Fed Chair on Higher & Not Transitory Inflation, Yellen On Stablecoins + More News

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Jerome Powell. Source: A video screenshot, Yotube, CNBC Television

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Economics news

  • US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee, stating that price increases seen today are still related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that they “have spread much more broadly [and] the risk of higher inflation has increased,” and, according to Powell, it’s probably a good time “to retire” the word “transitory” when talking about elevated inflation, according to Reuters and Associated Press reporter Chris Rugaber. (Learn more: ‘Paper Money’ Hits All-Time Low Against Bitcoin & Other Hard Assets – Pantera’s CEO)
  • Consumer prices in the Eurozone rose an annual 4.9% in November, beating all 40 predictions in a Bloomberg survey of economists, where the median was for 4.5%. A measure that strips out volatile components such as food and energy also reached a record, Bloomberg reported.

Adoption news

  • Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, the US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that stablecoins “can result in some greater efficiencies in the payment system… but only if they are adequately regulated,” according to Associated Press reporter Chris Rugaber.
  • South Korean bank Shinhan Bank has announced that it has completed the development of a proof-of-concept, with a global megabank outside of Korea, built on the Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR) network, leveraging stablecoins and focused on international remittances. The project aims to test the issuance and distribution of stablecoins, applied to a financial use case that typically suffers from high fees, longer waits, and the absence of tracking features.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has launched the New York Innovation Center (NYIC) to build and test new financial technology, including central bank digital currencies (CBDC), stablecoins and cross-border payments. The NYIC plans to focus on five so-called opportunity areas: supervisory and regulatory technology, financial market infrastructures, future of money, open finance, and climate risk.

M&A news

  • Crypto platform Blockchain.com has acquired crypto company SeSocio as its largest acquisition to date, in order to spread its influence in Latin America. The company said it will launch its physical presence in the countries, by opening offices and local hiring, but also welcome SeSocio’s 100 employees into its ranks.
  • Coinbase has announced the acquisition of cryptographic security company Unbound Security. This also helps the platform gets a presence in Israel.

CBDCs news

  • Indonesia’s central bank wants a digital form of the rupiah to “fight” cryptocurrencies as it considers whether to issue such a tender, Bloomberg reported. Juda Agung, Assistant Governor at the central bank, said that the central bank digital currency (CBDC) might prove more credible to people than crypto.

Investments news 

  • Former Citigroup Inc. executive Matt Zhang is launching a USD 1.5bn venture focused on crypto-related investments and has hired Sam Peurifoy, an ex-Goldman Sachs analyst known for his online gaming persona “Das Kapitalist”, to lead a dedicated “play-to-earn” strategy, Bloomberg reported. The New York-based investment firm, named Hivemind Capital Partners, has received “a decent amount of interest” from qualified institutional investors including pensions, endowments, sovereign wealth funds and family offices, and expects to add another 4-5 partners in the next 6 to 12 months.
  • Crypto exchange Crypto.com has announced it is working with financial infrastructure provider Silvergate to introduce USD deposits and withdrawals to its institutional clients. Through Silvergate, institutional clients can transfer USD from their bank accounts to the exchange and vice versa, for free.
  • Avalanche (AVAX) ecosystem decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) Colony has announced it has raised USD 18.5m in a seed funding round led by the Avalanche Foundation. Colony aims to launch in Q4 2021 with public token sales and will continue empowering selected projects building on Avalanche with its first capital deployments, they added.
  • Investment firm Kelly Strategic Management has filed for approval with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an exchange-traded fund (ETF) tied to ether (ETH) futures. The Kelly Ethereum Ether Strategy ETF is an actively managed fund that will invest in cash-settled ether futures contracts traded on registered commodity exchanges.
  • Investment management company Galaxy Digital Holdings has announced they have agreed to issue and sell USD 500m aggregate principal amount of 3% Exchangeable Senior Notes due 2026 to certain purchasers, including affiliates of Arca, NZ Funds, Senator Investment Group and XN, in a private placement. The company intends to use the proceeds from the notes offering to accelerate growth initiatives across its business lines and for general corporate purposes, they added.
  • Crypto startup Iron Fish has raised USD 27m in a Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz, per Forbes. The startup aims to offer privacy to citizens of authoritarian states, starting with its home country Russia.

Exchanges news

  • Crypto exchange Huobi has picked Singapore as its new regional headquarters while choosing to have another location for Europe after moving away from Beijing, according to Bloomberg. The company said it will offload all China users by the end of this year.

NFTs news

  • Beer brand Budweiser is launching its own series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), dubbed ‘Budverse Cans: Heritage Edition’ and spanning 1,936 individual NFT collectibles, referencing the year the company first started releasing beer in cans. Each NFT will feature elements of classic photos, ads, and design documents charting the history of the brand, and they will also bring as-yet-unannounced perks to holders.

Mining news

  • Blockchain tech company DMG Blockchain Solutions has announced the purchase of 1,800 Bitmain Antminer S19 XP 140 Th miners. Delivery of these 1,800 miners is expected to begin in July 2022, with 300 miners arriving each month for the following 6 months, which will boost their mining power to just over 1 Eh/s including their existing miners.
  • Bitcoin (BTC) self-mining company Griid Infrastructure has announced a definitive merger agreement with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Adit EdTech Acquisition Corp. The combined company is expected to operate under the name “GRIID Infrastructure Inc.” and be listed on the NYSE under the new ticker symbol “GRDI”.