Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- In the UK, the level of understanding of cryptocurrencies is declining, suggesting that some crypto users may not fully understand what they are buying, the UK Financial Conduct Authority said, presenting their research results. “However, we find that attitudes have shifted, as cryptocurrencies appear to have become more normalized – fewer crypto users regard them as a gamble (38%, down from 47%) and more see them as an alternative or complement to mainstream investments, with half of crypto users saying they intend to invest more,” they added.
- Landon Cassill will be the first NASCAR driver paid entirely in cryptocurrency in a 19-race sponsorship deal with Voyager that begins at Nashville Superspeedway this weekend, AP reported, adding that Cassill said Voyager is paying “market rate” for the sponsorship but the funds will be distributed in crypto. He said the payment is a “portfolio of digital assets” that includes litecoin (LTC) and bitcoin (BTC) priced at market rates, per the report.
- Fireblocks said it has integrated Crypto.com into the Fireblocks Network, a digital asset transfer network for institutions. This integration will allow Crypto.com to expand their reach to over 400+ institutional participants through the network, which includes “some of the biggest global banks, liquidity providers, [over-the-counters], hedge funds, and asset managers,” they added.
- US-based Kraken could go public in 12 to 18 months, CEO Jesse Powell told Bloomberg TV. He said that the firm is “doing all the prep work” to become a public company, though he declined to give a target valuation. He also still predicts that BTC will hit a fresh all-time high this year.
- A 30-year-old Japanese YouTuber has been issued with a warning from the top Japanese financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), for reportedly “promoting” the Singapore-based Bybit exchange. Bybit was also cautioned, per a report from Tokyo Sports (via Yahoo Japan), as the FSA has stipulated that exchanges based outside Japan must not target Japanese residents with advertising campaigns without obtaining prior operating permission. The YouTuber, named Hiraku, has almost 4.4 million subscribers and reportedly mentioned in a video that he had opened an account on the Bybit platform after receiving BTC as a birthday gift.
- Audacity Capital LLC is going to invest in cryptocurrency-related startups led by entrepreneurs of Black and African descent, Bloomberg reported. The Los Angeles-based firm has raised an undisclosed amount from investors including IDEO CoLab Ventures and Electric Capital. The fund plans to invest up to USD 100,000 each in as many as three startups a quarter, per the report.
- Cryptocurrency cash network Coinme said it has raised USD 10m in a funding round from existing investors and it will spend the new capital on product and market expansion, according to an emailed press release.
- Decentralized gaming guild of players, Yield Guild Games (YGG), has raised USD 4m in a Series A investment led by venture capital firm BITKRAFT Ventures, the emailed press release states. GG is on a mission to accelerate the “play-to-earn” phenomenon, which is set to enable gamers to monetize their gaming time.
- Decentralized credit platform for crypto loans without collateral Goldfinch, has raised USD 11m in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z crypto).
- Decentralized derivatives exchange SynFutures has raised USD 14m in a Series A funding round led by digital asset investment fund Polychain Capital, according to a press release. The platform aims to allow traders access to any assets they want to trade, including large-capitalization cryptoassets, traditional equities, gold, indices, or any others, to lower the barrier of entry into the derivatives market.
- TRM Labs, a blockchain intelligence firm, said it has closed a USD 14m Series A funding round, led by Bessemer Venture Partners with additional participation from PayPal Ventures, Blockchain Capital, unspecified executives from Google, and others. TRM’s platform integrates with more than a dozen blockchains, and analyzes billions of virtual asset transactions to detect in real-time signs of fraud and financial crime like money laundering, the firm said.
- Global securities index publisher MSCI is looking at launching indexes for crypto assets, Reuters reported, citing CEO Henry Fernandez. He gave no details on what assets any index would focus on nor any timeline for their introduction and MSCI later declined a Reuters request to elaborate on his comments.
- Russia-based major metal producer Nornickel is offering blockchain-based tokens along with traditional certificates for their exchange-traded commodities (ETCs) based on their metal. The ETCs are on nickel and copper, and will launch on the London Stock Exchange and Borsa Italiana.
- Indonesian central bank Bank Indonesia has prohibited Indonesian financial institutions from accommodating cryptocurrency as a means of payment or other financial services tools, according to Tempo. The ban is based on existing laws, and the bank will mobilize supervisors to make sure banks and financial institutions are complying with it, it said.
- The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again delayed the decision on whether to allow a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF), stating in a filing that they will seek more public comment on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) proposal. Most of their concerns still revolve around whether regulation has changed enough for the asset to be safer for investors, as well as whether the company has a plan set up to prevent fraud and manipulation.
- A survey conducted in South Korea has found that 73% of respondents say they want public officials to be forced to declare their crypto holdings. Per NewsTomato, the survey of 500 men and women aged 18 and above was conducted nationwide by the politics and economics researcher Realmeter. While 20% stated that they opposed the idea, the remainder stated they “didn’t know” how they felt about the idea.
- Public officials in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan will be obliged to declare their crypto holdings, reported Realnoe Vremya, where a presidential decree has stipulated that all civil servants must make annual declarations on their holdings, as well as those of any dependents, such as spouses and children in their care. The decree did not contain any references to crypto mining, however, although experts claimed measures to police the sector would be forthcoming.
- Ethereum (ETH)-based DeFi protocols Keep Network and NuCypher said they have agreed to merge in “the first decentralized on-chain network upgrade combining two protocols.” The new project is called KEANU and will work on unifying “the best of both networks,” including staking and developmental efforts, they said.
- Non-fungible token (NFT)-building platform Enjin (ENJ) said it is partnering with Virtual Worlds, a company specializing in digitizing historical artifacts, to produce a limited-edition set of NFTs representing iconic Egyptian monuments like the Pyramids of Giza and Great Sphinx of Egypt. This collaboration will be the first instance of applying NFTs to digitized historical landmarks, while the first phase of the collaboration will see the creation of treasure hunts where players can claim NFT artifacts in 3D environments.
- Beer brand Stella Artois is issuing a series of NFTs of digital racehorses as part of their 3D racetrack project, where players will be able to bid to own exclusive horses, according to Adweek. Bidders will compete for one of 50 Genesis digital racehorse NFTs that will be sold at 10 horses per day, while each winner will receive a collection of assets including three NFTs, one NFT Stella Artois piece of art, one Genesis racehorse NFT and one branded skin, with five collectible skins released in total.
- BitMEX said it hired Marc Robinson as Head of Custody. “Marc joins BitMEX with more than 20 years experience, much of which was gained with traditional financial services firms in Japan,” the company added.