Welcome to Blockhead's Daily Digest, your go-to source for staying informed on the dynamic and ever-changing world of cryptocurrency. Whether you're a seasoned investor, blockchain enthusiast, or simply curious about the latest developments, we've got you covered with the most comprehensive news and analysis.
As the SEC buries its claws deep into America's Web3 world, many crypto industry leaders are considering fleeing the Land of the (not-so-free) Free. Coinbase is eyeing the UK, Crypto.com has shut down its US institutional service, and Binance.us is hanging on by the skin of its teeth.
However, this hasn't stopped financial giants Charles Schwab, Fidelity Digital Assets, and Citadel Securities from launching a joint crypto exchange called EDX Markets.
Announced before the collapse of FTX, the exchange is backed by Paradigm, Sequoia Capital, and Virtu Financial. EDX allows trading of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, and caters towards large financial institutions.
EDX operates as a non-custodial exchange and plans to launch a clearinghouse business.
Its launch follows BlackRock's application to create the first Bitcoin ETF in the US, further demonstrating institutional interest in crypto. According to observers, the SEC's probability of approving the Blackrock Bitcoin ETF is high. It is expected to be approved by September/October 2023 and attract $10 billion within 3 months and $20 billion within 6 months, giving a boost to the price of Bitcoin.
The effects are already being felt – over the past week, the price of Bitcoin has jumped over 10% amid Blackrock's and now EDX's news.
Are traditional crypto bros being muscled out of the crypto space by tradfi bros in the US? In any case, the market seems to be in support of it.
Even in Germany, Deutsche Bank has applied for a Digital Asset License from the country's financial regulator, BaFin, to operate as a cryptocurrency custodian. The digital asset custody platform will be launched in stages. It aims to provide services such as buying and selling digital assets, taxation, valuation services and more. DWS, the bank's asset management group, is reportedly in negotiations to acquire a minority stake in two crypto companies. The bank's commercial banking unit is now focused on building its digital asset and custody business.
- Gemini is planning to increase its headcount in Singapore by over 100 over the next 12 months. Additionally, Gemini will establish an engineering base in India as part of its APAC expansion. The Singapore office will serve as a central hub for the company's operations in the region. Gemini believes that APAC will play a significant role in driving the future growth of crypto. The company has already launched support for the Singapore dollar, Hong Kong dollar, and Australian dollar, allowing residents in these countries to access cryptocurrencies seamlessly. Gemini remains committed to its international vision and aims to bring financial, creative, and personal freedom to users worldwide.
- Alex Obadia, co-founder of Flashbots, has announced his departure from the Paradigm-backed company. Obadia made the announcement on Twitter, citing personal and professional reasons and expressing gratitude for the friendships and lessons learned. He also took the opportunity to highlight the system's vulnerability to "centralization from phenomena such as cross-domain MEV and exclusive orderflow."
1/ after almost 3 years building flashbots, i've decided it's time for me to leave. thanks to my co-founders and the entire flashbots crew for 3 memorable years.— alex (@ObadiaAlex) June 20, 2023
for anyone interested, here's the message i sent to the team earlier today. pic.twitter.com/MiH7OIRYbF
- Alibaba has appointed co-founder Joseph Tsai as chairman of the company, effective September. Eddie Yongming Wu has been named the new CEO. Whilst some Web3 folk were sad to see the back of Daniel Zhang, who was outwardly crypto-friendly, Tsai is also known for being pro-crypto and an active Web3 investor. This leadership reshuffle comes as Alibaba reorganizes itself into separate units for technology services and retail divisions. Tsai appointment has sparked speculation among crypto stakeholders about Alibaba's potential embrace of crypto in China. His family office, Blue Pool Capital, has been involved in crypto investments, including Polygon, Fast Break Labs, Artifact Labs and unfortunately, FTX.
- Speaking of FTX, it would be an understatement to say that the crypto industry suffered greatly under the hands of SBF. But one industry that seems to be thriving thanks to the crypto villain is the legal field. According to reports, FTX accumulated legal and advisory bills, totalling $121.8 million between February and April. FTX's legal representation Sullivan & Cromwell billed $37.6 million during that period, comprising nearly 31% of the fees and costs. Restructuring consultants from Alvarez and Marsal billed $37 million.
- Singapore-based digital payments platform dtcpay has raised $16.5 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Kwee Liong Tek, chairman of Pontiac Land Group. Other investors in the funding round include David Tung, Jean Marc Poullet, and Tham Sai Choy. The funds will be used to invest in product development, operational infrastructure, and global expansion. dtcpay is a holds a Major Payment Institution license in Singapore. "At dtcpay, we are excited about the prospect of working with globally renowned hospitality brands to open the door to their customers for digital payments," dtcpay CEO Kanny Lee said. "With the support of Mr. Kwee and our other investors, we are well positioned to quickly access overseas markets with reputable partners providing us strong governance”