Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s Gist Vile.
- The Ontario Securities Commission has green-lighted Canada’s first fully-fledged, publicly-traded bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF), an offering that will be managed by Purpose Investments. The financial regulator announced its decision in a public document, where it announced that investors in a number of Canadian territories and provinces would have access to the offering – including Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, and Nova Scotia. The regions, it said, were covered under a multilateral instrument passport system. Other crypto ETF funds have been listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but none of these have offered continuous tracking of BTC or altcoin prices. The Purpose-managed fund will also likely be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
- Voyager Digital, a listed cryptoasset broker, said it has completed its previously announced private placement of common shares of the Company raising gross proceeds of approximately USD 100m. “This additional capital will allow Voyager to execute on the Company’s growth strategy including new user growth, international expansion and new product introduction,” Stephen Ehrlich, Co-founder and CEO of Voyager, was quoted as saying in an emailed press release.
- Figure Acquisition Corp. I, a US-based newly incorporated blank check company sponsored by Fintech Acquisition, which is an affiliate of blockchain lending startup Figure Technologies, aims to set up a special purpose acquisition company and raise USD 250m. “We may pursue an acquisition opportunity in any industry, sector, or geographic region, but intend to concentrate efforts on businesses in the financial technology and financial services sector including, but not limited to, services and technology businesses that provide support to the financial services sector,” they said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Latin America-focused fintech Valiu, said it raised USD 5.25m in a seed funding round, led by Blockchange Ventures and Anthony ‘Pomp’ Pompliano of Morgan Creek Digital, among other investors. “We plan to put capital to work immediately to grow our user base and continually improve our products towards product-market fit and mass adoption of crypto,” Simon Chamorro, Co-founder & CEO, said.
Crypto adoption news
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Co-President Daniel Pinto told CNBC that client demand isn’t there yet on BTC, but he’s certain that’ll change at some point. Also, Pinto reportedly signaled in a recent staff meeting that he’s open-minded about BTC, according to CNBC.
- Crypto payments processor CoinGate said it now also supports dogecoin (DOGE) on its network of merchants. “The company also enabled a DOGE payment option for its inventory of 600+ gift cards and added the ability to buy or sell DOGE for fiat currencies,” they added in an emailed press release.
- BitPay, a major provider of crypto payment services, said that US cardholders of the BitPay Prepaid Mastercard can add their card to Apple WalletTM and spend with Apple Pay®. Support for Google Pay and Samsung Pay is planned for later this quarter.
- Mastercard’s ambitious crypto plans may hit a stumbling block in Russia, a legal expert has claimed. The company this week signaled that it was prepared to work with crypto and claimed that it “will start supporting select cryptocurrencies directly” on its network (although at this stage, the project only appears to involve stablecoins). However, per Forklog, Mikhail Tretyak, a partner at the law firm the Digital Rights Center, claimed that a recently promulgated Russian law outlawing the use of digital assets in payments could block Mastercard’s way – although regulators would likely make an exception for a Central Bank-issued digital ruble.
- A presidential policy advisory body has cast doubt on Russian crypto tax plans that critics have dismissed as “draconian.” Per Regnum, the Council under the President for the Codification and Improvement of Civil Legislation has raised a legal objection to the tax body’s plans to alter the tax code. The council stated that such a change, which would involve criminalizing citizens who fail to report their crypto earnings, required changes to be made to Russia’s legislation – not just tax code alterations. The body claimed that as a legal definition for a range of crypto and digital assets had not yet been put in place, the tax authority may have to put its tax plans on ice for the time being.
- Hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger said it integrated WalletConnect, an open-source protocol used to connect mobile wallets to decentralized applications (dapps), within the Ledger Live mobile app. The protocol allows users to connect the app to both desktop and mobile dapps, including a host of exchanges, tools, and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, the company said.
(Updated at 17:55 UTC with an announcement from BitPay.)