Author: Cointelegraph By Turner Wright

Mt. Gox trustee announces approval of rehabilitation plan, meaning creditors could soon receive billions

Mt. Gox trustee announces approval of rehabilitation plan, meaning creditors could soon receive billions

Creditors from the now-defunct crypto exchange Mt. Gox have overwhelmingly approved a rehabilitation plan to compensate them for billions in lost Bitcoin.According to a Wednesday announcement from Mt. Gox trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi, roughly 99% of the creditors affected by the collapse of the Japan-based crypto exchange approved of the draft rehabilitation plan originally filed in the Tokyo District Court in February. In addition, he reported claimants representing roughly 83% of the total amount of voting rights voted in favor of the plan.The decision follows an Oct. 8 vote from thousands of Mt. Gox users whose losses are estimated to be worth in the billions of dollars. Kobayashi said the distribution of the assets likely wouldn’t begin for at least a month, once the rehabilitation plan became “final and binding.” He added creditors should soon expect to register their bank account details on the website to receive remuneration.First launched in 2010 by programmer Jed McCaleb and later purchased by Karpelès, Mt. Gox was one of the largest exchanges in the world during the early days of crypto. A 2011 hack and the exchange’s subsequent collapse in early 2014 affected nearly 24,000 creditors — mainly those holding cryptocurrency. These events resulted in the loss of 850,000 Bitcoin (BTC), roughly $460 million at the time and $56 billion at the time of publication. However, Kobayashi reportedly has only 150,000 BTC to repay users.Japanese courts originally approved a petition for the exchange to begin civil rehabilitation for Mt. Gox creditors in June 2018. This deadline was repeatedly extended for various reasons, but ultimately the Tokyo District Court accepted the current draft of the rehabilitation plan in December 2020 and issued an order in February allowing creditors to vote on it.Related: Crypto City: Guide to TokyoThe Mt. Gox decision came as the remnants of a supervolcano on Japan’s main island of Kyushu erupted for the first time in more than five years. Though El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has suggested using the country’s volcanoes to mine Bitcoin, Japan seemingly has no such system in place.

Malta financial watchdog approves Iconic's crypto index fund for stock market listing

Malta financial watchdog approves Iconic's crypto index fund for stock market listing

The Malta Financial Services Authority has greenlit the crypto asset index fund from asset manager Iconic Funds for listing on the Malta Stock Exchange.In an Wednesday announcement, Iconic Funds said it expected to list its BITA20 XA Crypto Asset Index Fund on the exchange “in the coming days,” with the fund offering direct exposure to cryptocurrencies. The fund invests most of its capital in the top 20 cryptocurrencies in addition to depositing tokens into certain staking and interest-bearing accounts. According to Iconic, only individuals who qualify—and not the general public—will be eligible to invest in the fund.“While the crypto world seems hyper focused on the ever-elusive spot Bitcoin ETF, we decided to stay ahead of the curve and list the Iconic BITA20 XA Crypto Asset Index Fund on a regulated market in Europe,” said Iconic Funds CEO Patrick Lowry. “Investors are actively seeking access to crypto beyond just Bitcoin, and we hope our fund’s listing gives professional investors more opportunity to gain exposure to the crypto market.”While Malta is greenlighting crypto index funds, United States regulators are finally moving forward approving Bitcoin (BTC) futures-linked exchange-traded funds. This week, the Bitcoin Strategy ETF from ProShares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange prior to BTC reaching an all-time high price approaching $67,000. In addition, filings at the Securities and Exchange Commission suggest that similar shares of ETFs from crypto-asset manager Valkyrie and asset manager VanEck may soon appear on exchanges. Related: Crypto exposure has positive impact on investment portfolios, study showsIconic has already backed a Bitcoin exchange-traded product currently listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse’s digital stock exchange, Xetra. However, it claims the crypto index fund will be Europe’s first to provide direct exposure to crypto assets listed on a regulated market, with Coinbase Custody International acting as custodian.

Bitcoin briefly flippens Swiss franc after rally to new ATH

Bitcoin briefly flippens Swiss franc after rally to new ATH

After hitting a new all-time high price approaching $67,000 earlier on Wednesday, the market capitalization of Bitcoin briefly surpassed the total market cap of the Swiss franc.According to data from Fiatmarketcap, Bitcoin’s market cap was more than $1.263 trillion when the price of the crypto asset reached an all-time high of roughly $67,000 earlier on Wednesday. This briefly exceeded the value of the circulating supply of the Swiss franc at 1,158,489,000,000 CHF, or roughly $1.26 trillion. AssetDash also lists the total Bitcoin (BTC) market cap within $500 billion of Amazon.The price rise that led to Bitcoin flippening the franc in value came as crypto futures-linked exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, were being approved for trading on major United States stock exchanges. The Bitcoin Strategy ETF from ProShares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 19 as the BTC rose above $63,000 for the first time in months. In addition, filings at the Securities and Exchange Commission suggest that similar shares of ETFs from crypto-asset manager Valkyrie and asset manager VanEck may soon appear on exchanges. The regulatory body has yet to approve any BTC futures ETF application from Invesco, with Global X and Galaxy Digital also awaiting the approval of funds with direct exposure to crypto.Related: The great crypto flippening: Can Ethereum overtake Bitcoin?Bitcoin’s market cap was already worth more than the total value of many fiat currencies. Most recently, it flippened the Russian ruble in February after car manufacturer Tesla announced it had purchased an aggregate of $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and suggested its clients would soon have the ability to purchase its products using the crypto asset. The Brazilian real, with a market cap of more than $1.5 trillion, would be next for Bitcoin to potentially overtake.Though the price of Ether (ETH) also rallied to rise above $4,000 for the first time since May, BTC remains the top-rated asset with a market capitalization that is $750 billion more than that of ETH. At the time of publication, 18,849,193 BTC are currently in circulation.

VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF will likely launch next week as crypto prices reach ATHs

VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF will likely launch next week as crypto prices reach ATHs

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has likely approved asset manager VanEck’s Bitcoin Strategy exchange-traded fund, with trading expected to begin on Oct. 25.In an Oct. 20 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, Vaneck said the public offering of its Bitcoin (BTC) Strategy ETF, which offers exposure to the crypto asset through future contracts, would begin “as soon as practicable” after the effective date of the filing, Oct. 23. This suggests the company could list its shares on an exchange as early as Oct. 25. Unlike exchange-traded funds offering direct exposure to BTC or Ether (ETH) — which the SEC has not approved — VanEck’s ETF would provide exposure through cash-settled BTC future contracts traded on exchanges registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, pooled investment vehicles, and other exchange-traded products. Having first applied for the BTC futures-linked ETF in August, VanEck could follow ProShares, which on Monday launched its Bitcoin Strategy ETF on the New York Stock Exchange. Related: Crypto market cap breaks $2.5T — Is this the season for ETFs?The potential VanEck ETF listing comes as BTC and ETH prices reached new all-time highs. According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the prices of BTC and ETH are $65,955 and $4,003, respectively. This story is developing and may be updated.

Celsius responds to NYAG crackdown on crypto lending platforms

Celsius responds to NYAG crackdown on crypto lending platforms

Crypto lending firm Celsius Network has confirmed it is one of three platforms requested to provide information to the New York Attorney General’s office.In a Tuesday blog post, Celsius said it was not one of the two unnamed crypto lending platforms that New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered to “cease any and all such activity” around selling or offering cryptocurrencies. Rather, Celsius said it was “working on providing regulators in New York” with information regarding its business. “If any regulatory or technical changes are required in a specific jurisdiction, Celsius will provide clear and timely communication as needed,” said the lending platform. “We know that the only way to thrive and ensure our long-term growth is through clear regulatory guidance. We anticipate and plan for these kinds of routine checks and balances.”The statement from Celsius comes following the NYAG’s office issuing a non-legally binding request for information from three unnamed crypto lending platforms operating in the state — although the AG did hint at a possible subpoena. James asked the businesses to provide details on their lending products, policies, procedures, clients in New York and other relevant information.While Celsius has not received a cease and desist order from New York state, the platform is the target of regulators in Texas and New Jersey. On Sept. 17, the Texas State Securities Board filed for a hearing with the potential to impose a cease and desist order against crypto Celsius for allegedly not offering securities licensed at the state or federal level. The same day, the New Jersey Bureau of Securities ordered the lending platform to stop offering and selling interest-earning cryptocurrency products.A Celsius spokesperson said at the time that it “wholeheartedly disagreed” with the allegations and was working with United States regulators “to operate in full compliance with the law.” According to the platform’s response to the NYAG’s request for information, Celsius is “having a very open and productive dialogue with regulators around the world.”Related: Crypto lending firm Celsius Network raises $400MOf the other four firms targeted in the NYAG crackdown, Nexo Financial confirmed on Monday it received one of the two cease and desist orders. However, according to a Nexo spokesperson, the company does not offer its Earn Product and Exchange in New York state.“It makes little sense to be receiving a cease and desist order for something we are not offering in New York anyway,” said the spokesperson. “We will engage with the NYAG as this is a clear case of mixing up the recipients of the letter.”The other three companies that received notices from the NYAG remain unidentified. Under New York law, all crypto brokers, dealers, salespersons and investment advisers must register with the NYAG’s Investor Protection Bureau if they are doing business in the state. Those without an exemption who fail to do so will be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

Coinbase announces multiyear partnership with NBA and WNBA

Coinbase announces multiyear partnership with NBA and WNBA

Major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has inked a deal with the National Basketball Association, giving the platform the opportunity to educate basketball fans on crypto.In a Tuesday announcement, Coinbase said it would become the exclusive cryptocurrency platform partner of the National Basketball Association, or NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association, NBA G League, NBA 2K League and USA Basketball as part of a multiyear sponsorship deal. According to the NBA, Coinbase will create “unique content, innovations, activations and experiences” for basketball fans to learn about the crypto space, as well as be a partner of the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup, the USA Basketball men’s and women’s national team exhibition tours and the NBA G League Ignite.Coinbase chief marketing officer Kate Rouch said the partnership would involve “interactive experiences to engage with the NBA and WNBA’s incredible community and athletes around the world.” The announcement comes as the NBA prepares to start its 2021–2022 season, marking the association’s 75th anniversary.Related: Fan tokens: Day trading your favorite sports teamAccording to data from Statista, an average of 1.6 million people watched NBA regular-season games across major networks during the 2019–2020 season. Coinbase said it would be featured during nationally televised NBA games.Many crypto companies and platforms have formed partnerships with sports organizations across the globe as the space expands and seemingly becomes more profitable as a sponsor. Crypto derivatives exchange FTX announced it had become the official sponsor of Major League Baseball in June and previously struck a deal to name the Miami Heat’s home stadium the FTX Arena until 2040.

Cosmos announces launch of new blockchain, Sagan

Cosmos announces launch of new blockchain, Sagan

The Cosmos cross-chain network is building a new blockchain aimed at allowing developers to experiment with different protocols.In its quarterly keynote report published on Oct. 19, Cosmos said its Sagan blockchain was currently in development. The project teased the release of the blockchain in a video message with a quote from famous astronomer Carl Sagan and a picture of a canary among the stars. The canary imagery may refer to the blockchain being an experimental “canary network,” the term used by interoperability protocol Polkadot to describe its Kusama test network. In Kusama’s case, the blockchain enables developers to build and use a parachain or test Polkadot’s governance, staking, and other functions in a real environment.Cosmos has been growing steadily following the March launch of its inter-blockchain communication protocol, which allows crypto assets to be transferred easily between compatible blockchains, including those in decentralized finance. According to data from Mapofzones, there have been 1,285,426 transfers across the Cosmos ecosystem in the last 30 days. Related: Cosmos sees 1 million transfers in a month across the ecosystemThe Sagan announcement comes as Cosmos is also working on rollup scaling technology to allow developers to build Cosmos-based blockchains as rollups that can be deployed as clusters within the zones of the inter-blockchain communication protocol. The solution, called Optimint, is intended to be a “drop-in replacement” for the Tendermint framework on which it’s built.

Chainalysis will add Bitcoin to its balance sheet as price surges

Chainalysis will add Bitcoin to its balance sheet as price surges

Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis plans to purchase an undisclosed amount of Bitcoin for the firm’s balance sheet through New York Digital Investment Group’s brokerage services.In a Tuesday blog post, Chainalysis said it will expand its partnership with the New York Digital Investment Group, or NYDIG, to buy an undisclosed amount of Bitcoin (BTC), the price of which reached a five-month high of $63,293 earlier on Tuesday. The firm said the purchase was “guided by strong confidence in Bitcoin” in addition to the NYDIG’s expertise in the digital asset space. “Chainalysis is laser-focused on its commitment to building trust in cryptocurrency as a digital asset, and we are thrilled to be adding Bitcoin to our corporate investment portfolio,” said Chainalysis co-founder and CEO Michael Gronager. “This is Chainalysis’ first acquisition of cryptocurrency, and we will continue to pursue other digital assets as potential future investments.”Following a $100 million fundraising round in June, Chainalysis was valued at $4.2 billion. Data from the firm has often been used this year as ransomware hackers demanding payment in cryptocurrency stepped up their attacks. The company investigated Russia-based business Suex OTC, recently targeted by the United States Treasury Department and acquired cybercrime investigative firm Excygent earlier this month.Related: Chainalysis has crypto’s ‘heightened momentum’ to thank for multibillion-dollar valuationChainalysis’ Bitcoin investment will follow purchases from companies including Tesla, Square, Voyager Digital, Galaxy Digital, and MicroStrategy. The business intelligence firm holds 114,042 BTC, worth more than $7 billion at the time of publication. Car manufacturer Tesla currently holds an estimated 43,200 BTC, or roughly $2.7 billion.

