Bitcoin Suisse’s Profit, Temptation Of Mt. Gox Creditors, Brazil’s BTC ETF + More News

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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.

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Adoption news

  • Crypto financial services firm Bitcoin Suisse AG expects revenues for the full-year 2020 to be in excess of CHF 45m (USD 48.4m) and net profit in excess of CHF 15m (USD 16.13m), Marc Baumann, Head Marketing & Communication of the company, told Per the website, in 2019, Bitcoin Suisse saw USD 22.5m in net revenue and USD 2.6m in net income. Their client activity for January and February 2021 was “very high” and it “indicates sustained strong momentum,” according to Baumann. Audited results for the full-year 2020 should be published ahead of the Annual General Meeting in June 2021.
  • Vlad Tenev, CEO of brokerage platform Robinhood, said in a Q&A session that the company is planning to grow its crypto team “hugely” this year, that they’ve been hiring “a ton of people,” and that they want to make “a huge investment.” Answering a question from a customer who wants to see the platform “take a bite out of Coinbase,” Tenev said: “we hear you on that,” adding that the priority is ensuring the reliability and stability of the service when going through exponential growth. Another priority is enabling withdrawals “as soon as possible,” and they might add some new coins along the way.

Exchanges news

  • Fortress Investment Group is offering the creditors of defunct crypto exchange Mt. Gox about 80% of their claim value, Bloomberg reported, citing a letter from the company. In comparison, the Civil Rehabilitation plan from Mt. Gox’s Japan-based trustee, the one set for an October vote, would refund creditors about 90% of their claim value. Per the report, Fortress said the Rehabilitation plan payments would likely occur in mid-2022, and its own proposal would offer liquidity now.

Investments news

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission of Brazil approved Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund by local blockchain investment firm QR Capital. Per the company, the fund will be listed on the B3 exchange while more details should be announced “soon.”
  • Bitcoin IRA, a digital asset IRA technology platform that allows users to buy, sell and swap cryptocurrencies for their retirement accounts, said that over USD 100m have been invested into IRA Earn program. The new interest-earning program offers interest rates up to 6% annually on cash and crypto holdings, they claimed.
  • Two of South Korea’s biggest tech giants, the web search engine operator Naver and the chat app operator Kakao, forked out over USD 10.6m worth of investment in the blockchain accelerator Hashed’s Hashed Fund late last year. Per News1, recently published Kakao and Naver business reports showed that the search engine firm gave the fund over USD 7m worth of funding in mid-December last year, with Kakao stumping up the remainder. The fund’s aim, per its founders, is to create a “protocol economy” for promising blockchain technology-related startups.
  • Woorton, the French crypto trading prop shop, said it participated in the first-ever BTC auction in France, in which the French State had auctioned BTC 611 (USD 35.98m), recovered by the Agency for the Recovery of Seized and Confiscated Assets (AGRASC) during a judicial seizure, for a value of over EUR 28m (USD 33.3m). Per the emailed press release, Woorton bought several lots of bitcoins for a total amount of EUR 5m (USD 5.95m). Nearly 1,500 people and companies were registered, most of them participating online or by phone, while Woorton said it participated on the floor and bid on all the lots.
  • Thornton Place Condominium Corporation has announced that it has purchased BCT 0.4 for its reserve fund with CAD 25,000 (USD 20,000) in cash at an average price of approximately USD 50,000 per bitcoin, inclusive of fees and expenses. Per the press release, this is the first in a series of planned purchases, with an additional USD 560 per month allocated to the purchase of bitcoin on an ongoing and indefinite basis.

Mining news

  • Bitcoin mining difficulty, the measure that shows how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, is set to increase by around 1.85%, to 21.84 T today. It dropped by increased by 1.27% on March 6.
  • Standard Hashrate Group, makers of BTCST which brings liquidity to Bitcoin mining, said it released TAU Protocol, through which tokenized hashrate can be staked and multiple synthetic assets can be received as a reward, bridging the gap between crypto mining and decentralized finance (DeFi). These synthetic assets are backed by 12% of the global Bitcoin mining hashrate, they added in an emailed press release.
  • China-based, Nasdaq-listed internet company The9 Limited said that its wholly-owned subsidiary NBTC Limited signed a BTC mining machine purchase agreement for 24,000 Antminer S19j machines with the major mining hardware firm Bitmain. The machines are scheduled for delivery starting November 2021.
  • The Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is planning to build two hydroelectric-powered pilot mining farms in order to capitalize on a bullish global crypto market, Reuters reported, citing a minister overseeing a new government crypto policy. The cost of the mining project has yet to be determined. Meanwhile, Pakistan has formed a federal committee to formulate a new crypto policy, as crypto mining and trading currently reside in a legal grey area.
  • SBI Crypto, the crypto mining arm of the Japanese securities giant and crypto exchange operator the SBI Group, said that it will open up its crypto mining pool, which it claims is ranked 11th, to the general public. And it appears that non-Japanese investors will also be welcomed, as the firm claimed, that its mining pool services would also be available in English and Mandarin. Account request forms, the company said, will be made available as of next month, and SBI said that its “current mining power of approximately 1.1 EH/s” will be used to “support and provide stability to the pool.”

Regulation news

  • Following its ban of a baht-pegged stablecoin issued by the South Korean LUNA developer Terra this week, the Thai central bank has announced that it only will regulate conventional asset-backed stablecoins, not token such as BTC and other cryptoassets. The Bank of Thailand announced, per Reuters, that all services using baht-backed stablecoins will need to seek its approval prior to launch. The bank confirmed that it is developing a retail-type central bank digital currency (CBDC), and stated that it is currently “receiving opinions from market regulators and participants before announcing” its new regulations.

Career news

  • Blockchain company Ripple said it has hired Goldman Sachs and Uber 30-year finance and tech veteran Brooks Entwistle as the new Managing Director of its Southeast Asia business headquartered in Singapore, in order to expand its operations in this region. The appointment comes as Ripple is expanding its presence across Southeast Asia which includes 14 countries for its payment network RippleNet, which has seen transactions in the region grow 10 times in 2020, they added.