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Grayscale Replaces XRP With Bitcoin, Ether, LTC, and BCH + More news

Grayscale Replaces XRP With Bitcoin, Ether, LTC, and BCH + More news 101
Source: Adobe/John Hurst

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

Investing news

  • Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund said it has removed XRP and used cash proceeds to purchase the remaining fund components: bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and bitcoin cash (BCH). Prior to the sale of XRP on January 4, 2021, XRP was approximately 1.46% of the fund. As of January 04, the fund had USD 282.6m in assets under managament.
  • Alternative investment manager SkyBridge Capital has announced the launch of the SkyBridge Bitcoin Fund LP. According to the press release, the fund "provides mass-affluent investors with an institutional-grade vehicle to gain exposure to Bitcoin," to buy and sell the asset, while SkyBridge also initiated a position on behalf of its flagship funds valued at approximately USD 310m at the time of the announcement, in funds investing in BTC during November and December 2020, it said. The firm and its affiliates have invested USD 25.3m to launch the product. Fidelity will serve as custodian, and Ernst & Young will audit the fund.
  • Simon Seojun Kim, the CEO of South Korean blockchain accelerator Hashed, has stated that BTC will hit the USD 100,000 mark before the end of 2021, reported Maeil Kungjae. The CEO claimed that bitcoin scarcity would help drive up the price of the token on exchanges, adding that as exchanges run low on sellers, “a steady and solid bitcoin bull market” would dominate in 2021, with institutional investors also helping drive up prices. But the CEO’s optimism was not shared by 53% of the users of a popular South Korean crypto wallet service named Dove Wallet. In a survey conducted by the operator, over half of the almost 2,400 respondents said they thought bitcoin will drop below the USD 20,000 mark again soon, reported Fn News.
  • NexTech AR Solutions, a provider of virtual and augmented reality experience technologies among other services, has announced that it has increased its BTC ownership to approximately BTC 130.187 at an aggregate cost of USD 4m. The press release added that the company may add more in 2021.
  • Voyager Digital, a listed crypto-asset broker, said its preliminary fiscal 2021 second quarter revenue is expected to increase 75% from the first fiscal quarter of 2021 to USD 3.5m, an increase of 3,877% from the prior year fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2019. The company now has over USD 265m in assets under management.

Exchanges news

  • Digital investment platform Uphold said it has decided to continue listing XRP "unless and until the [US Securities and Exchange Commission] SEC’s complaint against Ripple is adjudicated to legally determine that XRP is currently a security, or until trading volume dissipates to a point where we can no longer support XRP." Per the press release, the platform finds that other exchanges will adopt a similar stance instead of "rushing to judgment ahead of the court’s decision." The first pre-trial hearing takes place on February 22 before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Regulation news

  • Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey stated in an open letter that the new AML/KYC (anti-money laundering / know-your-customer) regulations proposed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) would result in customers avoiding "regulated entities for cryptocurrency transactions, driving them to use non-custodial wallets or services outside the US." He added that "by adding hurdles that push more transactions away from regulated entities like Square into non-custodial wallets and foreign jurisdictions, FinCEN will actually have less visibility into the universe of cryptocurrency transactions than it has today."

Mining news

  • The9, a Nasdaq-listed, Shanghai-based mobile gaming and internet firm, said it has received a funding boost that will power the launch of a crypto mining operation via a subsidiary firm. In a document filed with the American regulatory Securities and Exchanges Commission, the firm stated that it had entered into a “legally binding cooperation and investment term sheet with several investors in the cryptocurrencies mining industry” including two former executives at the crypto mining hardware manufacturer Caanan. These were named as Jianping Kong, the former Director and Co-Chairman at Canaan, and Qifeng Sun, the former Canaan Director. The gaming firm will channel its efforts through its NBTC subsidiary and claimed, “Our goal is to build up cryptocurrencies mining machines for The9 that will contribute 8% to 10% of the global hash rate of Bitcoin and 10% of the global hash rate of Ethereum.

Blockchain news

  • A number of blockchain solutions developed by leading commercial bank the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have received approval from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Per the China Securities Journal, the ICBC has been pioneering solutions for a number of industries, all making use of blockchain technology – including credit transfer, trade financing, fund management, and capital management solutions.

M&A news

  • Braiins, the company behind Slush Pool and the Stratum V2 protocol for pooled mining, said it has acquired the remaining ownership stake in Slush Pool from the pool’s founder, Marek Palatinus, nicknamed Slush. Braiins has been the majority stakeholder and sole operator of the pool since 2013, so nothing will change in terms of its operations. The company, led by Jan Capek and Pavel Moravec, has shifted their focus towards building out a full-stack solution for the future mining industry, with the pool being only one component, said the announcement.

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