Top Stories of Last Week
- Pyctor, a collaboration involving ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas Securities Services, Citibank, Invesco, Société Générale, Forge, State Street, UBS and others, has been incorporated and is raising external money. Pyctor is a digital asset post-trade market infrastructure for global custodians, institutional issuers and other capital market actors. No comment on amount being raised or if project’s member banks were also taking part in investment round.
- Crypto custodian Fireblocks and payments platform First Digital Assets Group providing connectivity and support to allow financial service providers to plug into Diem. Rebranded project plans to emerge around end of this quarter, with a minimum viable project based around U.S. dollar stablecoin.
- Bahamas Sand Dollar can now be converted into traditional Bahamian dollars using prepaid Mastercard, enabling users to pay for goods and services wherever Mastercard is accepted worldwide. Mastercard development will open Sand Dollar to more users, as it has previously only been available to individuals and businesses domiciled in Bahamas.
- NYDIG, Stone Ridge Asset Management’s bitcoin firm, filed with SEC for Bitcoin ETF. NYDIG’s filing lists Morgan Stanley as initial authorized participant in ETF.
- Rick Rieder, chief investment officer at BlackRock Financial Management, stated in interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box that BlackRock has “started to dabble a bit” into crypto investments. “Holding some portion of what you hold in cash in things like crypto seems to make some sense to me, but I wouldn’t espouse a certain allocation or target holding,” said Reider. “My sense is the technology has evolved and the regulations have evolved to the point where a number of people find it should be part of the portfolio.” Rieder did not specify what percentage of BlackRock’s assets under management may be in crypto.
- MicroStrategy said it intends to offer $900M aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2027. Firm, whose Bitcoin holdings are worth more than $3.5B, said it intends to use net proceeds from note sale to buy more Bitcoin.
- Ontario Securities Commission approved Evolve Bitcoin ETF to trade on Toronto Stock Exchange. Approval follows OSC’s approval of Purpose Investment’s bitcoin ETF, which debuted last week and has since accrued more than $400 million in assets under management. Evolve tapped CF Benchmarks as fund’s index provider, EY as auditor, Cidel Trust Company as custodian, Gemini Trust Company as sub-custodian and CIBC Mellon Global Securities Services as fund administrator.
- KPMG, BitGo and Coin Metrics announced offering that seeks to manage and monitor risks on blockchain networks, combining KPMG’s Chain Fusion services, BitGo’s custody technology and Coin Metrics’ data and intelligence products. Alliance seeks to deliver data and insights, proprietary analytics and crypto-asset services to support growth in institutional adoption.
- Coinbase customers can now sign up to stake ETH into Beacon Chain contract. Coinbase will allow users to stake any amount of ETH in their account and earn up to 7.5% APR on staked ETH. Coinbase commission is 25% of rewards received. Coinbase also exploring avenues by which to give customers way to trade staked ETH “very soon.”
- Robinhood announced it intends to implement cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals, according to series of tweets from company’s Twitter account stating work on integration of cryptocurrency transfers has already begun, though no dates or specifics were provided on when it will go live. Robinhood also clarified crypto deposits would be custodied by their own wallets and added that company does not invest in cryptocurrency and will not use customer funds for its own benefit.
- Nvidia announced efforts to ensure graphics cards end up in hands of gamers instead of cryptocurrency miners. Nvidia’s RTX 3060 software drivers will limit its hashrate by around 50% if it detects mining activity. New Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) is company’s offering of professional mining-specific product that doesn’t do graphics.
- Chinese sports lottery firm 500.com inked share-swap deal to acquire cryptocurrency mining pool Bitdeer Technologies, including BTC.com. Agreement will see 500.com purchase all shares of Bitdeer-owned Blockchain Alliance with 10% of its own shares. Bitdeer Technologies is majority owned by Jihan Wu.
- Ebang announced closing of follow-up public offering, where investors agreed to purchase 14 million units at $5 per share. Each unit consists of one Class A ordinary share and one warrant to purchase one-half of one Class A ordinary share.
- Blockchain.com raised $120 million from Louis Bacon’s Moore Strategic Ventures, Hayman Capital Management founder Kyle Bass, Access Industries, Rovida Advisors, Lightspeed Venture Partners, GV, Lakestar and Eldridge. Firm has now raised more than $190 million to date.
- Radicle, a fully decentralized code repository, raised $12 million in funding and launched RAD governance token. Funding round was led by NFX and Galaxy, with participation from Placeholder, Electric Capital and ParaFi Capital. Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan and Meltem Demirors were also involved.
- Polkadot parachain Clover Finance closed $3 million seed round for building bridge between Ethereum and Polkadot, in addition to planned future bridge with Bitcoin blockchain. Round was backed by Polychain, Hypersphere, Bithumb Global and Divergence Ventures.
- Bitwise announced launch of Bitwise DeFi Crypto Index, a vehicle for accredited investors to make diversified bet on DeFi through structure of a security. Fund is launching with small amount of seed assets with subscriptions occurring twice a week. Initially, constituents of fund will include Uniswap, Aave, Synthetix, Maker, Compound, UMA, Yearn.Finance, 0x, and Loopring.
- Nexus Mutual received $2.7 million boost to foundation treasury to fund core development of protocol. Strategic contribution was led by Collider Ventures with participation from Nick Tomaino’s 1confirmation, Blockchain Capital, Version One, Dialectic, 1kx and several angel investors.
- Christie’s confirmed it is accepting ether as form of payment for coming digital art auction of work by digital artist Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann called “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS.” The premium fee that the auction house charges on artwork’s sale price however must be paid in U.S. dollars.