Crypto news

Europe’s supercomputers hijacked by attackers

Europe's supercomputers hijacked by attackers

At least a dozen supercomputers across Europe have shut down after cyber-attacks tried to take control of them.

A pan-European supercomputing group says they seem to have tried to use the machines to mine cryptocurrency.

“A security exploitation” disabled access to the Archer supercomputer, at the University of Edinburgh, on 11 May.

Staff said they were working with the National Cyber Security Centre to restore the system, which had recently installed a pandemic modelling tool.

“We now believe this to be a major issue across the academic community as several computers have been compromised in the UK and elsewhere in Europe,” the team said.

The NCSC said: “We are aware of this incident and are providing support.

“The NCSC works with the academic sector to help it improve its security practices and protect its institutions from threats.”

Also on 11 May, another attack shut down five supercomputers in Germany.

Others followed elsewhere in Germany in the following days, as well as in Switzerland, and reportedly Barcelona.

They exploited an Secure Shell (SSH) connection, which academic researchers use to log in to the system remotely.

And once inside, the attackers appear to have deployed cryptocurrency-mining malware.

The security team at the European Group Infrastructure foundation said: “A malicious group is currently targeting academic data centres for CPU [central processing unit] mining purposes.

“The attacker is hopping from one victim to another using compromised SSH credentials.”

Jamie Akhtar, chief executive of UK security company Cybersmart, said: “Universities are home to some of the most advanced research projects in the world across many disciplines – including computer science – but they are also notoriously vulnerable to attack if they are connected to the wider university network.”


How Tether Ranks Fourth in Cryptocurrencies by Market Cap 16.05.20

How Tether Ranks Fourth in Cryptocurrencies by Market Cap 16.05.20

The cryptocurrency Tether quickly managed to establish itself as the fourth largest digital currency. In one aspect, the tether stands out particularly from other cryptos, it is a so-called stablecoin, which is always based on the US dollar.


How Tether Ranks Fourth in Cryptocurrencies by Market Cap 16.05.20

J.K. Rowling Twitter Storm shows the Crypto Ecosystem Needs to Mature

As more evidence of impressive institutionally compliant behaviour shows itself in the crypto world, it’s more juvenile side is exposed as J.K.Rowling inadvertently starts a crypto Twitter storm.

Bitcoin (BTC) trading volume hit a new high for 2020 with an average (on the top ten exchanges only) of US$2-3bn per day through May, but is still struggling to breach back through the US$10,000 resistance level and, at the time of writing, was trading at US$9,675.92  / GB£7,943.85; Ethereum (ETH) is at US$211.20 / GB£173.54; Ripple (XRP) is at US$0.2042 / GB£0.1672; Binance (BNB) is at US$16.50 / GB£13.52 and Cardano (ADA) is at US$0.05390 / GB£0.04433.  Overall Market Cap is up circa US$23bn from last week at US$265.92bn  / GB£218.12bn (data source: 

Before I get into this week’s edition as this is uploaded a major event is taking place online.  The ANON Summit 2020 organised by BlockExpo and Cointelligence is taking place, not attended by hordes of people on the ground, but by 8,000 plus registered guests from around the world online for the first test of an established major conference. Headline sponsors are Electroneum (see today’s Crypto AM: shines its Spotlight on Electroneum) I must also offer my congratulations to Cointelligence CEO, On Yavin, on becoming a father again to a healthy baby girl on Sunday. 

What a difference a week makes! 

The sun is back and London looks like it is turning the tide against COVID-19 with the Government taking the first tentative steps towards easing the national lockdown.  On Thursday I stepped out for my daily walk on the Isle of Dogs but headed west for the first time and just carried on walking until St. Paul’s Cathedral.  I have never in my life seen the River Thames so calm and devoid of traffic which was in stark contrast to the Twitter storm that developed on Friday night becoming a full on tempest over the weekend.

