Exclusives

Pension Fund’s Exposure to Bitcoin, USD 600,000 per BTC + More News

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

Bitcoin news

  • The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), America’s biggest public pension fund, upped its stake in Riot Blockchain, a Bitcoin (BTC) mining company. CalPERS increased its holdings in the mining outfit from 17,000 shares in 2017 to over 113,000 in the last quarter of the previous financial year (FY2020). Per a document submitted to the regulatory Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), CalPERS revealed that its stake in the miner is now worth just short of USD 2m. CalPERS is worth a total of USD 441bn and the news gives credence to analysts’ recent claims that pension funds in the USA are growing increasingly keen on BTC as crypto prices rise.
  • Canada-based alternative investment solution provider Accelerate Financial Technologies Inc. announced that it has filed and obtained a receipt for a preliminary prospectus with the Canadian securities regulators for Accelerate Bitcoin ETF (ABTC). Per the press release, this exchange-traded fund will offer US dollar-denominated units and Canadian dollar-denominated units, with a management fee of 0.70%, while Accelerate has also applied to list units of ABTC on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
  • Scott Minerd, Chief Investment Officer of US-based major investment firm Guggenheim Partners, now says that BTC could reach USD 600,000 in an unspecified future. In December, he forecasted USD 400,000 and, in January, he claimed that BTC might crash back to USD 20,000.

Crypto adoption news

  • Miami, USA, is considering giving city employees the opportunity to get their salaries paid in BTC, reported Forbes. Local fees and taxes could be paid in bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency, while the city’s treasury might place some of its investment capital into bitcoin as well, which would be a first for major cities in the United States, it said. Finally, Mayor Francis Suarez is considering financing his reelection campaign in bitcoin.
  • The Spanish crypto vendor Bitbase has opened its 15th physical store in the country, reported Murcia.com. The latest branch to open will be on the Calle de la Princesa, a street in central Madrid. The outlets are staffed by crypto consultants, and allow customers to buy tokens on the spot, or get help opening crypto wallets. The company now has two stores apiece in both Madrid and Barcelona, as well as outlets in Valencia, Bilbao, Seville, Malaga, Tenerife, Zaragoza, Coruña, Mallorca, Valladolid, Girona, and Vilanova. The company also operates 21 crypto ATMs, and says it will install 50 more nationwide before the end of the year.
  • Digital money platform Uphold has announced its acquisition of debit and credit card issuer Optimus Cards UK Limited. According to the press release, an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, Optimus acts as a primary card issuer and payments facilitator. “From April, we plan to start rolling out the world’s first, multi-asset, crypto-enabled debit card on the Optimus platform in Europe,” said Uphold CEO JP Thieriot.

Investments news

  • US-based crypto security specialist Casa said it raised USD 4m in a round led by Avon Ventures, with the participation of Tioga Capital, Castle Island, Cadenza, Champion Hill, Compound VC, Precursor, Lerer Hippeau, and Coinbase Ventures.

Blockchain news

  • Blockchain startup SUKU has migrated their product suite from Ethereum (ETH) to Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR), citing Ethereum’s high fees among other reasons, becoming the first organization to leverage the Hedera Token Service (HTS) and Hedera Consensus Service (HCS), they said in an emailed press release. SUKU’s newly released INFINITE iOS application for tagging authentic sneakers is the first application to migrate to Hedera, while the second will be its Omni platform.
  • A commercial bank has issued China’s first blockchain-powered land management rights-based mortgages in Jiangsu Province, reported the Science and Technology Daily. Two property-related loans were issued on a platform that takes just half a day to process application and issue financing, its architects claim. The Jiangsu Jinhu Rural Commercial Bank has begun using blockchain technology to evaluate mortgage applications and make issuances, and is making use of the Alibaba-owned Ant Group’s Antchain network for its solutions. One of the first recipients, the media outlet explained, was a farmer. The latter said that the solution had helped him boil down a process that once took a calendar month to complete to just 12 hours.

NFTs news

  • Founder of blockchain and crypto investment firm Kenetic Capital and art collector Jehan Chu purchased single blockchain domain “.NFT” for USD 84,000 (c. 680,000 HNS tokens) on the Handshake blockchain, a decentralized Domain Name System (DNS) protocol. Per the announcement by Namebase, a domain registrar and marketplace for Handshake names, he bought the domain extension after witnessing the rise in popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) across the entire crypto ecosystem. This purchase follows a series of record-breaking sales made in the last few months within the Handshake ecosystem, including the previous record holder “.wallet” sold for HNS 350,000.

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