Weekly News Roundup – 30 Aug 2021
Crypto moves fast and it can be hard to keep up with all the developments. To help you stay on top of what’s going on across the industry, we’ve created this overview of the key news from last week.
81% of finance execs say blockchain has gone mainstream
According to Deloitte’s “2021 Global Blockchain Survey,” 81% of the financial services industry (FSI) executives believe that blockchain technology is “broadly scalable” and has achieved mainstream adoption.
The report queried 1,280 FSI professionals based in Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. The survey covered general FSI cohort respondents who had “at least a general understanding” of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, as well as “FSI Pioneers,” or respondents who have already deployed blockchain tools into their business or production.
Some 73% of survey respondents expressed concerns that their firm would lose an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage if they do not adopt blockchain or digital assets. Among the FSI Pioneers subset, as many as 97% of respondents indicated that blockchain applications are crucial for their business to stay competitive.
Despite the survey pinpointing the FSI’s bullish stance on blockchain and digital assets, 71% of survey respondents indicated that cybersecurity is the greatest barrier to wider digital asset adoption. Among the FSI Pioneers, 73% of respondents specified regulatory barriers as the principal obstacle hindering crypto adoption. Among overall respondents, 65% described the existing legacy financial infrastructure as the greatest impediment to mainstream blockchain adoption.
According to Deloitte’s last year’s Global Blockchain Survey, nearly 40% of respondents from major global technology companies had blockchain in production, with almost 90% believing that blockchain would become more important in the next three years.
MicroStrategy announces new bitcoin buy worth $177 million
Michael Saylor's publicly traded company MicroStrategy has expanded its bitcoin hoard once again, announcing the purchase of 3,907 BTC for a total of $177 million.
The purchase was disclosed Tuesday. This brings MicroStrategy's total bitcoin supply to 108,992 BTC, an amount worth approximately $5.3 billion at press time. Saylor said Tuesday morning that the company has spent $2.918 billion at an average price of $26,769 per bitcoin to obtain the digital assets.
As shown in the chart below, Tuesday's announcement marks the first of its kind since June. Saylor's MicroStrategy, a business intelligence software company, began acquiring bitcoin on its balance sheet last year.
Source: TheBlockCrypto (24.08.2021)
USDC to be backed 100% by cash and US treasuries
Stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) will be 100% backed by cash and short-term U.S. treasuries by September, developer Circle announced.
Circle revealed last month that only 61% of tokens were backed by "cash and cash equivalents," referring to cash and money-market funds.
Circle revealed plans in July to go public via special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC) Concord Acquisition Corp. in a deal that would value Circle at $4.5 billion.
Earlier this month, Circle announced its desire to become "a full-reserve national commercial bank" operating under the supervision of the U.S. Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Dept., Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC).
Source: Coindesk (23.08.2021)
One in ten people in the US invest in crypto
Crypto adoption in the U.S. is picking up, with one in ten people in the country—11% to be precise—investing in cryptocurrency.
60% of U.S. crypto investors cite the potential for long-term growth as being behind their investment, with 44% looking to the potential for high growth in a short period. A third (33%) were drawn to crypto also by the ease of making their own trades, while just over a quarter (26%) were hooked by the excitement of investing.
What’s more, investors were not necessarily influenced by some of the typical narratives surrounding cryptocurrencies.
Less than half of those surveyed (44%) said they didn’t know where Bitcoin would be by the end of 2021. In fact, less than one-fifth (21%) of those surveyed said Bitcoin would finish the year higher than its current price.
The survey also paints a clear picture of the type of person most likely to invest in cryptocurrencies. Men are more than twice as likely as women (16% compared to 7%) to invest in crypto across all racial and ethnic groups.
Age is also a key component, with older investors viewing the sector as high risk. A total of 29% of investors between the ages of 18-34 believe cryptocurrency is a high risk, whereas almost half (46%) of older respondents—those between the ages of 34-65, believe cryptocurrency is high-risk.
The majority of respondents cited social media—and technology more broadly—as a factor in their investment behavior.
Source: Decrypt (25.08.2021)
Top-tier exchanges dominate crypto market as traders go risk-off
Top-tier cryptocurrency trading platforms have been steadily gaining market share over the last few quarters as both retail and institutional traders choose less risky platforms.
CryptoCompare’s updated Exchange Benchmark notes top-tier exchanges added 4% additional market share since February of this year and now control 89% of the cryptocurrency market’s trading volume, up from 85%.
Their exchange benchmark ranks more than 150 global spot exchanges by assessing counterparty, operational, trading and security risks. Top-tier exchanges are those ranked from AA to B.
Six cryptocurrency trading platforms received the highest rating, AA. These were Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken, CrossTower, itBit, and Bitstamp.
Only 9 exchanges were included in the AA and A ratings, due to stricter category and transaction risk threshold requirements.
Source: CryptoCompare (24.08.2021)
Citigroup gearing up to trade CME Bitcoin Futures
U.S. banking giant Citigroup (NYSE: C) is awaiting regulatory approval to begin trading bitcoin futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), according to a source within the bank who asked to remain nameless.
The bank is said to be fielding a surge in client demand for cryptocurrency exposure as bitcoin again mounts a climb toward $50,000. Citi, which is still working through the necessary regulatory approvals, would join fellow megabank Goldman Sachs in offering bitcoin futures trading.
In January, CME took the prime spot on the list of the biggest bitcoin futures trading platforms, indicating a continued rise in institutional participation.
An increasing number of big banks are venturing into crypto, often by way of cash-settled products that track the price of cryptocurrencies. In July, CoinDesk reported that Bank of America’s prime brokerage unit started the clearing and settlement of cryptocurrency exchange-traded products (ETPs) for hedge funds in Europe.
Citigroup, one of the largest banks in the U.S., holds some $23.7 trillion in assets under custody. In June, Citi launched a business unit to offer cryptocurrency-related products under the bank’s wealth management umbrella.
Source: Coindesk (24.08.2021)