Crypto Mining ETF Focused On Green Energy Launches On NYSE

Investment firm Viridi Funds has launched an environmentally friendly, crypto mining-focused exchange-traded fund (ETF). The fund aims to invest in crypto mining firms using cleaner sources of energy.

Viridi Funds’ New RIGZ ETF

The ETF dubbed the Viridi Cleaner Energy Crypto-Mining and Semiconductor ETF will trade on the New York Stock Exchange’s Arca platform under the symbol ‘RIGZ.’

According to the announcement, Viridi Funds will serve as a sub-adviser to the fund, with Alpha Architect creating the fund’s infrastructure.

The ETF, which has an expense ratio of 0.9%, was first filed by Viridi in April this year.

Viridi said 80% of the fund’s investment would go to publicly traded miners, while 20% would go towards semiconductors that take advantage of clean energy. The fund would only invest in miners who have switched to nuclear or renewable energy sources or are working on offsetting their carbon emissions with carbon credits.

According to the CEO of Viridi Funds, Wes Fulford, the firm would use an internal proprietary screening algorithm to select the companies based on their current and planned energy source.

Viridi Funds is backed by several investors, including CoinShares, Alameda Ventures, Luxor Technology, Fundamental Labs, and Mechanism Capital.

Fulford commented on the recent movement of miners from China to North America. He said this was good news as North American miners have access to renewable energy sources.

“We believe that based on recent developments within the Chinese mining sector, North American miners that have access to sustainable low-cost power, large fleets of new-generation rigs, and access to capital are well-positioned to generate higher returns during the months and years ahead.”

With the migration of Chinese miners to North America, the country now accounts for nearly 17% of all global Bitcoin mining, CNBC reports.

Viridi’s ETF Amid Calls For Clean Energy

Viridi’s new product launch is part of the growing efforts of institutions in focusing on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.

Several partnerships have been formed lately by US crypto mining firms to make Bitcoin mining more environmentally friendly. Last week, Bitcoin miner Cleanspark partnered with ESG focused miner Coinmint to increase scalability.

Other companies like Hut 8 and Hive Blockchain have also signed deals recently purchasing new machines to increase their hashrate.

For months, all the buzz has been about Bitcoin exchange-traded funds. While countries like Canada and Brazil have already listed Bitcoin ETFs in their stock exchanges, the US is yet to approve any.

Viridi’s ETF differs because it will not invest directly in cryptocurrencies but will likely have indirect exposure to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. This is because many publicly listed miners have these assets on their balance sheets.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Extreme Right-Wing Groups Using Virtual Assets and Stablecoins to Move Funds: FATF Report

Extreme Right-Wing Groups Using Virtual Assets and Stablecoins to Move Funds: FATF Report

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released a report called “Ethnically or Racially Motivated Terrorism Financing” that talks about the use of cryptocurrencies by terrorists to move funds.

The global anti-money laundering watchdog said few countries had designated extreme right-wing groups (ERW) or individuals as terrorists who appear to be becoming more adept at disguising their financial activities.

Some of these ERWs are also using virtual assets like Bitcoin to move funds, according to a new FATF report. Using “so-called privacy coins” meanwhile allows them to maintain anonymity when making transactions. The report said,

“There has been plenty of interest in VAs from different ERW groups and individuals looking for anonymity, especially after being removed from mainstream payment platforms.”

Those who are more security-conscious and looking for a greater level of secrecy “often choose VAs.” However, the agency noted that “there is limited information on the volume of funds being transferred in this way.”

The FATF further points to the use of stablecoins, one created by the group itself “where transactional data only lasted 24 hours before becoming untraceable.” One far-right organization in South Africa created this stablecoin which was managed by an application styled PayApp that “enables the group to use digital money as cash.”

The report also mentions that these groups have property “central” to their fundraising activities as such argues that authorities should target them to deter terrorist financing and disrupt related financial networks.

Additionally, these groups are using concerts, music festivals, mixed martial arts events, and merchandise sales to raise funds, socialize, and network.

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Author: AnTy

PwC Report: Boom Time For DeFi Sector As Crypto Hedge Funds Show Growing Interest

PwC Report: Boom Time For DeFi Sector As Crypto Hedge Funds Show Growing Interest

A newly released report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) has shown that hedge funds’ interest in decentralized finance (DeFi) is growing.

