One River Asset Management, a hedge fund specializing in volatility bets, has already invested over USD 600m in cryptoassets and has commitments that will bring its holdings of bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) to about USD 1bn as of early 2021, Bloomberg reported, citing CEO Eric Peters, who joined forces with prominent investor Alan Howard, Co-founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management. In addition to investing in One River Digital’s funds, Howard is also buying a stake in the business.
American Express Co.’s venture arm, American Express Ventures, has invested in the FalconX cryptocurrency trading platform. Per the press release, the company has added to the USD 17m in funding FalconX announced in May 2020, by joining existing investors Accel, Accomplice VC, Coinbase Ventures, Fenbushi Capital, Flybridge Capital Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Avon Ventures, a venture capital fund affiliated with FMR LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments.
Canadian investment management company CI Global Asset Management has completed the previously announced, USD 72m initial public offering (IPO) of CI Galaxy Bitcoin Fund. The Fund will invest directly in bitcoin with its holdings of BTC priced using the Bloomberg Galaxy Bitcoin Index, it said.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) will launch CME Ether futures, a futures contract on ETH, on February 8, 2021. Each contract will have 50 units of ETH, and the derivative product will be open to trade Sunday to Friday, 5:00 pm – 4:00 pm CT, said the exchange. Joining BTC futures and options as part of CME Group’s suite of cryptocurrency risk management tools, ETH futures will be cash-settled and based on the regulated CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate.
Kraken said that it will be launching Bitcoin Lightning integration in 2021. They announced that they’ll be hiring a team next year to focus specifically on the Lightning Network, and that they expect to allow clients to withdraw and deposit bitcoin on Lightning in the first half of 2021.
Cboe Global Markets plans to launch cryptocurrency indexes in Q2 2021. The market operator and global trading solutions provider has announced it has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with trading software firm CoinRoutes to disseminate its market data and create potential derived data and analytics products using its RealPrice data, they said in a press release. It added that Cboe expects to offer fee liable RealPrice data on its CSMI Cryptocurrency (CCCY) channel by the end of the first quarter next year.
Major institutional crypto mining company Genesis Mining has announced the launch of a new pilot project that will focus on recycling excess energy waste from crypto mining facilities into sustainable heat and energy to power greenhouses. According to the press release, the project — located in Boden, Sweden and in development for over a year — is a private-public partnership between Systemair, Lulea Technical University, RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), Boden Business Agency, the local Boden municipality, and Genesis Mining’s philanthropic arm, Hashpower For Science.
The XRP-affiliated Ripple has announced the appointment of the former JPMorgan executive Sandie O’Connor to its board of directors. The American firm announced that O’Connor “led engagement with G20 regulators and policymakers” and would advise the firm on “government relations and regulatory initiatives” as it seeks to boost its domestic presence. O’Connor joined JPMorgan in 1988 and stepped down from the firm last year. In a press release, Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s CEO, stated that O’Connor’s “extensive network and in-depth understanding of markets, capital flows and banking will provide valuable and unique insights as new policies and regulations take shape across the United States.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet passed new legislation on Wednesday to introduce all-electronic securities as part of its wider blockchain strategy, Reuters reported, citing Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. The law eases rules that had so far forced issuers and holders of securities to document transactions with a paper certificate.
The government of Zhanjiang, China, is set to launch a blockchain-powered food traceability platform for pork products. Per China News Guangdong, node construction on what will eventually become known as the China (Guangdong) Food Safety Blockchain has already begun, and will pilot a full “from farm to table” supply chain solution in the region for farmers, manufacturers, retailers and local outlets serving pork and related products.
The South Korean chat app giant Kakao has launched the KakaoTalk Wallet, a blockchain-powered storage platform for electronic documents, multiple forms of digital ID and certificates. Per Hanguk Geumyong, the service will be available via a tab in the KakaoTalk chat app’s interface. The wallet is compatible with blockchain-powered driver’s licenses as well as electronic student ID cards – as well as authentication certificates and documents issued by a number of major domestic goods and service providers.