Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- US-based major crypto lending and trading company BlockFi announced the launch of the BlockFi Bitcoin Trust, an investment vehicle for investors seeking access to bitcoin (BTC). “As we work to broaden the availability of this vehicle to retail brokerages, we expect this product will facilitate greater investments in digital assets,” Zac Prince, Founder & CEO of BlockFi, said.
- IDEO CoLab Ventures, an affiliate of global design company IDEO, is preparing to launch a USD 100m crypto investment fund, IDEO CoLab Crypto Fund II LP, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Castle Island Venture said it raised USD 50m for its Castle Island Ventures II fund that will invest in early-stage startups “that are building products leveraging public blockchain technology.”
- SCB 10X, the venture arm of Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank, launched a USD 50m venture capital fund dedicated to investing in global early and growth stage blockchain, decentralized finance (DeFi), and digital asset startups, the company said in an emailed statement.
- The European Central Bank (ECB) might allow digital euro holdings up to a certain threshold, e.g., EUR 3,000, or make them unattractive above this amount by charging interest, Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, said in an interview with Der Spiegel. However, “this is still under discussion,” according to Panetta.
- The bitcoin company KeepChange has announced it suffered a data breach, with hackers making off with information on its customers, including full names, email addresses, hashed passwords, trading logs and trading totals. However, in a blog post, the firm said that it thwarted the raiders’ bid to steal bitcoin from its wallets, claiming that its one of its control subsystems “kicked in and stopped those withdrawal requests,” ensuring that “no bitcoin [was] stolen” from its platform.
- Canaan, a listed major BTC mining hardware manufacturer, said that Quanfu Hong has resigned from the Chief Financial Officer position, effective February 9, for personal reasons. Tong He will become acting Chief Financial Officer immediately.
- Riot Blockchain, a listed BTC mining company, appointed Jason Les as Chief Executive Officer, while Hannah Cho has been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors, as an independent director. Les has served as an independent director on the Company’s Board of Directors since 2017, and he will continue to remain as a member of this board.
- The South Korean machinery and public services firm Woolim has announced it has acquired a stake in Car Tree, a domestic crypto and blockchain firm, reported IT Biz. Neither the financial worth of the deal nor the size of the stake was revealed, but the deal is nevertheless significant as it sees another major, conventional, non-crypto South Korean player move into the sector. Car Tree operates a blockchain-powered used car sales and rental platform, and its token is listed on the South Korean Coinone exchange, as well as Uniswap. Woolim is mainly known as a forklift provider to the nation’s busy construction sector.
- A Japanese firm said it has launched a platinum-backed stablecoin. In a press release, the Tokyo-based currency exchange platform Exchangers claimed that the token was a Japanese first, and added that its physical outlets would allow traders to swap their tokens for actual platinum. The firm also operates a stablecoin platform named Xcoin with tokens pegged to a number of international fiats, as well as gold deposits. It added that over USD 5.7m worth of its gold-backed stablecoin, launched in November last year, had already been issued by the end of last month.
- North Korea continues to launder stolen cryptocurrencies especially through over-the-counter virtual asset brokers in China to acquire fiat currency which is government-backed, like the US dollar, AP reported, citing UN experts. They are reportedly investigating a September 2020 hack against a crypto exchange that resulted in approximately USD 281m worth of cryptoassets being stolen, and transactions on the blockchain indicating the USD 281m is related to a USD 23m second hack in October 2020.
- US Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that Stephen Daniel Defiore (36), a resident of Brandon, Florida, was charged in a one-count Bill of Information with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, for his role in a SIM Swap scam that targeted at least nineteen people. Defiore is the second member of the conspiracy to be charged. Once a perpetrator is able to swap the SIM card, it is likely he is able to obtain access to a victim’s various personal accounts, including email accounts, bank accounts, and cryptocurrency accounts, as well as any other accounts that use two-factor authentication.