$60 Billion Fund Manager Allows Access to Bitcoin Through A Mutual Fund Investment

$60 Billion Fund Manager Allows Access to Bitcoin Through A Mutual Fund Investment

Maryland-based ProFunds, a mutual fund management company with $60 billion in assets under management (AUM) is introducing a new way to invest in Bitcoin without actually buying the crypto asset.

A premier provider of mutual funds with more than 100 funds, ProFunds is launching what it says is the first publicly available US mutual fund called the Bitcoin Strategy ProFund (BTCFX) which will correspond to the price performance of the leading cryptocurrency.

The mutual fund invests in Bitcoin futures contracts and aims of results that track the price of Bitcoin, currently above $40k, before fees. Through this product, the fund wants to eliminate the need to hold BTC and worry about its custody. ProFunds CEO Michael Sapir said,

“Cryptocurrency has become a significant asset class, and our new Bitcoin Strategy ProFund provides investors access to a bitcoin strategy through a mutual fund investment.”

“Compared to directly buying bitcoin, which may involve opening a new account with an unregulated party, this ProFund offers investors the opportunity to gain exposure to bitcoin through a form and investment method that tens of millions of investors are familiar with.”

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Author: AnTy

Wealthfront Allows Clients to Invest in Crypto; Germany Passes Legislation on Spezialfonds

Wealthfront Allows Clients to Invest in Crypto; Germany Passes Legislation on Spezialfonds to Allocate 20%

Wealthfront is the latest one to start allowing its clients to invest in cryptocurrencies later this year.

The US digital wealth manager with $16 billion in assets under management said starting this week; users will be able to build their own portfolio from a range of ETFs vetted by their team.

This a notable shift for Palo Alto, a California-based startup that has been traditionally more conservative and long term. It is not yet known which cryptos would be available.

Dan Carroll, co-founder, and chief strategy officer of Wealthfront, said the changes reflected a growing desire from Millennial and Gen Z investors to make investment choices.

“Wealthfront will be the place to invest responsibly, not some Wild West arcade,” Carroll said. “We can do it in a fiduciary way. We care what is in your best interests. We won’t let you put 100% of your portfolio in crypto.”

The company, which has around 357,425 accounts, will also continue to rebalance portfolios automatically and tell users about the impact their investment choices have on their risk level.

Amidst this growing adoption of cryptos, big news came from Germany, where new legislation allows the managers of popular institutional investment funds, Spezialfonds, to allocate 20% to crypto assets.

The law that cleared federal parliament last Thursday will come into force on July 1, which further legitimizes the asset class and boosts the cryptocurrency industry in the country.

According to market experts, this could release huge sums of money as it allows thousands of existing investment funds to invest in Bitcoin and other crypto-assets.

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Author: AnTy

Opera Browser Partners With Payment Processor Simplex; Allows Users to Buy Crypto with Fiat

Opera Browser Partners With Payment Processor Simplex; Allows Users to Buy Crypto with Fiat

  • Renowned browser, Opera, has partnered with crypt-fiat solutions offeror, Simplex, to promote the adoption of cryptos via allowing direct in-browser buys.
  • Opera users will henceforth be allowed to buy cryptos directly from the browser after integrating with the Israeli-based crypto-fiat processor Simplex. The partnership will also allow Opera users to create crypto wallets for storage of the newly-bought digital assets.

Simply known as crypto on-ramp, the service allows users to use their fiat to purchase crypto and is helpful for fresh crypto users. The new deal comes on the heel of various financial institutions now using Bitcoin and other cryptos and the prices going up in the recent past.

Simplex marketing head, Rachel Siegman, explained that the partnership with Opera, one of the most popular browsers in the world, will make on-ramping widely accessible which is a plus for the crypto space. Siegman explained,

“Current Opera users can onramp using their debit or credit card with Simplex and Simplex users can now use the secure and instant payments on Opera.”

Simplex was started in 2014 and prides itself as a firm that has been altering the status quo when it comes to crypto on/off ramps. The firm said it is determined to enhance the mass adoption of cryptos.

Simplex explained that the partnership with Opera comes at a time when retail investors are yearning for simple ways of entering the crypto industry after an impressive bull run that has caught the world by surprise. Siegman stated that now retail users can open a wallet without the need of leaving the browser, purchase their digital assets, sell, or hodl. She explained:

“Now Opera users can access Simplex’s extensive range of supported cryptocurrencies from within the browser wallet itself, and move between fiat and cryptocurrency with ease, enjoying competitive rates.”

