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.
The Supreme Court of India recently struck down a circular issued by the Reserve Bank of India that barred banks from serving crypto businesses such as traders, exchanges, or others. The decision by the Indian top court has been a shot in the arm for the prospects of crypto businesses in India. Crypto-related apps, startups, and exchanges are blossoming in the country.
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More Stories on Digital Assets
According to a report, Australian digital exchange bitcoin.com.au has made it easy for Australians to purchase bitcoin. They can now place an order on the exchange but then walk across to an Australia Post office and pay for the ordered bitcoins. Bitcoin.com.au CEO Holger Arians believes that the arrangement will enhance the legitimacy and adoption of bitcoin in Australia.
The NYDIG Institutional Bitcoin Fund LP filed documents with the SEC to disclose its closure of a $190 million bitcoin fund. It said it has 24 investors but did not disclose their identities.
The University of California San Francisco said in a notice last Friday that it paid $1.14 million, a “portion” of a demanded ransom, to hackers who installed malware and encrypted its servers. The hacker attack, which the University describes as a “security incident,” took place in the UCSF School of Medicine’s IT environment on June 1.
Digital Assets: MineHub Processes The First Iron Ore Transaction on the Blockchain Between BHP and China Baowu
Privately held MineHub Technologies said BHP (ASX: BHP) and China Baowu had completed their first iron ore trade on MineHub’s blockchain-based platform. The transaction is said to be a precursor to many more commodity transactions in a supply chain that will be fully digital from end-to-end.
Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings Inc (TYO: 8616), a Japanese financial institution with a market cap of ¥61.1 billion ($571 million), is buying a stake of 33% in blockchain firm Hash Dash Holdings. Hash Dash has developed the blockchain technology for issuance of digital securities and trading them on smartphones. iSTOX, the blockchain-based digital exchange, is also a shareholder in Hash Dash. Tokai and iSTOX plan to tokenize Japanese real estate and list the securities.
Digital Assets: KPMG Launches Chain Fusion to Bridge Analytics Across Blockchain and Traditional Assets
KPMG, the big four auditing firm announced the launch of KPMG Chain Fusion. It is a patent-pending suite of advanced analytical tools presented in a structured model that combines data from blockchain infrastructures, and traditional systems for managing business, risk, and compliance requirements.
According to a report by Coin Telegraph, PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) is looking to recruit digital experts such as a Crypto Engineer and a blockchain research engineer. Significantly, the first posting describes the role to include “designing, developing and maintaining key crypto products/features targeted towards availability, performance, and scalability of PayPal services.” These job ads have popped up simultaneously with rumors in the crypto world that payments giant PayPal and digital wallet subsidiary Venmo are about to make a splash in cryptocurrencies.
On Friday, June 19, Attorney General William P. Barr announced that President Trump intended to nominate Jay Clayton, currently the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to serve as the next United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY). The crypto industry is excited that the chances for approval of a bitcoin ETF may improve with Clayton’s exit.
Industry leaders across finance, technology and the non-profit sectors have come together to launch PayId, a simplified payment ID process for global remittances. The Open Payments Coalition, an alliance of leading companies such as GoPay, Ripple, Blockchain.com, BitPay, Brave, Flutterwave, Mercy Corps and others, will develop PayId.
In the second ransomware attack on Australian drinks manufacturer Lion in less than a week, the cyber villains have demanded a ransom amount of $800,000. The amount must be paid in the Monero cryptocurrency by June 19, failing which the amount doubles to $1,600,000.
A filing by WisdomTree for the proposed WisdomTree Enhanced Commodity Strategy Fund shows it intends to invest up to 5% of its net assets in bitcoin futures contracts. The balance of the funds would be invested in four commodity sectors, namely, energy, agriculture, industrial metals, and precious metals primarily through investments in futures contracts. The fund will not invest directly in bitcoin or in physical commodities.
Japan’s biggest brokerage and investment bank, Nomura, blockchain security firm Ledger, and digital asset investment house CoinShares have come together to launch Komainu, a custodial service for digital assets aimed at institutions.
Digital Assets: Bank of Canada Making Contingency Plans For its Own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)
The Bank of Canada is putting in motion plans for a “contingent system for a central bank digital currency (CBDC).” This proposal came to the fore when the bank posted an opening for “Project Manager, CBDC,” on its website.
Sapiens International Corp. N.V. (NASDAQ: SPNS), an Israeli software company listed both on the Nasdaq and in Tel Aviv, was allegedly forced to pay $250,000 in bitcoin to hackers amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
The Bank of Korea has commissioned a legal task force to assess regulatory roadblocks for the issue of a South Korean central bank digital currency (CBDC). Last February, the Korean central bank had set up a research team to look into the possibility of a digital currency and assess moves in this regard by other central banks. That move was reportedly triggered by Chinese advances towards a digital yuan, including a pilot test. It may be recalled that the Bank of Korea said on December 1 that “we are considering issuing digital currency (CBDC).”
Vanguard, technology provider Symbiont, an unnamed ABS issuer, and bankers have worked together on the successful, first pilot of an ABS settlement by incorporating its entire transactions cycle on a distributed ledger technology (DLT) network
Galaxy Digital, owned by Mike Novogratz, and Bakkt, the bitcoin futures provider majority-owned by the Intercontinental Exchange, have teamed up to offer top-flight services to institutions and asset managers relating to bitcoin.
Fidelity Digital Assets issued a report on digital assets on Tuesday based on a survey of nearly 800 institutions in the U.S. and Europe conducted from November 2019 through early March 2020.
A growing number of institutional investors believe that digital assets should be a part of their investment portfolios, the report found. In fact, 80% of institutional investors found something appealing about the asset class.
In its first year, Factorin, a Russian blockchain-based trade finance platform has processed 246,000 invoices and supplies and chalked up a transaction turnover above $ 500 million. 30 banking organizations and factoring companies are already on-board the platform, and numerous small and medium-sized businesses are grateful customers.
Bloomberg analyst Mike McGlone sticks with his bullish stance on bitcoin, the ‘first-born’ cryptocurrency, calling it a “resting bull.” McGlone’s analysis in the June 2020 Edition of the Bloomberg Crypto Outlook colors both gold and bitcoin (BTC) in the same bullish hues. “The metal and the crypto remain our top candidates to advance in 2020, with added rally fuel from Covid-19,” writes McGlone.
CipherTrace’s latest report, “Cryptocurrency Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Report, Spring 2020,” claims that crypto-crimes during the first five months of 2020 netted their perpetrators $1.36 billion. At this rate, 2020 could well achieve the dubious distinction of recording the second-highest value in crypto crimes ever recorded. In 2019, crypto-criminals made off with $4.5 billion.
In a bid to expand its institutional client base, BEQUANT, the UK-based digital asset solutions provider recently introduced its prime broking services. The service is intended to provide institutions with easier access to liquidity, custody, lending, and other products in the crypto space. BEQUANT has now announced its tie-up with cryptocurrency marketplace OKEx for the launch of its prime brokerage service.
China Merchant’s Port (HKG: 0144), the country’s largest port operator, is collaborating with Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), and its subsidiary, Ant Financial to develop a distributed ledger technology (DLT), or blockchain platform.
Crypto fans have not taken kindly to a Goldman Sachs presentation that fired potshots at bitcoin.
The offending presentation from Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) has sparked a raging controversy for its remarks against bitcoin. Luminaries from the crypto world took to Twitter and the media to lambast “the vampire squid” for its observations.