Anyone else finding that crypto and the traditional finance space appear to be one and the same as of late?

Last week, Paxos and BitPay became the latest companies to file applications to become national trust banks supervised by the OCC. If approved, these companies would join Kraken and Avanti as some of the first crypto-native banks in the US.

Shortly after announcing a massive purchase of over $280m in BTC, Grayscale is now also betting on Ethereum. The company told the  SEC on 8 December it had purchased 11,455 ETH for a total of $74,135,609. In an interview with Bloomberg, the company's managing director Michael Sonnenshein reported that institutional investors are increasingly asking for exposure to Ethereum.

MicroStrategy was back in the headlines on Friday, announcing it had raised $650 million worth of convertible bonds to finance more Bitcoin (BTC) purchases, confirming CEO Michael Saylor’s conviction in the flagship digital asset. During a recent fireside chat with Binance founder Changpeng Zhao, Saylor said he believes Bitcoin could meteorically rise by 100x from its current valuation. He also shared his thoughts that gold is out of date, declaring: "It’s an antiquated store of value. It was the best store of value for 5,000 years until we invented the computer… It was a good idea until it became not a good idea.”

Last week, JPMorgan predicted that gold may be in for a bumpy ride over the medium to long-term as more money flows out of the precious metal and into Bitcoin. The investment bank stated that $7 billion has flowed out of gold’s exchange-traded funds (ETFs) since October, while the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust has seen inflows of $2 billion during the same period. A new report from market data aggregator CoinShares concurred with JPMorgan's assessment, unveiling surging crypto inflows amid record gold outflows (more on these findings below).

Below is our weekly roundup of industry news. If you’d like to get in touch with us about any of our products or services, we look forward to hearing from you. Just send us a note.

Top stories of the week

MassMutual joins the Bitcoin club with $100 million purchase

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. bought $100 million of bitcoin for its general investment account, the latest sign of mainstream acceptance for the upstart digital currency. The insurance company, founded in 1851, said the Bitcoin investment was based on a broad strategy to take advantage of new opportunities while remaining diversified, “giving us measured yet meaningful exposure to a growing economic aspect of our increasingly digital world.”

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Gold sees $9.2 billion outflows, crypto funds gain record inflows

A new report from CoinShares published on December 7 notes that gold investment products have seen record outflows of $9.2 billion over the past four weeks, while BTC products saw inflows of $1.4 billion during the same period.

The combined crypto fund sector saw record inflows of $429 million over the past two weeks, with Ethereum funds attracting significant investment following the completion of Eth2’s Phase 0 with the launch of the Beacon Chain on Dec. 1.

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France imposes tougher KYC requirements for crypto, including peer-to-peer transactions

On Wednesday, the French Ministry of Finance unveiled sweeping know-your-customer (KYC) requirements on all cryptocurrency companies operating in and servicing the country. According to a new document released by Minister Bruno Le Maire, virtual asset providers (VASPs) will now have to prohibit anonymous crypto accounts.

The minister called the action a necessary step in France’s fight against terrorism declaring in a tweet, “We must drain the euro from all terrorist financing channels.”

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In case you missed it...

⚡️ German bank launches crypto fund covering portfolio of digital assets. Read more

⚡️ Apple co-founder launches new Ethereum token. Read more

⚡️ Ukrainian lawmakers approve a draft bill on digital currency regulation. Read more

⚡️ Thai tax collectors to streamline revenues with blockchain tech in 2021. Read more

⚡️ Japanese financial giant SBI and SIX Swiss Exchange announce a joint crypto-related venture. Read more

⚡️ Cryptocurrency artist becomes the first to earn $1 million. Read more

⚡️ Citibank downgrades MicroStrategy stock rating over the firm’s “excessive” Bitcoin focus. Read more

⚡️ Crypto exchange Bitso raises $62 million as it eyes expansion in Brazil. Read more

⚡️ CFTC chairman Heath Tarbert announces plan to depart 'early next year'. Read more

⚡️ Singapore’s largest bank DBS sets up crypto exchange platform. Read more

⚡️ Spain's second largest bank BBVA launches Bitcoin trading and custody in Switzerland. Read more

⚡️ Compound token outperforms the market as DeFi TVL rises to $14.4B. Read more

⚡️ Multicoin Capital leads $1.15m seed round for DeFi protocol Swivel Finance. Read more

⚡️ Standard Chartered to bring Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and Bitcoin Cash Services to institutional clients. Read more

Copper news

Coppercasts episode #9: Konstantin Anissimov

In the hot seat this week is Konstantin Anissimov, Executive Director of CEX.IO, one of the oldest and most established cryptocurrency exchanges. The Show & Tell segment (above) sees Konstantin outline the factors driving the appeal and growth of DeFi, and how even in its nascency, the sector has already left an indelible mark on the global financial landscape.

In the longer conversation, Konstantin describes navigating the minefield of grey areas in exchange regulation, witnessing a growing wave of institutional funds flowing into the cryptoasset space and shares his take on what’s in store for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

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Announcement: Copper appointed as official custodian for Flare Networks and Spark token distribution

Last week, we announced that we were selected by Flare Networks and the Flare Foundation to securely holdits native token, Spark (FLR). Flare will benefit from our vast experience providing institutional-grade multi-party computation (MPC) cold storage.

This partnership is hot on the heels of our launch of the first decentralised finance (DeFi) tool for institutional investors, Copper Connect.

Read More

CryptoAM: Definitely DeFi with Copper & Aave

2020 has been a year of spectacular growth in the decentralised finance (DeFi) arena. Since the start of the year, the amount of money locked in DeFi protocols has skyrocketed by a staggering 2,000%. In an article for CryptoAM, our CEO Dmitry Tokarev and Stani Kulechov, CEO and founder of Aave, put their fortune teller hats on to predict what's in store for this burgeoning market in the coming year.

Read More

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