Stay current with Zumo’s monthly overview of the latest trends in the fast-changing digital assets industry.

The month in brief


May followed April as a consolidation month, with monthly spot trading volume subsiding by a further 21.6% to settle at $1.57 trillion.


This formed a divergence with total cumulative bitcoin ETF flows, which returned to growth after a period of net outflow in April. 


Retrospectively, there was more encouraging news in Pitchbook’s Q1 crypto review: in Q1 2024, $2.4 billion of crypto deal value was generated across 518 deals, increases of 40.3% and 44.7% respectively, and the first quarterly uptick since 2021.


There were also some notable jurisdictional developments across the month. 


In the UK, three providers cross-listed bitcoin and ether backed ETPs on the LSE; these will be available to professional investors. On the continent, the EU is considering whether to permit cryptoassets to be included in the UCITS fund vehicle, which accounts for some 12 trillion euros in assets. And in the US, there were signs of some softening of the regulation by enforcement strategy with a prospective crypto-specific rule-making bill, FIT21, passing the US House. 


In other news, May polling by Grayscale/Harris suggested almost half of US voters expect to include crypto in their investment portfolio as crypto becomes an increasing issue of political debate in the upcoming US elections.


Robinhood also released strong Q1 2024 earnings: reporting crypto transaction-based revenue of $126M, a YoY increase of 232%, and taking crypto to almost two fifths (38.3%) of its total transaction-based revenues ($329M).  


From the market


  • Bitpanda launched Bitpanda MENA and expanded its partnership with Deutsche Bank for fiat services.
  • Bitstamp announced a prospective acquisition by Robinhood.
  • Revolut unveiled the launch of a standalone crypto trading platform for experienced traders, Revolut X, that will offer highly competitive fees.
  • Interactive Brokers has enabled crypto trading for UK customers.
  • Kraken announced a strategic partnership with DLT Finance to serve the Germany portion of its customer base.
  • Fireblocks launched its Global Custodian Partner Program, which will allow clients of the Fireblocks platform to connect with a global network of licensed custodians (including in the UK and UAE) according to their requirements. 
  • News from Revolut and Robinhood underscores the desire among the biggest-name fintechs to become crypto players in their own right with increasingly sophisticated crypto product offerings developed – or acquired – on their own behalf. 
  • This comes in the context of crypto services providing significant revenues during crypto bull markets: alongside strong numbers already mentioned for Robinhood, this skews towards the trading-oriented platforms, with others such as eToro currently earning more commissions on retail crypto trading than any other asset class.


In the UK


  • SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce proposed a US/UK collaboration on the UK’s Digital Securities Sandbox.
  • Crypto exchange Lykke was reportedly hacked for $22M.
  • The FT held its annual Crypto & Digital Assets Summit, summarised here.
  • Details on crypto plans remain scant as the next general election was announced to take place on 4 July. 


Regulatory and operational


  • The FCA concluded its fees and levies consultation, including updated fees proposals for registered cryptoasset firms.
  • CryptoUK released a travel rule best practice guide relating to cryptoasset activities.
  • As alerted last month, HMT has initiated a review of the MLRs under which cryptoasset firms are registered – the consultation period for which has now concluded.
  • Meanwhile, the snap election means the UK crypto regulatory roadmap is on hold, despite claims even in the weeks prior to the general election announcement that Phase 1 stablecoin and staking provisions would be legislated in July.
  • The end result is that everything beyond the currently effective financial promotions regime will need to be revisited once a new government is in place.
  • Elsewhere, ESMA published further final reports on the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) and Implementing Technical Standards (ITS) to be adopted under MiCA. Of particular interest will be the final report on the second package, which includes the details of sustainability disclosure requirements for MiCA-bound cryptoasset service providers.


Sustainability in cryptoassets


  • Physically backed bitcoin and ether ETPs listed in the UK this month.
  • Bitcoin emissions certificate issuer Clean Incentive announced plans to develop a registry for data-enhanced RECs.
  • Provider Crypto Risk Metrics is proposing to offer an ESG data service tailored to upcoming MiCA cryptoasset sustainability disclosures.
  • A new pro-Bitcoin website, the Digital Assets Research Institute, launched focusing on quantifying the environmental and social impact of Bitcoin using data.
  • EnergyWeb released its ‘Smartflow’ product, a service for enterprises to share, process and publish energy-related data. 
  • The news points to the increasingly widespread attention on the issues of data richness, handling and publishing in the area of environmental solutions and mitigation.


As the digital asset landscape evolves, stakeholders will need to stay informed and adapt to changing market conditions and regulatory requirements. With innovation driving the industry forward, collaboration and compliance will be key to unlocking the full potential of cryptoassets in the global economy.