An embattled Democratic mayor from Massachusetts who was arrested last week on suspicion of fraud and tax cheat charges is refusing to step down, calling his arrest “politically motivated” hours before city councilors pushed back a debate on how to handle the matter. FOX News
Dragonfly Capital Partners, a new crypto-focused venture capital firm, has announced the launch of its first $ 100 million fund dedicated to investments in crypto assets. Its investors include Okex, Bitmain and other well-known names in the industry.
Dragonfly promises to invest in three types of assets: crypto-native funds, “pick-and-shovel” tech startups and decentralized protocols and applications. It launches with a portfolio of more than 20 investments, including cryptofunds and asset managers, the stablecoin Basis, Spacemesh and Oasis Labs.
The founding team is led by managing partners Alexander Pack and Bo Feng. Pack previously managed crypto and fund investing for Bain Capital Ventures and was a general partner investor in Polychain Capital. Feng is the founding partner of Ceyuan Ventures and the largest investor in Okex, among many other ventures.
“Throughout our years of investing in crypto at our respective VC firms, we realized how difficult it is for incumbent investment firms to participate in this tech trend. The issue is that crypto is not just a new technology but a new tech-driven asset class, something we haven’t witnessed in decades,” said Pack. “A new asset class calls for a new breed of asset manager. That’s why we launched a crypto-dedicated fund and why we invest in other cryptofunds.”
Bringing East and West Together
Dragonfly claims to have identified a market opportunity to “bridge the gap between East and West in the crypto economy,” and thus has attracted investors from throughout the U.S. and Asia.
American investors include Salil Deshpande (Bain Capital Ventures), Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon (A16Z), Cyan Banister (Founders Fund) and Olaf Carlson-Wee (Polychain Capital). Asian investors include Neil Shen (head of Sequoia China), Eric Xu (founder of Baidu), Bob Xiaoping Xu (founding partner of Zhenfund), Zhang Tao (chairman and founder of Meituan-Danping), Bao Fan (founder and CEO of China Renaissance Bank), Cai Wensheng (founder and chairman of Meitu), Justin Tang (founder and CEO of X Financial, elong), JP Gan (Qiming Venture Partners), and Annie Xu (head and general manager of Alibaba U.S.).
“I see a parallel between the internet boom in the ’90s and the current cryptocurrency market opportunity,” said Feng, who was one of the first venture investors on the internet. “The crypto revolution may be even bigger than the internet and more global. We take an ecosystem approach, investing in fund managers around the world and connecting the top technologists from the West to the largest crypto companies and user bases in Asia.”
Is it good for big players to invest in new crypto startups? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Emerging Swiss virtual currency fund, Crypto Fund AG, said on Tuesday it had been given an asset management license by the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma). The license allows the company to manage crypto-related investments within Switzerland and to solicit for others elsewhere. Crypto Fund will also be authorized to provide investment advice to corporate investors.
Crypto Fund to ‘Accelerate Maturity’ in Crypto Markets After Getting Finma License
“The authorization represents our professional work over the last 12 months and is a major milestone for us,” said Mathias Maurer, chief operating officer of Crypto Fund, in an emailed statement to news.Bitcoin.com. “This [license] puts…[the company] on the same playing field with other globally recognized and regulated Swiss fund managers,” he wrote.
Without the license, issued under the Swiss Collective Investment Schemes Act, activities of crypto firms in the Alpine country will be limited and only “subject to fulfilling compliance with money laundering,” Maurer noted.
Founded in June 2017, Crypto Fund is the financial arm of Crypto Finance AG. The Zug-based company facilitates the implementation of blockchain technology through services such as asset management and brokerage, building bridges between investors and businesses that seek to utilize the technology.
Switzerland has taken a progressive stance towards cryptocurrency, legalizing its use and formalizing crypto transactions in various contexts. But some crypto projects still find it difficult to open bank accounts and regulatory clarity to cryptocurrency-focused bankers and investors is still not as clear as it might be.
In June, Finma licensed Crypto Finance to distribute collective investment schemes and funds to qualifying investors.
“The importance of crypto assets is growing and our aim is to accelerate maturity in these markets,” Crypto Finance chief executive officer Jan Brzezek said in an online statement.
He noted that the license was important in building confidence “for crypto assets around the world.” Brzezek is looking to seek approval for a passive investment fund in the future.
Progressive Switzerland Continues to Expand Crypto Space
Along with countries such as Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Cayman Islands and Mauritius, Switzerland has welcomed cryptocurrencies like bitcoin core and bitcoin cash, going against other governments’ sceptical view of digital coins as being opaque, volatile and speculative.
Uncertainty by legacy Swiss banks on the policing and implementation of initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the financial market made them cautious, and reluctant to issue participants in the nascent market with company accounts, leading to the departure of at least two major players this year. However, banks have started to open up. The 86-year-old private bank Maerki Baumann now accepts crypto assets.
Faced with competition from crypto-affirming rivals including Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands, whose banks are more welcoming, Switzerland’s financial regulator got to work with lawmakers this year to provide clarity on the policing of the ICO market. The Crypto Fund license is the latest high-profile effort to build seamless synergies in the area.
Crypto-related businesses employ hundreds of people in Switzerland, with cryptocurrency legal tender in certain contexts. Switzerland sees virtual money and blockchain as a strategic innovation in global finance and is intent on maintaining and growing the jobs it has to offer in this field. The country’s tax regulatory authority considers cryptocurrencies to be assets, subject to wealth tax and declared on annual tax returns.
According to reports, Zug, also known as Crypto Valley, ranks favorably among the most crypto-friendly cities in the world, boasting more than 400 crypto businesses. Four of the 10 biggest ICOs in 2017 were registered in Switzerland, greater than any other country, according to a PwC report.
What do you think about crypto-related investment funds? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Crypto Finance
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In recent news pertaining to cryptocurrency exchanges, images circulating online show Pantera Capital’s Digital Asset Fund had a lifetime-to-date performance of minus 40% as of the end of August, Bittrex has announced the delisting of Bitshares, Bitcoin Gold, and Bitcoin Private, and Indian cryptocurrency exchange, Bitbns, has been accused of falsifying its trade volume.
Pantera Digital Asset Fund Posts 40% Lifetime Loss So Far
A post circulating on Twitter detailing the “August performance” of Pantera Capital’s Digital Asset Fund shows that the fund’s life-to-date losses were 40.8% as of the start of September.
The post also shows that the fund lost 22.3% in August alone, and is down 72.7% from the all-time highs posted by the fund in January.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust has lost 80% of its value when compared with the fund’s December 2017 all-time highs after it recently established a new for 2018, signifying that the bearish performance of cryptocurrencies has fueled losses across numerous virtual currency funds.
Bittrex Delists BTS, BTG, and BTCP
Bittrex, the thirty-fifth largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume according to Coinmarketcap’s adjusted volume rankings, has delisted Bitshares (BTS), and Bitcoin Gold (BTG), and scheduled the delisting of Bitcoin Private (BTCP) for November 5th – citing low volume.
As of this writing, BTG has a 24-hour trade volume of nearly $ 4.7 million despite the Bittrex delisting, whilst approximately $ 3 million worth of BTS, and nearly $ 155,000 worth of BTCP has changed hands in the last day.
It total, Bittrex facilitated nearly $ 40.1 million worth of trade in the last 24 hours as of this writing.
Bitbns Accused of Faking Trade Volume
A post authored by Indian cryptocurrency trader Karthik Varma has accused Bitbns of consistently faking its reported volume.
The author asserts that after launching in December, the exchange went on a listing spree in order to attract traders and liquidity, adding that the exchange was accused of faking volume in March following abnormalities in the trade volume of ETN – to which the exchange responded by stating that a bug in the company’s system was causing incorrect volume calculations.
In July 2018, the author asserts that Bitbns maintained strong volume despite trading activity on “most of the Indian exchanges […] decreasing drastically,” prompting analysis of Bitbns’ trade logs on the part of Mr. Varma.
According to Mr. Varma’s analysis, ”The volume reported” by Coinmarketcap for XRP pairings on Bitbns is “more than 500% than the actual volume,” and that the reported volume for BTC on the exchange is “668% than the actual volume.”
Do you think that the practice of falsifying trade volume is common among cryptocurrency exchange? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock
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In recent news pertaining to cryptocurrency exchanges, Circle Invest has added Eos, 0x, Stellar, and Qtum to its platform, Stockholm IT, a Frankfurt-listed company that has seen its share value drop over 99% since launch, has announced plans for a cryptocurrency fund, and Btse has launched its over-the-counter (OTC) trading platform.
Circle has announced that four alternative cryptocurrencies have been newly added to the company’s Circle Invest platform. The altcoins are Eos, 0x, Stellar, and Qtum.
Circle asserts that the cryptocurrencies were chosen “specifically based on their potential to contribute powerful infrastructure to the broader crypto ecosystem.”
The company also announced the launch of the “Explore” feature in the Circle Invest app. “Explore” is intended to “give contextual, relevant information on the various aspects of crypto” and “educate [Circle’s] customers and bring clarity to this fascinating, yet complex asset class.”
Stockholm IT Announces Plans for Crypto Fund
The Frankfurt-based company behind the Bytemine tokensale, Stockholm IT Ventures AB, has announced that it will launch a cryptocurrency-focused asset management service.
Stockholm IT is listed on the Deutsche Boerse stock exchange and has seen its stock plummet by over 99% from €3 to approximately €0.02 since listing in 2014.
Despite suffering such extreme losses to its share price, Stockholm IT is confident that it will be able to provide a return to investors – with Stockholm IT chief executive officer, Anthony Norman, “guarantee[ing]” investors a return of “1-1.5% per trading day” owing to the company’s “unique algorithm.”
Btse Launches OTC Crypto Exchange
Btse has announced the launch of its over-the-counter trading platform. According to a press release, the platform is “unique” through “offer[ing] multiple currencies through one book,” adding that “entities like the U.S. dollar, the euro, and the Japanese yen all share the same liquidity pool.“
Btse co-founder, Jack Li, stated: “Even though there has been some consolidation amongst the existing exchanges, the industry is still largely fragmented and localized. Our goal in offering a multi-currency platform looks to address some of these issues through the aggregation of liquidity.”
“Other exchanges that offer multiple books often struggle with liquidity in their secondary books. This innovation aims to resolve that issue. If a deposit is sent in a currency we do not yet support, it will automatically be covered at system rate,” Mr. Li added.
Do you think Stockholm IT’s fund will succeed despite its poor share price performance? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Circle.
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Lucid Motors, the Bay Area electric car start-up, has been struggling to raise money for more than a year. Now it appears to have found some: more than a billion dollars from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
If the deal announced Monday closes as Lucid expects, the company said it will have…
China’s sovereign-wealth fund and other large investors have expressed interest in potentially buying shares in Deutsche Bank AG from embattled Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co., according to people familiar with the matter. WSJ.com: What’s News Asia
A Canadian regulated bitcoin trust has achieved the mutual fund trust status, allowing eligible investors to invest in the trust through government-sponsored tax-efficient investment plans. The investment is approved by the Ontario Securities Commission and the British Columbia Securities Commission.
First Block Capital Inc. announced on Monday, September 10, that its flagship product, the FBC Bitcoin Trust, “has now achieved mutual fund trust status.”
As such, the trust has become the “first and only” investment product approved by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) to offer “unit holders the exclusive opportunity to hold units of a bitcoin investment in their Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) and Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP).”
Noting that the investment is available only to accredited investors, the firm explained:
The trust units are [now] considered a qualified investment for a mutual fund trust under the Tax Act, having exceeded 150 unit holders within one year of launching.
The firm describes itself as “Canada’s first fully registered, dedicated cryptocurrency and blockchain investment company” that holds exempt market dealer (EMD), portfolio manager (PM) and investment fund manager (IFM) licenses. Its co-founder and chief investment officer, Marc van der Chijs, detailed:
Our goal is to make investments in the digital currency asset class more accessible and we are one step closer to achieving this goal by allowing unit holders to place units in government sponsored tax efficient vehicles, and by providing daily liquidity.
Two More Funds Coming Soon
In addition to the bitcoin trust, the firm plans to launch two investment products. The company’s funds are kept in Xapo’s cold-storage vault.
The first of the two is the Active Blockchain Opportunities ETF which is “an actively managed ETF dedicated to uncovering the best companies exposed to this global secular theme,” the firm describes.
The other product is the Cryptocurrency Index Fund that tracks the performance of tokens selected by the firm’s management team. The company explains, “The evaluation of selecting a token into our index fund is mainly determined by the development of its technology, market capitalization, and market liquidity. The goal is to provide investors with a transparent benchmark in this new asset class.”
What do you think of this bitcoin trust? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and First Block Capital Inc.
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