What’s Interesting Today:
Blast, an Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution, has secured over $1.1 billion in user deposits ahead of its launch and an anticipated token airdrop. Despite controversy around its rollout, including criticism from backer Paradigm for launching a bridge prior to the network and prohibiting withdrawals until February 2024, the project has attracted significant interest. Blast, founded by Tieshun Roquerre who also created the leading NFT marketplace Blur, is offering users around 4% annual return on Ethereum and 5% on stablecoins, plus points towards the BLAST token airdrop. The strategy of incentivizing early users with token rewards, similar to Blur's approach, has been both successful and contentious.
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Cathie Wood's ARK Invest has sold its entire Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) holdings for around $200 million and invested $100 million in the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO). This move positions ARK as the second-largest BITO holder and aligns with its strategy to maintain Bitcoin exposure while preparing for its own ETFs. The shift occurs amidst the financial industry's anticipation of the U.S. SEC potentially approving a spot Bitcoin ETF, with many firms, including ARK, vying for approval.