The research titled the 2020 Global Crypto Hedge Fund Report was conducted in Q1 2020, polling responses from the world’s largest global crypto hedge funds by assets under management (AUM). It specifically focused on funds that invest and trade in cryptocurrencies.

Chainlink, Polkadot, Aave Lead Altcoins In Survey

The report indicated that Chainlink (LINK), Polkadot (DOT), and Aave tokens had grown in popularity as they were in the top five cryptocurrencies hedge funds were investing in.

While the report showed Bitcoin leading as the most popular asset among funds, Ethereum and Litecoin followed suit, featuring 67% and 34% respectively of all crypto hedge funds surveyed. DeFi tokens Chainlink and Polkadot closed up the top five crypto assets with 30% and 28%, respectively, while Aave came at number five with 27%.

The research also noted that some altcoins were more popular than their market capitalizations would suggest. The research reads,

“Among the top 15 traded altcoins, some of them are considerably more popular than their market capitalization would suggest. Litecoin and Chainlink are the second and third most traded altcoins, but their market capitalizations are far lower than Polkadot and Cardano, which fare lower in the trading ranks.”

Also shocking was the discovery that almost 31% of crypto hedge funds use decentralized exchanges (DEXs), according to the report. With Uniswap being the most widely used DEX (16%), followed by 1inch (8%) and SushiSwap (4%).

According to PwC, the total number of assets under management of crypto hedge funds globally doubled in 2020, climbing from $2 billion in 2019 to $3.8 billion.

Crypto hedge funds were also found to be actively involved in staking, lending, and borrowing activities.

Crypto Hedge Funds Push Bitcoin Price By Buying The Dip

According to reports, Crypto hedge funds bought the dip as they saw the crypto market crash as a chance to buy Bitcoin for less.

This was after former Morgan Stanley Trader, Felix Dian encouraged hedge funds to buy the dip, suggesting that this was why they were in the digital currency market.

Professional investors also treated the Bitcoin crash as an opportunity to buy Bitcoin at a discount. Institutions reportedly bought 34,000 Bitcoin on Tuesday and Wednesday last week after selling as much as 51,000 Bitcoin over the previous two weeks.

The buyer pressure was said to have impacted Bitcoin’s price positively by briefly pushing it up to $42.172 before it later dropped to $36,808, following the news of China’s crypto crackdown.

Meanwhile, in recent times banks have launched several cryptocurrency offerings. The latest move was made by investment bank Cowen which partnered with blockchain technology provider PolySign earlier this month to provide qualified institutional clients access to cryptocurrencies.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Candidate of NYC Comptroller Proposes Investing 1%-3% of Pension Funds in Crypto

Candidate of NYC Comptroller Proposes Investing 1%-3% of Pension Funds in Crypto

  • Reshma Patel, a candidate for the New York City Comptroller, launched her proposal to introduce policies around blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to the Big Apple.

In a proposal shared on Monday, Patel highlighted new policies and investment strategies to get New York back on track following a COVID-ridden year. In her proposal, Patel unveiled blockchain-specific aspects to her recovery plan, including adopting blockchain in the procurement system, researching new investments to blockchain funds, and investing a portion of the pension funds in crypto.

The Big Apple has suffered financially in the past year as COVID-19 ravaged businesses across the city. The incoming Comptroller will have a major task of getting the city back on track and a look towards blockchain and crypto could be the trick. Reshma Patel said,

“New York City has always been a leader in embracing innovation and progress,”

“That’s why as Comptroller, I would make it a priority to explore all options that technology has made available to us as we try to build back after COVID-19. I believe that cryptocurrency and blockchain offer untapped opportunities for the City that we can’t just ignore.”

The Comptroller oversees how the city allocates its funds by managing the government contracts and retirement funds. Patel aims to create a long-term recovery plan for NYC if she becomes Comptroller crypto and blockchain-based businesses at the core of her plans.

Under Patel’s policies, NYC will “work with the Trustees of the five New York City Retirement Systems” to invest up to 3% of the funds in top cryptos such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The investment in crypto aims to help the city fight inflation and provide a hedge if the S&P 500 falls. She said,

“With inflation expected to rise in the next few years, and bitcoin expected to continue its checkered but consistent upswing to “the moon,” a minimal allocation to the most dominant of all cryptocurrencies can help diversify and protect the City’s pension fund investments.”

