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Binance Investigations, MicroStrategy Buys More ‘Durable Bitcoin’ + More News

Linas Kmieliauskas
Last updated: | 6 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: Instagram, Binance

Exchanges news

  • Major crypto exchange Binance is under investigation by the US Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service, Bloomberg reported, citing undisclosed people with knowledge of the matter, and noting that the federal agencies haven’t accused Binance of wrongdoing. As part of the inquiry, officials who probe money laundering and tax offenses have sought information from individuals with insight into Binance’s business, the report said. Along with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Justice Department is likely to examine steps that Binance has taken to keep US residents off its exchange, it added.

Investments news

  • MicroStrategy said it has purchased an additional BTC 271 for USD 15m in cash at an average price of USD 55,387 per BTC. As of today, the company said it holds BTC 91,850 acquired for around USD 2.241bn at an average price of USD 24,403 per BTC. This stash is worth USD 4.6bn today.
  • BlackRock‘s Chief Investment Officer of Global Fixed Income Rick Rieder told CNBC that Bitcoin (BTC) is durable and “it will be part of the investment arena for years to come.” According to him, challenges that BTC faces “will be overcome over time.”

  • Mobile games publisher Animoca Brands said it raised USD 88.89m, valuing the company at USD 1bn. Investors in the round included Kingsway Capital, RIT Capital Partners, HashKey Fintech Investment Fund, AppWorks Fund, LCV Fund, Huobi, Octava, Ellerston Capital, Perennial, Axia Infinity Ventures, SNZ, Liberty City Ventures, Metapurse, and others. The new capital will be used to fund further acquisitions, develop new products, continue to make strategic investments, and secure additional licenses for popular intellectual properties, they added.
  • Mogo Inc., a digital payments and financial technology company, said it intends to increase its ownership position in Coinsquare, a Canadian digital asset trading platform, from 19.9% to approximately 37% in a USD 47m – USD 49m deal.
  • Cowen Digital Asset Investment Company, a division of Cowen, and PolySign, Inc. said they have partnered in order to enable Cowen’s institutional clients to secure, access, and leverage cryptocurrencies and digital assets in their portfolios. Also, Cowen has made a USD 25m strategic investment in PolySign, leading the USD 53m initial closing of PolySign’s Series B financing.
  • Grayscale Investments said it has publicly filed a Registration Statement on Form 10 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on behalf of Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund. If the Registration Statement becomes effective, it would designate the Fund as Grayscale’s third digital currency investment vehicle to become an SEC reporting company.
  • Vietnam’s Sky Mavis, the maker of Axie Infinity and other blockchain gaming titles, has received USD 7.5m in funding from crypto man-of-the-moment Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise, and others, Gamebiz reported. Also taking part in the Series A funding round were the likes of CoinGecko’s investment arm CoinGecko Ventures and Animoca Brands, as well as the Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
  • Listed crypto mining company Argo Blockchain said it has completed the acquisition of the two data centers in Quebec, Canada. The data centers have a combined total of 20MW of power capacity and are powered almost entirely by electricity generated from hydropower, they added.

Blockchain news

  • Samsung Electronics said that blockchain users can now manage and trade virtual assets from third-party wallets on Samsung Galaxy smartphones. The update makes it easier for blockchain users to access and process transactions by importing virtual assets stored on select cold hardware wallets to the Samsung Blockchain Wallet available on most Galaxy smartphones, they added.
  • Microsoft is shutting down its Azure Blockchain Service on September 10, 2021, reported Zdnet. Existing deployments will be supported until that date, but as of May 10 this year, no new deployments or member creation is being supported, it added.

Adoption news

  • Governments should embrace digital currencies or risk private companies taking control of the money people use, Bloomberg reported, citing Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor of the UK central bank. According to him, stablecoins and other forms of payment could quickly gain the support of consumers because online commerce is raising demand to inject technology into the exchange of currencies.

Regulation news

  • India’s central bank is informally urging lenders to cut ties with cryptocurrency exchanges and traders as the highly speculative market booms, despite a Supreme Court ruling that banks can work with the industry, Reuters reported, citing three undisclosed sources.
  • The central Bank of Korea has announced that it will step up its monitoring efforts for companies and individuals it suspects of secretly buying or holding crypto. Per the Herald Kyungae, the central bank told National Assembly’s Planning and Finance Committee that it was working on “measures to monitor deposits and withdrawals in bank accounts that are related to cryptoasset transactions,” and will enforce this by using its powers to force financial institutions to send it data on cases it considers potentially suspicious. The bank added that it would pay particular attention to possible instances of “illegal speculative transfers of funds in cryptoasset transactions.”

CBDCs news

  • The e-pay platform Alipay, the brainchild of the Alibaba-operated Ant Group, has launched a pilot digital yuan wallet, in a sign that the digital yuan may not have to take on existing payment solutions in a battle to the death after all. Per and CLS, a test group of selected Alipay users can now activate a digital yuan wallet tab from their app interfaces, allowing them to send and receive the pilot token and link the wallet to their bank accounts.

Decentralization news

  • Blockchain domain name provider Unstoppable Domains said that with the latest Brave browser update, Brave users on desktop and Android platforms have access to 30,000 decentralized websites and 700,000 blockchain domain names registered with Unstoppable Domains.

Altcoins news

  • AppSwarm, Corp., a software development company and aggregator of mobile applications, announced a global initiative to build a network of developers around DogeLabs’ blockchain research project, as they aim to build a sort of decentralized network of Dogecoin (DOGE) development teams across the globe.

Tokenization news

  • Blockchain company tZERO said it has signed agreements with three platforms: OmniValley, Inc., an online community and platform housing and connecting startup ecosystem participants, Trellis Platform, Inc., a SaaS platform for alternative assets, and Wunderfund, Inc., an investment funding platform for private companies. “These partnerships will connect tZERO with high-quality private companies seeking to enhance their securities through tokenization,” the company added.
  • Chinese-speaking investors are attempting to sue an alleged New York-based crypto fraudster who ran a WeChat group claiming that members could expect to “earn USD 200,000 in one day” and see returns of over 330%. The mastermind, named Sun, was running what he called a multinational blockchain and crypto-themed investment group and teaches American stock trading courses online. Per the Epoch Times, six plaintiffs, residents of China, the USA and Canada, have filed a case at a branch of the New York District Court, claiming Sun operated the WeChat group from 2016 to March 2020 and failed to deliver on any of his promises, falsified bitcoin (BTC) trades he claimed to be making on their behalf and failed to return their stakes on request.