J.K.Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, relaxing at home tweeted  “I don’t understand bitcoin. Please explain it to me.” Thirteen hours later Luna, my ten-week old yellow labrador puppy,  woke me up at 5:30am. Whilst guarding her outside, I looked at my phone’s Twitter feed with mild astonishment  many industry leaders scrambled to welcome her into the cryptocurrency world by answering her question in their own style – Charles Hoskinson of IOHK/Cardano went as far as producing two instructional videos, the second replacing the first because the first attempt had poor telecast – perfectionist to the core (see here).  Things turned ugly pretty quickly however, as a shocking number of juvenile ‘trolls’ drowned every well meaning voice out scoring an undesirable and pointless own goal reputationally.  It’s all the more disappointing, given the tireless and serious work being done by a number of very bright entrepreneurs who are paving the way for traditional institutional funds to enter the market.

By way of example, many regular readers of Crypto AM will be familiar with Koine, the City of London based digital asset custodian, founded by my friends of many years (seventeen to be exact) Al Moore and Phil Mochan.  Following the news last week that Koine has partnered with exchange Bitfinex, they announced another milestone yesterday, with Koine securing in-principle approval to provide custody in relation to Virtual Assets in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), granted by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority.  There is no question that Koine is flying the flag for institutional investment in digital securities on a global scale. This move is supportive of UAE’s strategy to develop itself as a major global financial hub, bridging Africa and Asia.

Suitable for traditional capital markets, Koine’s post-trade solution provides secure, easy to use institutional custody, settlement and related cash management service for the new generation of digitised assets. It eliminates counterparty, credit and insolvency risks in a compliant framework with a strong governance environment.  Koine’s security model, which deploys Digital AirlocksTM, replaces the cold storage and hot wallet model that can compromise the security of private keys as a result of still needing to be “eye-balled” by staff.  This comes just days after the announcement that Koine customers who also have an account on Bitfinex will be able to obtain a line of credit on the Bitfinex trading platform using Bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies held with Koine.

Thinking of the UAE Christopher Flinos, CEO of HAYVN, the ADGM licensed online OTC trading platform purpose-built for institutional and large volume cryptocurrency trading and custody contributed today’s Crypto AM: Technically Speaking article tackling what went wrong for Telegram’s TON Blockchain Platform.

What future awaits cryptocurrencies?

As many readers will know 2019 was a bit of a bruising year for Libra. I caught up briefly with Crypto AM contributor Claude Brown (Partner at Reed Smith) who told me in his view that “the arrival of the state-backed Temasek into the Libra Association is certainly good news for the currency, particularly given Singapore’s reputation as a fintech hub. But unless broader concerns, particularly over apparent loss of ‘national sovereignty’, are addressed, the good news could be brief.  Importantly, Temasek coming in doesn’t restore the balance caused by the departure of a number of payment services companies in 2019.

The COVID-19 pandemic is never far from our minds and of course it is affecting the way we do things and how businesses continue to get their messages out.  One such example is Outlier Ventures whose Founder & CEO Jamie Burke is juggling running his business working from home and home schooling his daughter.  His solution is Outlier Ventures ‘Diffusion Digital’ designed as a virtual event and weekly podcast for its leading founders.  Jamie explained hurriedly that “We are in an exciting new phase of the Web, increasingly referred to as ‘Web 3’. However, the internet today still looks the same as it has for the last decade, its problems seemingly getting worse. ‘Web 3’ is fragmented and insular, with too few entrepreneurs that understand how its technologies can disrupt, transform and enable entirely new markets.  To meet this challenge we [Outlier Ventures], built Diffusion as a platform to onboard new developers and entrepreneurs into the space.”

I enthusiastically jumped onto iTunes to download the first episode of the ‘Founders of Web 3’ audio podcast which Jamie is able to host from home. In this launch episode he spent nearly a solid hour talking with CZ of Binance clearly living up to the podcast’s stated aim of providing insightful interviews with the founders, entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers that are shaping Web 3. The series has launched with 8 episodes including Muneeb Ali of Blockstack, Brock Pierce of Block One and of course CZ.

