NYDIG Files for a Bitcoin ETF with the SEC with Morgan Stanley as Authorized Participant

Bitcoin trading and custody services provider NYDIG has filed for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Morgan Stanley will serve as the proposed authorized participant, as per the NYDIG’s S-1 filing published on Tuesday. Authorized Participants are expected to sell shares to the public at prices that reflect the value of the Trust’s assets, supply and demand for the shares, and market conditions at the time of a transaction reads the document.

If approved, it will trade on the NYSE Arca exchange.

The investment objective of the Trust is to “reflect the performance of the price of bitcoin less the expenses of the Trust’s operations,” but won’t seek to mirror the performance of any index, says the filing.

The subsidiaries – NYDIG Asset Management LLC is the sponsor of the trust, and NYDIG Trust Company LLC would be the custodian of the digital asset.

“Shareholders who decide to buy or sell Shares of the Trust will place their trade orders through their brokers and may incur customary brokerage commissions and charges. Such trades may occur at a premium or discount relative to the net asset value (“NAV”) of the Shares of the Trust.”

NYDIG is the latest in the line of firms filing for a Bitcoin ETF [Accelerate and VanEck], which many are expecting to be approved this year, while JPMorgan strategists believe a Bitcoin ETF approval would have negative implications for the price in the short-term by eroding Grayscale’s GBTC’s effective monopoly status and causing a cascade of GBTC outflows.

No Bitcoin ETF has been approved by the SEC to date.

Just last week, the first publicly traded Bitcoin ETF was approved in North America by Canada’s financial regulator, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

SBI Holdings Acquires Crypto Trading Platform B2C2 After Taking Minority Stake in July

Japanese financial group SBI Holdings subsidiary SBI Financial Services has acquired the UK-based crypto trading firm B2C2.

The deal’s financial terms were not disclosed, but with this acquisition, which was announced by the companies on Tuesday, it will make SBI the first major financial group to run a digital asset dealing desk.

Founded in 2015, B2C2 helps exchanges, brokerages, and fund managers make large trades in digital assets.

SBI first acquired a minority stake in the crypto firm in July, and its clients have already been using the platform to trade crypto assets. With the latest deal, the companies want to help the mainstream financial firms invest in cryptocurrencies. Yoshitaka Kitao, president and CEO of SBI Holdings said,

“Their (B2C2’s) vision, expertise and offering complement SBI’s, and we look forward to working in partnership as we expand our footprint across the global markets.”

B2C2’s team in Japan will now move into the SBI’s offices as part of the acquisition. Max Boonen, the founder of B2C2, expects the team to grow from the current 50 to 70 people over the coming months.

This is no surprise for the crypto market; in 2020, everyone wants a piece of digital assets as Bitcoin soars to new all-time highs, breaking the crucial $20,000 price; Altcoins are rallying as well.

S&P Dow Jones Indices and Cboe Global Markets have announced the launch of their crypto index in 2021 while several mainstream financial and insurance firms, hedge fund managers, high net worth individuals have been investing in Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation and devaluing fiat currencies around the world.

“A lot of people have been dismissive for a long time,” Boonen said in an interview.

“Bitcoin’s price at an all-time high has put concerns to rest.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Avalanche Blockchain Taps into the $10 Billion Market With An Initial Litigation Offering Token

In collaboration with Republic Advisory services and U.S-based law firm Roche Cyrulnik Freedman LLP, Ava Labs has announced the debut of Initial Litigation offering (ILO) using the Avalanche blockchain. This initiative will tap into the $10 billion litigation financing asset class to open up the market to more retail investors. Notably, the token is the first of its kind to be hosted within a blockchain ecosystem.

The initial ILO to be hosted on Avalanche blockchain will be a litigation financing towards an ongoing matter where the plaintiff Apothio LLC is accusing Kern County, California of unlawfully destroying 500 acres of Hemp; an estimated $1 billion according to market value. Apothio LLC, which specializes in the industrial research, development, and commercialization of cannabidiol oil (CBD), is expected to raise its ILO in Q1 2021.

Decentralized Litigation Funding

Litigation funding, which is also dubbed ‘legal financing,’ is an avenue for plaintiffs to raise resources to sustain their court matters to the end. Before the ILO token launch on Avalanche, this process was generally centralized and mainly attracted institutional players such as LexShares, a leading litigation fund.

