14 Jun 2021 · 5 min read

MicroStrategy Gets USD 500M To Spend on BTC, Goldman Sachs' ETH plan + 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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Source: Adobe/monticellllo

Investments news

  • MicroStrategy confirmed that it has raised USD 500m in order to buy more bitcoin (BTC). They would spend USD 488m of this sum on BTC. The company said that it now owns approximately BTC 92,079 (USD 3.75bn) that are being held by a newly formed subsidiary, MacroStrategy LLC.
  • Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs plans to offer options and futures trading in ethereum (ETH) in the coming months, Bloomberg reported, citing Mathew McDermott, head of digital assets at the bank. He also said the bank also plans to facilitate trades via exchange-traded notes tracking BTC. “Institutional adoption will continue. Despite the material price correction, we continue to see a significant amount of interest in this space,” he was quoted as saying.
  • 81% of surveyed investors (3,671 in total) are more bullish than before, following the recent sell-off in crypto markets, according to cryptoasset broker Voyager Digital’s Q2 2021 Retail Investor Sentiment Survey. 87% of the respondents plan to increase their crypto holdings over the next quarter, compared to 80% in the previous survey. Based on a sample set of more than 1.6m verified users, the results show that 18% claim that BTC will exceed USD 71,000 by the end of Q3 2021 (down from 20%), 28% said USD 41,000-USD 55,000, and 39% predicted USD 56,000-USD 70,000.

Regulation news

  • The US SEC released its regulatory agenda for the spring and summer, and it does not include crypto. The agenda presents three stages of rulemaking - prerule, proposed rule, and final rule - and it's focused on special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), short sale disclosures, gamification of trading platforms like Robinhood, loaning or borrowing securities, money market fund reforms, cybersecurity, climate change disclosures, etc.
  • The spread of cryptocurrencies without any clear regulation is a cause for concern and could damage the way the market operates, Paolo Savona the head of Italy’s stock market regulator, said today, per Reuters. “If it takes too long at a European level to come up with a solution, (Italy) will have to take its own measures,” he was quoted as saying.
  • The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission has banned digital asset exchanges from trading meme- or fan-based tokens, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and exchange-issued tokens, the Bangkok Post reported.
  • Argentina’s central bank, the Banco Central de la República Argentina (BCRA), said it is investigating nine fintech firms over their crypto links. The BCRA stated that the firms were suspected of providing customers with “unauthorized financial” services that it says can only be offered in the nation by entities that hold banking licenses. The firms, it added, appear to be offering access to “investment projects that use cryptoassets as a tool for savings.”
  • Block.one, the developer of EOSIO, an open-sourced blockchain software, has entered into a USD 27.5m settlement to resolve the class action lawsuit launched by the Crypto Assets Opportunity Fund (CAOF) related to the company’s June 2017 - June 2018 token sale, and allegations that the company misled investors and inflated the EOS price. Block.one said it "believes this lawsuit was without merit and filled with numerous inaccuracies," but that the settlement will enable the team to focus on running their business.

Mining news

  • Bitcoin mining difficulty, or the measure of how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, dropped 5.3% on Sunday during the latest difficulty adjustment. It's the second drop in a row, bringing the difficulty down to 19.93 T, or the lowest it's been since late December 2020, as hashrate, or the computing power of the Bitcoin network dropped, due to a recent crackdown on BTC mining in China.
  • Mining farms in Kazakhstan might be a subject of the new tax: one tenge (USD 0.0023) per kilowatt per hour of electricity consumed during the mining process, Kursiv.kz reported. The new requirement is a part of amendments to the Tax Code of Kazakhstan, which were approved by Mazhilis and are now under review in Senat (the upper chamber of the parliament), the report added.
  • Canadian Bitcoin mining company Hut 8 Mining Corp. said that it has agreed with Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. on a bought deal worth CAD 100m (USD 82.25m) and that it expects its shares to begin trading on the Nasdaq on or about June 15, according to MarketWatch. The company's underwriters have agreed to acquire 20m units at CAD 5 (USD 4.1) apiece. The proceeds will be used to fund the expansion of Hut 8's crypto operations.

CBDCs news

  • Spain’s biggest political party has submitted a bill in parliament that – if passed – would see the country introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The draft bill is the brainchild of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), the party of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, and also the party with the most seats in both houses. It was published in the parliamentary bulletin – and proposes creating a token that would be issued by the Spanish central bank but pegged to the euro.

Crime news

  • Crypto scams are “skyrocketing” in China, per a report from Finance and Economic Media (via Sina). Recently released, government-compiled statistics showed that “security incidents in the blockchain sector in 2020” increased by nearly 240% on 2019 figures, with criminals seeking to exploit the fact that most ordinary people have “limited knowledge of cryptoassets.” The media outlet also quoted a Yunnan Province power official as stating that miners operating in the province were likely to be shut down by the end of June.

Blockchain news

  • Computing giant IBM said it has contributed code to the enterprise blockchain network Hyperledger, in order to make it easier to develop and deploy blockchain solutions for business. This includes the underlying code for the IBM Blockchain Platform Console — a user interface (UI) that will form what is now the Fabric Operations Console, which allows different platforms to integrate with a Hyperledger Fabric network, thus enhancing standardization.

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(Updated at 16:40 UTC: with a paragraph about Goldman Sachs.)