Australian ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Firm Looking to Allow Users to Trade Crypto on Customer Demand

Australian ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Firm Looking to Allow Users to Trade Crypto on Customer Demand

Zip Co Ltd, an Australian buy now, pay later (BNPL) firm, explores the option to allow its users to trade cryptocurrencies.

Trading in crypto using Zip digital wallets was one of most requested new product features from users, said co-founder Peter Gray on Thursday.

Zip said it would likely launch the new service in the US first and then in the next 12 months in Australia. The US is driving its fourth-quarter growth and is set to soon become its biggest market by volume.

The company’s fourth-quarter volumes and revenue doubled, with transaction volumes hitting A$1.76 billion ($1.29 billion) in the June quarter and volume at its US unit quadrupled.

Zip’s Australian user base is mature, with about 30% of adults having a BNPL account.

This attempt by Zip to go into crypto is also propelled by the company’s established competitors like Afterpay and Klarna expanding into more countries and planning new offerings like a banking app. The BNPL sector is also attracting the giants like PayPal and even Apple.

“We know our younger generation of customers seek additional products and services that are relevant to them,” Gray told Reuters. The company itself is also looking at expansion in Europe and the Middle East.

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Author: AnTy

Citigroup’s Richest Clients Can Now Trade Crypto; Also Helps Invest in Stablecoins, NFTs, & CBDC

Citigroup’s Richest Clients Can Now Trade Crypto; Also Helps Invest in Stablecoins, NFTs, & CBDC

Citigroup is finally coming around on cryptocurrencies.

The Wall Street giant now allows its richest clients to bet on crypto as part of a new digital assets group inside its wealth management unit.

This wealth management unit has been in the works ever since Citigroup formed the division earlier this year, and more recently, it has been focused on building out a series of wealth management hubs across Europe and Asia.

Under Citigroup’s crypto plan, the new group will help clients invest in cryptocurrencies, stablecoin, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), according to the memo.

The new effort will be led by Alex Kriete and Greg Girasole, who will serve as liaisons to “all other business groups at Citi who are expanding into this rapidly emerging space also.”

“They will be responsible for developing our future product capabilities, client delivery mechanisms, and thought leadership around all digital assets,” said Iain Armitage, Citigroup’s global head of capital markets for its private bank, and Rob Jasminski, who oversees the bank’s investment management arm globally, in the memo.

The bank is forming the unit as investor demand for crypto assets continues to soar and its rivals like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley also start offering crypto-related services to their clients.

The newly formed unit comes just weeks after the CEOs of the six biggest US banks were grilled by Congress over their ties to cryptocurrencies. At the time, Citigroup chief executive Jane Fraser said her bank was taking tentative steps in the crypto space.

“We proceed with great caution here,” Fraser said.

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Author: AnTy

‘Long Bitcoin” Is Still the Second-Most Crowded Trade, Despite 50% Drawdown: BoA Survey

‘Long Bitcoin” Is Still the Second-Most Crowded Trade, Despite 50% Drawdown: BoA Survey

80% of fund managers say the market is in a bubble with inflation and bond market taper tantrums being the top tail risk.

About 80% of fund managers surveyed by Bank of America say the market is in a bubble, up from 75% in May.

The survey of 207 investors with $645 billion in assets further revealed that “long Bitcoin” is the second-most crowded trade after commodities.

This has been despite the fact that Bitcoin had a 50% drawdown last month from its all-time high of nearly $65,000 in mid-April. Following the drop to $30,000 and on some exchanges as low as $28,000 during the sell-off, BTC is back above $40,000.

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Meanwhile, an increasing number of institutional investors, asset managers, and banks are adopting cryptocurrencies and offering services.

Just this week, veteran hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones said he likes “Bitcoin as a portfolio diversifier” and shared his plan to invest 5% of his portfolio in Bitcoin, the same percentage as gold, cash, and commodities.

