Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Terra (LUNA) ecosystem-focused non-profit The Luna Foundation Guard said it has closed a USD 1bn private token sale, one of the crypto industry’s largest sales to-date, for use in establishing a UST Forex Reserve denominated in bitcoin (BTC). The sale was led by Jump Crypto and Three Arrows Capital, with participation from other investors. The UST Forex Reserve is an initiative to provide a further layer of support using assets that are considered less correlated to the Terra ecosystem, initially with BTC but with plans to expand to other major non-correlated assets within the market moving forward, they added.
- Digital asset management firm Grayscale Investments announced the launch of a campaign to educate and encourage American investors to submit comments on its application with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to convert Grayscale Bitcoin Trust to a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).
- Crypto trading platform Amber Group raised USD 200m in a funding round led by Singaporean state investment firm Temasek, which brought their valuation to USD 2bn.
- Securitize, the digital asset securities firm, said it has acquired Pacific Stock Transfer for an unspecified sum. With over 1.2 million investor accounts and over 3,000 private and publicly traded clients, Securitize is now one of the top 10 largest stock transfer agencies in the US by accounts, as well as the first and only top 10 transfer agent to issue and manage shares digitally, they claimed.
- Investment management company Lighthouse Asset Management launched Lithuania’s first DeFi investment fund called the MEV Capital Stablecoin Enhanced Yield Fund. The fund, whose units are available only to professional investors, has a target size of USD 50m.
- Digital asset management firm CoinShares announced it has an Adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation (EBITDA) for the year ended December 2021 of GBP 121.7m (USD 165m), achieving an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 80%, with a total comprehensive income for the year of GBP 114.3m (USD 155m). Their total exchange-traded product assets under management (AUM) as of December 31 were at GBP 3.3bn (USD 4.47bn), while their CoinShares Blockchain Global Equity Index AUM was GPB 880.5m (USD 1.2bn) at the same time.
- The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) announced it has struck a deal to acquire trading tech solutions provider TORA for USD 325m. The deal includes TORA’s tech for order and execution management systems and portfolio management systems for customers trading equities, as well as infrastructure for fixed income, currencies, derivatives, and digital assets.
- According to Salvadoran Tourism Minister Morena Valdez, the tourism industry in El Salvador has surged more than 30% since the adoption of the bitcoin (BTC) law in September 2021, per the local news agency El Salvador News English. Prior to the bitcoin law enactment, the majority of visitors were coming from neighboring countries in Central America while now, as many as 60% of tourists come from the United States, it added.
- Bitpanda bought custodian wallet provider Trustology, to be rebranded to Bitpanda Custody. This will give the company the ability to perform custodian services in the UK alongside its EU operations, as Trustology is registered with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), they added.
- Digital assets banking platform SEBA Bank announced that it has secured a Financial Services Permission (FSP) from Abu Dhabi Global Market‘s (ADGM) Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) effective as of February 7, 2022. The FSP authorizes SEBA Bank to conduct regulated activities in the ADGM, including advising on investments or credit, arranging credit and custody, and arranging deals in investments.
- The bug bounty platform Immunefi revealed that blockchain platform Polygon (MATIC) recently patched a “high severity” vulnerability in the network’s proof-of-stake system that put billions of dollars at risk. However, white-hat hacker Niv Yehezkel reported the vulnerability on January 15, for which he received a bounty of USD 75,000.
- Californian State Senator Sydney Kamlager-Dove sponsored the Senate Bill 1275 which, if passed, would authorize a state agency to accept crypto as a method of payment for the provision of government services.
- El Salvador President Nayib Bukele said he will send Congress a proposal to grant citizenship to foreigners who invest in the Central American country, as well as include other initiatives to reduce government hurdles in order to attract investment projects, per Reuters. He did not specify whether the bills would be aimed exclusively at BTC-linked entrepreneurs.
- Luxury brand Dolce&Gabbana unveiled DGFamily, an NFT community in collaboration with digital luxury marketplace UNXD. Additionally, all members in the DGFamily will be able to purchase exclusive NFTs with a credit card, they said.
- The UK Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said it has uncovered an international crypto scam and over GBP 4m (over USD 5m) was returned to its victims. The force returned funds to 23 verified victims, while another 127 claims from various countries are being investigated by GMP officers working alongside partners in international law enforcement.
- Japan Exchange Group (JPX), the owner of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Exchange, warned the public against companies that are misleading Japanese investors by selling cryptoassets under the JPX brand after receiving reports about this issue.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that Nigeria’s eNaira central bank digital currency (CBDC) could pose money laundering risks and encouraged Nigeria’s central bank to conduct broad-based risk assessments alongside its current anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism protocols.
- Authorities in Kazakhstan said they have shut down 13 illegal crypto mines that together had an electricity capacity of 202 megawatts, and promised a continued crackdown on the industry.
- Audio streaming company Spotify is hiring a senior backend engineer to explore Web3 among other new technologies. The job listing also asks for experience leading explorations and prototyping new products.
- The team behind play-to-earn game ChainGuardians said it is launching a metaverse project called The Cryptoverse which aims to bring blockchain gaming to mass adoption. The Cryptoverse will feature its unique social mechanics including different social layers, gamification mechanics, as well as assets that can be owned by players: avatars, vehicles, buildings, land plots, all powered by interoperable non-fungible tokens (NFTs), they said.