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Digital Assets: Iran Cracks Down On Illegal Crypto Miners

January 19, 2021

Iran, which is facing severe energy shortages during the cold months, has been forced to implement rolling power cuts across the nation. In these circumstances, in a sudden action, police seized 45,000 bitcoin mining rigs on the charge of illegally drawing and consuming subsidized power.

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Venture Capital: Bill Gates-Backed, CleanTech VC Raises $1B

January 19, 2021

Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) is a venture capital firm that invests in cleantech. The term describes companies (or technologies) that aim to improve environmental sustainability including the negative impact of conventional technologies such as coal-fired power. It was established in 2015 by Bill Gates and a coalition of private investors concerned about climate change. The firm has just raised $1 billion (its second raise of that amount) from unnamed investors.

Alternative Investments/Digital: The Coinshares Physical Bitcoin (BITC) ETP To Trade On SIX Swiss Exchange

January 19, 2021

European digital asset manager Coinshares is launching a new ETP product, the physically backed CoinShares Physical Bitcoin (Ticker: BITC) on the SIX Swiss Exchange today. The ETP enables investors to gain exposure to the price of bitcoin on a regulated European stock exchange.

FinTech: On Rebound From Failed Gojek Merger, Grab Mulls $2B U.S. IPO

January 19, 2021

Reuters said in an exclusive report on Monday that Southeast Asian ride-hailing, food delivery, and fintech giant Grab was considering a US IPO this year. The news agency quoted three sources familiar with the matter, saying the IPO could be worth as much as $ 2 billion.

Artificial Intelligence: Let AI Take Over The Painful Job Of Training Your Dog

January 19, 2021

Researchers at Colorado State University have designed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that can help train dogs when their owners are away. Such a situation may well come around soon as people return to offices after vaccination against the coronavirus and life returns to normal.

Alternative Investments/AI: AI Becomes NVIDIA’s Largest Business; ETFs Holding NVDA

January 18, 2021

Three very significant events took place in 2020. First, the aggregate market cap of the computer chip industry overtook that of the oil industry. The top 30 semi-conductor companies are together valued at $2.5 trillion, while the 30 biggest oil firms are $1.7 trillion. Second, NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) knocked Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) off its pedestal as America’s biggest chipmaker. Third, AI vaulted to become the biggest business at NVIDIA.

Digital Assets: Grayscale Nabs $700M Of Inflows In A Day

January 18, 2021

On Friday, January 15, $700 million flowed into the asset manager’s various crypto products. “Yesterday, raised north of $700 million into its family of products…momentum from Q4 seems to be picking up speed into the new year,” tweeted Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of Grayscale, on Saturday.

Venture Capital: SoftBank And Hughes Invest $400M In Satellite Internet Operator OneWeb

January 18, 2021

A consortium of investors including India’s Bharti Global and the UK government acquired OneWeb in bankruptcy proceedings. The latest investment, comprising $350 million from SoftBank (TYO:9984) and Echostar (NASDAQ: SATS) owned Hughes Network Systems, will allow OneWeb to continue the deployment of its initial 648-satellite constellation.

FinTech: “Absolutely, We Should Be Scared S—less” – Jamie Dimon On Fintech Threat

January 18, 2021

On a conference call on Friday, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon made no secret of his apprehensions about the threat from fast-growing fintechs and tech giants across the globe. He was responding to analysts who said that fintechs’ leap-frogging valuations showed their rising ascendancy over traditional banks.

Artificial Intelligence: AI Detects Illegal Roads In The Amazon Rainforest

January 18, 2021

An investigation in 2016 by Imazon showed that the actual length of roads in the Brazilian Amazon biome was nearly 13 times higher than what was shown in official maps. These unofficial roads, most of them illegal, threaten the existence of the Amazon ecosystems. The researchers spotted these unreported roads by tracing lines on satellite images.

FinTech: Goldman Sachs’ Twin Moves To Advance Consumer Banking Ambitions

January 15, 2021

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) is continuing moves to boost its presence in consumer banking. The Wall Street giant is already the issuer for Apple Cards. Today it announced a multi-year partnership with General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) along with Mastercard (NYSE: MA) for co-branded reward-based credit cards.

Alternative Investments/ESG: Invesco Launches Five Global Fund-of-Funds As Its Summit Responsible Range

January 15, 2021

Invesco’s new Summit Responsible range of five global multi-asset funds aims to provide investors a cost-effective exposure to ESG considerations with specific risk levels. The funds’ assets will 100% be invested in line with certain ESG criteria.

Venture Capital: Tiger Global Is Raising Its Thirteenth $3.75B Venture Fund

January 15, 2021

According to an exclusive report by TechCrunch, Tiger Global Management is raising its thirteenth venture fund. The $3.75 billion fund is named Tiger Private Investment Partners XIV, however. TechCrunch cited the firm’s recent investor letter, though a Tiger spokesperson did not comment.

Digital Assets: Grayscale’s Blockbuster Q4 (And 2020) Stats Reflect Rising Adoption of Cryptos

January 15, 2021

Grayscale Investments’ Q4 report provides valuable insight into the rising adoption of digital assets.

Artificial Intelligence: Chinese Techs Filed Patents For AI That Detects Uighur Muslims (IPVM)

January 15, 2021

IPVM unearths a patent that shows Huawei used “explicitly racist technology.” IPVM, a world authority on video surveillance, said in an article Tuesday that Huawei, Megvii, and several other Chinese tech companies have filed patents in China for various devices and systems that include Uighur and ethnic minority detection. It published the article in conjunction…

Digital Assets: Grayscale To Liquidate XRP Trust

January 14, 2021

Grayscale Investments announced Wednesday its decision to liquidate its Grayscale XRP Trust. The asset manager said it was now proceeding to take steps to dissolve the Trust. On December 22, 2020, the SEC decided to file a federal court action against certain third parties asserting that XRP is a “security” under federal securities law.

FinTech: Warburg Pincus Invests $125M Preferred Equity In LendingPoint

January 14, 2021

Fintech and loan originating platform LendingPoint today announced an investment by Warburg Pincus of $125 million in preferred equity. With this financing, the fintech has raised over $325 million equity to date.

Alternative Investments/Digital: The Highly Successful BTCetc Bitcoin ETP Lists On SIX Switzerland

January 14, 2021

The SIX Swiss Exchange announced Wednesday the listing of the BTCetc Bitcoin ETP (Primary Ticker: BTCE) by ETC Group. This is the ETP’s second listing in Europe after its launch on Deutsche Börse’s Xetra platform in June 2020.

Artificial Intelligence: Crypto Traders Can Now Deploy Tickeron’s AI Trading Robot Tool

January 14, 2021

Tickeron has launched an AI-powered trading robot that can help traders navigate the volatile and highly risky waters of cryptocurrency trading. Dubbed the Crypto AI Robot, the tool is claimed to have made some very profitable predictions in the recent past.

Venture Capital: In Rich Week, Grab, Blend, MX, WeRide And Rapyd Each Score $300M Rounds

January 14, 2021

Venture capitalists were generous this week, investing $300 million amounts in as many as five startups across multiple geographies. The largesse flowed to Grab Financial, Blend, MX, WeRide, and Rapyd.

Artificial Intelligence: Abu Dhabi’s MBZUAI, The World’s First AI University, Welcomes Inaugural Students

January 13, 2021

The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the world’s first graduate-level, research-based artificial intelligence university in Abu Dhabi, opened its doors to its first batch of students. Studies will begin this week.

Digital Assets: ECB’s Lagarde Lashes Out At Bitcoin

January 13, 2021

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said Wednesday that a co-ordinated, global action was needed to regulate bitcoin. She drew attention to the roller-coaster moves in the leading cryptocurrency’s price and accused it of “funny business” and money-laundering.

Venture Capital: The Pandemic-Triggered Shift To Cloud Boosts Growth At Cockroach Labs

January 13, 2021

Cockroach Labs, which offers CockroachDB, the leading cloud-native distributed SQL database, says it more than doubled revenues and customers over the past year after the events of 2020 forced businesses to digitize and move to the cloud. Investors poured $160 million into the company’s Series E round, valuing it at an impressive $2 billion.

FinTech: Capitol Riot – Fintechs (And Techs) Hit Back At Trump

January 13, 2021

Fintechs took the lead in castigating President Trump for egging on a crowd of his supporters to attack and ransack the U.S. Capitol building last week. The horrific incident left five dead. Voices, and actions, from big tech followed with even Republican politicians welcoming the impeachment of Trump.

Liquid Alternatives: The Wilshire Liquid Alternative Index Gains 1.68% in December

January 13, 2021

The Wilshire Liquid Alternative Index was up 1.68% in December. The Wilshire index provides a representative baseline for the performance of the broader liquid alts space. This figure underperformed the 2.45% return from the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index in the month of December.