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Today in Crypto: UBS Launches Tokenized Money Market Fund Pilot on Ethereum, $8BN was a ‘Rounding Error’ to SBF

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

Tokenisation news

  • Major fund house UBS Asset Management has launched a pilot of a tokenized money market fund represented as a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. Per the announcement, the pilot utilizes the firm’s in-house tokenization service, UBS Tokenize, and enables UBS Asset Management to carry out various activities, including fund subscriptions and redemptions. The “first live pilot” of a tokenized Variable Capital Company (VCC) fund is part of a wider VCC umbrella designed to bring various “real world assets” on-chain as part of Project Guardian, a collaborative industry initiative led by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), global wealth manager and major Swiss universal bank UBS stated. 

Legal news

  • FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried considered the billions of dollars in missing funds a “rounding error”, biographer Michael Lewis told CBS’s 60 Minutes. Asked what the toughest question Bankman-Fried has to answer, Lewis said it’s how did the former CEO not know that $8 billion that did not belong to him was in his private fund. Per Lewis, Bankman-Fried said: “You have to understand that when it went in there, it was a rounding error, that it felt like we had infinity dollars in there, that I wasn’t even thinking about it.” Lewis added that “you don’t understand Sam Bankman-Fried unless you understand that he turns everything into a game. Everything is gamified.” 
  • FTX‘s former auditing firm Prager Metis has been sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for entering into contracts with clients that violated auditor independence rules. Between December 2017 and October 2020, the press release claimed, Prager improperly included indemnification provisions in engagement letters for more than 200 audits, reviews, and exams. Per the court filing, Prager Metis auditor independence violations affected 62 SEC Registrant Clients “from which Defendants collectively earned more than $3,000,000 in fees.” 

Investment news

  • Crypto-focused investment firm Deus X Capital announced its launch today, led by Tim Grant, the former head of crypto investor Galaxy Digital Holdings‘ European business, according to multiple reports. Prior to this, Grant worked at UBS and was the CEO of SIX Digital Exchange. The new company has $1 billion in assets under management, capital, and stakes in Netrios, Galaxy, and SEBA, among others. It plans to deploy its capital across private equity, venture capital, venture building, and fund allocation opportunities.

Regulation news

  • GSR, a global cryptocurrency trading firm and liquidity provider, today announced that its Singapore subsidiary, GSR Markets Pte. Ltd. (GSR Singapore), has received In-Principle Approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a Major Payment Institution licence. Per the press release, this licence “represents a milestone in the Group’s regulatory journey and allows GSR Singapore to better serve the cryptocurrency community.” GSR will be working towards a full licence, it stated. 

Exchange news

  • Turskish crypto exchange Bitay has started offering its services to crypto investors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to the press release, the UAE is recognized as one of the top three countries in the Crypto Adoption Index by Henley & Partners, evidencing high crypto adoption levels. The exchange said that it offers over 850 pairs and over 350 cryptocurrencies, using more than 20 local currencies, extending its reach to over 200 countries.