23 Aug 2021 · 4 min read
Crypto, NFT Adoption with Visa, PayPal, Substack, Marvel + 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.
- Payments technology company Visa has announced it has bought a CryptoPunk as it enters into the world of non-fungible token (NFT) commerce. They paid around USD 150,000 to add it to their “historic commerce artifacts” collection.
- Media franchise Marvel has announced it has released its first NFT Digital Comic Collectibles for sale on NFT marketplace VeVe. Each comic's full issue is readable within the VeVe app and sold in blind boxes for USD 6.99, and it comes in five versions of rarity, ranging from common to secret rare.
- Global payments provider PayPal has announced the launch of a new service enabling its customers in the UK to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency, to start rolling out this week. Customers will be able to choose between bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and bitcoin cash (BCH).
- Online publishing platform with over 500,000 paying subscribers Substack is now accepting BTC payments on the Lightning Network powered by Bitcoin payment processor OpenNode, said the press release. OpenNode will power both on-chain and Lightning Network Bitcoin payments. Readers will be able to use BTC to pay for subscriptions to a select group of crypto-focused publications, and these publications will retain earnings in bitcoin.
- The Indian branch of major mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi India is interested in the cryptocurrency industry, but needs regulatory clarity from the government, the firm's managing director, Manu Jain, said in an interview with The Economic Times. “Of course, crypto is an area, which is extremely interesting, and is the biggest buzzword and is doing exceptionally well. But, we would want to understand more on the regulation side,” he explained.
- Lawrence Zlatkin, the Global VP of tax for crypto exchange Coinbase, criticized the lack of opportunity for public discourse regarding the cryptocurrency provisions added to the US Congress’ bipartisan infrastructure bill, writing that they could impact “60 million Americans.” He has added, “This will harm innovation and stifle the potential of a hugely important technology at its earliest stages of development [...] Tax policy should be thoughtful and deliberate. Broad overreach is a regulatory mistake.”
- Asset manager Neuberger Berman can invest up to 5% of its assets in bitcoin futures and funds, per a regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The filing said it was “effective immediately” and that this will let the manager gain indirect exposure to BTC.
- European derivatives exchange Eurex, part of the Deutsche Börse Group, has announced the launch of BTC exchange-traded note (ETN) futures. They added that this offering will be the first regulated market in bitcoin-related derivatives in Europe, to launch on September 13.
- Investment management firm AdvisorShares has submitted an application to the SEC for a bitcoin futures ETF. The AdvisorShares Managed Bitcoin ETF will invest “all or substantially all of its assets in exchange-traded futures contracts on bitcoin” and collateral, according to the filing
- Investment firms VanEck and ProShares have both withdrawn their applications with the SEC for approval of ether futures exchange-traded funds (ETFs), just days after filing them, Bloomberg Senior ETF Analyst Eric Balchunas announced in two tweets. He speculated that the abrupt withdrawals could mean that the SEC spoke to both firms and told them they were unlikely to approve an ETF futures fund.
- The reserves of the USD coin (USDC) stablecoin will be reversed back to be cash holdings and US treasury bills only, its issuer Centre announced in a blog post. They added that they require that Centre-approved stablecoins be issued by regulated and licensed financial institutions that maintain, at a minimum, full reserves of assets denominated in instruments of the equivalent fiat currency, held in segregated accounts for the benefit of USDC holders.
- Regulators from Yingjiang County in Yunnan, China have issued strict warnings to hydroelectric plants against supplying power to enterprises involved in BTC mining, according to a recent report. The power plants have been given until Tuesday, August 24, to delist mining companies from their grid’s “illegal” supply.
- Iran will once again allow bitcoin and crypto miners to operate in the country starting September 22, Iran’s Financial Tribune reported. Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, the spokesman for the country’s power generation organization Tavanir, said the company hopes power consumption will decline by the end of summer, creating the conditions for the operation of legal digital currency miners.
- Former Manchester United player and Golden Boy Award winner Anderson is subject to a current investigation by the Brazilian Rio Grande do Sul State Public Prosecutor’s office on the use of various cryptocurrencies for fraud and money laundering, according to Goal. The operation in question is investigating the April 2020 theft of BRL 30m (USD 5.5m) from a major Brazilian industrial firm which, according to the Prosecutor's office, which was deposited in 11 bank accounts across four states in the country and then laundered through the purchase of cryptocurrency both locally and overseas.