Grayscale Adds Chainlink (LINK) to its Digital Large Cap Fund

Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital asset manager, has rebalanced its Digital Large Cap Fund (GDLC) composition to make the crypto asset LINK part of it.

Built on Ethereum, Chainlink is an oracle service provider which was recently announced by Grayscale as a single-asset investment product.

The 10th largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $14.17 billion is the only one qualified for this inclusion in the Fund, out of the other four latest additions, LivePeer (LPT), Filecoin (FIL), Decentraland (MANA), and Basic Attention Token (BAT) by Grayscale. The Fund’s composition is evaluated every quarter.

The Fund’s portfolio, a passive rules-based strategy that seeks to provide exposure to 70% of the digital asset market, has been adjusted by selling its existing components. The cash proceeds from that were then used to purchase LINK.

As of April 2nd, 2021, the Fund is a composition of 79.8% Bitcoin (BTC), 17.5% Ethereum (ETH), 0.80% Bitcoin Cash (BCH), 1.00% Litecoin (LTC) and 0.90% Chainlink (LINK).

On April 1st, Grayscale added 65.67k LINK and now holds a total of 115.57k LINK, worth just over $4 million.

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Author: AnTy

BlackRock Discloses Bitcoin Exposure in SEC Filing; Holding .5M in CME BTC Futures

BlackRock Discloses Bitcoin Exposure in SEC Filing; Holding $6.5M in CME BTC Futures

The world’s largest asset manager BlackRock with $8.7 trillion in assets under management (AUM), disclosed in its latest filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it already has exposure to Bitcoin.

As the investment giant said earlier this year that they have “started to dabble,” the filing published on Wednesday indeed showed that.

The asset manager that held $6.5 million in CME Bitcoin futures contracts at the beginning of 2021 has these appreciating about $360,457 on reporting day. These holdings, however, are just 0.03% of BlackRock’s Global Allocation Fund.

It was in January they gave two of its funds the green light to trade Bitcoin futures.

Ever since last year, when corporates and legendary investors started warming up to Bitcoin, BlackRock also showed its interest in the leading cryptocurrency.

While the fund CEO Larry Fink had said they are watching Bitcoin and that it can become a store of value, the BlackRock CIO Rick Rieder noted that three is clearly greater demand for BTC than supply, which can even replace gold one day.

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Author: AnTy

Canadian Financial Institution Launches World’s First Stablecoin Backed by Bank Deposits

Canadian Financial Institution Launches World’s First Stablecoin Backed by Bank Deposits

  • Canadian-based bank, VersaBank, announced the launch of its digital stablecoin, VCAD, which is backed 1:1 by Canadian dollar bank deposits by the bank.

VersaBank, a North American banking leader in B2B digital payment solutions, announced its plans to launch VCAD, the “world’s first digital currency backed by a North American bank deposits”. The stablecoin aims to offer users a channel of commerce while offering the highest levels of stability and security on its system.

The VCAD stablecoin is as a result of a partnership between VersaBank and Stablecorp, a joint venture between crypto asset manager, 3iQ and Mavenet, a blockchain development firm, both Canadian firms too. The partnership will ensure the commercial launch of VCAD, with VersaVault, a digital bank vault under VersaBank’s cybersecurity subsidiary, DRT Cyber Inc., securely managing the stablecoin.

The VCAD project is expected to launch in the coming months, a statement from the team further stated.

VCAD allows consumers and businesses to leverage the benefits of stable tokens such as removing the wild volatility experienced across the crypto market or fiat currencies. Moreover, users will also enjoy the security of a fully-backed stablecoin through the bank deposits, David Taylor, President of VersaBank and DRT Cyber Inc. said in a statement.

“Consumers and businesses purchasing products and services with VCAD will finally know the precise value of their digital currency when executing these transactions.”

At launch, VCAD will be issued to financial intermediaries working with VersaBank in exchange for Canadian dollar deposits. These partners and intermediaries will then offer the stablecoin directly to users and businesses allowing them to redeem for Canadian dollars and payment purposes at any time. Jean Desgagne, CEO, Stablecorp said,

“VCAD provides consumers with not only the security afforded by an underlying deposit with a Canadian chartered bank but also the comfort of knowing that each VCAD issued or redeemed will always have one-to-one value with the Canadian dollar.”

Stablecoins are rapidly gaining acceptance across Canada as a bank of Canada official, Deputy Governor Tim Lane, praised the innovation over “flawed Bitcoin” as a payment channel.

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Author: Lujan Odera

MasterCard Launches World’s First CBDC-Linked Card in the Bahamas

MasterCard Launches World’s First CBDC-Linked Card in the Bahamas

  • MasterCard launches prepaid cards for the Bahamian central bank digital currency or CBDC.
  • The card allows payments using the Sand Dollar across all accepted stores.

MasterCard, Island Pay, and the central bank of Bahamas collaborate to launch the world’s first CBDC-linked card. The card will integrate Bahamian digital currency, Sand Dollars, enhancing and allowing greater flexibility on how users can pay at any MasterCard-accepted store, an announcement on Wednesday read.

The prepaid card will convert the Sand Dollars to any fiat currency, and users can pay for goods and services around the world.

Island Pay and MasterCard launched the card to “reduce the operational distribution costs of cash and modernize the overall payments system” across the islands. Richard Douglas, the co-founder of Island Pay, said,

“By working closely with the Central Bank of The Bahamas and Mastercard, we can issue a prepaid card unlike any other in the world.”

“We are now able to bring immediate, critical benefits to our customers at a time when they are looking to find new, innovative ways to pay.”

Piloted in 2019, the Sand Dollar became the first-ever fully-deployed CBDC to a country’s fiat system. The Sand dollar carries the same customer protection laws and value propositions as the Bahamian fiat currency. The project aims to build a more inclusive financial system by facilitating government disbursements across the 700+ islands and offering more payment options to Bahamians.

The partnership with MasterCard is expected to open up the Sand Dollar borders, which was previously only available to selected merchants in the Bahamas.

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Author: Lujan Odera

A ‘Surge in Interest’ in DOT Leads 21Shares to Launch World’s First Polkadot ETP on SIX

A ‘Surge in Interest’ in DOT Leads 21Shares to Launch World’s First Polkadot ETP on SIX

Amidst the growing interest in decentralized finance (DeFi), investment product provider 21Shares AG, previously known as Amun, has launched the world’s first Polkadot (DOT) exchange-traded product (ETP).

Zurich-based 21Shares is the issuer of crypto ETPs and will be launching the DOT ETP on the Swiss stock exchange (SIX Exchange) on Feb 4th, 2021.

The move came right on the heels of 21Shares adding DOT to its HODL basket. DOT is the second-largest constituent after Bitcoin in the product. Hany Rashwan, CEO 21Shares AG, said in a statement,

“We remain committed to the unprecedented demand we are seeing from institutional investors wanting exposure to crypto-assets.”

According to the chief executive, investing in other crypto-assets is a natural transition from Bitcoin for investors, and European investors have been approaching the company to launch new products.

While the company has been seeing a 5-fold increase in demand, mainly from institutional investors, across its suite of crypto ETPs since Q3 2020, it says there has been a “recent surge in interest” for DOT.

With DOT, 21Shares AG aims to provide “exposure to the multi-chain application environment that enables cross-chain interoperability on a level previously not possible via their traditional broker or bank.”

Created by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, DOT is the 5th largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $15.28 billion. Currently trading at $16.84, DOT is up 104% so far in 2021.

The firm says that despite the rising popularity of the DOT token, it is “not easy for non-technical users to buy and hold and interact with it,” as such, with its ETP, they are lowering the barriers to entry for newcomers. Rashwan said,

“We are launching the DOT ETP to give investors a safe, regulated, and easy way to obtain exposure to this exciting new blockchain technology.”

Each share of the product is fully collateralized by the corresponding amount of physical DOT tokens.

The company is preparing to add more ETPs in the next three months and new European exchange listings.

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Author: AnTy

Binance’s Has Been Blacklisted in Russia Since Sept; New Ruling Removes the Restriction

Binance’s Has Been Blacklisted in Russia Since Sept; New Ruling Removes the Restriction

  • The World’s largest crypto exchange in terms of capitalization, Binance, has been removed from the blacklisted websites in Russia following a court order.
  • Binance’s website was formally blacklisted in September last year by the Russian regulators. However, the exchange’s trading in the country has not been affected.

According to a popular news agency, Kommersant, on Jan. 21, Arkhangelsk Regional Court ordered that the Binance website be expunged from the list of blacklisted websites in the country.

The head of Binance Russia, Gleb Kostarev, confirmed to Bitcoin Exchange Guide that the reports were indeed true explaining that the court session was held on Jan. 20. The court’s decision read,

“Issuance and usage of bitcoins are fully decentralized, and there is no way to regulate it by the government, which contradicts the current Russian law.”

Binance’s website was blacklisted in June after Arkhangelsk Regional Court sided with local prosecutors, arguing that the firm was aiding in distributing information regarding Bitcoin, unlicensed crypto in the country. According to Kostarev, Binance Russia was not issued with a formal notification of the court hearing and only realized the blacklisting by the regulator, Roskomnadzor, three months later. Kostarev stated that the failure to notify the company made it difficult to defend its rights properly in court.

The ruling which was seen by CoinDesk indicates that the prosecutors extracted their complaint after Binance moved to challenge the decision.

Cryptos such as Bitcoin is legal in Russia even after the digital assets law was adopted on Jan.1. The law states that cryptos are legal taxable properties. The country also adopted another order requiring civil servants to declare their crypto holdings for taxation purposes.

Kostarev explained that the blacklisting of the firm’s website had no major effect on its trading volumes.

“Though the September ban had no impact on our volumes in Russia, for us, it was important to protect our reputation and appeal in this case.”

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Author: Joseph Kibe

IGT Gets Regulatory Approval to Use Bitcoin & Crypto’s at Slot Machines

The world’s largest slot machines’ maker, International Game Technology Plc, is looking at offering cryptocurrency as a payment option on its casino games like Wheel of Fortune and Megabucks.

It has been only last year that the Nevada Gaming Commission made it easier for casinos to introduce cashless systems and now IGT has gained regulatory approval for using cashless wallets on slot machines.

The company received a patent this week for the means to transfer crypto between a player’s account on the gaming-establishment and an external crypto account, reported Bloomberg.

This would allow players to move BTC and other crypto assets into their digital wallets on a slot machine through their phones. Company spokesman Phil O’Shaughnessy said,

“IGT secured this patent to bolster its industry-leading patent portfolio in anticipation of any possible future direction in regulated gaming involving cryptocurrency.”

Going the crypto route certainly makes sense especially to attract the younger gamblers. According to IGT, a third of guests at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas are between the ages of 21 and 40.

Now that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other altcoins prices have started rallying like crazy, everyone wants a taste of cryptocurrencies.

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Author: AnTy

Michael Saylor Offers Elon Musk his ‘Playbook’ to Convert Tesla’s Billions into Trillions

Bitcoin isn’t the world’s second-richest person’s “safe word” and is “almost as bs as fiat money,” it’s just all about DOGE.

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk took over the crypto Twitter on Sunday when he tweeted that Bitcoin is his safe word.

This has been in contrast to his tweet earlier this year when he said “Bitcoin is *not* my safe word.” Over a year before that in 2019, he had said, “Cryptocurrency is my safe word.”

Musk’s Tweet has always been vague, after all, he’s here for the memes.

His weekend shenanigans soon gave way to “Just kidding, who needs a safe word anyway!?” this time as well.

“Bitcoin is almost as bs as fiat money,” came his Tweet soon after.

Bitcoin fanboy, Michael Saylor, the CEO of MicroStrategy, the first public company to replace cash with Bitcoin in their balance sheet as a reserve asset, jumped in and encouraged the billionaire to make a similar decision and “do your shareholders a $100 billion favor.”

“Other firms on the S&P 500 would follow your lead & in time it would grow to become a $1 trillion favor,” Saylor added in his tweet on Sunday.

This made Musk inquire if “such large transactions (are) even possible.”

Here, Saylor took over and explained how he has purchased more than $1.3 billion in Bitcoin in the past few months and “would be happy to share my playbook with you offline – from one rocket scientist to another,” said the Bitcoin proponent.

Crypto derivatives exchanges FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried also chimed in and recommended his OTC desk and “you can even use TSLA stock as collateral to buy it,” he said.

The price of Bitcoin surged more than 230% this year, having broken above the 2017 peak of $20,000 and now venturing on its price discovery that sees the digital asset making a new all-time high every other day.

In the early hours of Monday or late on Sunday, BTC price BTC -4.90% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 22 909,7304
-1,122.58 -4.90
Volume 46.98 b Change -1,122.58 Open $22 909,7304 Circulating 18.58 m Market Cap 425.6 b
1 h Crypto Exchange EXMO Hacked; BTC, ETH, XRP, ZEC, USDT, and ETC Stolen By Attacker
actually made yet another all-time high to about $24,300.

Today, the market is actually in risk-off mode with Bitcoin falling to $22,400 and TSLA shares also going down 6.3% in pre-market on its debut on the S&P 500 index.

“If Elon Musk/Tesla decided to also allocate part of its treasury holdings to BTC like Microstrategy did, it will embolden other tech companies around the world to do the same,” said one of the partners of the Crypto fund The Spartan Group.

The share price of Musk’s TSLA actually has been on a bull run itself, wilder than Bitcoin’s. Up a whopping 708% YTD and up 862% from March lows, TSLA made a new all-time high at 695 on Friday. These gains added $140 billion to Musk’s $167 billion net worth, making him the second richest person in the world.

Musk ended his crypto session with the tweet “One word: Doge” and changed his Twitter bio to “Former CEO of Dogecoin.”

DOGE jumped over 25% on this, trading above $0.005.

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Author: AnTy

Binance Exchange Rolls Out Visa Crypto Reward Cards to European Customers

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has started to ship its physical Binance Visa cards to customers within the European Economic Area. The exchange is now urging customers within the European Economic Area to order Binance Visa cards or finish up their previous delivery process.

In an announcement made on Dec. 14, the exchange firm said that customers within the EEA region who applied for Binance Visa cards would soon receive them.

According to the announcement, the physical Binance Visa card will allow users to spend up to 8,700 euros equivalent to $10,600, and they can withdraw up to 290 euros or $350 from ATMs. The cards will also attract zero fees up to 2021 and features up to 8% cashback.

Binance also announced that it was adding support for Ether (ETH) in its Binance Visa cards to give customers more options to use cryptocurrency in their daily lives. The announcement stated,

“Rather pay with your Ethereum profits? From now on, you can buy the things you love with Ethereum. Transfer Ethereum to your Card wallet and drag it above the other coins to make it the preferred payment asset.”

Binance officially debuted its Binance crypto debit card within the EEA region in July this year. The exchange has been offering digital Binance Visa Cards. The exchange clarified at the time that physical cards would be processed in the coming months. It seems the exchange is now ready to issue the physical Visa cards.

To boost its reach in Europe and worldwide, Binance acquired a multi-currency virtual wallet, also a Visa debit card platform, Swipe, in July.

Since Binance revealed plans for a Binance Visa Card back in April this year, it has been actively marketing the new product creating awareness among crypto enthusiasts. After Binance introduced the card within the EEA region, the firm revealed its plans to expand in other regions worldwide. Plans are underway to roll out the card in Russia.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

World’s Largest Hedge Fund Manager, Ray Dalio, Is Warming Up to Bitcoin

In his latest Reddit Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associate, Ray Dalio, touched upon Bitcoin, in which there have been tons of questions.

“I think that bitcoin (and some other digital currencies) have over the last ten years established themselves as interesting gold-like asset alternatives,” replied Dalio to a question whether Bitcoin is a potential answer to the issue that the global new world fiat monetary system has become because of central bank money printing which in turn has increased inequality in the US. According to Dalio, Bitcoin has both,

“similarities and differences to gold and other limited-supply, mobile (unlike real estate) storeholds of wealth.”

Talking about Bitcoin relative to gold, Dalio has a strong preference for the asset that central banks will want to hold or use in exchanging value while transacting.

However, the thing is, an investor must diversify his investment portfolio, and Bitcoin can be one. He said,

“It could serve as a diversifier to gold and other such storehold of wealth assets.”

“The main thing is to have some of these type of assets (with limited supply, that are mobile, and that are storeholds of wealth), including stocks, in one’s portfolio and to diversify among them.”

Cash is a bad alternative

These positive remarks towards bitcoin came after Dalio said last month that he may be missing something about the digital asset and that he would “love to be corrected.”

“Looks like @RayDalio has been contemplating bitcoin. Definitely seems like he’s coming around,” commented analyst Mati Greenspan on this new development.

During the AMA, Dalio further talked about the flood of money in the market that is lifting the prices of most assets, which are distributing wealth in such a way that it is “threatening to the value of our money and credit.”

“With the amount of money out there, and cash being such a bad alternative, there’s no good reason that stocks couldn’t trade at 50x earnings,” said the hedge fund manager, which, to be honest, also holds true for Bitcoin but at a larger percentage.

“It is important to diversify well in terms of currencies and countries, as well as asset classes,” he said, adding, “I want excellent diversification at this time.”

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Author: AnTy