Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- The security concern is what holds institutional investors back from investing in crypto and digital assets, found a survey, as Bloomberg reported. 79% of the respondents see asset custody as the key consideration whether to invest in this space. The report was commissioned by Nickel Digital Asset Management, and involved interviews with 50 wealth managers and 50 institutional investors – who collectively manage around USD 108.4bn – across the US, the UK, Germany, France, and the United Arab Emirates.
- Legendary hedge fund manager Ray Dalio stated in an interview with The Investors Podcast that he agrees with fellow billionaire Bill Miller’s suggestion that 1%–2% is the right allocation for bitcoin (BTC). Miller had suggested that “1% to 2% of your portfolio [should go to bitcoin], then if it goes to hell, you’ll be okay. If it does really well, as I believe it will over the next 10 years, then you’ll be glad you owned it.”
- Cash transfer company MoneyGram International (MGI) made a strategic minority investment in crypto cash exchange company Coinme, giving it a 4% ownership stake. The deal will close Coinme’s Series A funding round, and help support international expansion along with other growth plans.
- Bank of America (BofA) analyst Jason Kupferberg downgraded The Western Union to Underperform from Buy due to structural concerns related to competition from pure-play digital remittance providers and possible disruptive threats from newer technologies, Benzinga reported.
- CryptoSlam, an NFT industry data aggregator, closed an USD 9m funding round led by venture capital firm Animoca Brands. The new funding will be used for an “aggressive” hiring plan, platform expansion to support new and existing blockchains, and the launch of several new products, they said.
- Digital asset bank and trading platform Sygnum raised USD 90m in a funding round that valued it at USD 800m. The company plans to use the proceeds to develop new offerings, including yield-generating products and asset management solutions for institutional clients.
- Infrastructure middleware protocol Pocket Network has closed a strategic round of USD 10m led by Republic Capital, RockTree Capital, Arrington Capital, and C² Ventures.
- CryptoWire, a special business unit (SBU) of crypto stats provider TickerPlant, launched the first Indian cryptocurrency index called IC15 that will monitor the world’s top 15 cryptocurrencies listed on global exchanges, per India Today.
- Tribal, a B2B payment and financing platform for emerging markets, said it raised a new debt round of USD 40m. “This is one of the first hybrid debt rounds combining both fiat and stablecoins,” said Amr Shady, CEO of Tribal. The round is financed by Partners for Growth and Stellar Development Foundation to help Tribal expand its financing and payment services for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to new countries in Latin America, the company added.
- An official from the Thai Finance Ministry stated that profits from crypto trading are now subject to a 15% capital gains tax, Bangkok Post reported. The ministry recommends investors identify their income from cryptocurrencies when filing tax this year to avoid legal penalties.
- The Central Bank of Bahrain announced the completion of a test with Onyx by banking giant’s JPMorgan’s JPM Coin System, which allowed aluminum smelter Aluminium Bahrain (ALBA) to initiate real-time payments to their US-based counterparties.
- The top request users made of Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky was to enable cryptocurrency payments on the platform. While he did not explicitly state that the platform would be integrating crypto, he did say that they are “already working on some” of the products that were requested and “will look into others now.”
- The Australian Open is releasing a collection of 6,776 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that correspond to minuscule plots on the tennis tournament court’s surface, along with a virtual event for the competition on the metaverse platform Decentraland. Every winning shot from the tournament’s 600 matches will correspond to one of the collection’s NFTs.
- Web browser Opera announced a partnership with the decentralized internet company dWeb Foundation over the integration of the decentralized blockchain domain name system, Handshake (HNS). The integration should go live in the first half of 2022.
- Esports organization Team Vitality and blockchain project Tezos (XTZ) announced a partnership where Team Vitality rosters will represent the Tezos brand in esports and gaming. On the other hand, Tezos will educate fans on the benefits of blockchain as part of the gaming experience and showcase the advancements of these technologies.
- Hut 8 Mining stated they mined BTC 276 in December 2021, and that their total BTC balance held in reserve is 5,518 as of December 31, 2021, a 97% increase from the prior year-end. Additionally, they have increased their total hash rate by 125% compared to December 2020.
- Core Scientific announced it mined BTC 1,044 in December, BTC 2,498 in the fourth quarter, and BTC 5,769 in the full year, representing year-over-year increases of 313%, 235%, and 350%, respectively. At year-end 2021, it operated a fleet of approximately 67,000 miners for its own account, which represented 6.6 Exahash (EH/s), and 100,000 more ASICs are contracted for delivery in 2022.
- Arbix Finance, an audited yield farming platform, has been flagged as a “rugpull” by crypto security company CertiK as it reportedly deleted its site, Twitter, and Telegram channel and transferred USD 10m worth of deposited crypto.