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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.
Hong Kong is making an unrelenting push into Web3. Since 1 June 2023, retail investors have been permitted to trade crypto legally in the city through its revised regulation, and Web3 companies around the world are capitalising on it.
The latest firm to jump on the HK bandwagon is digital asset data and analytics leader, Amberdata, which is opening a new office in the city. The establishment of its Hong Kong office signals the firm's expansion into APAC, providing local sales and support and offering a suite of products, including on-chain, DeFi, spot and derivatives market data, and market intelligence.
US-based stablecoin issuer Circle is also closely monitoring the crypto policies of Hong Kong as the government aims to create a favourable regulatory framework. Circle, which recently received a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), sees Asia as "a huge area of focus."
Jeremy Allaire, Circle's co-founder and chief executive officer, said, "Hong Kong clearly is looking to establish itself as a very significant centre for digital assets markets and for stablecoins and we are paying very close attention to that."
Furthermore, Hong Kong rating agency HKVAC has announced its virtual asset index, which includes blue-chip cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum, along with a range of stablecoins and altcoins: WBTC, BTCB, stETH, BCH, LTC, BNB, MATIC, ADA, ATOM, FIL, NEAR, ALGO, ICP, XRP, DOGE, DOT, WTRX, SHIB, TRX, LINK, LEO, XMR, XLM, OKB, LDO, HBAR, VET, QNT, FTM, EOS.
Hong Kong rating agency HKVAC announced its virtual asset index, in addition to BTC ETH stablecoins, including WBTC, BTCB, stETH, BCH, LTC, BNB, MATIC, ADA, ATOM, FIL, NEAR, ALGO, ICP, XRP, DOGE, DOT, WTRX, SHIB, TRX, LINK, LEO, XMR, XLM, OKB, LDO, HBAR, VET, QNT, FTM, EOS.…— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) June 27, 2023
Hong Kong legislators Johnny Ng and exchanges Huobi and KuCoin are supporting the institution.
Your turn, Singapore.
- ByBit continues to expand its presence in the cryptocurrency industry with two significant licensing achievements. The cryptocurrency exchange has been granted the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Preparatory License by Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), showcasing progress towards operational permission in Dubai. Additionally, the exchange has secured a license to operate a cryptocurrency exchange and provide custody services in Cyprus, which allows the company to offer a full suite of services, including trading between crypto pairs and fiat currency pairs, financial services related to crypto assets, and custody solutions tailored to clients in Cyprus and E.U. member states.
- FTX has temporarily halted the sale of its $500 million stake in AI startup Anthropic - the company behind ChatGPT rival Claude. Following months of due diligence by the bidders on the Anthropic stake, Perella Weinberg informed the buyers of the decision. Perella Weinberg is the investment bank overseeing FTX's bankruptcy. The exchange's hedge fund, Alameda, had initially invested $500 million in Anthropic. Earlier this month, FTX was seeking to sell its shares for "hundreds of millions of dollars." Anthropic raised $450 million last month and has a valuation of $4.6 billion.
- Web3 wallet Gryfyn has partnered with Animoca Brands Japan and Honda Motor Co., Ltd to enhance fan engagement in Honda's motorsport initiatives. The collaboration will begin with the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio in July, offering unique and interactive experiences for fans. Initial activation will provide fans at the Honda Indy 200 with free Honda merchandise and gifts. Gryfyn is a joint venture between Animoca Brands and Hex Trust, which provides a custodial crypto wallet for accessing digital experiences, managing assets, and connecting with favourite brands. The partnership seeks to revolutionize fan engagement and will offer exclusive digital and physical prizes through an innovative fan engagement program.
- Fireblocks has expanded its MPC-CMP wallet and key management technology to include support for HSMs (Hardware Security Modules), as well as public and private cloud environments such as Thales, Securosys, AWS, GCP, and Alibaba Cloud. The expansion allows banks and financial institutions to utilize Fireblocks' security and technology stack to quickly implement digital asset initiatives while complying with regulatory and compliance requirements.
- The highly anticipated Azuki Elementals NFT drop, which sold out in 15 minutes, is failing to retain its traction. The 10,000 PFPs generated $38 million worth of ETH through its sale but holders are now selling Elementals below the mint price after being dissatisfied with the artwork. Initially listed at 2 ETH during the initial mint, prices have fallen to as low as 1.32 ETH on OpenSea. Collectors have taken to social media and were particularly disgruntled over the new collection's similarities to the original Azuki collection. Concerns over diluting the value of the original Azuki project have led to a mass sell-off.
- Crypto.com has announced the establishment of its first Global Innovation Lab in Singapore. The lab will serve as the firm's global research and development hub, exploring frontier technologies, partnering with strategic allies, and organizing hackathons to discover new applications for blockchain, Web3, and AI. The initiative was unveiled at the Point Zero Forum, organized by the Swiss State Secretariat for International Finance and MAS non-profit Elevandi.
We'll be enjoying the public holiday tomorrow and will be back with the daily newsletter on Friday.