“I don’t think crypto’s a fad, I don’t think it’s going away.” — James Gorman, Morgan Stanley CEO
Weekly News Report:
1. The run-up in the price of the Dogecoin spinoff Shiba Inu (SHIB) so far in October sprinted past popular blockchain protocols like Stellar and Polygon to become an $11 billion crypto project, the 20th largest digital asset by market capitalization.
2. Tesla currently holds roughly 43,200 BTC, worth roughly $2.5 billion at today’s prices, according to online monitoring resource Bitcoin Treasuries. This is approximately 65% or $1 billion more than what the carmaker paid in February when Elon Musk’s company revealed that it had added $1.5 billion in BTC to its balance sheet.
3. MintGreen, a Canada-based cleantech cryptocurrency miner, will be partnering with the Lonsdale Energy Corporation to supply heat to residents of North Vancouver in British Columbia starting in 2022.
4. Bitwise withdrew its application for a physically-backed Bitcoin ETF in 2020 but has already received approval for a fund offering investors exposure to companies in the blockchain and crypto industry. After almost two years, Bitwise Asset Management has once again applied with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to create a Bitcoin ETF. In a Thursday Twitter announcement from Bitwise chief investment officer Matt Hougan, the investment firm will be pursuing a Bitcoin ETF with NYSE Arca that holds “actual BTC,” and not derivatives or other indirect exposure to cryptocurrencies.
5. Crypto exchange giant Binance has hired Mark McGinness, former head of international relations at the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), as its chief regulatory liaison officer. According to an announcement issued on Thursday, Binance stated that McGinness will contribute to the company’s push toward better relations with regulatory bodies across the globe. Amid the weight of regulatory scrutiny, Binance continues to grow its international compliance team for better relations with financial regulators.
6. Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov announced Wednesday that the authority is working on a new framework to differentiate tariffs between general usage and cryptocurrency mining. Russia’s Irkutsk region saw its energy consumption rates surge by 160% following China’s crackdown on crypto mining. The Russian Ministry of Energy is looking to introduce special electricity tariffs for cryptocurrency miners following a migration of the industry into the country from nearby China.
7. Chainalysis said North America’s DeFi transactions were led by retail investors in the last year, with many transactions under $10,000. Digital analytics firm Chainalysis reported that the growth in North America’s crypto market has been driven by the rise in popularity of decentralized finance. In its 2021 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, Chainalysis said the monthly crypto transaction volume across North America grew by more than 1,000% from July 2020 to June 2021.
8. The Digital Pound Foundation (DPF), a group of technology, innovation and regulatory experts, has announced its launch as an independent non-profit organization in the United Kingdom. According to a release issued on Thursday, the DPF will work to promote the implementation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the country.
9. The G7, which is comprised of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States advanced economic nations discussed central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) this week and concluded that they should “do no harm” and meet rigorous standards. Finance leaders from the G7 met in Washington on Wednesday to discuss central bank digital currencies and endorsed 13 public policy principles regarding their implementation.
10. According to Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas there are “good signs” that the SEC will approve Bitcoin futures ETF applications from Ark Invest and Valkyrie.
11. Jelurida Africa said it would begin a blockchain expedition starting with Tanzania’s self-governing state of Zanzibar on Oct. 23 before continuing on to Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania. The African arm of the company behind the Ignis, Nxt and Ardor blockchains will be launching a multi-country tour to provide blockchain education in the public and private sectors.
12. It’s been three months since the New York-based crypto loans startup launched its Visa-backed Bitcoin rewards credit cards, BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card, to customers. Owners of the Visa-backed Bitcoin rewards card amassed over 124 BTC collectively over 90 days, BlockFi data shows.
13. The U.S. now accounts for more than a third of the total Bitcoin mining activity, with Kazakhstan and Russia also becoming major locations. The CBECI data also shows Kazakhstan (18%) and Russia (11%) as the next major Bitcoin mining centers outside the United States. These three nations have gained significant market share in the wake of China’s crypto mining ban.
14. The DeFi lending, borrowing, and yield generating protocol has surpassed the key milestone in TVL according to the app dashboard, and DeFiPulse confirms the all-time high TVL figure, reporting it at $1.09 billion.
15. Guy Oseary, the manager of musical heavyweights U2 and Madonna has signed a representation deal with Yuga Labs to expand the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) nonfungible token, or NFT, project into movies, TV, music and gaming.
16. With 68 million verified users and 8.8 million monthly active users as of Q2 2021, Coinbase’s entry into the NFT industry could provide competition for established marketplaces like OpenSea.
17. Simón Bolívar International Airport, a major international airport in Venezuela, is reportedly preparing to start accepting cryptocurrencies like BTC as payment for tickets and other services. The airport plans to accept many cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Dash and Venezuela’s oil-pegged digital currency, the Petro. The airport’s administration would introduce new payment options in coordination with Venezuela’s National Superintendence of Crypto Assets and Related Activities.
18. FTX.US’s nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace has expanded support to the Solana blockchain, enabling users to trade, deposit and withdraw NFTs that conform to the Metaplex token standard.
19. 2B4CH, a Swiss non-profit think tank assisting the state in exploring cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and blockchain technology, announced plans to start a popular federal initiative by collecting 100,000 signatures for the introduction of Bitcoin to article 99 clause 3 of the Swiss federal constitution. Successful or not, the vote will bring crypto education to people who are not yet Bitcoin-savvy, 2B4CH founder said.
20. For the first time in chess history, grandmaster Magnus Carlsen has been awarded a nonfungible token (NFT) trophy for winning an international chess tournament, Meltwater Champions Chess Tour (MCCT). The tournament minted a number of NFT trophies and collectibles to indefinitely preserve the game’s most defining moments.