Weekly Crypto News Briefing

By Bilal Ahmed Mir, 6th December 2021

Whilst the majority of sectors in the US shut down during the Thanksgiving Holiday & Europe looks forward to the run up to Christmas, the Crypto world continues to evolve & grow at an astonishingly fast pace.

Invesco, one of the top 25 global Asset Managers in terms of AUM ($1.6 trillion) launches a Bitcoin Spot Exchange Traded Product (ETP), listed on Deutsche Börse Xetra. The Invesco Physical Bitcoin ETP (BTIC) is 100% backed by BTC holdings. The wait for a US based Spot Bitcoin ETP/ETF continues, however this Invesco product adds to an existing suite of Bitcoin products investors can access on European exchanges. The difference between an ETP & ETF are primarily semantical. In Europe, only a basket of securities can be called an ETF, whilst single asset products are designated as Exchange Traded Notes (ETN). ETP is the umbrella category.

Meta (Facebook) has significantly loosened its previously longstanding ban on Crypto advertising, citing market maturity & regulatory measures as the reasons behind the change. Notwithstanding the bold name change to Meta (in light of the company’s Metaverse projects), Meta is also developing a USD backed stablecoin & digital wallet. The impact of this tech & cultural behemoth could be incredibly substantial on Crypto markets.

MicroStrategy purchased an additional 7,002 BTC for $414.4m in cash, at an average price of approx. $59,200 per BTC. MicroStrategy is the largest publicly traded holder of Bitcoin, with total holdings of 121,044 Bitcoins, by way of Founder & CEO Michael Saylor executing a strategy of raising over $1 billion across multiple bond raises, with the specific intent to purchase Bitcoin. The very first bond offering, with the stated intent to purchase Bitcoin, was the best performing bond of 2020.

Leading global investment bank Morgan Stanley has deepened its bullish position on Crypto by increasing its holdings of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust to $300m.

Fintech giant Square (led by Jack Dorey who founded Twitter) is rebranding to Block, as it seeks to expand its payment business.

Galaxy Digital, the Crypto asset manager & venture capital firm, has agreed to issue $500m of 3.00% Senior Notes due 2026 in a private placement. Galaxy Digital intends to use the proceeds to accelerate growth initiatives across its business lines and for general corporate purposes, indicating positive market sentiment towards Crypto.

Adidas becomes one of the largest global companies ($55.73bn market cap, 315th largest globally) to enter the Metaverse, partnering with BAYC, Punks Comic & GMoney.

1inch, a DEX Aggregator (a platform that sources liquidity from multiple DEXs to offer better pricing to its users) has closed a $175m Series B round of funding at a $2.25bn valuation, led by Amber Group. More than 50 investors participated in the round, including several notable non-Crypto native funds. The raise was initially set at $70m, however grew by 2.5x given the growing interest in DeFi among institutional investors.

Binance Smart Chain & Animoca Brands launch a $200m fund to accelerate & incubate early stage Crypto gaming startups. The focus will be on GameFi projects that utilise Crypto & NFTs within their games, a sector that has exploded in H2 2021 with projects such as Axie Infinity gaining significant popularity.

Grayscale Investments launches Grayscale Solana Trust, the 16th product in its suite of Crypto investment trust offerings, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Chanlink, Decentraland & thematic funds such s Digital Large Cap Fund & DeFi Fund. Grayscale remains one of the most ubiquitous means of synthetic Crypto exposure for retail & (particularly) institutional investors.

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