Crypto market cap breaks $2.5T — is this the season for ETFs?

Crypto market cap breaks $2.5T — is this the season for ETFs?

The total cryptocurrency market capitalization broke $2.5 trillion as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission seems to be open to approving additional crypto futures-linked exchange-traded funds.According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the value of all cryptocurrencies has more than doubled since hitting a $1 trillion market capitalization in January. The prices of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) rose to more than $63,000 and $3,800, respectively, as the total crypto market capitalization dipped its toes above $2.5 trillion.Total cryptocurrency market capitalization. Source: TradingViewBTC remains the biggest cryptocurrency by market cap at roughly $1.2 trillion, ETH in the second position at more than $448 billion, and Binance Coin (BNB) third with $81 billion. KuCoin Token (KCS), Zcash (ZEC) and Polygon (MATIC) have rallied the most among other cryptocurrencies in the last seven days, rising more than 20% to reach prices of $13.99, $142.44, and $1.47, respectively.One of the indicators for the overall health of the digital asset class, the crypto market cap, is at highs not reached since May when the valuation peaked at more than $2.4 trillion before a major downturn effectively halved it to roughly $1.3 trillion. The surge comes as the first Bitcoin futures-linked exchange-traded fund in the United States began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, providing additional investors exposure to crypto.Related: All-time highs next? Bitcoin holds $62K as the dollar index tumbles to 3-week lowsThe crypto market has faced its share of regulatory and legal challenges in 2021, which could have threatened the prices of major tokens. First hitting a $1 trillion market capitalization in January, the space has reached prices far beyond the highs of the 2017 bull run, with volatility still present across major asset classes.

ProShares Bitcoin-linked ETF launches on NYSE as BTC price rises above $63K

ProShares Bitcoin-linked ETF launches on NYSE as BTC price rises above $63K

The first Bitcoin (BTC) futures-linked exchange-traded fund in the United States began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, opening at a price of $40 per share.According to the New York Stock Exchange, ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF, the first exchange-traded fund allowing U.S. investors direct exposure to cryptocurrency futures, opened at a price of $40 per share of BITO before rising 3.8% to reach $41.54 at the time of publication. The addition of the crypto fund to a major stock exchange follows years of deferred decisions from the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, the regulator responsible for greenlighting the asset.The NYSE welcomes @ProSharesETF in celebration of the first U.S. Bitcoin-Linked ETF $BITO https://t.co/0qh0NDS2d4— NYSE (@NYSE) October 19, 2021“BITO will open up exposure to Bitcoin to a large segment of investors who have a brokerage account and are comfortable buying stocks and ETFs, but do not desire to go through the hassle and learning curve of establishing another account with a cryptocurrency provider and creating a Bitcoin wallet or are concerned that these providers may be unregulated and subject to security risks,” ProShares CEO Michael Sapir said on Monday. The SEC first accepted the registration request for ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF on the NYSE on Friday shortly before doing the same for shares of digital asset manager Valkyrie’s BTC futures ETF for a listing on the Nasdaq. Institutional asset manager Grayscale also announced on Monday it planned to convert its GBTC Trust into an ETF in the future. The SEC currently has several crypto ETF applications under consideration.”The ProShares ETF will provide greater market access and ease of use for institutional investors who want to get into the cryptocurrency markets,” said Mary Beth Buchanan, global chief legal officer at blockchain investigative platform Merkle Science. “The newest futures based ETF will trade on the NYSE and will feel more familiar to institutional investors than opening individual trading accounts and trading directly on a spot or futures based cryptocurrency exchange or crypto trading platform.”Related: Traders celebrate Bitcoin’s impending ETF, but options markets are less certainAccording to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the price of Bitcoin rose following shares of ProShares’ ETF opening for trading, moving 1.2% from $62,557 to a five-month high of $63,293. This marks a return to the crypto asset moving above $63,000 for the first time since April, when it hit a then all-time high price of $64,863.

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