Well, the field has now been leveled by Avalanche’s ILO; each token will represent a legal claim to a portion of the potential financial recovery. However, the funders will have to bear the full risk of capital erasure if claims that they choose to back are unsuccessful. Ava Labs’ Kevin Sekniqi commented on the value proposition of decentralizing litigation funding,

“ILOs are a breakthrough for both individuals lacking the resources to seek remediation, and for retail investors who are often locked out of the most highly-performant asset classes.”

“They are fundamentally unique from any other investments, and the creation of the ILO marks the first time blockchain technology will be used to democratize financial products at a multi-billion-dollar scale.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

Crypto.com to Debut in Australia Following the Acquisition of a Locally Licensed Entity

Crypto.com is set to roll out its services for the Australian market following the acquisition of a licensed entity dubbed ‘The Card Group Pty Ltd’; this automatically grants the crypto exchange and debit card provider an Australian Financial Service License (ASFL).

The acquisition of an ASFL license means that Crypto.com will offer its blockchain services, including a DeFi wallet and derivative products. Australia’s AML and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 requires particular financial services to acquire an ASFL license before kick-starting operations.

The Card Group Pty Ltd, which is the company that was acquired by Crypto.com, specializes in providing solutions to organizations that seek to grow engagement with cardholders. According to the background information on Crunchbase, some of its services include ‘prepaid cards, mobile, and wearable solutions.’

Crypto.com Expansion into Australia

This milestone by Crypto.com has given them the green light to debut their crypto services in Australia within the legalities provided. Consequently, the firm will expand its market share and stakeholder network within Australia’s financial services ecosystem. The firm had already started preparations, having recently enabled the transfer of Aussi dollars from bank accounts via BPAY; users can also opt for deposits via NPP (PayID).

Notably, Australia has been touted as one of the most legal certain jurisdictions by crypto stakeholders looking to debut their innovations or idea. The country began formulating its crypto oversight as early as 2014 before crypto got all the hype followed three years later. Crypto.com, which is domiciled in Hong Kong, also recently acquired a provisional license to operate in Malta, popularly referred to as the ‘blockchain island.’

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

Fireblocks Raises $30M to Expand Its Crypto Service Operations; Building a ‘Next-Gen Backend’

To extend its services for larger firms in the crypto sector, Fireblocks recently completed a Series B funding round of $30 million and has a $46 million total raised in cumulative fundraising.

The funding round led by Paradigm, along with several investors, Cedar Hill Capital, Cyberstarts, Swisscom, and Galaxy Digital, to name a few, will enable the firm to expand its global operations to meet the demands of the retail market and institutional traders in the crypto market, according to a press release from Fireblocks.

The firm says it will be offering tools for the transfer and secure storage of digital assets, either for traditional hedge funds or crypto exchanges.

Fireblocks plans to lure more institutional players.

Although Fireblocks will be very active in the crypto-native markets, the company says it still wants to take advantage of the crypto market’s positive regulatory momentum and go after institutional players. The firm also says that the simplistic nature of the Fireblocks platform makes it attractive to many users in the industry, leading to the rush of its integration. The company pointed out,

“Everyone from crypto-native funds to large tech companies and banks is integrating Fireblocks because it’s simple.”

The company is committed to maintaining its market position as the industry leader, supporting customers’ high demands as the mainstream sector enters into massive adoption of cryptocurrency.

In the third quarter of the year, Fireblock’s customer growth increased by 533%, and the company is growing at a similar pace this fourth quarter.

To improve the speed of crypto transactions, Fireblocks launched a program, with crypto derivatives exchange FTX being the first to join the program. Fireblocks wants to increase participation in the program by inviting more exchanges into the program next month.

Paradigm co-founder joins Fireblocks director board

As part of the deal, Fred Ehrsam, the managing partner and co-founder of Paradigm, joined the board of directors at Fireblocks.

Ehrsam is also the co-founder of Coinbase, and chief executive officer of Fireblocks Michael Shaulov has acknowledged his crypto space contribution. “One can say he almost built this space,” Shaulov said in the press release.

Fireblocks intends to double its workforce

Buoyed by the influx of funds, Fireblocks intends to scale its infrastructure and personnel, according to Shaulov. The company wants to hire personnel across the support, marketing, and staff sales department. It also has plans to double its engineering team within the next three months.

