Highlighting what went right, and what went wrong, in this week’s crypto news analysis.
Some big headlines last week.
On Wednesday, financial giants DBS Bank, JP Morgan and Temasek (the higher risk-leaning fund of Singapore’s two sovereign wealth funds), announced the launch of a new technology company which uses blockchain to streamline cross-border payments. The move confirms that blockchain has indeed moved past the initial hype, with traditional financial firms establishing practical ways to apply the technology to real-world needs.
Another financial giant seeping its tentacles further into the crypto space is Visa. During an earnings call on Tuesday, CEO Al Kelly confirmed that the payments company sees Bitcoin as ‘digital gold’ and will work towards integrating crypto in their system in many ways.
South Korean-Japanese game publisher Nexon became the latest major publicly traded company to add Bitcoin to its balance sheet with a $100m purchase of 1,717 Bitcoin at an average price of around $58,226.
There was also big M&A news from Coinbase with an announcement it had acquired Skew, the UK-based blockchain data analytics platform, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition represents yet another milestone for the US exchange following its blockbuster direct listing just a few weeks ago, while also proving there must never be a dull moment at the Coinbase HQ.
A huge story which may have slipped unnoticed is news of a new bill in Germany, which was approved by the country’s parliament last week. The new legislation would enable managers of the most popular institutional investment funds, aka Spezialfonds, to invest up to 20% of their portfolio in crypto. If the bill is approved by the upper house, the Bundesrat, it would take effect on July 1 and theoretically bring as much as €350bn of institutional investment into the cryptocurrency market.
One last key thing before we dive into other highlights and top stories from last week – Copper is proud to be nominated for Europa’s ‘Hottest FinTech StartupAward’. We would be grateful for your support by voting for us here. It only takes a second, and every vote counts. Thank you ❤️
JPMorgan Chase is preparing to offer its private wealth clients an actively managed Bitcoin fund, Coindesk reported on Monday, citing sources. The bank has not yet commented on the story, so details are still under wraps, but sources have revealed that the fund could be ready by summer. Read more
Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s highest profile venture capital firms, is looking to raise a fund of as much as $1bn to invest in cryptocurrencies and crypto start-ups. The new fund, Andreessen’s third that is focused on cryptocurrency investments, is aiming to raise between $800m and $1bn from investors, according to sources. That would make it one of the largest pools of capital dedicated to crypto and potentially twice the size of its predecessor. Read more
Tesla sold 10% of its Bitcoin holdings o demonstrate the token’s liquidity during Q1, according to last Monday’s earnings release. The company’s earnings report showed the firm – which bought more than $1bn of the cryptocurrency earlier this year – generated $101m in income from the sale. Musk said on Twitter that Tesla in essence was trying “to prove liquidity of Bitcoin as an alternative to holding cash on balance sheet.” Read more
The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s lending arm, announced on Wednesday that it issued its first-ever bond on the Ethereum blockchain. The bond, issued is worth €100m and will mature on April 28, 2023. Money from underwriters — those assuming risk by buying into a bond — is represented as a central bank digital currency on the Ethereum public blockchain.Investment banks Goldman Sachs, Banco Santander, and Société Générale will oversee the sale of the bond, which will be governed under French law. Read more
⚡️ Microstrategy, Apple and Microsoft stock tokens to be made available on Binance.
⚡️ ICE sells 1.4% stake in Coinbase for $1.2bn.
⚡️ Gemini to launch Bitcoin cashback rewards on Mastercard credit card.
⚡️ Binance to launch its own NFT platform.
⚡️ Ripple wants go public after settling SEC lawsuit, SBI CEO says.
⚡️ SEC punts on decision for VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF filing until at least June.
⚡️ Binance Smart Chain-based DeFi project Uranium Finance exploited, lost $50m.
⚡️ Polygon rolls out $100m DeFi adoption fund.
⚡️ Paxos raises $300m as it looks to onboard more PayPal-sized clients.
⚡️ Ethereum mining revenue for the month of April hits new all-time high.
⚡️ Coinbase makes it easier to buy cryptocurrency using PayPal.
⚡️ DeFi adoption on the Binance Smart Chain reaches new highs.
⚡️ Turkey jails six suspects connected to the Thodex fraud.
Our latest report, as part of our In-Depth series, analyses Bitcoin’s historical performance throughout a six-year period to determine if there is indeed ‘a best time’ to add the cryptoasset in a portfolio. A personal favourite tidbit from the report: investing in Bitcoin even at the worst possible times between 2014-2020 would still have delivered a total ROI of 1653%! Read the full report here.
Earlier this week, Tesla trimmed a small portion of its Bitcoin holdings to demonstrate that it’s a highly liquid asset that can be held in a treasury as a SoV in place of cash. Our CFO Ralph Payne commented that as Bitcoin continues on its path towards acceptance as an established asset class, it is likely we will see an acceleration of corporate treasurers working to become a bit more tech savvy and better understand this emerging asset class. Read more
The month of April was awash with crypto regulatory developments. If you didn’t have the time to follow all the updates, our April Regulator Roundup has got you covered with 130+ regulation and policy updates. Read more
Our CEO, Dmitry Tokarev, will be taking part in this year’s Trading Show Virtual 2021, a free online conference being held May 5th-7th. Dmitry will be speaking on Thursday 6 May at 3:20pm BST (10:20am ET) with Brad Koeppen, Head of Trading and Business Development at CMT Digital, about all things crypto custody. Register for your free pass here.