Metromile Goes Extra Mile With BTC, Crypto Investor Protection + 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.

Source: iStock/da-kuk

Adoption news

  • Metromile, a listed digital insurance platform and pay-per-mile auto insurer, said it will soon allow policyholders the option to pay for insurance and receive payment for eligible and approved insured claims in bitcoin (BTC) or dollars. The company added it will purchase USD 10m of BTC in Q2 2021 to adopt cryptocurrency as an additional choice for insurance premiums and payment of claims.
  • Bakkt Holdings, the digital asset marketplace behind the Bakkt App, announced a strategic partnership with Cantaloupe, a digital payments and software services company that provides end-to-end technology solutions for the unattended retail market, to bring a new, cashless experience for consumers to spend digital assets at unattended retail devices. Through the partnership, in addition to cash, debit and credit card, or mobile wallet, consumers will soon have the choice and flexibility to pay for products with cryptocurrency and supported loyalty points across Cantaloupe’s nationwide network, they said.
  • Crypto and NFT platform said it is now the official crypto partner of the Italian football league Lega Serie A, and the partnership will result in a special NFT collection commemorating the league final match between Atalanta and Juventus on May 19th.

Exchanges news

  • Dunamu, an operator of crypto exchange Upbit, said that it will spend KRW 10bn (USD 8.9m) to set up a unit to protect crypto investors, The Korea Herald reported. The investor protection center will operate a wide range of programs and campaigns, including those to conduct research projects, prevent fraud, and provide legal assistance and financial support for victims of crimes involving virtual coins, it added.
  • Coinbase said that the company is moving to a completely remote workspace and disbanding their headquarters. Their current headquarters, located in San Francisco, will be closing in 2022 in the spirit of decentralization as “it’s important to show our decentralized workforce that no one location is [more] important than the [other].”
  • Resorts World Las Vegas and Gemini announced a partnership to explore future opportunities which would allow patrons to use their Gemini crypto wallet to enhance the integrated resort experience. "This partnership aims to make Resorts World Las Vegas one of the most crypto-friendly resorts on the Las Vegas Strip," they said in an emailed announcement.
  • The Spain, Valencia-based crypto exchange Criptan has made a raft of new executive appointments as it targets growth in the Latin America region, beginning in Mexico. Per the media outlet Valencia Plaza, the firm has launched the Criptan MX subsidiary, as well as appointing a new Chief Technology Officer, Chief Product Officer and a new marketing chief. The company added that its CriptanPay gateway, which allows companies to offer their clients crypto pay options, now has 10 fully integrated partners with 20 more firms set to follow suit.

Investments news

  • An earnings report by e-commerce giant Mercado Libre shows that the company has purchased USD 7.8m worth of bitcoin (BTC). The purchase happened in the first quarter of 2021, as part of their treasury strategy.
  • American financial services and bank holding company State Street Corporation has launched a Bitcoin Thematic Indicator series that quantifies media coverage of the asset to gauge the market sentiment. The tool’s purpose is to help institutional investors make informed decisions when planning their portfolios.
  • Mexican crypto trading platform Bitso has become a unicorn as its valuation reached USD 2.2bn, following a Series C round of funding that injected them with a total of USD 250m, the Entrepreneur reported, adding that this deal makes them the first crypto company in Latin America to be valued more than USD 1bn.
  • Swedish crypto broker Safello’s initial public offering (IPO) was oversubscribed by 1,240%—with a total of SEK 40.5m (USD 4.8m) available, the recorded interest came up to SEK 502m. The issue will see the company receiving around 1,500 new shareholders, but not all subscribers will receive the allotment.
  • South Korean blockchain company Streami Inc. has announced that they’ve received a strategic investment from US-based major crypto company Digital Currency Group (DCG), making the latter their second-largest shareholder.
  • Custom NFT startup Bitski has raised USD 19m in a Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz, according to TechCrunch. The startup is looking to simplify the entrance into NFT creation for brands and artists that may not be fully sold on crypto as a whole, with one of their early partners being Adidas.
  • Upshot, a blockchain-based protocol that "incentivizes experts to answer subjective questions honestly," said it has raised USD 7.5m in Series A funding co-led by Framework Ventures, CoinFund, Blockchain Capital, and other investors. "The company’s first product - Upshot One - is specifically designed to tackle the problem of NFT price-discovery by incentivizing a community of experts to provide trustworthy, efficient appraisals of NFTs," they said in an emailed announcement.
  • VanEck has launched a new thematic equity exchange-traded fund (ETF) in Europe providing exposure to companies deriving significant revenue from the digital assets ecosystem. The VanEck Vectors Digital Assets Equity UCITS ETF has listed on London Stock Exchange in US dollars (DAPP LN) and pound sterling (DAGB LN) and on Deutsche Börse in euros (DAVV GY), ETF Strategy reported.

Regulation news

  • International blockchain security company CoolBitX announced their partnership with global data & technology company ComplyAdvantage, in order to produce an all-in-one solution for Financial Action Task Force (FATF) compliance on anti-money laundering for the virtual asset industry. The solution will be integrated with CoolBitX’s Sygna Gate compliance solution that is set to launch at the end of June 2021.

Blockchain news

  • Finnish telecommunications company Nokia has launched a blockchain-powered Data Marketplace that will facilitate the sharing of both data and AI models. Both communication service providers and enterprises will be able to become data marketplace providers and monetize data exchanges between all levels of participants.

CBDCs news

  • Kazakhstan’s central bank has announced that it is preparing to launch a pilot for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) project. The National Bank of Kazakhstan stated that its prototype digital tenge will be piloted with private-sector financial industry participants. The bank has also issued a public consultation paper and said it wants to explore the potential impact the token would have on monetary policy, financial stability, and the national payments ecosystem.

Mining news

  • Crypto miners will also have to pay tax from next year in South Korea – in addition to crypto traders, who will also face a flat-rate 20% tax bill on their profits. According to a report from Donga, miners earning tokens worth over around USD 2,225 will be liable to pay up from next year, but will be allowed to deduct their electricity bills from the taxable total. Miners will be asked to submit tax declarations in May every year and will have to detail the fiat won value of all the tokens they have mined in the course of the previous financial year.