Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- OKCoin said it will integrate the Lightning Network into the OKCoin exchange in Q1 2021. The Lightning Network is a layer 2 protocol that operates on top of the Bitcoin (BTC) network and provides a scaling solution for faster bitcoin transactions at much lower network fees.
- Singapore Exchange Ltd and Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings said they have entered into a joint venture (JV), which is set to be Asia Pacific’s first exchange-led digital asset venture focused on capital markets workflows through smart contracts, ledger and tokenization technologies. The JV will look to partner with fixed income issuance platforms to connect to its post-trade and asset servicing infrastructure, providing issuers, arranger banks, lawyers, investors and paying agents with a comprehensive, issuance-to-settlement network for Asia bonds, they added.
- The Brazilian crypto exchange Mercado Bitcoin has received an investment boost of just under USD 40m, and said that it is targeting a wider Latin America expansion in the year ahead. In a press release, Mercado Bitcoin said that it would use the funds to develop a wallet service that it claims is currently being “regulated” by the Central Bank, as well as debut new crypto custodial service offerings. The latest investment round was spearheaded by the alternative investment company GP Investimentos and the Brazilian fintech and IT startup incubator Parallax Ventures.
- Binance’s legal team has successfully overturned a block on the exchange giant’s site in Russia. Per RBC, a court in the city of Arkhangelsk has removed the Binance.com/ru domain from the Unified Register of Prohibited Internet Resources. The decision to block the site was made back in September 2020. The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media said at the time that the reason that it had placed Binance’s Russian site on its blacklist was due to the fact that the website operator was “illegally distributing information” about means of acquiring tokens such as BTC.
- US-based major digital asset manager Grayscale Investments might be preparing to launch another five trusts: Basic Attention Token, Chainlink, Decentraland, Livepeer, and Tezos, according to fillings with Delaware’s corporations registry made in December 2020.
- NexTech AR Solutions, a provider of virtual and augmented reality solutions, said it has sold its BTC 130.187 and booked approximately a USD 200,000 profit. The company said it decided to sell BTC, held only for a few weeks, due to wrongful and largely debunked reports about double-spent BTC yesterday. “I have decided to move to cash as this story is still unfolding,” NexTech CEO, Evan Gappelberg, said.
- The Russian banking heavyweight Sberbank has unveiled plans to launch a digital asset. Per Prime, Anatoly Popov, the deputy chairman of the bank’s board told reporters that Sberbank has “filed an application with the Central Bank” that, if accepted, will see it register a platform that issues a digital token named Sbercoin. Popov indicated that he expected the token to launch as early as Spring this year. The token will likely be a stablecoin pegged to the fiat ruble. Both Popov and Sberbank supremo Herman Gref have previously spoken about the idea of launching a token that would become “a settlement tool” for “other digital financial assets.”
- Heath Tarbert stepped down as US Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair on Thursday, with Georgetown University academic Chris Brummer emerging as a leading candidate to replace him, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions, reported Reuters.
- Hut 8 Mining Corp. said it has finalized an equipment financing loan of USD 11.8m from Rochester-based Foundry Digital LLC. Hut 8 will use all proceeds from this loan and provide a USD 2.9m deposit to order 5,400 units of Whatsminer M30S bitcoin mining machines from MicroBT, adding 475 petahashes per second (PH/s) to its bitcoin mining capacity over the next six months.
- The US Securities and Exchange Commission has sued a 23-year-old Australian hedge fund founder in Manhattan federal court for allegedly defrauding investors in his USD 92.4m cryptocurrency arbitrage fund, reported Reuters.