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Bitcoin Protection, New Surveys, Mnuchin's Idea On Ice + More News

By Linas Kmieliauskas
Bitcoin Protection, New Surveys, Mnuchin's Idea On Ice + More News 101
Source: Adobe/Mathieu

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news. (Updated at 18:18 UTC with an announcement from BlockFi.)

Bitcoin news

  • Not only has bitcoin (BTC) proved lousy at offsetting short-term drawdowns in big sell-offs, its very popularity among retail investors is increasing the token’s link with cyclical assets, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. cross-asset strategists, as reported by Bloomberg. However, crypto investing might be best seen as way to protect against the loss of faith in a country’s currency or payment system — rather than a competitor to the likes of gold, they added.

Crypto adoption news

  • In a report by Aite Group commissioned by investment platform eToro and based on interviews with 25 institutional market participants, insufficient market capitalization was cited as the single largest impediment to further growth of the crypto market, but respondents also highlighted regulatory uncertainty, immature market infrastructure, and concerns over reputational risk and security issues.
  • In a survey by Wirex and the Stellar Development Foundation, 74% of respondents view crypto payments as a viable alternative to traditional money transfer services, whilst 25% of people have heard of the term ‘stablecoin’ before. Also, the report said that 57% of respondents were aged 45 and over, and 86% of people suggested that they felt safe using crypto.
  • BlockFi said it launched over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk for institutional and ultra-high net worth clients across the globe. With the rollout of comprehensive OTC capabilities, BlockFi will act as an execution partner, offering spot trading, credit capabilities and a margin trading product. The desk will support large-cap cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ether, litecoin, as well as other coins based on demand and availability on BlockFi’s platform, they added.
  • BitPay, a major provider of crypto payment services, said it integrated WalletConnect into the BitPay Wallet app that now gives direct access to the decentralized exchange, decentralized games, and the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. BitPay Wallet app users can send or receive DAI and WBTC utilizing WalletConnect. Payment processing support for DAI and WBTC is expected this quarter, they said in an emailed press release.

Regulation news

  • American crypto advocates are breathing a collective sigh of relief after new United States President Joe Biden announced, via an official communication, that he would be freezing all active agency proposals – a move that will include a much-maligned “unhosted” wallets regulatory proposal put forward by the former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Crypto players had feared Mnuchin would succeed in passing the measure before leaving office earlier this week.
  • Panamanian lawmakers could soon be given the chance to vote on draft crypto law proposals. Per the newspaper La Estrella de Panama, the Commerce Commission of the nation’s National Assembly will examine a draft bill put forward by a pro-crypto MP named Rolando Rodríguez. The MP has stated that a legal framework is urgently needed for Panamanian firms that want to do business with cryptoassets. He added that crypto could help the country’s unbanked population, and added, “Panama cannot afford to be left behind” while “other countries have already started to regulate cryptoassets.” The proposal will head to the Assembly floor if the commission approves it.

Exchanges news

  • Kraken said that they're more than doubling the number of trading pairs available to clients using both the British pound sterling (GBP) and the Australian dollar (AUD) as the company is expanding into markets "that have substantial potential for growth."
  • Dunamu, the operator of the South Korean market-leading Upbit crypto exchange, has launched a Thai branch. Named Upbit Thailand, the new trading platform is now open for business, reported Paxnet. The South Korean firm announced that it had obtained the necessary permits from the Thai regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, prior to launch. The company now has branches in three Southeast Asian nations: Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.

Blockchain news

  • Binance said that it plans to equip up to 1,000 African blockchain developers with the tools and skills to build their first dapps (decentralized apps) on the Binance Smart Chain network. "All within the first quarter of 2021," they added.

Mining news

  • Compute North, a provider of data infrastructure for blockchain and high-performance computing, said it partnered with Luxor to bring to market a fully integrated mining solution for Compute North clients now including a mining pool. "Mining pools are increasingly becoming integrated into broader mining ecosystems of exchanges, financing packages, financial instruments, and colocation," they claimed.

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