UK Hedge Fund Brevan Howard Plans to Invest 1.6% of $5.6B Capital in Cryptocurrencies

UK Hedge Fund Brevan Howard Plans to Invest 1.6% of $5.6B Capital in Cryptocurrencies

European hedge fund Brevan Howard Asset Management is reportedly planning to invest part of its capital in Bitcoin, according to Bloomberg.

Hedge Fund Joins League of Institutional Investors

Per the report, the firm is set to invest up to 1.6% of its $5.6 billion capital in cryptocurrencies. This translates to about $84 million soon to be allocated into digital assets.

Co-founders of crypto investment firm Distributed Global, Johnny Steindorff and Tucker Waterman, will oversee the crypto purchase for Brevan Howard.

Brevan Howard plans to have a diversified portfolio of cryptocurrencies; not just Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

The billionaire co-founder, Alan Howard has been investing in cryptocurrencies with his personal investments. He joins the likes of wall street heavyweights backing cryptocurrencies.

Howard owns a significant stake in European cryptocurrency asset manager CoinShares. He has also led and participated in many funding rounds for crypto startups. These include European companies such as Komainu and Nextmarkets.

More To Come, Less To Go

With the increasing debut of institutional investors in cryptocurrencies across the world, experts believe that more will come in and less will go because of the rising value of Bitcoin. At press time, Bitcoin trades at $61,896, still down 1.6% in the last 24 hours.

A survey report conducted by Glassnode showed that there was about 4 million Bitcoin in circulation, a feat that has never happened before.

The report added that the sharp rise in the demand for digital assets might lead to a massive supply squeeze in the meantime, which is capable of pushing the price higher.

As a result, the coins being mined are not even enough to meet the people’s demand. Most experts believe the short squeeze is also a factor driving crypto prices.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Chainalysis Raises $100 Million with a $2 Billion Valuation, No Plans to Go Public Yet

Chainalysis Raises $100 Million with a $2 Billion Valuation, No Plans to Go Public Yet

Blockchain research and analysis firm Chainalysis is the latest company in the crypto industry to raise funds. The firm has raised $100 million from investors led by Paradigm, co-founded by crypto exchange Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehsram.

TIME Ventures, the investment fund of billionaire Marc Benioff also participated in the funding round along with the previous backers, Addition, and Ribbit.

The new investment came just on the back of a $100 million investment in November, bringing Chainalysis’s valuation at more than $2 billion.

The New York-based company helps private firms and government agencies process and mine blockchain data for analysis recorded on blockchains to root out “cryptocurrency crime and money laundering.”

The company aims to use the raised funds for hiring across all parts of the organization and expand its product portfolio to provide new data solutions.

Chainalysis is building solutions for cryptocurrency businesses and financial services providers to optimize their market development strategies based on on-chain customer behaviors, help asset managers use on-chain data to discover crypto investing opportunities, and government agencies connect on-chain activity to other data sets.

As of yet, Chainalysis has no plans to go public, said Chief Executive Officer Michael Gronager, adding that they are choosing growth over profitability for the time being.

“We’re assuming we can do even better in 2022,” he said. “We can do more, but doing more takes money.”

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Author: AnTy

Bank of Russia to Launch Digital Ruble Pilot in 2021

Bank of Russia to Launch Digital Ruble Pilot in 2021

  • Russia in plans to launch a central bank digital currency prototype by the end of 2021.

Local reports from Russia indicate the country plans to complete its prototype for a digital ruble before the end of 2021. According to Prime, a financial news outlet, the central bank will launch pilot programs to test the CBDC in 2022 once the prototype is complete.

The report states the Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank, Alexei Zabotkin, confirmed the news during an online conference organized by NES. Zabotkin confirmed plans to launch the “prototype was underway” pending some technological developments. However, users will need to wait longer to use the digital ruble as real transactions will not be activated until the platform’s full launch. He added,

“Next year, based on this prototype, taking into account its revision, we will already be launching testing rounds.”

The latest news cement the central bank of Russia’s position in launching its CBDC, an ongoing craze across governments. In October last year, the central bank released a consultative paper on CBDCs, enhancing and advancing payment systems in the country. A week later, the bank stated it had started studying the pros and cons of launching a digital ruble kicking off its development.

Despite the barbarian crypto laws set in the country, massive developments are ongoing in the stablecoin and digital currency fields. Leading state-owned bank Sberbank also announced its plans to launch a blockchain that will host its stablecoin, Sbercoin.

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Author: Lujan Odera

A New ETF is Filed to Invest in Companies Having Direct or Indirect Exposure to Bitcoin

But the Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF Fund has no plans to invest in Bitcoin directly or indirectly through derivatives.

Valkyrie Digital Assets has filed for an exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that would invest in companies that have Bitcoin on their balance sheet or are indirectly dealing with the cryptocurrency.

A Form N1-A has been filed for Valkyrie Innovative Balance Sheet ETF in partnership with KKM Financial, which is the investment advisor of the fund, and for the distributor of the fund, the company has chosen institutional asset manager SEI. The document reads,

“The Fund is an actively-managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) that will invest principally in the securities of operating companies… that directly or indirectly invest in, transact in, or otherwise have exposure to bitcoin or operate in the bitcoin ecosystem.”

The Bitcoin ecosystem is defined here as trading platforms, miners, custodians, digital wallet providers, companies that facilitate payments in bitcoin, and companies that provide other technology, equipment, or services to companies operating in the ecosystem. However, the Fund has no interest whatsoever in investing in Bitcoin directly or indirectly through derivatives.

Just today, BTC/USD has made a new ATH above $60,000.

Last week, JPMorgan Chase published a filing for an incoming debt instrument that will also invest in companies like MicroStrategy, Square, chipmaker Nvidia, and others that are involved with cryptocurrency.

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Author: AnTy

Shark Tank Investor Kevin O’Leary Changes Tune, Plans to Add Bitcoin to Portfolio

Shark Tank Investor Kevin O’Leary Changes Tune, Plans to Add Bitcoin to Portfolio

In a year that has seen the most cynical critic becoming a crypto faithful, crypto continues to boom, with traditional institutions and high-net-worth individuals wanting a piece of the crypto pie.

Popular TV personality Kevin O’Leary, known to Shark Tank fans as “Mr. Wonderful,” has decided to leave the critics’ boat behind and join the Bitcoin train.

Kevin Makes A “Wonderful” Move To Crypto Club

The Canadian investor who is infamously remembered for calling Bitcoin “garbage” two years ago has finally made a 180 on BTC. Volatility was the primary reason O’Leary and Mark Cuban were quick to write-off the digital asset. Calling into question the sustainability of an asset that could easily fall as much as 30% in one week.

At one point, Cuban said he preferred owning bananas to Bitcoin. But still, he made sure his basketball company, the Mavericks, offered BTC payment options for fans. O’Leary plans to allocate 3% of his investment portfolio to the highly volatile assets class.

The covid-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees. It also brought investors into cryptocurrencies. Notable tech companies like Square, MicroStrategy, and Tesla Inc. have made a dynamic tweak to their investment practice which has seen Bitcoin featuring heavily.

MicroStrategy has built a name for itself with its pivot into Bitcoin. The publicly-traded company has been on a buying spree. It owns a reported 90,859 BTC worth $4.3 billion.

Tesla has been more conservative and invested only 7.7% of its cash reserves in BTC, costing it $1.5 billion. Square, owned by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has been a more quiet BTC buyer even as it boasts over $300 million locked in the largest crypto by market cap.

Institutional adoptions have seen many critics rethinking their decision, and Kevin O’Leary is the latest addition to the BTC family. In a tweet posted on his verified Twitter profile, the Shark Tank colleague of Cuban said the rapidly changing regulatory environment played a role in his decision. Mr. Wonderful, as he is fondly known on TV, had previously said he owned only $100 in crypto so far. But his 3% allocation will definitely increase his exposure to crypto-assets.

Cuban In A Crypto Love Affair

Making an official announcement on his shift towards crypto on a Feb.22 CNBC’s show hosted by Hadley Gamble, O’Leary said that digital currencies have come to stay. He also added that he would stake 3% of his investment portfolio on the foremost cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

While O’Leary has committed to a future partnership in crypto, Cuban has been quite active in the space. He once admitted to being intrigued by meme-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin (DOGE). Stating that his 11-year old son was also a crypto investor, the billionaire investor said that many things have changed since crypto began to have more real-world use cases.

Following this DOGE love, Cuban admitted that he is most fascinated by Ethereum’s smart contract functionality. To him, the second most valuable crypto-asset is set to disrupt the business models of most tech companies. While he still considers Bitcoin to be more valuable than gold due to its metered units, he has his attention riveted on Ethereum.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Thailand SEC Plans to Introduce New Rule on Crypto Trading as Young Investors Rush In

Thailand SEC Plans to Introduce New Rule on Crypto Trading as Young Investors Rush In

In January, the trading on the nation’s licensed exchanges tripled from the previous month. With very young investors involved, students and teenagers, regulators will be revealing new proposed rules this week.

Thailand is planning to introduce new rules to curb cryptocurrency trading by individuals. The move is made in response to a surge in inflows from young investors, which is concerning the regulators. Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, the secretary-general of the Securities & Exchange Commission, in an interview on Friday, said,

“It’s a big concern as most crypto investors on domestic exchanges are very young, such as students and teenagers.”

“We realize those people love innovations and technology, but investments in these assets have enormous risk.”

The regulators are now planning to have retail investors show their income or assets before being allowed to open trading accounts with the nation’s six licensed cryptocurrency exchanges, said Suwanmongkol.

She added that those who aren’t allowed to trade cryptocurrencies through their own accounts could invest through financial managers or licensed fund managers.

As per these new rules, individual investors may even be required to have some knowledge of crypto markets before they are allowed to open accounts to trade digital currencies.

In the month of January, crypto trading on the licensed bourses of Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy tripled from the previous month to 56 billion baht ($2.17 billion), revealed SEC data. Over 90% of this trading comes from Thai citizens.

These new proposed rules on cryptocurrency trading will be disclosed by the regulators this week before holding a public hearing in early March, said Ruenvadee. However, before finalizing the limitations, officials will be taking suggestions and recommendations from crypto exchange operators, brokerages, and other related parties, she added.

The nation may soon see its first initial coin offering as well. The new token to be offered by a local company in the first half will be backed by the rental revenue of properties.

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Author: AnTy

General Motors CEO: “No Plans to Invest in Bitcoin” But will Evaluate Accepting it as Payment

General Motors (GME) CEO: “No Plans to Invest in Bitcoin” But will Evaluate Accepting it as Payment

Ever since electric vehicle company Tesla announced that it had purchased $1.50 billion worth of Bitcoin, everyone wants to know which company will be the next to make the same decision.

Already publicly-listed, Square and MicroStrategy have done so. As we reported, even Twitter is considering adding Bitcoin to its balance sheet, but the company hasn’t made any changes yet.

So, it was only natural that people want to know if General Motors (GM) is considering the same as the company reported its fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations.

However, GM has no plans as such.

General Motors CEO and Chairman Mary Barra said the automaker has no plans for investing in Bitcoin. The silver lining here is that the company will be monitoring customer demand regarding accepting cryptocurrency to pay for its vehicles and services.

The company reported revenue of $37.5 billion, more than the expected $36.12 billion. GM is planning to accelerate its all-electric and autonomous vehicle development and rollout. “We are investing in the business,” Barra said.

“We see tremendous growth opportunities and we’re also accelerating EVs; $7 billion alone of the $9-$10 billion is focused on EV/AV. So we see tremendous opportunity there.”

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Author: AnTy

Crypto’s Are Becoming Mediums of Exchange as Visa CEO Plans to Add Them to the Network

Crypto’s Are Becoming Mediums of Exchange as Visa CEO Plans to Add Them to the Network

Describing Bitcoin as “digital gold,” Alfred Kelly said they “predominantly held as assets” but sees stablecoins and CBDCs as “emerging payments innovation” that can be used for global commerce.

Payments giant Visa could be the latest one to add cryptocurrencies to its network after PayPal allowed its millions of users to buy and sell last year and soon to use cryptos in its merchant network in October.

Last week, Alfred Kelly, the chief executive officer at Visa, said the company might add cryptos to its payment network as he said they are in a position to make digital currencies more “safe, useful and applicable.” While speaking on the company’s fiscal first-quarter 2021 earnings call, Kelly said,

“Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally.”

Kelly said they see the crypto market in two segments; the first one is new assets like Bitcoin, which he described as “digital gold.” He said,

“They are predominantly held as assets that are not used as a form of payment in a significant way at this point.”

The second segment is of stablecoins, which are directly backed by existing fiat currencies, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which he said, “are an emerging payments innovation that could have the potential to be used for global commerce, much like any other fiat currency,” and Visa sees them as part of their network of networks strategy. Kelly said,

“Across both of these segments, we are the clear leader in this space.”

The CEO further goes on to mention how already several, a total of 35, leading digital currency platforms and wallets such as Crypto.com, BlockFi, Fold, and BitPanda are working with Visa, which “represent the potential for more than 50 million Visa credentials.” Kelly said,

“It goes without saying, to the extent a specific digital currency becomes a recognized means of exchange, there’s no reason why we cannot add it to our network, which already supports over 160 currencies today.”

