Top Stories of Last Week
- Congress infrastructure bill proposed to raise $28 billion from crypto investors by applying new information reporting requirements to exchanges and other parties. Any broker that transfers digital assets would need to file return under modified information reporting regime, with decentralized exchanges and peer-to-peer marketplaces included in definition of brokers.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren urged Financial Stability Oversight Council to form regulatory strategy to “mitigate the growing risks that cryptocurrencies pose to the financial system” in open letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Warren cited risks posed to banks by volatile crypto prices, “unique threats” posed by stablecoins, emergence of DeFi and anonymity and rise of crypto-enabled cyber attacks.
- U.S. Department of Justice reportedly considering federal investigation into Tether, probing whether executives behind Tether committed bank fraud during nascent stages of cryptocurrency business in “potential” criminal case. Prosecutors specifically focused on if executives hid nature of cryptocurrency transactions from banks. Tether called story “repackaging of stale claims” based on unnamed sources and old allegations.
- PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said initial version of company’s super app wallet was “code complete” during PayPal’s Q2 2021 investor update call. Company plans for wallet to be fully ramped in US in next several months and will feature high yield savings, early access to direct deposit funds, messaging capability, “additional crypto capabilities,” and more.
- State Street to offer crypto and digital asset fund administration services to private fund clients in partnership with software provider Lukka, offering collection, reconciliation, processing and reporting of cryptocurrency and other digital assets.
- UBS Group’s prime brokerage unit reportedly started to offer clearing and settlement of crypto ETPs to limited number of clients, operating pilot scheme to be reviewed internally ahead of planned wider rollout later in year.
- Stone Ridge Asset Management filed new prospectus with SEC to add Bitcoin to its open-end mutual fund. Prospectus for Stone Ridge Bitcoin Strategy Fund seeks exposure to Bitcoin via futures markets as opposed to spot purchases, similar to NYDIG Bitcoin Strategy Fund II.
- Tesla reported no new sales or purchases of digital assets and that company holds $1.3 billion in Bitcoin, according to Q2 earnings presentation. Tesla also reported $23 million impairment on Bitcoin holdings.
- Amazon flatly denied report they’re planning to accept Bitcoin payments by end of year. Claims by unnamed sources stated Amazon would introduce 8 cryptocurrencies onto their platform as accepted payment options as well as company working on their own digital coin.
- Goldman Sachs filed application with SEC for ETF that would offer exposure to public companies in decentralized finance and blockchain around the world. Filing noted Goldman Sachs Innovate DeFi and Blockchain Equity ETF would invest at least 80% of assets into companies that advance blockchain technology and digitization of finance.
- Galaxy Digital announced launch of fund of fund that will invest $33 million across several venture funds in cryptocurrency market with backing from Franklin Templeton, one firm Galaxy confirmed as participating in raise.
- Number of crypto users doubled in first half of 2021, according to Crypto.com, identifying more than 220 million users of crypto by end of June. Company said it used on-chain data and other parameters to compile figures from 24 of largest crypto platforms.
- Changpeng Zhao stated Binance is “looking for someone with a strong regulatory background to step in and be CEO.” Zhao said there was no timeline for his succession and that he would not be stepping down right away.
- Binance announced it reduced withdrawal limit for Basic Account Verification users. Previous limit of 2 BTC per day was lowered to 0.06 BTC per day for newly registered accounts and existing accounts were to be phased in between August 4 and August 23. Binance also announced leverage trading restrictions on futures platform for consumer protection with 20x limit for users.
- FTX has also decided to limit leverage available to users, reducing maximum leverage available on platform down to 20x from previous limit of 101x. Decision was made in light of exchange’s efforts to “encourage responsible trading.”
- Fireblocks raised $310 million in Series D round co-led by Sequoia Capital, Stripes, Spark Capital, Coatue and DRW, at a valuation of $2 billion.
- Livepeer, a decentralized video transcoding platform built on Ethereum, raised $20 million in funding round led by DCG, and included participation from Coinbase Ventures, CoinFund and Northzone.
- Ascensive Assets raised $130 million fund that will focus on DeFi market. Maiden $24 million fundraise back in 2019 backed likes of Polkaswap, Yield Guild Games and JennyDAO.
- Vauld raised $25 million in Series A funding to expand retail crypto banking platform in round led by Valar Ventures, with participation from Pantera Capital and Coinbase Ventures.
- Indian cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX in talks to raise $100 million in funding round led by Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, valuing CoinDCX at more than $1 billion. Polychain Capital and Coinbase Ventures also to participate.
- Genesis Digital Assets raised $125 million in equity funding to fuel expansion plans in U.S. and Nordic region. Investment led by Kingsway Capital, and Genesis plans to use funding to purchase equipment and build new data centers.
- Fintech infrastructure and crypto custody firm Prime Trust raised $64 million Series A led by Mercato Partners’ growth equity fund, Traverse. Nationwide, Samsung Next, Kraken Ventures and Seven Peaks Ventures also participated.
- Bitcoin rewards company Lolli raised $10 million in Series A funding round led by Acrew Capital to expand company and develop recently launched mobile app with plans to be more active in gaming community.
- Eco announced raise of $60 million for cashback-granting digital wallet and stablecoin platform. L Catterton and Activant Capital led round, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners, LionTree Partners and Valor Equity Partners.
- Uniswap Labs restricted access to some tokens, including tokenized stocks and derivatives, after regulators’ announcement that they would increasingly scrutinize these types of products. Uniswap cited “evolving regulatory landscape” in explaining decision to restrict access to certain tokens through app.uniswap.org.”