Fitch's Warning for El Salvador, 'Concerning Regulatory Roadmap' + 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.

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Regulation news

  • Ratings agency Fitch Ratings warned against the potential negative consequences of El Salvador adopting bitcoin (BTC) to its financial institutions and insurance sector. The country would have to either hold BTC and be exposed to day-to-day volatility, or sell any incoming BTC immediately to the market, which would incur other costs.
  • US congressmen Patrick McHenry and Glenn Thompson stated in an open letter that recent comments by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Gensler and his correspondence with Senator Elizabeth Warren - concerning the SEC needing more authority to regulate cryptocurrencies - provide a “concerning roadmap for regulatory actions that will have long-term implications.” The letter adds that “rather than regulate innovation and job creation out of this country, we should promote an active dialogue between regulators and market participants.”
  • US President Joe Biden plans to nominate the acting chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Rostin Behnam, to serve as the derivatives regulator's official leader, Bloomberg reported. However, the timing of the announcement is still weeks away. Behnam has previously shown openness towards cryptocurrencies and advocates for increased sustainability in the US financial system.
  • The Spanish National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) has issued warnings on 12 entities for not being registered for investment services, including crypto exchanges Huobi and Bybit, saying they were unauthorized to provide investment services in Spain. While the securities watchdog does not have the authority to directly ban an entity from operating in the country, the CNMV can appeal to the courts.

Adoption news

  • Investment management company Galaxy Digital has filed for a bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to Chief Bloomberg expert on ETFs Eric Balchunas. The fund will invest in futures and will not invest directly in bitcoin, according to the filing.
  • Digital assets financial services company EQONEX Group, previously known as Diginex Limited, has announced the launch of its institutional crypto lending platform EQONEX Lending, and the execution of its first crypto loan to a European crypto native institution. The launch of the platform follows a licensing agreement with Lendingblock, a lending platform for cryptocurrencies and digital assets, under which EQONEX has integrated Lendingblock's lending exchange technology.
  • Music-sharing protocol Audius has announced its integration with social network app TikTok in the creation of a new feature called TikTok Sounds. They added that they’re one of the first TikTok Sound Kit partners, and that users can now share their tracks directly from Audius to TikTok.
  • European music festival UNTOLD has partnered with blockchain network Elrond (EGLD) to enable the purchase of UNTOLD 2021 tickets with the EGLD cryptocurrency. Additionally, the partnership promises a “memorable experience” that will be turned into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and available for purchase at a later time.

Investment news

  • Investment management company Galaxy Digital has participated in a USD 50m funding round for crypto staking company Figment, Bloomberg reported. The funds will be used for hiring and business expansion, while the company is now reportedly worth around USD 500m.
  • Digital investment platform Bitpanda announced they have raised USD 263m in a Series C funding round led by investment company Valar Ventures, bringing the platform to a valuation of USD 4.1bn. The funds will be used to design the organization for scale, international expansion, and growth.
  • Blockchain security firm CertiK has raised USD 24m in a Series B+ funding round co-led by investors Tiger Global and GL Ventures. This brought the company’s total fundraising efforts to over USD 70m.
  • Ondo Finance, permissionless protocol founded by former Goldman Sachs traders and technologists, announced today it has raised USD 4m to bring programmable decentralized finance (DeFi) returns to investors "with a wide array of risk preferences," they said. The equity round was led by Pantera Capital with participation from Genesis, Digital Currency Group, CMS, CoinFund, Chapter One, Bixin, Divergence, Protoscale Capital, and The LAO, alongside angel investors such as Stani Kulechov, Josh Hannah, Richard Ma, Diogo Monica, and Christy Choi.

Defi news

  • Chain-agnostic blockchain project AllianceBlock has announced a strategic partnership with Pangolin, a community-driven decentralized exchange (DEX) powered by Avalanche (AVAX). AllianceBlock will help Pangolin grow in line with DeFi regulatory developments and make institutional access easy, they said, while Pangolin will also become a node validator for AllianceBlock’s Bridge and will be integrated into the Liquidity Mining as a Service program.

Career news

  • Social network Twitter has appointed former Zcash (ZEC) developer Jay Graber to lead its Bluesky project that is meant to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. However, the direction of the project is still unclear.