Almost 90% Respondents Interested in their Insurance Products Having Links with BTC: Survey

Almost 90% Respondents Interested in their Insurance Products Having Links with BTC: Survey

About 46 million Americans now own Bitcoin, representing about 17% of the population over the age of 18, according to an NYDIG survey.

Still, the majority, 53%, don’t own crypto assets, but 55% said that they would consider adding digital assets to their investment portfolio.

Another survey of 1,000 Americans by MagnifyMoney, a LendingTree division, found that 62% of crypto investors believe they’ll get rich.

The total cryptocurrency market cap has grown from $125 billion in March 2020 to more than $2.5 trillion.

A similar survey by Stone Ridge’s subsidiary New York Digital Investment Group from January stated that 80% of Bitcoin holders want to move their BTC to the bank. 71% are willing to switch their primary bank to the one that offers them Bitcoin-related products.

Conducted by Survey Monkey on March 22, a national sample of 1,050 US consumers with an annual income of at least $50k revealed that some of these crypto investors are looking to integrate the cryptocurrency into their personal financial plans, first reported Newsweek.

The survey findings say that respondents wanted to learn more about Bitcoin annuities and life insurance.

About half of the respondents said they want to receive some or all of their insurance benefits in BTC, while nearly 90% said they had some interest in annuity or insurance products with indirect links to BTC.

Furthermore, while 43% find it acceptable that their insurance carrier invested less than 2% of cash in Bitcoin, 42% also said they might be okay with it, with only 15% saying they didn’t like the idea.

“The finance industry is taking crypto mainstream by building Bitcoin into their insurance, banking, & investment products,” noted Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy.

NYDIG, which recently tapped the CFO of the world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates as its chief financial officer, has raised millions of dollars from insurance giants like New York Life and MassMutual.

Return-hungry insurance companies have actually been buying bitcoin for their general accounts through the firm with interest rates hovering near zero and a depreciating dollar making bitcoin appear more attractive, said Ross Stevens, the founder and executive chairman of NYDIG, in December.

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Author: AnTy

Turkey Tightens Crypto Regulations over Transaction Volumes

  • Turkey has started to toughen their grip on the cryptocurrency sector.
  • Turkey’s financial watchdog, the Financial Crimes Investigation Board or MASAK, has introduced a new policy that stipulates that all Turkish crypto exchanges must now inform them of any crypto transactions over 10,000 Turkish liras ($1,200).
  • The new policy was announced by the Turkish Minister of Treasury and Finance Lütfi Elvan.

Turkey Lays Down New Regulations For Crypto Exchanges

Elvan shared the new policy and other updates on the government’s crypto regulation drafts on a CNN Turk live broadcast.

According to the Finance Minister, the government plans to give MASAK the authority to audit and oversee crypto exchanges and regulate the crypto sector, as a whole.

Elvan said MASAK had prepared a guideline for crypto exchanges that includes the rules and penalties for reporting transactions. Elvan said,

“Crypto trading platforms are now obliged to share the information of their active users with MASAK. They are liable for any suspicious activities on their platforms. They are also responsible for notifying MASAK about any transactions worth over 10,000 Turkish liras in 10 days after the trading.”

This new regulation comes after Turkey’s central bank banned cryptocurrency as a form of payment. The bank had said crypto assets involved significant risks due to their volatile nature and may lead to irreversible losses to investors. It also added that they were used for illegal activities.

Turkey’s Recent Moves Surrounding Cryptocurrency

The country, which was once referred to as a crypto-friendly country because of its subtle approach towards digital assets, is rapidly cracking down on the cryptocurrency sector.

In March, the Finance minister posted a statement on Twitter where he expressed concerns about cryptocurrencies. He also announced that the ministry was working with the central bank and two financial regulatory agencies to monitor cryptocurrency.

Turkish investors turned to crypto in a bid to protect their savings from the weak Lira. Many believe the government is looking into regulating the market due to concerns around fraudulent activity.

