Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Most wealth managers and financial advisors are still in “education mode” on cryptocurrencies and are still getting to grips with the technology, but demand for the emerging asset class among larger investors has grown, the boss of mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments’ institutional arm Mike Durbin told Reuters. “They know what they are doing, and more importantly their end investor base also knows what they are doing – but the vast majority are still in the education mode,” he said. Durbin added that he thinks the growth rate of bitcoin (BTC) or digital assets “will follow in that wake of broader alternative investments” (e.g. real estate, private equity, and hedge funds), as these will likely increase in popularity.
- Famous American magazine Time will accept cryptocurrencies for digital subscriptions “with more to come,” said its President, Keith Grossman. According to Grossman, the long-term goal is to develop the crypto and non-fungible token (NFT) offerings into a “turnkey enterprise solution” for the publishing and media industry. As reported, Time is auctioning a number of plain-black NFTs on the SuperRare platform asking “Is ___ Dead?” It’s also looking for a Chief Financial Officer familiar with cryptocurrencies.
- The privacy-centric web browser Brave (BAT) aims to integrate a dedicated Binance Smart Chain (BSC) wallet soon. According to the announcement, BAT is now available on BSC as Wrapped BAT (WBAT). BAT holders can use multiple bridges that connect Ethereum (ETH) and BSC ecosystems to participate in the decentralized finance (DeFi), it said.
- Prominent digital artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, told the New Yorker that he converted his ETH received for his historic non-fungible token (NFT) sold at Christie’s for USD 69m, to USD. “I’m not remotely a crypto-purist,” he was quoted as saying.
- South Korea’s gaming social media company, Ludena Protocol, and NFT ecosystem developer, Enjin, (ENJ) said they aim to bring “sustainable NFTs” to the fourth-largest gaming market in the world, beginning with its largest social gaming platform, GameTalkTalk.
- Bitcoin rewards firm Lolli said it has raised a USD 5m pre-Series A funding round. The round was led by Seven Seven Six, the venture capital founded by Alexis Ohanian, while other participants included Night Media, the management company that represents YouTuber MrBeast, and a roster of notable investors, including Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures, Casey Neistat, Phil Defranco, Cody Ko, Noel Miller, Ian Borthwick, and Gabriel Leydon. The funding will go towards continued developments of Lolli’s mobile app and international expansion, the company said. This investment follows a USD 3m round.
- Maker of the popular trading app Robinhood, Robinhood Markets L.L.C., has confidentially filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering, according to Bloomberg. Robinhood could go public as soon as late in the second quarter but the timing could change, “a person familiar with the matter” said. It plans to pursue a listing on Nasdaq.
- BTC institutional investment firm NYDIG announced that, effective immediately, the total expense ratio for NYDIG funds that provide passive access to bitcoin will be reduced to 0.30% of net asset value per year. The press release said that this represents NYDIG’s third fee reduction in the last year.
- As of April 1, BTC and ETH rates and tiers for BlockFi Interest Accounts (BIA) are changing, announced major crypto lender BlockFi. As the main reasons, they give the recent BTC price fluctuations and shifting demand in the lending space. The new BTC rates are earn 6% APY on 0 to 1 BTC, earn 2% APY on > 1 to 20 BTC, and earn 0.5% APY on > 20 BTC and above. The new new ETH rates are earn 5.25% APY on 0 to 100 ETH, earn 2% APY on >100 – 1,000 ETH, and earn 0.5% APY on >1,000 and above.
- The Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi and one of the nation’s biggest telecoms operators, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT), have announced that they will co-build what they have called a “digital transformation platform,” which will make use of blockchain technology and smart contracts under the banner of a new joint venture company named Industry One. In an official Mitsubishi release, the company unveiled its plans, explaining that it would own 51% of Industry One, with NTT owning 49%. The new company was founded with capital reserves of USD 8.3m and will be headquartered in Tokyo.
- London-based digital payment platform Wirex said it temporarily closed its doors for new UK users after a “constructive dialogue” with the country’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This is a “voluntarily pause” which begins on March 24. The company, which serves nearly 3.5m customers worldwide, said it will dedicate resources to further strengthen its 5AMLD (Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive) compliance protocols.
- India’s most prominent technocrat, Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani said that people should be allowed to have cryptoassets as an asset class, reported Money Control. “We should think of crypto as an asset class and allow people to have some crypto. Crypto as a transaction medium will not work as fast as [Unified Payments Interface], which is targeting a billion transactions a day. But crypto has enormous capital,” Nilekani said during a Clubhouse session. The comments come amid never-ending speculations that the Indian Government might attempt to ban cryptocurrencies.
- Crypto derivatives exchange FTX has reached an agreement with Miami-Dade County, US, on a partnership until 2040, to name Miami Heat’s home stadium the FTX Arena. Per the press release, the deal to secure NBA naming rights is waiting for the approval on March 26. The partnership will earn the County nearly USD 90m over 19 years, said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. FTX also committed an additional USD 5m to the community over the course of the deal, beyond the partnership, to help Miami-Dade residents thrive, it said.
- A leading Russian regulator said that domestic banks are already informing it about crypto exchange-linked transactions conducted on their platforms. Per Regnum, the deputy head of the Russian Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring) stated that domestic banks are “already monitoring” crypto exchange-linked “operations,” claiming that when they see fiat transfers being made from crypto, “they calculate the value of the transfers and notify” the agency. He also told the news agency TASS that his agency had evidence that Russia-based criminals were using bitcoin, monero (XMR) and ethereum to fund their activities.
- Another major South Korean bank wants to start offering real-name banking services to crypto exchanges. Per Busan.com, BNK Busan Bank has already begun a program of visiting rival banks who already offer fiat on/off ramps to crypto exchanges in an attempt to learn the relevant know-how. Legislation that promulgates tomorrow will force most of the crypto exchanges in the country to use real-name and social security number-authenticated bank accounting systems. Although these systems are notoriously difficult to implement and must be negotiated in deal with exchanges on a rolling six-month basis, they appear to be very lucrative. The neobank K-Bank has seen a massive boom in new business this year – likely as a result of its banking deal with the Upbit exchange. Two other major domestic banks currently offer real-name banking services.
- Binance announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build a strategic partnership with CapBridge Financial, Singapore’s regulated integrated private markets platform. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that “by joining forces with CapBridge, Binance will be able to work with a fully licensed firm to broaden services securing compliance with local regulation.” The announcement added that additional plans of the partnership will be announced at a later date.
- Bank of Jamaica said that eCurrency Mint Incorporated will provide technology for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot, estimated to run from May to December this year.