Fidelity Increases Its Stake in the First Hong Kong Regulated Crypto Exchange, OSL

Fidelity Investments, a leading global asset manager interested in crypto, has increased its capital allocation to BC Technology Group. This firm runs the first crypto asset exchange to be licensed in Hong Kong, OSL. According to the regulatory filing, Fidelity increased its ownership stake from 5.29% to 6.29% after acquiring an additional 3.3 million shares at HK$52.3 million ($6.7 million).

Before this event, Fidelity’s shares at BC Technology stood at 17,795,500, an investment that the asset manager acquired last year at a rough figure of $14 million. The latest increment is a sign of the bullish outlook in being exposed to Hong Kong crypto markets where regulators seem to have been slowing capital inflows. Notably, BC Technology raised around $90 million in a top-up share placement last week.

Having received the Hong Kong license, OSL crypto exchange might be well onto the path of exponential growth. This much-coveted license is issued by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, which means that OSL now gives crypto exposure to both retail and institutions. The exchange recently touted its status as the world’s ‘first SFC-licensed, listed, digital asset wallet-insured, Big-4 audited digital asset trading platform for institutions and professional investors.’

Going by such fundaments, Fidelity’s capital scaling in Asia comes as no surprise; in fact, the firm recently invested in a Singapore regulated fund manager dubbed Stack Funds in a move that will enable investors to purchase and store crypto assets. Fidelity also launched a Europe based unit towards the end of last year; this particular entity was launched in the United Kingdom and will focus on extending Fidelity’s services to the larger European market.

Overall, Fidelity has had quite a good run in the crypto space; its CEO, Abigail Johnson, a crypto enthusiast, recently revealed that their custody operations have been ‘incredibly successful.’ Having launched its Bitcoin fund in early 2020, Fidelity targets investors who can invest a minimum of $100,000. Per the company’s latest updates, an estimated 36% of institutional investors have exposure to BTC or other crypto assets.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

World’s Largest Asset Manager, BlackRock, to Hire a VP to ‘Drive Demand’ for Crypto Offerings

World’s Largest Asset Manager, BlackRock, to Hire a VP to ‘Drive Demand’ for Crypto Offerings

The New-York VP of blockchain requires experience in the technological foundations of blockchain technology who will be devising fundamental valuation methodologies for crypto-assets.

Well, no surprise there.

Given that everyone is jumping on the bitcoin and cryptocurrency bandwagon, this is to be expected. BlackRock, which has about $7 trillion assets under management, has been turning Bitcoin-friendly.

It all started in November when BlackRock CIO of Fixed Income Rick Rieder not only said that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are here to stay but that digital gold can replace yellow metal someday.

A few days back, Reider also said that there is “clearly greater demand than supply.”

At the beginning of this month, CEO Larry Fink talked about Bitcoin catching the attention of people which can possibly evolve into a global market asset that is while questioning the US dollar’s status as a reserve currency.

And now, BlackRock is hiring a vice president to “drive demand” for its crypto offerings.

As per the job vacancy, the New-York VP of blockchain will have at least one year of experience in the technological foundations of blockchain technology including cryptographic hash functions, distributed network consensus mechanisms, and public-private key cryptography.

The candidate will be creating and articulating fundamental valuation methodologies for digital assets; evaluating game theory and decentralizing governance models; and work with key drivers of blockchain networks’ design and their impact on speed, scalability, privacy, and security.

He/she has to “create and implement strategies designed to drive demand for the firm’s offerings and enhance the value proposition to clients of the firm’s investments and technology offerings,” reads the description.

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Author: AnTy

Canada’s Largest Fund Group Partners with Galaxy Digital, Completes $72M IPO of a Bitcoin Fund

Amidst Bitcoin’s crazy rally, Canadian mutual fund manager CI Financial Corp. raised $72 million in an initial public offering of a Bitcoin fund.

Founded in 1965, CI Financial is Canada’s largest independent mutual-fund manager with C$215.6 billion in assets under management as of Nov. 30.

While Toronto-based CI Financial will be managing the fund, Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital will be the sub-advisor and execute the Bitcoin trading on behalf of the fund. On this collaboration, Novogratz commented,

“Fuel to the fire. So excited to partner with Canada’s largest fund group.”

The IPO attracted interest from a wide range of investors, including individuals, institutions, high-net-worth investors, and financial advisers.

Each share of the CI galaxy Bitcoin Fund was sold at C$12.88 ($10). It will be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange to trade in U.S. and Canadian dollars.

The fund enables the company’s clients to hold the largest cryptocurrency through existing investment channels without going on new platforms. CI Financial Chief Executive Officer Kurt MacAlpine in an interview said,

“Having a product that can be bought directly — it can be bought through their financial adviser on behalf of them — it just makes their life a lot simpler than having to address their desire for Bitcoin via different structures and wallets.”

The closed-end fund will invest directly in Bitcoin, which will be held in segregated cold storage.

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Author: AnTy

Ruffer Investment Reduces Gold Exposure & Adds Bitcoin as an ‘Insurance Policy’

UK-based traditional asset manager Ruffer Investment is the latest company to allocate 2.5% of its portfolio to Bitcoin.

Much like Paul Tudor Jones, MicroStrategy, Square, MassMutual, and other institutions, Ruffer uses Bitcoin as insurance against the devaluation of the world’s fiat currencies.

The company’s Bitcoin allocation was close to 2.5%, which represents about $740 million (according to a spokesperson that confirmed with CoinDesk). On the other hand, Ruffer’s parent company has £20.3 billion ($27.4 billion) in AUM. The official announcement by the company reads,

“We wanted to give shareholders a short update on performance this year and to let you know about a new allocation to the digital currency bitcoin.”

During its performance update on Dec. 15, the company noted that their portfolio made strong progress even amidst the turmoil of 2020, which was the result of gold and the inflation-linked bonds performing well, and more recently, equities reacted very positively to the success of the covid-19 vaccines, leading the portfolio higher.

The company further stated that they had made a recent addition “within the Ruffer Multi-Strategies Fund,” Bitcoin, which is “primarily a defensive move.” This allocation to Bitcoin was actually made in November “after reducing the company’s exposure to gold,” it said.

It further goes on to say that their bitcoin exposure though small is a “potent insurance policy against the continuing devaluation of the world’s major currencies.”

According to Ruffer, Bitcoin diversified their much larger investments in gold and inflation-linked bonds, adding that the largest cryptocurrency “acts as a hedge to some of the monetary and market risks that we see.”

The company aims to not lose money by being in cash and grow the value of their clients’ assets in the long term.

“Traditional asset managers are not buying bitcoin to dump after a short period of time. They represent the herd we’ve been talking about for years,” said trader and economist Alex Kruger.

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Author: AnTy

3iQ’s Ether Fund is Now Trading on Toronto Stock Exchange; The First ETH-Based ETF

On Thursday, the Canadian investment fund manager announced that 3iQ’s Ether Fund had completed its initial public offering (IPO) of 7,240,000 shares for $76.5 million. It has started trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol QETH.U.

The trading started a couple of hours late due to a delay in closing the IPO prospectus. On resumption, the fund recorded a high of $11.48 and a low of $10.80 before ending the day at $11.02, with 345,331 shares traded across the day.

The Fund provides its holders’ exposure to the second-largest digital currency and an opportunity for “long-term capital appreciation.” Tyler Winklevoss, the co-founder and CEO of crypto exchange Gemini which will provide its custody services to the company, tweeted,

“Huge news for Ethereans. The Ether Fund by @3iq_corp will list on the Toronto Stock Exchange ($QETH).”

Ether’s price has been choppy for the past few weeks, going down to $535 today.

However, as we reported, institutional investors have been taking this dip as an opportunity to scoop more and more ETH through Grayscale’s ETHE product.

