Spanish Banking Giant Prepared For Bitcoin, PayPal's BTC Game + More News 101
Source: Adobe/Joaquin Corbalan

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Banking news

  • Spanish banking giant BBVA said that starting in January 2021, its unit in Switzerland will progressively launch a new service for the trading and custody of digital assets. BBVA will initially only manage bitcoin (BTC) transactions and accounts, but it plans to expand its offering to include other digital assets. As of September 2020, the bank had EUR 727bn in assets.

Crypto adoption news

  • Bitcoin could make online payments giant Paypal the center of the financial life of its clients because BTC will help boost engagement on this platform and increase revenues of PayPal, Mizuho Securities’ Dan Dolev told CNBC.

NFTs news

  • Barcelona FC captain Gerard Piqué is reportedly investing USD 4.3m in the non-fungible token (NFT) site Sorare, reported sifted.eu. Investment from the Barcelona player, in addition to US-based fund Cassius Family, brings the company’s total seed round to EUR 7m (USD 8.6m), stated another outlet. Piqué will also be joining the team as a strategic advisor, a Sorare announcement said.

STOs news

  • The Japanese securities giant SBI has struck a securities token offering (STO)-related partnership deal with Securitize Japan, reported Coin Post. The deal involves SBI’s SBI Digital Asset Holdings (SBI DAH), a subsidiary that manages crypto and digitized securities-related business operations. The agreement, said the companies, will see Securitize “integrate” with SBI DAH’s wallet-based custody solution SBI Wallet to provide customers with what they called “a one-stop digital securities management solution with world-class convenience and security.” The move comes days after SBI announced the acquisition of the British crypto liquidity provider B2C2.

Gaming news

  • South Korean chat app operator Kakao’s Kakao Games subsidiary has bought a controlling stake in the blockchain game platform developer, Way2Bit, per Maeil Kyungjae. The media outlet reported that Kakao has snapped up a 46% stake in Way2Bit, which has recorded circa USD 9.1m in sales this year by providing gaming-related services and blockchain technology, marking a 400% increase on its 2019 sales figures. The firms confirmed that Way2Bit would become an “affiliate” of Kakao Games following the deal.

DeFi news

  • Decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Warp Finance was exploited for USD 7.7m of stablecoins on Thursday evening. Per the platform’s tweet, it was “a complex flash loan attack which allowed the user to borrow more than their collateral value resulting in a loss of stablecoin lender funds.” The team has a plan to recover approximately USD 5.5m that is secured in the collateral vault, they said, adding that a more detailed analysis will be published “in the coming days.”
  • StableTech, a Tezos (XTZ) development group, launched wrapped Ethereum (ETH) tokens this week, allowing the value of ETH to be transferred to the Tezos blockchain, targeting DeFi users. Ethertez (ETHtz) tokens went live on the Tezos mainnet on December 12, enabling Tezos users to trade native tokens pegged to the price of ETH.

Stablecoins news

  • Market capitalization of the most popular stablecoin, tether (USDT), surpassed USD 20bn, compared with USD 2bn in February 2019. “People trust Tether and like using the most liquid and stable stablecoin,” Paolo Ardoino, Chief Technology Officer at Tether, was quoted as saying in a press release. The company claims that all tethers are backed 100% by its reserves, however, it does not provide any further information about its reserves. (Learn more: Imagine Regulators Shutting Tether Down – What Happens to Bitcoin?)

Staking news

  • The total amount of ether locked in the Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract has almost reached USD 1bn since it was launched at the beginning of this month, according to data from Etherscan. At the time of writing (14:20 UTC), approximately ETH 1,544,289 was locked on Ethereum 2.0, currently worth USD 982m.

Blockchain news

  • South Korea’s KEB Hana Bank is set to co-build a blockchain-powered real estate platform after completing a deal with two startups that specialize in digitized real estate. Per Daehan Kyungjae, KEB Hana has signed a memorandum of understanding with a firm named Ttokaebi Saesang (also known as Duse), which operates the biggest direct real estate transactions platform in South Korea, as well as Aptner, a company that provides smart home services to some 1 million homes in the nation. The firms plan to create a new platform that will be “tailored to changing demands in the real estate market.”

Exchanges news

  • Bitfinex said it has launched BTC and ETH personal loans on Bitfinex Borrow, a peer-to-peer (P2P) digital token loan portal. Borrowers can use USD, USDT, EUR, or JPY held on the platform as collateral to obtain a loan in BTC, and USD to obtain a loan in ETH.

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