Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- US-based business intelligence company MicroStrategy bought additional BTC 262 for around USD 10.5m in cash at an average price of USD 57,146 per coin. Per CEO Michael Saylor, as of March 12, the company holds BTC 91,326 (USD 5.25bn) acquired for USD 2.21bn at an average price of USD 24,214 per bitcoin.
Luke Ellis, CEO of Man Group, the world’s biggest publicly traded hedge fund firm, told CNBC that he sees BTC “as a trading instrument, not a thing that you think of as a long term asset allocation play” and warned that companies are not supposed to speculate with their cash balances. As reported, analysts at Man Group said in January that bitcoin (BTC)’s volatility is simply part of the price discovery in a new asset class, and these are not bubbles.
- Crypto exchange BTSE has raised USD 22m in its Series A investment round which concluded on January 31, achieving a valuation of USD 400m. According to the announcement, the primary investor is “a leading family office based in Hong Kong.” The round, they added, is an important step towards the exchange becoming a bridge between traditional finance and the digital assets world.
- Crypto venture capital firm Pluto Digital Assets has raised a USD 40m fund with UK-listed Argo Blockchain as its lead investor. Per the press release, this was Pluto’s third and largest round to date, while Argo will be maintaining their 25% stake with an investment of 10m. There was also continued investment by Pires Investments Plc and Riverfort Global Opportunities Plc amongst others. The company has surpassed USD 50m total assets under management (AUM) within 50 days of being established, it said.
- International investment giant WisdomTree has applied to launch a BTC exchange-traded fund (ETF), filing an S-1 Form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It plans to list the shares of the ETF on Cboe BZX Exchange, traded under the ticker symbol ‘BTCW’.
- The Chinese government has made mention of blockchain technology in its latest five-year plan, a further indication of how seriously it is now invested in the sector. A number of provinces have already made mention of the technology in their own three- and five-year plans, but no central government plan of this scale had previously made mention of it. Per the South China Morning Post, Beijing also made mention of the technology in its Vision 2035 development strategy. A cryptology expert and founding partner at Shanghai Hashvalue Information Technology opined in the same article that the move “will do good for the development of both the industry and professionals, and […] will grow the digital economy.”
- Bitcoin mining company Blockcap and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Currency Group (DCG) focused on digital asset mining and staking Foundry Digital LLC have announced that Blockcap is now mining BTC on Foundry USA Pool with approximately 10,000 latest generation mining machines generating over 0.91 exahashes of computing power. Foundry USA Pool also said that it is now open to all institutional businesses willing to mine bitcoin or bitcoin cash (BCH).
- Japan-based financial services company SBI Holdings said it will give its shareholders the option to receive the XRP token as a benefit for the second year in a row. Per the announcement, shareholders with 100 or more shares will receive XRP worth JPY 2,500 (USD 23) as a way of thanking them for their support. The amount of XRP given will be determined on June 30, and shareholders will have until May 31 to apply for the benefit.
- Jamaica is planning to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in 2022. Minister of Finance, Nigel Clarke, announced in the annual National Budget Debate address on March 9 that the CBDC will be piloted in December this year ahead of its launch next year. Clarke stressed that a CBDC issued and backed by the central Bank of Jamaica is not a cryptocurrency.
- More major South Korean commercial banks are set to begin developing central bank digital currency-related solutions, per Money Today. As previously reported, Shinhan earlier this week unveiled a pilot for a digital platform co-developed with LG CNS. The platfom, said its masterminds, will be capable of distributing and acting as a wallet repository for the digital KRW, which is still in the development phase. The report’s authors claim that Kookmin Bank is also developing an e-pay platform, also with LG CNS, which will boast digital currency-related capabilities. Rivals KEB Hana and Woori are said to be considering similar moves.
- The Japanese blockchain game maker double jump.tokyo, the developer of titles such as My Crypto Heroes, said it has teamed up with fellow blockchain gaming firm CryptoGames and the app developer SmartApp to form a non-fungible token (NFT)-related partnership. In a press release, the three Tokyo-based firms said they intended to co-launch a platform that would allow gaming firms to mint and issue their own NFTs, and called it a one-stop commercialization solution for the token class. CryptoGames is the developer of the CryptoSpells title.
- Tether (USDT) has announced its expansion to an eighth blockchain – Solana (SOL). With this integration, USDT holders can exchange it at speeds greater than 50,000 transactions per second and for as little as USD 0.00001 per transaction, the announcement said, adding that this will facilitate the development of high-speed, low-cost applications, including those in the decentralised finance (DeFi) space. Tether is already live on Ethereum (ETH), Algorand (ALGO), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), EOS, Liquid Network, Omni, and Tron (TRX).
- Technology firm tZERO announced that its subsidiary, registered broker-dealer tZERO ATS, which operates an alternative trading system (ATS), has signed an agreement with Realio, a technology ecosystem for institutional-grade digital assets. According to the press release, the partnership will connect Realio’s global network of real estate and private equity issuers, with an existing pipeline of over USD 300m in assets to be tokenized, to the tZERO ATS, thus enabling issuers to elect to provide secondary trading for their digital securities.
- A person in Romania has been apprehended under suspicion that they stole USD 620,000 in cryptocurrency from an unnamed company in the Cayman Islands. According to the press release, the defendant launched a cyberattack in late January on this company, described as “the seventh-largest cryptocurrency operator in the world,” then transferred the crypto to several people who paid him in fiat. He’s been charged with hacking, IT fraud, and money laundering.