Brevan Howard Ventures Deeper into Crypto; New Hires and Launching A New Division Called BH Digital

Brevan Howard Ventures Deeper into Crypto by Making a New Hire and Launching a New Division called BH Digital

The high-profile hedge fund is planning to increase its private and venture investments in crypto and further “significantly expand” its exposure to crypto-assets.

Hedge fund Brevan Howard has hired Colleen Sullivan, the chief executive of the digital arm of trading firm CME Digital, to lead its private and venture investments in the cryptocurrency market.

Sullivan will also chair the investment committee for a new strategy focused on crypto, according to the company’s statement. Brevan CEO Aron Landy said,

“Colleen’s exceptional track record in making highly successful crypto venture investments will be of tremendous benefit to Brevan Howard clients and underscores the firm’s commitment to rapidly expanding its platform and offerings in cryptocurrencies and digital assets.”

Brevan Howard Asset Management recorded 2020 as its best year since the hedge fund first began investing about two decades ago, and it looks like it is planning to deploy these funds into the crypto market.

The fund is launching a new business division, BH Digital, to manage and “significantly expand” its exposure to crypto-assets.

Famous for its bets on macroeconomic trends, Brevan is the latest high-profile hedge fund that is moving deeper into crypto trading.

According to an annual report by PriceWaterHouseCoopers, total assets under management of crypto hedge funds globally have about doubled to $3.8 billion in 2020 from $2 billion in the previous year.

“What was initially seen as something of a fad now appears to be becoming a more permanent structure of the financial landscape… and very much forcing the institutional interest we are now seeing,” said Stuart Cole, a head macroeconomist at London-based Equiti Capital.

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Author: AnTy

Square’s Cash App Seeks Bitcoin Operations Manager to Forge ‘New Revenue Lines’

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Square continues to delve deeper into Bitcoin. After a $50 million investment in the leading digital asset, creating an entire crypto division, and forming COPA, Square’s Cash App, which has over 24 monthly active users, is now hiring for a Bitcoin operations manager.

The person will be responsible for managing certain aspects of its bitcoin business, including liquidity management, trading, and custody/cold storage while mitigating security and financial risks.

Additionally, the individual will be responsible for optimizing strategic Bitcoin partnerships and collaborating with internal and external partners.

“Drive financial performance of our rapidly scaling bitcoin business, which includes forging new revenue lines,” further mentions the job responsibility of the person who is required to have over 10 years of experience in the payments field and 2-5 years of Bitcoin knowledge.

“Entrepreneurial drive is key.”

Besides driving operational efficiency, the person would have to collaborate across cross-functional constituents, including the Cash App engineering, design, product, finance, legal, compliance, customer support, data science, and risk operations.

Identifying and remediating operational issues together with managing key external partners, participating in cross-functional projects, and supporting product development, and analyzing and leveraging multiple sources of data to make informed business decisions are also required from this full-time position.

This makes sense given that Cash App users consume more than 8% of Bitcoin’s daily issuance, and every quarter the Bitcoin sales record a significant increase. With the BTC price on the move amidst monetary stimulus, Cash App may even see more growth.

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Author: AnTy

HTC’s EXODUS 1S Launches Monero (XMR) Mining Directly on Blockchain Smart Phone

HTC, the Taiwan based smartphone manufacturer is all set to dive deeper into the decentralized space with its Monero mining smartphones. The smartphone brand made several headlines in the past year with its blockchain-focused Exodus range of smartphones which not only had inbuilt crypto wallets, but many devices also had the capability to run a full Bitcoin node.

HTC has teamed up with Midas labs to enable the Monero mining feature on Exodus range of blockchain smartphones, which would allow device owners to mine Monero via an application right from their pockets. The feature is being speculated to launch in the next two months. In order to avail the mining service, HTC would integrate Midas’s DeMiner app into the Exodus devices using which the smartphone owners can allocate a portion of their smartphone’s CPU and memory towards mining.

Monero, a privacy centered cryptocurrency which has gained traction among many who believe the government should not dictate how one is using their own money. The Monero mining pools’ rewards are $60 million, and with the introduction of Monero mining in HTC devices, the users can take a portion of this reward without having to invest in highly expensive mining rigs.

Is Mining on Mobile Devices Profitable

The mining industry has become highly competitive and as a result, the mining rigs have also moved into the third generation, starting from simple home-based CPU, then GPU based mining rigs and the latest trend being ASIC mining rigs which are highly efficient. Thus, there is a genuine question that arises whether in this age of ASIC mining rigs costing thousands of dollars, how mobile-based mining is going to fare against them.

Phil Chen, Decentralized Chief Officer at HTC acknowledged that the success of mobile mining is a topic of research, but given how readily these mobile devices are available to a majority of the world numbering into 3.5 billion devices worldwide, mobile-based mining should be encouraged to make the mining industry more decentralized.

Talking about the Exodus range of devices, Chen noted that these devices come equipped with RandomX mining script which is designed to render ASICs non-competitive. The mining script in these devices favors CPU miners over the GPU ones. Chen explained,

“Furthermore, the mature development of power-saving software on mobile, as opposed to power-hungry laptops or desktops, amplifies the effectiveness and efficiency of the profitability of mining on mobile,”

HTC Tapping into Blockchain Space

HTC was a big smartphone brand in the last decade, however, just like Blackberry it lost a significant portion of its market due to the arrival of Chinese smartphones which were comparatively way cheaper than them. But, in recent times, HTC has found a niche in the decentralized space with not just the Exodus smartphones, but it also launched an Exodus 5G router.

Now with the Monero mining application launch on the cards, the smartphone makers are looking to tap into the decentralized space and find a new niche.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Circle To Boost Adoption of USD Coin (USDC) With Business Accounts and API Services

As Circle looks to dive deeper into making its stablecoin (USDC) a household name, it is continuing to spin-off acquired projects that aren’t a core business. Next up on the chopping block is the crowdfunding platform SeedInvest that it bought back in October of 2018.

Circle has the intention to remain focused on the development of stablecoin products, announced Jeremy Allaire, Circle’s CEO and one of the firm’s co-founders. Included in this process, the company will roll out new Business Accounts and Circle APIs, that will allow developers to build on top of the USDC network.

Circle Has Many Revenue Streams

While Circle has many revenue streams, it’s still trying to grow its development and research wings, on which it has focused on ever since the summer of 2019, when it started to offer USDC products

Over the last year, Circle sold the crypto exchange Poloniex that it has bought in 2018, closed its payments app Circle Pay, also sold Circle Invest and Circle Trade to Voyager and respectively Kraken, not to mention is at the moment considering to sell SeedInvest too.

SeedInvest, No Longer at the Core of Circle’s Business

According to Allaire, SeedInvest is no longer at the core of the business conducted at Circle. The CEO’s said,

“We exited the exchange business … so the need for that set of licensing just doesn’t exist anymore. The second thing is this whole kind of tokenization, having regulated broker-dealers and tokenized securities, that’s been slow-rolled.”

Ever since January, the company has also reduced its number of employees from 300 to 125 as a result of its many departments being sold. Regarding this, Allaire had to say that:

“We had about 100 people who went with these different spinouts … [it was] a natural way for people to go with those businesses and product lines.”

What’s Next for Circle?

Speaking to Coindesk, Allaire said his company is planning to announce additional stablecoin products.

“We’ve been executing like crazy on USDC,” he said. “We’ve tokenized over $1.6 billion in USDC, crossed the $500 million market cap recently.”

These products will firstly include new business accounts that Circle is planning to offer to startups the new products for free and then transition to a usage-based subscription afterward.

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Author: Oana Ularu