Nov 16, 2023

Maple head of growth and capital markets Quinn Thompson joins "First Mover" to discuss the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delaying a decision on an application by Hashdex to convert its existing bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) into a spot vehicle.

Video transcript

Joining us now to discuss the crypto markets is Maple Head of growth and capital markets, Quinn Thompson. Welcome back, Quinn. Hey Lawrence Jen. Thanks for having me again. Glad to see you again. So of course, we're seeing Ether jump on the news that uh uh of this Black rock. Uh S one. W what do you make of the way uh uh uh the crypto markets have been responding to uh Ether ETF related uh updates here. Yeah. Well, just start by saying what a, what a difference of two worlds. It's been since, since last time I was on in, in October. Uh kind of looking at the, the confluence of both macro and micro tail ones coming together for the industry and Bitcoin being up 30% plus cents. So, uh you know, not surprising this week that we've seen the delay of the hashtags and expect to see the delay of the Franklin Templeton Bitcoin spot ETF applications. But you know, there continues to be very, very constructive dialogue between the sec and, and issuers. Uh you know, future uh further S one amendments have been filed and uh you know, we expect still very much so that, that this comes in January and uh on the, on the east side, it's just more positive news, I think given the uh argument that these issues have is the reason that the Bitcoin spot is allowed is because there's a Bitcoin features and, uh you know, the same now goes for the east side. Uh So it's only a matter of time before Blackrock and others stepped in and I think what's a little bit of a surprise to the market is how quick that's happened. So I kinda, I kinda wanna get, uh because you, you, you mentioned it, the SEC uh just to kind of clear everything up for everybody. The SEC uh is delaying a decision on the application by hashtags to convert its uh Bitcoin Futures ETF into a spot ETF. Uh And it also punted the, the SEC did also punted the decision on Gray Scale's attempt to do a new uh futures based Ether ETF. So, uh you think these delays, as you said, you're not quite, you're not surprised by this. And, and so what do you think is going on? Yeah, it's, it's really just they want to get all the applications ready for launch on the same day like we saw with the Ethereum Futures ETF uh about last month. And so they're, they're pushing all those to, to that January date. Uh If they, if they delay Blackrock and they're not gonna, they're not gonna let hashtags go unfortunately. So it, it's really just an organizational administration thing and, and I think they probably got clarity that the government shutdown wasn't going to happen. So they have some more time and, you know, maybe we still see it before year end, late December, clear, clear off the slate before the holidays. But, uh, it's just very normal course, uh, going into that January deadline. Now, if all of these are approved on the same day, you would think that most of the funds would flow into the Black Rock ETF, what do you think happens with all of the other applications if they're all approved on the same day? And that first mover advantage is taken away. Yeah, we've, we've seen from the Ethereum Future side II, I believe one or two of those issues actually, uh you know, took down their product after the first week or two just given there, there weren't many flows I think regardless for the industry, it's extremely positive. You know, this is like 10 plus institutional finance and sales teams going around the country and globe selling uh investors as allocators pension funds on what crypto is and why they need to have an allocation in their portfolio. So, uh you know, there'll be a couple uh let's call them martyrs who, who don't get the inflows but have invested extreme amounts of time and, and resources into making these products a huge success and, and spreading the good word. So I, I expect, you know, there's a couple of main players, I think Blackrock's one of them. I think the invest go uh Galaxy is another one of them. Uh And then I would say just given the, the large liquidity head start that G BT C has, you know, already 20 billion in assets in that vehicle. I think those three to me come to mind, you know, maybe are 21 shares but, but uh there's differences in these, these distribution platforms and vehicles across, across each firm. So speaking of which is so talk a little bit more about the uh lending market here, the crypto lending market. Uh One almost thought that that was over uh with the collapse of uh I don't know, uh Celsius and things like that. Uh No offense to Maple, but you know how it is. So uh tell us what's going on here. Yeah. Yeah, Lawrence, uh there's an old adage from Wall Street, something like when the credit market start to thaw and, and open back up is when you really start to see things recover. So we're, we're seeing that full force uh on the maple front. It's, it's definitely the new beginnings of a, of a recovery and, and growth market. Uh lending volumes have, have scaled back tremendously. We, we just in the last month, we crossed $100 million in total uh uh a active loans on the platform. It's a, it's been a large uptick in in demand and inbounds from, from our borrower base uh looking to access capital and, and, and let me just ask you lay a few out and see if this is a bull market. The we crossed 100 million in loans on boarded and issued loans to two of the, the largest institutions to ever borrow from Maple and have the largest monthly inbound onboarding across in the past 12 months. So definitely feeling it. So who, who are the, who are these borrowers? Because are, are, are they, you guys deal mostly with institutions? Uh You know what, what about the retail investor? How, what, what percentage would you say is uh retail versus institutional? Yes. So we don't deal with retail at all. It's, it's only a a institutional platform both on the lending and borrowing side, institution in crypto in many cases, is retail to, to uh traditional finance. So if you had to look at it that way on the high net worth side, yes. Uh As long as everyone's an a credit investor, uh we do have a number of, of institutional credit funds who, who have LP S and, and you could call them high net worth retail on the, on the back end of them uh deploying into Maple. But, but for the most part, we're seeing uh institutional allocators, you know, that have stuck around and, and whether the storm uh you know, continuing to look for yield and, and stable coin supply has increased as well, which has been a, a boon of new capital into the space. So the types of players uh using the Maple platform today consist of high net worth individuals accredited and, uh you know, a number of financial services, largely related businesses in the space. So you can think of funds otc desks, liquidity providers, uh a few Bitcoin miners looking to borrow against their Bitcoin and uh you know, larger, larger kind of institutions that, that play in this space. Yes. All right, Quinn, you've been on the show before. So you know, it's prediction time Bitcoin, as I mentioned at the top of the show almost touched $38,000 yesterday. D by researchers, Marcus Thin is predicting Bitcoin could reach 40,000 if not $45,000 by the end of the year. What do you make of that prediction and give us a little prediction of your own? Yeah. II, I don't hate that. Uh I think we are in a, in a very new regime for crypto markets. We've seen dramatic near term pricing, obviously, which uh the markets kind of finally understanding this and the macro is extremely supportive as well. Equities are are approaching all time highs, interest rates obtained commodities have fall, the dollars fall. And so these are some of the most bullish catalysts you can get for the digital asset industry from a macro perspective. And then uh on top of that, you have the, the Bitcoin ETF S coming in January, you have the having coming uh first thing Q two and, and these are two events that will uh consume, you know, probably 2 to 3 X. The supply of, of, of New Bitcoin coming into the market which is just bullish for, for Bitcoin miners. It's bullish for uh you know, price. So I, I expect, I actually expect in October, I called for 38 K by your end. Maybe that's a little low. II, I think we get a little pull back here in the near term. Just given how quickly things have run. Thanksgiving is usually always a little weird time. Uh But I think going into December, January, it's, it's, you know, I don't think 50 K is off, off. Uh The question.

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