Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Investment firm VanEck filed a new draft prospectus for a bitcoin (BTC) futures mutual fund with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Their Bitcoin Strategy Fund will invest in bitcoin futures contracts, as well as pooled investment vehicles and exchange-traded products that provide exposure to bitcoin, but not in the asset directly.
- Crypto payments solution MoonPay said it has acquired a stake in European provider of digital asset business accounts BCB Group, according to an emailed press release. The two businesses will work together to further enable additional fiat rails and cryptocurrency services to their respective clients and to expand their offerings worldwide. No further details about the transaction were provided.
- Swiss wealth management company Criptonite announced its strategic partnership with digital asset investment manager Wave Financial, the emailed announcement stated. The partnership will address the increasing demand from European investors for new, secure and regulated crypto-asset investment products, it said.
- Digital Currency Group, the parent company of Grayscale Investments, has authorized the purchase of up to USD 50m worth of shares of Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust. The purchase is planned to be made on the open market with cash on hand, but no timing has been announced.
- Cryptocurrency mining company BIT Mining announced that it had delivered its first batch of 320 mining machines to Kazakhstan. The batch, which has a theoretical maximum hash rate capacity of 18.2 PH/s is expected to be deployed and in operation by June 27, 2021, while a second and third batches are supposed to be delivered to the country by the beginning of July.
- Iranian police have seized 7,000 computer miners at an illegal cryptocurrency farm, their largest haul to date of the energy-guzzling machines that have exacerbated power outages in Iran, Reuters reported, citing state media.
- Brian Nelson, the Biden administration’s nominee to head the Treasury Department’s terrorism and financial intelligence division, said that if he’s confirmed, he will “prioritize implementing [the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020], including new regulations around cryptocurrency,” as this law granted new authorities to officials to regulate currencies “in whatever form,” Bloomberg reported.
- Derivatives trading platform Bybit is operating an unlicensed crypto trading platform in Ontario, Canada, the Ontario Securities Commission stated. All crypto trading platforms in this jurisdiction have been notified that they need to bring their operations into compliance with Ontario securities law by April, but Bybit has yet to comply with this, the authority added.
- The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) is calling for any potential digital euro projects to uphold a very high standard of privacy and data protection. The body in charge of development should perform a high-level data protection impact assessment, while the EDPB will stand ready to offer any advice necessary, they said.
- Investors who bought bitcoin and other cryptoassets on exchanges outside of India may have to pay a 2% “equalization levy,” according to a report by The Economic Times. Citing “people in the know,” the article stated that the tax department is now looking into whether the new levy is applicable on crypto bought online by Indians from overseas exchanges.
- Bakkt Holdings, the digital asset marketplace behind the Bakkt App, said it has expanded its offerings with a new virtual Bakkt Visa Debit Card. The card allows customers to use their bitcoin and cash balances to purchase everyday goods and services online or in-store wherever Apply Pay or Google PayTM are accepted, the company said in an emailed announcement.
- Auction house Sotheby’s said it will let bidders purchase a 101.38-carat diamond, expected to fetch up to USD 15m, for unspecified cryptocurreny. They added that no other physical object of such high value has previously been available for sale with cryptocurrency.
- The South Korean software giant Hancom has established a new crypto subsidiary, reported Maeil Kyungjae. The firm, which is famous for developing the Hangul word processor and the Hancom suite of office solutions for PCs, has moved into the blockchain and crypto spheres of late, with plans afoot to launch a “digital asset” exchange. The new subsidiary, named Arowana Hub, will be fronted by the former head of the Hancom MDS software development arm, and will explore business lines such as token-powered payment platforms.
- Tristan Rattink, former head of studio at Hyper Hippo Entertainment, has been appointed general manager of NBA Top Shot by Dapper Labs, the Canada-based firm behind the basketball tie-in. Among other things, Rattink will work on optimizing the non-fungible token (NFT) series Moments, by providing additional utility and ironing out the tech.
(Updated at 16:33 UTC with an announcement by Bakkt.)