Billionaires on Bitcoin, Binance Bans China, a16z’s Lobbying Operation + More News

Source: A video screenshot, Youtube/CNBC 

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

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Investments news

  • “I can’t tell you whether [BTC is] going to USD 80K or 0. But I do believe there is a huge role for a digitized currency,” Larry Fink, CEO of the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, told CNBC.
  • Meanwhile, Barry Sternlicht, an American billionaire and the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of investment fund Starwood Capital Group, explained why he owns BTC:
  • US-based crypto platform Voyager Digital Ltd. announced that the company itself, its wholly-owned subsidiary LGO Europe SAS and its leadership have been declared “Fit and Proper” to operate in France and the European Union. “Leveraging the recent acquisition of Coinify, which has fully compliant KYC and AML solutions as well as fiat on-ramps in over 20 currencies, Voyager is positioned for an initial launch of our trading app in certain European countries late in the March 2022 quarter,” Steve Ehrlich, CEO and Co-founder of Voyager, was quoted as saying.
  • Marcy Venture Partners, the venture capital firm co-founded by Shawn ‘JAY-Z’ Carter, is investing in spatial LABS (sLABS), a tech incubator with a focus on the metaverse and blockchain-based products, according to Billboard. sLABS aims to launch its first product next year called LNQ, a blockchain-enabled hardware platform that should provide young creators with better tools to utilize the metaverse.
  • Blockchain accelerator Morningstar Ventures has announced a USD 15m investment fund aimed at projects building with Elrond (EGLD) blockchain technology, as well as a new strategic Elrond Incubator in Dubai. The first project to receive a strategic placement from the Morningstar fund is holoride, a reality media platform that seeks to add new dimensions to every car ride through the use of Virtual Reality, in-motion sensors, and haptic feedback devices, with a content economy running on the Elrond blockchain.
  • Bitcoin mining firm Greenidge Generation Holdings plans to sell USD 50m worth of five-year bonds, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Greenidge expects to raise around USD 48.25m from the sale, which it will use to repay other debts and fund capital expenditure and future acquisitions.
  • Jambb, a digital comedy collectibles marketplace, said it has closed USD 3.5m in seed funding and announced that it is targeting an official launch on the Flow blockchain in early November. The round was co-led by Arrington Capital and Animoca Brands.

Exchanges news

  • Binance announced that it will delist the CNY trading zone and stop providing services to users in mainland China, as they state they withdrew from that region in 2017. Any users still found on the platform will have their accounts changed to “withdrawal only” and they will have to close their accounts within seven days.
  • Binance and S.S. Lazio S.p.A. have signed a partnership deal, with the exchange becoming the Club’s new Main Jersey Sponsor. The sponsoring partnership has a duration of two years with an option for a third one, for a total value, in the three-year period, between fixed and variable, of over EUR 30m (USD 34.7m), they said.
  • Crypto exchange Coinbase’s digital wallet has received the third-most complaints among top companies in the US operating such wallets over the past four years, according to consumer interest researcher Massachusetts Student Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG). The biggest crypto exchange in the US, Coinbase, received 1,060 complaints overall over a year-long period starting in May 2020, including those about its digital wallet and domestic and international money transfers.
  • The BetaShares Crypto Innovators exchange-traded fund (ETF) (CRYP) will be available soon on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), said the announcement. CRYP will aim to track the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators Index (before fees and expenses), developed by crypto-asset manager Bitwise.
  • Coinzo, one of Turkey’s largest crypto exchanges, said it is terminating its digital asset trading services. The platform said its website will remain online for the next six months to allow users to withdraw their holdings in cryptocurrency and Turkish fiat.
  • Crypto platform Currency.com has announced the launch of its over-the-counter crypto trading desk, Currency.com Prime. Aimed at high-net-worth individuals and institutional clients, the new trading desk will provide clients with trading solutions and private client advisory services to help them settle large volumes of cryptocurrency transactions.

Regulation news

  • Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) will send several executives to Washington, D.C. this week to tell leaders on Capitol Hill and in the White House why they should regulate the next generation of the internet, Web 3.0, reported CNBC. The company defined Web 3.0 as “a group of technologies that encompasses blockchain, cryptographic protocols, digital assets, decentralized finance and social platforms.” (Learn more: a16z Lays out Regulatory Proposal as SEC Chief Focuses On Consumer Protection)
  • Cryptocurrency operating licenses in Estonia should be revoked, and the system rebuilt from scratch, chief of the Money Laundering Bureau (RAB) Matis Mäeker told investigative weekly Eesti Ekspress. Failure to do so may result in another Danske-style financial scandal, he said. The news comes amid revelations that despite a cull of license-holders in 2020, over 400 cryptocurrency operators are still active in Estonia.

Adoption news

  • Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said it’s “a major priority” for the city to be able to pay government employees in BTC, according to Bloomberg. Miami will issue a request for proposal this month to help create that payment mechanism, and to let city residents pay fees, and potentially even taxes, in BTC.
  • SEBA Bank, a licensed digital assets banking platform, announced the launch of SEBA Earn, an institutional-grade solution enabling clients to earn yield on their crypto holdings. The launch caters to growing demand from institutions to manage a range of digital asset yield use cases from staking to decentralized finance (DeFi), and centralized lending and borrowing, they said.
  • Finastra and Bakkt announced plans to make Bakkt’s digital marketplace and wallet available through Finastra’s open developer platform and app store, FusionFabric.cloud. Through the partnership, Bakkt will be available to customers of community banks and credit unions, as part of Finastra’s Fusion Digital Banking solution, they said, adding that the solution will enable financial institutions to offer their account holders access to the crypto market.

NFTs news

  • Yuga Labs, the creators of the non-fungible token (NFT) project Bored Ape Yacht Club, have signed a representation deal with Guy Oseary, the manager of Madonna and U2, according to Variety. The initiatives that they’re working on together will be shared with the community “soon”, Oseary told the outlet.
  • International humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières has received USD 3.5m worth of ether (ETH) as a donation, drawn from the proceeds of an NFT sale. The donor, who remains anonymous, is “supported” by the Generative Art and Art Blocks NFT communities.
  • Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s media network Boardroom and Dapper Labs, the company behind CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot, announced a two-year brand partnership spanning sponsorship and activations across the sports business media network. The partnership will feature multiple touchpoints to bring NBA Top Shot platform “to life in unique ways with prominence for Durant across the platform,” they said.

M&A news

  • Distributed infrastructure connecting blockchain and big data Constellation has announced it has acquired a data analytics solution helping retail brand Dor. With the acquisition, Constellation will acquire and codify Dor’s foot traffic data and link this data with other large consumer datasets “without compromising privacy.”
  • Blockchain technology startup Elrond Network has announced the acquisition of Capital Financial Services S.A. (operated under the Twispay brand), a company licensed to operate an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) in the European Economic Area. This could let the company offer customers accounts with IBANs, associated debit cards, and payments with e-money currencies.

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