While nearly 3 million ETH are locked in ETHE, more than 1% of ETH’s circulating supply is deposited in ETH 2.0, and 6.1% of it is locked in DeFi protocols.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Funds Attracted $4B in Inflows in 2020, CoinShares AUM Surges to $15B

Digital asset manager CoinShares saw its assets under management (AUM) rising to an all-time peak of $15 billion, which were standing at just $2.57 billion at the end of 2019.

This surge is the result of institutional investors pumping the second-highest amount on record, $429 million, into the company’s crypto funds, for the week ending Dec. 7.

Grayscale’s assets under management have risen to over $12.4 billion by amassing inflows of $4.3 billion this year. Just last week, the world’s largest crypto fund had more than $336 million in inflows.

“On an anecdotal level, based on our client conversations over the course of 2020, we have seen a decisive shift from enquiries of a speculative nature to those that begin with comments such as, ‘bitcoin is here to stay, please help us understand it,’” said James Butterfill, investment strategist at CoinShares.

“Given the levels of interest, this suggests we are only on the cusp of institutional adoption rather than it cooling down,” he added.

Weekly-Crypto-Asset-Flows-by-Institution

Source: CoinShares

The second-largest cryptocurrency Ethereum also saw inflows of US$87m, representing 20% of total inflows, far greater than its current share of 14%.

Bitcoin-focused funds attracted inflows of $334.7 million last week, bringing the total inflows so far this year to nearly $4 billion.

In contrast to this growth, gold experienced outflows of a record $9.2 billion over the last four weeks from its investment products, while bitcoin saw inflows totaling $1.4 billion during the same period, as per CoinShares latest report.

However, inflows into gold products were higher in the entire year at $45.7 billion.

The CoinShares report attributes these gains to the weak US dollar, which highlighted the fears of excessive monetary policy, combined with worries over management of the COVID crisis.

This is a period when gold should outperform; as such, the report believes, “investors are choosing to allocate to Bitcoin to help diversify the limited-supply asset component of their portfolios.”

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Author: AnTy

VanEck’s Launches Physically-Backed Bitcoin ETN on Deutsche Böerse Xetra

Asset manager VanEck has listed a Bitcoin ETN on the regulated segment of Deutsche Börse Xetra, as per the announcement on Wednesday.

This product will allow investors to participate directly in the performance of bitcoin but without buying the digital currency themselves, making it as “uncomplicated” as trading in shares or ETFs.

“Bitcoin’s low correlation to other asset classes makes it an excellent way to contribute to the diversification of a portfolio,” says Martijn Rozemuller, Head of Europe at VanEck.

For cold storage, VanEck is working with Liechtenstein-based regulated crypto custodian Bank Frick.

The most important feature of this Bitcoin ETPs is that it is physically backed by the real BTC meaning the

“money invested in the ETN is actually used to buy bitcoin.”

Negligible premium/discount to NAV, transparent holdings, transparent prices, and investor protections are its other features, shared Gabor Gurbacs, VanEck’s director of digital asset strategy.

“VanEck is committed to support Bitcoin-focused financial innovation. Bringing to market a physical, fully-backed major exchange-listed Bitcoin ETP was a top priority of our firm. We succeeded! We hope to serve many clients and partners in Europe, Asia and across the world using our innovative, investment-friendly and regulatory-conscious access vehicles,” Gurbacs said.

VanEck had also filed for a Bitcoin ETF in the US in collaboration with SolidX but like all the other proposals, it was rejected by the regulators. Before the final deadline, it actually withdrew its own proposal but said it will continue to pursue an exchange-traded fund.

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Author: AnTy

Ray Dalio Admits “Missing Something about Bitcoin,” says Would Love to be Corrected

The co-founder of the world’s largest hedge fund manager, Bridgewater Associates, might not be convinced that Bitcoin can be a currency. Still, he is also admitting that he might be missing something about the leading cryptocurrency.

“I might be missing something about Bitcoin, so I’d love to be corrected,” said Ray Dalio in a tweet on Tuesday.

