Grayscale Reopens Deposits for New Investors In Its Crypto Trusts; Excludes Ethereum & XRP

Grayscale Reopens Deposits for New Investors In Its Crypto Trusts; Excludes Ethereum & XRP

Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust and Digital Large Cap Fund Trust are now open for investments from new customers.

Grayscale Investments is gearing up for a healthy 2021 as it finally reopens most of its investment trusts and allows deposits.

According to an update on the company’s website, clients can now deposit funds into its Bitcoin Investment Trust and the Digital Large Cap Fund Trust.

Grayscale trusts

All Systems Go

As the update shows, the Grayscale Ether Trust is still unavailable, and not everyone on Crypto Twitter is taking that very well. However, that could change any moment for now considering the interest in Ether. The company’s XRP Investment Trust remains unavailable, which is not surprising considering the legal battle Ripple Labs has with the SEC.

Grayscale closed all of its investment trusts last month, as reported on  Twitter. A company spokesperson later confirmed that the move was due to a mandatory lock-up period for selling recently purchased shares of its Bitcoin Investment Fund.

Now that investments are opening up again, Grayscale appears set to continue with the momentum it held in 2020. Buoyed by increased institutional investment and the Bitcoin rise, Grayscale was able to solidify its place as the crypto industry’s top asset management firm. It currently holds $24.5 billion in assets under management and controls three percent of Bitcoin tokens in circulation.

Markets Open as Investors Eye 2021

The firm is also seeing a significant opportunity for growth in 2021. Last Thursday, company CEO Michael Sonnenshein told Bloomberg that Grayscale had seen a considerable increase in activity and commitments from pension funds and endowments.

With institutional investment hopefully increasing, Grayscale will be looking to benefit and add to its vast portfolio. The development could also bode well for the crypto market at large. Many believe that institutions were the driving force behind last year’s crypto rally, and a continuation of that trend should improve confidence in the marker’s long-term viability.

Retail investors also appear to be making significant moves. Yesterday, Alex Saunders, an Australian crypto-focused journalist, reported that crypto trading activity on PayPal had reached a new all-time high of $242 million. As the journalist put it, this surge shows an increased interest in the crypto space from retail traders.

Read Original/a>
Author: Jimmy Aki

New Law Bans Anonymous Wallet Deposits To Curb Illicit Activities in Russia; Must KYC

The Russian government has passed a ruling to ban anonymous deposits into online wallets to curb illicit use of these anonymous funds. The banning would supposedly affect almost 10 million people who use different online wallet services such as Yandex, WebMoney, PayPal, and Kiwi.

People use these online payment and wallet services anonymously, where they top-up their wallet with a certain amount and then proceed to use it for different purposes, including buying of cryptocurrencies.

The government hopes to curb financing of terrorism and the illegal drug trade, which has been a growing concern given almost 10 million people make use of these online payment portals to make anonymous deposits to these online wallets.

The Russian government has been cautious about legalizing crypto use in the country since they believe legalizing crypto as a legal tender can undermine their sovereignty on issuing cash. However, Antonina Levashenko, an economist by profession, believes the measures taken against anonymous crypto wallet deposits won’t affect the blockchain space and the progress made in the decentralized ecosystem. Levashenko explained,

“Will it affect cryptocurrencies? Currently, these changes have been implemented only about electronic money by the amendments to the law on the national payment system. But shortly, undoubtedly, yes. FATF standards are always applied to new technologies by analogy: if at first the standards were spelled out for classic bank accounts, then they were first extended to electronic wallets and prepaid cards, and then to virtual wallets for cryptocurrencies, ”

Experts Believe the Impact of Ban Would be Minimal

Maria Stankevich, an EXMO crypto exchange business development manager, believes the current ruling by the government would only impact those exchanges which haven’t been following the compliance set by the regulatory authorities. She also noted that the current ban would force bad actors to either shut their operations or make changes to incorporate the compliance guidelines set by the authorities. Stankevich explained,

“A small insider: one large payment system … at one time refused us after a long passage of all compliance procedures. Colleagues explained this by the fact that despite the strong anti-money laundering and anti-fraud procedures, our exchange can replenish an account through the named payment systems, which, in turn, can be replenished with cash. This means that no one can trace the origin of these funds, which contradicts all the policies of this payment giant. We were distraught then but hoped that someday such a law would be adopted.”

Just last week, President Putin has signed a law for Law on Digital Financial Assets, which prohibits the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. The rules and guidelines related to the new Law on Digital Financial Assets would come into practice by January 1st, 2021.

Read Original/a>
Author: James W

Fireblocks Users Can Send Crypto Instantly to FTX Exchange With Zero-Confirmation Program

  • Digital asset firm, Fireblocks introduces the ‘zero-confirmation’ deposits platform.
  • Institutional investors and big players expected to witness faster deposits and trading times.
  • Almeda Research-led crypto derivatives exchange FTX becomes the first to integrate the feature.

An announcement provided to the BEG desk confirms Fireblocks, a digital asset firm providing institutional-grade solutions to crypto traders, has introduced the “Deposit Acceleration program.” The program, announced on Tuesday, aims at reducing the time in making crypto exchange deposits by having zero confirmations on the blockchains.

Looking at the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain, about 1-6 confirmations from miners are needed to verify the block and record the transactions. With Fireblock’s acceleration program, institutional investors will have room to make faster and larger transactions to crypto exchanges, on-chain, with zero confirmations needed. This incentivizes big players to enter the digital asset space.

Speaking on the launch of the zero-confirmation program, Stephen Richardson, VP of Product Strategy at Fireblocks said,

“The Deposit Acceleration Program is a great way to enable Fireblocks customers to trade on the exchange more actively because being able to deploy assets quickly with their exchange partners directly impacts their ability to drive return on capital.”

Read More>> Fireblocks launches a digital asset transfer network to facilitate faster transactions

Fireblocks efforts to reduce onboarding times

One of the oldest crypto exchanges still running today, Bitstamp, partnered with Fireblocks to deploy one confirmation transactions and deposits on the exchange. Since integration with Fireblock’s solutions, the exchange witnessed a 30% boost in its overall volumes traded from the Fireblock’s institutional gateway.

Now, FTX crypto derivatives exchange is the first platform to integrate Fireblock’s zero-confirmation trades and deposits. Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO and Founder of FTX, said,

“We’re really excited about partnering with the Fireblocks team to solve some of the core latency issues around moving digital assets on-chain. As the first member of the program, we now have the fastest settlement venue for institutional traders.”

Adding to the fast deposits, which allows institutions to onboard their funds and allows traders to trade arbitrage opportunities, the Deposit Acceleration program also impacts the derivatives market positively. This is a crucial addition as it allows crypto derivative traders to mitigate losses from failed margin positions and unlocking the ability to trade during volatile markets.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

MoneyGram to Offer Direct Deposits in India Via Federal Bank; Both Members of RippleNet

MoneyGram will now offer direct deposits to India following its partnership with Federal Bank, one of the leading financial institutions in the country. According to a recent announcement by the payment system service provider, this alliance will be strategic in offering its Indian clients an account credit option via the Federal Bank. The MoneyGram announcement reads,

“Through this partnership, millions will be able to receive deposits directly in their bank accounts without leaving the confines of their homes which is imperative in the current situation.”

As highlighted, this milestone is expected to further assist in COVID-19 mitigation following the ‘new normal’. Most economies have moved towards e-payment networks in a bid to keep the virus at bay. Given this situation, the alliance between MoneyGram and Federal Bank is especially important.

Furthermore, World bank stats indicate that India continues to dominate the global remittance market with 2019 recording over $82 billion. Notably, Federal bank enjoys 15% of this market and is therefore expected to significantly boost the partnership. MoneyGram’s Chief Revenue Officer, Grant Lines, echoed that they are confident of the value proposition by Federal Bank,

“Federal Bank is known throughout India as a pioneer in digitizing financial services, and we’re proud to partner with them to enable millions of people the option to receive money directly into their bank account.”

MoneyGram’s Venture in Ripple for International Remittances

Ripple, popularly known for its remittances service based on RippleNet, had already began working with MoneyGram. The two got into a partnership back in June 2019 which spiked hopes of MoneyGram leveraging a blockchain based platform for its payment services. This is, however, yet to happen despite the market adrenaline at the time.

In a recent Q1 earnings call, the CEO of MoneGram, Alexander Holmes, said that the quarter had been quite slow for the partnership. Nonetheless, they have some work in progress and boasted of the future prospects,

“We also have a variety of new services in the pipeline and things that we’ll be rolling out, and expanding with later this year…. But from a capability perspective from a service quality and from a performance, it’s been a really good — been a really good quarter.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui