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Oct. 24, 2021, 5:11 p.m. EDT

An Ether futures ETF is next likely step after ProShares watershed bitcoin moment, a former SEC official explains

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By Frances Yue

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Crypto leverage

After bitcoin last time hit a record high in April, the crypto’s price more than halved in about a month. The plunge was exacerbated by the amount of leverage in the market as “a ton of the new levered longs got liquidated,” Sam Trabucco, CEO of quantitative crypto trading firm Alameda Research wrote on Twitter. 

What about this time? Though Trabucco said that it’s hard to predict which way bitcoin price will go, he wrote that “I do think liquidations are FINALLY starting to be less important.”

The aggregated open interest of bitcoin futures, which refer to the amount of futures contracts outstanding, is about 20% lower than in April, according to data analytics firm Skew. Futures are derivative contracts that allow investors to speculate on price moves in an underlying asset, oftentimes using leverage.

“That means the potential for a huge liquidation-driven drawdown is WAY lower,” Trabucco wrote. “I think there is less (but still not zero) chance that a downside move is really outsized.”

“And the same is true for an upside move, roughly,” noted Trabucco.

The $29,000 Tungsten NFT?

Tungsten is associated with being the filament in incandescent lightbulbs, which might make it a rather anachronistic objet de désir in the digital community more familiar with LED, or light-emitting diode, lighting sources.

However, tungsten, also the second-hardest substance after diamonds and whose high-density, corrosion-resistant properties and tensile strength, when combined with other elements, make it ideal in building aeronautic components and military weapons, is the buzziest thing in the crypto world outside of virtual assets (and ETFs), right now.

The rabid interest in tungsten has made it a bit of a meme both in the real world and on social-media platforms like Twitter.

And like most other memes, its origins are difficult to trace, but interest in tungsten, particularly among the crypto Illuminati, has led to a 300% surge in tungsten cube sales for manufacturer Midwest Tungsten Service in a week, according to reports.

The appetite for tungsten apparently prompted Midwest Tungsten Service to  auction a nonfungible token, or NFT, of the 14 inch, 1,784 lb tungsten cube , the largest that the manufacturer has ever produced. At last check, the top bid was well over $29,000, with a few days left on the auction. The winning bidder for the NFT will be entitled to have “one visit to see/photograph/touch the cube per calendar year,” according to the description. The cube is stored in Willowbrook, Ill.

In mid-October, Yahoo! Finance wrote that tungsten cubes have sold out on Amazon.com and Google searches in the U.K. for tungsten have spiked 95%.

Crypto companies, funds

In the fund space, BITO /zigman2/quotes/230440344/composite BITO +3.32% slipped 3.23% on Friday. The highly-anticipated ETF closed its first week at $39.5, down from its opening price on Tuesday at $41.9. Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy /zigman2/quotes/230473388/composite BTF +3.33% , the second bitcoin futures ETF in the U.S. that made its debut trading on Friday, closed its first day with a 2.8% loss at $24.3.

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust /zigman2/quotes/203330852/delayed GBTC +4.25% closed at $48.8, with a 0.5% daily loss and 2.8% weekly gain.

In crypto-related company news, shares of Coinbase /zigman2/quotes/225893452/composite COIN +2.66% went up 0.3% to $300.8 on Friday, and rose 7.2% for the past week. Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202561856/composite MSTR +3.03% slumped 2.3% to $718.5 on Friday. It was down 4.2% over the week.

Mining company Riot Blockchain Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209538617/composite RIOT +4.06%  shares dropped 3.9% on Friday to $28.5. It was up 1.54% from a week ago. Shares of Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205886758/composite MARA +4.64% closed at $49.5 on Friday, down 2.9% from Thursday’s close but up 1.17% over the week. Another miner Ebang International Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/219243771/composite EBON +10.28% declined 3.8% to $2.05. It was up 4.1% over the week.

Overstock.com Inc.  /zigman2/quotes/200022359/composite OSTK +3.17% was mostly flat at $80.9 on Friday. It climbed 4.2% over the week. Square Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205989440/composite SQ +1.87% fell 4.5% to $253, with a weekly gain of 1.6%, while Tesla Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +2.79% shares rose 1.75% to $910, recording a weekly gain of 7.9%.

PayPal Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208054269/composite PYPL +2.60% fell 1.2% to $240, logging a 10.4% weekly loss, while NVIDIA /zigman2/quotes/200467500/composite NVDA +2.60% Corp. was up 0.2% to $227, contributing to a 4% weekly gain. Advanced Micro Devices Inc.  /zigman2/quotes/208144392/composite AMD +1.82%  inched up 0.4% to $120 and notched a 6.9% weekly return.

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