Australia’s Pension Fund Giant with $69 Billion AUM Is Open to Investing in Crypto

Australia’s Pension Fund Giant with $69 Billion AUM Is Open to Investing in Crypto

“As the (crypto) segment matures . . . there’s a likelihood that super funds seek out exposure,” said QIC’s head of currencies. Pension funds are still only interested in blockchain technology, with bitcoin “not an area of interest or focus.”

Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), one of Australia’s largest pension funds, said it might make small investments in the cryptocurrency sector. The fund told the Financial Times that it is open to investing in cryptocurrencies in the future.

QIC manages A$92.4bn ($69 billion) of assets and is Australia’s fifth biggest pension fund.

According to the fund’s head of currencies, Stuart Simmons, early inflows into crypto are likely to be “more a trickle than a flood” due to uncertainty surrounding regulation.

“I don’t think there’s an inevitability about super funds and the institutional market investing in crypto, but as the segment matures . . . there’s a likelihood that super funds seek out exposure.”

Unlike family offices and private investor funds in the country, Australia’s “supers,” which pool together and manage people’s retirement savings, hasn’t entered the crypto market until now.

Not Interested in Crypto Assets

This is yet another sign that retirement funds are now taking an interest in the crypto asset space despite increasing regulatory scrutiny. Recently, Canada’s second-largest pension fund, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), with $300 billion in assets, led crypto lender Celsius Network’s $400 million equity funding round.

CDPQ CTO and executive vice-president Alexandre Synnett said in an interview that their inaugural investment in the crypto sector shows their “conviction” in blockchain technology, which will “change the way the financial services are interacting.”

Synnett, however, said the fund is only focused on making “opportunistic” investments in “diamond in the rough” early-stage companies and that this is just a “small diversification play,” with “absolutely” no plan to allocate funds directly into Bitcoin or other cryptos.

Similarly, Andrew Fisher, the head of the asset allocation at Sunsuper, a Queensland-based pension fund manager with $63 bln in AUM, said it is only interested in blockchain technology, and that bitcoin and other cryptos are “not an area of interest or focus.”

Regulatory Requirements Need Clarity

According to Simmons of QIC, there are still a number of uncertainties around cryptocurrencies, and the “operational infrastructure for institutional investing remains immature,” as well.

The largest investors will want more certainty on the regulatory front and more protections around “unquantifiable risks” such as fraud and market manipulation, he added.

But once regulatory requirements become clear, conservative investors will feel more comfortable making investments into the sector.

The entry of large banks and other financial institutions “highlights the perceived opportunity from the enablement of crypto investing,” said Simmons.

“As the framework continues to develop, super funds may eventually simply be responding to user demand by facilitating investment in crypto.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

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.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Celsius Network Raises $400M Led by Canada’s 2nd Largest Pension Fund to Reassure Regulators

Celsius Network Raises $400M Led by Canada’s 2nd Largest Pension Fund to Reassure Regulators

Cryptocurrency lender platform Celsius Network has raised $400 million at a valuation for more than $3 billion in new equity funding from investors despite seeing increased scrutiny from US regulators.

Canada’s second-largest pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) led the funding round along with WestCap, a fund founded by former Airbnb and Blackstone executive Laurence Tosi.

Last year, Celsius had raised $30 million in an equity round led by USDT issuer Tether at a pre-money valuation of $120 million.

The crypto lender has been subject to regulatory pushback by state regulators of Kentucky, Alabama, Texas, and New Jersey in the US for its lending products. The lender says the company’s interest earnings accounts violate securities laws and don’t clarify to its customers if their deposits are protected.

With its latest funding round, CEO Alex Mashinsky Mashinsky told the Financial Times, he hopes to reassure regulators about the stability of the business and open the doors to mainstream financial markets.

“It’s not $ 400 million, it’s the credibility that comes with the people who wrote those checks.”

The company currently manages $25 billion of crypto assets, up from $10 billion just six months back in March. Celsius Network has more than one million registered users.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Compound Bug Puts 490k COMP at Risk to Become the Largest Fund Loss in a Smart Contract Incident

Compound Bug Puts 490k COMP at Risk to Become the Largest Fund Loss in a Smart Contract Incident

The total COMP at risk has now increased to about 490k COMP tokens, amounting to over $155 million at the current price of $317.71.

This latest surge in the affected tokens is due to another $68.8 million of COMP being sent to the Comptroller. Last week, this updated Comptroller Contract containing a bug had resulted in erroneously sending millions of dollars to some users.

