The S&P Dow Jones Indices launched new cryptocurrency indexes, it said on Tuesday, further mainstreaming digital currencies including bitcoin and ethereum by bringing them to the trading floors of Wall Street. The new indexes, S&P Bitcoin Index, S&P Ethereum Index and S&P Crypto Mega Cap Index, will measure the performance of digital assets tied to them. The list will expand to include additional coins later this year, the division of financial data provider S&P Global said.
A second cryptocurrency exchange has collapsed in Turkey amid a crackdown on the industry. The platform, Vebitcoin, said in a brief statement on its website that it has ceased all activities after facing financial strain and that it would update clients on the situation as soon as possible. Days earlier, Thodex, went offline with its CEO reportedly leaving the country. Local media reports say Thodex founder Faruk Fatih Ozer flew to Albania, taking $2 billion of investors’ funds with him. Turkey has issued an international arrest warrant for Ozer, while 62 people were detained in connection with complaints filed against Thodex.
Thomas Farley said traditional Wall Street banks made the Coinbase stock listing and innovations in crypto possible by largely ignoring the industry. Thomas Farley, president of the New York Stock Exchange, said the world of finance was “past the point of no return” on crypto following Coinbase’s public listing last week. “I think the crypto space is amazing right now,” said Farley. “It’s the best-kept secret in the world, and maybe the history of the financial markets. Coinbase today is the eighth-largest exchange in the world.”
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The Bank of England and the Treasury have announced they are setting up a taskforce to explore the possibility of a central bank digital currency. The aim is to look at the risks and opportunities involved in creating a new kind of digital money. Issued by the Bank for use by households and businesses, it would exist alongside cash and bank deposits, rather than replacing them.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global finally went public Wednesday afternoon at a valuation of nearly $100 billion, as the company takes advantage of surging demand (and prices) for bitcoin, ethereum and other digital currencies. Coinbase shares began trading at $381 a share, a more than 50% jump from the reference price for its stock of $250 a share. The stock quickly surged to a high of nearly $430 before pulling back to close at about $328 — an increase of just over 30%.
HSBC has reportedly changed its policy regarding cryptocurrency. The bank now prohibits customers from buying the stock of public companies that hold bitcoin, like Microstrategy. All of the companies with bitcoin treasuries could be on the chopping block at HSBC. British bank HSBC has reportedly become more strict with its crypto policy. The bank now prohibits its customers from buying the stock of public companies that are holding bitcoin in its treasury.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rose after Visa Inc. said its payments network will use a stablecoin backed by the U.S. dollar to settle transactions, as blockchain technology gains more acceptance in the established financial system. As part of a pilot program, Visa is using USD Coin to settle transactions over Ethereum, with the help of the Crypto.com platform and Anchorage, a digital-asset bank, according to a statement Monday by the San Francisco-based payments giant. Visa will offer the service to more partners later this year.
The firm invested $100M into the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust late last year, it has sold one third and it’s holdings are still worth $50M more than the purchase price. Israel’s Altshuler Shaham Investment House has doubled its money after tipping $100 million into the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust late last year. It’s the only know Israeli institution to have invested this magnitude of funds into Bitcoin so far.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could eventually become part of the recommended portfolio for everyday investors, Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood said Monday. Wood, whose star as an investor rose dramatically last year thanks to the strong performance of her flagship Ark Innovation ETF, said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” that she believes volatile cryptocurrencies will eventually resemble bonds.
The so-called Grayscale effect might be waning, as both bitcoin and ethereum are rallying while leaking from Grayscale’s trusts at the same time. In the past 7 days, BTC 211 (USD 11.4m) and ETH 781 (USD 1.4m) left Grayscales trusts. In the same period of time, the price of BTC jumped by almost 9%, while ETH rallied by 16%. Just two months ago, strategists at the major investment bank JPMorgan said that Grayscale trusts could be a determining factor in whether the cryptos’ prices go up or down, as losses could be fuelled by the “trend-following investors” leaving the space.