One prime example of this is the case involving crypto exchange Thodex, which was accused of defrauding investors. About 391,000 investors on the platform were said to have been prevented from accessing their assets which were estimated to be $2 billion in investments. The Turkish police detained 62 people in connection with the case following complaints from users.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Fei Stablecoin’s ‘Protocol Controlled Value’ Penalizes Those Wanting Their ETH Back

Fei Stablecoin’s ‘Protocol Controlled Value’ Penalizes Those Wanting Their ETH Back

The project’s genesis was a success with 639,000 ETH committed and $1.3 billion FEI minted. But with little demand for FEI right now, people are running for the exit, which has consequences.

Fei Labs, the firm behind the new stablecoin project Fei Protocol, raised 639,000 ETH for its token generation event and minted $1.3 billion FEI.

The firm shared over the weekend that more than 17,000 unique addresses participated in the event, which can now redeem FEI and the project’s proposed governance token TRIBE, based on the ETH committed.

The event led the FEI-ETH pair to become the largest pool Uniswap on Saturday, and the pre-swap of $385 million FEI for TRIBE was probably the largest ever AMM swap, said the Fei Labs.

Liquidity on the largest DEX, Uniswap, also went past $8 billion on April 4th, up from $5.35 billion at the beginning of the month, thanks to this.

The project’s official website mentions Coinbase, Andressen Horowitz, Nascent, Framework, Variant, and Buckley Ventures as its investors.

Demand for stablecoins continues to rise, and in the DeFi ecosystem, they have become a staple. But the most popular ones, fiat-collateralized USDT and USDC, have a critical flaw of being centrally controlled while crypto-collateralized DAI has scalability issues, said the team in its introduction of the project earlier this year.

As such, the stablecoin FEI uses a “Protocol Controlled Value” to maintain its $1 peg. Currently, it is at $0.948, as per CoinGecko. The governance token is meanwhile trading at $2, down from the opening price of $3.18.

image2

Source: @jonwu_

In the experimental stability mechanisms to maintain its peg, Fei uses direct incentives, which are seen as a fairer and more capital efficient and decentralized approach to managing the stablecoin.

Here, both trading activity and usage of the stablecoin are incentivized where rewards and penalties drive the price towards the peg. The team says,

“FEI’s stability mechanisms are geared towards long-term holding. TRIBE governance is responsible for the peg and can adjust the incentives above as needed.”

The community, however, isn’t really confident of the project’s choice of innovation with the mechanism. Jon Wu noted,

“You thought you were buying a dollar for 50 cents, but instead, you paid $1.01 only to get $0.95, and now if you try to sell it, you’ll end up with $0.60.”

image1

Source: @SamKazemian

Messari’s Ryan Watkins said,

“The issue with FEI right now is most people want to sell it back for ETH, but doing so incurs extreme penalties. Eventually, Fei will re-weight to bring FEI back to its peg, but then what? There’s little real demand for FEI, and most are still running for the exits.”

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Author: AnTy

Aave Releases AMM Liquidity Pool, Uniswap & Balancer LPs Can Use their LP Tokens as Collateral

Aave Releases AMM Liquidity Pool, Uniswap and Balancer LPs Can Use their LP Tokens as Collateral in Protocol

Popular decentralized finance (DeFi) application, Aave Protocol, which allows users to unlock liquidity across various assets, has launched a new AMM Liquidity Pool.

This latest launch will enable the liquidity providers of popular DEXs Uniswap and Balancer to use their LP tokens as collateral in the Aave.

“Automated Market Makers” (AMMs) are all the rage in the market as they allow Ethereum users to swap assets without a third-party intermediary. While providing this liquidity, they earn fees as well.

On providing liquidity, users get LP tokens from the AMM, which in most cases represent the crypto deposited by the user along with proportional trading fees. These LP tokens accrue trading fees over the time the assets remain in the liquidity pool.

“AMMs were one of the first ways to earn a passive income in the DeFi ecosystem and remain so today,” notes Aave.

While Aave launched an “AMM Liquidity Pool” last year, it only allowed users to deposit Uniswap v1 LP tokens in the Aave Protocol and use them as collateral.

But now, users can use LP tokens from several AMMs, starting with Uniswap and Balancer.

DAI/USDC, WBTC/USDC, DAI/WETH, USDC/WETH, AAVE/WETH, LINK/WETH, BAT/WETH, SNX/WETH, UNI/WETH, YFI/WETH, CRV/WETH, MKR/WETH, REN/WETH, and WBTC/WETH are supported Uniswap V2 LP tokens.

