Major ShapeShift, Crypto Boom at Revolut, Interest In Ethereum Peaks + More News 101
Source: A screenshot, Instagram/shapeshift_io

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Exchanges news

  • ShapeShift said it has integrated decentralized exchange protocols and is sunsetting its 6+ year business of trading with customers. ShapeShift’s users no longer need to provide personally-identifying information to them. Also, the platform said it will not transact with customers as they will be trading directly with decentralized protocols that now support only ethereum (ETH) and ERC20 assets. The company expects that bitcoin (BTC) and several “other leading chains” to be supported for decentralized trading in Q1 2021.
  • Today, at 07:32 PST, Coinbase confirmed that it’s experiencing connectivity issues. The company “resolved Coinbase core functionalities” at 08:58 PST.
  • The under-fire South Korean crypto exchange Coinbit said it has completed a compliance check and is aiming to put its problems behind it in a bid to have a successful 2021. Some of the exchange’s executives were last year hit with fraud charges, but, per Sports Kyunghyang, Coinbit offered a “deep apology” for the events of last year, also issuing a compliance declaration that it would abide by strict ethical codes of practice in the year ahead. The firm added that it had “been faithfully complying” with an investigation conducted on the trading platform.
  • One River Asset Management has made “one of the largest digital asset trades in history,” according to the announcement by Coinbase, with whom the company worked to invest the undisclosed amount into crypto. The initial trades were completed over the course of five days and executed at different speeds to work through varying market conditions, said the exchange. As reported, One River Asset Management invested over USD 600m in cryptoassets and planned to bring its holdings of BTC and ETH to about USD 1bn as of early 2021.

Adoption news

  • Revolut said it has attracted 300,000 new crypto customers over the last 30 days, while around 100,000 of those signups came since the beginning of 2021, Business Insider reported. Also, crypto trading startup Luno said that it recently surpassed 6 million customers and has seen a surge in activity in recent days, the report added.
  • According to preliminary Google data, interest in “ethereum” has already surpassed its peak, seen in January 2018. Interest in “bitcoin”, also according to preliminary data, reached 59% of its peak in December 2017.

  • International Game Technology plc, which builds slots and other tech for casinos, has been awarded a patent that covers a means for crypto users to pay for their bets with BTC, ETH, and bitcoin cash (BCH). According to this US Patent and Trademark Office filing, users of the company’s method would pay by transferring cryptocurrency into their gaming accounts where the crypto would be converted to fiat after payment of a fee.

Altcoins news

  • BitGo said it has expanded its ETH-based tokenized bitcoin project wrapped bitcoin (WBTC) to a second blockchain, Tron (TRX), also launching the newly minted wrapped ether (WETH) on the Tron network as well, as TRC20 tokens. Users of these coins will be able to utilize their BTC and ETH in various decentralized applications, including trading on decentralized exchanges, collateralized loan markets, payment systems, etc.
  • Origin Protocol has announced the relaunch of Origin Dollar (OUSD), stating that the deposits are now open. According to the announcement, users can once again upgrade their tether (USDT), USD coin (USDC), or DAI into OUSD and earn yields from DeFi protocols while being passively held in wallets. The relaunch comes after the hack the project had suffered last November.

Mining news

  • Digital asset technology company Marathon Patent Group Inc. and blockchain/cryptocurrency company DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc., through their US subsidiary Blockseer, are forming the Digital Currency Miners of North America (DCMNA), which will be a US-based non-profit entity with a mission “to create a better mining environment for North American miners, to help improve their financial performance, and to create North America’s first cooperative mining pool.” According to the press release, mining partners who are members will receive rebates based on the hash rate they contribute to the overall pool, thus improving the mining profitability of DCMNA members.

Politics news

  • The former CEO of Bakkt, the outspoken Kelly Loeffler, has reportedly lost her bid to regain her Senate seat, with Democratic Party candidate Raphael Warnock narrowly winning a runoff election in the state of Georgia, per AP forecasts. An election was held on January 5. Loeffler is yet to concede defeat, but another senate race between Republican David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff is still too close to call, per most forecasters. The Democratic Party is vying to wrestle control of the Senate away from the Republicans.
  • Outspoken American billionaire Mark Cuban tweeted that he would run as a United States presidential candidate, but “if BTC gets to [USD] 1m AND we can get commitments to donate 350 BTC to the Treasury each of the 4 yrs so that we can give 1 satoshi to every citizen each [year], that they must hold for 10 years.” This came as a response to a tweet by billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya in which he said that “there will be a viable third political party in the US by 2030.”

M&A news

  • The Argentinian market-leading crypto trading platform Ripio said it has acquired the Brazilian firm Bitcoin Trade, the reportedly second-biggest brokerage on the Brazilian crypto market, paying an undisclosed sum for the deal. Ripio stated that it is hoping to strengthen its presence in Brazil and will move to expand its reach in the Latin American region, per Argentinian newspaper Clarín. A Ripio executive stated that his company had been “following the growth of Bitcoin Trade for a long time” prior to the purchase.

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