Wisly Wednesday Crypto-Industry News Update — 17/03/2021
Bitcoin has tumbled back to where it was a week ago as the crypto asset’s benchmark rally cooled off after roaring past the $60,000 milestone for the first time over the weekend. We observed similar movement in other major cryptocurrencies, which often move in tandem with bitcoin.
Sergey Nazarov, the co-founder of Chainlink, a decentralised oracle network, said on Saturday that even a $100,000 price for bitcoin might be underestimating the momentum in the cryptocurrency. He referred to how many asset managers and retail investors are afraid of the existing financial system failing them. If even a small portion of them were to put 5% of their portfolio into bitcoin, then suddenly $100,000 per bitcoin becomes a very conservative prediction.
Binance Weighs Registering With CFTC
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is weighing whether to register with the U.S. futures regulator, according to former Senator Max Baucus, who has recently joined the firm as a policy adviser and government liaison. He said he thinks that it’s the direction they will be moving in as it’s a policy decision that they are discussing and will weigh up as a business judgment.
The CFTC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is investigating whether Binance allowed Americans to make trades that violated U.S. regulation. Co-founder Changpeng Zhao addressed the accusations of misconduct in an online discussion, citing that Binance has strong controls to prevent illicit transactions.
Baucus declined to comment on any investigations into Binance’s conduct but did say that it’s understandable that the CFTC and other agencies are examining the trading of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies considering the industry’s hyper-growth.
Binance announced the appointment of Baucus on Thursday amidst growing regulatory scrutiny for cryptocurrencies and their exchanges. Baucus has been tasked with guiding the organisation’s government and regulatory efforts to build strong relations with U.S. authorities and regulators. His focus will be on policy advice for global financial jurisdictions and liaising with U.S. officials.
Robinhood Seeing Surging Growth in Female Crypto Traders
Robinhood, the popular trading app which had certain stock purchases limited in January during the GameStop trading frenzy, said on Thursday that the number of female crypto traders on its platform has surged. They have reported an increase of seven times more female users from the end of 2020 in an encouraging sign of rising diversity within the male-dominated financial system.
In a recent blog post, the company mentioned that while women remain underrepresented on their trading platform compared to their total customer base, it was promising to see that 40% of their active women customers are crypto traders. This highlights crypto’s ability to be a powerful tool in decentralising power in finance.
eToro to go public via $10B SPAC merger
The social trading platform, which filed a lawsuit against Ripple and delisted its native token XRP from its crypto offerings in December, could become the next fintech player to go public in the U.S. This is after making a move toward merging with one of two blank check firms.
According to a press release issued on Tuesday, the two companies likely for the $10 billion merger are FinTech Acquisition Corp V — a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, owned by veteran Philadelphia banker Betsy Cohen. Both companies are looking to raise equity of approximately $650 million to facilitate the deal.
An eToro representative confirmed that the company resulting from the merger would be called eToro Group Ltd, and it is to be listed on the Nasdaq. eToro is a regulated entity in Europe, Australia, Gibraltar and the United Kingdom, but curiously they had already received a broker-dealer license from the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority back in 2019. As such, their pursuit of a public listing in America comes as little surprise.
Atari Setting Up Crypto Casino
The Atari casino will be a “Vegas City” style virtual world developed in partnership with Decentral Games on the Ethereum blockchain.
The companies put out a joint statement where they revealed they expect to see bets of $150 million in 2021 and $400 million over two years. Casinos on the blockchain have attracted a mix of scepticism and enthusiasm, with many crypto fans seeing them as the future of gambling.