At the time, Robert Leshner, founder of Compound Labs, had said that the mistaken claims could be at worst 280k COMP tokens.

Now, this figure, according to Leshner, has further increased to 490k after Banteg, the core developer of DeFi protocol Yearn Finance (YFI) — which has more than $5 billion in total value locked (TVL) — tweeted “The best-kept secret in DeFi is out,” on Sunday.

“Someone called drip() on Compound’s Reservoir, which sent another $68.8m of COMP to Comptroller,” added Banteg, noting about 1/4 of that could already be drained. The number was later found to be even higher.

“The bug tallies to $147m, making it officially the largest fund loss in a smart contract incident.”

Leshner then took to Twitter to acknowledge the situation, noting that in the Reservoir contract, the majority of the COMP tokens are reserved for users and drips 0.50 COMP per block into the protocol.

“Nobody had called the function in weeks, and community developers were hopeful that Proposal 63 or 64 (in governance) could go into effect before it was called.”

Mudit Gupta, a developer at DEX SushiSwap, noted that this is why “timelocks on everything are not always the best option,” because though people know about this issue, no one could do anything about it due to the timelock.

Out of the total 490k COMP at risk, 136k is still in the Comptroller, and 117k has been returned to the community so far, Leshner shared.

“Going forward, I’m optimistic about the patches making their way through the governance process, which fix the distribution, and the community members that are working to manage this bug.”

Leshner thanked those who had returned the COMP and said that the protocol had created portraits for them to recognize their deeds.

Last week, as we reported, Leshner had threatened the users that he would report those who did not return the funds to the IRS. But later backtracked the statement as he received criticism and realized his mistake in doing so.

“I’m sorry, and I hope you can forgive me. It was a very very dumb tweet,” he said in response to one user talking about Leshner’s original tweet making him wanna leave the Compound platform.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Canada’s First Multi-Crypto ETF Allows Investors to Hold Both Bitcoin and Ether

Evolve Funds Group has launched Canada’s first multi-crypto exchange-traded fund (ETF), which allows investors to hold both Bitcoin and Ether. The ETF now trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker ETC.

The Evolve Cryptocurrencies ETF (ETC), a market-cap weighted crypto fund, currently has about 68% of its holdings in BTC and 32% in ETH.

Raj Lala, Evolve’s President, and CEO said in an interview,

“A lot of investors want to invest in cryptocurrencies. They’re not exactly sure which one to pick, or they may also want to get exposure to the cryptocurrencies that are growing.”

“They’re looking for more of a turnkey solution to participate in the cryptocurrency market.”

The ETF provides exposure to Bitcoin and Ether by holding its Evolve Bitcoin ETF (EBIT) and the Evolve Ether ETF (ETHR).

This new ETF will be rebalanced monthly but doesn’t use leverage and won’t pay distributions. While no management fee is imposed on the ETF, the underlying ETFs held in the fund charge a 0.75% management fee.

Being an ETF allows the product to be less costly, more transparent, and more tax-efficient than mutual funds.

On its first day of trades, the Evolve Cryptocurrencies ETF managed to amass only about $2.1 million in assets, according to the firm’s website. The other two crypto funds, Bitcoin and Ether ETFs, have about $181 million in combined assets under management.

In its most recent study that polled 208 advisors conducted from August 26 to September 10, Evolve found that 40% have invested in cryptocurrency ETFs, while 31% said client interest was their biggest driver. Of the 60% who weren’t investing in cryptocurrency ETFs, 40% cited the asset class as too volatile.

Interestingly, 80% of respondents believe Bitcoin will continue to be the largest cryptocurrency at the end of 2022, while 85% expect Ether to have the most market growth in the coming year.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Two Public Pension Funds Are Investing $50M in A Fund that Provides Exposure to Crypto

Two Public Pension Funds Are Investing $50M in A Fund that Provides Exposure to Crypto and Their Derivatives

Crypto is “an area that’s going to grow in adoption and interest. We think that it’s inefficient enough, so we think there are some alpha opportunities to take advantage of,” said the CIO of one of the pension funds.

Two Virginia public pension funds are making a more direct bet on cryptocurrencies.

After entering the crypto world by investing in venture capital two years ago, the Fairfax County Police Officers Retirement System (PORS) and Fairfax County Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) are now planning to invest $50 million in the main fund of Parataxis Capital Management LLC, according to a report from Bloomberg.