This tweet came in response to someone’s comment on Dalio not practicing what he preaches. Dalio’s original tweet talked about practicing to “appreciate the art of thoughtful disagreement,” being critical to society and very relevant in getting the very right answers together.

“His opinion on BTC at the moment clearly reflects a lack of deep insight in the matter,” said one Twitter user.

After saying that he might be missing something about Bitcoin, he reiterated his view on why he has problems with BTC being an effective currency.

The issues are simple: “Bitcoin is not very good as a medium of exchange because you can buy much with it,” he said, adding because it is too volatile for most merchants to use but added, “correct me if I’m wrong.”

The billionaire investor further pointed out that it is this volatility that makes it “not very good as a store-hold of wealth” and also because “it has little correlation with the prices of what I need to buy so owning it doesn’t protect my buying power.”

And last but not least, he thinks, if Bitcoin “becomes successful enough to compete and be threatening enough to currencies that governments control, the governments will outlaw it and make it too dangerous to us.”

Last week, when Dalio talked about the government banning the open-source, peer-to-peer system, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has cut it down with a simple “No.”

Dalio just “can’t imagine” that central banks, businesses, multinational companies, or big institutional investors are using it. But again,

“If I’m wrong about these things I would love to be corrected.”

Given the kind of adoption Bitcoin has been seeing from the public companies and institutional investors in 2020, Dalio certainly needs to take a deep dive into Bitcoin to understand it better.

Meanwhile, BTC continues to climb higher and higher, reaching levels not seen since January 2018. Today, BTC/USD jumped to nearly $17,900.

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Author: AnTy

Institutional Asset Manager, Stone Ridge, Buys 10,000 Bitcoin as its Treasury Reserve Asset

The $10 billion institutional asset manager has bought 10k BTC worth $115 million as its “primary treasury reserve asset.”

Publicly-traded MicroStrategy first started the narrative (twice), then last week, Jack Dorsey’s Square bought $50 million Bitcoin, representing 1% of company assets.

Already 15 public companies have bitcoin in their Treasuries, and several small businesses like Tahini and Snappa have converted their US dollars in the balance sheet with the leading digital asset.

Now, Stone Ridge Holdings Group has jumped on the BTC as a reserve asset train. The investment was based on the thesis that “the long term growth of an open-source monetary system—in assets like bitcoin,” co-founder Robert Gutmann told Forbes.

Its crypto subsidiary NYDIG also announced on Tuesday that it had raised $50 million in funding led by VC fund FinTech Collective along with Bessemer Ventures and Ribbit capital.

NYDIG, which offers prime brokerage and custody services to institutional customers, is among the handful of companies that have obtained New York state’s BitLicense.

Gutmann, who has taken over as co-founder and CEO of NYDIG, also shared that they are seeing “pretty dramatic acceleration in the count of institutional investors who want to participate in the market since March of this year.”

The unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus post-COVID-19 pandemic, according to him, will drive more and more people to hedge their investment portfolio with digital assets.

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Author: AnTy

Brazil’s Hashdex Launches World’s First Crypto ETF in Partnership with Nasdaq

Brazilian manager Hashdex has obtained the approval to launch the world’s first cryptocurrency Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), in partnership with Nasdaq.

Named Hashdex Nasdaq Crypto Index ETF, the product will be listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange, as per local media reports.

It is expected to be available by the end of the year, which will replicate the Crypto Nasdaq Index, a joint effort of Nasdaq and Hashdex, which aims to attract institutional investment in cryptos.

Hashdex already has three crypto funds available for investment, with the most accessible one being Discovery that has a minimum investment of $500 and a management fee of 1% per year.

While in the US, several attempts at Bitcoin ETF have been rejected by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Hashdex has chosen the island specifically because of Bermuda’s crypto-friendly regulations.

According to Marcelo Sampaio, CEO of Hashdex, Nasdaq’s formal entry into the digital assets market is yet another confirmation that investments in crypto are being viewed with greater interest and confidence. He said,

“This process should also speed up the entry of institutional investors in this segment. It is a trend that increasingly becomes concrete.”

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Author: AnTy