Recently, Simplex hit another milestone after being added as a principal member of Visa within the Eurozone. This means that the firm can now provide fiat to crypto services to individuals that want to use their crypto for regular payments.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

The UNI Airdrop is Now Worth Over $7k as Google Searches Rise Up & Volume Hits New Highs

The traditional investors are coming to the world of decentralization. Uniswap allows users to front-run the rest of the world amidst the ongoing censoring.

UNI, the 13th largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $5.14 billion, is the largest DeFi token. The digital asset that enjoyed an uptrend throughout last week to reach nearly $20 is up 275% YTD.

These gains made the UNI airdrop currently worth a whopping more than $7,000. The popular decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap launched its governance token UNI in September, less than five months back. UNI tokens were airdropped to all of the users who provided liquidity to the platform before Sept. 1st.

UNI tokens’ worth is increasing as more and more users are using the decentralized exchange, which gained momentum after the Robinhood fiasco. The zero-commission broker halted the trading of popular stocks like GME and has now limited the number of shares that can be purchased. The popular retail app also halted crypto trading last week.

This pushed the traditional investors to the world of decentralized finance (DeFi).

Uniswap is actually allowing traders to front-run the rest of the world as it is open for trading 24/7/365, as is the entire crypto space.

This can be seen in the Google search volumes for “Uniswap,” which is now reaching their DeFi summer levels. The search volumes gained momentum last week just as the WallStreetBets vs. Wall Street battle intensified with trading platforms and social media platforms limited the retail traders’ scope.

Google Trends for the search term “Uniswap”

Source: Google Trends “Uniswap”

Another indicator showing an increased interest in using Uniswap can be seen in its volumes.

Interestingly, throughout January, the decentralized exchange (DEX) has been recording higher than ever volumes. All four weeks of Jan. saw $5.5 billion of volume, as per Uniswap.info.

When it comes to daily volume, it kept above $700 million, and several times it went over $1 billion.

According to Dune Analytics, Uniswap did over $25 billion in volume in January, while its competitor Sushiswap did $12.17 billion, and $6.7 billion was recorded by Curve.

The total DEX volume recorded in the last 30 days was $54 billion, with Uniswap accounting for 48.4% of the share, followed by SushiSwap’s 23.5% and Curve’s 9.6%.

“The writing is on the wall. The majority of non-fiat trading will end up on decentralized, borderless, uncensorable venues,” commented Erik Voorhees, the CEO of the self-custody crypto platform ShapeShift, which is integrating with decentralized protocols and apps.

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Author: AnTy

FTX Now Allows to Short or Long GBTC, ETHE, & BITW

FTX Now Allows to Short or Long Grayscale’s GBTC & ETHE and Bitwise 10 Crypto Index (BITW)

This time, cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX has listed the stocks of crypto asset funds.

The world’s largest asset manager Grayscale Investment’s two popular products GBTC and ETHE are now available to trade on FTX. Both the products currently trade at 17% and 15% premium respectively on the secondary market.

Bitwise 10 Crypto Index (BITW), which has more than $500 million in assets is another fund listed by FTX. The price of Bitwise’s crypto fund shares jumped 369%, higher than the digital assets it holds which rallied over 300% last year.

GBTC/USD is trading at $34.9 with $4,052 volume, ETHE/USD at $12.4 with $2,214 in volume, and BITW/USD is trading at $54 with a volume of $2137 on FTX.

As the CEO Sam Bankman-Fried noted in a 2020 review, “FTX has built a reputation as an exchange that’s quick to roll out new products and features,” and the latest listings are just an addition to what the exchange has been doing since last year.

The exchange has tokenized the stocks like Tesla, Google, Amazon, and other hot ones to enable qualified traders to trade them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

They also listed pre-IPO contracts of Airbnb and Coinbase and just last week added Superbowl to its prediction market.

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Author: AnTy

Deribit Now Allows Traders to Bet on Bitcoin’s Rally to $160k & Ethereum to $5k

Deribit Now Allows Traders to Bet on Bitcoin’s Rally to $160k & Ethereum to $5k

Bitcoin and Ether rally is just getting started, with Deribit options’ strikes continue to be higher and higher.

Cryptocurrency derivatives platform Deribit continues to make waves with its new strike rates.

If you think Bitcoin at $100,000 was the real deal, not for Deribit users. $100k was so last month’s thing, now that Bitcoin has surged at bove $28,000 this past holiday weekend, Deribit users are now betting at much higher prices.

