Stable Gold May Act As A Hedge Against Crypto Volatility Says Top Gold Miner

Stable Gold May Act As A Hedge Against Crypto Volatility Says Top Gold Miner

The age-old safe haven asset is tangible, and crypto holders should consider having some gold, said Newcrest Mining Ltd. CEO Sandeep Biswas.

With the market capitalization of the overall cryptocurrency market reaching $1.5 trillion, one of the world’s leading gold miners recommends investors to buy the traditional safe-haven asset, gold.

“If you’re into cryptos, you want to consider having some gold,” Newcrest Mining Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Biswas told Bloomberg following the Melbourne-based company’s earnings reported on Thursday. The precious metal, according to Biswas, “may act as a bit of a hedge against the volatility of cryptos.”

As we have seen since last year, Bitcoin as a digital gold narrative is gaining traction, which actually resulted in the leading cryptocurrency stealing some of the investment inflows from gold ETF products.

Price-wise, the bullion has been on a downtrend ever since, hitting its ATH around $2,075 in August 2020, while Bitcoin hit yet another ATH on Thursday at $49,000. Compared to Bitcoin’s 62.75% gains YTD, the yellow metal is actually down 3.68%.

This certainly heats up the debate whether the digital currency with a limited supply can erode gold’s appeal over time. According to Biswas, the two assets are distinct, and owning the stable gold would benefit crypto holders.

“Gold is a different class of investment,” Biswas said. “It’s a tangible asset: you can see it, you can touch it, you can feel it, you can mold it, you can make it into jewelry, whatever you want.”

While JPMorgan had said gold might suffer because of Bitcoin’s growing acceptance, Goldman Sachs Group believes both the assets can coexist despite the digital asset capturing some demand from the precious metal.

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Author: AnTy

Latin American Crypto Exchange, Bitso, Acquires Derivatives Trading Platform Quedex

Latin American Crypto Exchange, Bitso, Acquires Derivatives Trading Platform Quedex

Bitso, a crypto exchange serving the Latin America region, has finalized the acquisition of Quedex, a Gilbrator licensed crypto derivatives trading exchange.

The completion of the deal will help Latin America’s most popular crypto company, to scale up its product portfolio and add important technological know-how to its toolkit, explained Daniel Vogel, the exchange’s CEO.

The details of the deal remain scanty but Vogel revealed that Quedex was advised by PwC on the sale process.

Last December, Bitso which is supported by crypto giants like Coinbase Venture and Pantera Capital, rose to prominence after raising over $62 million in efforts to enhance its capacity by expanding to new regions and introducing new products.

According to Vogel, Quedex became the first crypto derivatives exchange to be granted a license under Gilbrator’s asset regulatory policy which is the same framework that regulates Bitso.

Vogel also stated that the deal will allow Bitso to have nice top-notch tech. Vogel added in an interview,

“As the industry grows and trading volumes increase, one of the big challenges is building really high-performance, low-latency trading engines, and the Quedex team has done that. So, the idea is to replace our entire trading infrastructure with Quedex’s trading infrastructure.”

The CEO revealed that the firm plans to enter the Brazilian market in the near future. He also revealed that plans are underway to introduce new products such as crypto futures, options, and leveraged trading in Mexico.

Vogel explained that all the Quedex’s staff will be incorporated, more so the engineers, to oversee the integration of a fresh trading engine platform. Currently, Bitso has over 200 employees stationed in more than 25 countries.

Quedex’s CEO, Wiktor Gromniak, said he was pleased to be joining Bitso, and expects to bring the company’s top-notch tech to serve the Latin America region. He said that Bitso’s mission was in tandem with Quedex’s in making crypto useful.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Bitwise Files Application to Launch Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) for ‘Crypto Innovators’

  • Bitwise has filed to launch a new investment product, tracking performances of crypto companies.
  • Investment firms are expanding their operations as crypto demand continues to grow.
  • Asset managers and investment firms in the crypto industry are getting more creative as they look to attract new investors and grow their business.

This week, Bitwise Asset Management, a premier cryptocurrency fund manager, announced plans to launch a new product.

Tracking Crypto-Loving Companies

In its filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bitwise confirmed plans to launch a Crypto Innovators Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF).

