19 Oct 2021 · 4 min read
Grayscale Officially Begins Bitcoin ETF Journey, Facebook Pilots Novi With Coinbase + 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.
- Major cryptoasset manager Grayscale said that NYSE Arca has filed Form 19b-4 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to convert Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, into a spot bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF). The trust is said to be the largest BTC investment vehicle in the world, holding approximately 3.44% of all BTC in circulation, per Grayscale.
- Investment management company Invesco has dropped their pursuit of a futures-backed bitcoin ETF in the immediate near-term, according to Bloomberg. However, they have added that they will continue working with Galaxy Digital on offering different products with exposure to BTC, “including pursuing a physically-backed, digital asset ETF.”
- Venture capital investment firm Variant Fund, founded by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) alum Jesse Walden, announced the close of a new USD 110m fund. Variant is launching this new fund aimed at the "ownership economy." Another a16z veteran, Atelier Ventures's Li Jin, is joining as a partner investor.
- Brian Cho and Jason Yeh, two veterans of gaming giant Riot Games, have launched a new firm called Patron and raised USD 90m for their Patron Fund I, to invest in what they call the 'Spectrum of Play'. "We are proud to debut Patron. An early-stage venture firm investing in the convergence of games, consumer, and Web 3," Cho tweeted. Patron I, raised in four months entirely via Zoom, is backed by “a prolific roster” of investors, founders, and builders, they said.
- Special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Blockchain Moon Acquisition Corp (BMAC) has received the green light from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to list USD 100m worth of shares under an initial public offering (IPO). The pricing of its IPO of 10m units at USD 10 per share is set for listing on Tuesday, October 19, via the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol 'BMAQU', according to a previous filing with the SEC.
- Chainalysis, the US-based blockchain data platform, said it is expanding its partnership with NYDIG, a Bitcoin technology and financial services firm, to execute a purchase of bitcoin for the firm’s balance sheet. The company did not provide any futher details about this investment.
- British digital bank Revolut has slashed fees for customers in the United States across a range of products. It now enables them to trade up to USD 200,000 in crypto each month without getting charged commission fees on trades, reported Fortune. Previously, standard Revolut users could trade USD 200 a month before incurring fees. Customers will also be able to make 10 international remittance payments a month to anyone in 30 countries, as well as withdraw up to USD 1,200 from out-of-network ATMs each month without incurring fees.
- Blockchain privacy preservation layer Manta Network has announced a USD 5.5m funding round led by Coinfund and Parafi Capital. The company will first turn its focus toward winning a parachain auction on Polkadot (DOT), and then release its first product, MantaPay, which enables private transacting for all parachain assets.
- Social media giant Facebook said it has chosen major crypto exchange Coinbase as its custody partner for its pilot of digital wallet Novi. For the pilot, Coinbase is supporting Novi via Coinbase Custody and its fully segregated cold storage capability for managing private keys, they added. Novi users who can participate in the pilot can acquire Pax Dollar (USDP), and will then be able to transfer USDP between each other. Facebook said they are starting to roll out "a small pilot" of the Novi app in Guatemala and the US. "The purpose of the pilot is for us to affirm our operational readiness and show that our Novi systems, such as our customer care response, compliance program, and core feature functions, are serving customers well," the company said.
- Research firm Fitch Ratings claims that stablecoins that approach a systemically important scale could come to play an important role in short-term securities markets. An illustrative scenario of stablecoin commercial paper (CP) holdings growth shows them potentially overtaking US money market funds (MMF) between 2023 and 2029, but “these assumptions are unlikely to be met in reality,” the team added.
- The US Treasury Department has stated in a report that cryptocurrencies could undermine the effectiveness of the US sanctions. “These technologies offer malign actors opportunities to hold and transfer funds outside the traditional dollar-based financial system,” the report said. It added that they could be used by adversaries “to build new financial and payments systems intended to diminish the dollar’s global role.”
- The e-cedi central bank digital currency (CBDC), which the Bank of Ghana is set to pilot, is seeking to facilitate transactions without the need for power or connectivity, Bloomberg reported. They are looking to employ smart cards that would let people without access to the internet or even electricity to use the CBDC in their everyday lives.
- Binance has announced the completion of their 17th quarterly binance coin (BNB) token burn of BNB 1,335,888 (USD 639m). Every quarter, Binance commits to burning BNB, until 50% of the total BNB supply (approximately BNB 100m) is removed from circulation.
- Banco Hipotecario, a state-owned bank from El Salvador, has announced the opportunity for developers across the world to participate in a so-called Bitcoin Bankathon, running for 3 weeks from November 19 until December 5. It will engage developers to build banking solutions that will enable Banco Hipotecario to offer bitcoin banking and financial services to all Salvadorans. Two weeks of the event will be held virtually, while the third will be in El Salvador.
- The Binance NFT Marketplace has announced the launch of “The AP Unique Moments” non-fungible token (NFT) collection, starting on October 19 and lasting through October 26. Each NFT features Associated Press’s most important news over the past 100 years.