Crypto Tidbits: Fidelity’s Bitcoin Offering Live, Starbucks May Accept Cryptocurrency
Prospects for the crypto space remain bright. Over the past week, Wall Street giant Fidelity Investments has soft-launched its digital asset branch, Starbucks is purportedly looking to accept Bitcoin, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has only doubled-down on his support for BTC and its respective ecosystem.
- Fidelity’s Crypto Branch Live, Serving Select List Of Clients: At long last, it has been officially confirmed that Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS), the first fully-fledged crypto platform backed by Wall Street, has gone live. In a number of interviews with cryptocurrency outlets this week, Tom Jessop, a former Goldman Sachs executive turned head of FDAS, explained that his brainchild’s offerings are live for a select list of “eligible clients.” Jessop adds that at the moment, the platform only supports Bitcoin, and will be staving off its verdict on Ethereum due to impending blockchain upgrades. Regardless, many were enthused by this offering, claiming that this could be the match that could revive the once-bustling cryptocurrency market.
- BlockFi Launches 6.2% Interest Account For Bitcoin And Ethereum: Popular crypto startup BlockFi has revealed its latest offering, giving its clients a way to stack satoshis and gwei amid a bear market. As we reported this week, the New York-headquartered company, which raised $52.5 million from investors like Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital last July, will allow users to deposit a minimum of one BTC or 25 ETH to get a 6.2% APR, denominated in cryptocurrency. The Winklevoss Twins’ Gemini Trust will be backing the novel offering through custody, which has full insurance coverage. While the “interest account” has a solid premise, some were fearful that this could push the crypto market lower, with skeptics of BlockFi drawing attention to the rehypothecation of cryptocurrency.
- Starbucks May Launch Support For Bitcoin Through Bakkt: According to an exclusive report from The Block, which cited sources familiar with dealings, Starbucks may be launching support for digital asset payments in the coming months. The Block founder Mike Dudas took to Twitter to divulge the news, remarking that Starbucks received a significant stake in Bakkt, a crypto startup headed by the Intercontinental Exchange, in exchange for “commitment to allow Bitcoin payments in store in 2019.” Bakkt’s software will purportedly facilitate these payments, which will be instantly converted from cryptocurrencies into fiat currencies.
- Jack Dorsey Still Enamored With Bitcoin: Just weeks after he revealed that he would look into integrating the Lightning Network into Square, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has revealed that he has purchased $10,000 in BTC in the past week alone. Rumor on the block(chain) claims that Dorsey is accumulating this much, if not more, each and every week. In a tweet, he went on to laud Trezor, revealing that he had purchased a hardware device from the cryptocurrency firm through Cash App.
- QuadrigaCX’s Bitcoin Wallets Have Been Empty Since Early-2018: Big Four auditor Ernst & Young has confirmed that addresses tied to the embattled QuadrigaCX have been left out to dry for months. The firm revealed that the exchange’s Bitcoin wallets have been empty since 2018. Not just late-2018, but in April 2018. The auditor claims to that contrary to the affidavit filed by Jennifer Robertson, Cotten’s widow, there are not dozens of millions worth of BTC in the QuadrigaCX-linked addresses, but “nil.” Ernst & Young’s report comes just days after James Edwards, an independent blockchain researcher, noted that 649,708 Ether, valued at over $100 million at their transfer date, left the exchange’s Ethereum wallets for user accounts on Bitfinex and Poloniex in December 2018, just days before founder Gerald Cotten died.
- Crypto Startup Circle Looking To Secure $250 Million: According to an exclusive report from business media resource The Information, which cited a person familiar with exclusive information, Circle is looking to get a nine-figure cheque for some of its equity and debt. Insiders told the outlet that the world-renowned cryptocurrency startup, backed by Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs, is looking for $250 million in this latest round, which remains unannounced to the public audience. While this is unconfirmed hearsay, analysts claim that more likely than not, this deal is likely in the works. In an interview, technology entrepreneur Jeremy Allaire of the company noted that his company is seeking alternative capital raising structures.
- France May Ban Privacy-Centric Cryptocurrencies: Forbes reports that the Finance Committee of France’s National Assembly has overtly claimed that it would be appropriate to ban all digital assets focused on providing greater anonymity to its users, including Monero and ZCash. The regulator cites the fact that this subset of cryptocurrencies can pose a heightened risk of money laundering, among other crimes.
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