As for Balancer LP tokens (BPT), WBTC/WETH and BAL/WETH are supported.

Those who deposit LP tokens can borrow DAI, USDC, ETH, wBTC, and USDT.

This launch will allow the community to explore “new frontiers” with Aave. The DeFi blue-chip is currently enjoying an uptrend of 300% YTD, trading at $365.

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Author: AnTy

6,000 XRP Holders Want Their Voices Heard In SEC’s Lawsuit Against Ripple Labs

6,000 XRP Holders Want Their Voices Heard In SEC’s Lawsuit Against Ripple Labs

XRP holder and crypto enthusiast John E. Deaton of Deaton Law Firm on Sunday filed a renewed petition to have over 6,000 XRP holders testify as third-party defendants in the ongoing lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Ripple Labs.

6,000 XRP Holders Want To Testify

According to the filing, the SEC is not fully representing XRP holders’ interests in the lawsuit. With this new filing, Deaton and 6,000 XRP hodlers want to be involved in the case as a third-party defendant.

In a continued correspondence Deaton sent to Judge Analisa Torres, the legal representative said he had informed the financial regulator of his intention to file a class-action lawsuit against the agency, citing the SEC’s intentional misconduct and abuse of discretion as reasons.

In the letter to Judge Torres, Deaton said that he previously filed a writ of mandamus against the SEC in the Federal District Court of Rhode Island on Jan.1 following the lawsuit against Ripple Labs and two of its executives. The January lawsuit demands were for the regulatory agency to exclude present-day XRP held by XRP investors from the securities category.

He had also demanded that whatever funds were received from the defendants should be placed in a constructive trust for XRP holders who incurred losses in connection to the XRP enforcement action of December 2020.

Another subpoena was brought against the SEC on Jan. 12, 2021, with the commission dismissing both.

In a blog post published on CryptoLaw, Deaton said the SEC had claimed that the only region their claims could be heard would be in the Southern District of New York. According to him, Ripple Labs, Brad Garlinghouse, and Chris Larsen, the accused, were defending themselves, and it is up to affected investors of XRP to speak up and be heard.

He also said that the SEC’s action against Ripple Labs had seen investors incur $15 billion worth of losses, days after the lawsuit was initiated. If his requests are granted, we may likely see a new twist to the SEC vs. Ripple narrative.

SEC’s Lawsuit Snowballs

Ripple’s XRP price had slumped from a high $0.76 to a meager $0.18 two weeks into the case.

To further compound the blockchain company’s misfortunes, major crypto exchanges like Coinbase, Binance.US, eToro, Bittrex, and OKCoin delisted XRP from their platforms. Digital asset management firm Grayscale also liquidated its XRP holdings and channeled the funds into Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Ripple also lost its multi-year partnership with US payments giant MoneyGram after the company announced in its quarterly outlook that it would not be expecting any market development fees from the blockchain company in Q1 2021.

Ripple and Garlinghouse have since replied to the SEC in separate filings made to the courts. Ripple Labs presented a point-for-point response to the SEC’s allegations that it engaged in sales of unregulated securities in 2013. Garlinghouse said in a separate motion that the SEC was over-reaching in classifying XRP as a security. According to the Ripple Labs’ CEO, the SEC’s lawsuit can only be termed prejudiced and not based on facts.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Wall Street Bets Have Locked In On Their New Target; Pumping XRP & Silver Now

Wall Street Bets Have Locked In On Their New Target; Pumping XRP & Silver Now

WallStreetBets, whose members on Reddit are growing fast, now over 7.7 million, has moved from DOGE to other assets.

WallStreetBets have found their next target, and it is none other than XRP and Silver, both of which are pumping hard. XRP started pumping over the weekend, and today the prices climbed as high as $0.688. Last week, the digital asset was trading as low as $0.246.

In just two days, XRP prices surged over 142% and is now retracing the gains as it is currently trading around $0.630.

Last week, fintech startup Ripple also filed a response to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has sued the company and its top two executives for allegedly selling an unregistered security. Ripple’s 93-page long response says,

“The functionality and liquidity of XRP are wholly incompatible with securities regulation. To require XRP’s registration as a security is to impair its main utility.”