Meanwhile, besides long Bitcoin, “long tech stock,” “long ESG,” “short US treasuries,” and “long Euro” are other crowded trades this month.

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The survey conducted between June 4 to 10 further revealed that while allocation to bonds is at a three-year low, net -69%, stocks are back up at 2021 highs of 61%.

Allocation to U.S. equities remained at 6% overweight while allocation to Eurozone equities increased to a net 41% overweight, the highest since Jan. 2018. Meanwhile, exposure to UK stocks increased to the highest level since March 2014 and is 4% overweight.

In the next four years, managers see a mix of value and tech stocks as best-performing assets.

According to 57% of investors, any equity correction to occur in the next six months is likely to be less than 10%.

When it comes to inflation, 72% of investors say it is transitory, and 63% expect the Federal Reserve to signal tapering in August-September. Inflation and bond market taper tantrum are the top tail risk.

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Author: AnTy

Saxo Markets Launches BTC, ETH, & LTC Trading on ‘Strong Demand’

Saxo Markets has launched a cryptocurrency offering enabling its clients to trade Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC) against the dollar, euro, and yen, from a single margin account.

Due to being in the form of derivatives, clients can go both long and short on these cryptocurrencies.

The company is targeting mass affluent and emerging-affluent clients for its latest offering. Over the next few weeks, this will be launched in different countries.

This new service was introduced on the back of “strong demand,” said Saxo Markets APAC Chief Executive Officer Adam Reynolds.

“The active trading clients are going to be the ones most interested in this,” Reynolds said, “and that will include people who are active traders in FX, but also people like active traders in tech stocks.”

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Author: AnTy

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) Shares to Flood the Market Over the Next Couple of Months

Meanwhile, GBTC continues to trade at a steep discount. From the low of 21.23% last week, the discount has recovered a bit, and during this time, the BTC price crashed almost 20%.

It’s been months now that Grayscale Bitcoin Trust has been trading at a steep discount.

GBTC is not the only one as the discount on ETCG actually went as low as 54.9% and is currently at just under 40%. While ETHE is trading at a discount at 4.52%, LTCN is at a premium of a whopping 1,168% and BCHG at almost 182%, as per Bybt.

But, of course, GBTC is the most important one.

Late in February 2021 was the first time when it briefly went negative, but the next drop below zero on March 2nd was the last time it saw positive numbers. Since then, it has continuously been declining, hitting a fresh low of 21.23% on May 13.

As of writing, the GBTC is trading at a discount of 15.05% to NAV.

The time between when the discount on GBTC shares went record low this year and recovered some this week, the price of Bitcoin crashed almost 20%.

“GBTC prem is diverging from BTC price action recently,” noted Avi Sanyal, Head of Trading at BlockTower.

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While this discount may make GBTC look attractive on paper, James Seyffart, a Bloomberg ETF analyst, noted that GBTC is trading at a discount because of the shares coming into the market in recent months, and soon, in June and July, there will be a flood of them.

“Currently around 530 million shares that could be eligible for trading and rising to 692 million at the end of August,” he stated.

As we reported, Grayscale has been trying to limit the discount by announcing the buyback program, which was recently increased to $750 million; the discount has yet to take a good hit. While GBTC’s conversion into an ETF would eliminate any discount and premium, it is anyone’s guess when that would happen.

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Unlock

Source: Bybt

While there are no new creations ever since Grayscale halted them at the end of February, the 6-month lockup on the shares already created is ending, increasing the supply by 31% over the next ~3.5 months, he stated.

As Scopus Asset Management disclosed in its SEC filing, it almost doubled its Bitcoin exposure through GBTC since Dec. 31st from 173k GBTC to 321k GBTC shares.

“I’m convinced a factor here is the money that was pouring into these Grayscale trusts. It was a lot of institutions piling in to take advantage of the massive premiums. Some didn’t care about crypto, and the ones that did are probably buying it directly now,” Seyffart said.

