US dollar exposure via digital assets takes off


More crypto firms are seeking to capitalize on the demand for United States dollar-denominated digital assets. Tether, the company behind the Tether (USDT) stablecoin, recently announced its synthetic dollar backed by gold and pegged to the U.S. dollar. 

The move comes just a few days after Assymetry released its synthetic dollar, afUSD, with an elastic supply based on market conditions.

New tokens mimicking the U.S. dollar have risen since the launch of Ethena’s synthetic dollar, USDe. The protocol, launched in February 2024, has amassed over $3.4 billion in total locked assets over four months, according to DefiLlama.

Ethena’s synthetic dollar has shaken stablecoin players and emphasizes a strong global market demand for dollar-denominated cryptocurrencies. Another move in a similar fashion is also seen in the growing size of tokenized funds offering exposure to U.S. Treasurys.

BlackRock’s recently launched USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund (BUIDL) had over $462.7 million in assets as of June 19, while Franklin Templeton’s OnChain U.S. Government Money Fund (FOBXX) held $357.6 million in assets. Overall, $1.5 billion in U.S. Treasurys have now been tokenized — the majority in the last few months.

As traditional finance moves onchain, this week’s Crypto Biz also explores Hashdex’s filing for a combined spot Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) exchange-traded fund (ETF), Coinbase’s pre-launch market, Ripple’s challenges with regulators in the U.S., as well as more stablecoins exiting Europe.

Hashdex files with SEC for combined spot Bitcoin and Ether ETF

Hashdex has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch a combined spot Bitcoin and Ether ETF on the Nasdaq exchange. This ETF aims to track the daily market movements according to the Nasdaq Crypto US Settlement Price Index, maintaining a composition of approximately 70.54% Bitcoin and 29.46% Ether. Both Coinbase and BitGo will serve as custodians for the BTC and ETH assets. Hashdex is still required to file and receive SEC approval on an S-1 application.

Coinbase International announces support for pre-launch market

Coinbase International has announced support for a pre-launch market, enabling users to trade futures of tokens and coins yet to be listed on the exchange. This new feature allows for early trading activities before the official launch of these digital assets, allowing traders to engage with upcoming tokens in advance​. The feature will be available to institutional investors via Coinbase International and retail traders via Coinbase Advanced. Pre-launch market assets are capped at an initial margin of 50%, or 2x leverage, and a notional position limit of $50,000 per token. With the move, Coinbase is following in the footsteps of centralized exchanges such as Binance, Bybit, Bitget and OKX, which already provide similar services.

SEC shoots down Ripple’s argument for a lower penalty

The SEC has criticized Ripple’s request for a lower penalty in their ongoing legal battle. Ripple had argued for a significantly reduced penalty of no more than $10 million, citing the SEC’s earlier settlement with Terraform Labs as a benchmark. The SEC suggested that based on Ripple’s gross profits and considering a similar ratio to Terraform’s case, it would imply a penalty of $102.6 million for Ripple rather than the suggested $10 million. Overall, the SEC is seeking nearly $2 billion from Ripple, which includes $198.2 million in prejudgment interest, $876.3 million in civil penalty and another $876.3 million in disgorgement.

Uphold to delist USDT and five stablecoins by July 1, citing MiCA

Digital asset platform Uphold has announced that it will delist six stablecoins by July 1 due to the impending implementation of the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation by the European Union. This move is part of a broader trend among cryptocurrency platforms, which are adjusting their operations to comply with new regulatory standards set by MiCA. The six stablecoins are USDT, Dai (DAI), Frax (FRAX), Gemini dollar (GUSD), Pax dollar (USDP) and TrueUSD (TUSD). Users holding these stablecoins must convert them to a different cryptocurrency before June 28; otherwise, they will be automatically converted into USD Coin (USDC).

Before you go: More than $100 billion has been raised for cryptocurrency startups since the end of May 2014. Looking back over the past four years, the ceiling and floor have been raised despite continuing peaks and troughs.

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