This Fund buys various cryptocurrencies and crypto derivatives. The decision to invest in the Fund is currently pending board approval.

Back in 2018, both the retirement systems within Fairfax, which is the 40th largest in the country, invested in blockchain technology. At the time, PORS invested 0.2% of its holdings, $11 million, and ERS invested 0.3%, about $10 million into the Morgan Creek Blockchain Opportunities Fund. They then invested another $52 million in the following year.

However, despite the stellar upside in the cryptocurrency’s prices with Bitcoin up 329%, Ethereum 734%, and the total crypto market cap 550% in the past year, according to PORS Chief Investment Officer Katherine Molnar, cryptomarkets aren’t accurately reflecting the true price of cryptocurrencies.

“It’s an area that’s going to grow in adoption and interest. We think that it’s inefficient enough, so we think there are some alpha opportunities to take advantage of.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

SBI Holdings to Launch Japan’s First Crypto Fund Before 2021 is Over

SBI Holdings to Launch Japan’s First Crypto Fund Before 2021 is Over

Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings is now planning to launch the country’s first cryptocurrency fund before the year is over. With this offering, the company aims to give individual investors a way to diversify their broader portfolio, reported Bloomberg.

The fund that seeks to be launched by the end of November could grow to several hundred million dollars.

It will invest in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and other crypto assets, said Tomoya Asakura, who oversees asset management for Japan’s biggest online brokerage, SBI affiliate Morningstar Japan K.K.

“I want people to hold it together with other assets and experience firsthand how useful it can be for diversifying portfolios,” Asakura told Bloomberg, adding that if the fund succeeded, the company would “move quickly” to launch a second one.

Investors in the fund may be required to put in a minimum of roughly 1 million yen ($9,100) to 3 million yen.

Asakura further said that this fund would mainly be aimed at people who understand risks associated with cryptocurrencies, such as high volatility.

It took four years for SBI to come to this point, primarily because of Japan’s tightening restrictions over crypto investing.

Earlier last month, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) Commissioner Junichi Nakajima said he is open-minded about the potential benefits of crypto but added that digital currencies are currently being used primarily for speculation and investment and not as a means of transferring money. Nakajima said at the time,

“We need to consider carefully whether it is necessary to make it easier for the general public to invest in crypto assets.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

El Salvador Congress Approves a Law to Accumulate $150M in BTC to Facilitate Crypto Transactions

El Salvador has approved a law to create a $150 million fund in order to facilitate conversions between Bitcoin and US dollars.

The $890 billion market cap cryptocurrency is trading just above $47,600 as of writing.

The country’s Congress approved the law ahead of officially adopting Bitcoin as legal tender next week.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele first announced the plans to become the world’s first country to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender alongside the USD in early June at the Bitcoin Conference 2021 in Miami. The bill was then sent to Congress, where it passed by a supermajority, 62 out of 84 votes, which was to come into effect on September 7.

On Tuesday, Congress approved the fund with 64 votes in favor and 14 votes against.

The $150 million for the new fund will be redirected from the finance ministry’s current budget and administered by the state development bank of El Salvador (BANDESAL).

“The purpose of this law is to financially support the alternatives that the state provides, without prejudice to private initiatives, that allow the user to carry out the automatic and instantaneous convertibility of bitcoin to the United States dollar,” a congressional document said.

Last week, as we reported, 200 ATMs and 50 consulting centers for the government’s digital wallet app “Chivo” were installed in the country to enable users to deposit and withdraw money without paying commissions.

Growing Adoption

The Bitcoin revolution that started in El Salvador is also spreading to other countries in Central America. El Salvador’s neighboring country Honduras got its first crypto ATM opening just last week.

The ATM in Honduras, locally dubbed “la bitcoinera,” allows users to acquire the top two cryptos viz. Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) using the local fiat currency lempira.

Up until now, there was no automated way to buy cryptos, and with this machine, the idea is to educate people about digital currencies through the first-hand experience.

This move comes after Dante Mossi, the executive president of El Salvador’s development bank CABEI said countries like Guatemala and Honduras have the most to gain if Bitcoin helps lower the cost of sending remittances.

Other central American countries are also eagerly waiting to see how El Salvador’s bitcoin adoption cuts the cost of remittances for them, he added.

Last year, Hondurans living abroad sent about 20% of the country’s GDP, $5.7 billion in remittances.

Many software developers in the country are already paid in crypto, said Juan Mayen, chief executive of Honduran firm TGU Consulting Group which installed the machine, adding that it will also be a cheaper option to send remittances.

Elsewhere in the region, lawmakers are drafting bills in Panama to regulate the use of bitcoin and its status as a legal tender.

Additionally, Cuba is also all set to regulate cryptocurrencies’ use in commercial transactions by mid-September. The Central Bank of Cuba (BCC) said recently that it is drafting rules for the legal use of cryptocurrencies and to further issue licenses for crypto service providers, in part for “reasons of socio-economic interest.”

The Resolution has already been signed by its Minister-President Marta Sabina Wilson González. Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Tether (USDT) are the most commonly used crypto assets on the island, the bank said.

A virtual asset, according to the document, is the digital representation of value that can be “traded or transferred digitally and used for payments or investments.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Joint Committee on Taxation Estimates $28 Billion from Crypto Taxes to Fund its Infrastructure Plan

The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates to raise $28 billion over a decade to fund its infrastructure plan by strengthening tax enforcement on the cryptocurrency industry. This will be used to offset the package’s $550 billion in new spending for roads, highways, bridges, and other infrastructure projects.

The nearly $1 trillion Infrastructure bill aims to raise this amount by increasing the requirements for crypto brokers and investors to report their transactions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The cryptocurrency industry, however, is strongly against this proposal released by the Senate last week. Even some officials like Senator Ron Wyden and Pat Toomey have come in support of the crypto market.

This push back against the bill is due to the definition of a broker in the bill to report information on their clients to the IRS, which covers not just cryptocurrency exchanges but also the likes of miners, lightning nodes, DEX protocols, and validators that don’t have any clients.

In the latest move by the government to regulate the growing crypto space, Representative Don Beyer introduced a bill in the House that seeks to provide a regulatory definition for the top 90% of all cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

Meanwhile, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler, who was the chair of the CFTC during the Obama administration, will be giving a speech about crypto on Tuesday at the Aspen Security Forum.

Gensler has asked Congress to pass a law that would give the agency the legal authority to monitor crypto exchanges but said the SEC’s powers are already broad. While regulating crypto exchanges is the easiest way for the government to get a quick handle on digital token trading, Gensler is also concerned about DeFi, reported Bloomberg.

According to him, regulation will help boost the broader adoption of the technology that can spark economic progress.

“If somebody wants to speculate, that’s their choice, but we have a role as a nation to protect those investors against fraud,” said the 63-year-old former Goldman Sachs partner.

Hester Peirce, a Republican commissioner on the SEC and ‘crypto mom’, is a crypto advocate calling for “more clarity,” who says it’s “high time” the SEC approved a crypto ETF.

While Gensler won’t comment on the potential for approving a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund that would provide an easy on-ramp on investors, he has spoken positively about the ETFs during his days at MIT.

Currently, there are at least seven SEC initiatives looking at different crypto issues, including ICOs, trading venues, lending platforms, DeFi, stablecoins, custody, and ETFs, and other coin funds, he said.

And behind the scenes, Gensler has pushed the agency’s staff members to take a look at them. “I’ve asked the staff to use all of our authorities anywhere we can,” he says.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

$60 Billion Fund Manager Allows Access to Bitcoin Through A Mutual Fund Investment

$60 Billion Fund Manager Allows Access to Bitcoin Through A Mutual Fund Investment

Maryland-based ProFunds, a mutual fund management company with $60 billion in assets under management (AUM) is introducing a new way to invest in Bitcoin without actually buying the crypto asset.

A premier provider of mutual funds with more than 100 funds, ProFunds is launching what it says is the first publicly available US mutual fund called the Bitcoin Strategy ProFund (BTCFX) which will correspond to the price performance of the leading cryptocurrency.

The mutual fund invests in Bitcoin futures contracts and aims of results that track the price of Bitcoin, currently above $40k, before fees. Through this product, the fund wants to eliminate the need to hold BTC and worry about its custody. ProFunds CEO Michael Sapir said,

“Cryptocurrency has become a significant asset class, and our new Bitcoin Strategy ProFund provides investors access to a bitcoin strategy through a mutual fund investment.”

“Compared to directly buying bitcoin, which may involve opening a new account with an unregulated party, this ProFund offers investors the opportunity to gain exposure to bitcoin through a form and investment method that tens of millions of investors are familiar with.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy