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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Author: AnTy

Major US Bitcoin Mining Company Going Public at $4.3B Valuation via SPAC Backed by BlackRock

Major US Bitcoin Mining Company Going Public at $4.3B Valuation via SPAC Backed by BlackRock

100% net carbon neutral miner, Core Scientific, which mined 928 BTC in Q2 and over 3,000 BTC so far in 2021, is also planning to expand to more states.

Core Scientific Holding is going public through a merger with a blank-check company that puts its valuation at $4.3 billion.

Rival public cryptocurrency miners Marathon Digital and Riot Blockchain have market capitalizations of $2.25 billion and $2.18 billion respectively.

A major US cryptocurrency mining company, Core Scientific, is signing a deal with Power & Digital Infrastructure Acquisition Corp, which is backed by BlackRock Inc. This deal will fetch $300 million in cash proceeds, but they didn’t disclose a private investment in public equity (PIPE) round.

Core plans to funnel this fresh capital back into the company to fund growth.

Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have become a popular way to go public where pools of capital are raised through initial public offerings to merge with a private company and take it public.

Power & Digital raised $345 million in an upsized IPO in February.

The company mined 928 BTC in Q2 and a total of over 3,000 BTC so far in 2021 compared to Marathon mining, a total of 846 BTC and Riot 1,167.

In 2020, it generated $60 million in revenue and forecast revenues of $493 million and $1.1 billion for fiscal 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Core is currently adding capacity at its existing sites, which operates about 80,000 rigs and will be extended to the past 300,000 miners by the end of 2022. The company is also looking to build more facilities in potentially one to two more states.

“We’re all sold out. Every bit of infrastructure we can build — and we’re the biggest — we have demand for,” co-chairman and CEO Mike Levitt said in an interview.

“We’re basically sold out of capacity through 2022, and we’re building more.”

Core Scientific, which has operations in North Dakota, North Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky, said it was 100% net carbon neutral, with 56% of its electricity coming from sustainable sources, including solar, wind, hydro, and nuclear. It buys carbon credits to offset the rest.

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Author: AnTy

Block.one Capitalizing on Bull Market, Through “Bullish” Going Public in a SPAC Deal at a $9B Valuation

After EOS, Block.one Capitalizing on Bull Market Through “Bullish” Going Public in a SPAC Deal at a $9B Valuation

While EOS price is seeing a 10% jump from the news today, the token is down 82.6% from its all-time high of $22.7 three years back in 2018 and failed to reach its peak even in 2021, where crypto prices soared to new heights and made crypto over a $2.6 trillion industry.

Block.one’s Bullish is going public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Far Peak Acquisition Corp, that will put its valuation at about $9 billion.

The deal includes a $300 million private investment in a public entity with other investors, including funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Galaxy Digital, and Cryptology Asset Group.

This merger will provide $600 million in net cash, according to the statement.

Block.one launched Bullish in May which plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange later this year to capitalize on the growing adoption and the bull market.

Ahead of its public launch, which is anticipated later this year, Bullish will be running a private pilot program in the coming weeks.

Far Peak CEO Thomas W. Farley, a former NYSE president, will be the CEO of Bullish while Block.one CEO, Brendan Blumer, will become the chairman of the combined firm.

“With the increased interest from institutional players and sophisticated traders, it is critical to iterate on the existing exchange infrastructures we see today,” Farley said in the statement.

The deal, subject to approval by Far Peak stockholders and regulators, is expected to close by this year-end.

Block.one is backed by billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel and hedge fund managers Alan Howard and Louis Bacon, Galaxy Digital, Japanese bank Nomura, German investor Christian Angermayer’s Apeiron Investment Group, and Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li.

Block.one is the same company behind EOS and conducted the largest ever initial coin offering (ICO) of $4 billion in 2017.

ICO investors actually filed a lawsuit against Block.one for misleading them into believing that EOS would be decentralized. Last month, Block.one settled its class-action lawsuit for $27.5 million concerning the ICO itself.

The hefty ICO didn’t do anything for the EOS investors, with the cryptocurrency currently worth less than $3.8 billion at the 28th spot while the token trades under $4 per EOS.

While EOS price sees a 10% jump from the news, the token is down 82.6% from its all-time high of $22.71 three years back in 2018, as per CoinGecko. The cryptocurrency failed to reach its peak despite the raging bull market up until a couple of months ago, which put the crypto prices to new heights and made crypto over a $2.6 trillion industry. EOS 19.14% EOS / USD EOSUSD $ 4.27
$0.8219.14%
Volume 2.15 b Change $0.82 Open $4.27 Circulating 955.04 m Market Cap 4.08 b
9 h After EOS, Block.one Capitalizing on Bull Market Through “Bullish” Going Public in a SPAC Deal at a $9B Valuation 2 d NFT Mania Peaked in March But Play-to-Earn Games Leading the Market Now; Accelerating Mainstream Mass Adoption 2 w Venture Capital Funds Have Already Invested $17 Billion in the Crypto Market This Year

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“Bullish’s entry into the public markets allows our customers to take part in Bullish by holding a piece of our company, without any of the regulatory uncertainties or jurisdictional limitations of a profit-sharing token issuance,” Blumer told Reuters.

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Author: AnTy

Robinhood’s IPO Pushed Back As SEC Delays Approval

Robinhood’s IPO Pushed Back As SEC Delays Approval

The initial public offering (IPO) of stock trading platform Robinhood Markets LLC is being slowed.

According to a Bloomberg report, several people familiar with the matter say the Securities and Exchange Commission has been delaying its review in recent weeks.

SEC Scrutinizes Robinhood’s Crypto Arm

Per the report, the approval has been delayed because the regulator is reportedly looking closely at Robinhood’s growing cryptocurrency business.

The report says the two parties have had extensive discussions about the firm’s IPO prospectus with the regulators particularly concerned about the crypto arm.

Robinhood started cryptocurrency trading on its platform in 2018, before expanding it in 2021. The platform now has a wide range of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and others.

The firm had earlier planned for a June listing after its filing in March 2021, before shifting to July 2021–which is not certain.

Nevertheless, Robinhood says it would reveal its financials and go public once the SEC finally finishes its review.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in California, Robinhood is known for offering commission-free trades of stocks and exchange-traded funds.

Robinhood’s Rise To Fame

Robinhood soared in popularity last year. The firm’s rapid rise to prominence was preceded by the GameStop short-squeeze controversy in January 2021.

The broker had halted trading of Gamestop stocks on its platform alongside shares of AMC Entertainment and Blackberry.

This did not sit well with retail traders as the company received public backlash over it. The company later lifted Gamestop restrictions saying they did so to guard against market manipulation.

In terms of revenue, Robinhood has had a good run this year. The brokerage firm made $331 million in payment in the first quarter of 2021, according to an SEC filing.

Out of the payments, $133 million was made from equity trades while $198 million came from options trading. Robinhood’s crypto customers also rose to 9.5 million during the first quarter of 2021.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

CEO Jesse Powell Says Kraken Exchange Could Go Public Next Year

CEO Jesse Powell Says Kraken Exchange Could Go Public Next Year

Jesse Powell, Chief Executive Officer of crypto exchange Kraken, has confirmed that the firm plans to go public next year.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Powell said the exchange’s initial public offering (IPO) could happen anytime between 12 to 18 months.

Kraken Could Become Second US-based Crypto Firm To Go Public

When it happens, Kraken would become the second US-based crypto firm to go public after Coinbase. Coinbase went public through a direct listing on the Nasdaq Stock exchange in April with a valuation of around $65 billion at the time.

According to Powell, Kraken is already going through the rigors of becoming a publicly traded company. Although he declined to give the firm’s target valuation, he said their valuation would reflect their success in bringing crypto to the world. Powell’s words,

“We’re on a mission achieving to bring crypto to the world, and our valuation hopefully will be a reflection of our success in that mission.”

This is not the first time news of Kraken’s IPO plans would be revealed. In March, a Fox Business reporter, Charles Gasparino, claimed that the company was looking at going public through a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) or an initial public offering (IPO).

However, a Kraken spokesperson said the company was “too big” to go public via a merger. With the SPAC and direct listing route probably off the table, Powell’s announcement means Kraken may pursue an initial public offering.

Speaking further during the interview, when asked if people are trading differently after the recent sell-off, Powell said that the people selling are mostly newer to the market.

According to him, the old investors that have been holding for a long time are still accumulating. He said that the new investors who are yet to understand the market are not willing to hold onto their assets.

Powell added that people who came into crypto for the quick gains leave once the price drops, while those who truly understand the fundamentals remain.