Today, Deribit introduced call and put options at the $160,000 Bitcoin strike price expiring on Dec. 21, 2021.

“Remember that we list based on policy, not analysis, etc. Strikes up to delta 10,” noted the exchange which is “for algorithmic traders, institutions, and savvy retail traders.”

These new contracts came just on the back of the weekend’s $140,000 BTC, which was added a few hours after $120,000.

Purchasing these call contracts is a bet that the price of Bitcoin will rise above these levels either on or before their expiry date.

At the time of writing, BTC/USD has been trading at $26,728, seeing a small pullback, after the monster rally of last week, that broke multiple levels of new highs.

But it is not just Bitcoin the crypto market is bullish on. Now that BTC has taken a small step back, Ethereum has taken the reins from the flagship cryptocurrency and after a long time surged above $700 on Monday. After going to nearly $750 yesterday, we fell back under the $700k mark but today the market is on the move again.

And according to Deribit users, ETH is just getting started as the platform added the ETH contracts with a $5,000 strike which expires on Sept. 21 and Dec. 21.

Given that ETH is still about 50% away from its ATH, the digital asset has more room to grow. Not to mention, the Ethereum futures to be launched on CME in February next year will bring a herd of institutions.

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Author: AnTy

ConsenSys Rolls Out MetaMask for Institutions to Bring DeFi to Crypto Funds & Custodians

Ethereum software company ConsenSys has announced a new offering of MetaMask that allows institutions, including crypto funds, custodians, and professional traders, to access decentralized finance (DeFi).

MetaMask is a popular Ethereum wallet with over 1 million monthly active users who recently introduced a token swap feature and increased privacy level.

With DeFi space exploding in 2020, growing to over $14 billion, “Custody providers increasingly seek exposure and access to the diverse, decentralized finance opportunities,” noted ConsesnSys.

According to the firm, professional trading firms’ current process to use the attractive DeFi protocols is inefficient; they are introducing an institutional-grade version of MetaMask.

ConsenSys is working with the digital asset security provider Curv which also announced Curv DeFi for institutions that will integrate MetaMask. Curv Co-Founder and CEO Itay Malinger said,

“Since there is no reliable and secure institutional solution for DeFi, organizations are reverting to retail-level use of MetaMask or custom integrations with individual apps as a workaround.”

“We believe by combining our unique multi-party computation (MPC)-based security infrastructure with MetaMask we will be able to play a significant role in the institutional adoption of DeFi.”

Curv is ConsesnSys’s first launch partner, and it will be collaborating with other custodians and professional trading firms.

Scams Promoted via Google Paid Ads

In other news, MetaMask informed its users about the new scam targeting crypto users – rotter seed phrase attack. These malicious pre-phishing scams are being promoted via paid ads on Google linked to fake versions of wallet websites.

In this attack, a malicious website mimics the original wallet’s website and imitates its onboarding flow. Toward the end of the fake onboarding process on the fake website, the user is instructed to backup their seed phrase previously generated by the scammer.

The user is then taken to the wallet’s real website, where they are instructed to install the wallet and import the rotten seed phrase whose access is with the scammer who waits for the user to add funds to their wallet and then drains the accounts.

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Author: AnTy

DEX Synthetix Now Allows Trading of Brent Crude Oil Powered by Chainlink Oracle

Popular DeFi project DEX Synthetix now allows the crypto market to trade Brent Crude Oil as well.

sOIL (Synthetic Brent Crude Oil) is a non-expiring Crude Oil Index based on the futures prices of ICE Brent Crude Oil, whose price is tracked through price feeds supplied by the Chainlink oracle, which will source the data from ICE for an undisclosed price.

“sOIL is a great case study showcasing that DeFi developers are on the precipice of going far beyond cryptocurrency price feeds and starting to create financial products that provide exposure to food, energy resources, rare earth metals, real-world assets, equities, NFTs, weighted asset baskets, and much more,” said Chainlink in an official statement.

sOIL

The tokens of both the projects are in the green today. Currently, SNX is trading at $4.32, up 561% YTD, while LINK is at $12.65, recording 605% gains in 2020.

With the addition of one of the major futures contracts for global oil markets, a real-world asset has officially entered the DeFi trading world. Recently, crypto derivatives exchange FTX also provided the crypto market exposure to stocks like Apple, Google, Tesla, and Amazon.

“There is significant demand for these assets particularly given the liquidity of the underlying markets and the difficulty of access for the average trader,” notes the SIP 62 “Futures reference price methodology,” which is about converting future market prices into a single reference price for Synths.

According to Chainlink, this is just the beginning as compared to DeFi’s $13 billion TVL, the global market for crude oil is over $1.7 trillion, not including the derivatives market.

“Traditional financial markets are orders of magnitude larger than cryptocurrency markets; DeFi has only begun to scratch the surface of tapping into it.”

Recent News: Synthetix Upgrades to L2 Scaling to Alleviate Gas Costs for SNX Stakers

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Author: AnTy

Crypto.com Forks Uniswap & Launches DeFi Swap on Ethereum

Hong Kong-headquartered Crypto.com has launched a DeFi Swap service, which allows users to swap and farm DeFi tokens.

A fork of Uniswap V2, the platform is powered by its native token CRO, the 10th largest cryptocurrency by market cap, which is trading at $0.160, up nearly 6%.

Other coins supported are Wrapped ETH (WETH), Tether (USDT), USDC, DAI, Chainlink (LINK), and Compound (COMP), with more to be introduced in the future.

One can start farming by using any WalletConnect enabled mobile wallet, which the company says will soon be coming on its DeFi Wallet.

Gains & Losses

The liquidity providers (LPs) will be rewarded with 0.3% of the respective liquidity pools’ trading volume. For selected pools, LPs will also receive tokens that are redeemable for coins of the participating DeFi projects.

Crypto.com is guaranteeing a minimum reward pool of 14 million CRO for the first 14 days on this Ethereum-based decentralized protocol.

Meanwhile, those who stake CRO can “boost their yield by up to 20x and harvest the daily yield in as little as 30 days.”

These services, however, are restricted to the residents & citizens of over 30 countries, including the US, Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Iran, Iraq, and Venezuela.

Much like any DeFi project, the company clearly states using it at your own risk as it cautions of risks involved that aren’t limited to the loss of virtual assets, collapse in liquidity, changes in the smart contacts, extreme volatility, counterparty risk, attacks, hacks, defects, loss of private keys, and regulatory uncertainty.

“Not a Bubble”

The ongoing mania has resulted in the DeFi space exploding with the total value locked in it amassing nearly $10 billion, which after the recent correction, is currently under $8 billion.

However, “DeFi is not necessarily a pure bubble about to burst,” said Crypto.com in its report on decentralized finance. The report continued,

“It might deflate once the hype subsides, but as globalisation progresses and the business ecosystem further shifts towards new-generation business models built upon shared governance and decentralisation, there will be a growing demand for solutions like DeFi which will provide new ways banking, trading and investing – perhaps even setting the standard for economies to climb out of the shadows.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Self-Custody Provider Casa Now Allows Users to Buy BTC via Apple Pay

  • Bitcoin self custody service provider, Casa now allows its customers to buy and hold their own bitcoin.
  • Selling BTC is not supported yet.

According to the official announcement, Casa now allows buying bitcoin with Apple Pay, which gets deposited instantly into the Casa App — straight to the multisig storage. The digital asset here is the real bitcoin and not the IOUs from an exchange. The Colorado-based bitcoin security service provider said,

“With this update: purchasing bitcoin is fast, safe, simple, and direct. You can grow your investment without the risks that come with using a centralized exchange.”

Traditionally, bitcoin investors have to register with the exchange, deposit funds for trading, and then move their digital asset to the wallet. But Casa wants to make the bitcoin journey of new users simpler and faster, said chief executive Nick Neuman. He said,

“With the dollar declining in value and a new era of potential inflation on the horizon, consumers are naturally looking for a safe asset class that’s outside the turbulence of the existing financial system.”

With the Casa app, one can buy up to $250 per day, with a $20 minimum order size, and up to $1,500 per year. The company plans to increase these limits over time.

The Casa app charges a flat processing fee of $0.30 per transaction, plus 2.9% of the total amount purchased. It further includes a mining fee as BTC purchase is sent straight to the Casa wallet.

The purchase feature is launched in their iOS app only and soon will be coming to the Android app too.

The company also clarified the feature as a 100% opt-in, so if one decides not to buy bitcoin, all the existing KYC-free features are preserved. In case you are buying BTC, know-your-customer requirements include no documents and no photo ID scans but card information, full name, email, phone number, and address.

All the information is collected and verified through Apple Pay and processed by their purchase partner Wyre.

“Minimal info collected,” says the company adding, KYC data is also “never stored on Casa’s servers.”

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Author: AnTy