The filing explained that the new product would track performances of projects on the Bitwise Crypto Innovators Index. Bitwise describes “Crypto Innovators” firms with services and transactions in blockchain and crypto-facing sectors. These companies include asset custodians, digital trading services, wallet providers, and others.

The Bitwise Crypto Innovators Index will include firms that derive over 75 percent of their revenues from the crypto sector. Eligible companies are required to hold at least 75 percent of their net assets in cryptocurrencies. Bitwise is also looking into large-cap firms that have “dedicated business initiatives” focused on cryptocurrencies.

It is worth noting that Bitwise’s proposed ETF won’t invest in any cryptocurrencies or crypto-based derivatives firms. The company will also not participate in any Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

Good Times for Crypto Investment Companies

Bitwise has seen tremendous growth in its core business recently. Thanks to investors’ focus on cryptocurrencies, the firm has seen significant growth in its business. Earlier this year, the company’s assets under management (AUM) surpassed $500 million – a considerable increase from the $100 million in AUM that it held in October 2020.

In a press release, the investment firm explained that most of its new demand came in the fourth quarter of 2020 – a quarter where it surpassed inflows for 2018 and 2019 combined. Most of its new demand came from large investment houses – including hedge funds, financial advisers, family offices, and other institutions.

Bitwise’s most popular product remains its 10 Crypto Index Fund, which provides exposure to the ten largest digital assets by market cap. As the press release showed, the fund drew in $400 million from investors, with the Bitcoin and Ether-focused funds seeing exceptionally high demand. Now that it is launching a new fund, the company hopes to increase its business ventures beyond just cryptocurrencies themselves.

While Bitwise continues to grow in the institutional market, one company that’s in hot demand right now is Grayscale Investments. The New York firm is the industry’s largest asset management firm, and it is making significant expansion plays. It recently filed with the Delaware corporate registry to launch several investment trusts focused on the decentralized finance (DeFi) space.

According to its filing, Grayscale hopes to launch funds targeting top DeFi tokens, including DOT, AAVE, and ATOM. The company is looking to capitalize on the growing DeFi space, which has seen over $20 billion in new assets locked this year alone.

Grayscale is also looking to open investment trusts in top-performing altcoins ADA and XMR, allowing it to expand its current count. The company, which has over $25 billion in AUM, has also seen significant growth in its business as institutions tend to choose it as their go-to source for crypto exposure.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

BoE Telling Banks to be Ready for Negative Rates Is Another ‘Boost’ for Crypto & DeFi

BoE Telling Banks to be Ready for Negative Rates Is Another ‘Boost’ for Crypto & DeFi

The Bank of England told British banks this week that they will need at least six months to prepare for a shift to negative interest rates.

It was back in October that BOE asked banks to be prepared for sub-zero rates after revealing in September that it was exploring the possibility to lower the rates below zero if necessary.

In a letter published Thursday, the head of the Bank’s Prudential Regulation Authority, Sam Woods, said a majority of banks would need time to implement tactical or strategic solutions to accommodate a negative bank rate, which is six months.

But the Bank also clarified that it is not sending a signal that negative rates are coming at some point in the future, but that it would be a step to be taken if the recovery to the UK economy falters. BoE had forecast a 4.2% slump in the first quarter, while the Threadneedle Street economists forecast the pre-pandemic levels will be achieved by GDP by March 2022.

This will Boost Asset Prices

BoE’s quantitative easing bond-buying program meanwhile remains unchanged at £895bn after pumping an additional £150bn into the economy.

In December, banking executives from Santander and HSBC warned that their systems weren’t ready for negative rates yet. Negative lending rates, which are expected to lower borrowing costs, would result in a loss of income for savers and pension funds.

Besides money printing, it has been ultra-low interest rates that have pushed investors to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as they search for an asset that could provide them higher returns.

Ever since the March sell-off, Bitcoin has jumped more than 1,000%, Ether did 17x, altcoins pumped, and DeFi tokens have simply exploded. Nigel Green, founder, and chief executive of deVere Group said,

“Whilst the debate on whether negative interest rates help the ‘real economy’ or not will continue, there is no doubt that they would help boost financial asset prices.”

According to him, investors will now be looking to top-up their portfolios and move to capitalize on “the lower entry points now before the next significant rally.”

