11 Jan 2021 · 3 min read

Bitcoin Volume Doubles on CME, Crypto Booking With Benefits + More News

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: Adobe/Sergey Yarochkin

Trading news

  • Bitcoin (BTC) average daily volume reached 11,179 contracts (55.9K equivalent bitcoin) in December, up 114% YoY, major derivatives platform CME said today, commenting on their BTC futures and options results. This volume lifted average daily open interest to 11,701 contracts (58.5K equivalent bitcoin), up 252%. The number of large open interest holders grew to a record of 110 in the first week of December, indicating strengthening institutional interest, they added.
  • US approval of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund could weigh on BTC's price in the short term because competition from such a vehicle could spark outflows from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, the world’s largest traded cryptocurrency fund, Bloomberg reported, citing JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Crypto adoption news

  • Crypto.com (CRO) has announced a partnership with Booking.com to deliver travel deals to all Crypto.com users, available exclusively inside the Crypto.com App. Their users "enjoy up to 25% off accommodations" while users who pay using their Crypto.com Visa Card can get up to 8% back on spending along with other benefits.
  • Hermez, a Layer 2 solution that scales token transfers on top of Ethereum (ETH) said it will launch tether (USDT) on the Hermez Network. The network will work with key projects ahead of its official launch to provide cheaper payments and token transfers. The Hermez Network zk-rollup is a Layer 2 solution that scales Ethereum by rolling multiple transfers into a single transaction.

Investment news

  • Morgan Stanley’s investment management arm boosted a stake in Bitcoin-friendly MicroStrategy to more than 10% late last year, Bloomberg reported, adding that this stake had a value of roughly USD 420m based on the day’s closing price.
  • The Slovenian IT startup Eligma said it has finalized a USD 4.9m funding round at a valuation of USD 60.7m, led by Bitcoin-cash (BCH) proponent Roger Ver and his Bitcoin.com project. The Slovenian firm operates the GoCrypto payment network, which claims to offer crypto pay options at over 1,000 merchants’ outlets throughout the nation. Eligma said its latest funding injection will be used to ensure it can comply with new regulations that will transform the way the sector is policed.
  • China-based blockchain investment firm Fenbushi Capital said it has launched the Fenbushi Ecosystem Fund, a new investment fund designed to drive the continued growth of applications under development on the world’s largest decentralized storage network, Filecoin (FIL), and its underlying protocol, a peer-to-peer file-sharing system, IPFS. The fund aims to raise USD 15m - USD 20m.
  • Voyager Digital Ltd., a publicly-traded cryptoasset broker, said that their assets under management have surpassed USD 350m, a 52% increase from USD 230m at year-end. Also, average daily net deposits now exceed USD 5m, up from approximately USD 1m per day in December, they added in an emailed press release.

CBDCs news

  • The Agricultural Bank of China, one of China’s biggest commercial banks and a partner with the central People’s Bank of China (PBoC) on its digital yuan project, is reportedly piloting a project that will grant users of the token to interoperate with a number of ATMs in Shenzhen. Per Shenzhen News, the commercial bank is also setting up a branch in the city that will deal with digital yuan-related matters. The PBoC and Shenzhen authorities are gearing up to make a USD 3m digital yuan giveaway in time for the Lunar New Year holidays in mid-February.

Blockchain news

  • The South Korean government has unveiled a USD 48.4m blockchain technology spending plan for 2021. Per Chosun, Seoul spent 45% less than this figure on blockchain projects in 2020, but will up this year’s budget by 55% to support 10 projects, five of which will focus on distributed ID (DID) authentication protocols. The remaining projects will focus primarily on logistics, payment, and services. Seoul is also keen to foster companies wishing to expand their blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) offerings to overseas markets, particularly in the South East Asia region.

M&A news

  • Aragon, a platform for building and running decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), said it has acquired Dvote Labs Oü, the company behind the Vocdoni protocol, which aims to build a decentralized voting system. In the mid and long term, the companies plan to launch a bridge between formal organizations and DAOs, they said in an emailed press release.