Market News - April 30th 2024


Hong Kong’s debut of Bitcoin and Ether ETFs fell short of expectations, with trading volume significantly lower than anticipated. The total trading volume for these ETFs amounted to just over $11 million. Bitcoin ETFs recorded $8.5 million in volume, while Ether ETFs saw $2.5 million in trading.

Despite hopes for an initial volume surpassing $100 million, the six listed crypto ETFs in Hong Kong didn’t meet expectations. This disappointing performance contrasts with the vibrant crypto market in the U.S., where the first day of trading for similar ETFs saw a total volume of $655 million.

One factor contributing to Hong Kong’s lackluster debut is the absence of regulatory concerns about Ether as a security, unlike in the U.S. where the Securities and Exchange Commission’s stance on Ether remains unclear. This regulatory divergence allows for the listing of Ether ETFs in Hong Kong, while U.S. investors await clarity from the SEC.

The sluggish start of Hong Kong’s crypto ETFs highlights the differing regulatory landscapes shaping the global crypto market. While some jurisdictions, like Hong Kong, embrace new opportunities in crypto investment, others, like the U.S., grapple with regulatory uncertainty, affecting investor confidence and market dynamics.

Despite the subdued debut, Hong Kong’s foray into crypto ETFs signifies the growing interest in digital assets among traditional financial institutions and retail investors. However, the discrepancy between projected and actual trading volumes underscores the challenges of launching such products in evolving regulatory environments.

In contrast to Hong Kong’s tepid response, the robust trading activity of crypto ETFs in the U.S. demonstrates the appetite for digital asset exposure among American investors. This divergence in market reception reflects broader disparities in regulatory clarity and investor sentiment across global financial centers.

The availability of Ether ETFs in Hong Kong underscores the region’s openness to innovative financial products, providing investors with diversified options for crypto exposure. Meanwhile, the absence of a clear regulatory framework in the U.S. delays the listing of Ether ETFs, limiting investment opportunities for American investors.

As the crypto market continues to evolve, regulatory clarity remains a crucial determinant of investor participation and market growth. While some jurisdictions move swiftly to accommodate crypto investment products, others grapple with regulatory ambiguity, hindering market development and investor confidence.

The underwhelming debut of Hong Kong’s Bitcoin and Ether ETFs underscores the challenges of navigating regulatory landscapes in the global crypto market. Despite growing interest in digital assets, regulatory uncertainty poses barriers to product innovation and market expansion, impacting investor participation and market dynamics.

Overall, Hong Kong’s subdued entry into the crypto ETF market highlights the complexities of integrating digital assets into traditional financial systems, underscoring the need for clear regulatory frameworks to foster market growth and investor confidence.


Yuga Labs, renowned for the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection, is undergoing restructuring amidst challenges, prompting CEO Greg Solano to outline a forward path, emphasizing focus, agility, and crypto expertise. Initiatives include divesting gaming projects like HV-MTL and Legends of the Mara while emphasizing the Otherside metaverse project despite market challenges, evoking mixed reactions from the crypto community.

Following Yuga Labs’ restructuring announcement, BAYC NFTs have surged, experiencing an 80% increase in trading volume, totaling approximately $4.2 million in the last 24 hours. The estimated market cap of BAYC NFTs stands at $466 million, reflecting 11% of the total NFT market capitalization.

The broader NFT market is witnessing growth across various blockchains, with Ethereum leading in sales volume, albeit experiencing a monthly drop since March. Bitcoin and Solana also show substantial sales, indicating a resurgence in NFT interest and investment, with average prices reaching levels not seen in almost two years.

TechNavio forecasts a robust expansion of the NFT market, projecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.28% between 2024 and 2028, reaching a market size of $68 billion. For 2024, a year-over-year growth in the NFT market cap of at least 23.27% is anticipated.

Geographically, North America and Europe lead in NFT adoption, while Singaporeans, Chinese, and Venezuelans emerged as active NFT traders in 2023. Notably, women in Thailand show a higher interest in NFTs compared to men. However, awareness remains low in the US, presenting untapped potential, while France shows significant interest, with 3.5% of the population purchasing NFTs.

Nevertheless, as governments globally scrutinize the crypto space, regulatory changes may impact NFT markets, alongside inherent volatility. Thus, while projections indicate promising growth, external factors could shape the trajectory of the NFT market in the coming years.


Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, is facing a pivotal court appearance for sentencing, with prosecutors seeking a three-year prison term, while his defense contends for no prison time at all. Zhao pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, but due to his cooperation, sentencing guidelines suggest around 18 months, with a court Probation Office recommendation of just five months.

Both the U.S. Department of Justice and Zhao’s defense have presented contrasting recommendations to the court. The DOJ urges a three-year sentence, twice the initial plea agreement, while the defense advocates for no prison time, proposing house arrest and probation. Zhao’s plea deal also entails a $50 million fine, a fraction of his estimated $43 billion net worth, and he can appeal any sentence exceeding 18 months.

Following Zhao’s guilty plea, Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, agreed to a $4.3 billion fine, coinciding with Zhao’s resignation from the company he established in 2017. Amidst this legal turmoil, ‘X’ tokens have surfaced post-Elon Musk’s Twitter rebrand, marking a significant shift in the crypto landscape.


Russia is set to implement a crypto ban in Q3 2024, citing geopolitical realities and the need to protect the Russian ruble as the sole monetary unit in the country. Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, underscores the quasi-currency nature of cryptocurrencies as the reason behind the decision.

The proposed bill is not a blanket ban, as exceptions are outlined, including digital currency miners, mining pools, and various test projects by the Central Bank. Anton Gorelkin, a co-author of the bill, clarifies that while the circulation of cryptocurrencies won’t be banned, the organization of turnover, such as creating exchanges and exchangers outside an experimental legal regime, will be prohibited.

Gorelkin emphasizes that geopolitical realities play a significant role in this decision, as allowing businesses to operate freely in the cryptocurrency sphere could expose them to Western sanctions. However, he suggests the possibility of lifting these restrictions in the future.

Artem Kiryanov, another State Duma member, calls for clear crypto regulations to be encoded digitally for smooth enforcement. Elvira Nabiullina, Head of the Bank of Russia, previously expressed support for cryptocurrency use in international payments within an experimental legal framework.

Despite the impending ban, Russia remains one of the top Bitcoin mining countries globally. The exemption of miners from the ban suggests that its impact on the overall markets may not be as severe.

Gorelkin’s statement implies that the ban aims to protect local players from potential Western sanctions rather than restrict the circulation of cryptocurrencies in Russia. However, the government’s efforts to promote the digital ruble and suppress competition warrant observation.

The divergence in views within the State Duma reflects differing opinions on how to regulate and approach cryptocurrencies in Russia. While some advocate for a ban on certain activities, others push for clear digital regulations to ensure smooth enforcement.

The proposed ban raises questions about the future of cryptocurrency innovation and investment in Russia, as well as its potential impact on the global crypto market.

The exceptions outlined in the bill indicate a nuanced approach to regulating cryptocurrencies, acknowledging the importance of certain activities like mining while seeking to control other aspects of the crypto economy.

Ultimately, the implementation of the crypto ban and its effects on Russia’s economic landscape, as well as its relations with the international community, will be closely monitored in the coming months.

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