SEC To Rule On Bitwise ETF For Bitcoin: And 0x Releases Zk-STARKs
1453th time's the charm for a Bitcoin ETF?
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The cryptocurrency market continues to creep sideways like Wile E. Coyote on the trail of a wabbit, across a varied landscape of gains, losses, and the occasional ACME anvil in the form of another possible ETF rejection.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin is trading back above the $8,000 level, with top altcoins such as ETH, EOS and BNB closely following.
Cosmos, Chainlink and 0x posted the largest gains at 7-9%, while Monero and IOTA have the largest loss at -2.5%
Bitwise Head of Research remains optimistic about ETF prospects
The final ETF still awaiting a decision is looming this Sunday, October 13. Two proposals were due for a verdict this month, but VanEck dropped out of the race a couple weeks earlier.
In an interview with CNBC, Bitwise Managing Director and Head of Research Matt Hougan shared his excitement.
“Sometime before Monday, the SEC has to give its decision: yes or no. They have no more ways to postpone it at this point,” he explained. “We will hear clearly between now and Monday what they think, and then, depending on what we hear, we’ll go forward from there. But it should be a very exciting week.”
Bitwise may indeed have a few aces up their sleeve for the proposal. Working directly towards the concerns later voiced by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, the proposal focuses on highlighting the advances in Bitcoin custody and regulation made in recent months.
“Two years ago, there were no regulated, insured custodians in the bitcoin market. Today, … there are big names like Fidelity and CoinBase [with] hundreds of millions of dollars of insurance from firms like Lloyd’s of London,” he continued. “Two years ago, there were no regulated crypto exchanges. Now, six of the 10 big crypto exchanges are regulated by the New York Department of State with market surveillance technologies in place. And, most importantly, two years ago, it was a one-sided, inefficient market. Today, we have $200-plus million in volume and regulated futures every day.”
Both of these solve the two main roadblocks expressed by the SEC, namely lack of regulated custody and manipulation-free markets. This is where the Bitwise report on fake exchange volume comes in handy: by dismissing the majority of Bitcoin volume, they were able to argue to the SEC that most of the price discovery is conducted on regulated exchanges.
Will the SEC be convinced by this logic? We’ll find out before Monday. A positive answer could do wonders to Bitcoin’s price, but it is far from certain.
0x Introduces Zk-STARKs
The 0x project, focused on providing a shared infrastructure for Ethereum DEXes, has announced the launch of OpenZKP library, in what is likely the first implementation of Zk-STARKs.
The STARK variety of Zero Knowledge proofs is considered a better alternative to the more common SNARKs, found in Zcash and other Zerocash protocol currencies. They don’t need a trusted setup, a necessarily-centralized procedure that could compromise security.
In addition, Zk-STARKs are ‘quantum-secure’ and provide a more nimble verification algorithm.
Disadvantages include a bigger proof size and the overall novelty of the algorithm. For this reason, 0x made OpenZKP as a fully open-source library, encouraging other developers to contribute and review the code.
In addition to providing a base for privacy coins, Zk-STARKs could be critical for creating scalable DEXes and blockchain platforms, which is what enticed 0x to develop the implementation.