As mentioned above, as the second component to the Diffusion platform, Outlier Ventures will run a virtual free one-day event on May 28th The event explores a pragmatic pathway from Web 2 to Web 3, bringing together different communities in the ecosystem to participate in talks and panels featuring industry leaders from Binance, Chainlink, Cosmos, Fenbushi, Brave and more.

In closing, I’m turning back to the COVID-19 situation and was extremely heartened to learn of a massive philanthropic pledge made good from the digital community in the form of Bitcoin SV advocate, Calvin Ayre. He pledged a while ago to provide $4,000,000 of PPE to key workers in his now native Antigua which has landed and been delivered.  I hope that the Antiguans applaud his generosity in the same vein as we do our NHS on Thursday evenings.  In my own way I continue to do my best during London’s Lockdown and I’d like to remind you again about my ongoing local community effort for the elderly and vulnerable living on the Isle of Dogs where I have lived on and off for over thirty years. I teamed up with BABB (Bank Account Based Blockchain) and have so far distributed £3,000 to to pay for food and care parcels.  BABB has added a light registration for web donation which otherwise allows you to download the app and donate direct to the campaign via

James Bowater, City AM’s Crypto Insider


Author: James BowaterCity A.M’s Crypto Insider

Bitcoin Bandwagoning: An Examination of Institutional Investment in Crypto

Bitcoin Bandwagoning: An Examination of Institutional Investment in Crypto

News that famous macro investor Paul Tudor Jones’ fund would be investing in Bitcoin (BTC) as a hedge against inflation first went mainstream on May 7. The news was followed up on May 11 — the day of the first and foremost cryptocurrency’s third block reward halving — when Jones went on CNBC to detail that he had invested between one and two percent of his assets in Bitcoin, admitting the number was “conservative.”  

In a letter to investors, Jones compared today’s Bitcoin to gold in the 1970s, stating that his BVI Global Fund could invest upwards of “a low single-digit percentage exposure percentage” of its assets in BTC futures. He also discussed in detail Bitcoin as a nascent store of value. Furthermore, Jones argued that a simple and objective look at today’s digital world and inflationary monetary policies makes investment in the most tried-and-tested cryptocurrency an obvious bet worth taking.

Even though Jones specified that the investment comes in the form of trading Bitcoin futures (and not spot buying actual bitcoins, for example), the news bolstered the greater cryptocurrency industry. It was seen by many as continued validation that much-sought-after institutional players are officially entering the space. 

But are Jones and those who follow late to the party? To better understand what to expect from institutional investment in crypto going forward, we examine just how much interest from institutional investors currently exists in the Bitcoin and digital asset space, and how we got to where we are today.

The story of institutional investment into Bitcoin largely begins with New York-based Digital Currency Group’s Grayscale Investments, LLC. — which was launched in 2013 and acted as a true front-runner in the race to provide solutions for institutional investors looking to gain exposure to the then very new digital asset class. However, it doesn’t get particularly noteworthy until Bitcoin futures contracts enter the scene.

In December 2017, as the hype surrounding Bitcoin reached a fever pitch and the leading cryptocurrency was nearly at its all-time high around $20,000, Cboe Global Markets Inc (CBOE.O) and CME Group Inc (CME.O) dropped the news that they would both be launching Bitcoin futures contracts. 

The offerings became available on Dec.10 and Dec.17, respectively. CME’s contracts opened at $20,650 — essentially the exact top of the 2017 Bitcoin bubble. By Monday, Dec. 18, it had settled down 2.05 percent. The months that followed saw a dramatic plunge in the price of BTC and started a period many in the crypto industry called “Crypto Winter.”

Though 2018 was a harsh year for many in the retail cryptocurrency market, institutions began to make earnest and undeterred entries into the digital currency space.

The aforementioned Grayscale Investments, LLC kicked off the first wave of institutional interest in 2018 with its Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund LLC in February — only two months after the price of Bitcoin peaked around $20,000.

As the name of the Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund LLC implies, it initially included Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) — coins which all met “Grayscale’s fund construction criteria in a market capitalization-weighted portfolio.” However, all of the altcoins would end up underperforming against BTC.

At that time, Grayscale had $1.31 billion under management — a number, as we will come to find out, that would grow significantly over the next two years.

Grayscale was not the only name in the institutional crypto space in 2018. 

In August of that year, United States-based hedge fund Morgan Creek Digital partnered with U.S. crypto investment firm Bitwise Asset Management, which emerged in 2017, to launch the Digital Asset Index Fund. The product was geared towards institutional investors that wanted exposure to a wide variety of cryptocurrencies and digital assets. The fund’s minimum investment was $50,000 and tracked the newly-formed Morgan Creek Bitwise Digital Asset Index (MCBDAI).

That same month, Morgan Creek Digital investment officer Mark Yusko told CNBC that there was a growing demand from endowments, pension funds and family offices for investments in the cryptocurrency space — something we would see confirmed soon after.

In September 2019, Yusko again went on CNBC to express his ultra-bullish sentiment on Bitcoin. While on the news outlet’s “Fast Money” program, the hedge fund veteran urged interested parties to simply “buy it” and not worry about price fluctuations. As it turns out, institutional investors were already doing just that.

2019 saw, by all accounts, the largest inflow of institutional money into the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space.

Grayscale — which  predominantly serves traditional hedge funds, pensions and endowments — announced earlier this year that it had raised $607 million in 2019. When looking at cumulative investment spread among all of its offerings, that figure jumps to $1.17 billion. The publicly-traded Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, meanwhile, saw $190 million invested into it in Q4 2019 alone. Nearly one-quarter of these investments came from new clients. 

Grayscale managing director Michael Sonnenshein interpreted these numbers as an indication that institutional investors are already here in force, telling Forbes “they’re here and showing up in a meaningful size.”

Sonnenshein’s sentiment rings true alongside the recently-released annual report from Elwood Asset Management and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which states that crypto hedge funds’ assets under management increased two-fold in 2019 — now totaling $2 billion.

When it comes to institutional investment in Bitcoin, Bakkt — created by New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) operator Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) — was perhaps the most-discussed and hyped product in the cryptocurrency world after it was first revealed in August 2018. Bakkt’s launch was delayed twice and the firm spent approximately 13 months in discussion with regulators. Ultimately, Bakkt’s physically-settled Bitcoin futures contracts launched in late September 2019 — providing a highly trusted on-ramp for U.S. institutional investors looking to take federally-regulated positions in the BTC market.

Despite overall volumes that some may find disappointing, Bakkt remains a fixture in the institutionalized Bitcoin space. High-profile partnerships with Starbucks, for example, illustrate ICE’s continued push to facilitate retail adoption. Meanwhile, closing a $300 million Series B fundraising round in March 2020, alongside an upcoming mobile application, show that the company is pushing for mainstream adoption.

Rounding out 2019 was the launch of another Bitcoin exchange-traded product (ETP) on Switzerland’s principal stock exchange, SIX, from New York-based fund management firm, WisdomTree. Notably, the physically-backed WisdomTree ETP (BTCW) is not settled in cash. Rather, it is settled in bitcoins and provides institutional-grade storage.

While 2019 was a huge year for institutional investment in the Bitcoin and overall crypto space, this year — by all accounts — is set to be the most massive yet.

We already know that Grayscale had a good year in 2019 but, in Q1 2020, its supply of bitcoins only grew. The firm revealed that it now holds approximately 1.7 percent of Bitcoin’s entire supply — having grown 0.1 percent this year. Likewise, in the first quarter of this year, overall investment into Grayscale’s products was double that of Q3 2019 and Q4 2019 combined.

The aforementioned PwC report released recently also illustrated that the number of crypto hedge funds managing more than $20 million increased to 35 percent — up from its previous 19 percent.

The increase in institutional interest has, of course, been driven in part by economic uncertainty and unprecedented monetary policies globally, spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, the coronavirus is not the only reason we are seeing such a massive influx of institutional cash into the crypto space. The on-ramps that were built over the last two years also are now being put to good use. Henri Arslanian, PwC Global Crypto Leader, explained in a conversation with OKEx Insights on May 16:

“Two years ago, an institutional player that wanted crypto exposure had to embark on a journey and most likely deal with unregulated players. Today, there are numerous easy options, from crypto funds to regulated instruments, that make it way easier.”

Additionally, Arslanian believes there is little reason to expect institutional investors to lose interest in crypto anytime soon. He told OKEx Insights:

“I expect to see the institutional interest in crypto assets increase over the coming months. This is not only due to macro developments, from CBDCs to Libra, but also important considerations like regulatory clarity and the adoption of best practices.”

Meanwhile, investment giant Fidelity acted on a need for institutional investors to secure their digital assets with firms they trusted. Fidelity Investments’ cryptocurrency arm announced in January of this year that it would act as a Bitcoin custodian for London-based cryptocurrency investment firm Nickel Digital.

Fidelity Digital Assets’ Europe head, Chris Tyrer, noted to Reuters at the time that he expects the institutional trend to continue as “we are seeing a pick up in institutional investor interest.”

The Boston-based multinational financial services corporation currently has nearly $8 trillion in assets under management.

Following up Fidelity’s custodial play was Singapore-based asset manager Stack Funds, which began promoting a fully-insured Bitcoin tracker fund and custodial solution to accredited investors in Asia and, more generally, outside of the United States. 

CoinMetrics provides the pricing for the tracker fund and the custodial solution is provided by BitGo and Silvergate.

Perhaps most noteworthy about the Stack Funds offering is that it will only offer long positions — meaning traders cannot speculate on the downside — with physical bitcoins and maintain a relatively low management fee.

Amun AG was also quick to start off 2020 with Bitcoin-related offerings for institutional traders.

In January, Amun launched the 21Shares Short Bitcoin ETP (SBTC) on SIX. As the name implies, the exchange-traded product tracks Bitcoin’s opposite performance — unlike Stack Funds’ aforementioned product — and provides exposure to investors looking to play the top digital currency’s price in both directions.

Notably, the ETP-structured SBTC tracker is the first short/inverse product of its kind to be based on a digital asset and is the first inverse Bitcoin ETP on a regulated Swiss trading venue.

21Shares Short Bitcoin ETP one-minute chart. Source: TradingView

In April 2020, it became known that hedge fund giant Renaissance Technologies had taken a potential interest in the Bitcoin futures market. A regulatory filing last month indicated that the firm had given permission to its high-profile Medallion Funds to “enter into bitcoin futures transactions” on the CME. The news coincided with a reported uptick in new trading accounts for CME Bitcoin futures.

Renaissance Technologies is one of the largest hedge funds in the world, currently with just under $166 billion in assets under management.

While it is clear that more and more products are being made available to institutional investors looking to gain exposure to crypto (and the Bitcoin market in particular) there still remains one particular product that has, thus far, struggled to see the light of day — the much-discussed Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Bitcoin ETF applications now have a long history of rejection from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with the most recent being the rejection of Wilshire Phoenix’s bid in February 2020. As was the case with past rejections, the latest applicant failed to sufficiently prove that the BTC market is resistant to manipulation.

The agency’s now-famous crypto advocate, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, once again expressed her dissent towards the decision, stating:

“This line of disapprovals leads me to conclude that this Commission is unwilling to approve the listing of any product that would provide access to the market for bitcoin and that no filing will meet the ever-shifting standards that this Commission insists on applying to bitcoin-related products—and only to bitcoin-related products.”

Most notably, Bitwise Asset Management also failed to gain approval from the SEC for its Bitcoin ETF last year. The rejection followed the firm’s high-profile attempt to quell the Commission’s “concerns around market manipulation, custody, liquidity, pricing, and arbitrage” in the Bitcoin market in a detailed presentation.

While a SEC-approved Bitcoin ETF currently seems like an unlikely prospect, it is not entirely out of the possibility in the coming years. The SEC may gain more confidence in the product as the industry is increasingly institutionalized. PwC’s Arslanian explained to OKEx Insights:

 “We are continuing to see experienced finance professionals enter the crypto space as the industry evolves and matures. This is giving more comfort not only to institutional investors but to regulators as well.”

So while no one should hold their breath waiting for a Bitcoin ETF to hit U.S. trading floors, it appears that — given the steady increase in on-ramps, BTC futures offerings and institutional money flowing into the space anyway — it may not matter.

OKEx Insights presents market analyses, in-depth features and curated news from crypto professionals.

Follow OKEx Insights on Twitter and Telegram. 


Bakkt to Launch its Bitcoin (BTC) & Crypto Mobile App This Summer

Bakkt to Launch its Bitcoin (BTC) & Crypto Mobile App This Summer

In brief:

  • Bakkt has onboarded over 70 institutional investors onto its warehouse custody solutions. 
  • Bakkt President, Adam White, hinted that the Bakkt Mobile App will be launched soon. 
  • Bakkt’s CEO had mentioned a Summer launch for the Mobile App. 
  • One of the core goals of Bakkt is to bring digital assets mainstream. In a summary update of the achievements of the firm earlier today, the President of Bakkt, Adam White, highlighted that it had unlocked digital assets for more than 70 institutional investors. The Bakkt Warehouse now provides regulated Bitcoin (BTC) custody solutions for these firms in addition to supporting the delivery of Bitcoin futures and options contracts.

    His statements echoed what Bakkt’s CEO, Mike Blandina, explained in a Medium post back in mid-March regarding the firm’s dedication in onboarding as many retail investors as possible through the Bakkt mobile App. He went on to express his optimism that the Bakkt Mobile App will be available as early as this Summer.

    Bakkt gives users control over their digital assets. Whether it’s miles from your favorite airline, loyalty points from the local grocery store, or bitcoin you’ve purchased, the Bakkt app enables you to aggregate all of these assets into a single digital wallet.

    In just a few taps you can use those assets to shop at your favorite merchants, send them to family and friends, or convert them to cash. We believe that you hold more value than you realize and we’re here to help you track, spend, and send your digital assets however you want.

    I’m excited at our potential to unlock nearly $1 trillion of digital assets when the Bakkt app launches this summer.

    (Feature image courtesy of Unsplash.)

    Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any additional opinion herein is purely the author’s and does not represent the opinion of Ethereum World News or any of its other writers. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available. Thank you.


    Author: John P. Njui·Bitcoin (BTC) NewsCryptocurrency·May 18, 2020·1 min read·221 views

    New Crypto Bull Cycle, Ripple’s MoneyTap in ATMs + More News

    New Crypto Bull Cycle, Ripple’s MoneyTap in ATMs + More News

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

    Major venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has predicted a fourth crypto bull cycle, driven by high-quality projects. According to a blog post, the firm analyzed 10 years of data, looking at the three previous cycles and noting a consistent growth in all of the key metrics. They conclude that a wide range of projects started in the third cycle, including payments, finance, games, infrastructure, and web apps, are launching in the near future, possibly driving a fourth crypto cycle.

  • Japanese financial group and Ripple partner SBI is set to integrate Ripple’s MoneyTap solution in Japanese ATMs. Per the company’s latest financial report, the app will help bank consumers access their accounts and withdraw cash at a large range of ATMs, no matter whom they bank with, reducing costs for both customers and banks, turning cashpoints into “jointly operated multi-bank ATMs.”
  • The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has acknowledged the potential of Ripple and XRP in cross-border transfers. Per the recent paper, the CFPB noted the continued growth and expanding partnerships of virtual currency companies like Ripple could allow banks and credit unions to know the exact final amount that recipients of remittance transfers will receive before they are sent.
  • Lawyers have warned that removing privacy coins alone will not eliminate crypto-powered crime in South Korea after Bithumb became the last major exchange in the country to announce it will delist the monero (XMR) cryptocurrency at the end of this month. Per Joongang Ilbo, senior lawyers stated that South Koreans could still use privacy coins on overseas-based exchanges, and claimed that police currently have insufficient legal powers to investigate crypto transactions.
  • (CRO) has started shipping its crypto-to-fiat card, the MCO Visa, to 31 European countries, including all 27 member states of the European Union, which is a market of nearly 530 million people, as the announcement says. It adds that has already seen thousands of reservations for the MCO Visa card from users across the EU. Furthermore, the platform has also announced today that the limits of MCO Visa Card in Europe have been increased.
  • Bitcoin futures trading platform Bakkt has onboarded more than 70 firms to the Bakkt Warehouse. Per the blog post, beyond the USD 125 million of insurance already in place at the Bakkt Warehouse, customers can now purchase more than USD 500 million in additional insurance coverage. Bakkt adds that they’re collaborating with the Digital Asset Risk Transfer team from professional services firm Marsh.
    • As Kraken found itself short of staff to meet the growing demand, while the pandemic was leading to massive unemployment, CEO Jesse Powell decided to have Kraken’s staff help him fill 100 new customer service positions, via a survey sent out to its 800 staff members, asking them if someone in their household – be it a family member, friend, or roommate – wanted a job with Kraken. They got nearly 400 referrals and hired 94 people around the world, most of which started at USD 15 an hour, reports Fortune.
    • Huobi DM, the digital asset derivatives exchange of Huobi Group, has been rebranded to Huobi Futures amid a surge in demand for crypto derivative products, the company said. Huobi aims to make its derivatives exchange “more approachable for new traders entering the crypto derivatives market.”
    • Digital asset trading platform FalconX has secured USD 17 million in financing from investors including Accel, Accomplice VC, Coinbase Ventures, Fenbushi Capital, Flybridge Capital Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Avon Ventures, a venture capital fund affiliated with FMR LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments, the press release states. The funding will be used to introduce new products, expand FalconX’s trade execution suite, and scale infrastructure to support growing institutional demand for cryptocurrency.
    • A blockchain-powered cross-border iron ore purchase and shipment deal has been “successfully conducted” between China and Australia, reports the Economic Observation Network. The deal, say the parties involved, was particularly significant as it was the first metal ore blockchain sales deal to have been conducted in China’s renminbi (RMB) fiat, rather than the United States dollar, most companies’ preferred currency for international trade deals.
    • The South Korean government has given the southern port city of Busan’s blockchain regulation-free zone an “excellent” rating in a review, per the Mudeung Ilbo. The zone operators, who remain hopeful that they will win the right to issue regulated initial coin offerings (ICOs), are subject to periodical audits and reviews. Failure to meet government approval could result in the shut down of the zone.
    • A South Korean court has handed out sentences to the masterminds of the CoinUp crypto fraud ring, reports Yonhap. A judge sentenced the company’s CEO to 16 years behind bars, with other senior executives receiving terms of between 11 and six years in prison. The firm had made bogus claims to its investors, said the presiding judge, with the company stating that investors could expect returns of up to 200% on their stakes “within four and 10 weeks.”


    Author: By Tim AlperSead Fadilpašić

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