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Advisors May Drive Bitcoin ETF Flows in USA + More News

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In this edition:

Advisors May Drive Bitcoin ETF Flows, Says Needham
US OFAC Fines Crypto Exchange $1.2M for Russia Sanctions Violations
The Sandbox NFT Marketplace is Now Live on Polygon
WisdomTree Surpasses $100 Billion in Total AUM


Advisors May Drive Bitcoin ETF Flows, Says Needham

Registered investment advisors (RIAs) will likely drive the bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) if it’s approved in the US, according to the independent investment bank and asset management firm Needham, as reported by CNBC.

“The main driver of a Bitcoin ETF, in our view, will be RIAs,” said Needham analyst John Todaro. “With nearly half of our advisors answering that their current bitcoin offering is either nonexistent or directing clients to buy bitcoin on their own at a crypto platform, we believe this is where most new buyers would come from.”

Most surveyed advisors expect 5%-10% of clients to own a Bitcoin ETF. However, even though “advisors are currently seeing mostly disinterest from clients around bitcoin and an ETF, […] nearly all expect interest to pick up if bitcoin prices continue to increase,” Todaro said.

Additional reasons for investor enthusiasm include the upcoming Bitcoin halving, which is expected to push the price higher, and the Federal Reserve (Fed) indicating rate cuts in 2024.

Meanwhile, “any person that has not purchased bitcoin already is currently unlikely to buy a bitcoin ETF,” Todaro said. 11% of respondents who have not previously owned BTC said they are very likely or somewhat likely to buy a Bitcoin ETF.

Among existing bitcoin holders, more respondents (49%) indicated they’d prefer to buy their crypto on an exchange like Coinbase rather than through a prospective ETF (40%).

US OFAC Fines Crypto Exchange $1.2M for Russia Sanctions Violations

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a $1,207,830 settlement with CoinList Markets LLC.

California-based CoinList (CLM) agreed to settle its potential civil liability arising from processing 989 transactions on behalf of users ordinarily resident in Crimea between April 2020 and May 2022, it said. These transactions totaled $1,252,280.

OFAC added that this action violated its Russia/Ukraine sanctions.

According to the settlement agreement, CLM’s screening procedures failed to capture users who represented themselves as residents of a non-embargoed country (Russia) but who still provided an address within Crimea.

CLM opened 89 accounts for customers, nearly all of whom had specified “Russia” as their country of residence. All provided addresses in Crimea upon account opening. There is a complete US embargo against Crimea.

“The settlement amount reflects OFAC’s determination that CoinList’s conduct was non-egregious and not voluntarily self-disclosed,” the regulator stated.

OFAC noted that companies must ensure that their screening processes and broader compliance programs adequately incorporate customer information gathered from the onboarding process or through transactional information (such as IP location information).

The Sandbox NFT Marketplace is Now Live on Polygon

Popular metaverse game The Sandbox announced that its non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace is live on the Polygon network.

According to the announcement, the marketplace is now accessible for anyone who owns CATALYSTs, allowing them to mint on the new Polygon marketplace.

Minting is open for all creators, while the fees are “greatly reduced thanks” to Polygon.

“Also, note that The Sandbox covers a monthly total of TEN Polygon transaction fees for each user across our ecosystem,” the post said.

It further introduced a secondary market for creators, stating that NFT owners can also resell ASSETs they didn’t create on this marketplace.

On December 14, all LAND owners were gifted CATALYSTs. Users can also get more CATALYSTs on the OpenSea marketplace.

WisdomTree Surpasses $100 Billion in Total AUM

Asset manager WisdomTree announced that its total assets under management (AUM) crossed $100 billion. The company currently has approximately $100.2 billion in AUM globally.

According to the press release, the milestone was driven by 12 consecutive quarters of net inflows and best-in-class 16% annualized organic growth relative to its publicly traded asset manager peers.

It highlights a record US AUM of $72.8 billion, adding that WisdomTree models are now available to over 65,000 financial advisors nationwide.

The company also celebrates WisdomTree’s successful expansion into Europe and the termination of its contractual gold payments obligation, it said.

Founder and CEO Jonathan Steinberg commented: “I’ve always said, if we can get to $5 billion, we can get to $50 billion, and if we can get to $50 billion, we can get to $100 billion. This is by no means the finish line but rather the starting line and we’re excited for what’s to come.”

The post Advisors May Drive Bitcoin ETF Flows in USA + More News appeared first on Cryptonews.

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