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.
Matthew McDermott, who took charge of Goldman Sachs’ (NYSE: GS) digital currency unit last year, told Bloomberg that the bank plans to offer ether to its digitally inclined clients in the coming months. Goldman restarted its crypto desk this year for bitcoin linked futures trading.
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More Stories on Digital Assets
Alternative Investments/Digital: Invesco Files For Two ETFs That Would Invest In Blockchain And Crypto Companies
Invesco has filed to launch two cryptocurrency-focused exchange-traded funds, joining other asset managers that propose to work their way around the impasse at the SEC on a bitcoin ETF. The proposed ETFs are named the Invesco Galaxy Blockchain Economy ETF and the Invesco Galaxy Crypto Economy ETF.
Digital Assets: Tesla To Accept Bitcoin If Crypto Miners Use ~50% Clean Energy (Musk); Bitcoin Jumps
At 7:30 PM ET on Sunday, June 13, bitcoin had rallied nearly 9% to $38,911 after Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) would commence accepting bitcoin for its cars when there was evidence of the use of clean energy in crypto mining.
Alternative Investments/Digital: State Street Digital, A New Division At State Street, To Focus On Crypto
State Street (NYSE: STT), which has $40.3 trillion in assets under custody or administration, said Thursday it is establishing a new digital finance division called State Street Digital. The new unit will focus on digital financial services for crypto, tokenization, blockchain and CBDCs.
The IMF warned Thursday that El Salvador’s move to adopt bitcoin as a legal currency in parallel with the US dollar could have various economic and legal repercussions. El Salvador’s Congress this week approved a proposal to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, a historic and “world-first” move that sparked a sharp rally in the price of the cryptocurrency.
Ledger, the Paris-based manufacturer of hardware wallets that hold cryptos including bitcoin, announced today the close of its Series C funding of $380 million led by 10T Holdings. The round gave Ledger an implied valuation of more than $1.5 billion, and saw participation by existing investors including Cathay Innovation, Draper Esprit, Draper Associates, Draper Dragon, DCG, Korelya Capital, and Wicklow Capital. New investors included Tekne Capital, Uphold Ventures, Felix Capital, Inherent, Financière Agache (Groupe Arnault), and iAngels Technologies.
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele’s proposal to make bitcoin legal tender in the country was greenlighted by its lawmakers on Tuesday night by a solid 62/84 majority. El Salvador does not have a currency of its own and uses the US dollar as its official medium of exchange. Now, bitcoin too will function as legal tender alongside the dollar, and every business must accept it as payment.
The US Justice Department announced Monday that most of the ransom money of $4.4 million paid by Colonial Pipeline to DarkSide, the alleged perpetrator of the cyber attack, has been recovered. According to US authorities, this gang operates from Eastern Europe, possibly Russia.
Institutional investors in Britain looking for exposure to bitcoin can now trade a bitcoin exchange traded product (ETP) on the U.K.’s Aquis Exchange. The new ETP, launched by Swiss crypto exchange traded product issuer 21Shares, is named 21Shares bitcoin ETP.
MicroStrategy (NASDAQ: MSTR), one of the pioneering corporations to invest their balance sheet reserves in cryptocurrencies, announced today its private offering of $400 million of senior secured notes, due 2028, to qualified institutional buyers and persons outside the United States. The company said it intends to use the proceeds from the sale of the notes to acquire additional bitcoins.
Abra, a crypto-based wealth management platform that trades over 100 cryptocurrencies and is fully compliant, offers interest of up to 10.5% on select digital assets through its Abra Earn feature. Abra announced Wednesday its Abra Borrow in-app feature that will allow users to borrow against bitcoin and ethereum at a 0% rate of interest.
Digital asset management firm Osprey Funds launched last week the Osprey Algorand Trust, which offers accredited investors an easy and cost-effective way to obtain exposure to ALGO, the native token of the Algorand network. Efforts are on to list the fund on the OTCQX market as soon as possible.
Spanish security company Prosegur (BME: PSG) has taken its digital asset custody solution to a whole new level. To ensure that its institutional clients sleep well, Prosegur has ensured Fort Knox-like security for their digital assets. It announced June 1 the launch of its first “bunker” for maximum-security digital custody of cryptocurrencies.
SC Ventures, the venture arm of Standard Chartered (LON: STAN) and BC Technology Group (HKG: 0863) announced today their plans to establish a digital asset brokerage and exchange platform for institutional and corporate clients in the UK and Europe. BC Technology is the parent company of Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)-licensed digital-asset platform OSL.
Simplify announced last week the launch of the Simplify U.S. Equity PLUS GBTC ETF (NASDAQ: SPBC), an ETF that will invest at least 80% of its net assets in U.S. equity securities and expects to invest up to 15% of net assets in bitcoin via the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).
DBS Digital Exchange (DDeX) took another step forward in its development as a venue for issuers and clients to access their funding needs. DBS (SGX: D05), the parent of DDeX, announced Monday that it had priced a privately-placed SGD 15 million digital bond, the DDEX’s first Security Token Offering (STO). The transaction is likely to be the forerunner of more STO issuances and listings on DDeX as businesses raise funds through asset tokenization.
Madison River Equity LLC is proposing to build a 12-foot-tall solar array on 1,600 acres of private ranchland in south Butte. Known as the Basin Creek Solar project, the $250 million facility would generate 300 MW of solar power annually, enough to power 40,600 single family homes. There are only 14,605 homes in Butte-Silver Bow County, and the excess power would be consumed by Atlas Power, an Ethereum mining facility operated by FX Solutions, Madison River’s holding company.
Carl Icahn, the billionaire and famed activist investor, said on a Bloomberg interview Wednesday that he was contemplating investing in cryptocurrencies “in a big way.” Ultimately, he may buy an alternative currency as an investment worth $1 billion or more, he said.
Luno Money, a cryptocurrency exchange service, prominently displayed ads on the London Underground and London Buses in February that said “If you’re seeing Bitcoin on the Underground (or bus), it’s time to buy”. The ASA received four complaints against the ads and after investigation, banned Luno from displaying them.
Both JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) have initiated coverage on Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) and assigned bullish ratings and price targets. At the time of writing, COIN is trading at $241, and the investment bankers’ price targets represent upside of 54% (JPM) and 27% (GS) respectively.
In new research, Mathew McDermott, Goldman Sachs’ global head of digital assets. revealed that Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) clients are notably treating bitcoin as a new asset class. “Bitcoin is now considered an investable asset. It has its own idiosyncratic risk, partly because it’s still relatively new and going through an adoption phase,” he wrote.
China’s phobia of social unrest following financial market upheavals has led its regulators to go hammer and tongs at cryptos. Their dire reminders earlier this week of the regulatory position on cryptocurrencies played a not insignificant role in the great bitcoin crash on Thursday. But there were more grim pronouncements regarding bitcoin from China today.
Figure Technologies, a blockchain-based fintech startup, closed a $200 million Series D round at a valuation of $3.2 billion. The round was co-led by 10T Holdings and Morgan Creek Digital. New and existing investors including DCM, Digital Currency Group, HCM Capital, Ribbit Capital, RPM Ventures, the partners at DST Global, and others also participated.
A Bloomberg report revealed today that CAN Financial Corp (NYSE: CAN), one of the largest insurers in the U.S., was forced to pay up $40 million in cyber ransom after criminals mounted a ransomware attack. The company initially rejected the $60 million ransom demand but caved in a couple of weeks later, settling for $40 million.
The generally assigned causes for yesterday’s market mayhem in bitcoin (and other cryptos) were Musk’s volte-face on bitcoin; the fresh warnings issued against cryptos by Chinese authorities; and a generally risk-off mentality on Wall Street. However, bitcoin’s kamikaze dive and then its spectacular recovery yesterday laid bare the fragility of the underlying systems, according to FT.