Ripple has also filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents on how the SEC determined that BTC and ETH are not securities.

Silver Sent to Multi-Year Highs

Before pumping XRP, WallStreetBets sent DOGE above $0.80, and already the momentum has ebbed as the cryptocurrency now trades around $0.0389. DOGE -16.77% Dogecoin / USD DOGEUSD $ 0.04
-$0.01-16.77%
Volume 7.07 b Change -$0.01 Open $0.04 Circulating 128.19 b Market Cap 4.72 b
8 h Wall Street Bets Have Locked In On Their New Target; Pumping XRP & Silver Now 8 h Elon Musk says He’s ‘Late’ to the ‘Bitcoin’ Party; Should Have Bought 8 Years Ago 2 d Dogecoin Beats Bitcoin by Becoming the Most Tweeted Cryptocurrency Ever as Mia Khalifa Buys the Top

Besides XRP, retail traders seem to be onto silver as well, which today went past multi-year highs of $30, a level that was last seen in February 2013. During the post-pandemic pump, silver went to just under $30 level while its all-time high sits at about $50 hit in April 2011.

Unlike silver, gold is trading around $1,860 per ounce, still over 10% from its ATH of $2,075 recorded in August 2020. Greenback, meanwhile, is flat around 90.7.

Given that WallStreetBets’s subreddit has 7.7 million members, it makes sense that they can coordinate to push up an asset’s prices. Trader and economist Alex Kruger said,

“Going to be interesting if WSB ever gets large enough to command a squeeze against major currencies. Based on the silver price action, it seems they could already squeeze an EM currency if so desired.”

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Author: AnTy

Synthetix (SNX) Releases Aggressive Roadmap to ‘Take on CeFi’ in 2021

This week, while other cryptocurrencies are still struggling to reverse their correction, DeFi tokens swiftly made a recovery, with SNX token hitting a new ATH above $16.50. For now, the 23rd largest cryptocurrency is trading around $14.80 SNX 2.17% Synthetix / USD SNXUSD $ 14.84
$0.322.17%
Volume 409.21 m Change $0.32 Open $14.84 Circulating 110.52 m Market Cap 1.64 b
4 h Synthetix (SNX) Releases Aggressive Roadmap to ‘Take on CeFi’ in 2021 1 d A ‘Massive Transfer of Wealth Among Traders’ Sees DeFi Tokens Winning the Round 1 w Three Arrows Capital Holds 36,969 Bitcoin ($1.24B) via An Over 6% Stake in GBTC
.

Derivatives liquidity protocol, Synthetix is the blue-chip DeFi project with a market cap of $1.68 billion. Amidst this uptrend, Synthetix released its roadmap for 2021, painting a picture of a

“future where everyone in the world is connected to one another by handheld devices that allow them to hold, trade, and transfer every imaginable asset.”

The roadmap mentions Optimistic Ethereum, Synthetix V3, Synthetic Futures, Asset expansion, dApp Upgrades, and optionsDAO as its high-level priorities.

A complete re-architecture of the Synthetix contracts will be done for the first time since last 2018. Synthetix V3 will involve a new SNX staking mechanism so that SNX is always freely transferable, introducing eSNX, tokenized debt, continuous staking rewards, continuous vesting, and Keep3r implementation, among other features.

The transition to layer two scaling solution Optimistic Ethereum which will lower the gas costs and provide higher throughput, is one of the most exciting things to come. The combination of this with Synthetic Futures will allow projects to compete with centralized futures markets and provide a minimum of 10x leverage. Also, Synthtix will expand into equities.

In the options, sDAO will provide upfront funding based on certain conditions, and oDAO will enable several improvements over the existing binary options implementation.

⁩”As an investor in SNX, it’s great to see the aggressive roadmap here,” said one of the partners of crypto fund The Spartan Group. “This is how $SNX is getting to $10B.”

2021 will also involve a focus on acquisitions and expansion for Synthetix as the scale of the project grows.

“This year we finally take on CeFi, then we come for TradFi…” concluded Kain Warwick, the founder of Synthetix.

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Author: AnTy

Fidelity Digital Assets Dives Into Why Institutions Are Adding Bitcoin to Treasury Reserves

Over the year, several companies have chosen to add Bitcoin to their Treasury reserves, including MicroStrategy, Square Inc., and Tudor Investment Corporation. The latest two, Canada-based BIGG Digital Assets and MassMutual, a 169-year old insurance firm, also added $3.6 million and $100 million in BTC to their reserves in 2020, respectively.

As one of the first institutional investment-focused firms on Bitcoin, Fidelity Digital Assets released a synthesis report on the growing number of institutions adding BTC as a treasury reserve asset – and crucially, why more companies will consider adding Bitcoin-backed treasuries in the future.

From August through October, a billion-dollar publicly traded firm, MicroStrategy, added over 40,000 Bitcoin for $475 million into its Treasury coffers. Less than three months later, Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy’s CEO, announced a doubled down bet on BTC selling $635 million of senior convertible notes to purchase the ‘digital gold.’

The huge bet paid off wonderfully across Q4 2020 for MicroStrategy’s stock (MSTR), which reached a 20-year high after the firm recorded over 50% profit on its BTC Treasury reserves. Despite CITI Bank downgrading its stock from “neutral” to “sell” in their latest report (due to “disproportionate focus on BTC), the firm looks to add even more, Saylor confirmed.

Additionally, Square Inc., founded by Twitter CEO and Bitcoin enthusiast Jack Dorsey, introduced BTC buying and selling through Cash App earlier in the year. The payments firm purchased $50 million worth of bitcoin (or 4,709 bitcoins) in October 2020, representing 1% of their Treasury reserve.

Other institutions such as Stone Ridge, Mode Global Holdings PLC, and Tudor Investment Corporation have also announced Bitcoin allocations this year.

So what is causing a sudden increase in corporations adopting Bitcoin-backed Treasury reserves?

Damaged financials, cash flows, and profitability

According to the report, three main issues affect a corporation’s decision to hold BTC in its reserves. First, the global COVID-19 pandemic “damaged corporate balance sheets, cash flows, and profitability,” which put most corporations in a precarious position. The sudden reduction in cash flows raises the importance for these institutions to put away excess cash in uncorrelated investments to fight off the recession.

Bitcoin is well-diversified from the demand shocks that health and economic crises cause on stocks, bonds, and traditional finance markets. The report further states,

“Companies may also benefit from bitcoin’s diversification benefits, potential outperformance, and liquidity profile when the core business and other potential investments are disadvantaged by the state of the economy”.

Moreover, BTC offers companies the potential of a longer-term investment profile while also offering liquidity to shorter-term investors. This will help companies maintain their liquidity while diversifying their investments, providing a buffer in difficult times.

Ultra-low interest rates across the world

Secondly, interest rates across the world reached yearly lows as the pandemic struck to stimulate borrowing. However, while corporations may rejoice in having a cheaper leeway for acquiring debt or refinancing existing debt at lower rates, companies with excess cash reserves may suffer as they cannot find attractive rates, the report explains.

While safe-haven assets like gold and Bitcoin generally do not generate interest yields, having these assets in your portfolio prevents cash-filed companies from avoiding negative or ultra-low interest rates, the report also states.

Inflation strikes

Finally, there has been an increase in monetary and fiscal policies globally, with money printing reaching “unprecedented levels.” McKinsey’s report showed that the top 54 economies contributing to 93% of global GDP made over $10 trillion in stimulus payments in two months – over three times more than the 2008 financial crisis. This unchecked and unbalanced economic stimulus could cause a sudden hike in asset and consumer price inflation leading to corporations having less purchasing power with cash.

Bitcoin offers a verifiable and inelastic monetary supply, which differs from the expansive monetary and fiscal currently being broadcast globally. Some companies view BTC as a wealth preserving asset that could prevent inflation risk and store value.

The entry of MicroStrategy, Home Ridge, Square Inc., and Tudor Investment Corporation signals a start of the institutional investment wave in Bitcoin – and who can predict how far it can go?

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Author: Lujan Odera

CleanSpark Acquires ATL Data Centers; Now One of the US’ Largest Publicly-Traded BTC Producer

Everyone wants to take a bite of cryptocurrencies. Every day a new big-name announces their digital asset investment.

Just this week, Southeast Asia’s biggest bank, DBS Group Holdings, announced its digital exchange and insurance behemoth MassMutual purchased $100 million in Bitcoin in the long line of mainstream herd jumping on the crypto bandwagon.

CleanSpark is another one that has acquired the US-based Bitcoin mining company ATL data centers for $19.4 million, which “should immediately position us as one of the largest publicly-traded Bitcoin producers in the country,” said Matthew Schultz, Executive Chairman at CleanSpark.

In response to the news, the shares (CLSK) of the company jumped 20%. This strategic acquisition is part of the company’s “larger growth plan” following CleanSpark’s recent $40 million institutional investment.

MicroStrategy was the pioneer in making a big bet on Bitcoin, followed by Jack Dorsey’s Square, which validated the crypto move for CleanSpark. Schultz said,

“The recent, significant investments into Bitcoin by such respected companies as Square, PayPal, and MicroStrategy further validate our due diligence conclusions surrounding this acquisition.”

Mass BTC Production at Lowest Energy Costs

The company is expanding its power from 20MW to 50MW, which is scheduled to be completed in April 2021. It is further working on adding renewable energy generating assets and more than quadrupling the number of ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) mining units in operation during the expansion. Zachary Bradford, CleanSpark’s CEO, said,

“Our prior experience in the digital currency mining industry provided insight into how proper energy management was crucial to successful and profitable mining operations.”

In 2018, CleanSpark’s energy professionals were tasked to design and engineer a microgrid solution for a ‘stand-alone’ mobile bitcoin mining system. Now, as part of the ATL complex, the company has 23 such mobile mining rigs and the main facility.

The company currently has 3,471 bitcoin mining units (“ASICs”) on-site that are processing approximately 190 PH/s using about 9.6 MW of capacity, which is expected to increase between 0.9-1.4 EH/s following the equipment and energy expansion.

“We expect that this will result in multiple bitcoins being produced daily at some of the lowest energy costs” to below $0.0285 per kw/h, said Bradford in an official announcement.

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Author: AnTy

Fidelity Digital to Custody BTC as Collateral for BlockFi’s USD Loans to Institutions

Fidelity Digital Assets will now allow its institutional customers to use their Bitcoin as collateral against cash loans.

This new offering has been introduced in partnership with blockchain startup BlockFi, which announced on Wednesday that it is “thrilled” to support “Fidelity’s entrance into the digital asset financing space.”

“Having an ability to finance positions is a critical component of financial services infrastructure, and this collaboration reflects an exciting development for the digital asset ecosystem,” said Zac Prince, CEO and founder of BlockFi.

BlockFi will be offering US dollar loans to institutional clients holding BTC as collateral in custody accounts at Fidelity Digital Assets (FDA), the unit of Boston-based asset manager Fidelity Investments. Christine Sandler, Head of Sales and Marketing for FDA said,

“We continue to see demand for increased capital efficiency from institutions that maintain long bitcoin positions, and with this collateral agent capability, our customers seeking that efficiency can access more opportunity with the capital that they trust us to keep safe.”

Cash will be offered worth 60% of loans backed by the digital asset with “room for client-level customization” and even adjusted to meet large firms’ needs, said Prince.

Combining risk-managed loan agreement with custody furthers the opportunity for institutions in the digital asset space. Sandler said,

“The business and market momentum we’ve seen this year have reinforced our belief that institutional investors are looking for a more comprehensive offering in the digital assets space.”

With this new offering, FDA is entering into the “thriving lending market” of digital assets that target those Bitcoin investors who want to turn their cryptocurrency into cash without selling.

Hedge funds, crypto miners, and over-the-counter trading desks are the potential customers, Tom Jessop, president of FDA, said in an interview with Bloomberg. He sees the loans to be longer-term than the typical repo trade.

According to him, holding BTC to back loans is “a foundational capability,” and “as the markets grow, we’d expect that this becomes a fairly important part of the ecosystem.”

Right now, BlockFi offers 8.6% APY for users that HOLD BTC on their platform.

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Author: AnTy