The anticipated recruitment will increase its workforce from its present number of 70 personnel to about 130 in the next three months.

Fireblocks wants to meet the increasing demands of customers and clients in the industry. Its main service is directed towards hedge funds, over-the-counter trading desks, exchanges, and institutional clients to transfer funds securely. According to reports, the company serves over 120 commercial clients presently.

With the added funds, it is believed that the number will increase within the next few months.

Read Original/a>
Author: Ali Raza

Binance US Joins Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN) to ‘Unlock’ New Institutional Clients

Binance U.S announced that it had debuted institutional client services following a partnership with Silvergate, a Fintech and crypto-oriented bank. This U.S affiliate of the Binance crypto exchange has now been operational for close to a year.

It touts a wide range of services, including buying, trading, and earning digital assets such as Bitcoin. A partnership with Silvergate Bank further increases the value proposition of Binance U.S by making it seamless for institutions to access their platform.

According to the official announcement by Binance U.S on Nov 9, the move will enable institutional clients to transact 24/7 via the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN). This platform is used by a couple of crypto giants to process real-time transactions and access crypto services that would have otherwise been out of reach, given regulatory limitations. In fact, a recent earnings report by Silvergate revealed that SEN that been quite profitable in the past year, with net income for Q3 at $7.1 million.

As of yesterday, Binance U.S institutional clients can register for the SEN account to leverage transactional operations’ underlying efficiency. Catherine Coley, the CEO of Binance U.S, commented that,

“We’ve launched SEN for our corporate clients, so now they’re able to move dollars through Silvergate around the clock instantaneously …

It’s a huge advantage for clients that are trying to get funds into Binance.US to be able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, and we’re excited to see the impact on the rest of our liquidity.”

She went on to add that the integration with SEN will open up opportunities for institutions that were previously blocked from Binance U.S or not able to use the platform due to the difference in operating style. Notably, the SEN API integrations have been successful with testing done on roughly a dozen institutional clients.

According to Coley, the exchange has witnessed around 5 times growth in their trading behavior within the testing period alone. Silvergate’s CEO, Alan Lane, also expressed confidence in the partnership,

“We are thrilled to welcome Binance.US to our rapidly growing Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN).

Binance.US’s vision to increase the freedom of money through its powerful cryptocurrency exchange benefits its customers and promotes the digital asset industry’s growth.

We are confident the SEN will accelerate their vision and bring value to their business.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

NYDFS Directing Banks & Crypto Companies to Address Risks of Climate Change

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) sent out a letter to banks, firms, and cryptocurrency businesses to pay attention to the financial risks associated with climate change, incorporate them into their business strategies, and develop ways to disclose and mitigate those risks.

This letter followed the same guidelines issued by the agency for the state’s insurance providers last month.

NYDFS is the only US member of the Network for Greening the Financial System, an international group of central banks and regulatory agencies that is focused on climate-related financial risks.

The letter noted that the US gross domestic product (GDP) sees damage of 1.2% with each rise of one-degree Celsius in global temperatures. As such, those communities that are hit harder by climate change can then lead to an increase in default rates, reduced lending activity, devaluations of assets, and losses.

As for the cryptocurrency businesses, it pointed out how studies suggest the environmental impact of mining digital currencies like Bitcoin can be substantial — annual consumption of energy is equivalent to Venezuela’s electricity usage, and carbon footprint is to that of New Zealand’s.

“The energy cost for mining virtual currencies is sizable compared to the value of the virtual currencies,” said Linda Lacewell, NYDFS Superintendent, in the letter.

image1

The agency wants digital currency firms to consider being more transparent about the location and equipment they use in Bitcoin mining, which is energy-intensive.

“DFS is developing a strategy for integrating climate-related risks into its supervisory mandate,” the letter concluded.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse called this step from NYDFS “pivotal” and said instead of exacerbating the problem; Bitcoin needs to use more energy-efficient assets as it gains the attention and support of big and mainstream companies.

“XRP was built specifically to use negligible amts of energy,” chimed in Ripple CTO David Schwartz.

