15 Dec 2021 · 6 min read
More Banking Giants Eye Crypto, New Investment Products, US Debt Ceiling + 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.
- German banks Commerzbank and Volks- und Raiffeisenbank have started developing concepts to enable customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported. While the former bank is working “intensively” on the subject of crypto, the latter is still “pushing ahead” on deciding whether the bank should offer crypto services.
- Switzerland’s largest online bank, Swissquote, is planning to launch a crypto exchange early next year to meet clients’ surging demand for digital assets, per Finews.asia. The exchange should launch before the end of the first half of 2022, and the bank aims to become the leading Swiss provider of digital assets.
- Digital asset banking platform SEBA is offering a stablecoin that serves as a token for digital ownership of gold, to be backed by physical gold, “ready for any time on-demand delivery.” The company said the token differs from other gold derivative investment products, such as exchange-traded funds or over-the-counter contracts, because investors can redeem the physical metal at any time.
- Crypto storage firm Anchorage has raised USD 350m in a Series D funding round led by global investment firm KKR. The round puts them at a USD 3bn valuation, and the funds will be used to grow the team and further assist their clients.
- Digital asset firm Securitize is launching two tokenized funds that will track crypto indexes from S&P Dow Jones Indices: the Cryptocurrency Large Cap Ex-MegaCap Index and the Kensho New Economies Composite Index, Bloomberg reported. These funds will only be available to accredited investors.
- Trading app Robinhood acquired cross-exchange trading platform Cove Markets to make it easier for customers to manage their crypto accounts. The crypto team will focus on “obtaining quality executions for customers in the crypto market,” Robinhood said in the post, but the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Provider of blockchain and cryptocurrency financial services for institutions Galaxy Digital Holdings announced the launch of the Galaxy Solana Funds, passively managed funds that seek to track the performance of the newly-launched Bloomberg Galaxy Solana Index (ticker: SOL). The Funds seek to measure the performance of solana (SOL) and are designed to provide institutional investors access to returns based on the performance of SOL.
- There’s a surge in asset values, from stocks to real estate and contemporary art, and as well as a significant impact from cryptocurrency wealth that could benefit luxury-goods makers, reported Bloomberg, citing Jefferies International analyst Flavio Cereda’s note. Due to this, luxury investors worried about China have the US to turn to.
- Travel Rule solutions provider VerifyVASP has announced that it has secured a strategic investment from blockchain data platform Chainalysis. The investment will see Chainalysis solutions applied to the VerifyVASP concept to establish a more robust and comprehensive Travel Rule solution, they said.
- Step Finance, the front page of Solana, has launched a USD 5m fund to reward users in building data tools for the Solana ecosystem. The goal of the fund is to encourage developers to build out a suite of products so that users can have a pulse on the latest trends and analytics.
- Investing companies Solana Ventures, Forte, and Griffin Gaming Partners have pledged to invest USD 150m in Web 3.0 game builders, per Reuters. The initiative is the second major investment Solana Ventures has made into the blockchain’s gaming ecosystem, the first being a USD 100m fund, while Griffin says it has now invested over USD 400m into gaming and Web 3.0 companies in the past two years.
- Global venture accelerator Brinc has announced the closing of its USD 30m Series B fundraise and a further USD 100m for startup investments, led by Hong Kong unicorn Animoca Brands. The new capital will fuel their platform expansion, as well as an expansion into Web 3.0 including the launch of new blockchain-focused accelerator programs.
- Warsaw-founded, London-based crypto payments startup Ramp has announced a USD 52.7m Series A round, led by venture capital firm Balderton - with the round taking the total raised by Ramp to USD 63m, Balderton announced. Existing participating investors include NFX, Galaxy Digital, Seedcamp, Firstminute Capital, as well as angel investors including Taavet Hinrikus and Francesco Simonesci, per EU-Startups.
- The US Congress has approved a measure raising the nation’s debt limit by USD 2.5trn dollars, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said would allow finance the government’s obligations past the 2022 midterm elections and into 2023, Reuters reported, adding that Congress has raised the debt limit nearly 80 times since 1960. (Learn more: This Is What Might Happen if the US Defaults on Debt)
- Basketball star Kevin Durant and his company Thirty Five Ventures have signed a multi-year deal with Coinbase Global Inc. to promote the crypto platform across his businesses. Durant will appear in advertising as a face of the brand, while Coinbase will link up with his sports site, Boardroom, for digital ads and sponsored content about crypto, as well as put money into Durant’s foundation to support his youth programs.
- Binance established a joint venture with a consortium led by MDI Ventures to develop a new Indonesian-based digital asset exchange. Binance will provide their asset management infrastructure and technology to support the development of the new exchange platform.
- Upstream, the digital stock exchange and trading app powered by Horizon Fintex and MERJ Exchange Limited, announced that it will offer the dual listing capability to US NASDAQ and over-the-counter market issuers and international stock exchanges including EURONEXT, TSX, and CSE. The dual listing grants issuers access to a global digital first investor-base which can now trade US and international equities using USD coin (USDC), credit card, debit card, PayPal, or USD.
- Coinbase announced that their Coinbase Wallet will soon be able to support non-fungible tokens (NFTs), giving users the ability to view their collections and access NFT marketplaces. They didn’t specify an exact date for the rollout but said users will need to have the latest version of the browser extension installed to access the features.
- An unreleased recording of Whitney Houston – a demo track she had recorded at age 17 – was sold as an NFT for USD 999,999, the NFT OneOf platform announced today. As reported, the winner of the auction is the only person to have access to the recording along with a one-of-a-kind video NFT.
- Bitcoin (BTC) miner CleanSpark has seen its revenue rise 400% in its 2021 fiscal year, but the company also recorded a net loss of USD 21.8m. For the year ended September 30, CleanSpark generated USD 49.4m in revenue, up from about USD 10m the previous year, where more than USD 27m came in its fourth quarter as bitcoin’s price rose.
- Dapp information provider DappRadar has launched its native RADAR token, confirming that the token will have no pre-sale, said the press release. The RADAR token will be airdropped to “loyal DappRadar users and partners, as well as to long-term dapp users,” while token rewards for participation are planned for the future. There are four token utilities listed: access to premium features, staking and governance, payments, and participation rewards.