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Author: AnTy

Jihan Wu’s Bit.Com Plans To Launch The First Ever Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Option Contracts

Jihan Wu’s Bit.Com Plans To Launch The First Ever Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Option Contracts

  • Bitmain founder Jihan Wu launches Bitcoin Cash (BCH) perpetual swaps on Bit.com exchange.
  • The exchange teases the world’s first BCH option contracts.

Bit.com, a Jihan Wu-owned exchange, announced on Wednesday, plans to add perpetual swaps of Bitcoin’s fork project, Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Reports from Chinese blockchain insider Colin Wu further confirms that the exchange is planning to become the first to offer BCH option contracts.

Bit.com Introduces BCH Perpetual Contracts

In a tweet sent out on Wednesday Colin Wu stated Bit.com, a Seychelles incorporated crypto exchange, has added Bitcoin Cash (BCH/USDT) perpetual swaps to its list of crypto derivatives. The exchange was founded by Jihan Wu, the ousted founder of Bitmain, the largest cryptocurrency mining rig producer, to offset the latter’s losses.

The BCH/USDT perpetual contract launches Thursday, January 20th, offering traders up to 33X leverage on their trades. To increase participation in the new swaps, Bit.com will airdrop up to $100,000 in BCH tokens to any new users and traders who haven’t used the exchange before Jan 20. The deadline to participate in the airdrop ends January 27, with a maximum of $10 being paid out per trader.

The exchange will also offer additional bonus rewards for registration on the platform, KYC compliance, joining the Bit.com social media channels, interacting with the community, and too large BCH depositors with at least 5 BCH (~$2,400).

Wu Teases the First-Ever BCH Option Contracts

Additionally, Bit.com is set to become the first exchange ever to list BCH option contracts on February 1, 2021, Coin Wu confirmed. At launch, the BCH option contracts will be settled in Tether (USDT) only to boost the overall market participation in these new derivatives.

According to the Chinese crypto market inside man, Jihan Wu is launching the BCH derivative products to cover the losses made by Bitmain on BCH. Matrixport, the parent firm of Bit.com, announced its plans to launch Bitcoin derivatives back in July 2020 as Wu and Bitmain’s co-founder, Micree Zhan fought over control of Bitmain. Colin Wu’s tweet reads,

“Jihan Wu has been attacked internally. Therefore, in recent years, he has made few public opinions on BCH,”

“Bitmain will be split within a week, and he may pay more attention to the BCH ecology.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

NexTech AR Solutions Announces $2M Bitcoin Investment; Plans to Add More BTC in Treasury in 2021

NexTech AR Solutions Announces $2M Bitcoin Investment; Plans to Add More BTC in Treasury in 2021

The company says “the timing is right for this move,” and “a paradigm shift to digital gold is underway.”

The list of companies adding Bitcoin to their Treasury keeps on getting bigger and bigger.

The latest one to join, NexTech AR Solutions (NEXCF), plans to make an initial investment of $2 million in Bitcoin. The company is planning to add more BTC to its stash in 2021.

This decision has been made in the light of Bitcoins’ widespread adoption by the institutions this year. Besides Grayscale holding 607.14k BTC for its accredited and institutional investors, big names like Guggenheim, Mass Mutual, Square, and MicroStrategy have gone deep into the cryptocurrency.

The company feels that “the timing is right for this move,” as the widespread adoption of Bitcoin continues, as per the official announcement.

Much like other companies, NexTech aims to maximize the long-term value for its shareholders with the new capital diversification and allocation strategy. NexTech CEO, Evan Gappelberg said,

“This initial investment reflects our belief that Bitcoin is a long-term store of value and an attractive investment asset with more long-term appreciation potential than holding cash, which is currently yielding 0.06%.”

Gappelberg further notes that as a digital version of gold, Bitcoin only has a market cap of half a trillion dollars compared to precious metal’s $10 trillion market capitalization. He said,

“We think that as part of the digital transformation a paradigm shift to digital gold is underway and as Bitcoin is seen more and more as a store of value, just like gold, it will catch up to gold.”

As we reported, another company Greenpro Capital announced that it will be launching a $100 million Bitcoin fund and will also replace cash with Bitcoin in its balance sheet.

As Anthony Scaramucci, founder and co-managing partner of Skybridge Capital said while Bitcoin has “caught fire.. we’re still in very very early innings” and this is a “wave of early adoption by the institutional community.”

Currently trading around $26,700, Bitcoin has rallied more than 275% this year.

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Author: AnTy