19 May 2021 · 4 min read
Saxo Bank Has A New Crypto Offer, Ripple Gets New Partner + 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.
- Online trading and investment company Saxo Bank has launched a crypto offering enabling clients to trade bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), and litecoin (LTC) against EUR, USD, and JPY from a single margin account without the need to maintain a crypto wallet, according to an emailed press release. Due to the volatile nature of the instruments, retail clients can trade with 2:1 leverage and professional clients with 3:1 leverage. Crypto products are only available for UK clients qualified for a professional account. Saxo Bank said already offers clients access to 40 different cryptocurrency trackers and ETNs, which so far this year have seen trading volumes exceeding the turnover for the entire year of 2020 – a year in which volumes surged by 130%.
- Decentralized Ethereum exchange DeversiFi said it has raised USD 5m in a funding round led by alternative investment firm ParaFi. This amount is made up of 12.5% of their DVF tokens to “long-term supporters,” and the funds will be used to onboard new team members and expand operations.
- Crypto broker GlobalBlock has announced the purchase of blockchain technology company Helix Applications, subject to regulatory approval, for a price of GBP 32m (USD 45m). Helix will be changing its name and provide digital asset trading services through GlobalBlock’s own platform, the emailed press release stated.
- Michael Hsu, the new acting comptroller of the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), will be taking a closer look at crypto-related guidance issued by his predecessor. While he said that he would “keep an open mind,” he also added, “I am committed to ensuring that OCC-supervised banks operate in a safe and sound manner, meet the credit needs of their communities, treat all customers fairly, and comply with laws and regulations.”
- Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, said he is lobbying US lawmakers in order to “establish relationships and help answer questions about crypto.”
- Details have emerged about the South Korean main opposition party’s new crypto task force. The task force is the brainchild of the People Power Party, which is hoping to oust the ruling Democratic Party in next year’s general elections, and is set to make crypto policy a major part of its manifesto. Per TV Chosun, the task force’s first meeting is slated for Friday this week and the group comprises at least six MPs, including Yoon Chang-hyun, the former Chairman of the Korea Institute of Finance, a key economic think-tank, and Lee Young, a cryptography expert.
- The Russian parliament, the State Duma, has voted in favor of a bill that will require candidates in elections to disclose their crypto earnings in the three years prior to their candidacy. Per Prime, a new draft bill passed its first reading in the house. It will now return to the committee phase before facing a second, decisive reading. But in its current form, the bill seeks to oblige all candidates running in Russian elections to provide information about their own expenditure, that of their spouses and those carried in their children’s names (if their children are younger than 18) in transactions involving the acquisition of “digital currencies.”
- Listed crypto miner Riot Blockchain said it increased mining revenue by 881% to USD 23.2m in the first quarter of this year. It also made a "record net income" of USD 7.5m, compared to a USD 4.3m net loss in the first quarter of 2020.
- Blockchain-based digital payments platform Ripple has announced a partnership with the National Bank of Egypt, which will
connect them to UAE-based financial service provider LuLu International Exchange to process cross-border payments between the UAE and Egypt. Egypt has a large diaspora in the UAE that made up USD 24b in remittances to Egypt in 2020 alone, and this partnership will serve to ease the friction between the two, they added.
- Decentralized marketplace Maple Finance has launched its inaugural lending pool of USD 17m, with nine borrowers that include the likes of Alameda Research, Framework Labs, Wintermute, and Amber Group, where each loan is capped at USD 2m. The initial institutional lenders included Blockchain.com and Coinshares, they said.
- Spain’s Criptan crypto exchange has teamed up with Mastercard to issue a new crypto-powered card, reported El Pais. The exchange said that its card would allow customers to pay in BTC, ETH, or LTC anywhere in Spain where Mastercard is accepted. The head of Mastercard Spain was quoted as stating: “From our perspective, we want to make it easier for customers to choose how they make payments. There is a growing interest in cryptoassets.”
- Coinbase is launching its own media operation, Axios reported. The idea seems still to be in its early stages, and content would be aimed both at retail and at institutional investors alike, in order to draw more clients to the platform.
- Digital asset financial services company BitGo has announced that Cassandra “Cassie” Lentchner has been appointed as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company. Lentchner worked on BitLicense, overseeing its regulatory approval, when serving as Deputy Superintendent of Compliance for New York Department of Finance Services (NYDFS).
- Berlin-based crypto bank Bitwala has rebranded itself to Nuri, and launched a redesigned web and mobile app, the company announced. This is part of their development and growth strategy, where “the mobile and web app have been redesigned to appeal to a wider audience and create a foundation for the launch of further innovative products in the near future,” they said.