Here we are, the first Monday of 2021.

Crypto got off to an excellent start with Bitcoin marching past $34k for the first time yesterday, which also happened to be the 12 year anniversary of its creation. For Microstrategy, Bitcoin's continuing price rally has seen the value of its investment double in value.

Ethereum also began the year solidly, trading above $1k this morning and well on the right path to close in on its $1,433 ATH. The second largest crypto by market cap posted gains of 450% in 2020, far exceeding Bitcoin's 300% gain over the course of the year. According to data released by Glassnode, addresses holding Ethereum were also up by 48% in 2020.

Polkadot has too made extraordinary gains of over 70% during the past week and has overtaken Bitcoin Cash to become the 6th largest digital asset by market cap.

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

SkyBridge Capital has already invested $182m in Bitcoin

Anthony Scaramucci’s multi-billion-dollar investment firm SkyBridge Capital has reportedly invested $182 million in Bitcoin, according to an investor brochure about its forthcoming Bitcoin fund.

SkyBridge Capital is launching a Bitcoin-specific fund next month and has already applied to the US market regulator for its approval. The fund will be available only to accredited investors and will require a minimum investment of $50,000.

“Bitcoin is digital gold,” the pitch stated. “It is better at being gold than gold.”

Read more

India mulls imposing 18% tax on Bitcoin transactions

The relationship between Bitcoin and India has long been a pretty a complicated one. Following a prolonged period of preventing Bitcoin companies from doing business with banks, the Indian government is now considering imposing a flat 18% rate of goods and services tax (GST) on Bitcoin transactions.

Figures by the ministry’s Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, or CEIB, put the estimated Bitcoin transaction volume in India at over $5.4 billion. Thus, the proposed 18% tax could see the government earning about $970 million from crypto taxation. Read more

eToro said to be in talks with Goldman about possible $5bn IPO

Israeli cryptocurrency trading/investment management platform eToro is considering going public.

According to an article from by Israel-based news outlet Calcalist, eToro is in talks with Goldman Sachs to introduce an IPO at a valuation of $5 billion. Reportedly, the firm plans to complete the initial offering during the second quarter of 2021.

Rumours of the IPO follow recent reports that eToro doubled its revenue to $500m in 2020 and gained over 5 million new customers during the year. The article also mentions the company is open to the possibility of a merger with a special purpose acquisition company for the "purpose of accelerating entry into Wall Street trading." Read more

In case you missed it...

⚡️ BlackRock plans to meet growing cryptocurrency demand. Read more

⚡️ Serbia legalises digital assets trading and issuance. Read more

⚡️ BitGo to pay $93K to US Treasury to settle 183 ‘apparent’ sanctions violations. Read more

⚡️ World’s first physical cryptocurrency bank opens in India. Read more

⚡️ Singapore-based Vauld raises $2m to become a full-fledged crypto bank. Read more

⚡️ Pro football star receives half of his $13m salary in Bitcoin. Read more

⚡️ Spanish city Lebrija introduces cryptocurrency Elio. Read more

⚡️ Grayscale has $19B in crypto AUM, up from $16.4bn last week. Read more

⚡️ Bittrex to delist ‘privacy coins’ Monero, Dash and Zcash. Read more

⚡️ to delist, suspend XRP in the US after SEC’s Ripple suit. Read more

⚡️ Coinbase to suspend XRP trading following SEC suit against Ripple. Read more

⚡️ Bittrex joins Coinbase in delisting Ripple’s XRP following SEC lawsuit. Read more

⚡️ DeFi quietly breaks record as investors lock up $15bn. Read more

⚡️ Crypto tokens are securities not assets, rules Israel Securities Authority. Read more

⚡️ NFT art sales reached all-time high of $8.2m in December. Read more

From Copper

Outlook on 2021

After a year like 2020, you might not have much use for predictions. Still, continuing the tradition this time of year, we dusted off our crystal ball in attempt to see what could happen in crypto during 2021. Check out Dmitry's take on whether DeFi will continue to crush it, why central banks will hold Bitcoin soon and if a Bitcoin ETF will become a reality in 2021. Read more

Creating cryptocurrency yield: How to stake ETH 2.0

Ethereum 2.0 is finally on its way with the beacon chain launch last month as part of Phase 0 of the roadmap. The move to Proof of Stake means Ethereum investors will be able to participate in securing the network and earn ETH rewards for doing so. This process is called validating or being a validator for the network. If you're vaguely aware of the process but haven't looked into it closely, make sure to check out our latest article on how to stake ETH 2.0. Read more

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