Estonian Crypto Purge; BitPay Card; Three Arrows Hit Grayscale + More News
Crypto Briefs is your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
Estonian regulators worried that crypto-related firms are using their local credentials to help commit fraud elsewhere have stripped more than 500 — around a third of total — of their permits this year, Bloomberg reported. More than a half of the remaining 900 crypto companies may lose their licenses as they have no operations in Estonia and their managers are outside the country, it added.
Crypto adoption news
Major crypto payments provider BitPay launched the BitPay Card, "the first Mastercard Prepaid card for crypto users in the United States." The Card enables customers to convert cryptoassets into fiat currency, which is then loaded onto the card and can be spent anywhere Mastercard debit is accepted around the world, the company said.
The Human Rights Foundation has launched a Bitcoin Development Fund. According to their announcement, this is a privacy-focused campaign meant to support software developers who are making the Bitcoin (BTC) network more private, decentralized, and resilient so that it can better serve as a financial tool for human rights activists, civil society organizations, and journalists across the world. Chris Belcher, a UK-based developer working on CoinSwap got the first gift.
Economic geography question on a practice test for China's college entrance exam, the Gaokao, asked why Bitcoin miners would be so heavily focused in the province of Sichuan. The students are required to provide an analysis of why miners choose to operate here and on the effect seasonality would have on mining. Per the local media, this isn't the first time Bitcoin mining appeared in the geography test questions.
A second wave of COVID-19 may affect crypto prices, per a report from Russia’s RBC. The media outlet quotes the head of the Russian-Asian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs as stating that many members of the Chinese middle class had amassed crypto holdings as emergency funds, which they were forced to sell off in part due to the health crisis, with a similar scenario likely in “the case of the second wave of COVID-19,” with “a subsequent return to normal” to follow.
A leading South Korean academic and other experts say that “crypto is a poor choice of a coronavirus safe-haven asset,” per The Scoop. The media outlet quotes Professor Hong Ki-hoon of Hongik University as stating that crypto is “too volatile” for most investors, while an investment advisor warned that it was “virtually impossible to gauge the risk factors involved in cryptocurrencies.”
Singapore-based crypto fund management company Three Arrows Capital acquired a 6.3% stake in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), a new filing showed. At the time of writing, in the market, the stake is worth around USD 241 million.
Technology publishing platform Hacker Noon has announced a USD 1 million strategic investment from content-monetization specialist Coil, says the announcement. They also started a three year partnership focused on Web Monetization for contributing writers. Hacker Noon Writers can add their Web Monetization meta tag to their stories, while Coil automatically streams micropayments to the writer’s wallet based on the amount of time Coil Members spend reading. Writers will soon be able to donate their earnings via Coil.
Another South Korean local stablecoin is set for launch. The city of Suncheon, in South Jeolla Province, will likely debut its new blockchain-powered token in 2021, after city authorities sealed a deal with the Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation, per a report from media outlet Yeosung Sobija Shinmun.
A Japanese media outlet named Money Voice has asked if blockchain could save the movie industry. The report concluded that much will hinge on the success or otherwise of the Chinese Blockchain Service Network, a Beijing-backed collective. The collective comprises a media content-producing arm of companies that have begun to release their works on a blockchain platform.
T-block Accelerator, organized by the Telangana Government and Tech Mahindra and run by IBC Media, an innovation management company, has shortlisted 30 startups, out of 160 registered startups. Per the press release, these 30 will undergo a three-week-long training period to gain the practical knowledge required to build relevant blockchain products with real-world applications. Platform partners include the Matic Network (MATIC), the Tezos India Foundation, R3 Corda, Settlemint, the Harmony Protocol (ONE), and æternity (AE).
Decentralized storage network provider Filecoin has launched Filecoin’s testnet incentives program, inviting miners across the world to compete in order to earn global and regional pools totaling up to 4 million filecoin (FIL) tokens. The blog post says that the competition, intended to stress-test the network, will run for a total of three weeks, and it should start in early July. Per another blog post, the mainnet is expected to launch between July 20 and August 21.
Binance has launched BTC/USD Quarterly Futures contracts with leverage up to 125x. The contracts are listed on Binance Futures; they're settled in the denominated BTC tokens and will expire on the last Friday of the corresponding three-month period. The first batch of contracts will expire on September 25.
Year-to-year returns of decentralized exchange (DEX) tokens have outperformed centralized exchange tokens by five times, according to the report by crypto researcher Messari. Their report states that DEX tokens increased on average 241% so far in 2020, while centralized exchange tokens increased by 44%. Spot volumes on DEXs increased from USD 5 million to USD 25 million, bringing the DEX share of overall trading volume up to 0.5%, compared to 0.25% at the begging of the year.
Canada-based crypto miner Hut 8 Mining is looking to raise a minimum of USD 7.5 million through an overnight marketed public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange. According to the press release, the funds will go towards buying the latest, most competitive chips available on the market to upgrade their BlockBox Bitcoin miners.
The Libra Association has appointed Sterling Daines as its Chief Compliance Officer. According to the press release, Daines is currently a Managing Director and Global Head of Financial Crime Compliance at Credit Suisse - a role from which he'll step down later this year to join the Libra Association. Previously, he served as Managing Director and Deputy Head of Financial Crime Compliance at Goldman Sachs, among other positions.