Deutsche Borse Takes a Majority Stake for Over $100 Mln in Crypto Finance AG

Deutsche Borse Takes a Majority Stake for Over $100 Mln in Crypto Finance AG

This step has been taken in response to “increasing demand from established financial institutions who are looking to become active in this new asset class.”

German exchange operator Deutsche Borse Group has acquired a majority stake in Crypto Finance AG.

Founded in 2017, Crypto Finance is a Swiss-based fintech firm regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), offers crypto trading and storage in over 200 crypto-assets for institutional and professional clients.

Deutsche Borse will take a two-thirds majority shareholding in Crypto Finance AG in exchange for an investment in “a moderate three-digit CHF million range,” more than 100 million Swiss francs ($108.68 million).

The deal, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Jan Brzezek, CEO and co-founder of Crypto Finance, will remain chief executive along with the existing management team.

With this acquisition, Deutsche Börse aims to further get deeper into the digital assets market and provide its customers a direct entry point for investments, including custody. Thomas Book, executive board member for trading and clearing at Deutsche Börse said,

“Digital assets will transform the financial industry. There is increasing demand from established financial institutions who are looking to become active in this new asset class and want a trusted partner.”

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Author: AnTy

TeraWulf Signs Purchase Order for 30,000 Bitmain Antminer S19j Pro Bitcoin Mining Machines

TeraWulf Signs Purchase Order for 30,000 Bitmain Antminer S19j Pro Bitcoin Mining Machines

Bitcoin mining firm TeraWulf has signed a purchase order of 30,000 mining machines from the largest Bitcoin machine producer Bitmain.

Mining Machines To Be Delivered In 2022

The mining machines, called the Antminer S19j Pro, will be delivered from January to June 2022 according to the announcement released by Bitmain.

After the machines are fully delivered and deployed, TeraWulf is expected to increase its total mining hashrate by three exahashes (EH/s).

The purchases made by TeraWulf are in line with its plans of operating fully integrated environmentally clean cryptocurrency mining facilities in the United States.

The Bitcoin miner recently announced plans to become a publicly traded company. For this purpose, TeraWulf has merged with Ikonics, an imaging-technology company trading on Nasdaq.

With this merger, the combined firm would bear TeraWulf’s name and will trade in the capital market under the ticker symbol, “WULF”. Speaking on the agreement with Bitmain, TeraWulf’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Paul Prager said,

“With Bitmain’s miners in place, we expect to substantially increase our total mining hashrate, furthering our efforts to generate environmentally sustainable bitcoin at an industrial scale. We are confident that we can continue to leverage our strong partner relationships as we seek to position our company as the leading miner of sustainable Bitcoin globally.”

TeraWulf is focused at being an environmentally sustainable Bitcoin mining firm targeted at ESG practices through its business methods, determined clean energy goals, and support for its communities.

The miner aims to mine Bitcoin with over 90% zero-carbon energy. It currently has no less than 60,000 mining machines on order, putting it at 50 megawatts (MW) of mining capacity. TeraWulf expects that this will grow to 800 MW by 2025.

Bitmain Halts Sales In China Amid Crackdown

The news of TeraWulf’s agreement with Bitmain follows the suspension of the mining rig sales in China.

This was prompted by the latest call for the ban of Bitcoin mining by Chinese authorities. Also affected were crypto payments and trading activities in the country. This has led to the closure of several Bitcoin mining facilities in several provinces across the country like Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Yunnan, and Qinghai.

The domino effect was an oversaturation of mining hardware as crypto miners tried to sell off their mining rigs in the local market. This also led to a plunge in the prices of top-tier mining rigs in China making it difficult for Bitmain to continue selling its new machines.

Bitmain has a number of signed purchase deals. For instance, Burfa, a technology company, recently signed a $26 million agreement with Bitmain. This deal would see Bitmain deliver new cryptocurrency mining equipment to boost Burfa’s data-center capacity.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Bank Of France Governor Wants Europe To Regulate Crypto Now

The Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau has called on the European Union to create a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

According to him, if Europe does not make crypto regulation a priority, there could be dire consequences for the monetary sovereignty of states.

