Diginex’s Crypto Custodial Arm Digivault Bags Approval From UK FCA

Digivault, the custodial arm of Singapore-based digital assets company Diginex, has been granted approval to register as a cryptocurrency custodian wallet provider from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Digivault Approved By The FCA

The firm announced in a statement released today that the regulatory approval is in line with the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Transfer of Funds (Information of the Payer) Regulations.

With this FCA approval, Digivault hopes to further provide compliant and secure custody services to corporate and institutional investors in crypto assets.

Speaking about what this feat means for Digivault and in turn, Diginex, the CEO of Diginex Limited, Richard Byworth, said the FCA approval is continued validation of its strategy to deliver fair, transparent, and compliant crypto products for institutions. He added that,

“Digivault’s market-leading custody solution is a foundational pillar of the Diginex ecosystem and acts as a key enabler to the EQUOS Exchange, OTC, and Lending business lines.”

According to the firm, its custody solutions include having digital assets in cold storage third-party vaults owned by renowned vault services provider, Malca-Amit.

Digivault provides both cold and warm storage, incorporating a series of hardware and software firewalls so that assets are protected yet readily available.

Assets available for custodial services in the company include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDC, and other assets hosted on ERC-20 and ERC-1400 protocols.

Commenting on the approval Rob Cooper, CEO of Digivault, said the backing of the FCA would help assure its clients that their assets are being secured within the highest possible standard of governance, control, and oversight.

Digivault’s regulatory approval from the UK financial watchdog follows its newly signed partnership with Torstone Technology, a post-trade securities, and derivatives processing provider.

The partnership is aimed at providing Digivault’s clients with post-trade services via Torstone’s settlement platform and at the same time enable Torstone’s customers to access digital asset custody solutions.

FCA’s Stance On Crypto Assets

The FCA has never been so keen on cryptocurrencies. For years, the regulator has made its concerns regarding digital assets known.

In October, the FCA declared that companies in the UK could no longer offer crypto derivatives products, including futures and exchange-traded notes.

Just recently, the FCA chief Nikhil Rathi advised young investors to avoid the crypto craze amid the soaring popularity of the likes of Bitcoin. He said that direct investment in crypto assets is a high risk, with few regulatory protections, which is why it is not advisable.

Meanwhile, Digivault happens to be the first stand-alone digital asset custodian approved by the FCA. Its parent company Diginex which went public in October 2020, was the first digital assets group with a crypto exchange to launch on Nasdaq in the US publicly.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Online Marketplace eBay to Support NFT Transactions On Its Platform

Popular e-commerce company eBay has joined the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) train as the online retailer now supports non-fungible token (NFT) auctions on its platform.

eBay Making Strides In Crypto Sector

In a blog post, eBay said that it had updated its company policy to include the sale of digital collectibles like trading cards, images, or video clips on its platform.

The online retailer said it would update its policies and tools on digital collectibles in the future. But pending the updates, trusted sellers who meet certain requirements will be allowed to list their NFTs on the platform.

However, the company said that it would add new capabilities that bring blockchain-driven collectibles to future NFT updates.

eBay has prior experience verifying physical collectibles and items for buyers. It plans to continue this model using the power of the blockchain.

eBay added that it was also working on programs, policies, and tools to let its customers buy and sell NFTs across a broad range of categories.

With this move, eBay becomes the first e-commerce company to tap into the NFT frenzy. The company is also mulling the idea of accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment in the future.

NFT Projects On The Rise

NFTs are digital assets with unique properties that cannot be interchanged with another. They are one-of-a-kind assets in digital form that can be bought or sold like any other physical asset.

With NFTs, these digital assets are tokenized to create a digital certificate of ownership. This ownership is what’s bought and sold. The details and records of the owner of the NFTs are stored on a public ledger, also known as the blockchain.

Popular NFT forms include gamified collectibles, pure collectibles, sports-based imagery and collectibles, and art-based collectibles. The uniqueness and price depend on rarity and special features.

Thousands of projects featuring NFTs have exploded in the crypto space over the last few months, from the piece of digital artwork by Beeple that went for $69 million to the numerous sports collectibles sold by NBA Topshot, a platform that’s in partnership with the NBA.