Even Rates on Stablecoins in Double Digits

In the cryptocurrency market, even fiat-based stablecoins are enjoying high-interest rates, especially in the decentralized finance sector.

Popular in the decentralized finance space, the lending rates on stablecoins are up to double digits, as per Defirate. The lending average rate in the last 30 days for DAI is between 2% to 17% on different platforms; for USDC, it goes up to 14%, and USDT’s lending rate gets pushed to 17%.

The cryptocurrency market offers tons of opportunities for investors who want to build on their wealth if negative rates are implemented. And as Green said,

“The best way, as ever, is to bolster portfolios, ensuring they are properly diversified across asset class, sector, region, and currencies.”

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Author: AnTy

Majority of Countries Need far Clearer Tax Guidance on Crypto Staking: US Library of Congress

Majority of Countries Need far Clearer Tax Guidance on Crypto Staking: US Library of Congress

While there have been some impressive progress in the furthering relationship between cryptocurrencies and state governments, there is still a ways to go. According to the United States’ Library of Congress, this assessment published a thorough 124-page report this month. Titled ‘Taxation of Cryptocurrency Block Rewards In Selected Jurisdictions,’ the report was put together by the Library’s specialists in foreign law and was announced by U.S. Congressman, Tom Emmer.

Having been built on top of the Library’s already meticulous research on cryptocurrencies and regulation, this latest publication offers readers a comparative study of 31 different countries. Specifically, the study observes these countries’ regulatory approaches, especially towards the tax frameworks set up for those obtaining financial rewards from mining blocks via staking. Along with the regulatory frameworks, the study also makes a thorough assessment of the broader tax implications of new tokens obtained through cycles of free distribution like blockchain hard forks or airdrops.

So what were the findings of this report? While many of these countries’ tax departments had laid out guidance on taxation related to mined tokens, only a select number has provided specific guidance on the taxation of new tokens obtained through staking.

Associated with Proof of Stake-based mining, staking is the process by which users support the continuous functions of a blockchain network by staking their assets in return for rewards/dividends. A growing number of new and existing projects have emerged relatively recently. They have given preference or pivoted to a proof of work consensus mechanism, with countries racing to catch up with developments.

More Guidance to Find the ‘Proper Path Forward’ – Tom Emmer

Sitting as a Congressman, Emmer also serves as the Co-Chair for the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, a group of politicians and lawmakers who advocate for the study and application of blockchain. Along with the report, Emmer provided his own analysis of the current landscape adding that greater guidance was needed for these governments to find the ‘proper path forward.’

“In order for these technologies to thrive and reach their revolutionary potential, we must have the knowledge and organizational landscape of the approaches to regulation.”

Out of the 31 nations identified and studied, the Library of Congress found that only 16 of them had clear guidance on the applications of taxes when it came to tokens:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Norway
  • Singapore
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

To some extent, the Library of Congress found that these countries provided specific tax treatment for smaller-scale cryptocurrencies mined by individuals more so on a small scale as opposed to larger-scale operations by companies.

Even then, only five of these countries have specific tax frameworks established for digital tokens obtained via staking – Australia, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland. Proof of Stake Alliance Legal Advisor Abraham Sutherland said,

“How nations tax the people who maintain cryptocurrency networks will have a big effect on attracting or repelling innovators and investment.”

In general, Sutherland concludes, “the results are all over the board.” He adds that each of these countries needs to establish a greater clarity around block rewards as the “critical first step. According to Sutherland, one of the appropriate measures must be on the taxation of these tokens when they’re sold instead of when they’re first obtained.

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Author: James Fox

$72M New Crypto VC Fund Gets Backing from Billionaires like Paul Tudor Jones & LL Cool J

$72M New Crypto VC Fund Gets Backing from Billionaires like Paul Tudor Jones & LL Cool J

A new $72 million venture capital crypto fund has been announced by private equity veteran Glenn Hutchins, his son Jame Hutchins and partner Travin Scher, who previously ran investments at Digital Currency Group.

The fund has drawn the interest of several big names, including hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones; James Todd Smith, better known as LL Cool J; and Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo.

Other high-profile investors in the fund include billionaire co-founder of Apollo Group, Josh Harris; SoFi CEO and Twitter COO, Anthony Noto; former CEO of TD Ameritrade, Joe Moglia; owner of the Florida Panthers hockey team, Vincent Viola; and venture capitalist Geoff Yang.

Crypto, according to Glenn Hutchins, “is the proverbial next big thing.”

Hutchins first began investing in crypto back in Jan. 2016 when the price of Bitcoin was around $400. Today, Bitcoin is worth $37,000. Hutchins said,

“Crypto promises not just to revolutionize finance but also to invent a new computing paradigm that will be as transformational as the PC, the internet, mobility, and the cloud.”

The fund has been in the making for the past year and was launched out of North Island Ventures, a New York-based VC firm founded in 2017.

Scher took to Twitter to share information about this venture, which has already made investments in seven projects, including Dapper Labs, that created gaming dApp Crypto Kitties, Flow Blockchain, and NBA Top Shot, startup Nori which is working on a carbon removal marketplace, and Axelar focused on scaling cross-chain communication.

“We believe that crypto offers solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems,” said Scher. Through this fund, they are supporting those that are bringing these solutions to life.

“Year one has been a blast, and we’re just getting started,” tweeted Scher.

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Author: AnTy

Visa Partners With Digital Bank in Crypto API Pilot Program; Making Buying BTC Easier

Visa Partners With Digital Bank in Crypto API Pilot Program; Making Buying BTC Easier

While it started as an ardent opponent of the use of Bitcoin, the financial service provider Visa has demonstrated its capacity for changing course on first impressions, as it rapidly becomes one of its biggest supporters.

Over the past few years, Visa has been working behind the scenes to partner up with 35 Bitcoin and cryptocurrency-based platforms and set its sights on merging mainstream banking & cryptocurrencies with its new cryptocurrency software program, which will get started later this year.

Visa represents just one of a growing number of multinationals and celebrities that have either taken steps towards or overtly expressed their support for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Globally-renowned stars from actress Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Snoop Dogg have made their positions clear on BTC. Just this week, in fact, Tesla CEO, Billionaire, and Twitter sensation, Elon Musk, hit the front-pages when he added ‘Bitcoin’ to his title, adding that it was “on the verge” of breaking into institutional finance.

Visa Chief Executive, Al Kelly, speaking during the company’s Q1 2021 earnings call, laid the company’s aims out in plain terms for attendees, describing Bitcoin as a ‘virtual gold’ which had yet to be harnessed fully as a mode of digital payments.

“Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally.”

Alongside Visa, PayPal was one of the payment giants that recently made waves in the cryptocurrency space. Its announcement would allow its 346 million users to buy and spend Bitcoin. While this was met with celebration by investors and enthusiasts alike, PayPal was quick to face flak after users complained of being prevented from moving their digital assets off PayPal’s platform.

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Author: James Fox

Top Crypto Exchange Launches Binance Pay for Swift Cryptocurrency Payments

Top Crypto Exchange Launches Binance Pay for Swift Cryptocurrency Payments

  • Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, says the company launched a payment service “quietly” over the weekend.
  • The service hopes to rival PayPal in the growing crypto payments industry.

Binance is forging ahead in its plan to have more people use crypto. To get this mission onboard, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume launched a new payment service over the weekend.

Binance Pay Makes A “Quiet” Entrance

Binance boss, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, has revealed Binance Pay, the exchange’s latest crypto-based payment app. He made the revelation at the annual Binance Blockchain Week.

An explainer on Binance’s website describes Binance Pay as a way to send and receive crypto payments. A sort of crypto version of PayPal, if you will. The website explains,

“Binance Pay is a contactless, borderless and secure cryptocurrency payment technology designed by Binance.”

Binance users can access Binance Pay from their wallets. Binance Pay integrates directly with the Binance VISA card. It can also be refilled from the spot wallet balances on the main Binance platform. Binance Pay is currently in beta.

At the conference, Zhao said that Binance was dabbling into the payment space because it noticed a need for a better, more innovative payment service. The CEO explained that many merchants still don’t trust crypto assets in their payment systems, as they prefer credit cards and cash. Once customers make payments with crypto, the merchant receives a stablecoin that can be converted to fiat easily.

The PayPal Slayer?

Binance Pay will support six currencies; BNB (Binance’s native token), BUSD (Binance’s stablecoin), Bitcoin (BTC), SXP, ETH, and the Euro. Discussing why fiat was included at all in the lineup of currencies, Zhao said that this was to boost merchants’ confidence and avoid cryptocurrencies’ volatility risks.

Binance Pay is now live for customers. However, anyone looking to access the offering will need to register for it from their Binance wallets. They will then need to complete a quick three-step process, including setting a nickname, a PIN, and a password. Users also get to select and arrange the currencies they want to send and receive payments out of the six listed. Transactions with the app will be done through QR codes.

Paypal has been around long enough to gather a large share of the retail payment market. With 60 million merchants worldwide preferring to use the payment giant’s services, Binance has a lot of work cut out for it.

Asides from Binance Pay, Zhao also mentioned a more simplified version of the Binance app that will be released soon. The Binance Lite, according to Zhao, was created as a response to their customer’s request for a more intuitive dashboard. Zhao pointed out that many users have complained about the app’s seemingly busy appearance and confusing user interface. Binance Lite was created to address this issue, displaying only important and relevant data.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Digital Assets Lender, Nexo, Rolls Out Crypto Exchange Platform With Instant Swaps

Digital Assets Lender, Nexo, Rolls Out Crypto Exchange Platform With Instant Swaps

  • Nexo, a Cryptocurrency lending platform, announces its new exchange service that provides 75+ cryptocurrency trading pairs on its mobile application. The exchange comes with a “Smart Routing” system to minimize slippage cases and guarantee the best price swaps.

In an announcement this Monday, leading regulated digital assets lender Nexo launched its in-built Nexo exchange service, offering a broader suite of financial tools to its users. The new swap feature offers users over 75+ cryptocurrency and fiat pairs and supports 17 cryptocurrency assets. It aims to offer no-limit, fast, and cost-effective transfers across assets provided on the exchange.

In a statement, Nexo confirmed traders would have no limits on the number of trades made on the platform with a maximum amount of $50,000 set per trade. Additionally, the exchange will allow direct fiat deposits from bank transfers and wire transfers and allow crypto deposits and withdrawals from any other wallet or exchange.

Speaking on the capabilities that the new exchange offers in onboarding new clients, Nexo Co-founder and Managing Partner Antoni Trenchev said,

“Fast, transparent, and inexpensive transactions are the backbone of fintech, but making them easily accessible and secure in a seamless, intuitive environment is the single most important step towards mass crypto adoption.”

To prevent price fluctuations or slippage cases, Nexo exchange has integrated a “Smart Routing” system, an in-house innovation. The system connects to multiple exchanges and splits your orders according to the available prices and volumes, ensuring the order is executed at the same price as is submitted.

The statement did not mention the exchanges that will execute the trades. Still, a spokesperson from Nexo confirmed that the Smart Routing system would connect to five of the “most trusted and well-capitalized exchanges.”

The exchange is registered and ISO compliant to provide clients with an impeccable risk assessment, data protection, and state-of-the-art cybersecurity of their assets. Users’ assets in custody will be insured up to $100 million by the Lloyd’s of London.

Finally, the exchange is also building a full-suite banking platform announcing a series of product launches, including the Nexo crypto credit card. Furthermore, Nexo is also looking to expand its already broad banking licenses to strengthen its compliance with global regulators.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Zurich-based Crypto Broker AG Receives Securities License from FINMA

Crypto Broker AG has obtained a securities house license from Swiss financial regulator, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) that will allow the company to offer services to institutional investors — “a significant milestone (that) caps a successful previous year,” the broker said in a statement Monday.

The firm is based in Switzerland, which has crypto favorable regulations, while major banks still stayed largely away from offering blockchain-based services.

Moreover, the securities license has been granted to a handful of companies that includes Sygnum and SEBA. Calling this a “pivotal moment,” Jan Brzezek, founder and CEO of the Crypto Finance Group, said, with this license,

“We will be able to offer our professional – and regulated – services to even more financial institutions, enabling them to enter this new asset class.”

Receiving the license means the broker can now hold funds on behalf of its clients as well, a feature which is “highly relevant for institutional clients, as many do not have their own capability.”

AG’s clients traded more than $1 billion in assets last year, with its digital operations growing “exponentially.” The company expects to further expand its business in 2021.

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Author: AnTy