The rush of big money into the cryptocurrency market is continuing at full pace and reshaping the global investment landscape. Two recent examples are Coinbase’s new institutional focus and Nomura’s new venture. These stories, and much more, are in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief.
Coinbase Goes After Big Money
Coinbase, the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange recently valued at $8 billion, has announced a new suite of services meant to attract more big money players such as the many new crypto hedge funds that pop up all the time. It will launch a cryptocurrency custodian in partnership with an SEC-regulated broker-dealer to a group of initial clients that include 1confirmation, Autonomous Partners, Boost VC, Meta Stable, Multicoin Capital, Polychain Capital, Scalar Capital and Walden Bridge Capital.
New offerings also include Coinbase Prime, a suite of tools specifically designed for institutions, and an institutional coverage group headquartered in New York City to provide a higher level of service to these type of clients. “There is clear demand from institutional clients and financial services professionals for more specific solutions with regard to cryptocurrencies that address their sophisticated needs,” said Adam White, Vice President and General Manager of Coinbase Institutional.
The company will also be opening a new engineering office in Chicago to continue developing Coinbase Markets, which provides a centralized pool of liquidity for all its products. Over the course of the year it is promised to introduce new features like low latency performance, on-premise data-center co-location services, institutional connectivity and access, and settlement and clearing services. “As a global leader in financial technology, Chicago welcomes innovative companies investing in our city and creating jobs for Chicago residents,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “There is no better city than Chicago for companies that want to put down roots and grow their businesses.”
Komainu to Protect Mutual Funds
Komainu is a new venture established to help overcome barriers for institutional investment in crypto-assets with a custody solution and offering new services, standards and best practices. Its founders include Tokyo-headquartered global investment bank Nomura (NYSE: NMR), hardware wallet developer Ledger, and Global Advisors, parent company of Coinshares.
Jez Mohideen, Global Chief Digital Officer at Nomura, said: “Global investment managers have long been held back from full participation in digital asset markets, limited by operational and regulatory risk. Our new partnership will set the required standards that will bring peace of mind to digital asset investors, and provide tools and products to enable better integration with more traditional investment vehicles such as mutual funds.” Jean-Marie Mognetti, Co-Principal of Global Advisors, added: “After 6 years of research, and collaboration with our administration partner and its regulator, we now have demonstrable progress. This partnership is a progressive stepping stone towards the creation of the necessary prerequisites for further growth within the digital asset ecosystem. This will open new and exciting opportunities to global participants and contribute to move digital asset closer to mainstream offerings.”
Ledgerx Savings Accounts
Ledgerx, the CFTC-regulated cryptocurrency management platform, has launched a new savings account-like product. Ledger Savings uses an underlying call overwrite strategy but offers a simple interface so that users won’t need to know anything about investing in derivatives. It targets a 16% per annum yield with a potential 2x exit at maturity in the event BTC doubles from current spot prices. For launch, the savings product will be offered for 3 month, 6 month, and 12 month maturities, at varied rates. After selecting the product for the desired maturity, the USD amount is available immediately to withdraw but the associated BTC is locked for the duration of the savings product.
Rat Poison Squared Fashion
If there is one thing that’s true for the cryptoverse, is that it is full of fast moving entrepreneurs. Warren Buffett only bashed bitcoin as “rat poison squared” less than two weeks ago, and someone has already found a way to make money from the now infamous glib. Ecoinmerce, a tokenized e-commerce marketplace, has announced the Rat Poison Squared clothing line, to include t-shirts, hats, coffee mugs, and keyrings.
“We don’t know exactly what ‘rat poison squared’ is supposed to mean,” said Ecoinmerce COO Rex Chen. “What we do know is that Bitcoin created a very productive ecosystem and spawned the entire cryptocurrency revolution, which is driving innovation in nearly every industry. This clothing line is intended to give Bitcoin and cryptocurrency enthusiasts pride in their defiance of the status quo and their belief in a better future.”
Telegram’s Gram Lawsuit
With a seemingly endless torrent of new ICO tokens flooding the market, short and pithy names for these crypto-assets are running out fast. This can lead to people registering coin names just to try and flip them for profit later and to companies to wage battles over who gets to control a certain ticker, as happens with website domain names. The latest example for this is Telegram, which is now reportedly suing a Florida-based venture over the rights to ‘gram’.
Did Jennifer Aniston Convinced You to Invest in Crypto?
The Texas Securities Commissioner has issued an Emergency Cease and Desist Order on May 15 to stop Wind Wide Coin Inc., from fraudulently offering investments in a cryptocurrency trading program. The order alleges that Wind Wide Coin and three sales agents in Houston are offering for sale investments in a cryptocurrency trading program that uses an “automatic trading bot.” The company is promising investors the combination of “no risk” and extraordinarily high returns. The purchase of 0.1 of BTC, for example, will yield 1 BTC 24 hours later, a one-day return of 900%.
Further according to the order, Wind Wide Coin is also misleading potential investors by claiming it is a “licensed company” and “legally registered.” And to lure gullible suckers the company’s website has featured endorsements from supposed past investors. To weed out anyone with some common sense, the website used images of celebrities like Jennifer Anniston – which it mistakenly identified as “Kate Jennifer,” an investor. Similarly, a photo of Prince Charles was identified as “Mark Robert,” an investor who provided a testimonial. The same testimonial was then attributed verbatim to a “Johnson Smith,” supposedly another UK investor.