“The less it costs to start and run a node, the less decentralized a system will be if you think people being able to use it trustlessly going forward is important to decentralization,” added Schwartz on XRP being hard to audit “because it’s too expensive and nobody cares.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Kraken Opens Trading For Japanese Users, Becoming 1st Exchange to Enter Japan Organically

Kraken, one of the leading crypto exchanges based in the United States, has relaunched its trading services for Japanese customers under its expansion plan in the Asia Pacific region.

Japanese customers would be able to access Kraken’s spot trading services, to begin with, according to the announcement on October 22. The exchange would offer spot trading services for Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The exchange would offer crypto-to-crypto trading pairs along with JPY-denominated pairs for trading.

Kraken claimed that it is the first foreign exchange to organically enter the Japanese market without acquiring any local exchange.

Customers Could Make Deposits in 5 Crypto Assets

The re-launched trading services in Japan by Kraken has been done under its expansion plans in the region. To encourage more customers to join the platform and make it easier for them to trade using the platform, the exchange would offer deposits in 5 crypto assets along with local JPY deposits and withdrawals. The local fiat deposit and withdrawals would be available via SBI Sumishin Net Bank.

Before its current relaunch in Japan, Kraken had already launched its Japanese customers’ services back in 2014. By 2018, it had shut its operation in the country, citing the rising cost of operations and expanding in other geographical locations.

Kraken acquired the ‘Crypto Asset Exchange Service Provider’ license last month on September 8th and started registering user accounts by September 18.

David Ripley, COO of Kraken, expressed his joy in re-entering the Japanese markets and said that Japan is a dominant crypto market, and it would prove to be a crucial point for the exchange in its expansion plan in the region. He said,

“In today’s challenging economic environment, more people are turning to cryptocurrencies to hedge against volatile markets and use cryptocurrency as a store of value.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Hank Klinger

World’s Largest Custodian Pursues DeFi Project to Change its Brand Name

BNY Mellon, the world’s largest custodian and asset services company with nearly $2 trillion in assets under management (AUM), asks the decentralized assets management project Melon Protocol to change its brand name.

“BNY Mellon has deployed a team of lawyers to pursue taking the Melon name away from our community,” shared the project on Twitter.

As such, they are now hunting for a new name, adding, “our community & values extends beyond a name, so we’ll focus efforts on taking their outdated business model & democratizing it so that ANYONE can be a fund manager.”

This isn’t the first time BNY Mellon has targeted the project. Two years back, they sent a cease and desist letter to Melonport, the Zug-based startup that built the Melon Protocol, allowing asset managers to create their own tokenized investment vehicles.

Started as a private company, in February 2019, it delivered v1.0 of the protocol and handed the control over to Melon Council DAO.

The investment company at that time also declared concerns regarding trademark applications by Melonport and announced that they would file an opposition against MELON CHAIN, MELON PROTOCOL, MELON FUND, and MELON MAIL trademark registrations.

Built on Ethereum, its DeFi protocol has $1.8 million of total funds locked (TVL), down from a peak of $2.5 million last month.

It’s token MLN, trading at $24.44, has a market cap of just over $13 million.

On Friday, Coinbase Custody announced deposit and withdrawal support for the token, yet another addition to the San Francisco-based crypto exchange’s DeFi steak that has them listing many other DeFi tokens in the past couple of months.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Leading Japanese Messaging App, LINE, Launches Crypto Lending Services on BITMAX Exchange

LINE, the Japanese messaging app giant, is launching crypto lending services for its clients through its subsidiary crypto exchange, BITMAX. The news, which was first reported by CoinDesk Japan, highlighted that BITMAX users will be now be permitted the option of lending their crypto holdings to the exchange service, with BTC, XRP, ETH, BCH, or LTC as the underlying collaterals.

This service is set to function similarly to bank loans; only instead of interest, the lenders will receive a ‘rental fee.’ LINE filed a statement with the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Oct 9, noting the firm will be running a campaign up to Oct 30, where users could earn as much as a 10% rental fee for lending their digital assets. This should start accruing from the day the rental is deposited.

With LINE’s 80 million local outreach, the new lending services become bullish to the Japanese crypto market. The country which has had historically low-interest rates will probably benefit from the exposure in crypto volatility, although at the cost of accommodating the high risk.

LINE made it’s crypto debut onto the Japanese market last year after being granted an operational license by the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). They recently launched a blockchain development platform and digital wallet as part of scaling LINE’s crypto services footprint.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui