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New Major Players Enter Crypto Market, China Hides Binance, OKEx & Huobi + 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.

Investments news

  • Interactive Brokers Group plans to begin offering crypto trading through its brokerage by the end of the summer, Reuters reported, citing Founder and Chairman Thomas Peterffy. He did not say which cryptoassets would be available to trade, but the New York-based brokerage began offering bitcoin (BTC) futures in December 2017, the report added.
  • Victory Capital Holdings said that its wholly-owned investment adviser, Victory Capital Management, has established exclusive agreements with both Nasdaq and crypto-focused asset manager Hashdex in advance of plans to enter the cryptocurrency market. Victory Capital will be the exclusive sponsor of private placement funds and other vehicles for US investors, based on the Nasdaq Crypto Index, a multi-coin crypto index co-developed by Nasdaq and Hashdex, they said. Victory Capital is a diversified global asset management firm with USD 157.1bn in assets under management as of April 30, 2021.
  • Circle said it has launched Yield product built on USDC, available for select customers via an Early Access Program. With Circle Yield, companies can access new ways to build corporate treasury programs "via rapidly growing digital asset lending markets," the company added.
  • Crypto wealth management and trading firm BlockFi is in talks to raise more funds just three months after its previous funding round closed, The Information reported, citing two undisclosed people familiar with the deal talks. It will be “several hundred million dollars” and would value the company at around USD 5bn, or USD 2bn more than in the previous round.

Exchanges news

  • Keywords searches for online trading platforms including Binance, OKEx, and Huobi on popular Chinese internet services such as Baidu, Sogo, Zhihu, or Weibo are yielding no results due to possible censorship, Bloomberg reported.
  • Gemini said it has acquired crypto custody startup Shard X. The startup’s multi-party computation (MPC) cryptographic technology will be integrated into the exchange’s distributed, multi-site key management and signing infrastructure to increase the speed of their service, the exchange said.
  • Kraken, Bitfinex, and KuCoin are reportedly scouting the Indian crypto market in order to expand there, per Reuters. One of the exchanges is looking to acquire an Indian firm, while the other two are still weighing their options waiting for more regulatory clarity in the country.

Regulation news

  • "Not only do I think that unlicensed DeFi markets for derivative instruments are a bad idea, I also do not see how they are legal under the [Commodity Exchange Act]," US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner Dan Berkovitz said during the Asset Management Derivatives Forum 2021 this week. According to him, the CEA requires futures contracts to be traded on a designated contract market (DCM) licensed and regulated by the CFTC.

Blockchain news

  • Kusama (KSM), the Polkadot (DOT) canary network, announced Parachain Slot Auctions, following the launch of the first parachain Shell two weeks ago, and its update to Statemine last week – equivalent of the Polkadot’s Statemint common-good parachain. This is the team’s solution for selecting which parachains will be added to the Kusama Relay-chain and have their functionality become a part of the network, they said.
  • RippleX, blokchain company Ripple‘s investment and development arm, has proposed introducing Federated Sidechains for the XRP Ledger (XRPL). This, they said, will enable developers to implement new features, such as native smart contracts that interoperate with XRP and the XRP Ledger.
  • PolygonScan, the blockchain explorer for Polygon (MATIC), has been launched. It is based on the Etherscan explorer for Ethereum.

NFTs news

  • Enjin (ENJ), the blockchain engine for virtual worlds and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), said it has partnered with Health Hero, a digital health engagement company, to develop Go! By Health Hero, a new health monitoring and engagement app that introduces the concept of Well-being Non-Fungible Tokens, or W-NFTs, they said in an announcement.
  • New York Attorney General Letitia James said she has secured a court order that continues a mandated pause on the illegal and fraudulent operations of the crypto trading platform Coinseed and puts in place a receiver to ensure the protection of investors’ money going forward.
  • More than 800 people were arrested in the "biggest" crypto-related law enforcement operation to date, led by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Dutch National Police (Politie), and the Swedish Police Authority (Polisen), in cooperation with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and 16 other countries. The FBI had developed an encrypted device company called ANOM in 2019 that was then used by criminals to discuss their activities, then the FBI used their messages to start the arrests and seizures of illicit drugs and weapons, along with USD 48m in currencies and cryptocurrencies.


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