Kraken Expanding Services

With more than 6 million clients in almost 190 countries, Kraken is one of the five largest crypto exchanges in the world.

The firm has done remarkably well this year as it continues to boost crypto adoption. According to Powell, the firm got more sign-ups this year than in any other year.

Kraken also expanded the reach of its services by launching its mobile app for both iOS and Android users in Europe and the United States.

Earlier this year, reports had it that the San Francisco-based exchange was in talks to raise a new funding round to boost its valuation to surpass $20 billion.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Bitwise Launches Crypto Industry Innovators ETF After a Green Light from the SEC

The ETF won’t be holding Bitcoin or Ethereum directly but tracks the performance of public companies that are involved in the cryptocurrency sector.

Bitwise, a digital asset manager with $1.5 billion in assets under management as of May 7, 2021, is launching the Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (NYSE: BITQ) that provides exposure to public companies that are involved in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency sector. The ETF won’t be holding Bitcoin or Ethereum directly.

With this, it has become the first ETF with crypto in it to be approved by the SEC, while a Bitcoin ETF has yet to make it despite several, at least eleven, companies interested and having filed their applications.

But Hunter Horsley, CEO of Bitwise, is hopeful that SEC is moving closer to approving one.

“The bitcoin ETF journey has been almost a decade long,” Horsley told CNN. “But I think it will be possible. This is a big milestone for us.”

BITQ meanwhile seeks to track the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators 30 Index, which captures pure-play companies engaged in the crypto sector and has at least $100 million of liquid digital assets on their balance sheet.

Also, these companies derive at least 75% of their revenue from either directly holding crypto assets or serving the crypto market.

It basically tracks the performance of crypto stocks and not coins. A similar ETF (VanEck Vectors Digital Assets Equity – DAPP) has been launched by VanEck as well that trades on Nasdaq, London Stock Exchange, and Deutsche Boerse.

“Until recently, most great crypto innovators were private companies, but that’s changing rapidly. Today, there’s a growing set of public companies capitalizing on crypto,” said Matt Hougan, CIO of Bitwise.

Crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN), which recently went public, accounts for 11.63% of the index’s weightage joined by MicroStrategy, Galaxy Digital, Riot Blockchain, Voyager Digital, Canaan, Northern Data, Hive Blockchain, Bitfarm, and Marathon Digital Asset Holdings, along with PayPal, Square, Silvergate, and others.

“Over the past few years, many investors have had to watch from the sidelines as a select few have reaped the rewards of stellar cryptocurrency returns.”

“With BITQ, our aim is to make crypto investment opportunities available through traditional investing platforms and a familiar, liquid, and cost-effective ETF.”

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Author: AnTy

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

Crypto-friendly eToro Is Going Public With a $10.4 Billion Valuation

Crypto-friendly eToro Is Going Public With a $10.4 Billion Valuation

The platform is going public via a merger with a SPAC, FinTech Acquisition Corp. V.

Trading platform eToro is planning to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm. The agreement with FinTech Acquisition Corp. V would provide the company a $10.4 billion valuation.

The companies are raising $650 million in equity to support the deal. eToro is planning to go public in the second half of this year.

A rival to Robinhood Markets, eToro became a member of the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) just last year. Founded in 2007, the company with 20 million registered users across the world expanded into the US in 2018.

The zero-commission trading platform also supports cryptocurrency trading but has limited digital assets available for users. Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Litecoin (LTC), and XLM are the only supported cryptos on the platform.

In the crypto space, just last week, digital asset manager CoinShares also began trading on Nasdaq Nordic. Nasdaq First North Growth Market is an alternative stock exchange for small and medium-sized growth companies in Europe.

After an oversubscribed public offering by 400%, amidst the bull market, the shares started trading under the ticker “CS” changed from “COIN” as mentioned in the earlier release. “COIN” was also proposed for the leading crypto exchange in the US, Coinbase, which is going public through the direct listing with a $100 billion valuation.

CoinShares welcomed around 2,280 new shareholders. Last month, the Jersey-based investment firm launched an Ethereum exchange-traded product (ETP) on the Swiss SIX exchange with $75 million in AUM.

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Author: AnTy

NEM Group Launches ‘Interoperable’ Public Blockchain For Enterprise Users

Blockchain company NEM Group has announced the release of a new public blockchain called Symbol, per a press release today.

Symbol With Atomic Swap Capabilities

The project comes with enterprise-grade programmability and security. It will enable development teams and businesses to execute projects with minimal costs and without complexities.

Its hybrid chain structure layout will enable native compatibility with both public and private chain deployments, providing developers with the option of working with their preferred chain setup. Businesses would also be empowered to create permissioned ecosystems on private networks to store confidential information while still keeping in contact with public blockchains.

According to NEM, Symbol was created with interoperability in mind. The upgrade will see developers leverage on its state-of-the-art Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to easily integrate with existing systems and blockchains, making the shift much easier for them.

Symbol will also enable cross-chain atomic-swaps, allowing users to transfer digital tokens between the network and other blockchains. This is a major plus as atomic swaps allow users to send and receive data (usually a coin) without the presence of an intermediary.

NEM’s Symbol blockchain would also enable decentralized applications (DeFi), security tokens, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its network. This feature dubbed “mosaics” would enable creating custom tokens, shares of stocks, signatures, votes, and others. Each mosaic would operate on a unique identifier, making it easy for the network to monitor its use.

Speaking on the launch, NEM Group’s CEO David Shaw said Symbol’s development results from key learnings the company gleaned from its NEM NIS1 public network. Symbol takes this further by providing a simple blockchain enterprise solution focused primarily on building use cases in the wider blockchain ecosystem.

Symbol would also be introducing what it termed a “delegated financial authority” protocol which would enable on-chain, multi-layer, multi-signature accounts. This feature would greatly streamline business processes like payroll management, according to CTO of NEM Software Kristy-Leigh Minehan. Minehan also said Symbol aims to reduce the chasm between public and private blockchains in the ecosystem.

NEM Group Moves Into CBDCs With Symbol

During the launch, the blockchain technology company said it is already moving into the central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) space announcing a partnership with LBCOIN– the world’s first blockchain-based digital coin collector issued by the Bank of Lithuania working on NEM’s platform.

LBCOIN first made a foray into the digital space working with NEM NIS1 in July 2020, with the Lithuanian apex bank issuing 4,000 LBCOIN, equaling 24,000 digital tokens and 4,000 physical collector coins. Symbol’s subsequent launch would see the digital coin collector migrate to leverage on the platform’s more sophisticated offerings.

The team says its NEM NIS1 protocol would still be operational catering to development teams, while its new Symbol blockchain would see enterprise-facing businesses.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Bitfury’s US Bitcoin Mining Offshoot Set to Go Public, Valued At $2 Billion

Bitfury’s US Bitcoin Mining Offshoot Set to Go Public, Valued At $2 Billion

  • Bitfury’s Bitcoin mining offshoot, Cipher Mining, is set to become a listed firm valued at $2 billion.

In an official announcement on Friday, the mining outfit stated that it had inked a merger agreement with Good Works Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) listed in NASDAQ. The announcement noted that the two firms had inked a business combination agreement. Cipher mining is an offshoot of popular Bitcoin hardware offeror Bitfury.

As per the announcement, the merger agreement means that Bitfury’s US mining wing will be listed in NASDAQ under Cipher Mining Inc.

The Good Works-Cipher agreement valued the merged company at $2 billion. More investors such as Counter Group (backed by Morgan Stanley) and Fidelity Management are expected to lead an upcoming$425 million funding series for the new outfit.

The extra inflow of cash will take place through private investment in different public equity or PIPE and funding rounds. The agreement also stipulates that Bitfury will offer approximately $50 million in the form of an investment in kind to top up the $170 million that is available following last year’s Good Works IPO. This means that the combined company has about $595 million in gross cash holdings.

Tyler Page, Cipher Mining CEO, commented on the deal, expressing his delight that it was the right step towards capitalizing on Bitcoin mining operations. Page explained,

“With this transaction, we will be able to combine the formidable skill sets and technologies developed by Bitfury Group over the past ten years with what we believe will be a leadership position on the global cost curve, and thereby create a true leader in the Bitcoin mining industry.”

The merger is expected to materialize at the end of the second quarter of this year. Cipher is looking forward to hitting the 745 megawatts mining capacity before the end of 2025.

Cipher becomes the latest Bitcoin mining outfit to go public, although through an agreement with a SPAC outfit. Australian-based Iris Energy is expected to issue a $39 million IPO during the coming summer.

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Author: Joseph Kibe