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Australian Crypto ETF, Digital Dollar Pilots, MetaMask Phishing Bot + More News

Linas Kmieliauskas
Last updated: | 4 min read

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

Source: iStock/btgbtg

Investments news

  • The Australian Securities Exchange is reviewing a number of applications for a cryptocurrency-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) that could be launched as soon as this year, Business Insider Australia reported, citing “several industry sources.”
  • Digital Currency Group (DCG), the parent company of Grayscale Investments, said it has authorized the purchase by DCG of up to a total of USD 750m worth of shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. This increases DCG’s prior authorization to purchase up to USD 250m worth of shares of GBTC by USD 500m. As of April 30, 2021, DCG has purchased USD 193.5m worth of shares of GBTC, they added.
  • INX Ltd, the blockchain-based global trading platform for digital securities and cryptoassets, said on Monday it expects to have raised USD 125m in a security token and equity offering, Reuters reported. Proceeds from the first-ever initial public offering of security tokens amounted to USD 85m, received from more than 7,200 institutional and retail investors, it added.
  • Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s highest-profile venture capital firms, is looking to raise a fund of as much as USD 1bn to invest in cryptocurrencies and crypto startups, after the success of its investment in Coinbase, the Financial Times reported, citing “four people with knowledge of the process.”

CBDCs news

  • The Digital Dollar Project (DDP) said it will launch at least five pilot programs over the next 12 months with interested stakeholders and DDP participants to measure the value of and inform the future design of a US central bank digital currency (CBDC), or “digital dollar.” The DDP will release to the public the results of and insights from the pilots for use in academic study, as well as policy consideration by Congress, they added.

Security news

  • Ethereum (ETH) wallet and Web 3.0 browser MetaMask warned its users that a new type of phishing bot has become active. It “helpfully suggests filling out a support form on a major site like Google sheets” and “asks for your secret recovery phrase,” they said, adding that “an easy easy way to avoid this kind of phishing attack is to ONLY seek support from WITHIN the app you want help on.”
  • On May 1, Spartan Protocol, a decentralized protocol built on Binance Smart Chain, was exploited to result in more than USD 30m loss, according to security startup PeckShield. The incident was due to a flawed liquidity share calculation in the protocol, which is exploited to drain assets from the pool, they added. The team behind the protocol confirmed that their code had a flaw, despite “it was audited,” “but an un-ethical hacker exploited” it. The team added that “Sparta will re-build.”

Regulation news

  • The government of Turkey has told crypto exchanges that they must abide by the same kind of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing protocols as the conventional financial sector. Over the weekend, a new decree banning the use of crypto for payments went into effect – although the new head of the nation’s central bank has previously ruled out a total China-style clampdown on crypto. In a presidential decree published on May 1, the government explained that its existing AML law had been amended by presidential order on April 30 to include “cryptoasset service providers” and “savings-based finance companies.”
  • A private member’s bill that proposes “institutionalizing” cryptoassets “such as bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum” in South Korea is set to be brought forward by a ruling party MP, reported Seoul Kyungjae. A parliamentary financial committee will consider the bill, from the Democratic Party lawmaker Lee Yong-woo. Lee claimed that the bill would seek to boost “transparency” in the sector. He said that it would force crypto exchanges to store their crypto funds with third-party custodians and abolish all forms of anonymity in the sector.

DeFi news

  • Ethereum-based Umbrella Network, a decentralized finance (DeFi) project, said it is now launching on Binance Smart Chain. “The high costs of the Ethereum network clearly make it more difficult for us to achieve our first objective: to be the lowest cost data provider,” the team said.

Adoption news

  • Spain’s University of Zaragoza has launched what it labeled a “pioneering study into the use of bitcoin in the payments field.” The university is surveying English and Spanish speakers about people who have used BTC to buy products and services as part of what it called “a large and representative sample from several countries,” in an interview with Diario Bitcoin. The research team said that it had “decided that to focus on bitcoin” since “of the few companies that accept crypto payment, practically most of them deal exclusively with BTC.”