Trader Loomdart, an advisor to the firm eGirl Crypto, is of a similar opinion. He noted last month that these funds that aped into GBTC just 5-6 months ago without having “any real crypto love” are probably going to market sell their GBTC shares when they unlock, which will start happening next week and accelerate from there.

This is the very reason Loomdart sees “longing GBTC at like 30% discount and smashing long on BTC” as the next big trade.

“With GBTC starts changing drastically, big sign the big guys are starting to arb GBTC because it’s profitable enough to do so,” he added.

On Monday, Vailshire Partners, a smaller hedge fund that manages under $30 million in AUM, shared on Twitter that they took advantage of the discount by purchasing “an additional 6,753 shares of GBTC today.”

However, it is yet to be seen if the GBTC is done trading at a discount or another drop is to come before it starts to recover completely.

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Author: AnTy

Bank of America to Speed Up Stock Trade Settlement Using Paxos Blockchain Network

Bank of America to Speed Up Stock Trade Settlement Using Paxos Blockchain Network

Crypto firm Paxos has welcomed Bank Of America to its blockchain-based network for settling US equities.

According to Bloomberg, Bank of America has become the latest US bank to join the Paxos Network for blockchain stock settlement. The Paxos network facilitates the quick settlement of securities.

European banking giant Credit Suisse and Nomura Holdings Inc’s Instinet already use the network known as Paxos Settlement Service.

Improving Return-on-Assets for BoA

Speaking on the new development, the Bank of America’s head of financing and clearing, Kevin McCarthy, said joining the Paxos network would help improve the return-on-assets in the business, which he said has been a challenge for the bank.

Paxos Settlement Service is an alternative settlement platform to existing market infrastructure. It was launched in 2020 after receiving a no-action relief from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in October 2019. Paxos has also applied for a clearing license with the SEC.

The CEO of Paxos, Chad Cascarilla, said his platform could threaten the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC), which currently dominates equity settlement. The DTCC offers a “T+2” settlement process via legacy software. The DTCC settlement takes up to two days and only offers same-day settlement for trades are recorded on or before 11 a.m.

This is unlike Paxos that settles stock trades within minutes using the blockchain. Paxos runs a permissioned version of the Ethereum blockchain.

Using Blockchain In The Stock Market

In recent times, financial firms worldwide have begun to explore how blockchain can help address inefficiencies in the financial markets. Even as the total value of stocks traded globally is pegged to be around $77.5 trillion, the complexity in stock-related transactions persists. The stock market still has problems regarding the time it takes for transactions to be approved and the operational costs.

NASDAQ is one stock exchange that has been a front-runner when it comes to adopting blockchain. The exchange already uses blockchain technology to issue and manage private securities. Most of the other exchanges are still exploring prototypes and looking into the opportunities in blockchain technology.

Banks like JP Morgan Chase have also leveraged blockchain technology to develop specialized payments systems and offer niche banking products. Since last year, JPMorgan has used the blockchain to execute intraday repurchase agreements totaling billions of dollars.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Grayscale Closes Private Placement in GBTC, Which Holds 3.5% of Bitcoin’s Circulating Supply

Meanwhile, the GBTC continues to trade at a discount as Grayscale, which does not have any redemption program, works on converting it into an ETF.

It’s been close to two weeks that Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital asset manager, has seen any inflows in its Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).

This is because the fund has closed any private placement for now. The message on the website reads,

“The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust private placement is offered on a periodic basis throughout the year and is currently closed.”

As of writing, GBTC has 655,360 BTC, representing just over 3.5% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply, $37.1 billion worth of total holdings.

This has been while GBTC continues to trade at a discount since late February. Much like GBTC, ETHE is also at a discount of 7%. While Grayscale Ethereum Trust is currently open, it only added 3,769 ETH this month, as per Bybt.

Grayscale’s infamous premium has provided hedge funds an opportunity to arbitrage, who deposit the coin with GBTC in exchange for shares that are worth more than the market value of BTC, and this premium is pocketed by them when they sell the marked-up shares after a six-month lock-up period. Nic Carter, of crypto-focused venture firm Castle Island Ventures, told Bloomberg,

“It became just too popular and there’s only so much demand at the end of the day by retail investors who are using Schwab or using Fidelity or a traditional brokerage.”

“Basically, too many funds plowed capital into this trade thinking it was a slam dunk, and then as that capital matured and the units in the trust became market-tradable, the demand that they expected to materialize wasn’t there from the market.”

Grayscale’s crypto products do not have a redemption program as assets are held in a trust currently; shares can only be created.

And the asset manager halts creations from time to time. “The Trust may, but will not be required to, seek regulatory approval to operate a redemption program,” states the website.

Bitcoin bull Cathie Wood of Ark Investment Management is one of the largest holders of the Trust along with Horizon Kinetics LLC and Churchill Management Corp.

This week, Digital Currency Group, the parent company of Grayscale, announced that it would be buying up to $250 million worth of GBTC shares.

As we reported, Grayscale is working on the process of becoming an exchange-traded Fund (ETF) as it hires several ETF executives.

While the US has yet to approve one, Canada has already seen two ETFs that made their debut last month and saw a great response. The first Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC), has amassed $464 million in assets, while another one, Evolve Fund Group’s Bitcoin ETF (ticker EBIT), has attracted $42 million so far.

In the light of the growing demand for Bitcoin products, now US ETF issuers are getting creative. Simplify US Equity Plus Bitcoin ETF (SPBC) is investing up to 15% of its assets in cryptos either “indirectly and solely” through GBTC, as per a filing. Financial Enhancement Group’s Andrew Thrasher said,

“This fund will appeal to a lot of advisors who have had an interest in getting exposure to Bitcoin or have clients asking for crypto.”

“This gives the potential to have Bitcoin exposure within a traditional custodian account in an ETF wrapper, which hasn’t been done in the U.S. due to SEC resistance to approve a pure Bitcoin ETF.”

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Author: AnTy

SBI Group Rolls Out XRP on Its VC Trade Cryptocurrency Lending Service

SBI Group Rolls Out XRP on Its VC Trade Cryptocurrency Lending Service

Having launched its cryptocurrency lending service in late 2020, the Japan-based financial services company – SBI Group – has announced that it will be enabling access to XRP as part of its lending service – SBI VC Trade.

This news is according to an announcement made by the company on Feb. 4. SBI VC Trade Lending will enable users will be able to earn interest by depositing their XRP on the platform – so long as it was between 1,000 and 100,000 XRP. In order to obtain an interest dividend on whatever is staked, they would need to lend it for a period of up to 84 days.

Within the statement, SBI stated the following:

“VC Trade Lending is a service that allows customers to rent out their crypto assets to the company and receive interest rewards according to the quantity and duration of the crypto assets.”

The company has added that XRP annual interest would come to 0.1% (including taxes).

As readers may have noticed, the introductory interest rate (0.1%) is much lower than the going rate for lending Bitcoin BTC 1.63% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 37,416.45
$609.891.63%
Volume 68.15 b Change $609.89 Open $37,416.45 Circulating 18.62 m Market Cap 696.67 b
8 s SBI Group Rolls Out XRP on Its VC Trade Cryptocurrency Lending Service 3 h $72M New Crypto VC Fund Gets Backing from Billionaires like Paul Tudor Jones & LL Cool J 4 h Dutch Footballer Says “Don’t Wait to Buy Bitcoin” While Goldman Issues a Warning
on the platform. At present, there has not been a reason behind this, other than the potential risk associated with Ripple at present, but this is not validated.

While not facing domestic legal challenges in Japan, Ripple is facing a large-scale federal lawsuit within the United States – specifically for alleged violations of existing U.S. securities laws by selling unregistered securities. The decision by SBI comes from a difference in the legal definition of XRP; Japan, unlike the U.S., believes that XRP does not qualify as a security.

Since 2020, SBI has risen as one of Ripple’s large-scale partners, having brought out a few XRP-related products. In the wake of legal challenges in the United States, Yoshitaka Kitao – CEO of SBI – made it plain that Japan remains the most likely (or friendly) candidate for Ripple to move to.

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Author: James Fox

Tesla, Amazon, Netflix, & Pfizer Now Tradeable on Bittrex Against USD, USDT, & BTC

Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex announced on Monday that it will now allow its users to trade popular stocks.

After derivatives platform FTX, Bittrex is the latest one to list the tokenized stocks on its exchange. This is made possible through its partnership with Digital Assets.AG.

Digital Assets.AG is a Swiss-based company that facilitates the tokenization of traditional financial assets. This will allow investors and traders to directly access the listed companies without an external broker or additional fees.

The popular stocks available to purchase and trade on Bittrex include Tesla (TSLA), Alibaba (BABA), SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), Beyond Meat Inc (BYND), Pfizer (PFE), Apple (AAPL), BioNTech (BNTX), Google (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX), and Bilibili (BILI).

These stocks will be tradeable against US dollars (USD), Tether (USDT), and Bitcoin (BTC).

“The traditional stock exchanges of the world’s financial capitals have for centuries set the terms for engagement and trading,” said Tom Albright, the chief executive of Bittrex Global adding that the decade-old inefficient, complex, and expensive infrastructure is “totally unnecessary.” He said,

“Blockchain technology has the potential to radically broaden access to financial services, and Bittrex Global is very proud to provide people with a portal to build their capital and private wealth in a way that was unimaginable a decade ago.”

Unlike the traditional stock market, Bittrex will allow people to trade twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, users can purchase a fraction of stock instead of entire shares. Even the countries where access to US stocks though traditional finance is not possible will now be able to trade them.

This is just the beginning as the exchange plans to “quickly increase their offerings by giving its customers exposure to ETFs, indices, and additional asset classes.”

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Author: AnTy

DEX Synthetix Now Allows Trading of Brent Crude Oil Powered by Chainlink Oracle

Popular DeFi project DEX Synthetix now allows the crypto market to trade Brent Crude Oil as well.

sOIL (Synthetic Brent Crude Oil) is a non-expiring Crude Oil Index based on the futures prices of ICE Brent Crude Oil, whose price is tracked through price feeds supplied by the Chainlink oracle, which will source the data from ICE for an undisclosed price.

“sOIL is a great case study showcasing that DeFi developers are on the precipice of going far beyond cryptocurrency price feeds and starting to create financial products that provide exposure to food, energy resources, rare earth metals, real-world assets, equities, NFTs, weighted asset baskets, and much more,” said Chainlink in an official statement.

sOIL

The tokens of both the projects are in the green today. Currently, SNX is trading at $4.32, up 561% YTD, while LINK is at $12.65, recording 605% gains in 2020.

With the addition of one of the major futures contracts for global oil markets, a real-world asset has officially entered the DeFi trading world. Recently, crypto derivatives exchange FTX also provided the crypto market exposure to stocks like Apple, Google, Tesla, and Amazon.

“There is significant demand for these assets particularly given the liquidity of the underlying markets and the difficulty of access for the average trader,” notes the SIP 62 “Futures reference price methodology,” which is about converting future market prices into a single reference price for Synths.

According to Chainlink, this is just the beginning as compared to DeFi’s $13 billion TVL, the global market for crude oil is over $1.7 trillion, not including the derivatives market.

“Traditional financial markets are orders of magnitude larger than cryptocurrency markets; DeFi has only begun to scratch the surface of tapping into it.”

Recent News: Synthetix Upgrades to L2 Scaling to Alleviate Gas Costs for SNX Stakers

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Author: AnTy