Second Bitcoin ETF Goes Live in Canada as US Firms Await SEC Approval

Canada has approved an exchange-traded fund from Evolve Funds Global Group Inc. The country is blazing the trail, while American firms hope 2021 finally becomes the year of the Bitcoin ETFs.

Canada’s crypto space continues to grow significantly as the country marks yet another milestone in adoption.

This week, Evolve Funds Global Group Inc., a financial services firm in the county, secured approval for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF)

Evolve Joins the ETF Club

Official documents have shown that the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), Canada’s financial regulator, has approved Evolve’s launch of its ETFs, providing additional exposure to investors looking to get into the crypto market.

A receipt published yesterday also showed that the company had partnered with Cidel Trust Company, a subsidiary of Cidel Bank Canada, to provide custody, while the Gemini Foundation will be a sub-custodian.

Evolve only filed the prospectus for its ETF earlier this month. Per the filing, the ETF will have two ticker symbols – EBIT for Canadian-denominated units, and EBIT.U for American-denominated units. Both variants will provide exposure to daily price movements of Bitcoin in the respective country’s fiat currency.

The fund will track price data using the Bitcoin Reference Rate from CF Benchmark, which aggregates data from several BTC/USD markets into a single-day benchmark index.

The fund’s prospectus explained that it hopes to provide holders to price movement while reducing tracking error by using specific creation and redemption processes.

To achieve this goal, the fund will invest in long-term BTC holdings purchases through several platforms – including Gemini NuSTAR LLC. Evolve has also gotten conditional approval to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

The fund is available in all of Canada’s provinces and three territories.

Evolve’s fund is only the second ETF to be approved by the OSC this month. Last week, the agency greenlit the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, an investment vehicle from Toronto-based investment firm Purpose Investments. The fund will offer units denominated in USD and CAD, with a 0.75 percent management fee. Like the Evolve fund, it also plans to list units on the TSX.

“The ETF will be the first in the world to invest directly in physically settled Bitcoin, not derivatives, allowing investors easy and efficient access to the emerging asset class of cryptocurrency,” Purpose Investments said in its announcement.

Uncle Sam Lags Behind

Over in the United States, there is some hope that the new administration – and, by extension, new head at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – will be more welcoming of a Bitcoin ETF.

This year, crypto investment firm Bitwise Asset Management filed for an ETF with the SEC, hoping to make it through for the third time. New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG), a crypto-focused investment fund, has also made a similar application, with investment banking giant Morgan Stanley acting as an authorized participant.

While several ETF applications have come and gone, none has passed through the SEC’s iron barrier. However, with the new administration showing a propensity towards progressive crypto policies, the anticipation of approval is high.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Canadian Firm, Accelerate, Files for a Bitcoin ETF (ABTC) on Toronto Stock Exchange

Companies have a growing demand to launch Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as the cryptocurrency market settles above the 41 trillion market cap. Accelerate Financial Technologies, a Canadian fintech firm, is the latest to file and obtain a receipt for a preliminary prospectus with the Canadian financial regulators to launch its Accelerate Bitcoin ETF under the ticker “ABTC.”

In a statement released on Wednesday, Accelerate confirmed a share of ABTC units have filed for listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange but are yet to receive conditional approval on the listing. ABTC will offer U.S. dollar-denominated units and Canadian dollar-denominated units, with a management fee of 0.70%.

Accelerate launched its first Bitcoin fund in 2017, providing its clients with one of Canada’s most innovative and fastest-growing alternative investment solutions. Julian Klymochko, CEO and founder of Accelerate, said, “he has always been an advocate of the asset class” given the coins’ past performance. Klymochko added,

“Bitcoin has been one of the best-performing asset classes on a 1-year, 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year basis, both absolute and risk-adjusted. Given bitcoin’s historical track record and future potential, along with its portfolio diversification properties, we are looking forward to offering investors exposure to the asset class in an easy-to-use, low-cost ETF.”

The demand for Bitcoin ETFs seems to be back after a long layoff in the market following VanEck’s rejected proposals by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2018. The company has once again filed for a Bitcoin ETF, claiming it will hold physical BTC this time.

