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Bitcoin Auction, Norwegian Digital Bank, Bakkt Merger + More News

Bitcoin Auction, Norwegian Digital Bank, Bakkt Merger + More News 101
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Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Bitcoin news

  • The Finnish treasury is in for a whopping boost as the nation’s customs agency prepares to auction off BTC 1,981 (USD 81m). The vast majority of the seized bitcoin was intercepted in a drug bust back in 2016. This haul was worth around USD 1.2m when police closed the net on criminals selling a wide variety of narcotics on the Valhalla darkweb portal. According to media outlet Helsingin Sanomat, the sale could raise enough money to pay for four million coronavirus vaccines for Finnish citizens. (Learn more: This Is How Confiscated Bitcoin, Ethereum, And Monero Sold By The Taxman)

Investments news

  • Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) has announced the completion of NOK 60m (USD 7.12m) in private placements, for which Pareto Securities, an investment bank in the Nordics, acted as the sole manager and book-runner. According to the press release, this puts NBX in a prime position to continue to develop their trading platform for cryptocurrencies and digital assets, as well as new products related to banking and e-money licenses. Therefore, the investment will provide NBX with financial means to pursue a banking license, and become one of Europe’s first digital assets banks, they said.

M&A news

  • Bakkt, the crypto platform owned by Intercontinental Exchange Inc., is in advanced talks to go public through a merger with blank-check firm VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings, reported Bloomberg, citing "people with knowledge of the matter." The transaction is set to value the combined entity at more than USD 2bn, while an announcement may come as soon as next week, they said.
  • Coinbase said it has acquired trade execution infrastructure provider Routefire. Per Routefire's announcement, they will be discontinuing services and their team will be joining Coinbase to "continue developing best-in-class execution services for digital assets."

Decentralization news

  • Members of the mob that stormed the American Capitol building on January 6 used the Tron (TRX)-run, blockchain-powered decentralized streaming platform Dlive to broadcast their exploits, per a post from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The center claims that as many as six streamers – at least one of whom was inside the building at the time – were active, raising “hundreds of thousands” of USD, much of which was donated in crypto. Tron boss Justin Sun bought Dlive and moved it onto his company’s network in late 2020.

Blockchain news

  • The provincial government of Shanxi, China, has talked of its plans to foster a group of blockchain unicorn companies, per an official release (via Sina). The local government stated that it intended to build “one or two” dedicated blockchain business parks in the province in order to nurture new and growing blockchain firms based or setting up shop in the province. It also stated that its goal was to “promote the rapid growth and expansion of the blockchain industry” in the Northern province, which has thus far lagged behind other parts of China in the blockchain stakes.

Regulation news

  • Following Brexit, the United Kingdom's finance policy department is asking the crypto community to provide input on a series of proposals, saying in a document from Her Majesty's Treasury that the government "invites views from a wide range of stakeholders, and particularly firms engaged in cryptoasset activities." The consultation document represents the first stage in the government’s consultative process with industry and stakeholders on the broader regulatory approach to cryptoassets and stablecoins, it said.

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