“It will help guard against any potential downswings in the stock market while helping us capture the upswings of an emerging technology.”

Additionally, the proposal also plans to form a public-private task force to research a possible investment in “blockchain-specific funds.” The task force will research direct ways of investing in blockchain technology to “capture enhanced returns and support New York City-based fintech start-ups while learning more about how this cutting-edge technology can help New York City residents.”

She further proposes integrating blockchain technology systems and solutions in the procurement system across NYC. The procurement system in NYC faces a slow, convoluted process creating barriers for firms and businesses operating in the city. As a transparent and public network, implementing blockchains could treat these common problems related to tracking contracts, the statement reads. Patel said,

“A standardized system with fast-acting responses would make the contracts more accessible for smaller firms and require less bureaucracy to move projects forward.”

“A blockchain-based procurement system would provide better visibility and accountability by utilizing a fully transparent process that will also improve trust in our government.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Cathie Wood’s ARK Funds Buy More Coinbase (COIN) Shares, Now Owning Just Under 1.3 Million

Cathie Wood’s ARK Funds Buy More Coinbase (COIN) Shares, Now Owning Just Under 1.3 Million

Cathie Wood has rebalanced the company’s portfolio in favor of cryptocurrency stocks, yet again.

ARK funds bought 187,078 shares of Coinbase on Friday, adding to the 341,186 shares purchased on Thursday and 749,205 purchased on Wednesday. In total, Wood’s fund has 1,277,469 COIN shares worth almost $437 million at Friday’s closing price of $342.

The funds added to were the flagship ARK Innovation fund, the Next Generation Internet ETF, and the Fintech Innovation ETF.

Separately, it yet again sold 134,541 shares of electric car maker Tesla, valued at $99.5 million, from its flagship fund and Next Generation Internet ETF, but still, TSLA remains by far the firm’s biggest position by value on its major funds.

This big bet on Coinbase gives ARK more indirect exposure to cryptos on top of Tesla, which announced a $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin this year and started accepting cryptos as payment for its cars.

Founded in 2014, Ark invests in companies involved with disrupting trends.

While up 6.6% from Thursday closing prices, COIN share prices it is still down 21% from its debut peak of almost $430, about 42% above the reference price of $250.

The uptrend in share prices came as the price of Bitcoin recovered after falling to $60,000, and Loop Capital Markets analyst Kenneth Hill advised clients to buy shares of the largest crypto exchange in the US. BTC -8.23% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 56,246.00
-$4,629.05-8.23%
Volume 97.65 b Change -$4,629.05 Open $56,246.00 Circulating 18.69 m Market Cap 1.05 t
9 h A New Record: Over 1 Million Traders Liquidated for a Whopping $10.1 Billion 10 h Cathie Wood’s ARK Funds Buy More Coinbase (COIN) Shares, Now Owning Just Under 1.3 Million 11 h BitMEX Co-Founder Arthur Hayes Puts Ether Moon Target Above $20,000

The latest analyst to call for buy highlighted “lots of runways” for the company ahead of a “takeoff.”

“Coinbase’s market valuation may seem excessive to some given the prospects of increased competition in digital wallets business, which should rapidly eat into Coinbase’s sweet profit margins,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote, told Bloomberg.

“On the other hand, the competition is not here yet, while large trading volumes continue boosting Coinbase’s revenues for the moment.”

Besides the funds, retail traders also jumped in on COIN. Day traders purchased a net $57 million of shares during the debut on the Nasdaq Stock Market, as per VandaTrack.

Retail accounted for 7% of the $822 million individuals spent on all US stocks and ETFs on the day, making Coinbase the fifth-most popular debut with day traders since 2017.

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Coinbase was also the most traded stock on Fidelity’s platform on the day, with over 148,000 shares changing hands, nearly 9x more than Tesla.

The exchange going public has been seen as a watershed moment for the crypto industry, taking it further into the mainstream.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong called this direct listing a “shift in legitimacy” for the entire industry.

“Crypto has a shot at being a major force in the financial world.”