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Author: Lujan Odera

As Adoption Sets In, 60% of Crypto Investors Are Storing Funds On Exchanges: Binance

As Adoption Sets In, 60% of Crypto Investors Are Storing Funds On Exchanges: Binance

Binance’s latest report shows that most crypto owners are hodlers. The prevalence of Bitcoin hodlers could also lead to a liquidity crunch as traders’ demand rises.

The cryptocurrency market is getting more diverse. Many have had different preferences and reasons to stay in the market, with different facets and sub-industries available.

In a new report, top crypto exchange Binance shared details of the market’s status and how investors see digital assets in general.

Hodl, Hodl, Hodl

This week, the top exchange shared its 2021 Global Crypto User Index, a report showing crypto users’ perception of digital assets across the board. The report outlined a survey conducted between September 15 and October 25, 2020. Binance took responses from 61,000 crypto users across 178 countries and regions.

Most prominent in the report is the distribution of crypto users by reason. As Binance noted, the vast majority of crypto users are “hodlers.” Hodlers is a crypto term used to describe investors who purchase digital assets to keep long term. The poll shows that 39 percent of respondents are hodlers, followed by 28 percent who claimed to be keeping their cryptos to buy other cryptos.

22 percent of respondents said that they primarily use their digital assets for lending and staking, the latter of which has been prevalent in the past year. Only 11 percent of investors claimed that they use their cryptocurrencies for payments, showing that the asset class has yet to fulfill its potential as a viable payment method.

Solidifying Fears of a Liquidity Crisis

The prevalence of hodlers in the industry shows that a lot of investors are using their assets as a store of value. While many in the traditional finance space have criticized digital assets for their volatility, assets like Bitcoin have consistently delivered higher returns than their competitors.

However, having more hodlers in the industry also reinforces the fears of a possible liquidity crisis. Day traders have been left to fend for themselves, with Bitcoin in short supply. Earlier this month, Glassnode reported that 78 percent of the Bitcoin available in circulation is illiquid, with only 4.2 million tokens changing hands. Mining rig manufacturers are also working extra to push out new hardware to mine new bitcoins.

Last week, Reuters reported that mining companies had been running out of inventory as miners are working double-time to meet the increasing demand for Bitcoin. Bitmain, the industry’s top mining rig manufacturer, has maxed its production capacity and won’t have any inventory until August.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Growing Number of Clients Bought ETH, But Only A Select Group Is Investing in DeFi: Coinbase

Growing Number of Clients Bought ETH, But Only A Select Group of VC Funds & Family Offices Investing in DeFi: Coinbase

DeFi remains retail-driven just like the early days of Bitcoin adoption, says Coinbase whose clients are interested in Ethereum’s evolving potential as a store of value and its status as a digital commodity.

2020 brought “traditional hedge funds to the forefront of participation,” states Coinbase in its 2020 in the Review report.

Covering the year “crypto cemented its status as an institutional asset class,” said the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, which is planning to launch its IPO, noting that macro funds are the earlier adopters with several large funds now begun trading Bitcoin and Ethereum directly with investor capital as well.

The company’s clients invested in Bitcoin for a range of reasons, including as a store of value, as an inflation hedge and/or insurance against new potential monetary policy risks, as a portfolio diversification tool, and as a treasury reserve asset.

Coinbase is particularly expanding its business in Europe and Asia, with Singapore as the staging post for Asia expansion because of its regulatory clarity. After opening its third office in Europe, Coinbase now has 120 full-time employees in the region.

A Trend Occurring out of View for Most of Wall Street

“While our institutional clients predominantly bought Bitcoin in 2020, a growing number also took positions in Ethereum,” reads the report.

The second-largest cryptocurrency, which has been more volatile than Bitcoin, is seen by Coinbase’s institutional clients as a “decentralized computing network that shares Bitcoin’s properties of trustless store and transmission of value, along with more flexible programmability via smart contracts.”