Villeroy Encourages The EU To Speed Up CBDC Plans

Speaking further at a Paris Europlace financial conference, the Central bank governor emphasized the increasing importance of digital currencies in financial markets.

He called on the EU to speed up plans in issuing a digital euro. “On both digital currency and payments, we in Europe must be ready to move as quickly as needed, ” Villeroy said. Villeroy’s statements centered around urgent ways of preventing the weakening of the Euro. He stressed the urgency saying there was little time in doing this.

He noted that many risks were surrounding the ECB’s payments control, with the digital Yuan being part of it. In addition to this, Europeans are using less cash by the day due to the growing role cryptocurrencies play in regional markets.

The use of cash decreased during the first few months of the pandemic, a movement that the governor said could lead to “marginalization of the use of central bank money.”

This is not the first time the central banker would be warning regulators against the risk of cryptocurrencies, including central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and stablecoins.

During the Bundesbank conference held in September last year, Villeroy described the most imminent risk in Europe to be private financial infrastructures and monetary systems. According to him, they were positioning themselves as issuers and managers of currencies.

China’s Digital Yuan Drawing Criticisms

China is the leader in developing and deploying wholesale CBDCs. The country is currently testing its digital Yuan, where citizens in different provinces transact payments over their mobile phones.

However, the project has been considered a threat by most Western countries. This is due to the reports circulating the media that China is planning to topple the dominance of the US greenback with its digital renminbi.

However, former central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan responded to these reports last month.

He said the digital yuan is not designed to replace the US dollar’s global dominance. He added that the CBDC is only focused on modernizing the traditional payment system while reducing costs and serving retail payment systems.

Meanwhile, various countries are warming up to CBDCs. The Bank of France has revealed plans to conduct further tests for its digital currency this year after completing a pilot program for its CBDC in January.

In the US, a Digital Dollar Project of five pilot projects was launched last month to test how a Federal Reserve-issued CBDC would operate.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Top Crypto Data Aggregator, Coinmarketcap Integrates Uniswap to Offer ‘Direct Token Swaps’

Top Crypto Data Aggregator, Coinmarketcap Integrates Uniswap to Offer ‘Direct Token Swaps’

  • Crypto data aggregator, Coinmarketcap launches Uniswap portal on its website introducing decentralized token swaps to millions of users.

Announced Tuesday, Coinmarketcap.com, a Binance-owned crypto data aggregator, introduced a Uniswap-powered token swap feature on its website. The feature aims to give eager crypto traders and investors a direct channel to make a swap as soon as they check the price of tokens.

According to the statement, Coinmarketcap.com integrated Uniswap (both V1 and V2) and the Ethereum blockchain. This allows anyone who has connected an Ethereum wallet to swap the thousands of Ethereum-based tokens through Uniswap. Other cryptocurrencies currently supported include Uniswap (UNI), AAVE, Tether (USDT), and Bitcoin (BTC).

The integration is expected to increase the overall volumes on Uniswap, the largest decentralized exchange by trading volume, with millions of visits on Coinmarketcap monthly. According to SimilarWeb, Coinmarketcap.com had over 270 million visits in the past month alone, showing the impact the integration could have on Uniswap’s volumes. A statement from Coinmarketcap’s team read,

“With the rise of altcoins in the DeFi [decentralized finance] boom, the need for seamless ways to exchange tokens for participating in different crypto products and ecosystems has become essential.”

The integration supports any wallet accepted by Uniswap, including Metamask, Coinbase, Portis, WalletConnect, and Fortmatic. To start swapping directly from Coinmarketcap, you need to navigate to the coin page you wish to swap. On the right-hand side of the page, click the converter and select the “Swap on Coinmarketcap” option to start swapping on Uniswap.

The new integration could help the top crypto data aggregator keep its position as Coingecko, the second-largest crypto data aggregator, closes in on the top spot.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Britain’s NatWest Group is Latest to Cap Daily Transfers to Crypto Exchanges

Britain’s NatWest Group is Latest to Cap Daily Transfers to Crypto Exchanges

One of Britain’s biggest domestic lenders, NatWest Group, has capped the daily amount customers can send to cryptocurrency exchanges due to concerns over investment scams and fraud.

This also affects leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, which, as we reported, has already removed the ability to deposit and withdraw British Pounds (GBP) from the platform through Faster Payments and bank cards.

The suspension of both GBP payment channels on Binance came on the heels of the UK’s financial regulator, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), issuing a consumer warning against Binance Markets Limited, which is not an outright ban.

Now, NatWest Group has imposed a temporary cap, on June 24, targeting several exchanges and digital asset firms with the maximum amount varying depending on the platform but typically in thousands of pounds. The company spokesperson said,

“We have seen a high level of cryptocurrency investment scams targeting our customers across retail and business banking, particularly through social media sites.”

As such, to protect its customers from criminals exploiting these platforms, a temporary step has been taken to reduce the maximum daily amount that a customer can send to crypto exchanges. The company has also blocked payments to a small number of crypto asset firms where NatWest saw “particularly significant levels of fraud-related harm for our customers.”

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Author: AnTy

DeFi Protocol Cream Finance To Launch On Polygon

Decentralized lending protocol Cream Finance is set to launch on the Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution network, Polygon.

Cream To Roll Out Ten Digital Assets At Launch

According to the announcement published by Cream, the integration with Polygon would enable users to lend and borrow ten digital assets, such as USDC, USDT, DAI, WMATIC, LINK, and five others.

The crypto lending firm also said its Polygon markets would be incentivized by $MATIC liquidity mining opportunities.

The integration of Cream to Polygon is the latest move by the firm in its expansion plans.

Cream is already being used on Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Fantom. Users on these platforms can easily deposit collateral to borrow supported assets.

The DeFi protocol said the integration with Polygon, which has $8.64 billion in total value locked (TVL), will usher in faster transaction speeds, lower gas fees, and access to additional markets for its users.

Cream’s integration with the scaling solution comes after the firm introduced staking services last month. The company now enables users to stake native assets to its validator nodes in addition to its multi-chain money market services.

Founded in 2012 by Jeffrey Huang, Cream describes itself as a copy of the top lending platform Compound Finance. According to the platform, it also leveraged some codes from Balancer Labs.

But it hasn’t been short of negative news. The protocol has had its share of attacks and losses. Earlier this year, the platform was hit with a DNS (Domain Name Service) attack alongside DeFi platform PancakeSwap.

In its postmortem report, Cream confirmed that its DNS was hijacked and its domain service provider, GoDaddy, compromised. However, the breach didn’t affect funds or smart contracts.

DeFi Projects Continue To Flock To Polygon

The Polygon network has had a meteoric rise this year. The demand for the Ethereum-compatible blockchain network has been visible among institutional investors and DeFi developers alike.

Cream isn’t the only platform that jumped on Polygon of late. Earlier this month, Kyber Exchange announced its integration with the platform, where it launched a $30M liquidity mining program.

In recent times, several DeFi protocols previously launched on Ethereum have shifted base into Polygon’s fast-rising ecosystem.

Meanwhile, the latest development that has emerged from Polygon is the introduction of a general-purpose blockchain network for standalone chains, sidechains, and other Layer-2 solutions called Avail.

Avail is meant to address the scaling challenges single chains on the network face in verifying transactions. Avail will provide them with the needed data guaranteed to make the tasks easier.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Daymak’s First Electric Prototype Car, Spiritus, Begins Mining Both PoW and PoS Cryptocurrencies

Daymak’s First Electric Prototype Car, Spiritus, Begins Mining Both PoW and PoS Cryptocurrencies

“Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are two of the most disruptive innovations of our time,” said Aldo Baiocchi, President of Daymak, according to whom, while other cars will depreciate in value, Spiritus will “pay for itself while it’s parked.”

Electric car maker Daymak has announced that its first prototype, Spiritus, has officially started mining cryptocurrency, both Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake coins.

The electric car prototype Spiritus will be using its patent-pending Daymak Nebula platform to mine crypto. Nebula is defined by the company as the world’s first comprehensive cryptocurrency suite for electric vehicles that will allow every Spiritus car to mine and manage crypto anywhere.

Daymak first announced it on June 1st, and now it has successfully installed its Nebula system in the first Spiritus prototype vehicle. Aldo Baiocchi, President of Daymak, said,

“Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are two of the most disruptive innovations of our time, and we are proud to be the first auto-manufacturer in history to incorporate it into our Spiritus EV offering.”

Unlike other cars that depreciate in value, Baiocchi said, “Spiritus owners will have a vehicle that has the potential to pay for itself while it’s parked.”

In less than a day, Daymak has made $12.25 in profit, according to the live streaming feed of the Spiritus prototype’s crypto mining results.

Besides earning crypto with the electric car and completing transactions using the built-in Nebula wallet, customers can also pre-order a Spiritus using cryptocurrencies.

The car will be launched in 2023 at a base price of $20,000, and every Spiritus car will be a node on the blockchain.

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Author: AnTy

NYDIG to Offer Bitcoin Services to 70% of US Banks; NCR Partnership to Allow Exposure to 24M Customers

NYDIG to Offer Bitcoin Services to 70% of US Banks; NCR Partnership to Allow Exposure to 24M Customers

National Cash Register, founded in 1884, is also the largest provider of point of sale software to retail stores globally, with a 45% market share. In addition, NCR will allow 650 banks to offer BTC purchases due to institutions concerned about savings outflowing to crypto exchanges.

Enterprise payment giant NCR has partnered with NYDIG to allow 650 banks to offer Bitcoin purchases to a total of about 24 million customers.

With this partnership, these financial institutions won’t have to deal with burdensome regulatory requirements by relying on NYDIG’s custody services, which is holding $4 billion in crypto assets, including at least 30k BTC bitcoins owned by its parent company, Stone Ridge. NCR president of digital banking, Douglas Brown said,

“We’re firm believers in the benefits of crypto and the strategic application, and that’s true for our banking relationships.”

Founded in 1884, the Atlanta-based National Cash Register (NCR) generated $6.2 billion in revenue from non-crypto transactions last year. NCR is also the largest provider of point of sale (POS) software to grocery and other retail stores globally, having captured a 45% market share.

NCR aims to capitalize on demand from “dozens” of banks and credit unions complaining that their customers were moving money (savings) outside to buy cryptos, and now they want to allow their customers to buy, sell, and hold their BTC within their existing accounts.  Yan Zhao, co-founder of Stone Ridge said,

“A lot of these banks have seen that one of the biggest outflows from their depositors is moving money from the bank to exchanges like Coinbase.”

“And so that’s part of why banks are so excited to have this capability for themselves and for their consumers.”

60% of crypto owners would use their bank to invest in crypto, according to a December 2020 survey. However, only about 2% of banks were interested in offering such services, which has since changed after the giants like JPMorgan, Citi, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and BNY Mellon actively started adopting Bitcoin and crypto.

While it starts with letting customers buy, sell and trade bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from their mobile application, Brown expects banks to follow PayPal, which saw a 100% increase in the rate its crypto customers visited the app, which increased the payment giant’s ability to sell them other products. Brown said,

“Banking today is a daily or a couple of times a day activity for people, which is what we typically see.”

‘Crypto gets to an hourly or sub-hourly level of deepening engagement.”

NYDIG itself has a “broader ambition” and wants to do a multitude of things with crypto that extends into multi-vertical markets, retailers and restaurants, and around digital banking, Brown said.

Meanwhile, the firm’s banking infrastructure partnerships are estimated to let them offer bitcoin services to about 70% of US banks.

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Author: AnTy

“More Rigid Policies Are Yet To Come,” Says Chinese Media While Beijing Subway Runs e-CNY Test

“More Rigid Policies Are Yet To Come,” Says Chinese Media While Beijing Subway Runs e-CNY Test

The Chinese media group Caixin Global published an editorial this week with the title, “It’s Time to Declare War on Cryptocurrency.”

The editorial talks about how no other country than China has been more determined to “put an end to speculative trading of digital currencies” as the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) instructed several financial institutions and payment services to stop providing crypto-related services.

The latest development in China cracking down on crypto mining and derivatives trading has more than 10,000 mining machines stopped in Yunnan.

The Bitcoin hash rate has already fallen quite drastically, sending the block time to 2010 levels representing the shutdown of Chinese miners. And these miners have already either moved or are in the process of moving overseas.

40% of the miners actually want to move outside China while 45% of the miners choose to continue mining and wait in China, and 14% of the miners have chosen to sell machines, as per Chinese publication Wu Blockchain’s survey of 409 crypto miners.

Amidst this crackdown, on Tuesday, Beijing Subway has launched a test of DCEP / e-CNY payment where users can scan their payment QR code for entry and exit.

Those who have activated ICBC’s digital RMB service can participate in the swipe and ride test via the Yilutongxing app, Beijing municipal travel app, within the 24 operating lines of Beijing Subway and 4 suburban railways.

This experiment will further extend to Beijing Subway and be used in multiple scenarios, including ticket sales and at gates.

It Ain’t Over!

According to Caixin’s article, the latest regulatory measures are the result of policymakers’ ever-growing understanding of the emerging risks associated with crypto and the country’s needs to better manage financial risks and to transition to a low-carbon economy.

“This is an unmistakable signal that more rigid policies are yet to come,” it said.

While the piece acknowledges that every time a cryptocurrency comes under regulatory pressure, “it always comes back even stronger than before,” it goes on to state that the Chinese government is serious this time, and speculators are advised to give up or risk going broke.

Overall, it is pretty clear that “cryptocurrency mania is fundamentally destructive,” and it should be “stamped out at all levels like doctors working to eradicate a virus.”

According to trader and economist Alex Kruger, “it clearly ain’t over, likely more actions to come, but do think the worst is priced in.”

Besides Caixin Global, Global Times also published a piece this week that states Bitcoin will only live underground and that virtual currencies are considered illegal currencies and illegal investment products.

Bitcoin was actually defined as a virtual commodity by the Central Bank of China in 2013. A few months ago, Li Bo, the deputy governor of PBOC, said Bitcoin should be used as investment tools or alternative investments.

This week, IMF President Kristalina Georgieva proposed to appoint Li Bo as vice president, effective August 23, 2021.

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Author: AnTy

Kraken Cuts Deposits Fees to Zero, Will Integrate DeFi to Provide More Direct Exposure

Kraken Cuts Deposits Fees to Zero, Will Integrate DeFi to Provide More Direct Exposure

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has cut down its deposit fees to zero, starting June 29th, 2021.

While Kraken has only slashed the fees to zero now for its seven million clients, brokerage firm Robinhood is already commission-free that doesn’t charge to open and maintain an account or to transfer funds to an account.

Robinhood’s popularity also led giants like Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Interactive Brokers, along with ETrade, to offer no-fee stock trading to retail investors in 2019 as well.

However, Robinhood offers only a handful of cryptos while the market has thousands of coins.

Now, in the nascent crypto market where fees are very high, this fever seems to have started to take place, as Kraken announced this week. Jeremy Welch, Chief Product Officer at Kraken said,

“Kraken remains laser-focused on ensuring clients receive the best exchange offering.”

“By cutting out deposit fees, clients can experience the lowest possible friction on their crypto journey.”

With the cryptocurrency industry growing rapidly, an estimated 100 million people around the world have bought or owned a digital asset; Kraken recognizes that accessibility is the way to mass adoption.

“With crypto deposit fees now slashed to zero, Kraken is reaffirming its commitment to fair and equal access to the life-changing potential of cryptocurrencies, making the road to financial freedom as smooth as possible.”

Earlier this month, Kraken also rolled out its mobile app in the US, where investors can purchase crypto assets at the touch of a button for as little as $10.

In addition to the announcement of deposit fees going to zero, the exchange also shared that it is now preparing the ground for one of its long-term ambitions, decentralized finance (DeFi).

“Decentralized finance is something that we want to integrate more with and give consumers more exposure to directly,” Jesse Powell, co-founder, and CEO of Kraken, said in an interview last week.

This cut down in deposit fees now brings consistency and stability to the pricing between Kraken and DeFi protocols and applications, said the exchange.

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Author: AnTy