5 February

Visa is piloting a suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) that will allow banks to offer bitcoin services. This is the first time the company has offered crypto services to banks.

The Visa Crypto APIs pilot program will let clients ‘easily connect into the infrastructure provided by Visa’s partner, Anchorage, a federally chartered digital asset bank, to allow their customers to buy and sell digital assets such as bitcoin as an investment within their existing consumer experiences.’

This is shifting to the next phase of Visa’s strategy where we’re looking at how Visa can also be a bridge between the thousands of financial institutions … and help them tap into the growing world of crypto assets and blockchain networks.”

See Also: Binance Says It Wants to Get More People Using Crypto With Its New Payments Service

“The rapper and entrepreneur is part of a glitzy roster of limited partners backing North Island Ventures’ newly revealed $72 million VC fund.

Helmed by Glenn Hutchins, co-founder of $39 billion private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, backers include big names like hedge fund boss Paul Tudor Jones; Josh Harris, co-founder of Apollo Group; and former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi.

Some people might see this story and think Glenn Hutchins is jumping on the bandwagon. The truth is that Glenn was one of the earliest very established leaders from the finance community to get behind this technology.

In addition to Dapper Labs (the company behind the new Flow blockchain and surging NFT game NBA Top Shot), North Island has invested in carbon-credit tracking platform Nori and blockchain interoperability app Axelar.”

See Also: Dan Tapiero Launches $200M Fund to Invest in Crypto Companies
See Also: California Pension Fund Loaded Up on RIOT Shares During Bitcoin’s Q4 Rally
See Also: Saylor, MicroStrategy Offer Playbook for Corporate Bitcoin Adoption at Annual Summit

“Ethereum’s ether (ETH) cryptocurrency logged a new record high on Tuesday, amid expectations the recent GameStop (GME) trading saga would accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance (DeFi).

Platforms like Robinhood have restricted transactions to rein volatility fueled by Reddit-based retail traders’ coordinated buying in stocks. Crypto analysts believe the restrictive actions could bring more users into the DeFi space, which is dominated by Ethereum’s blockchain. According to Messari’s Ryan Selkis, the door for mass adoption of bitcoin, ethereum, DeFi and Web 3.0 assets has been flung open.

Ether also has a store-of-value appeal, and a growing number of institutions have taken positions in the cryptocurrency.”

See Also: ETH price surge could cause ‘gamma squeeze’ as bull market heats up: Delta Exchange exec
See Also: Exchange Tokens Hit New All-time Highs as Stock Traders Rush to Crypto
See Also: Why a GameStop-Inspired Mania Is Unlikely in China’s Stock Market
See Also: Following GameStop, South Korea Financial Regulator Extends Ban on Short Sales

Investment firm Accelerate Financial Technologies announced Wednesday it is seeking approval to list the Accelerate Bitcoin ETF on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker “ABTC.” The ETF would offer units denominated in both the U.S. dollar and Canadian dollar, with a management fee of 0.70%.

Bitcoin has been one of the best-performing asset classes on a one-year, three-year, five-year and 10-year basis, both absolute and risk-adjusted.

Given bitcoin’s historical track record and future potential, along with its portfolio diversification properties, we are looking forward to offering investors exposure to the asset class in an easy-to-use, low-cost ETF.”

“Gemini has launched a new investment service called Earn. [Earn] ‘allows customers to lend their digital assets to disclosed institutional borrowers‘ via uninsured loans. The company says Earn’s annual percentage yields can be as much as 7.4%.

In another stab at a bank-like offering, Gemini recently introduced a company credit card geared toward Bitcoin rewards. It’s set to launch later this year.”

“ConsenSys has partnered with cybersecurity firm Securosys to launch a more secure staking solution for Ethereum 2.0. The new product, dubbed Codefi Staking, provides ‘institutional staking tools for Ethereum 2.0.’

Codefi Staking was built to make it easier for institutions to stake their own ETH or their customers’ ETH without the challenges of operating independent validator nodes.

The enhanced security is achieved by removing the “challenges of operating independent validator nodes,” ConsenSys said. Securosys provides multiple key control mechanisms to ensure that stakers never relinquish control over their Eth2 withdrawal keys.”

“The final vote to increase the supply was 1,670 YFI for versus 331 against. Under the proposal, 33% of the new tokens would be set aside for key contributors. The other 66% will be set aside as a treasury, for everything from protocol acquisition to further development.

The decision marks a clear shift for the team, which accrued a unique amount of buzz for eschewing the convention of setting aside governance tokens for insiders.

Yearn’s launch was exceptional at creating a decentralized and engaged community, but it did not provide adequate incentives to retain existing and future contributors on an ongoing basis, nor did it provide the protocol with a war chest to fund future activities.

This seems to be the equivalent of an equity raising round. In these rounds an early-stage venture will issue equity and in effect dilute current shareholders. … The overarching idea being that the cash raised will increase future value enough to offset any dilution.”

See Also: Yearn Finance DAI Vault ‘Has Suffered an Exploit’; $11M Drained

“Blockchain developers are devoting less time to once-popular “Ethereum killer” blockchain protocols in favor of a select few projects, according to a report by crypto venture capital firm Outlier Ventures.

Multi-chain protocols like Polkadot, Cosmos and Avalanche are seeing a consistent rise in core development and developer contribution. Meanwhile, Ethereum killers Tron, EOS, Komodo, and Qtum are seeing a decrease in core development metrics.

The reshuffle doesn’t affect the ranking of Ethereum. Ethereum is still the ‘most actively developed blockchain protocol,’ with 42,457 commits to its code from, on average, 220 monthly active core developers. There have been 4,119 Ethereum releases today.

Developers are also interested in working on DeFi. Commits to decentralized lending protocol Aave were up by 763%; Bancor by 264%, and Set Protocol by 161%.

“Selling for 420 ETH (roughly $650,000 at the time of purchase on Wednesday), the collectible non-fungible token (NFT)-based artwork is known as a Hashmask.

I’m particularly interested in purchasing ultra-high-end NFTs that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye and scarce.

Danny also said he was “immediately” attracted to Hashmask due to the “Basquiat style” – a reference to noted Manhattan-based artist Jean-Michel Basquiat – and its several layers of “subjective scarcity.””

Google trends reveal a huge spike in “buy crypto” searches, a possible precursor to wider retail adoption.

The keyword received a perfect Google Trends score of 100, which indicates maximum relative interest. A similar spike was also observed for Ethereum.”

See Also: Brave browser active user base doubled in 2020, hits 25M per month

“Jassy offered a mixed review of blockchain technology and its applicability to Amazon’s business in 2017. In a statement at the Amazon “re:Invent” conference, he expressed doubt that blockchain could be used for more than a “distributed ledger” but also said he and his team were personally interested.

In 2018, Jassy did move forward with a “quasi-blockchain” offering, as he oversaw the launch of two blockchain products: Amazon Quantum Ledger Database and Amazon Managed Blockchain.”

“The global interbank settlement organization SWIFT is partnering with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). It’s unclear what the new group’s mission will be, though People’s Bank of China employees working on its digital currency efforts will be involved.

SWIFT opened a wholly-owned subsidiary in China over a year ago to support the country’s efforts to internationalize its fiat currency renminbi.”