Ethereum’s evolving potential as a store of value and its status as a digital commodity required to power transactions on its network are the clients’ reasons for owning the digital asset. However, the community needs to settle on a clearer and simpler narrative, which Coinbase says is both a challenge and an opportunity for Ethereum.

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is also seen as one of the most important growth developments for the Ethereum network as Coinbase clients believe this sector has “potential to reinvent financial products and services.”

Coinbase hasn’t yet seen significant investment in DeFi assets from institutional clients, except for “a select group of venture capital funds and family offices.”

DeFi remains retail-driven; just like the early days of Bitcoin adoption, Coinbase added maturity would take time.

“We can imagine a future in which institutional investors can access both traditional and decentralized financial services through trusted, regulated onramps,” which may be difficult to imagine today given the relatively small size of the DeFi market, a bottom-up trend that is occurring out of view for most of Wall Street.

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Author: AnTy

$7.8T AUM Firm, BlackRock Gears Up For Bitcoin Exposure; Approves 2 Funds to Invest In BTC

$7.8T AUM Firm, BlackRock Gears Up For Bitcoin Exposure; Approves 2 Funds to Invest In BTC

With more than $7.8 trillion in assets behind it, BlackRock represents one of the largest asset managers in the world and has recently indicated a turn towards cryptocurrencies. This turn is according to filings it recently approved from two of its funds. Specifically, BlackRock approved BlackRock Global Allocation Fund Inc. and BlackRock Funds V, according to prospectus documents filed and submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

For the moment, BlackRock has yet to specify which commodities exchanges would be used in order to complete the purchase of Bitcoin Futures. But, according to the asset manager, the approved funds will only be allowed to invest in cash-settled futures, to mitigate risk, and there are still some that BlackRock observes:

“A Fund’s investment in bitcoin futures may involve illiquidity risk, as bitcoin futures are not as heavily traded as other futures given that the bitcoin futures market is relatively new.”

BlackRock’s Steady Walk to Bitcoin

BlackRock’s move towards investing in Bitcoin comes as a profound surprise for many. Up until recently, the investment management company had done little to allude to such a move. However, any filings under the SEC have proven to serve as a pretext for diving into new investments.

During a panel discussion in December, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink hinted at the growing legitimacy of digital assets as their asset class, but expressed caution to those expressing impetuosity, stating that “we have to go through many markets to see if it’s going to be permanently real.”

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Author: James Fox

Crypto Mining Service, Titan, Receives Investment Funds From Coinbase Ventures

Crypto Mining Service, Titan, Receives Investment Funds From Coinbase Ventures

The developer of Bitcoin mining software and services Titan has announced a strategic investment fund from Coinbase Ventures. The investment fund was made during Titan’s seed fundraising round.

The investment will allow Titan to expand its offerings, which enable Bitcoin mining firms to achieve growth, profitability, efficiency, and sustenance.

Titan’s Expansion Goals Continue

Titan has been very active in the market lately. Last month, the company announced a partnership with North American mining leaders CoreScientific and CoinMint. The partnership is part of the agreement to become members of the Titan Pool. It is designed to help miners in the cryptocurrency industry meet opportunities and deal with challenges that may come in the future.

The Titan Pool is currently undergoing a high-volume test, as the firm is planning to launch its closed beta this month. Co-founder and chief executive officer of Titan Ryan Condron have commented on the development.

“The investment from Coinbase Ventures serves as a powerful endorsement of the Titan team, roadmap and vision,”

He added that the mining industry had advanced a lot, as it started from being a hobby to becoming an industry. Now, it’s a critical global computing infrastructure. Condron also reiterated that Titan is now equipped to help top miners in the world to overcome their challenges.

Titan says it makes mining less complicated, scalable, and profitable using its advanced mining management software. The company was launched in September 2018 by Matthew Roszak, Jeff Garzik, and Ryan Condron.

Coinbase Prepares for IPO

In another development, Coinbase is certainly one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S, as the cryptocurrency exchange is highly profitable. However, despite its popularity, the company isn’t a publicly listed exchange and doesn’t make its financial figures available to the public.

This may come as a surprise to many, considering the popularity of the exchange. This may change as the company is preparing for an IPO.

Most of the company’s profits are from trading fees from Bitcoin and other crypto assets. The company filed an S-1 form intending to launch an IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on December 22.

The firm has been involved in several projects and partnerships. It has also invested in a lot of startups to expand its portfolio and encourage more cryptocurrency adoption.

The investment with crypto mining pool Titan is another strong indication of where the exchange’s goals lie. While it has invested in several projects, the firm also received funds from top investment firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Tiger Global Management.

With the firm’s massive growth, many investors would want to participate in its upcoming IPO, which may likely be the biggest in 2021 as Bakkt and Gemini prepare for IPO’s as well.

This is not the first mining investment of Coinbase. In 2018, the exchange also invested in mining hardware startup Coinmine.

The Titan investment will help the crypto mining pool complete its beta testing phase, which is expected to end in February. Mining giant Core Scientific is among the clients currently testing the pool.

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Author: Ali Raza

Voyager Crypto Trading App Suffered Cyber Attack; Funds Are Safe And Now Back Online

Voyager Crypto Trading App Suffered Cyber Attack; Funds Are Safe And Now Back Online

On Monday, Voyager Digital announced the decision to switch their system to offline after their servers were compromised. Through a tweet, the firm stated that they were forcefully taking their system offline to secure their users’ accounts.

The firm however assured their customers that no personal details or funds had been compromised by the attackers. The firm also explained that it will take at least 24 hours to fully restore its services via the Voyager app.

The firm also took an opportunity to apologize to its clients and asked them to be patient as their engineers were working to restore the systems. The broker stated that more details will be provided after the full inspection was completed. The firm also stated that customer’s safety was paramount and they took drastic measures to secure them. They stated,

“Voyager would like to thank you for your patience while our system is offline. We detected a threat to our system, and as part of our process and procedures to secure funds and customer information, we promptly shut down the system. We want to reiterate that no funds or personal information were compromised. To ensure the on-going safety of customer funds and information, we anticipate it will take us approximately 24-hours to get the app back online.”

System Back Online

However, by the time of publication, Voyager announced that they had managed to restore the system after a thorough inspection and addressing the possible threats adding that trading has been restored and customers only need to log on again as they had been logged off.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Institutions Now Own 5% of Bitcoin Supply; $335 Million Flowed into Crypto Funds Last Week

Institutions Now Own 5% of Bitcoin Supply; $335 Million Flowed into Crypto Funds Last Week

Institutions continue to rush into BTC; this month, they put $792.1 million into Bitcoin and $207.3 million in Ethereum.

Total inflows into cryptocurrency funds have increased by 660% from last year to reach $5.57 billion in 2020, according to the latest data from asset manager CoinShares.

“This massive increase has likely been influenced by improving investor outlook for the digital asset class,” especially for Bitcoin, which is being seen as a hedge against inflation and as an alternative to the depreciating dollar.

Bitcoin hit another all-time high around $24,300 on Sunday, only to struggle around $22,500 this week after falling to $22,100. Today, Ether dropped under $600.

“The current jump will certainly attract new retail money, but we are also already seeing adoption by more institutions. I think the question is whether institutions can afford not to participate, and for how long.”

Julius de Kempenaer Senior Technical Analyst at StockCharts

According to him, there are a few big players in the crypto space, and it is “mostly crowded with retail-related traders and investors.”

Last week, in terms of weekly flows, crypto investment products saw investment totaled at $335 million, with Bitcoin flows accounting for just over $313.8 million and Ethereum $7.6 million.

As for this year, so far, investors have pumped $15.6 billion into Bitcoin funds and products, while Ethereum saw $2.5 billion in inflows.

Institutions actually hold about 5% of Bitcoin’s current supply, with Grayscale being the largest institutional bitcoin holder by the market value of their position, noted Tradeblock.

The world’s largest crypto fund, Grayscale, had $250 million inflows in the latest week, which raised its AUM to $15.3 billion. Grayscale has amassed inflows of nearly $5 billion this year so far, the CoinShares report said.

This past week, a surge of new institutional buyers into bitcoin was seen as One River, and Ruffer Investments revealed their large stakes in bitcoin.

One River holds approximately $600 million in bitcoin, executed through Coinbase’s OTC desk, and plans to increase its stake in bitcoin and ether to $1bn in Q1 2021. Ruffer also revealed that it holds more than $750 million in bitcoin — 2% of the fund’s AUM.

Additionally, Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy completed its $650 million notes offering last week. On Monday, they announced that they bought more BTC with its proceeds, which is “the most continuous large block buying by institutional investors ever.”

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Author: AnTy

Chinese Police Won’t Return the $4.2B Seized PlusToken Funds; ‘Forfeit to the National Treasury’

PlusToken is back to worry the market. However, it is worth noting that many of the funds scammed by this Ponzi scheme have been getting sold over the years.

It has been more than 100 days, over three months, since these funds have been moved.

“This is bullish either way,” commented Su Zhu, the CEO of Three Arrows Capital.

Today, the reports came that as per the new court ruling, crypto assets worth over $4.2 billion have been seized by the Chinese police in a PlusToken Ponzi scam crackdown. The ruling came amidst the latest reports of China cracking down on online criminal activities.

The crypto assets involved in this scam were 194,775 BTC, 833,083 ETH, 487 million XRP, 1.4 million LTC, 27.6 million EOS, 74,167 DASH, 6 billion DOGE, 79,581 BCH, and 213,724 USDT that are seized by the law enforcement from seven convicts, according to the judgment made public on Thursday.

Unfortunately, these assets won’t be returned to the victims.

“The seized digital currencies will be processed pursuant to laws, and the proceeds and gains will be forfeited to the national treasury,” said the court, but nothing is mentioned about the when, what, and how of it.

The market expects these crypto assets to be released in the market in a “gradual manner.”

The PlusToken Ponzi scheme started its operations in May 2018; it duped more than 2.6 million members.

15 people have been convicted in the case so far who are in jail for two to 11 years with fines between $100k to $1 million. One convict also successfully laundered 145 million yuan worth of crypto into the Chinese Yuan.

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Author: AnTy

Binance Sends Final Warning to US Customers; 14 Days to Withdraw Funds

  • Binance continues its efforts to get rid of U.S customers on its platform.
  • Users should withdraw all their funds from the platform in the next two weeks.

The largest cryptocurrency exchange in trading volume, Binance, is hastening its efforts to sweep off every U.S. based customer off its global trading platform, Binance.com. According to a Decrypt report, the exchange is giving every U.S. registered customer 14 days to “close their positions and withdraw their funds” or risk having their funds locked.

Binance is imposing these stricter measures to comply with KYC/AML compliance regulations. It has previously been reported that the exchange warned users geo-tracked using their IP addresses to withdraw their funds from the platform in 90 days.

This followed a warning by CEO of Binance, Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, back in July 2019 when announcing a partnership with BAM Trading to launch its U.S. trading platform, Binance US. At the time, CZ confirmed that a “few restrictions would be accompanying the new partnership,” with U.S. customers having access to fewer tokens and features.

However, the latest warning sent via email to U.S. registered users is the most serious yet from the exchange. An email shared by one of our followers said,

“Dear user, as we constantly perform periodic sweeps of our existing controls, we noted that you are trying to access Binance while having identified yourself as a US person,” concerning the U.S registered customers using the platform.

The users have been given two weeks – ending December 8 – to clear their trading positions and withdraw funds from Binance.

“Please note that as per our terms of use, we are unable to service US persons. You have 14 days to close all active positions on your account and withdraw all your funds, failing which your account will be locked.”

The latest warning comes at the back of Binance US, adding Alabama to the states available for customers – with only eleven more states remain outside of the regional exchange’s network.

While the exchange does say the account will be locked, not all hope is lost for withdrawing user funds. It says users can contact customer support to try and get it temporarily unlocked.

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Author: Lujan Odera