Australian Stock Exchange to List Crypto-Focused ETF on ‘Growing’ Investor Demand

BetaShares is launching a crypto-focused equities exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

BetaShares Crypto Innovators ETF, however, does not offer exposure directly to cryptocurrencies, rather the ETF will provide exposure to digital asset businesses like exchanges and mining operations.

The ETF aims to track the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators Index, underpinning another ETF listed on the NYSE.

“It was a very lengthy process,” said BetaShares chief executive Alex Vynokur about the process to have the ETF approved for trading.

“But the genuine investor demand is growing and it makes sense for us to offer them exposure to the most important development since the launch of the internet.”

While the ASX was hesitant to allow crypto-related businesses on the exchange, it is currently assessing the suitability of Bitcoin-related ETFs under the AQUA rules that cover underlying investments, liquidity requirements, price transparency, and qualifications of the issuer.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is also finalizing a consultation process to explore the potential for crypto ETFs to trade on the local bourse.

Vynokur said an ETF structure provides the much-needed investor protection which investors don’t get when they buy cryptocurrencies on unregulated venues.

“These are all things the regulators are working through now.”

“It doesn’t have to be about speculating on the value of Bitcoin, or Ethereum, or Ripple.”

The new ETF, CRYP, will focus on pure-play crypto companies and those companies that hold crypto assets on their balance sheets along with diversified companies with crypto-focused business lines.

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Author: AnTy

Silvergate Bank Q3 Earnings Call Upholds Bullish Trajectory; Net Income Shot Up 29% to $7.1M

Silvergate, a Fintech and crypto-focused bank, has reported another bullish quarter according to its latest earnings call. The Q3 Silvergate Bank stats show that they have been gaining on most fronts, especially with increased activity in the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN). As earlier reported by BEG, this platform recently crossed the $100 billion mark in transfer volumes.

Notably, $36 billion of the total transfer volumes were done in the last quarter, according to the Silvergate Q3 report. The company’s CEO, Alan Lane, attributed this growth to increased activity and strong digital asset prices during the past quarter,

“During the third quarter, bitcoin and other digital currencies saw strong price appreciation and an active trading environment, which we believe contributed to the increase in the number of transactions occurring on the SEN.”

Silvergate’s Q3 Earnings Call Break Down

The California-based bank’s growth has been quite exponential, most of which can be pegged to a burgeoning crypto industry in 2020. On that note, Silvergate reported a 29% increase in net income to $7.1 million compared to the previous $5.5 million in Q2. The figure also jumped year-over-year compared to 2019’s third quarter, where the reported net income stood at $6.7 million.

As for the market growth, Silvergate’s clients are now over 900, with a larger part being institutions. Lane has also pointed out that there around 200 prospective clients who might soon be onboarded as well. With such growth, he is confident that the debut of heavyweights like JP Morgan is not a threat to Silvergate’s sustainability and market expansion. In fact, Lane believed that exchanges are better off with more banking options,

“Those exchanges really want to have multiple banking partners and multiple sources of liquidity … And when volumes increase across the ecosystem and volumes are increasing from other customers, we’re seeing the same type of volume increases from those customers that JP Morgan is reportedly banking.”

Silvergate also reported a spike in its clients’ deposits; the amount went up by $586 million, marking its second-highest quarterly increase after the 2017 bull-run. Consequently, the firm’s fee income increased to $3.3 million in Q3; this is a 40% gain compared to the Q2 $2.4 million fee income.

Another highlight is Silvergate’s lending service ‘SEN Leverage,’ which recorded a $13 million increase, bringing the total amount of credit approvals to $35.5 million. Lane is quite optimistic about this specific product, although there are no plans to scale past Bitcoin anytime soon,

“We anticipate a long growth trajectory for SEN Leverage and will judiciously expand credit availability to our customers over time.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Brave Browser Partners With Japan’s Largest Exchange bitFlyer to Build A Crypto Wallet for Users

The largest crypto exchange in Japan, Bitflyer, has partnered with the privacy and crypto-focused Brave browser. The partnership would see the development of a crypto wallet for Brave browser users. This alliance would also help Brave to tap into one of the fastest-growing crypto markets in Japan.

BitFlyer, in its official statement, said:

“Brave is the BAT connected browser, and browsing is an everyday activity. It will be a new opportunity for users to use and earn cryptocurrency. We see it as a new model case to show the potential of cryptocurrency […] We want to make people feel more familiar with cryptocurrency through the partnership with Brave.”

Brave browser users are incentivized with Basic Attention Token (BAT); however, due to regulatory guidelines, Japanese Brave browser users are rewarded with Basic Attention Points instead of BAT. This difference is because Japanese regulations prevent citizens from earning currencies that can be exchanged for money directly.

The development of a crypto wallet by the exchange and browser could change that and allow Japanese citizens to earn in BAT.

Without many revealing details being released, the official announcement did mention that further information would be revealed during an event in Tokyo on July 30. A spokesman from Brave hinted that speculation over the upcoming wallet might be correct, he said:

“At this point, we are using ‘points’ to reward users, but there are some limits. [Through the partnership], we think it may be possible to go beyond that.”

Brave is slowly making its way into the Japanse market while leaving no stone unturned in obtaining popular appeal. Last month it partnered with BTS – the famous S.Korean pop band – and the esports team, Rush Gaming, to develop a browser exclusively for Japanese users. Rush Gaming users can earn BAP, which they can use to support the team.

Over the past couple of months, several Japanse crypto exchanges have listed Brave’s BAT token for trading, and Brave wants to bank on this push. News coming from the company also suggests both BitFlyer and Brave would launch a joint marketing campaign to make people aware of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Andreessen Horowitz, A16z, Seeks $450 Million In Latest Crypto Funding: Report

Reports from the Financial Times confirmed that Andreessen Horowitz, the crypto-focused investment firm, is looking to raise additional funding of close to half a billion in this new round.

The news comes at a time when the world’s economies are languishing in the Coronavirus epidemic and signals that investors are still willing to test the waters in the crypto field.

According to two unnamed sources “familiar with the matter”, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is looking to raise an additional $450 million in a new funding round. The report estimates that the firm will receive the amount in about a week as investors flock towards the crypto industry.

The Silicon Valley-based firm aims to expand its crypto operations and expanding its markets with this latest funding. This comes only two years after the firm secured a $300 million funding round to specialize in crypto activities and blockchain-based projects.

A16z Highly Networked in the Crypto Space

Over the years, a16z has invested in some of the top projects in the blockchain space including Coinbase, Libra, Anchorage, and Polychain Capital.

The firm led a $30 million investment round on blockchain smartphone startup – Celo – back in April 2019.

Notwithstanding, a16z also invested in Ethereum-based decentralized finance solutions such as Maker (MKR), dYdX and Compound in the past few years.

As the crypto market awaits one of its most important events – Bitcoin’s halving – the doubling down on crypto by a16z sets a bullish mood in the crypto market.

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Author: Lujan Odera

New York’s NYDFS to Hire a New Deputy Superintendent for Virtual Currency

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has recently decided to upgrade its crypto-focused staff with a new hire. A new job advert posted online this week shows that the organization is now looking for a new Deputy Superintendent for Virtual Currency.

This new employee will have the task of creating and maintaining the compliance rules for digital currencies in the state of New York. Not an easy task considering that this the more strict region of the U. S. when it comes to cryptos.

Also, the person will work together with a special unit that works in crypto and blockchain cases, known as the Division of Research and Innovation, which was recently created.

Why is the company doing this? Possibly to be more efficient in the distribution of its famous BitLicense. The infamous license requires companies to operate under very strict regulatory standards if they want to have access to these markets. In almost five years since its creation, only 20 companies received the BitLicense.

All candidates that apply for this job have to understand the blockchain very well and have some experience in the crypto market or another relevant capital market. An MBA or Law degree is also required. Applications are open right now and will conclude on October 31.

At the moment, the special crypto division of the NYDFS has only four people in it. Two of them are superintendents, Olivia Bumgardner and Matthew Siegel. The division answer to a state legislative body known as the Digital Currency Taskforce.

The goal is to hire specialized personnel so that the regulators can be able to protect the financial stability of the state while letting the most innovative companies enter the market.

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Author: James W

Square Crypto Beefs Up Developer Roster, Adds on Libra and Lightning Network Members

Jack Dorsey’s Square Crypto is on its way to create its “dream team”. The company, which is a crypto-focused subsidiary of Square, a payment app created by Jack Dorsey, who also founded Twitter, just announced that it would hire three new developers. The open-source project has hired Arik Sosman, Valentine Wallace and Jeffrey Czyz.

Arik Sosman was an engineer who worked at Facebook and BitGo. During his time on Facebook, he was a part of Calibra, the subsidiary that was in charge of the creation of the Libra project. Sosman told the crypto media that he is very interested in both privacy and layer 2 solutions.

He also affirmed that he is curious to see what work the team will do and that he was excited to contribute to such an important project that has the potential to change the crypto world for the better.

Valentine Wallace comes from Lightning Labs, a company that is focused on developing solutions for the Lightning Network, a second layer solution to scale the Bitcoin network. Jeffrey Czyz, on the other hand, comes from the giant Google.

The duo was hired to grow the developer base of the team, the company affirmed. The team will be led by Steve Lee, who was a former product director at Google. At the moment, the team is still hiring, however. Square Crypto is currently looking for a designer to join the team.

Now, the only information left to be divulged will be what kind of project will be the first attempt of the group.

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Author: Hank Klinger