Digital assets are about more than just Bitcoin. The global adoption of blockchain, expansion of cross-border payments, new investment vehicles tied to intellectual property, and more, could one day establish a global market of digitized assets worth $50 trillion. This channel provides access to the latest developments, opportunities, risks, and thought leaders in the growing Digital Assets space.
Robinhood (NASDAQ: HOOD) has launched its Crypto app in the European Union (EU), allowing eligible customers to engage in crypto trading with the added incentive of earning Bitcoin rewards. Customers stand to receive up to 1 BTC as a reward when signing up and can earn an additional 1 BTC for each successful referral. The platform claims to be the sole custodial crypto platform in the EU offering customers a percentage of their trading volume back every month, paid in Bitcoin.
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More Stories on Digital Assets
Circle and Nubank (NYSE: NU) have joined forces to broaden access to the digital dollar in Brazil. This collaboration aims to introduce USDC, Circle’s regulated dollar stablecoin, to Nubank’s extensive customer base of over 85 million in Brazil.
Digital Assets: Bitcoin Mining Company Phoenix Group Makes Impressive Listing Debut On Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange
Cryptocurrency mining firm Phoenix Group (ADX: PHX) has achieved a significant milestone by debuting trading on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, marking one of the Middle East’s initial publicly listed industry firms. The PHX stock debuted at 2.25 dirhams (AED) or $0.6 on December 5, witnessing a remarkable surge of up to 50% from its initial public offering (IPO) price of 1.50 AED, as disclosed in the Phoenix IPO prospectus.
Bitcoin surged by 6.6% today, breaking through the $42,000 mark, a level last seen before the Terra crash in May 2022. This represents a complete retracement to the early May 2022 level, marking a remarkable 150% increase since the beginning of the year.
SoFi Technologies Inc., a rapidly expanding financial-services provider, is exiting the cryptocurrency market due to heightened regulatory scrutiny. The San Francisco-based company, initially focused on student-lending refinancing, diversified its services over 12 years. Having obtained a bank charter in January 2022, with conditions attached regarding its crypto business. Those necessitated regulatory approval or an exit from the digital asset sector within a two-year conformance period.
Standard Chartered has reiterated its prediction that Bitcoin will surge to $100,000 by the end of 2024, attributing this potential rise to the upcoming Bitcoin halving event in 2024. The bank’s earlier forecast in April, signaling the end of the crypto winter, highlighted factors such as the banking sector turmoil in March, which reaffirmed Bitcoin’s role as a decentralized scarce digital asset.
Magic Eden has unveiled its Magic Eden Wallet in Beta, marking a significant step in the realm of cross-chain NFT platforms. The wallet is designed to enhance the NFT collecting and trading experience by enabling instant cryptocurrency swaps between Bitcoin, Solana, Ethereum, and Polygon. It stands out as the first digital wallet directly integrated with an NFT platform, emphasizing an NFT-focused approach to provide users with a seamless experience.
Glassnode, a blockchain analytics firm, predicts a substantial influx of around $70 billion in new capital into Bitcoin if a Bitcoin Spot ETF receives approval. This analysis suggests a potential catalyst for a BTC price rally.
Bullish, the rapidly growing institutional digital assets exchange led by Tom Farley, has acquired CoinDesk, a prominent media, events, and index platform focused on crypto assets, from Digital Currency Group (DGC). The acquisition aims to support CoinDesk’s global expansion and the growth of its various businesses. However, the financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Osaka Digital Exchange Co. (ODX) is poised to transform Japan’s financial landscape with the launch of the country’s inaugural digital securities trading on December 25. This revolutionary platform, established in 2021, boasts backing from influential figures in traditional finance, including SBI Holdings (TYO: 8473) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (TYO: 8316).
Tether Holdings Ltd., a prominent stablecoin issuer with an $87 billion market cap, is venturing into the highly competitive world of Bitcoin mining with a substantial investment of approximately $500 million over the next six months. Paolo Ardoino, the incoming CEO, revealed that Tether plans to achieve this by constructing its own mining facilities and acquiring stakes in other companies. This move signifies a departure from Tether’s primary business of managing the USDT stablecoin, which is pegged to the US dollar.
BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), the world’s largest asset manager, has officially submitted a filing for a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The ETF, named iShares Ethereum Trust, aims to mirror the performance of the ether price, as detailed in the Form S-1 submitted by iShares to the SEC. This move follows BlackRock’s registration of the iShares Ethereum Trust entity with the Delaware Department of State Division of Corporations a week prior. The selection of Coinbase Custody Trust Company as the custodian and the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate from CF Benchmarks as the benchmark aligns with BlackRock’s choices for its proposed spot Bitcoin ETF.
Blockchain.com has successfully secured $110 million in Series E funding, with Kingsway Capital leading the investment round. Notable participants include Baillie Gifford, Lakestar, LSVP, GV, Access Industries, Moore Capital, Prudence, Freeman Capital, Coinbase Ventures, and Pledge Ventures.
Fnality International Ltd., a London-based firm developing a blockchain-powered wholesale payment system, has successfully raised £77.7 million ($95.2 million) in a funding round led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) and BNP Paribas SA (EPA: BNP). Notable participants in this funding round include the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., Euroclear, Nomura Holdings Inc. (TYO: 8604), and Wisdom Tree Inc (NYSE: WT). While the valuation of Fnality post-investment remains undisclosed, the capital injection follows more than four years since the company’s last funding round, which garnered £55 million in June 2019.
SC Ventures, the innovation and fintech investment arm of Standard Chartered (LON: STAN), is teaming up with SBI Holdings (TYO: 8473), a major Japanese financial conglomerate, to establish a Digital Asset Joint Venture in the UAE. With an initial capital of $100 million, this collaboration aims to capitalize on the region’s growing significance in the digital asset realm. The joint venture, led by Alex Manson, SC Ventures’ CEO, will draw from their experience in digital assets, leveraging ventures such as Zodia Custody and Zodia Markets, and investments in companies like Ripple and Metaco.
SBI Holdings (TYO: 8473), a major Japanese financial firm, is launching a $663 million fund aimed at supporting Web3, AI, and fintech startups. Scheduled to invest in 150-200 companies, the fund is set to begin operations by year-end. The investment scale is substantial, with key contributions secured from major financial institutions like Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (TYO: 8316), Mizuho Bank (TYO: 8411), Nippon Life Insurance, and Daiwa Securities Group (TYO: 8601).
Lightspeed Faction, a prominent blockchain-focused venture capital firm, has unveiled a $285 million venture fund. This fund prioritizes investment in early-stage blockchain projects, positioning itself as a long-term capital partner for these initiatives as they expand. Beyond offering financial support, the fund aims to assist blockchain entrepreneurs by providing expertise on various aspects, ranging from tokenomics to business scaling.
SwissGold Crypto AG has introduced a groundbreaking solution to address the challenges of preserving wealth during times of inflation and uncertainty. The firm is offering gold-backed non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a novel approach in the world of cryptocurrency.
Hut 8 (NASDAQ: HUT), a publicly traded digital infrastructure and High-Performance Computing (HPC) company, has received court approval to make a “stalking horse” bid for a set of natural gas power plants and a Bitcoin mining site situated in North Bay, Ontario. This move is part of Hut 8’s strategy to expand its operations, including selling power to the market and engaging in artificial intelligence endeavors.
Hong Kong is exploring the possibility of allowing exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that directly invest in cryptocurrencies as part of its efforts to establish itself as a digital-asset hub in the Asia-Pacific region. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) Chief Executive Officer, Julia Leung, expressed the city’s openness to retail investor access to such spot ETFs, provided regulatory concerns are addressed. This move aligns with Hong Kong’s aim to embrace innovative technology to enhance efficiency and customer experience while mitigating new risks.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, has been found guilty of all seven criminal counts against him in a recent fraud trial. This verdict could potentially lead to a maximum prison sentence of 115 years.
The allegations encompass wire fraud and a conspiracy to engage in wire fraud concerning FTX customers and Alameda Research lenders, a conspiracy to commit securities fraud, a conspiracy to perpetrate commodities fraud targeting FTX investors, and a conspiracy to launder money.
Digital Assets: Another SEC Rejection Of A Spot Bitcoin ETF Could Open a Pandora’s Box Of Legal Actions (JPMorgan)
JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) has warned that if the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejects spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications, it could potentially face legal action from the applicants. In a report, JPMorgan analysts, led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, emphasized that any such rejection might lead to lawsuits against the SEC, creating legal challenges for the agency.
JPM Coin, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s (NYSE: JPM) digital token, is now facilitating $1 billion in daily transactions, as revealed by Global Head of Payments, Takis Georgakopoulos, in a Bloomberg interview. These transactions are primarily in US dollars, but the bank has plans for further expansion. JPM Coin operates on a private blockchain network, enabling wholesale clients to conduct dollar and euro-denominated payments. It stands out as one of the few live blockchain applications initiated by a major bank. However, it currently represents only a fraction of the massive $10 trillion in daily US dollar transactions handled by JPMorgan.
BTC has experienced a significant surge in its market value, breaking through the $34,000 barrier. This surge is closely linked to developments in the Bitcoin spot ETF market, with Blackrock and Grayscale at the forefront of the action.