Numerous NFT marketplaces continue to spring up as the NFT craze waggles on. The popular names include Top Shot, Rarible, Nifty Gateway, and OpenSea. Having an online retailer like eBay, with a major presence in online shopping, making an entrance would extend the NFT craze to millions of active buyers on the platform. Popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance is also making inroads into the NFT market. The bitcoin exchange plans to debut its NFT platform by June 2021.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Palantir says Bitcoin Is ‘Definitely on the Table’ to be Put on the Balance Sheet

Palantir says Bitcoin Is ‘Definitely on the Table’ to be Put on the Balance Sheet

The company, co-founded by Peter Thiel, Joe Lonsdale, and CEO Alex Karp that makes software and analytics tools for large corporations and the defense industry, announced that it accepts Bitcoin during its 1Q21 earnings call, reporting a 49% revenue growth.

Palantir, the maker of software and analytics tools for the defense industry and large corporations, said in its earnings calls that it was considering adding Bitcoin to its balance sheet.

The trillion-dollar market cap cryptocurrency was “definitely on the table,” it said. Palantir also accepts Bitcoin as a form of payment.

Meanwhile, Tesla, which invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin earlier this year and later announced that it accepted BTC as payment, is now considering accepting DOGE too. This is being decided through a poll conducted by CEO Elon Musk on Twitter. DOGE 10.65% Dogecoin / USD DOGEUSD $ 0.50
$0.0510.65%
Volume 14.58 b Change $0.05 Open $0.50 Circulating 129.56 b Market Cap 64.27 b
7 h Palantir says Bitcoin Is ‘Definitely on the Table’ to be Put on the Balance Sheet 7 h Tesla’s Elon Musk Considers Accepting Dogecoin As Payment For Cars in New Twitter Poll 10 h Ethereum is Literally Unusable; Fees Surge to New ATH as Dogs Take Over the Network

Do you want Tesla to accept Doge?” has received nearly 2.27 million votes so far, with 76.8% in favor.

Meanwhile, the announcement from Palantir comes on the day it reported 49% revenue growth for its first quarter, beating Wall Street estimates. Shares still fell over 10% in the premarket, amidst the tech stock rout continuing since Monday.

Co-founded in 2003 by Peter Thiel, CEO Alex Karp, Joe Lonsdale, and others, the company said its government revenue hit $208 million. It also strengthened its commercial segment, which hit $133 million.

As of this past quarter, it had 140 customers, up from 125 in the first half of 2020. The growth was partly attributed to economic recovery in the US and UK.

Palantir said it expects $360 million in revenue in the second quarter and anticipates an adjusted free cash flow of over $150 million for the full fiscal year.

The company went public last September through a direct listing on the NYSE and is currently worth $30.44 billion.

Bitcoin is a risky investment, said Palantir co-founder Lonsdale last month, adding that it is a bet against the fact that “we have a centralized financial system run by crazy people at the moment.”

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Author: AnTy

eBay CEO says Company Is Looking at Crypto as Payment Option & Selling NFT on the Platform

eBay CEO says Company Is Looking at Crypto as Payment Option & Selling NFT on the Platform

eBay is keeping an eye out after reporting a weak second-quarter profit forecast as it faces stiff competition from Amazon while the total crypto market cap aims for $2.4 trillion.

eBay Inc. is looking at new payment options for its customers, and that includes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, said chief executive officer Jamie Lannone in an interview with CNBC on Monday.

“We are always looking at the most relevant forms of payment and will continue to assess that going forward. We have no immediate plans, but it (cryptocurrency) is something we are keeping an eye on,” eBay said in a statement.

Last week, eBay reported a weak second-quarter profit forecast as it faces stiff competition from Amazon. The shares of eBay (EBAY) recorded a 2.4% increase today, which has been down 14% from mid-April.

The eCommerce firm further explores a “number of ways” to get involved in non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Lannone said.

“We’re exploring opportunities on how we can enable it (NFTs) on eBay in an easy way,” Lannone said on Reuters. “Everything that’s collectible has been on eBay for decades and will continue to be for the next few decades.”

NFTs exploded in popularity this year, and last month they were starting to lose traction with prices of digital art and volume dropping, but they seem to be making their comeback now.

“The bubble isn’t crypto, the bubble is everyone else realizing holy shit crypto is here to stay wtf can we do to get in on it,” noted popular trader Loomdart, who is also an advisor to eGirl Capital. It is also a “great” way to onboard new people, he added.

Already many companies are accepting Bitcoin as a payment option, such as Tesla. Both Visa and Mastercard have also taken steps towards integrating crypto in their payment systems.

Payments giant PayPal has already integrated crypto into its system by allowing its users to buy, sell, and hold crypto along with a crypto checkout service. PayPal-owned Venmo also introduced a crypto feature on its app last month.

“Demand on the crypto side has been multiple-fold to what we initially expected,” stated PayPal CEO Dan Schulman.

Amidst this, Digital Currency Group (DCG), the parent company of Grayscale, announced that they are going to purchase up to $750 million worth of GBTC, 3x the original $250 million they were planning to buy.

As of April 30, 2021, DCG has purchased $193.5 million worth of shares of GBTC, it said in a statement.

The market is currently euphoric, with Bitcoin near $58,000, Ether constantly making new highs hitting $3,300 today, and the total crypto market cap set to hit $2.4 trillion.

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Author: AnTy

Blockchain Company Paxos Closes New Funding Round Worth $300 Million

Blockchain Company Paxos Closes New Funding Round Worth $300 Million

Paxos, a blockchain startup with PayPal Holdings as a client, announced the recent conclusion of a Series D fundraising round.

According to company CEO Charles Cascarilla, the funding session led by growth equity investment firm Oak HC/FT saw $300 million infused into the New York-based firm.

Other investors include PayPal ventures, Declaration Partners, Mithril Capital, and others.

Paxos Valued At $2.4 Billion Following Latest Investment

The crypto company is now worth $2.4 billion, per an official release.

According to Paxos, the new funds will be used to accelerate the growth of its financial market infrastructure platform. Paxos would also use the additional funding to ramp up recruitment across major departments.

Also, additional liquidity would be added to the platform to improve their customer experience and increase the use of their on-chain tokens.

Cascarilla said that demand for Paxos’ enterprise solution had grown exponentially in the past year in speaking with the funding round.

He ties this down to the company’s approach in providing the most innovative and regulated enterprise solutions to aid the development of a digital economy.

Following this new funding round, Paxos plans to establish a National Trust Bank after it secured a preliminary charter from the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) in the past week. With the approval, Paxos becomes the third federally chartered financial institution to become a crypto custodian following in the footsteps of Anchorage and Protego.

The company has also applied for a Clearing Agency Registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission and eyeing a Major Payment Institution license with Singaporean regulatory authorities.

Cascarilla notes that this latest funding round is more of a “confidence capital,” noting that investors believe in their ability to scale the business for the next decade.

Paxos went mainstream following its partnership with payment giant PayPal back in 2020.

The agreement saw the blockchain company powering PayPal’s crypto trading service.

Owing to the success of this deal and PayPal’s desire to explore the larger crypto market, Paxos has also been tapped by the Silicon Valley firm to help its Venmo app offer crypto services.

The Larger Crypto Market Growing

Cryptocurrencies have experienced exponential growth, all thanks to the pandemic-induced lockdowns, which have seen more people rely on online payments.

Realizing the potential benefits crypto can bring to the financial space, institutional investors have flooded into the crypto space, making the once-disregarded sector suddenly significant.

And this acknowledgment was seen when Coinbase went public on April 14 with a projected $100 billion valuation. This milestone has seen many experts forecast a litany of crypto public listings.

One of these experts is Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse, who reportedly said that more initial public offerings (IPO) should be expected in the blockchain space in the next 12 months.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Open Wireless Network, Helium, is Coming to a Phone Near You

Helium Network has partnered with FreedomFi, a connectivity company that manufactures open-source 5G devices. This is an important milestone for the network’s path to 5G.

By voting to pass HIP 27, the community has come together to make the Helium Network “the first consumer-owned 5G network in the world.” Basically, if you have a phone that supports 5G, you would soon be able to connect through hotspots powered by the Helium. Ryan Watkins of Messari commented,

“In just 21 months, Helium has built a global wireless network for IoT devices whose infrastructure is entirely community-owned and operated.”

“Their next step is replicating this success and deploying a similarly community-owned and operated 5G wireless network. Web 3 is coming.”

Founded in 2013, Helium Network, also known as the People’s Network, is a decentralized open wireless network built on a new blockchain. Relying on Proof of Coverage and a new consensus algorithm (HoneyBadger BFT), Helium is used to route data for long-range, lower power IoT devices.

The network is live with over 28,000 hotspots in over 3,800 cities worldwide with a backorder of 200k.

FreedomFi meanwhile has announced the presale waitlist of the inaugural batch of its Gateways, a connectivity device that pairs with 5G antennas and is compatible with the Helium Network.

This year, the project expects the Helium 5G network to be available in selected cities in the US and then expand into other countries as early as next year.

Hosts will also be able to earn a variable amount of HNT, depending on radio power, location, and amount of data traffic passing through their Hotspot.

The native token is currently trading at $17.54, down 16.4% from its ATH of 20.85 earlier this month.

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Author: AnTy

Riot Blockchain Now Holds 1,565 BTC on Balance Sheet After Mining 104 BTC in March

The bitcoin mining company generated 75% more BTC in Q1 of 2021 than in 1Q20. Meanwhile, mining machine maker Canaan is reporting supply chain disruptions impacting its revenue.

Nasdaq listed Bitcoin mining company Riot Blockchain has released its Q1 2021 results that reveal that it recorded an 80% increase in its BTC production from the same month last year, pre-halving.

Last month, Riot mined 187 BTC, up from 104 BTC in March 2020, bridging the total BTC produced in Q1 of 2021 to 491, a 75% increase over its pre-halving 1Q20 281 BTC.

As of March 31st, 2021, Riot holds 1,565 BTC on its balance sheet, reported the company.

In this new quarter, the company made some new hires in the top management and signed a definitive agreement to acquire Whinstone US, Inc. (“Whinstone”), creating a US-based industry leader in Bitcoin mining, for $80 million cash plus a fixed 11.8 million shares of Riot common stock, having an implied total transaction value of about $651 million.

Based in Texas, Whitstone is located on a 100-acre site with a total power capacity of 750 MW. Upon the closing of this acquisition, which is expected in Q2 of 2021,

“Riot is expected to be the largest publicly traded Bitcoin mining and hosting company in North America.”

Getting More Hash Power

Riot has also signed a large-scale contract with Bitmain for 42,000 S19j Antminers this month to increase its Bitcoin mining hash rate to an estimated 5 exahash per second (EH/s) by the end of 2021.

While preparing for the future, the company received previously ordered 2,400 S19 Pro Antminers shipped in late March and early April this year.

These new machines will be sent to Coinmint, a facility in Massena, NY, which will be installed by late April. Upon deployment, Riot will have a total of 16,146 Antminers in operation utilizing approximately 51 megawatts (“MW”) of energy, with an estimated hash rate capacity of 1.6 EH/s.

By the end of 2022, the company expects a total hash rate capacity of 7.7 EH/s with a fleet of approximately 81,146 Antminers — consuming about 257.6 MW of energy with an overall hash rate efficiency of 33 joules per terahash (J/TH).

This would mark a 92.5% jump over their previously estimated hash rate capacity of 4.0 EH/s by October 2021.

Significant Increase in Demand

On the other hand, crypto mining machine maker Canaan Inc is reporting supply chain disruptions caused by pandemic to impact its Q4 2020 revenue. The revenues fell to RMB 38.2 million ($5.9 million) from RMB 463.2 million ($70.72 million) a year ago and RMB 163 million ($24.9 million) in the preceding quarter.

The Hangzhou, China-based company said although the market demand for high-quality machines both in and outside of China “increased significantly,” in Q4 2020 along with the rising Bitcoin price, “they did not have sufficient inventory to deliver to its customers.”

But CEO and Chairman Nangeng Zhang said they mass-produced its next-generation A12 series of bitcoin mining machines in quarter fourth and delivered them at a large scale in Q1 of 2021.

Canaan (CAN) stocks dropped to $13.14, down about 65% from March high, despite the price of Bitcoin surging about 9% during the same period, hitting a new ATH at $63,200 today.

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Author: AnTy

Chinese Company Meitu Buys Another $10M Bitcoin, Now Owns $100 Million in BTC and Ether

Chinese Company Meitu Buys Another $10M Bitcoin, Now Owns $100 Million in BTC and Ether

Publicly-traded Chinese company Meitu announced the purchase of an additional 175.6 Bitcoin at approximately $10 million, as per the filing published on April 8.

With this latest purchase, the company has completed its $100 million worth of crypto, Bitcoin, and Ether combined, accumulating ever since adopting a “cryptocurrency investment plan” in March this year.

The Hong Kong-based app developer now has total holdings of 940 BTC and 31,000 ETH. Both the investments have been roughly the same in USD terms.

Coinbase disclosed last month that its institutional business arm facilitated Meitu’s last crypto purchases. For the latest $10 million BTC addition, Meitu selected OSL Digital securities as of its trade execution and custody partner. The biggest US crypto exchange was also the one that provided its services to Tesla, MicroStrategy, and Ruffer Investments.

Meitu’s crypto accumulation has been part of a broader trend where publicly traded companies are making crypto part of their treasury as a replacement to the debasing fiat currencies. With Ether, Meitu plans to enter into the blockchain industry.

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Author: AnTy

Revolut Adds 11 New ‘Hot’ Cryptos Including DeFi Tokens for UK and EU Users

Revolut Adds 11 New ‘Hot’ Cryptos Including DeFi Tokens for UK and EU Users

London-based Fintech company, Revolut has announced support for eleven new cryptocurrencies, including popular DeFi tokens.

The cryptos selected are the result of the digital banking service provider “tracking hot tokens and top movers.”

Now Revolut’s UK and EU users can trade Cardano (ADA), Uniswap (UNI), Synthetix (SNX), Yearn Finance (YFI), Uma (UMA), Bancor (BNT), Filecoin (FIL), Numeraire (NMR), Loopring (LRC), Orchid (OXT), and The Graph (GRT).

“Revolut is moving much faster than PayPal and Square. Let the race begin!” noted Spartan Black, a partner at crypto fund The Spartan Group.

Revolut already supports a few cryptos, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM), EOS, OMG, 0x (ZRX), and Tezos (XTZ).

According to its website, the majority of crypto funds are held in cold storage with custodians.

The app has constantly been expanding to new markets, with its Revolut Business going live in the US last month, and the same month they launched Revolut Bank in 10 new European markets.

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Author: AnTy

R3’s Corda Releases Ethereum-Based XDC Bridge for Interoperability

Corda, a decentralized blockchain offshoot of software company R3, recently announced that it had built a decentralized bridge to permissionless blockchains on the Ethereum ecosystem.

XDC To Facilitate Exchange On Corda

The announcement sees them collaborate with permissioned hybrid blockchain protocol eXchange inFinite (XinFin) to improve the global trade finance space. XinFin’s utility token XinFin Digital Contract (XDC) would be used for payment settlement in the Corda network.

The interoperable bridge built by a team of former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) employees designated LAB577 will make the Corda blockchain talk to other blockchain networks. This will greatly engender the transmission of private user data on the Corda network. The limited dataset will also make its way to the XDC secure network.

In a press release shared with us, Director of the team Richard Crook noted the importance of this Corda-XinFin interoperable bridge, saying that one of the blockchain’s trilemma would be put to bed.

“The first currency across is XDC, but this lays the groundwork to connect Corda to ERC-20s and other cryptocurrency networks.”

“What you would see here is the age-old challenge of interoperability being solved.”

R3 has been in the crypto space for some years. During its inception in 2015, the R3 team pointed to the potential blockchain technology like Bitcoin would bring to the financial sector. Even though large financial houses initially signed up for the project, fears about competitors getting their hands on company data saw interests wane.

This led to the creation of Corda- a system that enables data and value transfer between parties without giving out vital data. The Corda project has been hugely successful, and they created a payments platform that supported Ripple Labs’ XRP token in 2018.

KYC Will Come To XinFin

This innovation joins a growing number of new generation interoperable blockchains. Cosmos, a permissionless blockchain platform on the Ethereum network, recently launched its Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC).

Crook noted that the XDC-powered bridge between Corda and other DLT-based platforms would incorporate more inter-chain enabled assets in the coming months.

But even as the blockchain protocol values decentralization, XDC co-founder Atul Khekade notes that the platform ensures that regulatory guidelines are being followed.

Khekade said that all intending validators would need to undergo regulatory know your customer (KYC) protocols to be eligible. This will see them lock 10 million XDC tokens (valued at $300,000) to become a validator, and they must duly attach a KYC node to the network.

The need for regulatory goalposts is increasing by the day as the crypto industry continues to attract institutional demand. A growing number of criminal elements have become attracted to the crypto space, forcing global regulatory bodies to clamp down on crypto activities in some regions.

Like the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), regulatory agencies have since directed crypto-facing businesses to incorporate necessary security protocols obtainable in the traditional financial space.

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Author: Jimmy Aki