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Author: AnTy

Evolve Files for a Ethereum ETF After Launching its Bitcoin ETF Last Month

Evolve Files for a Ethereum ETF After Launching its Bitcoin ETF Last Month

Evolve Funds Group has filed for an Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the Canadian Securities regulators.

After launching the Bitcoin ETF (EBIT) on the Toronto Stock exchange, just a day after the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund ever — Purpose Bitcoin ETF which gained the first-mover advantage and raised $421 million in just two days of its debut.

As a result, last week Evolve lowered the management fee on EBIT to attract investors. EBIT currently has $40 million in assets under management, as at March 1, 2021.

Now, Evolve with $1.7 billion in AUM is aiming to be the first mover in Ether ETF and has filed a preliminary prospectus to provide investors exposure to the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency.

The price of Ether is currently trading around $1,550, up over 113% YTD. Raj Lala, President, and CEO, at Evolve said,

“Ether is a digital asset that is not issued by any government, bank or central organization and was intended to complement rather than compete with bitcoin.”

ETHR aims to provide investors with exposure to the daily price movements of the U.S. dollar price of Ether which will be based on the ETHUSD_RR, a once-a-day benchmark index price for Ether administered CF Benchmarks which is currently the settlement index for futures contracts listed by CME Group as well.

ETHR will offer Canadian dollar-denominated unhedged units (“CAD Units”) and U.S. dollar-denominated unhedged units (“USD Units”). Elliot Johnson, CIO, and COO at Evolve says,

“Ether is the building block for a revolution in digital finance which is still in its infancy.”

“Ethereum is the most actively used blockchain with Ether being used to pay for transaction fees and computational services.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Sellers Are Running Out of Ammo; Sees Green Start of the New Month

Meanwhile, Warren Buffett says Fixed-income investors worldwide, from pension funds, insurance companies to retirees, all are facing a “bleak future.”

Last week has been a brutal one for Bitcoin as the prices continued to go lower and lower. The low, for now, has been set at around $43,100, representing a drop of 26% from the Feb 21 high of about $58,300.

“BTC has not yet seen a capitulation wick but sellers running out of ammo,” commented trader and economist Alex Kruger. “Stocks & bonds opened sharply higher. Playbook is strong week up, not just a strong open.”

Still, another drop lower will take us to the January high of $42,000, which still won’t be anything out of the ordinary.

During the 2017 bull cycle, Bitcoin had several drawdowns of an average of 30% to 40%, and such a pullback this time would take us just under $35,000. This means we can see another leg lower especially given that March is not historically a bullish month for Bitcoin rather just the opposite.

$45k is actually very strong support, and “any dip into $39k is a no-brainer BTFD,” said on-chain analyst Willy Woo.

Moreover, the recent sell-off has been ignited by the macro environment. As we reported, the stock market has been dragging Bitcoin down along with it in the aftermath of bond prices soaring.

The sudden US treasury lift-off has been on the changing outlook for inflation and economic growth following unprecedented stimulus and monetary easing along with the increasing COVID-19 vaccinations. This further pushed the US dollar up.

Still, with the recent uptrend, the rates have only gone to pre-COVID levels. Even Warren Buffett mentioned it in their annual letter to his followers Saturday where he wrote, “bonds are not the place to be these days.”

The billionaire mentions how the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds has fallen 94% from Sept. 1981 levels. “Fixed-income investors worldwide – whether pension funds, insurance companies or retirees – face a bleak future,” reads the letter.

Commenting on this, Bitcoin bull MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor said if we agree with this that “bonds are broken as a store of value, then corporate treasury reserve strategies employing bonds no longer work to preserve shareholder value,” and of course, the answer according to him is the leading cryptocurrency.

Buffett, however, didn’t mention Bitcoin, Robinhood, or WallStreetBets in his letter at all. Meanwhile, his company’s cash stockpile, known for being massive, has come down a bit to $138 billion.

A low yield has been actually positive for Bitcoin and risky assets; as such, rising yields impact the prices in the market.

On the first day of March, Bitcoin went just over $48k, making a green start of a new month, following positive sentiment in the risky asset driven by three variables: bond panic over, Powell to calm markets, and fiscal package approved, noted Kruger

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Author: AnTy

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