystem. Web3 is a new version of the internet that aims to give users more control over their data and online interactions. Web3 is built on blockchain technology and includes features such as cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).

Identity is one of the key features of Web3 that allows users to manage their online identities in a more secure and efficient way without relying on a central authority. Web3 identity solutions enable users to create and use digital wallets on the blockchain that store their personal information, such as name, email, phone number, address, and more.

Users can then use these wallets to access various Web3 applications and services, such as marketplaces, social networks, games, and more. Users can also choose what information they want to share with each application or service and revoke access at any time. Some of the examples of Web3 identity solutions:

  • MetaMask is a browser extension that allows users to access Ethereum-based applications. MetaMask acts as a bridge between the user’s browser and the Ethereum network, enabling them to send and receive transactions, interact with smart contracts, and manage their Ethereum accounts.
  • Civic is a platform that provides identity verification services using blockchain. Civic allows users to verify their identity once and then use it across multiple platforms without going through the same process again. Civic also protects users’ privacy by using zero-knowledge proofs, which are cryptographic techniques that allow users to prove something without revealing any details.
  • ENS (Ethereum Name Service) is a protocol that allows users to register human-readable names for their Ethereum addresses. ENS makes it easier for users to send and receive transactions, as they do not have to deal with long and complex alphanumeric strings. ENS also allows users to attach other information to their names, such as websites, social media profiles, and NFTs.

NFTs are another key feature of Web3 that enhances the ecosystem by offering a decentralized internet where users are not just consumers but active participants. They are unique blockchain tokens that allow users to transparently provide proof of ownership for things such as digital art, music, data, in-game assets, personal records, and more. NFTs also enable users to create, trade, collect, and showcase their digital assets on various Web3 platforms and services.

The Bottom Line

I wrapped up my speech by stressing the importance and potential of the fusion of AI and NFTs in the Web3 era, arguing that the convergence of AI and NFTs will allow us to create and own unique digital assets that can interact with each other and with the environment in dynamic and intelligent ways.

I also argued that Web3 will offer us a more democratic and decentralized internet where we can have more freedom and control over our online identities and experiences.

“Web3 is based on the idea of decentralization, which means that no single entity or authority can control or censor the network. This aligns perfectly with the core values of NFTs, which are based on the idea of ownership, which means that we can prove and transfer our rights to our digital assets. The fusion of AI and NFTs within the context of Web3 opens up a new horizon for innovation and creativity, where we can explore endless possibilities and have greater agency over our digital assets.”

Thank you to the audience for their attention and to the organizers of NFT 2023 Seoul. Find me on X/Twitter at @anndylian.

 

Source: https://www.techopedia.com/anndy-lians-keynote-speech-at-nft-2023-seoul

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author- “NFT: From Zero to Hero” and “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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